How to get to the ant’s campus in Rowmari?
Rowmari is near Bongaigaon Town which is 170 km from Guwahati. Our closest railway station is New Bongaigaon Station and the closest airport is Guwahati Airport.
The ant’s campus is 7 km from the New Bongaigaon Railway Station, which is a major junction and every single train entering or leaving Assam stops at this station. It takes 3 – 3.5 hours by train from Guwahati and trains are available most times of the day or night. At New Bongaigaon Station, plenty of autos are available and usually, there will be autos who will recognise “NGO” and Rowmari and bring you to our campus. Shared autos are also available to Chapaguri and from there change another auto to Rowmari bazaar – 2 kms away.
By Road from Guwahati Airport
There is a very good highway which bypasses Goalpara Town from the Guwahati Airport to our campus. It is a 3.5 hours drive and taxis are available for hire from the airport and they charge around Rs.3500.
Frequently Asked Questions
- FAQs Which is the nearest airport to ‘the ant’ and how do I get to the campus?Guwahati is the nearest airport. ‘the ant ’ campus lies 180 kms west of Guwahati. We can arrange a car for you with our regular vendor. The cost of the airport pick-up will be approx. Rs. 3000/-.(at March 2018 rates). It will take about 3.5 hours by car to reach the campus.
How does one get to ‘the ant’ campus by train?Trains from anywhere in mainland India to Guwahati stop at the New Bongaigaon junction station, which is just 8 kms from ‘the ant’ campus. From the New Bongaigaon junction station, autos / cabs can be hired by asking them to take you to ‘the NGO’. They charge Rs. 200-300 depending on the time of the day/night.
Which is the best time to visit ‘the ant’?Mid-October to mid-April. The rains usually don’t stop until the 15th October, and before that they occasionally tend to be VERY HEAVY too and may hamper travel to the field. IT can get fairly cold and foggy in winters and summers can be very sultry.
Are any prior vaccinations / prophylaxis required?No. Even malaria prophylaxis is not necessary, as we haven’t seen a case now for many years on campus. However, as a precaution, it may be wise to consider a blood test for malaria if one gets fever within 2-3 months of returning.
What is the accommodation & food like?The rooms are small, with an attached bathroom and come with a bed along with a pillow and sheets. These photos are illustrative
Please carry your own toiletries. If you are used to a plush-pile towel, then that too. There is a dining hall on campus, which serves simple breakfast, lunch and dinner.
What are the charges for accommodation & food?We charge 6000 rupees to interns/ volunteers to take care of their food and stay for a month. Payment can be made by cheque or NEFT, once you are on campus
Any special formalities for foreign visitors including PIOs?‘the ant’ campus is located in a district with an international border with Bhutan. So for foreign passport holders, your arrival will have to be informed online and occasionally someone from the local police station may come down to check you out.
What are the languages spoken on campus?There are almost 30 to 40 people on campus. Most of the staff is local, and most of them are Bodos, one of the earliest tribes to have moved into the area. By and large you may be able to talk to people in Hindi, but few in the village would be able to speak back in the language. Languages spoken in the area are Bodo, Assamese, Bengali, Nepali, Rajbongshi, Santhali, etc. In case you can’t speak any of the earlier mentioned languages, we have 3 or 4 non-Assamese people and you can try their languages – Kashmiri, Cantonese, Lotha (Naga) and Tamil. And of course, some people do speak English!
What are the working hours?Monday – Saturday 9:00am – 5pm for office staff.
How many Indian rupees should I carry with me?That is up to you. There are many ATMs in town, about 5km away.
What books about Assam/North East you should I read before I visit?‘The Resurgent Northeast’ by BG Varghese is an all-time classic, and various books of Sanjoy Hazarika and the views of Patricia Mukhim can be read online.
Other essentials to be carried?Work clothes (Warm: December-February; Summer: March-October)
Shoes – sports type preferable
UV protection sunglasses
Insect Repellant or Bug Spray/lotion
Torch + batteries
Plug adaptor (for India)
Health care / medical kit – including insect repellent, sun cream, after bite sting relief, wipes, plasters, disposable surgical gloves, travel sickness tablets (if required)
On request, volunteers can be taken to local supermarket for basic amenities. A day time pharmacy is available in the local market 200 metres away.
Can I rent a car for personal trips?If our Bolero is free, you may hire it for Rs. 12 a km! Or else we put you in touch with the cab driver where you negotiate
Is Internet or WiFi available on campus? How are mobile services?Usually you can access Airtel carrier on campus both for mobile services and internet. Jio services may be available at places on the first and second floors in 2 buildings. However, in the field you can catch one or the other carrier on your phone – BSNL, Vodafone, Airtel and Jio.
Are their interesting places to see around?MAnas National Park is east of us and around one and a half hours away by car. You may see the occasional Rhino, Wild Buffalo and the Elephant besides some deer. Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary is southwest of us and an hour away by car. Gangs of the golden langur can be usually spotted easily at all times. A not so great Tea garden south of Bongaigaon may be visited. The mighty Brahmaputra river is around 40 minutes away to the south and can be crossed through the 3 km long Narnarayan Setu.
You may enter Bhutan by driving through the border town of Gelengphu one and half hours away but only Indian citizens are permitted on producing their Voter card or Passport (Driving License or Aadhar card is not considered proof of identity). Thimpu is another 4 to 6 hours of car ride further away.