I have written in the past of my morning walks – along the Mandovi River to village Merces and along other routes in Goa and around Kilpauk in Chennai – and today its another location, around the Central University at Tezpur. For those not familiar with the topography of the North-eastern part of India, Tezpur is the chief town in the middle Assam region. It is a small town of about 100,000 population, on the North bank of the great River Brahmaputra . It is too small to have an airport, the closest being at Guwahati in lower Assam (166 km to the west); however it is on the rail route through Assam. I flew to Guwahati 2 days ago and took a taxi to get here – the road is a 4 lane highway for over 100 Km – and suddenly becomes a State highway – fortunately with a decent surface. The distance can be covered in about 3.5 hours.
Six of the 7 seven states of the N Eastern region, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland adn Tripura have a Central University with 2 in Assam – one each at Tezpur and Silchar. I had visited the Tezpur U in 2010, and when invited to return to teach, I gladly accepted the invitation. The residential campus of 4000 students is well outside the town and has a fairly green well laid out campus.
I arrived with the expectation of warm but comfortable weather. But I was in for a surprise (not predicted by the weather man) – there was the most dramatic lighting and thunder on the first evening I was here and then 12 hours of rains – leaving fairly cool temperatures. I have had to borrow a shawl from my friend and finally this morning I could get out for a walk around the campus. Being new, the building all have a similar look and like in all Government centers, new building activity is all over the place. Since it is a residential U, there are many large hostels – and it is good to see that there are as many ones for women as men, reflecting the distribution of the genders among the students. This would be the norm in most non-engineering educational institutions across the country. There are large playing fields which have night lighting facilities, a large library, many cafetarias et… I also saw a dedicated medical facility, barracks for the security personnel (which I don’t see in many campuses), a Kendriya Vidyalaya and a large residential complex. None of the buildings are more than ground + 3 storeys in height.
There are plenty of trees, the species well marked. There is some bird life and plenty of flowering plants. So all in all the total walk around the perimeter in about 40 minutes and in perfect weather, was a wonderful experience!