Friday, June 21, 2024

Fairs and Festivals of Assam


The fairs in Assam are generally associated with religious functions in temples the most celebrated of which is in the temple of Kamakhya on the Niluchal hill near Guwahati. A great fair takes place in the precincts of the temple on the Ambubachi days in June-July, when thousands of people visit the temple from all parts of India.

Sualkuchi Fair

On the Asokastami day in March-April fairs are held at various places. The most spectacular being those at Sualkuchi and Silghat. Sualkuchi is located 32km away from Guwahati on the northern bank of the river Brahmaputra. Often known as the Manchester of the East, it is one of world's largest silk weaving villages. Sualkuchi is famed for its 'muga' silk, i.e the natural golden silk (not dyed) of Assam which is not produced anywhere else in the world. Other varieties like 'Endi' or 'tassar' and pat silks are also woven here.

Daranga Mela

Of the secular fairs unconnected with any temple or religious festival is the Daranga mela. It is in fact a big bazaar held annually for about a month, held about thirty miles from Rangiya in northern Kamarupa. From the start of autumn till spring is over, dried-up Daranga becomes an international trade centre. Bhutanese who used to come down for this fair take their agricultural produce like oranges, Kasturi, butter, cloth, cattle, horses, and dogs. They take back kerosene, coconut-oil, salt, yarn, utensils etc. The Bhutanese through this fair have established friendly contact with the local people. 

Large fairs are held in connection with Shivaratri at Umananda of Guwahati, Mahabhairav, Singeri, Viswanath and Nagsakar temples of the Tezpur  sub-division and Siva Dol of Sibsagar town.