dibrugarh tea gardens assam

Dibrugarh : River songs from the land of tea

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I cannot imagine myself not writing something on Dibrugarh. I was born here and since then a never ending love affair has made me surrender a part of my heart to this forgotten land. Beautiful memories linger in my mind created by the relationship I share with this place I call home. And this home has been instrumental in the making of the person that I am. Born anywhere else, I might not have understood the importance of peace and an easy going life.

Dibrugarh is a beautiful town situated on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra river and is one of the eastern most parts of India. Tea gardens constitute a major portion of the town and the finest tea of the world is grown here, thus giving the town the prestige of being called as the ‘tea capital of the world’. Numerous tea gardens dot the town and the outskirts, providing a breathtaking landscape of lush greenery. One is never out of sight of miles and miles of tea gardens and the sweet awakening aroma of tea never leaves a person’s sense of smell. Adding to this beauty is the presence of the mighty Brahmaputra which borders the town extensively and also disconnects the town permanently from the land on the other side. The other side has always been an object of mystery for everybody in the town for crossing the Brahmaputra is a risky business and very few brave fishermen dare to go there. What lies there is still very much unknown; probably many species of plants, animals and birds are waiting to be discovered. The combination of the river and tea gardens provides Dibrugarh with an old world charm where life is so laidback that I would easily include it in my list of the laziest places on earth.

Because of its eastern most location, Dibrugarh is in a way cut off from mainland India. This means a minimum industrial activity, the only major industry being tea, which is in itself connected to nature- where millions of tea leaves release oxygen in the air and regulate the carbon-dioxide. This results in crystal clear blue skies and an unusually clean air to breathe. Dibrugarh is a river town and its culture is very much connected to the Brahmaputra River. Folktales and stories of the river are passed from generation to generation and without the fertile soil provided by the Brahmaputra, north east India would be nothing but a desert. The first time I saw my hometown from the air before landing at the Dibrugarh airport, I was left speechless. Looking down from my cabin, I could see miles and miles of green land, most of them covered by huge tea estates, and on the other side of Dibrugarh I could see the mighty Brahmaputra cutting off the town from the distant Himalayas. The air seemed so clean and unpolluted compared to many other towns and cities of India. It has now become a habit for me to ask for a seat next to a window whenever I fly to Dibrugarh for the sight of my hometown from high above has created a special place in my heart.

Life starts early here and many people start their day with jogging and taking leisurely early morning strolls around the tea gardens. Early morning is the best time to indulge in the aromas of tea. The leaves are fresh from the night and the sweet scent of the finest tea of the world is at its best. One can see tribal women picking the fresh leaves. There is nothing more awakening and energizing than the early morning strolls in these tea gardens. The mist provides an added bonus. People depart for their respective jobs during the day and among them many are fishermen. Because of the mightiness of the Brahmaputra and the abundance of river food, the town harbors an extraordinary fishing community and many different techniques are used to get the fish out of water. The next pinnacle of everyday life in Dibrugarh is the afternoon. As dusk approaches, people start gathering along the river side to see the magnificent display of colors created by the sun setting in the distant Himalayas; families with kids, young couples in search of a romantic escape, students playing a game of football or cricket, naturalists absorbing the beauty, local Rastafarian boys smoking a joint in contemplation. The sunsets in Dibrugarh are extremely beautiful and the interference of the Himalayas on the way of the setting sun creates an amazing aura. As with all small towns situated in the country side, days end soon here and people sleep early.

This exposure to a laid back life has made me understand the importance of taking things easy. We should work to live but not live to work. Taking the time off to see the sunset is more important than being busy earning an extra buck or two. Spending time with your children and making them understand and admire nature is something that is much needed today. We tend to be attached to our work-spaces but it is the outdoors that we should be attached to. I would have never realized these things if I were living in cities or industrialized places. It makes me glad that I belong to Dibrugarh.


20 responses to “Dibrugarh : River songs from the land of tea”

  1. Your words created a picture of paradise in my mind–a laid-back way of living, fresh air, the inviting aroma of tea, the breathtaking scenery… what more could you ask for? You’re so lucky to be in that place. 🙂

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE tea, so it was really fascinating to hear about such a beautiful town that is also the capital for tea growing. I can’t imagine waking up to the scent of tea…that sounds amazing. I bet it is also an incredibly healthy place to live, with all that clean air, fresh seafood, and plenty of tea. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Once again, excellent stuff guys! Great photos and text! Look forward to the next one, and can’t wait to come visit this special part of India. Barry

  4. Great that you could write about the place you grew up.. We are so used to be absolutely normal about our own place that we have hardly anything to write about it from a beauty perspective. Ya I can narrate quite a few funny incidents and typicalities.. but not something what you did with Dibrugarh.

    I am from Duliajan. Would try to write something on it for sure. An inspiration from where you left.

    Lets connect on facebook. You can search me as lifeisbetter or durlov at gmail


  5. Aah, nice. I can feel the peace emanating from the pictures and your writing. I have recently decided to go to the top of our mountain here in the USA 3333meters called the Sandia Mountain. I feel the same peace up there as I felt from you blog. Thanks.

  6. I am from Dibrugarh..and i have always lived outside Assam
    Your words have put together my thoughts and feelings about Dibrugarh~
    Really good piece…please continue writing about North east.

  7. It’s like your beautiful pictures have captured the exact same childhood memories i have of growing up in that place….and the related emotions too!

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