History of TezpurTezpur located on the north bank of River Brahmaputra is the headquarter of Sonitpur district. It is a city steeped in folklore and mythology. As they say, it is a place where valleys sing along while the stones tell stories. The city is regarded as the cultural capital of Assam.
The Legend of Tezpur
The name Tezpur is derived from ‘Teza’ which means blood and ‘Pura’ means city. The legend of Tezpur revolves around the great Asura king of ancient Tezpur, Banasura, his beautiful daughter princess Usha and Chitralekha, her friend.Usha dreamt of a handsome prince and fell in love with the prince. Chitralekha, her friend was a talented artist. Chitralekha, not only painted his portrait from Usha's description but she also recognised him to be Aniruddha, the grandson of Lord Krishna and King of Dwarka. Chitralekha using her magical powers, spirited Aniruddha away to the princess' boudoir where following Gandharva rites, the two married each other without the knowledge of the king Banasura. When the Asura king learnt of the secret romance, the king imprisoned Aniruddha. The imprisonment led to the arrival of Lord Krishna in order to rescue Aniruddha. A fierce battle was fought between Lord Krishna and Banasura and the entire land was drenched in human blood and hence sonitpur came to be known as Tezpur which means ‘the city of blood’. Banasura was defeated in the battle and the lovers were united forever.
Early History and British ruleTezpur was known as Hadapervara or Haruppesvera or Hatapesvara or Hadapesvara , during the Mleccha dynasty (from the last part of the 7th Century A.D. to the 10th century A.D). The city’s historical importance is reflected on the Parbatia Copper Plates of Vanamats (middle of the 9th century A.D.), Tezpur Rock Inscriptions of Harjar Varma is of 829-30 A.D, the Bargaon Grant of Ratnapala (circa 1035 A.D.)
During the medieval era, the city lost its importance, but with the coming of the British it was soon regained. The Britishers considering the strategic importance of the city first made it in to a garrison town. Gradually the city became an important trade and commerce centre and it was also utilized as a river port for colonial commercial ventures and also for the surrounding tea gardens.
Tezpur became headquarter of Darrang District in the year1835. The city faced the apprehension of invasion, in 1962 Chinese aggression, and the city bears a Memorial near the Circuit House as a testimony of that. The Darrang District was partitioned, in the year 1983, and Tezpur became the headquarter of District of Sonitpur.
Present day Tezpur
Presently, Tezpur is one of the important cities of Assam. The city has become an important tourist spot. The city is also a major base of the Indian Airforce and Indian Army as they have their base camp on Solmara and Vartak. There is also large number of tea gardens which has helped to the economy of Tezpur. The city is also becoming one of the major educational hub of the state as it has some of the best colleges and universities of Assam.
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