Agnigarh hill is situated in Tezpur in Assam. As per Hindu mythology, a fortress was built here by King Banasura with a view to isolate his daughter Usha. The legend further goes to say that the place derived the name owing to the fire that surrounded the fortress always to avoid movement in and out of the place. The word Agni means fire.
Agnigarh is one of the most important tourist destinations of Tezpur. A circular stairway leads to the peak of the hill and offers a good trekking option. In fact, people often come here for picnic or simply to enjoy the scenes and sights. There is a very famous legendary story behind this place. This renowned mythological place is connected with the romance of Prince Aniruddha and Princess Usha. Aniruddha was the grandson of Lord Krishna, whereas Usha was the daughter of Banasura, the famous Asura king and prime devotee of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Agnigarh is the very place where a fortress was built by the Asura king, to keep his daughter in isolation.
As the name suggests, Agnigarh (Agni meaning fire and Garh meaning fortress or wall) was surrounded by fire at all times, in order to prevent anyone from entering or exiting the fortress without permission. All these protection measures were done to prevent the union of the Usha and Aniruddha. The story goes that princess Usha was renowned for her beauty and charm and had a very talented painter, Chitralekha, for a friend. Once, while sleeping, the princess saw a very handsome man in her dreams and fell in love with him. Using her rare artistic skills, Chitralekha not only painted the picture of the prince, but also recognized him as Prince Aniruddha, grandson of Lord Krishna.
Chitralekha also spirited away the prince using her magical powers and secretly married him to Usha, under Gandharva rites. King Bana was not happy with this relationship and threw Aniruddha into a prison and built the fort at Agnigarh, to keep Usha from meeting him. On knowing this, Lord Krishna came to the rescue of Aniruddha. Not much time later, a very fierce battle ensued Between the Lord and the Asura king. In fact, it is believed that the battle between Lord Krishna and the Asura king was fought in this very place in Tezpur during the great Mahabharata War.
Presently, Agnigarh is a small hill facing the river Brahmaputra in the city of Tezpur. From the hilltop, the entire view of the river as well as the city can be viewed. Currently, the place has been developed as a beautiful park by the district administration, thereby preserving the sweet memory of the young lovers. It also has a series of sculptures depicting the mythology, apart from an open air stage, giant mushrooms and a huge water fall. The next time you are planning to visit Assam, be sure to include the hillock of Agnigarh in your list of must-visit places.