September 8th, 2022
In the middle of the mighty Brahmaputra river lies the serene Peacock island. Surrounded by the roaring river, its shores are washed away leaving the island afresh. The riverine island is undoubtedly one of the most alluring sights for the eyes.
Back in the time of colonial India, a British officer named the island ‘Peacock island’ for its resemblance to a peacock who has splayed its feather.
Popular for being the smallest inhabited river island that sits at the heart of Guwahati is also where the Umananda Temple rest. The beautiful island is one of the major tourist attraction in Guwahati and people visits not just to experience the tranquil nature but also to embark on a spiritual odyssey.
Once you set sail through the Brahmaputra toward the island, you can feel the winding breezes as you approach the ait. You can explore the trail that leads you around the island. The rocky and rugged surface at the edge of the isle is a hotspot for tourists. It projects a breathtaking view of the horizon.
You might encounter a Golden Langur or two; you might see a ton of them! It is because this majestic island is the home to this endangered species which is yet another attraction in itself.
Scale the steps to reach atop the Bhasmakuta Hill (also known as Bhasmachala hill) of the islet which nestles the well-known ‘Shiv Mandir’ – Umananda. ‘Uma’ means Parvati and ‘Ananda’ means joy. It is believed that Shiva built this islet for Parvati’s happiness.
According to another legend, the God of Love, Kamadeva was burnt by Shiva when Kamadeva disturbed him during his meditation. The God of Love was burnt into ashes by the anger of Lord Shiva on this island. So this hill came to be known as Bhasmakuta Hill.
The temple’s sanctum houses a Shiva Linga. On the temple’s walls, there are numerous carvings and sculptures of Hindu deities such as Lord Surya, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, and Goddess along with Lord Vishnu and his avatars. In addition to the island’s primary temple, there is a Hanuman Temple too.
By Air: The closest airport to the islet is the Guwahati airport – Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport – from where you can book a cab to Uzan Bazar ghat or Kasari ghat or even Fancy Bazar ghat ( ghat is the Assamese word for river bank ). You can, then, take a ferry ride to the island.
By Rail: The closest railway station to Peacock island is the Guwahati Railway Station in Paltanbazar. Book a cab or an autorickshaw from the station to either of the three ghats. Then you can take a ferry ride to the island.
By Road: The best way by road is to visit Jalukbari, Guwahati. Then you can ride on any vehicle to the ghat and board a ferry to the island.
(Note: The ferry service is closed after 4 PM, so, make sure to return your way back to the ghat before the timing.)
Woahhh! Hello there! Stop! You don't wanna do this.