Paranormal tourism and the North EastAugust 15, 2011
Please! Please! Please! Don’t google! We are not sure if there is such a term as this, but that is something we the researchers coined for our article today. And if you are curious what exactly is that then you just have to continue reading this.
These days we are witnessing a tourism boom in ways we never imagined . We had always assumed tourism to be about it being related to leisure travel which brings images of honeymooning couples or elderly couples on pilgrimages or of families in hats and bandanas clicking away happily, photographs of monuments and beaches. Of course as an extension of the same, we do remember the educational tours but that was that. Now things have come to such a passé that travel has been micro classified into various categories like Medical tourism ( dealing with treatment in another place which offers you a complete package inclusive of travel and accommodation arrangements along with the treatment )
Education tourism– for higher education or courses -again inclusive of arrangements Slum tourism – (please don’t faint but yes, this exists too ) and so the list goes on.
So we were just wondering would a day come when there will be paranormal tourism too, which deals with as the term suggests anything occult? Seeing people’s affliation and interest towards thrill as can be seen from the popularity of horror movies and those so very infantile Scary houses in the malls, it does seem a possibility in the near future. In fact one of our team member was very much inclined to visit Bhaangarh a place near Alwar in Rajasthan which is notorious for such paranormal incidents ( so much that there is a sign board which dissuades anyone from staying there after sunset)
But our article today is not an analysis of consumer trends of tourism , but rather a wishful thinking that if such a thing did come to being in the future, which places in the north east would we think of ? Or to put it simply we are going to bring before you some places in Assam and nearby areas which had gained some notoriety as being mysterious or haunted or paranormal. They are usually outcome of some legends or hearsay shared by the locals over a cup of steaming tea by the fireside on sleepy wintry evenings ;tales or stories told to us by our aunts , uncles or grand parents, but that which have been passed without fail down the ages by word of mouth. The veracity of those tales could not be claimed as is usual in such spooky stories. Maybe science can explain them or maybe it cannot, but the notoriety remained and lent a mysterious aura to those places .
Mayang, a name that is synonomous with black magic. Some people swear by its association with black magic. It’s a place which seems as normal as any other village , in Nowgown district of Assam and though we hardly get any reports of such incidents now adays but years back people used to be wary of the place and its residents. Those stories were as interesting as those scenes from Hogwarts of Harry potter with reports of food turning into ashes just like that before some unsuspecting victim, or of vegetables flying in on their own, of war between magicians with spells and also of duping of innocent victims by mass hypnotism.
Fact file – It is just 50 km from Guwahati in NH37. Road condition is not that nice and turns into a gravel road after some distance. You can cover it in a day making Guwahati your base.The Pabitara Wild life sanctuary is nearby Mayang and visiting it would be a great idea.
No, Jorhat is not a haunted town, but a place near the Gymkhana club in Jorhat, has come to the forefront for some mysterious happenings. So interesting were the reports that it was covered by a news channel for their occult based program Kon Hai. It has been reported that the so called haunted house was a Lodge of the Freemasons during British rule and though we have come to learn quite a bit about them , thanks to Dan Brown, but the general population still considers them to be practitioners of some occult rituals and black magic. It is said that the house or lodge was abandoned after a ritual went wrong and since then mysterious sounds can be heard coming from that house. On investigation by some brave hearts, they found some mysterious objects with strange signs and symbols etched on them. On the whole the atmosphere was so creepy that even the few persons who ventured inside left in a hurry to be far away from that place.
Fact file- Jorhat, the second largest city in Assam is 307 kms away from Guwahati. Well connected by road, rail and also air, reaching Jorhat isn’t hard . Accomodation is no problem either as the city boasts of being an established commercial hub.
Mysterious and beautiful, the capital of Meghalaya , the British officers in the past used to haunt the town for its cool climate and beautiful surroundings. We still find many relics from the British Raj over there – from chapels and church to cemeteries and bungalows. As is expected there some tales and folklore associated with the place did originate, but what gained an unprecedented popularity among the school kids during the eighties was this supposedly true story which went thus-In a new year’s eve, a young man who was new to the place came upon a beautiful lady in an obscure corner of the garden where the party was held. Both started chatting and interestingly they instantly hit it off together. When the time came to bid good bye, the boy offered the girl his coat who was some what feeling cold in her party attire. ( maybe he hoped to see her again using the coat as an excuse ) . She gave him an address to pick it up from and then left for her home. When the next day the young man turned up at the given address, to his surprise he found it to be a cemetery and the coat lying upon a tombstone which bore her name. Well it can be explained as a school girlish prank too , but some how it rather sounded eerie and mysterious. It was also featured in the DD serial Honee Anhonee if you remember , which was based on true reports ( not true facts mind you), so if you try to land in Shillong in the new years eve, who knows…
Fact file-Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya is one of the most famous hill station inNortheast India. The nearest Airport and rail head is in Guwahati and approaching Shillong from there by road is quiet easy. Buses and private taxis ply at frequent intervals throughout the day
A famous picnic spot for the residents of Guwahati inAssam, especially the school and collge groups for its beautiful natural surroundings , but come evening and the transformation is striking . From the prisine beauty , it turns into dark silent eerie place. The lonely stretch of highway that passes through it is supposed to be haunted and there has been reports of abnormal sightings and unnatural sounds by at least two to three persons. One of them was of a strange wail that was heard at night by a newly appointed school teacher who on coming out to investigate, saw a huddled female figure beneath a tree. It was a distinctly feminine wail but when he was joined by two more persons, the figure suddenly turned out to be a cow which ran across the road and disappeared into the woods. But in spite of those tales, Hahim continues to still be a popular picnic spot during daytime.
Fact file- Hahim in Boko is few kms away from Guwahati and is a famous picnic spot .
Bogijuli camp –
Bogijuli camp in the Nameri forest reserve has been reported for some strange happenings. Sometimes wails of a woman is heard , but no one is to be seen. At other times one can hear chairs being dragged or door, shut in the dead of night. There is a bamboo grove nearby and sometimes suddenly noises of bamboo felling can be heard but as usual no one is found there on investigating.
Fact file– Nameri forest reserve in Sonitpur District is 35 km away from Tezpur which is a noted town inAssam.
Christian Girls higher secondary school, just in the centre of Tura has also been reported to experience strange happenings in the chapel hall itself. Yes incredibly in the chapel! Holy Spirits or The Holy Spirit?
Fact file– Tura is the second major town in Meghalaya and is around 220 kms from Guwahati. It is well connected by road and is expanding gradually to be an important commercial hub.
When we were in school, we were told by our older relatives about the Talatal Ghar in Sivsagar, a palace belonging to the times of Rudra Singha in the eighteenth century. The special thing about it is the maze like formations beneath the main palace which was initially four storied but three underground stories were added by Rajeswar Singha The palace had witnessed the death and birth of many generations of the royal family and God knows what royal secrets must have been buried in the depth of its walls. Naturally people feel that there is something very eerie about it. The palace now is in ruins and people are not allowed to go beyond a certain area as people have been lost earlier in its ruins. Some local legends combined with its intriguing architecture used to give a sinister and mysterious image to the Talatal ghar earlier and was branded as haunted by people in hushed tones back then. But of course, now it is just another ancient monument, open for public viewing with all the safety precautions maintained and hence the tales were swept aside to make way for a historical tourism boom.
Fact files – Just a few kms away from Jorhat, it is easily accessible and the most important historically significant place of Assam
Well there are many places that can qualify to this list but as time and space is a constraint , we are limiting it to these. But of course any contribution from your side will be featured as a sequel. As we have earlier stated, the article has been based on local legends and hearsay. We do not claim it to be verified, but the day our reporters investigate and file reports about those, we will surely bring before you a detailed write up.
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