Explore The Goalpara District - Stories of a Land Held by the Mighty Brahmaputra River | eGoalpara.com

Suraj Paul
egaolpara, sri suriya tample, goalpara dc office, Asia bigest banana market darangiri, urpod bill, brahamaputra river,  naranarayan bridge over the brahamaputra river

Kamrup district, which connects Goalpara to the State capital Guwahati covers the eastern side, while on the western side lies Dhubri and South Salmara Makakachar districts Situated on the foothills of the Garo hills, Goalpara is covered with the greenery of Sal forests. Low hillocks are scattered across the topography with several beels (lakes) and rivers flowing from South to North before joining the mighty river Brahmaputra. Kuhumfula Beel (a form of wetland similar to a lake) situated at Dudhnoi has a unique shape resembling the shape of Assam when viewed from the top. Forest covers 18.48% of Geographical area (FSI, 2011) and houses a wide variety of flora and fauna. Climate is moderate in the district with foggy winter temperatures of a minimum of 7°C and maximum summer temperatures of about 36°C. South West Monsoon plays a vital role in the agrarian district.

Annual rainfall of 2575mm mostly takes place from April to October. With a total population of 10,08,959, the languages spoken in the district are- Assamese, Bodo, Garo, Rabha, Hajong, Bangla and Nepali. Literacy rate is 67.37%. Major source of livelihood is agriculture with 34.90% being cultivators and 20.91% being agricultural labourers in the district (Census, 2011).

Goalpara town is the headquarter of the district. For the purpose of revenue and civil administration and developmental works, the district is divided into 5 Revenue Circles- Rangjuli, Dudhnoi, Matia, Balijana and Lakhipur and 8 Developments Blocks- Rangjuli, Kusdhowa, Matia, Balijana, Kharmuja, Lakhipur and Jaleswar. Connectivity to rural areas is increasing at a fast pace. There are four Legislative Assembly Constituencies- Dudhnoi (ST), Goalpara East, Goalpara West and Jaleswar. Goalpara district is part of Guwahati and Dhubri Parliamentary Contituencies.

The district is well connected through roadways and railways. The only railhead in Meghalaya at Mendipathar is connected through Dudhnoi junction. Nearest airport is LGBI Airport in Guwahati, 126KMs away from Goalpara town.

Pancharatna Ferry ghat is the major port of Goalpara district providing waterways connectivity to the district. Naranarayan Setu (bridge) has been constructed to provide faster ways of communication through road and railways. A small town Darrangiri, about 45KM South-East of Goalpara town is the gateway for export of Banana produced in Goalpara district and adjoining Garo hills districts through Darrangiri Banana Market, known to be the biggest Banana market in Asia.

Rangsapara, a village in Balijana Block has brought glory to the district, being judged as the cleanest village in Assam. Industrial Growth Centre at Matia is the hub for growth of industrialisation in the district, which is well connected through roadways and other necessary infrastructure.

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Goalpara represents a smaller version of Assam in terms of heritage and religious beliefs. Remains of princely states remind us of the glorious days of history. Hinduism, Islam and Christianity and other local tribal beliefs co-exist here and presents a wonderful example of communal harmony.


Sri suriya pahar entrance gate, temple, goalpara
(An important archeological site of Assam)

Spread over a huge area of about 15KM East of Goalpara town is an important archeological site of Assam that represents a unique confluence of three major faiths Buddhism, Brahmanical and Jainism. Large collection of rock cut stupas, figures and caves from 1st century BC to 12th century AD are found here. Remains of old temple site have also been found at the excavation site. Important findings of excavation are displayed in the museum maintained by Archaeological Survey of India near the entrance of the campus.


Capturing the essence of Mespara's historical legacy: A glimpse into Lakhipur, the permanent capital, and the birthplace of Prithwi Ram High School, the first educational institution in Goalpara district. Prithwiram (Lakshinarayan), the visionary Jamindar, orchestrated Mespara's pivotal role in the region's development.

Mespara was the most glorious of all princely states in the past within the current geographical area of Goalpara district. Mespara estate has contributed greatly to overall development of the area. Prithwiram (Lakshinarayan) was the Jamindar who made Lakhipur permanent capital of Mespara and planed for Lakhipur town, about 44KM South-West of Goalpara town. The name of Lakhipur town was derived from his name. The first school of Goalpara district was founded under the support and encouragement of Mespara and was named Prithwi Ram High School (present day PR Govt HS School).


Dodan Veer, Dodan Mandir, Baida, Goalpara
(Dodan Mandir, Baida, Goalpara)

Dodan Veer was the General of King Bana of Sonitpur. After the great fight of Harihar war, Dodan decided to shift to Southern bank of Brahmaputra and conquered several small states with his accompanying soldiers. King Dodan started Baikho puja to worship deities which has become customary now among the Rabha community. He fought his last war at Fedardoba and later a temple was set up near this place at Baida.


Veer Parshuram site, A big pond and temple remains at this site
(Veer Parshuram Site, Solmari, Goalpara)

Veer Parshuram was the ruler of Sambhor state with capital near present day Solmari (Goalpara). He was a brave warrior and was effective in blocking food supplies brought from outside to Mughal armies stationed near Hajo, weakening the eastward invasion. Finally he lost his war with Captain Mirja Nathan at Kantabari Gendera war of 1619. A big pond and temple remains at this site.


(Paglartek Shiv Tample, Barbhita)

Paglartek temple is situated on the bank of the mighty Brahmaputra river at Barbhita village, about 12KMs west of Goalpara town. The word ‘Pagla’ refers to lord Shiva here. Puja is performed here to Shivling inside rock cut cave. Shivratri is the main festival observed here.


(Maa Banabashi temple)

Bhogo Fondi was expert in domesticating Elephants. He established Maa Banabashi temple in 1870s to worship the deities of the Fafal jungle near Dudhnoi. Banabashi, Giribashi and Neerbashi are the three goddesses worshipped here in the form of three earthen altars. Annual puja is performed during Basanti Puja. Deodhani is perfomed during the puja days.


(Nishangram Church Damra, Goalpara)

American MIssionary Rev. Dr. Isachcar Joy Stoddard established the church at Damra in 1868. Later on Ramke W Momin shifted the church to Nishangram in 1872. It was the first church to be established in geographical area of Goalpara and played vital role in spreading Christianity in the neighboring areas It's situated in Nissangram, near Assam- Meghalaya border. A rural homestay has also come up near the church for visitors.

OLI-E KAMIL MOULANA SHAH SAYED NASIR UDDIN AHMED KADRI PIRBAR Oli-E Kamil Moulana Shah Sayed Nasir Uddin Ahmed Kadri Baghdadi Rah was a peer with miraculous powers born in Baghdad (Iraq). He spent several years in various locations in India and finally reached Jaleswar in 1905. He preached the Islamic faith and established Mosque, Madrassa, Male Musafirkhana and Female Musafirkhana. He died in 1935. His death anniversary is celebrated as Urush Mubarak from the 5th to 7th Magh of the Assamese calendar

DOLGOMA SATRA Dolgoma Mahapurushiya Satra is a premier centre of Vaishnavite religion, established in 1751 by Harmohan Thakur at Dolgoma, about 5KMs north of Matia. Dolgoma Satra has mention in ‘Katha Gurusorit’. 

TUKRESWARI TEMPLE Believed to be one of the places where body parts of Sati (left thigh and tongue) had fallen while lord Shiva carried her on his shoulder, just like Kamakhya temple. The word Tukra is derived from that Tukura (part in Assamese). A troop of monkeys headed by king and queen is the distinctive feature of this temple. The priest offers ‘prasad’ to the monkeys and the monkey king is the first to accept it. The monkeys used to migrate to Sri Surya pahar in earlier times. 

NANDESWAR PEET Nandeswar Peeth is located in a hillock near Matia on the northern bank of Dudhnoi river. Nandeswar refers to lord Shiva. This ancient temple finds mention in the ‘Kalika Purana’ composed in the 11th century. Shivratri is the main festival celebrated here.

AAI THAN Aai than is situated in Deoripara near Assam Meghalaya border, about 12 KMs South-West of Dudhnoi. There is a huge rock painted with a vermillion circle at the temple. Deodhani is performed during the annual Mela in the Assamese month of Puh. ‘Bhari gaan’ a Ramayani drama using wooden masks is performed during the Mela

DEREK BAPTIST CHURCH It was founded in 1868 at Balijana in the presence of 12 people including Rev. Dr. Miles Bronson, Rev. Dr. Isachcar Joy Stoddard (American MIssionaries) and Ramkhe W Momin. The church was shifted to Derek, 4KM south of Agia in the year 1888. Bhandra and Rangsapara churches are outstations of Derek church. 

HAZARAT SAYED ABUL KASEM KHORASANI PEER MAJAR Peer sahib Hazarat Sayed Abul Kasem Khorasani was born in Khorasan, middle east in 1784. At an early age he gained expertise in Ismalic faith and Sufism. He arrived Goalpara in 1844 and started preaching in Goalpara and Krishnai. After he died in 1896, the majar has become a holy site for devotees of all faith, especially from the neighbouring areas

SRI SRI RAMCHANDRA BIGRAH A disciple of Srimanta Sankardeva, Rup Sardar of Rangjuli from the Garo community invited the Mahapurush to establish a temple at Rangjuli. Sankardeva deputed two of his disciples Bokul Bhuyan and Gopal Bhuyan and finally idol of Sri Krishna was installed in mid 16th century. After the 1897 great earthquake the temple was reconstructed with installation of idol of Sri Ram brought from Kasi by Umacharan Singha. Holi or deol is the annual festival celebrated here.

 SHYAMRAI SATRA Shyamrai Satra is a premier centre of Vaishnavite religion established in 1755 at Goalpara town. The earthen lamp of the Satra was lit from Barpeta Satra at the time of establishment. The land of the Satra was donated by Mespara Jamindar

DHAKAIYA MOSQUE Located on Boro Bazar area of Goalpara town. 


Assam club was established in Goalpara in the year 1912.

 Established in 1958 in the heart of the Goalpara town. It has the largest collection of Books and periodicals in the district.

FESTIVALS - Celebrations Galore

Baikho Puja is celebrated by the Rabha community. It is celebrated to propitiate the deity of wealth for abundance. Dances around the fire along with the beats of traditional drums engulf the entire atmosphere during the festival. BATHOU PUJA Bathou Puja is observed by the Bodo community

Dussehra is celebrated in Rangjuli with a 60-65 ft effigy of Ravana. It is lit every year to celebrate good over evil. 

Eid is celebrated with great pomp and joy at Iddgah, Goalpara town


Nature has crafted Goalpara district in a wonderful way. The north side is covered by the mighty Brahmaputra River, while the south is bounded by the hills of Garo hills districts of Meghalaya. The physiography is decorated with scattered hillocks throughout the district.

The largest hill in the district, runs from Agia towards Tura in Meghalaya. The mammoth size and flora of the Ajagar hills has considerable impact on climate of the district. A number of villages around the hill are fetched with large number of streams for sustaining livelihood. Ajagar hills being the tallest in Goalpara, offers several viewpoints presenting mesmerizing views of the landscape around. Amguri viewpoit near Borjhora, about 9KM South-West of Agia offers views upto Bongaigaon district towards north.

There are several streams flowing down from the Ajagar hills and few assume the form of waterfalls. Two waterfalls at Hatigaon, about 15KMs South-West of Bolbola are the most prominent of these. Hatigaon waterfall has become a tourist attraction in the past few years.

Nolonga waterfall emerges from Nolonga hills, about 14 KMs South-West of Makri. It is the tallest waterfall in the district

On the western side of Goalpara town Pancharatna hills is a picturesque location on the bank of the Brahmaputra river and the highway connecting Bongaigaon district. 

A small hillock adjoining the northeastern side of Goalpara town has historial attachment to Goalpara. ‘Hulu’ is derived from ‘Holow’ which means Hoolock gibbon. The first educational institution of the district, P R Govt HS School in the foothills of Hulukanda pahar.

Nolbari Railway station is at Assam Meghalaya border connecting Dudhnoi Junction with Mendhipathar, the only railhead in Meghalaya. The top of the small hillock adjoining the station offers wonderful sunset views. 

Damol is a special type of earthen bund (barrier) traditionally constructed along boundaries of households in Goalpara, South kamrup and some parts of Garo hills districts. It is constructed in layers and requires several years to attain full height of about 5-6ft. Damol along with the accompanying channel (termed Gor khawoi) has important role in in-situ soil and water conservation.

The district is well covered with a large network of rivers. The mighty Brahmaputra flows through north boundary of the district while Deosila, Dudhnoi, Krishnai, Jinari and Jinjiram rivers criss-cross the district transversely. Jinjiram river originates in the Urpad beel while the remaining rivers originate in the Garo hills. All these tributaries flow from South to North to join the Brahmaputra river

Deosila is the easternmost river crossing the National highway near Dhanubhanga. Hohua is a popular picnic spot at upstream of this river few KMs beyond the Assam Meghalaya border. 

Dudhnoi river flows through Dudhnoi town and joins Krishnai river at Domoni, 4KMs west of Matia before joining Brahmaputra river.

Krishnai river flows through Krishnai town. River route has been used effectively for transportation of Bamboos from upstream Garo hills areas.

Jinari river crosses the national highway at Bolbola and feeds Urpad beel. At downstream it passes through Dubapara, the Sheetal Pati village of the district before joining the Brahmaputra river. 

Jinjiram river originates in the Urpad beel, flows through Rongsai, Lakhipur and Jaleswar to join the Brahmaputra river. Large number of streams flowing out from Ajagar hills join the Jinjiram river between Agia and Rongsai. Jinjiram river was strategically important for Mespara rajbari in the past. Beels are wetlands with static water. Goalpara district is bestowed with a number of beels of various sizes. Urpad, Kumri, Kuhumfula, Dhamar, Hasila are the prominent beels.

Urpad is the largest beel in Goalpara district, covering a vast area East of Solmari. Pink blanket of water lilies covers the beel water during winter months A large number of resident and migratory birds are found here along with fish resources. A watch tower with boating facilities exist for tourists.

'Kumri beel lies adjacent to National Highway at Pancharatna and feeds on Brahmaputra waters during high flood. Kumri beel is home to several migratory and local birds. It offers beautiful sunset views.

Kuhumfula beel is a small beel to the East of Dudhnoi town. The shape of the beel resembles shape of Assam as viewed from top. Sunset is mesmerizing here during winter. The setting sun appears like egg yolk (Kuhum in Assamese), hence the name Kuhumfula. Annual fishing festival is organised in the month of March every year where 3-4 thousand fishermen participate

BIO DIVERSITY - Gifted By Nature

Goalpara district has rich biodiversity resources though there is no wildlife sanctuary or national park in the district. The hills, forests in plains and the beels are home to huge species of flora and fauna. Urpad beel and Kumri beel are two favourite destinations of migratory water birds. 

Goalpara, South Kamrup and adjoining Garo hills districts have unique type of Sal forest spread over large areas. Its a traveller’s delight to travel through National Highways passing through these forests. 

Sal is a deciduous plant and shed the leaves during February-March, which takes very long period to decompose. It’s a customary practice to set the leaves lying on the forest floor on fire which keep spreading and burning for hours. 

It’s a tropical Asian shrub known as Telegraph plant, Dancing plant or Semaphore plant for it’s ability to move small leaflets rapidly in response to sound. 

Forests in Goalpara are home to large species of orchids either growing on old plants (epiphytic orchids) or on the soil (terrestrial orchid). Geodorum densiflorum is a terrestrial orchid growing on the Sal forest floor. Epiphytic orchids include- Aerides odoratum, Cymbidium aloifolium, Papilionanthe teres etc

It is a rare resident bird with a high pitched call that is audible from afar up to about one kilometer and is locally called Titir or Titirik. However, the dwindling population of this rare species is a cause of concern. Besides the National Parks, the Black Francolin is probably found only in Goalpara.

It is a small species of bird resembling week-old chicks. Locally termed as Lodra or Lodra Bati due to its round shape, it can camouflage easily in very short grasses

Pheasant tailed jacana is a beautiful water bird found in Naitara-Choutara beel, about 14KM North of Rangjuli. Urpad beel is also home to this bird. 

Pacific Golden Plover is a migratory bird of shore and grassland which breeds in Alaska and Siberia summers. It migrates during non breeding season

Greylag Goose is one of the largest migratory birds found in Goalpara. Urpad beel is the usual habitat during winter months.

A beautiful resident bird found in Brahmaputra river waters near Paglartek temple. 

Large Tailed Nightjar is a nocturnal insect eating bird. Mostly active during summer nights, Nightjar keeps on flying with calls throughout the night collecting insects in its wings. 

Eurasian Thick Knee is a summer migratory bird from European countries. They prefer open habitat.

Common Pochard is a migratory bird listed as Vulnerable in IUCN Red list. Pochards migrate from Europe during winter. They are spotted mostly in Brahmaputra river waters near Paglartek Temple

A number of snake species are found in Goalpara district. Red necked keelback is a venomous species of these. 

Various species of lizards including monitor lizard, Tokay gecko are found in various locations of Goalpara

Melanistic Golden Jackel has been recorded in Dudhnoi area. 

Goalpara district is rich in wild Elephants. Large herds of wild elephants are commonly observed here. Elephants migrate from one forest to another in search of food. Ajagar hills has been known to be the most common route for migration to and from Meghalaya. Pancharatna hills has been known to be breeding place of Elephants

LEGENDS & LUMINARIES - Inspiring Generations

Dodan Veer was the General of King Bana of Sonitpur. After the great fight of Harihar war, Dodan decided to shift to Southern bank of Brahmaputra and conquered several small states with his accompanying soldiers. King Dodan started Baikho puja to worship deities which has become customary now among the Rabha community. He fought his last war at Fedardoba and later a temple was set up near this place at Baida.

Veer Parshuram was the ruler of the Sambhor state with capital near present day Solmari. He was a brave warrior and was effective in blocking food supplies brought from outside to Mughal armies stationed near Hajo, weakening the eastward invasion. He lost the Kantabari Gendera war of 1619 to Captain Mirja Nathan. His statue is erected at Solmari road junction.

Prithwiram (Lakshinarayan) was the Jamindar who made Lakhipur permanent capital of Mespara princely state and did town planning of Lakhipur, about 44KM South-West of Goalpara town. The name of Lakhipur town was derived from his name. The first school of Goalpara district was founded under his support and encouragement and was named Prithwi Ram High School (present day PR Govt HS School).

Grandson of Jamindar Prithwiram of Mespara, Nagendra Narayan Choudhury led the movement for Assamese language in the Goalpara district during British ruled period and published ‘Awahan’ magazine from Calcutta in 1929. He was President of the 13th Asom Sahitya Sabha session in 1931 at Sibsagar, where ‘Rasaraj’ title was conferred to Lakshminath Bezbaruah. 

He played pivotal role along with Jagannath Baruah and Manik Chandra Baruah in establishing Assamese language in the state through Assam Association. He also contributed greatly with Mespara Zamindar Bhola Nath Choudhury in establishment of PR Govt HS and MP school in Goalpara, the first school in the district.

RAJEN PAM (1928-1998) 
Born in Chotomatia village, 10KM South-West of Dudhnoi, Rajen Pam made significant contributions in the field of music along with literature and drama. He worked on folk music of Rabha community and received prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1989 under Tribal Music category. He was a Silpi Pensioner of Directorate of Cultural Affairs, Assam.

Born in 1949 at the remote village of Thakurbila along Assam Meghalaya border, about 14KM South-West of Agia, Birubala Rabha has been relentlessly fighting against superstitions and witch hunting, which led to founding of Mission Birubala. She was nominated for Nobel Prize in Peace in the year 2005. Guwahati University conferred her honorary Doctorate Degree in 2015. She was awarded with 4th highest Civilian award of India, Padmashree in 2021 in the field of Social Work.

ASHRAFUL HAQUE (1968-2015) 
Born in Goalpara in 1968 Ashraful Hoque studied at National School of Drama. He acted mostly in Hindi films. Took part in about 30 films and also in TV Serials. He acted in films including- Talaash, Delhi Belly, Black Friday, Deewar, Fukrey, Jungle, Raavan etc. 

Born in Goalpara in 1963 Adil Hussain studied at National School of Drama. Besides the conventional Bollywood movies, the versatile Adil Hussain has charted a splendid artistic journey through intense portrayals in art house films and others of national and international fame. He received National Film Award (Special Jury) in 2017 for Hotel Salvation and Maj Rati Keteki. He has acted in English, Hindi, Assamese, Bangla, Tamil, Marathi, Malayalam, Norweigian and French films so far

JITEN DEKA (1952-2015) 
Kanthasurya Jiten Deka was born in Harimura, about 7KMs North of Krishnai. He was a regular artiste of AIR and Doordarshan and the most popular singer of Assamese music born in Goalpara district. He composed more than 200 songs and ‘Mur Xukula Ghora’ was the most popular of his songs. 

ANUKUL NATH (1922-1950) 
First radio artist of present day Goalpara, Anukul Nath was born in Bakaitari, near Matia. He was a staff artiste at Song Publicity Division of AIR Shillong during World War-II. He shifted to Kolkata later and produced several Gramophone records.

Born in the village of Rampur, 5KMs West of Agia Sukracharyya Rabha studied theatre under Padmabhushan H Kanhailal. He founded Badungduppa theatre group and started the prestigious theatre festival- Under the Sal Tree amidst the greenery of Rampur. He received ‘Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar’ for Direction in 2009 from Sangeet Natak Akademi. He was associated with several national and international organizations. He was posthumously honoured with Doctor of Philosophy in 2018 by Gauhati University.

CONFLUENCE OF CULTURES - A Harmonious Coexistence

Goalpara district has a vibrant and colourful cultural landscape. Every community has distinctive cultural identity. 

Rabha community has several dance forms. Hamjar is one of such dance forms performed as reverence and celebration of agriculture

Bagurumba is a dance form of the Bodo community performed during Bwisagu and othrer occasions. 

Wangala is a dance form of the Garo community.

Gowalini Nritya is a dance form of the Koch-Rajbongshi community. 

Jhumur is a dance form of the Tea Tribes. 

Bihu dance is performed during Bohag Bihu. 

A Ramayani drama form of Rabha community. Wooden masks are used. Hirapara, Khamari and Maslam are the only three villages having Bharigaan team. 25 wooden masks of Hirapara Bharigaan Dol were made in 1895.

Badungduppa Kala Kendra was established by Sukracharjya Rabha at Rampur, 5KMs West of Agia. ‘Under the Sal Tree’ theatre festival is organised by Badungduppa. 

Dhulia party traditionally performed earlier during weddings in major parts of the district. However, now they are replaced by modern-day band parties. 

CUISINE - A Platter For The Soul (Food Culture)

Every region has their own food story and is identified with its specialties and different ways of cooking. Goalpara district is also synonymous with many such delectable delicacies prepared using locally available ingredients. One of the distinctive features of such ethnic food is the minimal or no use of oil and spices. With locally available Ginger and Chilli as the main ingredients, the curries are mostly rice flour-based. 

Cooked rice is kept soaked in water overnight or for few hours. Fermentation occurs in the rice and served with smoked fish, boiled potato, boiled tomato etc. as per availability. 

An important food item of marriage, festivals etc., Bak.kaka khaji is prepared from Pork and Pig blood with kol khar. Kol khar is alkali extract from burnt dry banana peels and pseudostem. 

Chicken is cooked with khar and large quantities of green chilli and ginger. 

Known to be highly demanding Garo delicacy, Minil nakam bitchi is prepared from sticky Rice and dry fish with lots of green Chilli and Khar. 

This curry is prepared using Fish/Crab and fermented/fresh Bamboo shoot with Rice flour. It is an important food item among Rabha community. 

This is prepared from tender dry Jute leaves, Ginger, Chilli and Khar with Pork. It has little bitter taste. 

This curry is Prepared from Chicken with Black gram or Dal and rice flour. Black gram is preffered over Dal. 

Prepared from Pork and dry Roselle leaves powder with Rice flour

A pitha prepared from rice flour and Sesamum. Served with tea. 

Synonymous to Joon pitha, Wanti is prepared using rice floor and Sesamum. Served with Tea.

In tribal societies Jonga is essential in religious and social functions. Jonga is traditionally prepared Rice beer. Cooked Rice is mixed with herbally prepared Bakhor (starter cake for fermentation) and kept in earthen pot for several days. Fermentation occurs in few days depending on climatic condition. Once the process is complete, a cylindrical strainer is put inside vertically and water is poured outside the cylinder. Beer percolates inside the cylinder and is collected using a small hollow Lau (Bottle Gourd)

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