Friday, February 8, 2008

Fairs & Festivals to enjoy in Assam

------The Spirit of Bihu------

Bihu Husori

Brahmaputra Beach Festival: Celebrating a River of Joy

Baresahoriya Bhaowna Utsav

Assam is a land of fairs and festivals. Most of the festivals celebrated in Assam have their roots in the diverse faith and belief of her inhabitants, but a spirit of accommodation and togetherness characterizes the celebration of all festivals. The perfect fusion of heritage of her numerous races has made Assam the home of the most colorful festivals which are passionate, compelling and mesmerizing reflecting the true spirit, tradition and lifestlye of the people of Assam.


The Three Bihu's


Time : January, April, October.

The Festival

The Bihus are the national festivals of Assam. The most important festivals of Assam are the Bihus, celebrated with fun and abundance by all Assamese people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, faith and belief.

The Three Bihus of Assam

In a year there are three Bihu festivals in Assam - in the months of Bohaag (Baisakh, the middle of April), Maagh (the middle of January), and Kaati (Kartik, the middle of October). The Bihus have been celebrated in Assam since ancient times. Each Bihu coincides with a distinctive phase in the farming calendar. The most important and colourful of the three Bihu festival is the Spring festival "Bohag Bihu" or Rangali Bihu celebrated in the middle of April. This is also the beginning of the agricultural season.

The Bohaag Bihu or the Rongali Bihu or Rongali Utsav

As the month of April knocks the door of Assam, people (numerous tribes and sub-tribes) of Assam starts preparing for their one of the most entertaining festival - Rongali Utsav. Rongali Utsav of Assam is commemorated by numerous communities, tribes and sub-tribes inhabiting the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra. This is the time, when the tribes and sub-tribes of Assam come together to welcome the onset of the agricultural season, a celebration of the vibrant springtime fertility ceremony. The Bohaag Bihu marks the New Year at the advent of seeding time. Bohaag Bihu is also called the Rongaali Bihu or the Festival of Merriment.


The Rongali Utsav (festival)


Time : (The Spring Festival) 28th - 30th April.

Venue : Guwahati in Assam, India.

at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra

The festival is being organised by the Department of Tourism in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra. Rongali Utsav is an excellent platform for showcasing the different ethnic cultures of the State before a wider audience.

At this point of time the rich, unique and diverse cultural heritage of Assam is exhibited to the outside world.

Assam has enough materials for attracting tourists to the world over. The programmes of the Rongali Festival of Assam includes a husori which was followed by a mukoli bihu, and songs and dances of different ethnic tribes. Another attraction of the Rongali Utsav is the Ahar mela ¬ where one can have a taste of various delicacies from different parts of the country. There are programmes featuring folk songs and dances and some ethnic songs and dances. The cultural function also presents variety of cultural items including modern songs.

The Activities

The merriments include dances along with the enthralling beats of Dhol and Pepa (buffalo hornpipe). Songs sung during the Bihu festival are woven around themes of love and most of the time carry erotic overtones. People wear traditional attires like Dhoti, Gamocha and Chadar, Mekhala.

You can relish the Bihu dances, performed by young boys and girls featuring brisk stepping, flinging and flipping of hands and swaying of hips, representing youthful passion, reproductive urge and 'Joie-de-vivre'. Tribal groups like the Misings the Deoris and the Morans celebrate "Bihu" with dances of their own distinctive style.


The Magh Bihu or the Bhogali Bihu


The Magh or the Bhogali Bihu, the harvesting festival is celebrated in January by community feast, buffalo fight and such other entertainment. The Maagh Bihu marks the end of the harvesting period. Maagh Bihu is also called Bhogaali Bihu or the Festival of Food.

The Kati Bihu to the Kongaali Bihu

Compared to "Rongali" and Bhogali Bihu, "Kati Bihu" is a tame affair celebrated in the month of Kartika. the Kaati Bihu marks the completion of sowing and transplanting of paddies. Kaati Bihu is also called Kongaali Bihu or the Festival of the Poor.


Majuli Festival


Time : 21st - 24th November.

Venue : On the bank of river Luit which is located in a backdrop of immense scenic beauty. This is only 1.5 km of distance from the Garamur, i.e. sub divisional head quarter of Majuli.

The Festival

The Majuli Festival of Assam offers you a lot of scopes to make you a part of this festival. Special events are being organised during the festivals days round the clock. Cultural programmes takes place with the participation of various traditional and classical cultural troupes of Assam and troupes from rest of the country, in addition to rich cultural heritage of Majuli.

Exhibition are also organised with the presentation of various Assamese items, specially designed and prepared by expert artists displaying traditional glory of Majuli too. Assamese and tribal dishes of Majuli are also available and food festival is also organised during this period.

Experience The Majuli Festival

The Majuli festival of Assam includes a number of amazing combined activities covering various aspects of the life. Seminars are also being organised on multiple topics. Altogether, the festival makes you reach a desired destination for adventure and spiritual tourism.

The Majuli Festival Offers You

During the Majuli festival, a grand exhibition cum sale fair is organised, where every authentic traditional items, including tribal garment and handicrafts, traditional pottery items, valuable items made of bamboo and cane are being displayed for sale. You can also enjoy the visit to Majuli through bringing the souvenirs of the festival to home, buying different products from this fair. The accumulation and assimilation of all ethnic bodies under the same sky, holding their traditional cultural entities is a very noticeable aspect, that easily captivates the visitors to this island.

With the glorious past of 500 years of Satriya living cultural tradition, the rich and colourful tribal cultural elements and the natural beauty with a unique collection of flora and fauna; Majuli has the charisma to offer the tourists unfolding itself as paradise on the earth. You can also come across extinct species of various migratory birds in Majuli Assam, which creates a lovely environment of bird sanctuary.

Majuli in Assam has its environment still protected from pollution in all climatic conditions, making it an ideal destination for health tourism.

There will be a lot of scopes to fit yourself as a part of this festival . Special events are being organized during the festivals days round the clock. Cultural programmes will continue with the participation of various traditional and classical cultural troupes of Assam and troupes from rest of the country, in addition to rich cultural heritage of Majuli.

Journey to Majuli

Airport : The closest airport is also at Jorhat. There are daily flights to Jorhat from Guwahati, and four flights a week from Kolkata.

Railhead : The nearest train station is at Jorhat.

Road Transport : Jorhat is connected by road to Guwahati. ASTC and private-run buses leave early in the morning and in the evening. From Jorhat it is only 14 km to Neamati Ghat. You can take a bus or an auto.

Water way : Plane, train, car or bus, to actually get to Majuli you have to take a boat ride. There are regular government ferry services to Majuli every morning and afternoon from Neamati Ghat. Motorised private boats also carry passengers across.

Majuli can be reached by three main routes Jorhat Nimatighat from Jorhat. Dhokuakhana from Dhemaji and Luit-Khabolughat from North Lakhimpur. Besides these, there are many ghats with single machine boat from both banks of the Brahmaputra.

Staying at Majuli

Efforts are being made for setting up a temporary, but attractive tourist village with an authentic, traditional architecture at a suitable location on river side to accommodate visitors during the festival.


Elephant Festival


Time : 11th February - 17th February.

Venue : Kaziranga National Park in Assam, India.

The Festival

The north eastern state of Assam in India organises one of India's largest elephant festivals for the conservation and protection of Asiatic elephant. The Elepahant Festival of Assam draws a huge number of crowd in the north eastern state of Assam during this period. The gathering is aimed at increasing eco-tourism and raising awareness of the elephant's struggle for limited resources with man. The objective in holding the festival is to highlight and find ways to resolve the increasing man-elephant conflict.

Experience The Elephant Festival

The Elephant Festival of Assam is organised every year at Kaziranga National Park in Assam, jointly by the Forest Department and Tourism Department, Govt. of Assam. There are various activities by domestic elephants and various cultural programmes performed by the locales to make the event more & more entertaining.

The Elephant Festival Offers You

The Elephant Festival is a unique event held annually in Assam. The Elephants are groomed to perfection, row upon row of elephants catwalk before an enthralled audience. The elephants move gracefully in procession, run races, play games of various kind. It is a festival time for the elephants.

Journey to Kaziranga National Park in Assam

Airport : The nearest airport is situated at Guwahati, which is 217-km away from the park. The other airport is located at Jorhat, 96-km from Kaziranga.

Railhead : The nearest railhead is Furkating, situated 75-km away from Kaziranga National Park.

Road Tansport : The main gate for Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary, at Kohora on the NH-37, consists of a handful of cafes and a small local market. ASTC and private buses stop here on their way to and from Guwahati, Tezpur and Upper Assam. Some private buses also retain a seat quota for Kaziranga passengers.

Staying near Kaziranga National Park in Assam

Most of the accommodation available at the park is located along the NH 37, which runs along the southern border of the park. The main locations of accommodation facilities are at Kohora and Baguri. There is a variety of accommodation types to choose from which consist of Forest rest houses, Bungalows, Lodges and Hotels. Even though the number of rooms available is good, the demand is more than the supply and it is advisable to make your bookings well in advance to avoid last minute harassment.


Brahmaputra Festival


Time : Dates to be announced.

Venue : The Sandy Beaches of the mighty Brahmaputra in Guwahati, Assam India.

The Festival

The Brahmaputra Beach Festival of Assam is organised by the Assam Boat Racing & Rowing Association, Guwahati to encourage tourists to visit Assam. The festival is celebrated every year on the sandy beach of the mighty river Brahmaputra in association with Tourism Department, Govt. of Assam. The Brahmaputra Beach Festival of Assam presents various colourful cultural activities and adventure sports every year.

The Brahmaputra Beach Festival Offers You

There are fairs at the venue. The stalls at the venue displays and sell products bearing the signs of traditional craftsmanship. You can try your hand in various adventure sport activities, organised on the beaches of the Brahmaputra.

Journey to the Brahmaputra Beach Festival in Assam

Airport : Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati is well connected by air with New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. Indian Air Lines, Sahara And Jet Airways operate regular flights to Guwahati. The other towns to which these airways operate flights are Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, North Lakhimpur and Silchar. Air India operates direct flight between Guwahati and Bangkok on Mondays and Thursdays.

Railhead : The busy and overcrowded Paltan Bazar railway station is the nearest railhead for many trains from every part of India. There are direct train services from New Delhi and Kolkata with connectivity to Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram etc.

Road Transport : All India tourist permit vehicles are available for the local transportations and also for the inter city transportations too. Guwahati is connected by regular bus services with Shillong, Silchar, Dibrsugarh, Jorhat, Tezpur, Siliguri, Sibsagar, Dimapur, Kohima, Imphal, Aizawal, Itanagar, Barpetta Road and Cooch Bihar.

Staying in Guwahati

Guwahati offers several private hotels ranging from luxury to budget-friendly ones. Fish is a major delicacy in Assam and one can savour mouthwatering curries in and around Paltan Bazar at cheap rates. There are excellent accommodation facilities in and around Guwahati in Assam.


Dehing Patkai Festival


Time : 16th - 19th January.

Venue : Lekhapani in Assam, India. Lekhapani, the festival site is situated at a distance of 70 Kms. From Tinsukia Town and connected by motorable road via NH 38.

The Festival

Dehing Tea Patkai Festival held in eastern Assam named after the lofty Patkai range and the playful Dehing river. It is a exhilarating cocktail of ethnic fairs, golfing, tea heritage tours, adventures sports, wildlife excursion and down-memory-lane trips to World War II cemeteries and the Stilwell Road, once the passage to the golden land of Myanmar. It is organised in the month of January every year.

Experience Dehing Patkai Festival

The Dehing Tea Patkai Festival Offers You

The enchanting beauty and variegated history of the North eastern part of India prompted the Government of Assam to organise the Dehing Tea Patkai Festival at Lekhapani, in the month of January every year. Assam's eastern most district Tinsukia provide the visitor with unlimited opportunities for fun and feasting.

You can go on an elephant safari and take the trail into the wilderness or drive up the Stilwell road that once was the passage to the Golden land of Myanmar. You can also visit the World War II War Cemetery.

The Dehing Tea Patkai Festival organises Craft Mela, Food Festival, Cultural Programme for the visitors. The festival offers wide range of adventure sports on the banks and the scattered islands of the mejestic Brahmaputra which includes parasailing, angling & kayaking and water sports in the river Brahmaputra. You can also visit the Tea gardens and the Digboi oil field and lots more to fit into this place.

Journey to the Dehing Tea Patkai Festival (Assam)

Airport : Shahara flies daily from Delhi to Dibrugarh. Indian Airlines flies from Kolkata to Dibrugarh on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. From Dibrugarh it is 40 minutes journey to Tinsukia by road.

Railhead : Tinsukia town is well connected by Broad gauge Railway. All Important trains viz. Rajdhani Express (twice a week), Brahmaputra Mail (daily), Kamrup Express (daily), Inter-city Express (daily) runs to and fro. The New Tinsukia Railway station is located in the Tinsukia town.

Road Transport : The NH 37 connects Tinsukia with rest of the country. There is regular Day & Night Delux Bus services from Guwahati to Tinsukia.

Staying in Lekhapani (Assam)

Accommodation of moderate quality is available here to provide ultimate satisfaction to the tourist from all over the world.


Baresahoriya Bhaowna Utsav


Baresahoriya Bhaowna Utsav is a more than 200 year old assamese traditional drama festival where several drama(bhaowna) groups perform simultaneously at the same place on adjacent stages created with traditional materials like bamboo & straws.


Tea Festival


Time : November every year. (may change).

Venue : Jorhat in Assam, India.

The Festival

The Assam Tea festival organised by Assam Tourism take place in the month of November every year. It is a unique experience being at the festival. The Tea Festival of Assam offers holidays combining visits to Tea Gardens, Golf and River Cruises. While you are on a visit to Assam on the occasion of the Tea Festival, "Guwahati Tea Auction Center" (GTAC) in Guwahati, the largest in India is a worth a visit.

This unique festival is celebrated every year in Jorhat. The festival is all about tea, music and merriment. You are served with various flavours of tea just under the same roof. Assam is the largest producer of Tea.

The Tea Festival Offers

The Tea Festival is a harmonious blend of business and pleasure. You have the opportunity to meet the warm hearted people of Assam and relish Assam's beauty and cultural diversity. Assam is there to welcome you to the world of entertainment with traditional hospitality, jungle safaris, tea garden visits, golf, local cuisine, shopping, angling, rafting in turbulent rivers and cultural extravaganza.

Journey to the Tea Festival of Assam

Airport : Jorhat is well connected by air, with daily flights from Guwahati, and four flights a week from Calcutta.

Railhead : The nearest railhead is Jorhat. Public Transport (by luxury bus) is cheap and comfortable.

Road Transport : From Guwahati, Jorhat is a seven-hour bus ride. Buses leave early mornings and at nights.

Staying in Jorhat

Jorhat posses well defined accommodation designed for the every tourists coming to Jorhat in Assam. The accommodation are comfortably made with proper facilities.


Ambubashi Mela :


Is the most important festival of Kamakhya temple of Guwahati and is held every year during monsoon (mid-June). It is a ritual of austerities celebrated with 'Tantric rites'. It is a common belief that the reigning diety, 'Kamakhya' , 'The Mother Shakti' goes through her annual cycle of menstruation during this period.


Jonbeel Mela :


This spectacular fair(mela) is held every year during winter at Jonbeel of Jagiroad, a lesser known township only 32 kms from Guwahati. A few days before the mela, tribes like the Tiwas, Karbis, Khasis, Jaintias from the Meghalaya hills come down with their various products for this mela.


Baishagu :


Famous for its myriad colours and merriment, 'Baishagu' is generally celebrated by the Bodo Kacharis during mid April. It is the most cherished festival of the Bodo tribe. The Bodos also celebrate it as a springtime festival at the advent of the new year.


Bohaggiyo Bishu :


This is the most fascinating spring festival of the Deoris of Assam, one of the four divisions of the Chutiyas, who are believed to have been members of the great Boro race. The term 'Bishu' might have originated from the Chutiya word 'Bishu'.


Rajini Gabra & Harni Gabra :


The annual festival of the colourful Dimasa tribe. It is exclusively a socio-religious festival which is generally observed before starting a new cultivation. Rajini Gabra is celebrated during day time.


Rongker and Chomangkan :


Rongker and Chomangkan are the two most important festivals of the Karbis, an indeginous tribe of Karbi Anglong. Rongker is basically a springtime festival of merriment and is performed at the beginning of the New year.


Ali-Ai-Ligang :


Ali-Ai-Ligang, the spring festival of the Mishing Tribe is the most colourful festival held every year on the first Wednesday (Ligange lange) of the month of 'Ginmur Polo' (February-March). 'Ali' means root, seed; 'Ai' means fruit and 'Ligang' means sow.


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