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The amusing name Barpeta has been derived from ‘Bar’ meaning big and ‘Peta’ meaning pond and not the usual meaning gathered in first hearing. As the name suggests, Barpeta was inhabited by large number of ponds in the pre-modern times which disappeared over time.

Barpeta was transformed through a revolution of sorts. It was a cultural revolution of incorporating education in every sphere of daily life. It all started with the endeavor of some Vaishnava preachers and social reformers to transform Barpeta into a spiritual place. These Vaishnava preachers stayed here for long tenures establishing Satras and preaching the importance of education. This paradigm shift in culture of Barpeta led to the emergence of great folk Assamese poets, Singers, Dancers and Novelists here. Presently it is the centre of Assamese art and culture. Tourists crowd here on Holi or Douljatra festival to witness spectacular sight of Holi celebration here. Barpeta also falls on the way to Manas National Park, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, distinctive for its Tiger, Elephant and the Biosphere Reserve.

Orientation

Barpeta is located in Barpeta District of Assam in India. It is 90 kilometers northwest of Guwahati and a sub-tributary of Brahmaputra named Nakhanda River runs through the south-eastern corner of the town. Mighty Brahmaputra itself gushes with its tributaries a little distance in south.

Barpeta experiences subtropical climate, with cold winters and hot and humid summers.

Places Around

Bongaigaon and Guwahati are major towns close to Barpeta.

Airport

The nearest airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (IATA: GAU, ICAO: VEGT) in Guwahati.

Barpeta Satra

A Vaishnave monastery located at the heart of Barpeta. It is popular for its architectural beauty and grandeur. The Kirtan Ghar of Barpeta Satra is considered to be the largest in Assam. There are three Guru Asanas placed in the building in the honour of Shrimanta Sankardeva,Sri Madhavdeva and Sri Badula Ata.Barpeta Satra sees large crowds of devotees in Holi festival. 

Patbaushi Satra

Patbaushi Satra is a significant site for Vaishnava believers and Shrimanta Sankardeva followers. As it was here that Shrimanta Sankardeva proliferated the Vaishnave faith alongwith literature, music and culture. It was here where he spends 18 years of his life propagating and promoting religious culture. He composed 240 Bhorgeets,Shastra and Ankiya nat in the same place. Patbaushi Satra is 2 kilometers north of Barpeta.

Ganakkuchi Satra

Ganakkuchi Satra was believed to be the residing place of Sri Madhavdeva. He stayed here for 18 years to propagate faith.Vithis of Sri Ram Ata and Sri Ram Atoi is kept here. A number of valuable Sachipat Puthis  composed by  Shrimanta Sankardeva is also conserved here.

Sundaridiya Satra

Sundaridiya Satra was established by Sri Madhavdeva after Ganakkuchi Satra. The Satra has played important role in the expansion of Vaishnavism in Barpeta.Peolple say that the first satradhikar of Barpeta Satra Sri Mathura Das Burha Ata came to this place and became a disciple of Sri Madhavdeva.

Dargah of Syed Shahnur Dewan

Dargah of Syed Shahnur Dewan is situated in Bhella, which is at a distance of 8 kilometers from Barpeta.The Dargah is devoted to Syed Shahnur Dewan who was a disciple of Ajan Fakir(Sufi saint).Syed Shahnur Dewan is said to have visited this place in medieval era and cured Queen Fuleswari(wife of  King Ahom) the ailments of maternity. In return, he was awarded by land grants by the King and Queen. Copper inscriptions of land issuing to Syed Shahnur was lost during Burmese invasion in 1824. 

Manas National Park

Manas is a huge park of 950 square kilometers in Eastern Himalayan foothills of Assam. It is contiguous to Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan. The park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1985. Manas National Park is dispersed in five districts of Assam-Kokrajhat, Chirang, Baksa, Udalgiri and Darrang. It functions as a Project Tiger Reserve, Elephant Reserve and Biosphere Reserve of Assam. The whole area is heavily forested and the alluvial riverine plains is drained by six rivers including Manas River. Manas River also acts as international boundary between Bhutan and India. Manas National Park is an interesting combination of Sub-Himalayan Bhabar Terai and Sub-Himalayan Mountain Forest which makes it one of the richest biodiversity areas of world. The wildlife is naturally divided between these two vegetation types.

Vegetation Type-Sub-Himalayan Light Alluvial Semi-Evergreen Forests, East Himalayan mixed Moist and Dry Deciduous Forests, Low Alluvial Savanna Woodland and Assam Valley Semi-Evergreen Alluvial Grasslands.

Animals only found in Manas national Park-Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog.

Fauna - Manas has 55 species of mammals, 380 species of birds, 50 species of reptiles and 3 species of amphibians. Some animals include-Asian Elephants, Indian Rhinoceros, Gaurs, Asian Water Buffaloes, Barasingha, Indian Tigers, Leopards, Clouded Leopards, Asian Golden Cat, Capped Langurs, Assamese Macaques, Hoolock Gibbons, Sloth Bear, Barking Deer and Sambar Deer.

Birds - Bengal Florican, Brahminy Ducks, Kalij Pheasants, Egrets, Pelicans, Falcons, Magpie robins, Bee-Eater, pied Hornbills, Grey Hornbills, Herons etc.

Map of Barpeta

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