Agnigarh – a hillock located in Tezpur, Assam

Different places in the world are tourist destinations known for the countries culture and scenic beauty. Apart from possessing beautiful destinations, some places are known for its mythological and historical significance. Assam is a state that has unique rich culture and tradition evolved out from legends and myths. Many of the legends or myths mentioned in the Hindu Religious texts are believed to have taken place in different parts of Assam that enriches the attraction of these places. People from different walks of life visit these places for entertainment, relaxation, archeological, historical and research purposes. Agnigarh is a famous tourist spot located in Tezpur and Agni is meant as “fire” and “Garh” as fortress or wall in Sanskrit.

Agnigarh is famous for the man made architectural beauty that is on hilltop. More than the beauty of construction Agnigarh is famous for a mythological incident mentioned in several Hindu religious texts. According to the legend this place evolved out as a result of a strong love and Great War occurred in the ancient or Puranic period. The love story was between Usha and Anirudha, two mythological characters. The Hindu deities also played a very important part in this story. According to Hinduism, Hindu deities are always in conflict with “Asuras” as they were not either God or human beings.  They were symbolically categorized as bad or evil form.  When Asuras do any act that causes destruction, deities will interfere declaring wars with them in order to protect the world.  This legend is also not different as it involved the war between lord Krishna, Lord Shiva and Banasura, powerful Asura king. Banasura was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. He obtained a boon from Lord Shiva for the protection of his fortress. His fortress would be protected by fire around it every time and it wasn’t possible for any one to enter the fortress as per the boon given by Lord Shiva.

Usha was Banasura’s beautiful daughter who had seen Anirudha in her dream. She was unaware about his identity and sought help from her close companion Chitralekha to know about him. Chitralekha was an artist possessed with supernatural powers drew the portrait of Anirudha. They learnt that Anirudha was the Grandson of Lord Krishna and marriage between them wouldn’t be possible. Chitralekha decided to help her friend and with her mystical powers brought Anirudha while he was asleep beside Usha in Banasura’s fortress. When he was awake he saw Usha and both fell in deep love. Banasura became furious and he captivated Anirudha and tied him with snakes. Lord Krishna though consented for marriage between Usha and Anirudha, Banasura who was arrogant obtaining boon form Lord Shiva never accepted to marry his daughter to Anirudha. He sought Lord Shiva’s Help and soon war occurred between Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva and their devotees. Flood of blood occurred and it is believed that Tezpur got the name after this war as the word denotes city of blood. In order to put an end to the disastrous war, Lord Brahma intervened in the war. He convinced Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna about Banasura’s misuse and selfishness of the boon he got. Lord Krishna also convinced lord Shiva about his grandson’s plight of imprisonment. Lord Shiva realized Banasura’s selfish motive and Banasura was brought before him. Fearing the wrath and punishment from Lord Shiva, Banasura agreed to the marriage between Anirudha and Usha.

Currently the utmost attraction of Agnigarh in Tezpur is the architectural beauty of stone sculptures depicting the war and wedding of Usha and Anirudha. As this place is located on top of hill in the banks of river Brahmaputra, the over of the river from the hill is another beautiful attraction to the visitors. The entire Tezpur town can be viewed from the hill and the picturesque beauty is enhanced at the view of kalima- Bhumura Bridge that shines like an ornament in River Brahmaputra.

One can reach Tezpur through air, rail and road transport that is available from the Guwahati city. Accommodation are available in private lodges and guest houses in Tezpur ranging from affordable budget to luxurious depending on the demand of the visitors.