The State of Assam in India has been bestowed with a vast reserve of Fossil Fuels. Assam has huge hydrocarbon potential, large quantities of low ash coal resources, limestone and dolomite deposits as well as a few other unexplored minerals in addition to a wide forest covers and abundant rivers. Coal mining is an important source of livelihood for the people in the state and the largest coal producing company in the world Coal India Ltd. has its operations in the state of Assam under its subsidiary North Eastern Coal Fields Ltd. (NECF).
Situated very close to the office of the General Manger of Coal India Ltd. at Margherita in Assam is India’s only Coal Museum. The brain child of the Ex. Chief General Manager of NECF Mr. A. K. Bora a coal mining professional and a war history enthusiast (he has never missed to watch any movie/documentary on the World Wars I & II), this museum of International standard was inaugurated on 29th October, 2012 and is opening for public viewing.
The Prime attraction of this museum are the century old Steam Locomotives. The State of Assam was once a British colony famous for coal mining at Makum Coalfields (now called Margherita). These steam locomotives were deployed at these mining sites for transportation of coal. The Engines deployed here were built during the late 1800s and early 1900’s by renowned locomotive manufacturer from Stafford, England W. G. Bagnall. The likes of the locomotives included JOHN (1924), SHELLY (1930), HASSANG (1897), DAVID and 796. Though these magnificent British marvels were built more than a 100 years ago, some of them are still operational at the Tipong Colliery while the others have been put up on public display at India’s only Coal Museum at Margherita in Assam.
The 796 Steam Locomotive standing with its Grace at Tipong Colliery
Our Tourist Standing for a perfect picture with the DAVID steam locomotive at Tipong Colliery
The SHELLY Steam Locomotive at Coal Museum in India
The JOHN steam locomotive at Coal Museum at Margherita
The HASSANG Steam Locomotive at Coal Museum in India
The Portrait of the DAVID Steam locomotive gifted by a Japanese Tourist at the Coal Museum at Margherita
Another important attraction of the museum is the practice of coal mining depicted in the form of real time models, a demo structure of an underground coal mine, necessities to be carried to the underground mines by the workmen like underground coal mining boots, cap lamps, shovels and other tools of mining, vintage underground telephones, etc. The museum depicts the history of coal mining at Namdang in Assam. It also contains actual models of transformers, haulages and Circuit breakers manufactured by Crompton Parkinson and Manchester & Scheffield, England.
Industry Runs on Many Wheels and Coal is the Prime Mover Depiction
Centenery Industrial Boring Machine
Dehing Underground Display Coal Mine
Coal Mining Practice Equipments
Cap Lamps used in Underground Coal Mining
Coal Mine Tunnel at the Dehing Coal Mine
Equipments for Coal Mining at Coal Museum
Haulages used in Underground Coal Minings on display
Other important attractions here at the Coal Museum are the Memoirs of World War II (rare pictures of construction of Stilwell Road, Pangsau Pass and Ledo airstrip, empty shells of bombs used in WW II), the history of the Assam Railways & Trading Co. Ltd (AR &T Co. Ltd.), a rare collection of stamps from over the world, vintage Cyclostyle machines, etc.
American Army Trucks plying on the Stilwell Road
American Troops wave out Luck to the Soldiers travelling to China on the Stilwell Road
Collection of Rare Stamps at the Coal Musuem
General Vinegar Joe Stilwell at the Battle Field
Legacy Type Writers
Querry Operations by the Assam Railways and Trading Company
Stilwell at kitchen
The Stilwell Road that played a major role in the March of the Allied Forces victory over the Japanese
This museum is must to see place for people in the coal mining industry and history enthusiasts. Post you visit to the museum you can savor a sumptuous meal of traditional cuisine at the Singpho Villa Restaurant at Singpho Ecotourism Lodge at Margherita and experience open cast coal mining at Tirap Colliery.
The Singpho Ecotourism Lodge at Margherita serves exotic delicacies of local Singpho Tribal Cuisine and gives you a chance to witness Singpho Tribal Culture and Traditions
Opencast Coal Mining at Tirap Colliery in Assam
The Open Cast Mining Equipments at Tirap Colliery
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to witness the first hand experience of the”British Marvels” Steam Locomotives and India’s only Coal Museum – Tipong Colliery & Margherita, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
The period of 1939 to 1945 was one of the darkest moments in the history of mankind. It was during this period the world witnessed the Second World War – a state of ‘total war’ where the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. This war brought down the major super powers of the period into ashes. Japan was rocked with the mighty nuclear explosion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and it was after the Second World War that the world realized the might of the Americans!
On our journey to bring forth to the World the lost history of the State of Assam and it’s connection with the World during the World War II, we reached the banks of the River Dehing at the tinsel town of Margherita in the north eastern region of India. Our curiosity and interest this time was to find the remains of the 20th General Hospital that was built during the World War II to treat the sick and wounded American soldiers who were on the mission to built one of the most challenging roads across the dense jungles of the Dehing Patkai – the Stilwell (Ledo) Road. The Stilwell Road was built in 1942 under the able guidance of Major General Vinegar Joe Stilwell of the U S Army and its purpose was to restore communication with China after the Imperial Japanese Army had cut supply across the Burma Road. At the time of the War, the engineers of the American army were desperately cutting this new route also called the Ledo Road across the Patkai Mountains for the supply of armed troops, military supplies and food. They had to fight the Japanese resistance as well as bulldoze their way across the dense jungles of the Patkai Mountain Range. Injuries and Casulaities were common and the wounded were brought back to Margherita where they were treated at the 20th General Hospital. The hospital also cared for Chinese soldiers who were serving as screen when the road was pushed forward.
The 20th General Hospital was formed in 1940 when the Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) was asked by the Surgeon General of the United States to organize an Army hospital unit to care for the Allied wounded in the Burma-India theater. But, the unit did not receive orders to leave for Camp Clairbone, Louisiana, until May 15, 1942. It was in March 1943 that the team of qualified doctors and nurses reached Margherita.
When the staff members of the 20th General first arrived in Margherita, there were only three small buildings with concrete floors, tin roofs and open fronts, as well as a group of bamboo huts with dirt floors and lights showing through thatched roofs. But, when the hospital was finally built fully several months later, it had transformed into a first-rate 2500-bed hospital, with 148 buildings covering one and half square miles. It became the largest hospital in the China-India-Burma theater. It also received a rating of “Superior” – the highest possible in annual general inspections.
Approximately 110 nurses and 600 enlisted men comprised this University of Pennsylvania’s hospital unit. Colonel Elias Cooley, a regular Army officer and a graduate of Philadelphia’s Jefferson Medical College, was in command. Lieutenant Colonel Isidor Ravdin, Professor of Surgery at Penn and an authority on the use of blood plasma and sulfa drugs, was the head of the surgical service. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Fitz-Hugh Jr., Clinical Professor of Medicine at Penn, headed the Medical Service. Most of the medic personnel were drawn from Penn faculty, and many of its nurses came from the Philadelphia General, Penn, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Bryn Mawr hospitals.
It was difficult for the Americans to acclimatize and perform well in a region with 120 inches of rainfall per year, humid summers and cold winters. However, with little paraphernalia and with none of the personal comforts to which they are accustomed, they were able to establish a complete hospital unit which contributed not only to the health of the Allied soldiers, but also to advancement of medical science. Beginning with a few shacks, they ended with a fully equipped modern hospital, provided with laboratories, x-ray and blood storage facilities and all other necessities of medical and surgical practice. It was filled almost from the beginning beyond its rated capacity of 1000 beds. At one time, it actually sheltered 2560 patients. During the entire period of activity, it received altogether 73,000 patients, with only a few more than 300 deaths form all cases.
Since the staff at the hospital had strong academic backgrounds, the hospital became a center for weekly professional conferences attended by American, British and Indian officers from other medical installations. Some 100 important medical papers and scientific reports were produced by the 20th General Hospital, including those on scrub typhus and ophthalmology.
The 20th General Hospital was cited by many for its outstanding work. These include Lord Louis Mountbatten, General Vinegar Joe Stillwell, the Commanding Generals of the 1st and the 6th Chinese Armies, etc. The hospital won praise and personal gratitude from Lord Louis Mountbatten. Mountbatten had suffered a painful and serious injury when a low-hanging section of dead bamboo struck him in the eye, causing a hemorrhage, as he drove a jeep along a jungle trail in the North Burma front. He was flown into the hospital where Dr. (Major) Harold Scheie performed delicate treatment to save his sight. Mountbatten lay flat on his back with his eyes bandaged for five days. Afterwards, Scheie accompanied the commander to Delhi and looked after ehe injured eye during the convalescent period. Mountbatten and Dr. Scheie (who died on March 5, 1990) became life long friends. It was Mountbatten who, in August 1972, dedicated the Scheie Eye Institute in Philadephia.
General Raymond Kelser of the Army Veterinary Corps reported to the US Surgeon General Norman Kirk that “the 20th General Hospital would be outstanding anywhere in the world and is the equal of university hospitals”.
As fighting receded from the Assam-Burma region, the Army began to withdraw officers and men needed in other fronts. The hospital closed its medical services in December, 1945, and was decommissioned on December 27.
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to witness the memoirs of the World War II, Stilwell Road, Margherita and the American Connection – the 20th General Hospital, Margherita, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
Reference: ‘The Philadelphia – Margherita Connection’ – Mr. Jugal Kalita
Jungleideas welcomes you to the Tour of Reliving the Grandeur of the British Raj in Assam. The British had come to Assam in the early 1800’s much before the State had gone under the British rule. They had come to seek for alternates to the Tea of China when their Tea trade with China had run into rough weather. It was here in Assam that they discovered the “Camellia Asamica” (better renowned today as the Assam CTC Tea) and in 1839 the Assam Company was incorporated that started producing and exporting the famous Assam Tea).
Gradually, the knowledge of the bountiful lands of Assam reached the ears of the other powerful men of the ‘British Raj’ who visited this land in search of opportunities to explore other availability of natural resources. It was during the visit of Mr. John Berry White, a civil surgeon, who found out the possibility of coal in Assam. Under his able guidance the Makum Coalfield was discovered and coal mines were opened at Tikak (1884), Namdang (1896), Tirap (1904), Baragolai (1909), Tipong (1924) and Namdang Dip Mine (1904). These expeditions also lead to the discovery of Oil when the first Oil well was dug at Digboi on October 19th 1889 resulting in the establishment of Asia’s oldest Oil Refinery at Digboi. Timber requirements were harnessed from the abundant forests at the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary. Tea exports needed plywood boxes that led to the establishment of Asia’s first Plywood Factory at Margherita. ‘Til this time it was only the British who came here. It was only during the Second World War than Americans came to Assam to setup one of the toughest challenges to beat the Japanese – ‘Building the famous Stilwell Road across the Pangsau Pass (Hell Pass)’. Under the able guidance of General Vinegar Joe Stilwell the Stilwell Road was constructed and it helped in restoring the Allies contact with the Chinese troops that proved as a major step in crushing the Imperial Japanese Army. Traces of American establishment can be found here at the Military Hospital at Margherita.
During your tour to Upper Assam:
Enjoy your stay at the heritage Tea Bungalow at Tinsukia/Dibrugarh
Visit the Railway Museum at Tinsukia that showcases the establishment of Dibru Sadiya Railway by the British
Experience the Grandeur of the Longest Bridge in India ~ the ‘Dhola Sadiya’ Bridge
Visit the Oil Refinery and observe History of Oil at Digboi Museum
Visit the Coal Mines at Tirap Colliery and Tipong Colliery
Tread along the Stilwell Road
Visit the Historic Ledo Airstrip and the Lekhapani Railway Station
Witness and Indulge in Tea plucking with Tea Garden Tribes at Ledo
Visit India’s only Coal Museum at Margherita
Spot the centenary old Steam Locomotives by W G Bagnall at Margherita and Tipong
Enjoy Ecotourism at its best with the Singpho Tribes of Assam
Be a part of the Tour of Reliving the Grandeur of the British Raj powered by Jungleideas
In this tour you will also visit one the best bio diversity spots of India – The National Park of Dibru-Saikhowa that is known for its population of White winged wood duck in its natural habitat and also for its bright colored Wild Horses known as Feral Horses. Some rare and endangered animals of this sanctuary are Hoolock Gibbon, Capped Langur, Slow loris, Water Buffalo, Tiger, Elephant, Gangetic river dolphin, etc.
Tour Itinerary ~
Day 1: Arrive at Dibrugarh Airport. On arrival you will be received by our representative at the airport offering a warm welcome in traditional Assamese style. From the Airport drive to Tinsukia. Check into the Tea Garden Bungalow. In the late afternoon we will visit the Borajan Wildlife Sanctuary at Tinsukia. In the Evening we will visit the Heritage Railway Museum at Tinsukia. Night stay at the Heritage Tea Garden Bungalow.
Day 2: Early morning we will take a tour of the National Park of Dibru Saikhowa aboard a River Cruise. Breakfast/Lunch will be served aboard the River Cruise. After the River Cruise we will visit the ‘Napukhuri’ Pond at Tinsukia that was dug in 1791 and is a popular tourist attraction here. Night stay at a Comfortable Hotel.
Day 3: After breakfast depart to Roing in Arunachal Pradesh. On our journey we will travel over the Longest Bridge in India ~ the ‘Dhola Sadiya’ Bridge on the mighty Brahmaputra River. Check into Tourist Lodge/Eco Cottages at Roing. Evening visit the local market at Roing. Night halt at Tourist Lodge/Eco Cottages at Roing.
Day 4: Early morning we will depart to Mayodia Pass. At an altitude of above 3000 feet Mayodia Pass is one of the toughest motorable roads in North East India. Admire the breath taking beauty of the snow capped mountains at Mayodia and later depart to the Legendary oil town of Digboi. Night stay at a comfortable Guest House.
Day 5: After breakfast we will proceed to see the World War II cemetery at Digboi that has around 200 burials of British Soldiers who laid down their lives during line of duty at the World War II. Later we will depart to the Digboi Museum that will give you an elaborate display of the Oil history of Assam during the British Regime. After lunch we will visit the Digboi Park from where you will get an Excellent view of the Digboi refinery. Evening we will go to Margherita. Night halt at a comfortable Hotel/Guest House and evening Bon fire will be arranged.
Day 6: After breakfast depart to the Faneng Village in Lekhapani to witness the rich culture and traditions of the Tai Phake Tribes of Assam. On our way we will visit the Historic Lekhapani Railway Station. Spend time with the local tribal people and understand their way of living. Our journey will continue to the border of Arunachal Pradesh where we will visit the World War II cemetery at Jairampur. Enjoy traditional Singpho lunch at the Singpho Restaurant in Jagun. On our way back to Margherita we will visit Tipong Colliery and get a glimpse of the Oldest Operational Steam Locomotives in the World here. Visit the Sumi Naga Village at Tipong. Night halt at the Hotel.
Day 7: After Breakfast we will visit the Tirap Colliery to experience open cast coal mining. Later we will visit the International Meditation Center at the Mounglang Buddhist monestary and also visit the Historic Ledo Airstrip. Afternoon lunch will be served at the Singpho Villa Restaurant. In the afternoon we will visit India’s only Coal Museum at Margherita. This museum has many historical artifacts from the Second World War. Visi the remains of the 20th General Hospital at Margherita which was built by the American Army during World War II and was rated as a Class A Hospital of the American Army. Night halt at the Singpho Eco Lodge at Margherita.
Day 8: In the morning we will visit the nearby Singpho village where you will get to experience traditional Singpho life and see the ladies weaving exclusive Singpho handlooms. Enjoy your first hand experience at Tea plucking with the Tea garden tribes of Assam. Later we will visit the remains of the Namdang Colliery at Namdang. Seek blessings at the Muslim Shrine of the Namdang Bibi Majhar. Enjoy your drive along the beautiful roads along the well kept Tea gardens. Drive to Changlang and witness the beauty of Landscape where the clouds kiss the mountains. Late afternoon we will visit the Asia’s first plywood factory at Margherita. Night Halt at the Singpho Eco Lodge.
Day 9: Early morning visit the Buddhist Monastery near the Eco Lodge. After breakfast you will depart to the Dibrugarh Airport for your onward destination. Trip Ends. Bid Adieu.
Image Gallery ~
The Historic Stilwell Road that marked the Allied forces march to victory over the Japanese
The 796 Steam Locomotive at Tipong Colliery in Assam
The John Steam Locomotive by W G Bagnall Stafford at India’s only coal museum at Margherita
The Shelly Steam locomotove by WG Bagnall of Stafford on display at India’s Coal Museum at Margherita
The Digboi Second World War Cemetery has been built and is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The neatly arranged graves of the soldiers at the Green Digboi War Cemetery
The Air Shelter of the Second World War at the Digboi Oil Museum
Tools used in Oil drilling on Display at the Centenary Oil museum at Digboi
The Discover Oil Well No. 1 from where oil was first commercially drilled at Digboi in October 1889
The Front View of the Tilinga Mandir at Bordubi in Tinsukia
The Colonial Bungalows of the British Era at Tipong Colliery
The famous David Steam Locomotive at Tipong Colliery in Assam
The Historic Lekhapani Railway Station on the Stilwell Road at Lekhapani Army Cantonment in Assam
The Namdang Tea Estate is one of the oldest Tea Estates of Assam located in the proximity of the Namdang Underground coal mines of Assam
The Margherita Tea Estate factory is located at Margherita and is under the flagship of McLeod Russel India Limited
RUCKLE Machinery at the Asia’s Oldest Plywood Factory of the AR and T Company at Margherita in Assam
The Centenary year celebration of the AR and T Company at the Asia’s Oldest Plywood Factory of the AR and T Company at Margherita in Assam
The Underground Coal Mining Setup at India’s only Coal Museum at Margherita
Entrance of the Namdang Coal Mine as on 1948
Open cast mining at the present day at Tirap Colliery near Margherita
Open Cast Mining by Volvo Earth Movers at Tirap Opencast Colliery
The Historic Ledo Airstrip that was used as a landing ground for Aircrafts of the Western Allies
Welcome to the Legendary Oil Town of Assam at Digboi
The Entrance to the International Meditation Center at the Mounglang Khamti Buddhist Monestary at Monglang near Ledo in Assam
The Pangsau Pass or the Hell’s Pass and Indo Mynamar Border
The North East Coal fields is one of the primary industry at Margherita and its surrounding areas
Asia’s oldest Refinery – the Digboi refinery that has the oldest operational oil well in the World. Source: wowindia
View of the Landscape from the Tai Phake Ecotourism Camp
North East India is home to over 200 tribes. Each tribal community have their own distinct culture and traditions. They speak different languages, have different religious practices, wear clothes with distinct patterns and also have different ways of celebrating. These celebrations form a part of their festivals where these communities performs colorful dances, showcase their traditional cuisines and source of livelihood like their agrarian practices and their handlooms and handicrafts.
Rabhas are among the nine plan tribe and fourteen hill tribes of Assam. The Rabhas belong to the Indo-Mongoloid group of people and have similarities with other members of Bodo group such as Garos, Kachari, Mech, Koch, Hajong and others.
The traditional economy of the Rabhas in general, is based on agriculture, forest based activities and weaving. In the past, the Rabhas used to practice shifting cultivation. They continued to cultivate the land with Gogo or bill-hook. Later they took up the job of settled cultivation and started cultivation with plough. Besides cultivation, hunting was also an old practice of Rabha people. Weaving was a traditional occupation of the Rabha women.
Like in most tribal communities, dances and music play an important part in the lives of the Rabhas. After every ritual they perform various dances to ingratiate their deities. Most of the Rabha women can both sing and dance. Like most tribal dances, those of the Rabhas are connected to some daily agrarian activity. They have a unique dance form named “Nakchung Reni” to celebrate fishing in the forest rivulets. Rabha women of all ages take part in this dance whole-heartedly.
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East and be a part in Celebrating Indigenous people of the Legendary Tribes of North East India – the Rabha Tribe, Jagun and Chandubi Lake, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
The period of 1939 to 1945 was one of the darkest moments in the history of mankind. It was during this period the world witnessed the Second World War – a state of “total war” where the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. This war brought down the major super powers of the period into ashes. Japan was rocked with the mighty nuclear explosion of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and it was after the Second World War that the world realized the might of the Americans!
Though many movies have narrated the incidents of the Second World War and grossed millions at the Box office and many historic sites of the War have turned into places of tourist interest earning revenue to the locals, one such historic location has failed to draw the attention of the world over and thereby gradually lost its grandeur to the passing time. Our teams visit to this land narrated in this writing will try and recreate the moments of the history that this historic place has been witness to.
The British had realized the Economic potentials of the upper Brahmaputra Valley of Assam. When Assam first came under the British rule, it possessed four great assets, land, rivers, forests and minerals, all awaiting development. The British ensured that various skills were imported into Assam to harness the natural resources of the State and they brought in skills like tea making from China and others from Britain. In 1834, the Governor General set up a committee to explore the possibility of tea growing in India. It was found that the tea plant was indigenous to Assam, a discovery followed by the importation of tea makers from China, leading, eventually to the great Tea industry of Assam. This marked the beginning of the rapid industrialization of the State. The British were successful in discovering crude oil and vast coal reserves in Assam that prompted them to establish the Asia’s first oil refinery at Digboi in Assam and introduce underground coal mining at Namdang. The timber reserves added to the national treasury and one of Asia’s oldest Plywood manufacturing facility was set up at Margherita. Although the river route provided an efficient means of transportation, the British laid the tracks for an extensive rain route to run across Assam to enable quick transportation of these Natural resources that had value equivalent to Gold during the time of rapid industrialization.
Apart from these vast natural reserves, the British in collaboration with the Allied Forces realized the boon of the Upper Brahmaputra valley during the World War II during the Japanese blockade of the Burma Road that prompted the Western Allies to build the ‘Stilwell Road’ aka the ‘Ledo Road’ so that they could supply the Chinese as an alternative to the Burma Road. Built under the able guidance of American General Vinegar Joe Stilwell with an army of 15,000 American Soldiers and 35,000 locals, this road having a stretch of over 1079 miles (from Ledo in India to Kunming in China) was completed within 2 years under the most treacherous conditions and this is what makes this road “an Epitome of an American Engineering Marvel”. Although, there was a flip side to this feat as more than 1100 American soldiers and many more locals had to lose their lives in the construction of the Western Allies march to crush the Japanese.
The Historic Lekhapani Railway Station marks the beginning of the Stilwell Road in India which is also the eastern most Railway Station in India. The Lekhapani Railway Station played a pivotal road during the movement of the Allied Armed forces during the Japanese blockade in the World War II.
Also during the World War II the state of Assam, in India’s Eastern Command, was an operational area of the Burma Campaign. Ledo, was on the lines of communication, and a military hospital was established here. Ledo airstrip was an important 2nd World War operational theatre and took an important role to aid the alliance forces in China. The runway is still visible and in good condition.
The World War II might have brought down the will of the Germans and Japanese to be the might of the World but it to be mentioned that all wars lead to destruction of devastating proportion. The World War II too led to the same fate and millions of people were killed around the world that included the soldiers of the Army who laid down their lives to bring peace to the World. The bodies of these brave soldiers were laid to rest across various cemeteries through the World and one of such is the Digboi War Cemetery that was built and is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Located very near to the ‘Legendary Oil town of Assam’ – Digboi, this cemetery has about 200 burials mostly of British soldiers who laid their lives during World War II. And truly mentioned in one of the quotes of the cemetery – ‘These graves bear silent testimony to those soldiers, unlisted workers and labourers who ventured into Virgin jungle amid blistering heat and laid down their lives in the line of duty during the Second World War. Whilst part of all forces against the Imperial Japanese Army. THEIR NAME LIVETH FOREVER MORE’
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to Witness History and Relive the Memoirs of the World War II – the Historic Stilwell Road, the Ledo Airstrip, the Lekhapani Railway Station and the Digboi Cemetery, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
The tinsel town of Margherita is situated on the banks of the River Dehing, a tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra and is bordered by the evergreen mystique Patkai Range towards the eastern side. Since time immemorial this region is inhabited by both tribal and non tribal community living harmoniously with their unique cultural and traditional values.
The warm hospitality of the people and their mouth watering ethnic delicacies always offer a warm welcome to an outsider. The awesome landscape of this area painted with the lush green tea gardens along the road, the hillocks, the bountiful flora and fauna, the dark green forests, the streams, enchanting blue hills, flowing rivers, the mysterious clouds that bring rain to the valley, the rich bouquet of arts and cultures of the different community will never fail to beckon tourists to this beautiful area throughout the year. This valley has resources immersed in it that can enthrall an Ecotourist. It’s a futile attempt to narrate the beauty of Margherita in short because Margherita is a nature’s Paradise and one can certainly cherish the beauty of God’s creation in this heavenly abode.
Places of interest at/near Margherita are:
India’s only coal Museum at Margherita
The Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Heritage Park at Margherita
The Singpho Eco Tourist Lodge at Inthong Village
The Tea Gardens and Tea Factories at Margherita
The Legendary Oil town of Assam and Asia’s oldest Refinery at Digboi
The Stilwell Road at Ledo
Opencast Coal Mining at Tirap Colliery
Oldest operational Steam Locomotives at Tipong Colliery
The War Cemeteries of World War II at Digboi and Jairampur
The Ledo Airstrip Landing ground of World War II at Ledo
Indian Railway’s final frontier at Lekhapani
The Tribal Villages for ethnic cuisine and exclusive handicrafts and handlooms
The Lake of no Return at Jairampur
The Pansau Pass or the Hells Pass at Indo Myanmar Border
The Dibru Saikhowa National Park at Tinsukia
The Namdapha National Park at Arunachal Pradesh
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to visit the Coal Queen of Assam – Margherita, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
Perhaps the most interesting invention that powered the Industrial Revolution was the Steam Engine.
The 1775 invention by James Watt, the steam engine, began to be used in many industrial settings. Watt later formed an engine-building and engineering partnership with manufacturer Matthew Boulton. The partnership of Boulton & Watt became one of the most important businesses of the Industrial Revolution and served as a kind of creative technical center for much of the British economy. The partners solved technical problems and spread the solutions to other companies.
From being first deployed in mining, used to pump water from deep workings, steam engines found many uses in a variety of industries. The introduction of steam engines improved productivity and technology, and allowed the creation of smaller and better engines. After Richard Trevithick’s development of the high-pressure engine, transport-applications became possible, and steam engines found their way into boats, railways, farms and road vehicles. Steam engines are an example of how changes brought by industrialization led to even more changes in other areas.
Railways became an integral part of world transport during the early 1900’s and steam locomotives started being deployed to drive the Railway wagons. Not just for ferrying passengers, steam engines were used in a wide variety of industries. Coal Mining was one such industry. These steam locomotives were used to drive the coal tubs from the mining site to coal dump grounds. The British had deployed these engines across their colonies and the industrial output of these colonies started to grow exponentially.
Once such British colony famous for coal mining was at Makum Coalfields (now called Margherita) in Assam, India. The steam engines were deployed at these mining sites for transportation of coal. The Engines deployed here were built during the late 1800s and early 1900’s by renowned locomotive manufacturer from Stafford, England W. G. Bagnall. The likes of the locomotives includedJOHN (1924), SHELLY (1930), HASSANG (1897), DAVID and 796. Though these magnificent British marvels were built more than a 100 years ago, some of them are still operational at the Tipong Colliery, North Eastern Coalfields Ltd. (subsidiary of Coal India Ltd., under Ministry of Coal, Govt. of India) while the others have been put up on public display at India’s only Coal Museum at Margherita in Assam.
It’s truly said in one of the Billboard which you get to see when you enter the coal mining area “Industry runs of many ‘wheels’ and Coal is the prime mover.”
Jungleideaswelcomes to India’s North Eastto witness the British Marvels – Locomotives by W G Bagnell, Stafford, England – Coal Museum India, Margherita, the State of Assam, Incredible India!