A retired ‘traveller’ couple who love to be on wheels were spellbound to witness what the land of Ahom kings had to offer. Tina and Uwe Griesbach, who is on a world tour for over a decade had an impromptu stopover in Sivasagar.
The couple reached Assam’s island district Majuli to enjoy the traditional Raas festival that’s when they decided to visit historic Sivasagar, though it was not in their itinerary.
They were in Majuli and enjoying the traditional Raas festival when they came across information about the history and culture of Sivasagar. Curious to explore what may be in store they decided to drive down to Sivasagar, the proud capital of the erstwhile Ahom kingdom on November 17th, 2019 only to return awestruck.
During their visit to Pohugarh, the septuagenarian wanderer couple revealed that they have already covered over 150 countries driving across myriad terrains for over 6,20,000 kms since 2007. Uwe Griesbach was a civil engineer posted in Saudi Arabia where he bought his Toyota Land Cruiser exactly 25 years back.
Later when the couple embarked on their world tour, they modified the vehicle to their requirement which is now solar powered. The vehicle is equipped with a folding rooftop bed and other basic amenities like a refrigerator, a water purifier, a sink, a food processor among other things. The vehicle has been their constant companion across the globe in all kinds of terrains.
Tina particularly mentioned the magnificence of the Shiva Dol and Vishnu Dol which she found ‘very impressive’.
Uwe Griesbach especially praised the hospitality offered to them by the officials in particular and the common people in general. “Everything here is well managed and very tourist-friendly,” he said. ‘Particularly the presence and maintenance of clean toilets and drinking water facility’ was what also impressed Griesbach, which he admitted was missing at many places across the country.
The German tourist couple offered several suggestions to promote tourism in the district during an informal sitting with Sivasagar Deputy Commissioner MS Lakshmi Priya and a couple of other officials.
They requested the district administration to share information about various developments in the tourism sector from time to time which they would happily upload on their website.
They suggested that cultural projects can be taken up on a larger platform to increase visibility among global tourists. They also suggested to get information shared through travel magazines and sensitizing tour operators in order to rope in more domestic and foreign tourists.
They also assured they would strongly recommend other tourists across the globe to visit Sivasagar that speaks volumes of a glorious bygone era. They also lauded the initiative taken under ‘Soulful Sivasagar’ launched recently by the Deputy Commissioner.
The German couple also requested the Deputy Commissioner to take special measures to ensure that the archaeological monuments are preserved for posterity.
Priya also shared her ambitious plans to work for promoting tourism of the district. She said various schemes under tea tourism, silk tourism, river tourism, religious tourism, heritage tourism, eco-tourism are in the anvil to take Sivasagar to the global tourism map.