Reason for first moving westward from Guahati was to see golden langurs at Kakoijana Reserve and to visit Manas National Park. As per our tour plan, we crossed Brahmaputra river at Pancharatna town of Goalpara district to arrive at Jogigopha town in Bongaigaon district. We moved on eastwards towards Abhayapuri.
Our night stay was booked at Astha Nature Lodge in Abhayapuri. Abhayapuri is a typical small Indian town. Crowded and chaotic. We had to phone manager repeatedly. Often we had to ask people on the road about direction. We would get some vague direction like cross two bridges, turn left etc. We realised, however, that the place was located right behind district jail. This could be the most accurate landmark. I guess it probably meant bad publicity. So manager did not mention about jail. Astha Nature Reserve was located right behind the district jail.
When we reached Astha Reserve, we realised it is actually a mini amusement park. People come there during the day for fun. Management was also building small cottages for people to stay overnight and beyond. We stayed for a night in one of the cottages right infront of a pond. Our room was really cosy with three beds and attached bath. The room also has a television. Our stay was paid in advance as part of tour package. Breakfast came with the package. Lunch and dinner we had to buy. Shown in the picture, Astha cottage by the pond and its cosy room with attached bath.
|Front Office of Astha|
|Our Room, Astha Nature Reserve|
|Ducks in Pond, Astha Nature Reserve|
For lunch on the day of our arrival we went to a tribal village. It was known as Nigambhola tribal village.
|On the way to Nigambhola Tribal Village|
We saw a tree house there. I am not sure if it was for guests of Astha Nature Lodge or tribals also live there from time to time.
Our lunch was served by one young woman, Lakshmipriya, and a man. There was also a younger girl, Ricchi Marak. Lakshipriya is studying for her college degree. Ricchi is in school. Young gentleman is also studying in college. Our lunch was a traditional tribal meal, that included rice, fish chutney and chicken.
After lunch we moved on towards Jogigopha to observe sunset over Brahmaputra river.