Tourism in DigboiKnown as the oil city of Assam Digboi is a town situated in the Tinsukia district of Assam. Digboi has the distinction of being one of the oldest oil producing towns in the world. The first oil well in India was drilled in Digboi. Therefore the name Digboi is associated with oil.
Tourist Spots in DigboiDigboi, the oil city of Assam boasts of largest oil fields and also a varied area of tourism. There had been a large numbers of Britishers who had worked in the oil fields in Digboi. Therefore, the place has influence of British in the form of bungalows, golf course and guest houses in Digboi that portray the lifestyle of foreigners and also serve as good places for tourists. The oil fields are not only oil refineries but also serve as tourism sites. The important tourist places in Digboi are the following:
Digboi Oil RefineryCrude oil was discovered in Digboi in the 19th century. Digboi Refinery, a division of Indian Oil Corporation is the headquarter of Assam Oil Division of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.
In 1901 the Digboi Oil Refinery was commissioned. During the Second World War Digboi oil field used to produce 7,000 barrels of crude oil per day. However, production started decreasing after the war. In 1939 there was a major labour union strike in the refinery. The British took harsh steps against the labourers. However, despite its ups and downs, Digboi Oil Refinery is third largest revenue earner in Assam.
In 1989, the department of posts came out with a stamp commemorating 100 years of Digboi oil fields.
In the course of time the Digboi oil refinery took multiple steps to revise the refinery. The Wax Hydro-finishing unit and the Solvent Dewaxing Unit etc were the steps undertaken to revamp the industry.
Over 1,000 wells have been drilled at Digboi. The current production of oil from the oil fields is 240 barrels per day. Digboi Refinery is the oldest refinery in the world.
Oil History of DigboiThe name Digboi has a connotation associated with it. It is said that "Dig, boy, dig!” is the expression of an Englishmen from where the name Digboi comes.
In the year 1867 a large group of men were engaged in laying railway tracks from Dibrugarh to Margherita for the Assam Railways trading Company. It was dense forest where they had to work. They used elephants for the purpose. The engineers one day saw some elephants whose legs were stained with oil. While seeing that engineer W L Lake shouted “Dig, boy, dig” out of excitement. They could also smell oil from the elephant’s legs. While searching they discovered oil on the surface. Mr Lake advised the company to drill oil well in the region. From then and there the history of oil started.
Before the discovery of oil, the area had been a place of dense forest. However, after oil was discovered and oil wells drilled the region developed. A new history was in the process of taking shape with the development of oil, one of the major components of livelihood of people. Seven years after the world’s first oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859 oil was discovered and drilling started in India.
In 1886 the first oil drilling programme stated in India. Assam Railways and Trading Company at Nahorpong about 48 km from Digboi started drilling oil wells. The Assam Oil Company was formed in 1889 and took over the work from it.
Digboi War CemeteryDigboi War Cemetery is the burial place of the people killed in World War II. The cemetery is located at a distance of 1.5 km from the Indian Oil Centre, Digboi. The cemetery is a historical place.
The cemetery is of the Europeans deployed for joint operation with the Chinese and the Americans under General StillWell. The bodies of the Chinese soldiers are buried here. The bodies of the Americans and the Negros which were temporarily buried were sent back to their respective native places.
The cemetery was built and governed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Originally the cemetery stood on a spur, rising from the main road, but an earthquake in the place resulted in cracks. Due to landslide the cemetery was shifted to the present place. The cemetery has 200 burials of the World War II. The government of Shiang Kai used to send grant for the maintenance of the cemetery.
On every second Saturday of November a prayer ceremony is held in remembrance of the brave soldiers of the War. In the prayer meeting verses from the holy books of Bible, Quran, Gurugranth and Geeta are read out for the peace of the resting souls.
National Oil Park
The National Oil Park is an oil refinery. It is also a wildlife park and an oil museum. The Digboi oil well was discovered in 1889 which is the oldest in Asia. In the wildlife park elephants, Royal Bengal tiger and some species of birds can be seen.
Digboi Golf Course
Digboi has an 18-hole Golf Course. The Golf Course is situated among lush green tea estates and thick forests. The Golf Course was founded in 1888. The Golf Course stands over 6309 yards of land. It is bordered by the Dihing Forest Reserve. Mountains of Arunachal Pradesh could be seen from one side of the golf course. All important tournaments are held in this golf course. It is considered the best in the entire Upper Assam. There are 8 other and 9 hole golf course with tea estates. The Indian Oil Corporation of Digboi looks after the golf course.
Ridge point is a hill point near Digboi town. The snow covered mountains of the Eastern Himalayas could be seen from the Ridge Point. A bird’s eye view of the town of Digboi could also be seen from the Ridge Point. Tourists can plan a visit to Dibru Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary rich for grassland and dense forest, Namdapha National Park etc.
Transport in DigboiDigboi is connected well with the rest of Assam. the various modes are:
Dibrugarh is the nearest airport to Digboi. Dibrugarh is 65 km from Digboi.
Tinsukia is the nearest railway junction to Digboi. The place is connected by regular trains from Guwahati.
Digboi has a proper road network also. NH-38 runs through Digboi. There are buses that run on regular basis to and from Guwahati.
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