The historic DC Bungalow of Guwahati was opened to the public as a heritage center on Sunday, nearly 150 years after it was built to serve as the residence of the British deputy commissioner of Kamrup.
In the presence of Governor Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who is on a three-day trip to the northeast, opened the Mahabahu Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre.
National campaign to rejuvenate the country’s rivers
The Vice President called for a nationwide drive to revitalize the country’s rivers, saying that “we save our rivers with a sense of immediacy”.
“In the past, our villages and cities used to be dotted with several water bodies. In the quest for modernization, man, driven by greed, has destroyed natural ecosystems and at several places, the water bodies have virtually disappeared or have been encroached upon,” he said.
Naidu later complimented the initiative to convert the home into a heritage property and commented on its beauty in a comprehensive Facebook post.
“This is where the great warrior Lachit Barphukan made a decisive attack on the Mughals and forced them to return….Transforming this bungalow into Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre is a mark of respect for this vast river that nourished the civilization here for centuries,” he wrote.
It is the place from which the Ahom troops planned and conducted attacks on the Mughal army during the Battle of Saraighat in 1671, which the latter lost. It is located atop Barphukanar Tilla, a tiny hillock named after the most famous Ahom general Lachit Barphukan.
“After the British annexed Assam in 1826 (after the Treaty of Yandaboo), the post of DC was created for Guwahati in 1839. But the city had no appropriate house at that time to accommodate Captain James Matthie, the first DC,” said a state government release.
“Several sites were surveyed before Barphukanar Tilla on the banks of the Brahmaputra, where cannons used in the Battle of Saraighat lay scattered, was chosen. Post-independence, it continued to be the DC’s bungalow until 2011,” the release added.
Though the actual year the bungalow was built is unknown, it is thought to have been in the 1850s.
The dream project
The Brahmaputra Riverfront Development Programme eventually took up a project to convert it into a heritage museum. The history center features a boat museum, an amphitheater, an exhibition area, a cafeteria, and more.
A collection of traditional fishing equipment, photographs and relics relating to Guwahati’s history, and river transportation are among the main attractions. Installations displaying textile designs, ethnic symbols, and indigenous musical instruments may be found throughout the cottage.
Iconic DC Bungalow
The landmark DC Bungalow in Guwahati has been transformed into the Brahmaputra River Heritage Centre and is now open to the public.
The renovation of a British-era building in Guwahati, which cost Rs. 9 crores, is completed, and it has been elevated as one of the city’s most stunning tourist attractions.
On the banks of the Brahmaputra, the historic residence of the Kamrup (M) Deputy Commissioner will soon bear the city’s legacy and house indigenous handloom handicrafts.
The house was built by the British and has witnessed many historical events, including the years of the struggle for independence and the years afterward when the bungalow served as the DC’s official residence.
The bungalow is one of the city’s important heritage structures, reflecting the city’s history and topography.
In 2012, the government decided to restore and preserve the bungalow, which had fallen into disrepair, by converting it into a heritage center.
Because of its historical, social, and economic significance, the river’s whole stretch has been divided into 11 zones, with the zone between Nilachal Hills and Raj Bhawan being emphasized.
The Heritage Centre is expected to become one of the city’s most magnificent tourist attractions. Tourists visit the city all year, and this will be an additional tourist attraction that will draw a large number of tourists.