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Discovery of an oldest & living Oil Refinery
Famous for holding the oldest oil refinery in the world, Digboi is a small town located in Assam. Part of Tinsukia District, this small town area committee has been an important tourist destination in north-eastern India. Established in the year 1901, the refinery of Digboi is the first oil plant in the country and is still functioning. It produces around 0.65 Million Metric Tonnes of oil every year. The oil fields and the Assam Oil Museum of Digboi attract most of the tourists in this area.
Founded during British rule, the refinery had a considerable number of English professionals. Who not only worked but also stayed in this region before independence. Digboi, therefore, was built with care to meet the needs of these British workers. The town boasts a well-designed infrastructure and several lavish bungalows unique to the Indian setting. In addition to that, there is Digboy Golf Course, excellent accommodation facilities in guest houses and tourist residential apartments constructed according to Italian architectural plan and all that beckon travellers from every part of the world.
Why is it called Digboi? Well, the story is pretty intriguing. It is said that in 1867, a big group of workers were busy laying railway tracks for the Assam Railway and Trading Co. Ltd. It was a dense forest where they had to work, where animals and birds were the only inhabitants. According to the tale, the forest had a soggy odour that combined with a heavy smell of something like oil. During this time, when work was in progress one day, they spotted some elephants coming out from the woods with oil traces on their feet and trail. Retracing the footprints of the flock, they reached a zone where they discovered oil seeping to the surface. And it was a Canadian engineer, Mr W L Lake, who cried out" 'Dig boy, dig' in excitement. And thus, the world found an oil refinery and the land its name.
Although fascinating, the story has few pieces of evidence in favour. So, many doubt its accuracy. Whether it is a fact remains a question. But there was a fuss, of course, that drew the attention of the authority to the region. And within 1889, a small oil refinery was established by the British Government. The Assam Oil Corporation was established in 1899, and the journey of Digboi, the gifted land, began. The refinery is also famous for being the first oil plant in Asia that started operating in 1901. Digboi played a significant role in the Second World War and served as an essential oil base producing 7000 barrels of oil every day. Digboi is one of those places considered hugely important during the British Raj in the country. The site somehow still bears the charm of the olden days. With colonial architecture, golf courses, and extravagant bungalows, the town boasts of exotic beauty. The key tourist attractions of Digboi include:

Activities in Digboi

Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary - Fed by the stunning Dehing River, the sanctuary on the Himalayan Range's foothills is a rare rainforest of India. The Dehing River is the sanctuary's perennial life source, and it lies on the bottom of Patkai Hill. Discovered by an NGO in the 1990s, the area has declared a sanctuary in 2004. Also a part of Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve, the wildlife sanctuary was not a renowned zone even a few years ago.MORE

Attractions in Digboi

  • The War Cemetery:

    The Second World War was a mega event for the entire planet, and it was a global military conflict. The war involved almost all the countries killing millions. Digboi was busy in a town during those days. Besides producing oil, it served as the critical operational zone for the Burmese Camp. A military hospital was established to treat the victims, and a refugee camp was there to protect the immigrants.

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  • The Oil Refinery:

    Established by the British, this refinery today is the headquarters of the Assam Oil Division of the Indian Oil Corporation produces distillates, sober ends and excellent quality wax besides. It has become a famous tourist spot in Assam. It is mostly referred to as an oil museum unfolding the history of industrial India with the oldest oil refinery in Asia.

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  • Golf Course:

    Surrounded by dense forests and gorgeous tea gardens, the golf course offers the most pleasant landscape of Digboi. This lovely 18-hole golf course is said to be the best golf course in the Upper Assam. National and International Tournaments are held every year with players and audiences from all over the country. The entire system stretched across a vast area of 6309 yards and is known to be one of the North East's biggest.

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You can reach the town easily as the place is well-connected via road, rail and air. Dibrugarh airport is just 65 Kilometres away from Digboi. And buses and trains ply regularly to and from Guwahati.

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