Assam Travelogue in Discovery of Wild Agarwood - 1
A Spontaneous Plan to Travel to Assam
In the month of August of the year 2017, I travelled to interiors of Assam to meet my distiller friend.
The trip had been planned just a few weeks before when I realised there were quite a few off days from my work in the middle of August.
I booked my tickets very quickly while forgetting that it would be the time period when monsoon makes a late surge in Assam bringing in heavy rainfall in the region almost every year. This was to bring me some surprises, few of them pleasant, and few of them, not so pleasant.
Rain Brings in Few Surprises...
The flight took off right time from New Delhi, IGI airport sharp at 05:10 AM and landed at Guwahati, the capital city of Assam around 08:00 AM.
A night before my distiller friend said he would come all the way from his city to airport, a distance of more than 100 kms, to receive me. However a very heavy rainfall all through the night had created a flood like situation.
He messaged me on whatsapp that he couldn’t come to the airport because the highway was cut off since a part of it was submerged in water! "So what do I do now?", I thought to myself.
Then he messaged me and told me few of the possible options to reach his city. The travel by train seemed best since I enjoy travelling by train.I went out of the airport to catch a public transport bus to the railway station.
It was still drizzling and raining. The city was wet. I reached Guwahati Station in an hour or so.
And I reached just on time. As soon as I went inside the station and bought the ticket, the train came and stopped at the platform right in front of me.
A Very Beautiful Journey Through Assam..
I boarded the train. The train left the platform in no time and very soon it was out of the city, travelling through some of the most beautiful landscapes I had ever seen in my life.
(Train passing through interiors of Assam)
(Small village at the foot of a hill)
(A fisherman wading through muddy water)
(Lush green fields after monsoon rain)
Finally Reached My Destination..
After three hours of most beautiful train journey of my life, I reached this small town railway station. There he was, my friend, waiting for me. From there, he took me straight to his distillery.
There they were tall, beautiful agarwood trees.
(Tall Agarwood tree. (Aquilaria maleccensis/Aquilaria agallocha))
(Another agarwood tree)
So What is an Agarwood Tree?
Aquilaria malaccensis Lamk. (Synonym: Aquilaria agallocha Roxb. and locally known as agar or Sasi) is a precious floral wealth of north east India. The tree is medium size to large evergreen, which can grow up to 40 m in height and reach a diameter of 60 cm and is commonly found in primary and secondary forests, mainly in plains but also on hllsides and ridges up to 750 m altitude. It is found in north eastern states viz Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizorarn, Nagaland and also in West Bengal and Sikkim.
(Snails made this agarwood tree their home)