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Introduction:

Assam Travel GuideAssam......the rich, green land of rolling plains and dense forests is the gateway to the north eastern part of India. The mighty Brahmaputra river that has its origins in Tibet charts its majestic course through this state. This mystic land of eternal blue hills and beautiful rivers is renowned for its tea, rich flora and fauna, the world famous one horned rhinoceros and other rare species of wildlife on the verge of extinction. Barring Africa, there is perhaps no part of the world where such a variety of wildlife exists.

Speak of a land of wooded hills and vales with a wide river meandering through, of sprawling tea gardens, of enticing songs and dances, of fine silks, and you are already able to hazard a good enough guess.

Add to that, the one-horned rhinoceros, the oldest refinery in India, a people made all the more colourful by a sizeable population of tribals and one of the most venerated Sakti temples in the Country , and you know it is Assam --- the land of the Red River, the Brahmaputra, and the Blue Hills flanking it. Famed inhabitant of the Kaziranga National Park: The one-horned rhinoceros.

For Assam is identified no better than by its Bihu songs and dances, the Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary where the rare one-horned rhinoceros roams at will, silks such as paat and muga which rank amongst the finest in the world, the State's tea which finds its way to millions of homes all over the globe, and the Shrine of Kamakhya which draws thousands of devotees every year.

Places to See :

Kaziranga , Guwahati

History of Assam :

Assam Travel GuideAssam's history goes back to ancient times. The base of this history can be found in Tantric literature, Buddhist literature, Assamese folklore and Vedic literature. However, first mention of the state of Assam is found in the epics and the religious legends. The Aryans belonging to the priestly and warrior classes found their way into Assam in very early times. Various places mentioned in the epics, like Mahabharata etc. are now identified with sites in this state.

Assam People & Lifestyle :
Assam is a mini-India if not more. The human landscape is as colourful as her physiography. This land has been the meeting ground of diverse ethnic groups and cultural streams since time immemorial. Throughout history, people of different stocks have been migrating into this land and merged into a common harmonious whole in a process of assimilation and fraternisation not to be seen much elsewhere in India.

Assam Fairs & Festivals :

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.

Assam Art & Craft :

The people of Assam have traditionally been craftsmen from time immemorial. Though Assam is mostly known for its exquisite silks and the bamboo and cane products, several other crafts are also made here.

Wildlife in Assam :

Kaziranga National Park, The first and the oldest National Park in Assam situated in Golaghat District, is a World Heritage site. Spread over an area of 430 sq. kms., Kaziranga National Park is the natural home of the one-horned Indian rhinoceros. Declared a National Park in 1974 the landscape of Kaziranga is of sheer forest, tall elephant grass, rugged reeds, marshes and shallow pools.

Adventure in Assam :

Assam Travel GuideOne of the world's largest rivers, the Brahmaputra and it's tributaries flow through the state offering a wide network of rivers for various water sports. Angling, the river Jia Bhoroli, Kapili and Manas are the best places for angling. The Jia Bhoroli river is home to the fierce game fish, the Golden Mahseer, or tiger of the Himalayan rivers.

Assam Arts & Crafts
The people of Assam have traditionally been craftsmen from time immemorial. Though Assam is mostly known for its exquisite silks and the bamboo and cane products, several other crafts are also made here.

Cane and Bamboo :

Cane and bamboo have remained inseparable parts of life in Assam. They happen to be the two most commonly-used items in daily life, ranging from household implements to construction of dwelling houses to weaving accessories to musical instruments.

Metal Crafts :

Bell-metal and brass have been the most commonly used metals for the Assamese artisan. Traditional utensils and fancy artiicles designed by these artisans are found in every Assamese household. The Xorai and bota have in use for centuries, to offer betel-nut and paan while welcoming distinguished guests.

Handlooms :

Assam is the home of several types of silks, the most prominent and prestigious being muga, the golden silk exclusive only to this state. Muga apart, there is paat, as also eri, the latter being used in manufacture of warm clothes for winter.Of a naturally rich golden colour, muga is the finest of India's wild silks. It is produced only in Assam.

Toys :

Assam Travel GuideThe toys of Assam have been broadly classified clay toys, pith, wooden and bamboo toys, and cloth and cloth-and-mud toys. While the human figure, especially dolls, brides and grooms, is the most common theme of all kinds of toys, a variety of animals forms have also dominated the clay-toys scene of Assam.

Pottery :
Pottery is probably as old as human civilisation itself. in Assam, pottery can be traced back to many centuries.The Kumars and Hiras are two traditional potter communities of Assam and while the Kumars use the wheel to produce his pots, the Hiras are probably the only potters in the world who do not use the wheel at all.

Woodcraft :

Assam has always remained one of the most forest-covered states of the country, and the variety of wood and timber available here have formed a part of the people's culture and ecomony. An Assamese can identify the timber by touching it even in darkness, and can produce a series of items from it.

Masks :

With tribal art and folk elements form the base of Assamese culture, masks have found an important place in the cultural activities of the people. Masks have been widely used in folk theatres and bhaonas with the materials ranging from terracotta to pith to metal, bamboo and wood.

Jewellery :

Gold has always constituted the most-used metal for jewellery in Assam, while the use of silver and other metals too have been there for centuries. Gold was locally available, flowing down several Himalayan rivers, of which Subansiri is the most important.

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.

Majuli Festival :

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.

Elephant Festival :

For conservation and protection of Asiatic elephant a festival is organized every year at Kaziranga National Park jointly by the Forest Department

Brahmaputra Beach Festival :

The Assam Boat Racing & Rowing Association, Guwahati organizes Brahmaputra Beach Festival on sandy beach of the mighty river Brahmaputra.

Dehing Patkai Festival :

This festival in eastern Assam derives its name from the lofty Patkai range and the playful Dehing river. It is a heady cocktail of ethnic fairs, golfing, tea heritage tours,

Tea Festival :

Celebrated every year in Jorhat, this festival is all about tea, music and merriment. A world of festivity with traditional hospitality, jungle safaris, tea garden visits, golf, local cuisine, rafting in turbulent rivers.

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.

Rongali Utsav :

Come April, and for the numerous communities, tribes and sub-tribes inhabiting the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra it's time to welcome the onset of the agricultural season, a celebration of the vibrant springtime fertility cult. Bihu is the most important festival of Assam. It is celebrated with joy and abundance by all Assamese people irrespective of caste, creed, religion, faith and belief.

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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