Thursday, 13 October 2011

Guwahati: The Gateway of North-East- Day 3

We left Hotel Trimoorti around 7 am and driver Sanjay came to pick us. Fortunately, the traffic was not that much and we reached the airport within 30-40 minutes. We had to catch a flight to Guwahati, Assam. So we had some sandwiches from the Coffee Day and sorry to say this, it was not at all good :( Our journey in Air India was pleasant, I still remember the faces of those air hostesses ;) 

A view of Kolkata
A view of Kolkta
A view of Kolkata
Looking at clouds from the top is always amazing. Some of them looked like snow castles, prancing deers, landing eagles, fighting elephants and fighting demons.

A view of Guwahati

Landing at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport
We arrived at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, Assam, at 9.30 am. The airport, named after Gopinath Bordoloi, a freedom fighter who was also the first chief minister of Assam after Indian gained independence, was small but well maintained. The airport was quite pricey, but had an international appeal with cyber cafes, jewellery shops, mobile charging booths and lounge area with large-sized seats. I bought some green tea for friends while returning from Meghalaya.

We approached Meghalaya Tourism at the airport to get a cab and we hired an Innova for Rs 3,500. Driver Suraj told us that Shillong was 145 km away from Guwahati and would take 3 hours of journey. The humidity level was so high that I wondered if it was Guwahati or some other place!
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati
Guwahati, the Gateway of North-East, is situated between the southern bank of the Brahmaputra river and the foothills of the Shillong plateau, with Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport to the west, and the town of Narengi to the east. On the way, we came across Gauhati University and Balaji Temple. The architecture of Balaji Temple was unique and resembled South Indian temples. I could see beautiful lawn, surrounded by blooming coconut trees, Ashoka trees, flowers, plantains and bouganvilleas. I wish we had visited it!

The university campus had got some hillock on the southern side and the mighty river Brahmaputra flowing on the northern side. The campus areas looked like a small township in itself and reminded me of our university!


As our car went up from Guwahati, the flat, dusty and grimy plains gave way to rolling hills that rose slowly and sinuously. The charms of Shillong journey began to work gradually but effectively. It was a winding narrow road fringed by spectacular mountain scenery that was interspersed with gorges and small waterfalls. The route offered us some of the most spectacular vistas of steep hills and deep valleys, with mountain views as far as the eye can see. We saw some vehicles stopping at a place called Jorabat, Assam-Meghalaya border, to offer prayers to Lord Ganesha. We could see pineapple and ginger plantation along the valleys. The rolling meadows seemed endless, with red wounds scratched out by earth-movers. It was amusing to see rain in some patches as we drove and. On the few occasions when the rains did not lash our car’s windscreen, continuous drizzle still kept the wipers busy for a few kilometres. Every inch of the road was wet and every bit of the earth was green.

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