Reminiscing Indian History – A short trip to Jhansi fort

During a recent official tour to Jhansi I had opportunity to visit the renowned Jhansi fort. The fort is still standing tall at the centre of the Jhansi city, an embodiment of its glorious past. Only, two kilometre from Jhansi railway station, the fort is situated on a hillock now easily accessible through motorable road leading to the fort gate.

Gate now used for tourists to enter the fort

It was a cloudy day in November and weather was fantastic though a sunny day would have helped me with my photography. I was accompanied by my friend and colleague JRB. being Sunday it seemed there were a lot of visitors when we entered the fort at around 2:30. A forge weld canon is at display inside the fort gate used for entry of visitors. The canon known as Kadak Bijli Top (meaning canon in Hindi) is now in dismantled condition and only the barrel is seen.

Kadak Bijli Top


We went up taking left and reached inside the walls. While entering the fort the stories of Jhansi ki Rani, I read in my childhood and her valour came to my mind. I have earlier visited a few forts in Rajasthan like Nahargarh, Amer and Jaigarh but this one had something in it that mesmerised me. I was spellbound by its majestic presence bearing the memory of valour of a queen and love of a mother who defended the fort and her subjects without kneeling before British oppressors.

Jhansi – a strategic fort on Bangari hilltop with strong fortification

The fort is huge and have altogether 22 bastions with high fortification walls of considerable width and sprawling across 15 acres. The inside of the fort has multiple levels and makes one wonder the tremendous engineering and efforts put into by then Maharajas for being battle ready. The place in the west end of fort with a square bastion is the place from where Laxmibai, the queen of Jhansi, jumped with her adopted son, on Horseback. The horses name was Badal and the son Damodar Rao (born Anand Rao) as per an information board made available by Government. The southern bastion from the place host a tricolour of India.

A view of south-western bastion and western wall from Jumping Point

It seemed that the bastion where an Indian flag is hoisted is the topmost part of the fort. All the floors of the Panchmahal can be seen from the ramparts on the southern side of the fort. Lush green gardens below the walls inside the fort is beautifully maintained by the Government and surely helps attracting more tourists to the fort.


There are several bastions on the eastern side of the fort and the view of the city from these bastions  like those on the western wall are so enjoyable. The parapet walls, merlons, crenels and viewing windows on the eastern and south-eastern side show the damages inflicted by British attack and remain as a silent souvenir of Indian defence to Colonial oppression.

City view through a decorated window

On the northern-western side, situated is the shiva temple. The temple though not huge is befitting the fort and architecture of the temple is also very beautiful. The Aamod uddan(pleasure garden) is also situated in the north-western side.

Shiva Temple inside Jhansi Fort

There is another temple on eastern side for lord Ganesha and another cannon called Bhabani Shankar near the temple which we missed because of crunch of time. However every minute of time spent in the fort reminded me of the glorious past of India and the heroics of Rani Laksmibai (born Manikarnika) during the Sepoy Mutiny.

A date with clouds – trip to Cherapunjee

I went to Cherapunjee for the first time in 2013 with two of my closet friends. It is just after the winters here and the falls were lean and mostly dried up. So when Barua Sir asked me last week, if I would accompany him to Cherapunjee I didn’t give a second thought to it. But I had one small problem. My brother was ill and I had to go home with him. So I had to postpone the program for a week and last Sunday, him, me and one guy from our office went out early morning.

People advises August – September as the best month to visit Cherapunjee as after monsoon falls are at peak and gushing down with full force. But I feel its always at it’s best be it summer or winter. We left at 6:30 in the morning as we wanted to maximize our experience at Cherapunjee. For people who want to visit, there are plenty of rented cars going from Guwahati and communication is not an issue at all. We stopped after Nongpoh to have some breakfast at Restaurent Excellencia. Its nice place to stop by in case you are heading towards Shillong from Guwahati.

We stopped at Barapani to get a view of the Umium lake. Its beautiful and Picturisque. There is boating facilities also but we were on the trip for a different destination, so we didn’t waste much of our time there and headed towards Shillong. By 10 we crossed Shillong and headed towards Cherapunjee. It was as if clouds came to receive us as we were driving towards Cherapunjee. We were driving inside clouds with visibility of 15-20 meters and it was a chilling experience to see cars emerging from fog just 20-25 meters away from you.

Umium lake from view point above

We drove through the fogs enjoying the misty scenery outside. Being Sunday it seemed like the tourists have crowded all the places. After some time the temperature was such that we were feeling cold inside and it was July the hottest month here. It started drizzling and soon that transformed into light shower. It was tough driving through the rain and fog with unusual traffic and comparatively narrow track but then our Baruah Sir was a terrific driver.

We stopped at a few view points on the Sohra-Shella road. The views are breathtaking from all viewpoints though it got little obstructed due to heavy clouds. We had different things in mind for the trip so we stopped only for a while at these viewpoints and took some shots where possible. We headed towards Thangkhrang park. There is a viewpoint in the area that oversees the end of the Meghalaya platue towards Bangladesh. The plains of Bangladesh are visible from the viewpoints if weather is clear. When we entered the park it was so foggy that nothing was visible beyond 50 meters. We walked inside the park and it seemed to be horror movie set with white fog and dark trees. But soon it started to clear and the mesmerizing view of Kynrem falls was before our eyes. For sometime it was a hide and seek of clouds and the falls but then it got clear. The majestic fall seemed to be at its best with the monsoon rains feeding its flow.

Kynrem falls and road below from the Thangkhrang park viewpoint

The view was so calling that we cold not but decided to drive to the bottom of the falls. We asked the people there and we came to know that it was around 7 kilometers towards Shella, the boarder town with Bangladesh. The road was really bad in some places and not good altogether. Finally we reached the falls. just before the Kynrem falls, there are other falls in the vicinity one of them is quite noticeable. We drove past that falls and reached at the foot of the Kynrem falls.

Kynrem falls from Sohra-Shella road

To see the head of the falls, one really need to look straight up and it feels like the waters are falling from the sky. At 305 meters it is one of the tallest waterfalls in India. Being monsoon season, the waterfall was plump and was falling with strong gust. The falling water splashed on rocks below and water mist rose from below giving it a heavenly touch. The clear blue sky with pure white blobs of clouds and a sky high waterfall with crystal clear water was enough to made our day. 

Kynrem falls from below the falls

We came back from the falls and went to polo orchid resort that overlooks the seven sister falls. The view of hills behind with a blue swimming pool  in the front creates a scene that must captivates its guests. But we returned without having lunch as they said it would take some time and went to a nearby restaurant.

View from Polo Orchid

After lunch, we headed towards Wei Sawdong falls on Dainthlen road. Its about 7 km from the Sohra-Shella road.  The road was little bumpy at places by better than that lead us to Kynrem falls. We drove past Saimika, an well known eco-resort of the place, and moved towards our destination. On the way we could see the Dainthlen falls to our left. Finally we reached our much coveted destination, Wei Sawdong.

Wei Sawdong is hidden from the plain sight from road by the forest of the hills. Direction said we need to trek downhill to the falls. It was already getting dusk with high probability for rain. But then we came so long to see it and we couldn’t go back from so near. We started to walk the steep trekking trail reinforced with some wooden makeshift stairway where the slope is too steep. Its not long but its quite steep but we gathered some ‘josh’ and reached the spot which seemed to be anywhere 150-200 feet below the road. The small yet tiring trek was rewarding though. The falls with surrounding lime stone walls with holes in them, dark green jungle covering the stream and the waterfalls looked as if mother nature has carefully hidden one its treasure out of human sight.

Wei Sawdong falls in the very lap of nature

By the time we climbed up it was six in the evening. It was getting dark quickly. we drove back through the same road and was lucky to get some shot of the western sky and the stream red with setting sun. Soon it became too dark for taking any photo. So we simply drove with variety of music playing along and talking about the places we were from morning. Our return journey was painful though. We encountered heavy traffic, courtesy we the tourists, in upper Shillong and reached Guwahati at 11 pm, late by more than two hours.

Overall it was a enriching experience to be within nature that has always been so close to us and a nature that we are pushing away from us every day.

Ambubachi – A mystical festival celebrating Earth fertility

Ambubachi is celebrated every year at Kamakhya Temple situated at the Nilachal hill in Guwahati, the capital city of the state of Assam in India. The fair falls in the Assamese month of Aahaar corresponding to Sanskrit month of ‘Aashara’. This is generally the month of June as per Gregorian calender and is one of the monsoon months for Assam. 
The word Ambubachi, pronounced as Ambubasi in assamese is derived from The Sanskrit term Ambuvācī. Ambu literally means water  or fourand therefore ambubachi literally mean “expression/commencing of water,” referring to the commencement of monsoon and refurbishment of Earth’s ground waters. It may also directly refer to the four day in the month of  ‘Aashara’ starting from 10th days in Aashara month when the earth is supposed to be unclean and agriculture is prohibited Many  believe that this is marking of Kamakhya’s annual cycle. This comes from the mythological stories of Sati, whose Yoni(genitals/womb/female organ of reproduction/source) fell here and therefore revered by devotees as very sacred place and a symbol of creation.

Many of tantric fraternity believe that mother earth goes through menstrual cycle during this period which starts from 4th part/phase of Mrigashira Nakshatra(Orion constellation) to 1st phase of Adya Nakshatra and therefore finds this time suitable for tantric rituals.

Kamakhya’s Ambubachi mela is the aggregation of the beliefs and rituals surrounding this cycle and period of ‘impurity’ (or fertility?) and celebrated by huge congregation of devotees from Assam, West Bengal, North Indian states as well as from foreign countries.

In recent years administration has done a commendable job in arranging shelters for devotees, arranging buses for commuting between temple and these shelters, free foods & water to these devotees and along with these also been able to maintain the law and order in a time when lakhs of people visit the temple.

Bogamati – new destination for picnic goers in Assam- a leisure trip to chill out

We heard about Bogamati as a picnic spot from some two years back and in recent times we heard it even more frequently as an attraction for picnic goers. Before the Bihu Holidays therefore Baruah Sir came to me and asked if I wanted to accompany him for a trip to Bogamati. I replied in affirmative instantly knowing that four days at home with only work would become boring and a trip anywhere will be refreshing.
Bogamati is situated in (Indo-) Bhutan border around 80 km north of Guwahati. There is no railway connectivity towards that north from Guwahati and therefore the best way to reach the place is on road. The location is now in Baksa district of BTAD and has seen some infra development during the Hagrama regime. The road is good upto the spot and anyone with a smartphone can reach the place. But be aware ! Your mobile network will not work there and it is advised to note the same before you move towards this place.
After crossing Naokata, the large yards to beetle nut trees captivates the visitor’s eyes. Its beetle nut trees everywhere. Grown up trees bearing fruits, young trees and saplings all over the place gives a soothing green background to the villages by the side of the pitch road. Road being good, the drive is a charming one.
After a drive of around 80 km with a halt at Baihata Chariali we reached the spot at around twelve. The spot for picnic is located by the side of Lokhaitora river which is more widely known as Puthimari river in the plains. Water was at its lowest presumably due to the winter season that was just over. A few pre-monsoon showers haven’t added to the rivers vigour it seemed. But the cool and clear water was enough to captivate any person who loves nature. The administration recently created a parking lot but was completely empty as there was no picnic goer except a group of youths. 

Clear water, white pebbles and a blue sky – a place called Bogamati

We parked the car, had some light snacks that we took with us and then headed towards the water. The water streams had gone slim and a vast width of the river bed was just sand and mud. It seemed the stream carries a lot of mud too which settles down below the water making it slippery and very very difficult to walk. We carefully walked through the stream and went to the main water stream. I was surprised to see that peoples of the nearby villages were fishing in the stream with currents and that too with a fishing net. A group was also using eletrofishing to catch fish legality of which is questionable.

The group(sans author)

We took long bath in the cool water. It felt amazing to get the cold water flowing over your body and quickly dried by sun one out of water. For a long time we played with water and enjoyed the soothing bath. After the bath was over, we started collecting pebbles and boulders of our choice for decorating gardens and others ornamental uses. Baruah Sir, a collector of pebbles for decorating his garden in front of his house,  docked huge boulders in the car’s dicky. The rocks thus loaded in the dickey at one point seemed would bend the dickey’s floor but somehow it did not give away. The powerful engine of the car dragged out the ‘payload’ from the river bank to the road through bumpy patches of the rocky trail.

The author enjoying a refreshing bath

We had our late lunch at around four in the afternoon at a highway dhaba near Baihata Chariali and returned to City refreshed by nature. 

Elephant Safari at Pobitora – The rhino park of Assam

It was around 9:30 of night. I was in my bed doing some non-productive internet surfing in my Nokia 8 when I got a call from my senior colleague and our Company Secretary Dipankar Barua who asked me if I would like to go for a short trip to Pobitora. It was a Friday evening and next day evening I had a get-together with my friends which I didn’t want miss. So I wanted to know the plan. He told me that its a sudden plan for him too and he wanted to go early morning and return within 10. Pobitora was only an hours drive from Guwahati, so I agreed.
He lives at Rajgarh, hardly one kilometre from my rented house at Guwahati. I reached his place at around 6. He was ready and awaiting me. We started at 6.15. 
After an hour when we reached Pobitora, parked the car and went to the ticket counter it was 7.15 and we were told that its all booked but there may be a chance as one person has not called. We waited upto 7:30 when the guy at the ticket counter called us and started to fill the entry form. It was a reasonable Rs. 450 per person for elephant safari and an additional 100 for entry into the sanctuary. We crossed the hanging bridge over the large pond separating the sanctuary from office buildings. I was there for second time and I must say the bridge and views from the bridge, both are beautiful.

The bridge from the sanctuary side

There were six elephants waiting to go for safari. But it looked like they were waiting two more elephants to return from sanctuary and join them. After some wait the elephants came from Jungle and were readied for the safari. The waiting tourists rode elephants one by one, three of them on one elephant excluding the mahut.

Road leading into the sanctuary area

We started at around 8. It was my first elephant ride. I was not sure how it would feel, but I was surely excited. One elephant calf was also accompanying the herd. It was naughty and playful befitting its age.  After just two hundred metres down the road we took right turn through a belt of trees and soon reached the grazing field. I never saw rhinos in the open. The moment we entered open grassland that was burnt down, we could see two rhinos grazing. They looked like the most innocent and peaceful animal in the wild.

As we approached the couple, they raised their heads as if annoyed with the presence of outsider in their territory but there was no sign of violent movement. They slightly turned and slowly started walking away from us. I tried to shoot the couple with my camera but in vain. The lumbering of the elephant didn’t allow the camera to be steady and without any support I hardly could bring the rhino couple in my camera frame. Most of the shots were out of focus or object partially out of frame.

Just then someone shouted ‘see there’s a jackal’. By instinct I looked towards the direction the people were trying to indicate while picking up my camera. I saw a fox running in the grass in the distant among the herd of cows. Suddenly I thought should I shoot a fox? I have seen them in an around my home in my hometown and heard them howling in the night almost everyday. In next moment the fox almost disappeared in the grass and I tried look somewhere else for another piece of interest.

Soon we could see a few wild buffaloes near a shallow waterbody mostly muddy. It looked like all those buffaloes just came out of the mud. The mud camouflaged their sturdy and black muscular bodies and made them so ugly that I had no interest shooting a photo of them.

I started little chit-chat with the Mahut regarding their profession and about the sanctuary. He told us that there are 102 rhino in the sanctuary. My senior colleague also informed me that the sanctuary have highest density of rhino. It seemed true to me as we could see rhino all around us by that time. Some in close distance some far away grazing quietly. The Mahuts were very smart and stopped from where we could take best possible shots. But most clicks returned garbage except one in which I could capture the newborn baby rhino with its mom.

Mother rhino with its new born babyThe safari lasted for an hour. It was refreshing to be among the wild beasts and seeing them so close. The ride on elephants also is so thrilling.

After the safari we went to a nearby eco-camp by the river Brahmaputra and had breakfast there. Its a newly opened eco-camp that boasts of having ATV, parasailing, boating etc though it looked like nothing is functional except night camping. But I must accept the location of the eco camp is very beautiful and far from the madding crowd in the lap of nature. We returned by 12:30 after a sweet short trip that made my weekend.

Madan Kamdev temple – Ruins of a majestic ancient architecture

Last Sunday me along with two of my brothers and a friend planned for a trip to the famous yet not-so-popular Madan Kamdev temple. We didn’t research much before planning to go the place. The idea was to go there and discover the place ourselves. The distance from Guwahati City as per google map was 40 Kilometer via Baihata Chariali. So we planned to go on Motorcycle(Bike as we call it).
We started at around 10:30 from Guwahati. It was a bright and pleasant day without much heat and humidity. One we were out from the City’s dusty roads, the riding was fantastic. The four lane highway from Jalukabari, the entry point to Guwahati City, is good enough to handle the traffic and there is no more congestion as we faced a few years ago. Also the new three lane road bridge makes the crossing of mighty Brahmaputra much easier without any jam over the bridge. Once over the bridge one can have a view of the mighty Brahmaputra one both sides and a glimpse of the cityscape to the right.
It took around half an hour to reach Changsari from Jalukbari. We stopped there for a sip of cold water and then resumed journey for our destination. From Baihata we turned right towards Mangaldoi and after a kilometer or two a sandstone coloured gate to the right welcomed us towards the Madan Kamdev Temple with a signboard next to it.

The gate next to highway that welcomes visitors 

The ambience changed to a calm and quiet village atmosphere as we moved on the paved road towards the temple. There were medium sized paddy fields that were yet to rice by the side of the clean paver block topped road. Madan Kamdev is around three kilometres from the gate that welcomes visitors. It is good to see a three kilometer stretch of Village Road without any potholes. The soothing greens of fields, hillocks and trees around were super dose of relaxation.

Eye-soothing paddy fields on both sides of the road

From the foothills of the hillock on top of which the temple is located, the road goes through villages and joins to State Highway 2 which connects Amingaon to Bezera. Outside the temple entrance below the stairs, there is picnic place in the lap of the hillock. groups from nearby places come to have a time together in a quiet place.
We rode upto the stairs that lead to the temple. We walked upto the temple premise. There were people working to renovate the stairs. Beside the temple lies the ruin of other temples of a complex that once had several temple it seems. But now only the base of the temple structures are intact. The ruins of pillars, arches, animal statues, Siva lingam, pillar bases and other architectural pieces are scattered in the site. The site is under Archeological Survey of India and is open except for public holidays and entry is free. Permission of ASI is required for photography and videography for documentary purpose.

Base of a temple can be seen in distance

The site is believed to be constructed around 1000 AD during the reign of Pala dynasty. Local legends say that Kalapahad destroyed the temples during his temple demolition campaign in which he demolished other famous temples like Kamakhya Temple and Puri Jagannath. Destruction by earthquake cannot be ignored either on a later date after a sabotage by the Muslim General.

Broken blocks of stone that once was part of temple structure

Now there is no temple but only the ruins of ancient temple. The stone bases are still there. But no pillar is erect. ASI, it seems has kept the unearthed structure components on the stone base. There are some monolithic pillar structures with grooves for metal pieces for locking the blocks of stones with one another. Most of them are decorated with flowers, human figures, god and goddesses. There are scattered and damaged stone sculptures of animals mainly lion hunting prey. May be the sculptures once decorated the high pillars and arches of a majestic temple in distant past. Gazing over the ruins to distant trees may take ones thought to the time when the place was alive and beating.

Stone base and a sculpted monolith stone arch

The temple complex that is open for prayer these days for the devotees is right in front of the ruin complex. It contains one Shiva temple. One has to go downstairs to pay the offerings. With gable shaped shed in the front the larger temple contains sculptures of the Gods from the ruins. Surrounding area also contains different shapes and sizes of rocks from the temple ruin each showing fine stone cutting of some skilled artisan. Most of the stones contain ornamental design sculpted out of single rock once part of a huge temple and now lies with memoir sculpted on their chest.

various stone pieces intricately sculpted

A lion sculpture inside the present temple premise

Government took some interest in the place it seems and constructed a museum to preserve the antique sculptures. There are at least 30 statues of various sizes of different gods and some of human figures in display. Some are damaged and a good number are still in good condition considering their age. The sculptures are a marvel of ancient rock sculpting and baffled history lovers like me and my friend. Entry fee is a meagre 5 Rupee per person and it should not be missed.

A sculpture of Sun god inside the museum 

It would have been good if there is someone who could tell the true history of the place. Without knowings true past of such a place that once could have been a bustling religious activities always scorches the mind. The archiologists could not find enough historical relics to definitely say which  king constructed the temple though it is agreed that its been constructed during Pala Dynasty. The gentle Madankuri stream that flows below and the Gopeswar hill-chain may hide secrets that will never ever be known.

By the time we were done discovering the place, we were hungry and wanted to gulp anything in front. Baihata Chariali is not a great place for eating and dining. We had our lunch in a small restaurant and returned Guwahati by six.

Krang Shuri Falls – Picturesque and peaceful

We, a senior colleague of me and I, started from Guwahati at around seven in the morning, one hour later than we planned. We were not very sure about the route but very confident that google maps will guide us to the right place. After an hour of driving, we stopped at Jiva Veg restaurant for a breakfast as none of us had breakfast at home. But then the place was too crowded and waiter informed us that we may have to wait for about half hour before we can have a seat and order for a breakfast.
We gave up the idea of breakfast at the restaurant and moved forward and after sometime, we stopped by a roadside dhaba and had some decent breakfast with Puri Sabji. We started again at around 9:30 and reached Barapani by 10. We were in no mood to go through Shillong and therefore took the bypass towards Khliehriat. 

Rat-hole mining in the hills beside road

The route towards Khliehriat is beautiful with hills on both side of the road, small villages a few kilometres and small paddy fields in the valleys between hills. The road, though not a four lane one like the Guwahati-Shillong highway, is smooth for a nice and relaxing road trip. Enjoying the roadside sceneries we reached Mukhla at around 11 and took help of Google maps to determine if we are going in the right direction. We took right towards Jowai. From Jowai we took right to take Jowai Dowki road. From Jowai, Dowki is around 50 km and Krangshuri is around half the distance. A portion of road from Jowai towards Dowki is in bad condition but after that road is fantastic. We crossed the Myntdu river and kept driving through the hills to reach sprawling valleys spread between the road and upto distant hills. We drove for 180 km to reach the falls location at around 12:30. From the highway there’s a one kilometre drive upto the parking location. The route is not yet metalled but no problem for bigger cars. Small cars can go through too, but may have to be extra careful specially after rain.
We took our camera and trekked down from the parking to the waterfall. Its around two to three hundred feet walk on stone steps down to the waterfall. The falls are not loud enough that you can hear the roar from parking location. The walk down the steps bring some cheers as we finally reached a wooden viewpoint from where the upper portion of falls can be seen.

We walked down to the ticket counter and booked two tickets @ 40 per Adult. Theres not much hue and cry and other commercial activities and there is peaceful environment around as is expected in natures lap.

Just below the ticket booth theres one restaurant and the falls is just below it. We straightway went the falls. Its not a very high or big one but definitely superbly beautiful one that is worth the travel. Its a certain of water falling from height of around 40 feet to the water below in a single plunge. A beautiful blue pool of water is created below the falls. There are small and large rocks on which one can sit and behold the waterfall in front for hours.

The fall from the stone staircase that leads to the pool below

As we gathered that there is tent for night halt, we planned to stay there at night. Every basic facility for night stay at tents near the falls is provided. The tent price for three people is a meager 500 Rupees. We two stayed at night in the tents had dinner at the restaurant walked around the place to enjoy the serene atmosphere. The sound of waterfall, crickets/cicadas and black starry night created a perfect ambient for a great sleep.
Next morning it was drizzling. There is a dam like structure created in upper portion of the waterfall. It creates a passage to cross the stream to go to the other end and at the same time creates a pool that is safe enough for swimming.

The passage joining two sides of the steam

We had our breakfast at the restaurant after we shot couple of photographs. We left the place thanking the staffs of the canteen for their amazing hospitality.

The restaurant serves good food with great hospitality

It was a great feeling being there and staying at night. But as if that was not enough offer from nature,  the scenic beauty of the road while coming back was breathtaking. We moved through clouds now and then. Entering the clouds and coming out of it was a normal phenomena. It was too dreamy a ride from the falls towards Jowai for at least upto Jarain.

En-route back from the falls

And then the sun came out to present us a beautiful bright day that was so blissful that one cannot but admire the beauty of nature. 

Meadow above Tyrshi falls

We drove and stopped wherever we got chance to shoot some picturesque place to capture the memories of what we saw. Tyrshi fall is one such location. It was a great journey and awesome destination to say the final words.

Mother of Twenty Four

This weekend I along with one of my friend visited an orphanage in Rangaloo, in Nagaon district of Assam. The orphanage is maintained and run by Sri Chakrasing Milik a Karbi man in his seventies. I got to know about this place from one of my junior in my office and was very eager to know about the orphanage and see it myself. The place is around two hours car journey from Guwahati and only 15 minutes from Nagaon bypass roundabout. As I did not know the exact location of his orphanage, I called him before I started from Guwahati. We reached late in the afternoon and later I realized that we should have reached there at least an hour before. Milik was kind enough to come to receive us from the Rangaloo Bazaar.
As we started conversation with the man he revealed how he got inspired by the philanthropic service of mother Teresa when he was in Calcutta as part of the ASEB football team. This had so deep impact on him that he accepted Christianity and devoted his life to the welfare of poor and deprived Karbi children. He along with his wife, who is a Bodo woman, started the orphanage in 1993-94 after resigning from ASEB and devoted his life to the service of the needy. The Milik family is running and maintaining this orphanage for last 25 years selflessly like their own family and provided services to the Karbi children who are deprived of the basic needs of human life.

Sri Chakrasingh Milik

Smt. Milik

At present there are around twenty children in the orphanage all of whom are looked after by the Milik family and financed by donation received from generous donors without any regular support from government or local autonomous body. However, Sri Milik acknowledged that funds were received from the council and State government for construction of hostel and kitchen but both of them are pending due to further support.
As we discussed about his family, Sri Mirik took pride to say that the childrens are no less family than his wife daughters and sons are to him. He also took the opportunity to share with us that his wife is the motivating factor behind his sustained effort to keep the organisation alive. Smt. Milik looks after the daily needs of these children from bathing them, feeding them like a mother does for her children. Sri Milik has two daughters and two sons. Three of them are grown ups and offers their moral support as well as helps in taking care of the children’s daily needs and basic education.
We spent some time with the children along with Sri Milik’s youngest son Sri Bronson Milik in the yard in front of his home. Far from the madding crowd of the city, the innocent smile of a child happy with a piece of just received choco bar makes you smile too. But the grim situation raises so many questions in one’s mind regarding State’s development as Dima-Hasao lists as one of the most backward districts in India.

The Milik family however in their own style has put commendable efforts through the last twenty five years and continues to do the selfless service without for the welfare of these Karbi orphans. Named after his elder daughter, Ruplin orphanage registered as Elim Charitable Trust is a noble endeavour by a brave man who sacrificed his personal comfort for the well being of a underprivileged section of society.

 With the “Milik Family”