Baruah Bhavan's History

A relic of the past

Baruah Bhavan Guest House has its own interesting history. Uzanbazar at the advent of the British rule had a few hillocks some of which are still in existence. The road west of the present bazaar called Naujan Road was a rivulet that flowed right from Khonamukh via Deepor Beel, Solabeel and Jurpukhuri. The Latasil field was a big pond and a godhuli (evening) bazaar orginally sprouted by its east bank in front of what now is film directors Nip Barua's and Brojen Barua's ancestral home. The market place near this pond became a nuisance with drunken brawls every evening. This became unacceptable and so the bazaar was shifted to its present location. By 1898 the pond at Latasil was filled up by cutting the northern and western portions of what was known as Fatik Chandra Barua's and Manik Chandra Barua's tilla (hillock). This flat northern portion of the hillock is where Baruah Bhavan is located and in the past it has served as the tea factory of Manik Chandra Barua's tea garden. Manik Chandra was Fatik Chandra's younger brother. He had no sons but two daughters. His elder daughter was married to Kaliram Barua, Mauzadar (tax collector of a teritory) of Palasbari, who inherited half of Manik Chandra's extensive property in Guwahati. Both Dr. Birinchi Kumar Barua's elder brothers Dr. Lalit Kumar Barua and Sushil Kumar Barooah married Kaliram Barua's daughters. This property in Uzanbazar, which at one time served as Manik Chandra's tea factory, was bought by Dr.Birinchi Kumar Barua in 1938 from his sister-in-law Kusum Barua, wife of Dr. Lalit Kumar Barua and mother of historian Dr. Nirode Kumar Barooah.

Whilst Dr. Birinchi Kumar Barua was living in the original wooden structure which was then over 100 years old, numerous luminaries stayed here. They included the erstwhile Congress Party President, Dev Kanta Barooah who was Dr. Birinchi Kumar Barua's first cousin, Suresh Rajkhowa, Hem Barua the eminent politician, Aswini Barkakoty of the Gauhati University, Jatin Duara the famous poet and many more. Dr. Birinchi Kumar Barua demolished the original wooden structure and constructed a modern cement concrete building in 1955. Thereafter many famous persons visited him at Baruah Bhavan. They included Central Ministers Humayun Kabir and Mainul Haque Choudhury, Chief Ministers of Assam Bimala Prasad Chaliha, Hiteswar Saikia, Atulya Ghosh of West Bengal, Assam State Ministers Debeswar Sarma, Omiya Kumar Das, Baidyanath Mukherjee and Ramesh Chandra Barooah who was Dr. Birinchi Kumar Barua's brother-in-law, to name a few. Famous renowed literary persons such as Ambikagiri Raichoudhury, Maheswar Neog, Satyen Sarma, Nirmal Prava Bordoloi, Prafulla Dutta Goswami, Prabhakar Machwe of Maharashtra and B.C.Pavate of Karnataka amongst others visited Dr. Birinchi Kumar Barua from time to time.

After Dr. Birinchi Kumar Barua's death in 1964, this property was inherited by his two sons, Raj Baruah and Manju Barua, who owns the famous wildlife resort in Kaziranga called "Wild Grass". Later in 2009 Manju Barua sold his share of the property to his elder brother Raj Baruah, who made extensive renovations of the building to transform it to its present state.

Original Wooden Structure(Over 100 years old)

Dr. Birinchi Kumar Barua

Dr. Birinchi Kumar Barua was a scholar, educationist, writer, historian, linguist, folklorist and a renowned man of letters of Assam. He studied in the Presidency College, Kolkata, where he was awarded the Ishan Scholarship in 1932, for having stood first in his BA examinations. He is the only Ishan Scholar from Assam, till date. Subsequently, he did his MA from the Presidency College, in Pali, in 1934 where he stood first class first. He did his Phd from the London University in 1941, wherein his thesis was a research on Assam's cultural heritage later published as "A Cultural History of Assam". He was mainly responsible for setting up of the Gauhati University at Jalukbari, Guwahati in 1955, where a large edifice was later built in his name - "Birinchi Kumar Barua Memorial-cum-Lecture Hall", which still remains. He was a member of the "Indian Film Censor Board" and was also a founder member of the "Indian Language Commission", constituted by the Govt. of India. He was the founder of the socio-cultural organisation, "Assam Academy for Cultural Relations", (which still flourishes), established mainly to forge harmony and unity amongst the various people of the North East, belonging to different, caste, creed, tribes etc. He was a visiting Professor of Indian folklore sponsored by the Rockfeller Foundation at the Indiana University, Bloomington, USA in 1963. He wrote many books in Assamese which were widely acclaimed and amongst them his novels, "Jeevanar Bataat" and "Seuji Pataar Kahini", (translated into several languages) are considered to be milestones of Assamese literature. He was the winner of the Sahitya Academy Award in 1964, for his book "Asomar Loka Sanskrit", awarded posthumously, in February 1965.

Modern Building(1975)

Raj Baruah

Raj Baruah did his schooling from St. Edmunds School, Shillong and later graduated from the Marine Engineering College, (DMET) Kolkata, in 1971. Thereafter, he joined Shipping Corporation of India Ltd. as a Junior Engineer and finally rose to the rank of Chief Engineer, on board foreign flag ships, sailing world wide. He served as Deputy Director (Marine) & Ship Surveyor, to the Govt. of Assam, from 1977 till 1979, where he was in-charge of the entire fleet of around 150 river vessels belonging to the Govt. of Assam, plying on the River Brahmaputra and also on the river way upto Kolkata, via Bangladesh waters. Later in 1983, he started his own shipbuilding yard on the banks of the River Brahmaputra, named "Eastern Engineers Endowment Pvt. Ltd.", where he built numerous river vessels, viz. barges, pontoons, LCTs, catamarans, ferries etc. for the Govt. of Assam, under the technical supervision of the Indian Register of Shipping, Mercantile Marine Department, etc. He was also involved in civil projects, having been engaged in the setting up of the "Numaligarh Refinery Limited" at Golaghat, Assam where he built numerous buildings, structures etc. from 1994 upto 2001, under the technical supervision of "Engineers India Ltd", New Delhi.

Renovated Building (2010)