An Epic battle and a love story – Agnigarh, Tezpur, Assam

Did you know that there was an epic battle between Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva. It was a battle of galactic proportions which is how the city of Tezpur got its name.

Location of Agnigarh

Agnigarh is a small hillock located in Tezpur, Assam on the banks of river Bramhaputra. Marked correctly on Google Maps, you can drive there in a car right upto the base of the hill. Roads leading to the entrance are quite narrow. Paid parking is available but you might have some difficulty finding space during weekends.

There is a ten minute climb to the top along a circular stairway. Way to the top is interspersed with sculptures narrating a story with soft local music and fabulous greenery all around. On the top is a viewing platform which gives a commanding view of the city on one side and the river on the other.

The love story

Agnigarh means Fortress of Fire. It was build by Banasura who was a powerful asura. As an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva he had many boons including the one where the Lord himself will come to his aid if called for. Banasura used the fort to hide his daughter Usha from the world. It had a ring of fire or agni to keep people off his property! She used to make trips along the river bed with her companion Chitralekha. One day she confided that she had seen a young man in her dreams. Chitralekha identified this person as Prince Aniruddha. She managed to “kidnap” him and get him married to Usha.

Banasura on knowing about this imprisoned Aniruddha. So far fine, but Prince Aniruddha happened to be the grandson of Lord Krishna! Upon hearing of the imprisonment, Krishna led a huge army to Agnigarh and a battle of epic proportions took place. Banasura invoked his boon and called upon Lord Shiva to protect him. Thousands of dead soldiers lay on both sides of Bramhaputra and the river ran red with blood. Bramha intervened to bring about a truce and Banasura agreed to the marriage of Usha and Aniruddha. This is also how Tezpur got its name – city of blood.

Intervention of Lord Bramha

A few points to note

The place is open between 9 am to 6:30 pm. This is bad news for photographers who want to take some night shots of the city. You need to buy a ticket for entry as well as professional camera if you are carrying. You will also find the car parking attendant right next to the ticket counter. Basic conveniences and facilities are available. Local authorities put in a lot of effort to keep the place clean. Best time to visit Tezpur and places near it is winters and the sunset time is around 5:30 in Feb and March. It is around this time that you will be able to see a spectacular sunset and beautiful city lights of Tezpur.

Viewing platform on top
View of the river bank
Winding pathway
View of the river
A nice touch of conservation

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