The Town of
In the midst of
tea gardens and the military cantonments, on the north bank
of the Brahmaputra, 181-km northeast of Guwahati, is the
pleasant little town of Tezpur. Built around several lakes,
this town stands on the site of the erstwhile and legendary
Sonitpur. Undulated green valleys are surrounded by the
hills of Arunachal Pradesh; the snow capped peaks of the
Himalayas form the northern backdrop, while the lush green
tea gardens and the magnificent archaeological ruins have
all contributed to make Tezpur a tourist's delight.
Literally meaning "full of blood", it is named after a
mythical battle between Vishnu and Shiva.
The Legend of Sonitpur
Sonitpur, as Tezpur was known in the olden days, is a city
steeped in mythology, legend and folklore. The City of Blood
(`Sonit` of `Tez` - Blood as `Pur` - city) conjures up
images of the romantic legend of Usha and Aniruddha and of
the fierce battle between "Hari" and "Hara". Old Darang
became today`s Sonitpur - Tezpur being the District
Headquarters of Sonitpur.
According to the legend, Darang was the capital of the demon
King Banasura, an ardent follower of `Bhairavnath`,
incarnation of Lord Shiva. Usha, the beautiful daughter of
King Bana happened to see her beloved in her dream. Based on
the description given by Usha, her confidante Chitralekha
portrayed it in a painting. The lover was none other than
Aniruddha, grandson of Sri Krishna, King of Dwarka, as it
was finally discovered, and the wedding of Usha and
Aniruddha took place according to `Gandharva` tradition.
When it came to the knowledge of Bana he sent Aniruddha to
prison. To rescue his grandson Sri Krishna came from Dwarka.
In response to the call of his devout Bana, Shiva also came
there. When the appeal for rescue failed a sword fight
ensued between Hari (Lord Krishna) and Hara (Lord Shiva in
the form of Banasura), resulting in a lot of bloodshed in
the entire town.
Since then the town has been named as Sonit or Tezpur
meaning "A blood stained town". Bana was vanquished and Usha
and Aniruddha were united forever. Usha and Aniruddha are
believed to have settled on the Bamuni hill, 5-km away from
the city. The ruins and remains of "Agnigarh", where the
immortal romance blossomed, still bears mute testimony to