Mishing Tribe of Assam, Tribal Festivals of Assam, Tribes and festivals of North East India, Apong local wine assam, Mishing Handicrafts, mishing Handlooms, Mishing Tribe of Majuli Island in Assam

Celebrating the Greatest Boon to Human Civilization ‘Agriculture’ – The ‘Ali Ai Ligang’ Festival of the Mishing Tribes, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

How would you feel if we tell you – “Bid Goodbye to the city hustle bustle and come lets seek a life by the Banks of one of the greatest Rivers in the World – the Mighty Brahmaputra. Lets spend our days fishing on the fresh waters of the Brahmaputra, practice the lost art of Pottery and Mask making, indulge in Organic Farming, weave out Exquisite Handicrafts of Bamboo and Cane and spend our evenings savoring freshly brewed fine local wine and Barbecued delicacies of meat and fish.” To some this piece of advice may seem to be one of the craziest in the World whereas to some it may seem like an endless pleasure to seek the utmost solace in their life. To tell the truth, this is the actual life of the Mishing Tribal people who inhabit one of the most pristine and breathtaking location in the World – the World’s Largest Inhabited River Island of Majuli surrounded by the magical waters of the River Brahmaputra. The traditional Mishing people of Assam are mostly farmers by profession and to thank the Almighty for a seasoned crop every year they celebrate the festival of ‘Ali Ai Ligang’ in February at Majuli in Assam.

The name of the festival ‘Ali Ai Ligang’ is made up of three terms, ‘Ali’, legumes, ‘Aye’, seed and ‘Ligang’, to sow summing up to add to each and every aspect of the practice of farming. The majorly cultivated crops by the Mishings are Paddy, Potatoes, Chilies, Sweet Gourd, Bitter Gourd, Brinjal, Sunflower, etc.

The festival begins on ‘Ligange lange’, the first Wednesday of ‘Gimur Polo’, which occurs in February in the Gregorian calendar or on Wednesday of the month of Fagun of the Assamese calendar and in the month of February in English calendar which lasts for five days. On the first day, the head of every household in the early mornings leave offerings to the Gods in the form of fruits at certain places in their fields. Every Mishing household organizes for a huge feast in the evening. The major attractions of this feast are locally brewed wine ‘Apong’, dishes cooked from fishes and pork and a special rice that cooked by wrapping it around leaves of the a special plant. Each household also make a separate offerings to their ancestors to seek their blessings. In the evenings the Mishing youth travel across the village and indulge in the household feasting.

In this festival a popular dance is performed by the young Mising people which is known as ‘Gumrag’. The formal dance of the festival starts from the easternmost house of the village and in the end it extending towards the field and the river. This dance is performed by encircling the courtyard of the house of the villagers. The songs of Ali-Aye-Ligang do not remain restricted to the songs of youth alone. The subjects and themes of the songs are varied. They include the life of a man, his sufferings in this life and his death. Apart from them, the songs describe the matters of individual love and affection including joy and pain. Mainly the songs of the festival speak of the various experiences of the Misings in their day to day life. The Music composed for these festivals consists of instruments like the drums, sifung (flutes), cymbal, gong and gungang (gagana).

The last day of festival called as ‘Lilen’ is observed with a grand community feast. During this festival, Mishings indulge in great banquet with the ‘Poro Apong’ or ‘Nogin Apong’ (homemade Rice wine) with various dishes, especially made with pork meat. ‘Purang Apin’ (packed boiled rice) is cooked in water with special leaves. This is a special dish prepared by Misings which is cooked only during Ali Aye Ligang.

Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to indulge in the festivities of Celebrating the Greatest Boon to Human Civilization ‘Agriculture’ – The ‘Ali Ai Ligang’ Festival of the Mishing Tribes, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: History of Sivasagar and Majuli

 Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: History of Sivasagar and Majuli

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Festivals of North East India, Tribes and Festivals of North East India, Meghalaya Traditional Festivals, Tribes and their culture of North East India

Indigenous Festivals of North East India and their relevance to traditional Agrarian Practices – the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, Incredible India!

Most of the traditional festivals of North East India have close connection with agriculture as the people are mainly agriculturists. Farmers here practice two forms of agriculture: ‘Jhum’ cultivation (shifting cultivation) and Wet cultivation. As these agrarian practices are mostly dependent on sun and rain, a good shower and subsequent sunshine are very much necessary for a good harvest. And as per the religious traditions, the farming community believe in appeasing God to seek blessings for an excellent harvest. That’s the reason that these farmers either at their individual capacity or at a community level perform certain festivals twice a year – one at the beginning of the cultivation and the other at the time of harvest. These festivals call for  time of merry making where arrangements range from food, music, traditional liquor, dances, community festivals and much more. For many years these celebrations were within a closed community but since the recent time visitors are warmly welcomed into these celebrations where they get to experience the rich and varied culture and traditions of the people of North East India.

All the North Eastern States of India have mainly two type of population: Tribal and non-Tribal. Similarly, in the early days, the people followed two different religions: Hinduism and Naturalism. The population of the people practicing Naturalism were converted to Islam and Christianity during the rule of the Mughals and British in India. The celebrations now have two aspects: one where people perform the traditional rites and rituals as per their religion and the other that forms the part of merry making where they eat, sing and dance without ignoring the religious aspect of each of these festivals.

In the State of Arunachal Pradesh, the Monpas and Sherdukpens of Tawang and West Kameng are the followers of Buddhism. The festival of religious importance to these tribal communities is the Losar, the festival of the Tibetian  New Year, that is celebrated on a grand scale in the Second Largest Buddhist Monastery in the World at Tawang. The tribes of Adis, Aptanis, Bangnis, Nishis, Mishimis, Tangsas, etc. worship the Sun (Donyi-Polo) and the Moon (Abo-Tani). Similiarly the Noctes and Wanchos of the Tirap district and adjoining areas of Nagaland practice Vaishnavism. These religious festivals are celebrated on a Grand scale for thanking the Gods for their providence and Bumper crops. The festivities continue throughout the year with each tribal community celebrating at different months. Animal sacrifices, dancing and singing in accordance with their traditional form accompany each of these festivals.

Festival of Assam and North East India, Buddhist Temple and Monastery of Assam, Homestay and Cottages in Assam, Tribes of Assam and North East India, Sustainable Tourism in Assam
The Losar Festival at the Tawang Second Largest Buddhist Monastery of the Monpa Buddhist People of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh

The State of Meghalaya is predominated by tribal people with a majority of the population practicing Christianity as their religion. The major tribes i.e. the Khasis, the Jaintiyas and the Garos were originally matriarchal but now matrilineal. Their festivals still have many aspects of their traditional life. The Garos have their traditional harvest festival Wangala. The Khasis celebrate Shad Suk Mynsiem and Ka Pamblang Nongkrem. The Jaintiyas have their traditional festival of Ka Chad Chiphiah and Ka Behdeikhlam.

Festivals of North East India, Tribes and Festivals of North East India, Meghalaya Traditional Festivals, Tribes and their culture of North East India
The Wangala Festival of the Garos in Meghalya. Source: nelive.in

In the State of Nagaland, the various Naga Tribes, who now practice Christianity as their religion, still have most of their old festivals observed in accordance to the traditions of each tribe. They are very rich in their traditional dance, music and dress which are still maintained in their festivals. Of course, the religious rites and rituals have been presently changed due to their adoption of Christianity. The Nagas are generally known to have strong national feelings for which they have not given up their traditional behaviors and customs. The festivals like Sekernyi of the Angamis, Moatsu of the Aos, Aoing of the Kanyaks, Tulini of the Semas, Manyu of the Phoms, Amongmong of the Sangtam are principal traditional festivals have close connection with the traditional customs and folk beliefs. Here in Nagaland too, animal sacrifice, drinking and dancing form an integral part of their festivities.

Moatsu-Mon-Festival (1)
The Moatsu Mong Festival of The Ao Tribes of Nagaland. Source: nelive.in

The State of Assam (the Gateway to North East India) also celebrates many festivals in accordance to their traditional practices and beliefs. The most important festival of Assam is the Bihu, which is observed during harvesting once at the beginning of cultivation in the spring season and another during the growth of crops. The festivities at the Bihu are well connected with the festivals reflecting the link with agriculture. The Tribal People perform rites as per their system of nature Gods and Goddesses like the Sun, Moon, Rain, Water, etc. The Non-Tribals perform such religious rites and rituals relating to the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The social part of each of these festivals is related with merry-making like singing, dancing and eating. The festivals of Assam have an impact from the practices of Vaishnavism,  Saktism and Tantraism.

Bihu celebration in Assam
The Colorful Bihu Dance (Dance of the Golden Silk) is performed during the festival of Bihu in Assam. Image Credits: RITU RAJ KONWAR

For more details on the Indigenous Festivals of North East India and their relevance to traditional Agrarian Practices please visit: Jungleideas

Reference: Souvenior Kamrupa Anusandhana Samiti (2012)

Festivals of North East India, Assam Tourism, Ecotourism in Assam, Margherita Coal Museum, Digboi Oil Museum

The Celebration of Triumph of Good over Evil – the ‘Durga Puja’ and its centenary celebrations at the India Club in the heart of the Coal Queen of Assam, Margherita, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

The Assam Railways and Trading Company Ltd., a pioneer in coal mining business in the North Eastern Region of India, initiated their business interests in this remote corner of the Country sometime during 1881 and people from different parts of India assembled at Margherita, the ‘Coal Queen’ of Assam to serve this British Company who started operation in this locality for exploration of coal and other forest products and this gave birth to a heterogeneous society.

The society though consisting of a handful of population considered themselves as members of the same family.

Inspired by the idea of introducing Durga Puja at Margherita, a few enthusiastic employees of the AR&T Company started this Puja sometime in the year 1909 at a Mandap near the AR&T Company LP School which became the grounds of the present day India Club.

Late Aswini Kumar Deb Roy who was one of the most influential personalities of that time took the initiative and continued with the responsibility for years for the celebration of Durga Puja here with Brojolal Banerjee, Upendrananth Das Gupta, Bhupati Chakraborty, Srish Chandra Das, G K Baruah and others.

Availability of priests to perform the Puja was a problem faced by the organizers and this was eradicated by bringing Sarada Mukhopadhayya and Rakhal Bhattacharjee particularly for this purpose. Mukhopadhaya and Bhattacharjee were engaged from the very inception and after they left, Durgadas Bhattacharjee took the responsibility.

To add to the Grandeur of the Puja and to attract people, amusement in the form of Dance and Cinema were arranged. Staging of dramas by the members of the India Club for all the three (3) days was a highlight of this puja and this continued till the early seventies.

In front of the general office of the AR&T Company, another Puja used to be performed which later amalgamated with the Sarbajanin Durga Puja in 1946. To accommodate people of all sentiments of the practice of goat sacrifices was abolished. But prior to that goats upto a limit of even 300 used to be sacrificed each day.

This festival of the Durga Puja that was started back in 1909 by a group of enthusiastic devotees has since then only grown in stature. With the passage of time this Puja has come to symbolize the true spirit of oneness and brotherhood. Although its grandeur has reached sublime heights over the years the spirit and essence of this Puja have retained the flavors of its inception.

Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to witness the Celebration of Triumph of Good over Evil – the ‘Durga Puja’ and its centenary celebrations at the India Club in the heart of the Coal Queen of Assam, Margherita, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Relive the Grandeur of the British Raj

Festivals of North East India, Assam Tourism, Ecotourism in Assam, Margherita Coal Museum, Digboi Oil Museum
The Centenary Durga Puja Celebrations at the Coal Queen of Assam, Margherita
Festivals of North East India, Assam Tourism, Ecotourism in Assam, Margherita Coal Museum, Digboi Oil Museum
The Margherita India Club built in 1925 that hosts the Centenary Durga Puja Celebrations
Festivals of North East India, Assam Tourism, Ecotourism in Assam, Margherita Coal Museum, Digboi Oil Museum
The AR and T Company’s School established in 1938 that served host to the Durga Puja Celebrations

Indigenous Traditional Festivals of the Legendary Tribes of North East India, the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, Incredible India!

India’s North East is home to over 200 tribes. Each tribal community have their own distinct culture and traditions. They speak different languages, have different religious practices, wear clothes with distinct patterns and also have different ways of celebrating. These celebrations form a part of their festivals where these communities performs colorful dances, showcase their traditional cuisines and source of livelihood like their Agrarian practices and their practices of weaving Handlooms and crafting Handicrafts.

In addition to the traditional festivals like the ‘Hornbill Festival’ in Nagaland, the ‘Bihu Festival’ of Assam, the ‘Ambubachi Mela’ in Assam, the ‘Dree Festival’ in Arunachal Pradesh, the ‘Raas Leela’ in Assam, etc. there are other modern festivities that are unique to North East India of the likes of the ‘Ziro Festival of Music’ in Arunachal Pradesh, the ‘Brahmaputra Beach Festival’ in Assam, the ‘Shillong Autumn Festival’ in Meghalaya, etc. And many of these festivals being hosted throughout the year, the festivities in India’s ‘Paradise Unexplored’ cease to end!!

Jungleideas welcomes you to the visit India’s Paradise Unexplored – the North East India and be a part of the festivities that are celebrated to showcase the exotic cultures and rich traditions of the indigenous communities of this region.

Listed below are the important festivals of the region which are visited by tourists from around the world. Though the numbers of tourists frequenting are not many but with our current mission statement ‘to promote North East India to the world through its Tourism, Culture, Tribes, Wildlife & Handicrafts’ we look forward in increasing this number to a sizable amount strictly adhering to our principles of promoting conservation, preservation and creating sustainable Eco-tourism across the region.

1| The Hornbill Festival, Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, the State of Nagaland, India

India Hornbill Festival
The Hornbill Festival at Kohima in Nagaland. Image Source: yahoo.com

Every year during the 1st week of December the North East gathers to celebrate what is called the ‘festival of festivals’. Not very far away from Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, in a small picturesque heritage village of  Kisama you find a congregation of Tribes, Tradition and the Modern world. This ‘festival of festivals’ is better known as the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland – A week long festivity that is organised by the Government of Nagaland to encourage intertribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland – the ‘Switzerland of the East’.

The Hornbill festival is named after the bird species of the Indian Hornbill. The Indian Hornbill is the most admired bird species by the Naga people for its qualities of alertness and grandeur – a trait very similar to the ‘Naga Warrior Tribe’ who are known for their fierceness and their majestic attire. The Indian Hornbill is linked closely with the social and cultural life of the people of Nagaland which is displayed in folklore in most of the state’s tribes. The Naga people’s admiration for the bird is symbolically displayed on most of the traditional tribal headgears worn during festivals across Nagaland.

In the week long festivity at the Hornbill Festival one can experience the rich and diverse culture of Nagaland. The festival unites one and all in Nagaland and people from across North east India and around the globe. One can visit the Hornbill festival to enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies of Nagaland. In addition to the festivities you also get to see traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, sculptures which are on display. One of the highlights of the crafts put on display are the Naga beaded jewellery. These jewellery are home made by the ladies of Kohima and are sure to impress the female crowd at the festival from a distance.

Main events/highlights of the Hornbill Festival are:

  • Cultural events spread throughout the festival highlighting traditional dances, music, indigenous games
  • Port Fat Eating Contest
  • The Hornbill Rock Festival
  • North East Cultural Ensemble
  • King Chilly Eating Contest
  • Hornbill Adventure Rally
  • The Kohima Night Bazaar
  • World War Peace Rally

When: The month of December every year.

For your visit to the Hornbill Festival tell us: Jungleideas

2| The Jonbeel Mela – the Festival of Barter Trade, Morigaon, the State of Assam, India

junbil3
Barter Trade in Practice at the Jonbeel Mela in Assam

“Thou shall not pay you money for the goods I buy from you.” This statement is sure to scare the living daylights out of any person in the business of trading. But there is congregation of villagers in Assam’s Morigaon district who agree to the above statement.

Confused?! Well, this is the Jonbeel Mela – an annual festivity/occasion where a huge bazaar or ‘Mela’ is held. Tribes like Karbi, Khasi, Tiwa and Jayantia come down from the hills with their products and interchange their merchandise with the local people in a barter system. It is perhaps the only fair in India where barter system still exists at least for these three days.

Joonbeel Mela is a three-day community fair held the weekend of Magh Bihu at a historic place known as Dayang Belguri at Joonbeel. It is 5 km from Jagiroad in Morigaon district of Assam and 32 km from Guwahati. The Joonbeel (Joon and Beel are Assamese terms for the Moonand a wetland respectively) is so called because a large natural water body is shaped like a crescent moon.

This festival demonstrates the age old barter system in a very interesting way. The event starts off with Agni Puja where the locals pay homage to the ‘God of Fire’. After the puja, the locals get together to fish in the wetland which is called JonBeel. The visitors to the mela and the participating tribes engage in freewheeling exchange of commodities. Typically you will find families from the hills bringing in herbs, spices and exotic fruits which are found only in those places and then exchanging them with rice, fish preparations and pitha sweets as the latter cannot be found in the hills. The 3 day mela sees participation of over 1000 Tribes. It is a splendid example of communal harmony as all of them eat and laugh together ultimately behaving like a large and happy family.

If you visit Assam during January then don’t miss out on the Jonbeel Mela. If you are lucky you will get to see the cockfights, Asameese traditional dances and Fish exhibitions that are held during this time. This festival is a glorious representation of the age old barter system prevalent among the ancient tribes.

When: The month of January every year

For your visit to the Jonbeel Mela Festival tell us: Jungleideas

3| The Brahmaputra Beach Festival, Guwahati, the State of Assam, India

BBFestival
Festivities at the Brahmaputra Beach Festival. Image Source: nelive.in

The Festival of Bihu marks the end of the Harvest season in Assam and to celebrate this, people in Assam organize a festival that is marked by feasts and bonfires called Magh Bihu. Every year in the month of January young people erect makeshift huts, known as ‘Meji’ from bamboo, leaves and thatch in which they eat the food prepared for the feast and then burn the huts the next morning. This marks the onset of the festival of Magh Bihu and people indulge in games such as ‘tekeli bhonga (pot breaking) and buffalo fighting. At night family members get together around a bonfire and cook dinner and indulge in merry making. Attractions of this feast are the traditional sweets prepared across all Assamese households that include rice cakes known as ‘Shunga Pitha’, ‘Til Pitha’ and sweets of coconut called as ‘Laru’.

To mark the occasion of the Magh Bihu Festival, the Assam Boat Racing and Rowing association in collaboration with the Department of Assam Tourism organize the ‘Brahmaputra Beach Festival’ along the banks of the mighty River Brahmaputra in at Bharalumukh in Guwahati. This festival is a major draw for all sport enthusiasts across the North Eatst Region. A congregation of people gather to witness this one of a kind event which carries some of the joyous spirit of Magh Bihu and create and atmosphere of sportsmanship. One gets to savour traditional assamese cuisine and enjoy the tribal dance forms. The banks of the Brahmaputra are filled with small shops that showcase the locally made craft products and locally spun textiles. Various sporting events of the likes of like Beach cricket, Beach volleyball, water rafting, canoeing and wind surfing, ice skating, kayaking and Aero sports like ballooning, paragliding and hang gliding. Visitors and tourists can participate in these events and show their skills. Traditional games like elephant races, egg breaking and cock fighting are also held along with these modern and technically advanced games. Competitions like Sit and draw and kite flying are also held where children can take part. Exhibition of traditional craft is also a part of the festival.

When: The Month of January every year

For your visit to the Brahmaputra Beach Festival tell us: Jungleideas

4| The Losar Festival, Tawang, the State of Arunachal Pradesh, India

Losar.jpg
The Buddhist Monks at the Tawang Monastery during the Losar Festival. Image Source: nelive.in

The festival of Losar is celebrated in the beautiful and picturesque state of Arunachal Pradesh in India during the month of February. This is really a major extravaganza in the Tawang town of Arunachal as it signifies the start of a new year for Tibetans. The Town of Tawang is home to the second largest Buddhist Monestary in the World and is home to the Monpa Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. Belonging to the Mongoloid stock, the Monpas are mainly into agriculture and animal husbandry. It must also be mentioned that Losar is the most important festival of the Monpas in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh.

The Losar happens every year on the eleventh of February and the first day begins with the junior priests offering the Dharmapala obeisance. Commemorating the advent of the New Year, Losar is the occasion when the Monpas feast, drink and make merry. Relatives and friends get together and celebrate this festival in a very pompous manner. Indeed, the pomp and festivity that characterizes this festival is simply fascinating.

Before the advent of the Losar festival in Tawang people can be seen cleaning their homes and discarding all unused and old items. It is believed that by doing so one can usher in good health, peace and prosperity to the house

The streets are filled with Monpha tribal people wearing colourful clothes and wishing each other ‘Tashi Delek’. Offerings of roast buttered Barley is given to the deities and everybody prays for good harvest. The national leaders and country heroes are also honoured on the second day. On the third day the Dharmapala is honoured and red prayer flags are mounted on every house. This celebratory mood continues for as long as two weeks.

When: The month of February every year

For your visit to the Losar Festival tell us: Jungleideas

5| Rongali Bihu – the Assamese New Year, Guwahati, the State of Assam, India

Bihu celebration in Assam
The Rongali Bihu Festival of Assam. Image Source: Ritu Raj Konwar

The State of Assam is the central state in the North-East Region of India and serves as the gateway to North East India and is a jewel in the crown of the Seven Sister States. The land of red river, blue hills & lush green tea gardens, Assam comprises of three main geographical areas: the Brahmaputra Valley, the Barak Valley and the intervening Karbi Plateau and North Cachar Hills. Dispur is the capital of Assam and the largest city of the state is Guwahati, which is also one of the fastest growing cities of the world. Famous for its freshening world class tea, the Muga (Golden) and Eri (Ahimsa) silk, Natural resources like Coal, Petroleum products and minerals, Assam can truly be described as a state bestowed with breath-taking natural beauty, vast reserves of natural resources and a rich bio diversity. Assam is also home to the endangered one horned rhino species and Kaziranga National Park is home to two-third of this species in the world. The river Brahmaputra (the only male river in India) flow across the heart of the state and is a lifeline to the people of Assam just as Nile is to Egypt. The Brahmaputra River in Assam is also host to the World’s largest inhabited river island ‘Majuli’ and the World’s smallest inhabited river island ‘Umananda’. The second hottest pepper in the world, the ‘Bhut Jolokia’ is also native to Assam and is grown extensively by the village folks across the State.

The Rongali Bihu marks the agricultural New Year at the advent of seeding time and is celebrated as the Festival of merriment. Rongali Bihu is celebrated with greatest excitement as it marks the arrival of spring – the agricultural season. People of all faiths and creed celebrate Bohag Bihu by singing traditional Bihugeets and performing group folk dances. At the time of Rongali Bihu people welcome the spring season and pray for a bountiful and rich harvest. Bohag Bihu falls in the first month of the Assamese calendar called Bohag. This corresponds to mid-April according to English calendar year. Rongali Bihu normally starts from the 13th day of April. To celebrate the joyous Rongali Bihu festuival, people of Assam wear new and colourful clothes. People visit their neighbours, friends and relatives and distribute sweet as they greet each other a Happy Bihu. Many people also organize grand feasts in the house to celebrate the occasion. Traditional festive food of Bohag Bihu is the special cake known as the pitha.

Colourful rituals mark the first day of Rongali Bihu celebrated as ‘Goru Bihu’. This day is dedicated to the cattle and livestock. The rest of the weeklong celebrations of Bohag Bihu are known as ‘Manuh Bihu’. A mood of festivity and gaiety is seen throughout Assam during the seven days of Rongali Bihu.

When: The month of April every year

For your visit to the Rongali Bihu Festival tell us: Jungleideas

6| The Festival of Moatsu Mong, Mokokchung, the State of Nagaland, India

Moatsu-Mon-Festival (1)
The Moatsu Mong Festival of Nagaland. Image Source: nelive.in

Moatsu Mong is a festival that is celebrated by the Ao tribes in Nagaland. The Ao tribes are one of the oldest tribes inhabiting the State of Nagaland and their culture and tradition is very much different from the other tribes across the North East India.

The festival of Moatsu Mong is celebrated every year from 1st to 3rd May wherein the The Ao Tribe invoke the Almighty God’s blessings after finishing their diverse village activities such as construction and repair of houses, roads, marriage, sowing of seeds in the fields and cleaning of the village water ponds. Only after completion of all these manifold activities the celebration of Moatsu Mong takes place. This is one festival which is all about celebrating the sensual pleasures of drinking, feasting and dancing. Every year the festivities begin in Mokokochung district and all the wells are cleaned while locals prepare themselves to brew beer. Roast pig and spicy barley bread is made and all the tribal people join in cultural programs. While men present spectacular warrior style dances, the women sing of the bravery of their men. This festival demonstrates the richness and fierceness of the Naga tribes.

The State Government of Nagaland has identified Chuchuyimlang village as the Moatsu festival destination. From the year 2000, Moatsu celebration at Chuchuyimlang will feature as a National Event.Chuchuyimlang is situated 40 km away from Mokokchung on the NH-61 towards Amguri in Assam. An ethnic tourist village has been set up by the village community for tourists which is functional throughout the year. The festival at Chuchuyimlang is spectacular, as one can witness the participation of other tribes, the “Anchas”, in this event. This is a good festival to participate in if you are interested in local food and wine.

When: The Month of May every year

For your visit to the Moatsu Mong Festival tell us: Jungleideas

7. The Ambubachi Mela – ‘The Eastern Mahakumbh’, Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati, the State of Assam, India

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Tantric Sadhus at the Ambubachi Mela. Image Source: nelive.in

The Kamakhya is a Hindu temple dedicated to the mother goddess Kamakhya. It is one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas. Situated on the Nilachal Hill in western part of Guwahati city in the State of Assam, India, it is the main temple in a complex of individual temples dedicated to the ten Mahavidyas: Kali, Tara, Sodashi, Bhuvaneshwari,Bhairavi, Chhinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamala.  Among these, Tripurasundari, Matangi and Kamala reside inside the main temple whereas the other seven reside in individual temples. It is an important pilgrimage destination for people practicing Hinduism and especially for Tantric worshipers. (Wikipedia, 2015)

Kamakhya devi is famous as the bleeding goddess. The mythical womb and vagina of Shakti are supposedly installed in the ‘Garvagriha’ or sanctum of the temple. In the month of Ashaad (June), the goddess bleeds or menstruates. At this time, the Brahmaputra River near Kamakhya turns red. The temple then remains closed for 3 days and holy water is distributed among the devotees of Kamakhya devi. There is no scientific proof that the blood actually turns the river red. Some people say that the priests pour vermilion into the waters. But symbolically, menstruation is the symbol of a woman’s creativity and power to give birth. So, the deity and temple of Kamakhya celebrates this ‘shakti’ or power within every woman.

It is during these three days that the festival of Ambubachi Mela is celebrated with great pomp and show. The Ambubachi Mela is one of the prominent festivals of Assam and it is held in Guwahati. Kamakhya temple of Guwahati acts as the host of this event and this festival has also been fondly called the Eastern Mahakumbh. Legend holds it that Kamakhya Devi goes through her yearly menstrual cycle on the three days of this festival. Gates of the temple remain closed though devotees populate the temple in high numbers to seek the blessings of the Goddess. The Ambubachi Mela will hold special interest for you if you are interested in the occult or the tantric sciences.

When: The Month of June every year

For your visit to the Ambubachi Mela Festival tell us: Jungleideas

8| The Dree Festival, Ziro Valley, the State of Arunachal Pradesh, India

DRee 1
Aptani Tribal Women at the Dree Festival. Image Source: nelive.in

Situated at around 115 kms from the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar is the small town of Ziro. Even though this town is far atop the hills but people from across the world know Ziro as the place the hosts India’s largest outdoor Music Festival – ‘the Ziro Festival of Music’. Although this may suggest Ziro as a modern place where the parties and festivities cease to come to an end but it’s completely the other way around. Ziro is a quaint and silent place that is home to the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. It is only during September when the festival is held you see people from across the world coming to dance to the tunes of the renowned artists both local and global to an atmosphere very similar to ‘Sunburn Festival’ across the various Tier I cities of India!

The Dree Festival is an Apatani agricultural rite. It involves the sacrifice of fowls, eggs and animals to the gods – Tamu, Metii and Danyi Pilo (Sun and Moon God). The purpose of the festival is to appease these gods so that famine could be avoided. This rite is observed by the Apatanis in Arunachal Pradesh, The Apatanis, who inhabit a tranquil pine clad valley called Ziro at the core of Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh, are famous for their unique practice of wet rice cultivation. One would wonder as to how the early Apatanis had brilliantly discovered the magnificent irrigated rice cultivation without help of scientific technologies. Rice is the staple food of the Apatanis, as such for its bumper harvest the nature God and goddesses are prayed during the Dree Festival from 4 to 7 July of each year. (Wikipedia,2015)

Although Dree is the festival of the Apatani Tribe, it has gained in popularity amongst other tribes in Arunachal Pradesh as well. The festival takes place on July 5 each year; however celebrations associated with the festival begin from July 4 itself. Dree is the biggest festival of the Ziro Valley and is celebrated to ensure a good harvest. During the festival, people offer prayers to four Gods namely, Tamu, Harniang, Metii, and Danyi.  The blessings of the four mighty Gods are thought to bring in peace, prosperity and fruitful harvest to the Ziro Valley. Traditional dance is performed and as a symbol of good harvest cucumber is distributed to all. Women brew wine and people also savor various delicacies and rice/millet beer

When: The Month of July every year

For your visit to the Dree Festival tell us: Jungleideas

9| The Ziro Festival of Music, Ziro Valley, the State of Arunachal Pradesh, India

Ziro festival
Tourist learning the Aptani Tribal Dance Steps at the Ziro Festival of Music. Source: Stop discriminating people from North East India via Facebook

To what is described as India’s Greatest outdoor Music Festival, the Zero festival of Music is held every year in the month of September at the tinsel town of Ziro in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Situated at around 115 kms from the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar is the small town of Ziro. Even though this town is far atop the hills but people from across the world know Ziro as the place the hosts India’s largest outdoor Music Festival – ‘the Ziro Festival of Music’. Although this may suggest Ziro as a modern place where the parties and festivities cease to come to an end but it’s completely the other way around. Ziro is a quaint and silent place that is home to the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. It is only during September when the festival is held you see people from across the world coming to dance to the tunes of the renowned artists both local and global to an atmosphere very similar to ‘Sunburn Festival’ across the various Tier I cities of India!

The Zero Festival of Music showcases the independent music scene in India. The festival was founded in 2012 by Bobby Hano and Menwhopause guitarist Anup Kutty, and has featured artists like Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley, Louw Majaw, Sha’air n Func, Indus Creed, Peter Cat Recording Co, Menwhopause, Guru Rewben Mashangva, and Barmer Boys among others. The festival is spread over four days and is hosted by members of the Apatani people in Ziro. (Wikipedia, 2015)

Ziro is primarily home to the Apatani Tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh –friendly, simple and hospitable people with an interesting culture and legacy. They are a non-nomadic, agrarian tribe who share a responsible relationship with nature. Apatani people cultivate permanent wet land cultivations instead of dry land cultivations which involves burning forests. Ziro valley is lush with paddy farms and is known for its unique paddy cum fi sh cultivation where using traditional irrigation methods, farmers rear fish in the knee-deep water. Keeping them company are the adorable, shy, and harmless Indian Bisons.

Around here, they are called Mithun and considered auspicious and are very tasty too! Back in the olden days, there was a strange custom of facial tattoos for Apatani women and you can still see a few old women with tattoos. A highlight of this place and people and shy to pose for a picture and hence do ask for their permission before you take pictures.

When: The Month of September every year

For your visit to the Ziro Festival of Music tell us: Jungleideas

10| The Raas Leela Festival at Majuli, the State of Assam, India

raas 3
Artists performing at the Raas Leela Festival. Source: assamtimes.org

The State of Assam, in addition to being bestowed with wonders of Nature is also rich in culture and heritage. From being the home to the fierce ‘Ahom Dynasty of Kings’ who were the only ones to beat the Mughals at the fierce ‘Battle of Saraighat’, it is also the land of the famous ‘Muga’ (Golden) and the ‘Eri’ (Ahimsa) silk. These silk are indigenous to Assam and the originals cannot be found anywhere in the world as the silk wormed survive only in the conditions of Assam. In addition, the world’s largest inhabited river island ‘Majuli’ and the world smallest inhabited river island ‘Umananda’ have made Assam their home.

The island of Majuli, has a very rich heritage and has been the abode of Assamese Vaishnavite culture with tremendous option for spiritual and eco-tourism. This island has been the cultural capital and cradle of Assamese civilization for the past five hundred years. The ‘Satras’ of Majuli preserve antiques like weapons, utensils, jewellery and other items of cultural significance. Pottery made in Majuli is from beaten clay and burnt in driftwood fired kilns in the same mode carried out by the people of the ancient Harappan cilvilization. The handloom work of the tribal people of Majuli mostly the Mishings are renowned internationally. Although handloom is a major occupation of the people of Majuli it is mostly a non-commercial occupation. Weaving is exquisite and intricate with the use of a variety of colours and textures of cotton and silk, especially the Muga Silk. Fishing, dairying, pottery, boat making and mask making are the other important economic activities of this island.

The Raas Lila is an annual festival being performed on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of November (Kati- Aghun) during the autumn season. It is not known for certain in which ‘Satra’ Rasa Lila was first introduced in Majuli as a performing festival. During this festival the ‘Satras’ draw a large number of people. The Raas Lila is the story of the life of Lord Krishna presented in the performing art form. Virtually everyone from this tinsel town participates in this festival like children acting in plays, teachers lending voice to the characters, business men and government employees reciting hymns and songs. The Raas Leela at Majuli is like an all night long extravaganza with no ad breaks where everybody’s eyes are glued to the performances of the talented artists in the World’s largest inhabited river island.

When: The month of November every year

For your visit to the Raas Leela Festival tell us: Jungleideas

Festivals of Meghalaya, Ecotourism in Meghalaya, Mawphlang Eco tourism homestays and Cottages

The Monolith Festival, Mawphlang, the State of Meghalaya, Incredible India!

The State of Meghalaya (meaning abode of the clouds) has never failed to thrill its visitor’s. From pleasant weather, beautiful landscapes, majestic waterfalls and breath-taking scenery, a visit to Meghalaya will surely fill your heart with solace. Shillong aka ‘the Scotland of the East’ and ‘India’s Rock Capital’ is the capital of state of Meghalaya where you see a blend of the cultural past and modern civilization. Shillong is also the District Headquarters of East Khasi Hills District and is situated at an altitude of 1,496 metres above sea level. The capital city has a bracing climate throughout the year. This city has been the seat of Government since the consolidation of the British administration in this part of India more than a century ago.

Meghalaya’s main ethnic communities, each having its own distinctive customs and cultural traditions are the Khasis (of Mon-Khmer ancestry), the Garos (of Tibeto-Burman origin) and the Jaintias said to be from South East Asia. The common trait binding all three communities is its matrilineal system in which the family linage is taken from the mother’s side. The people of Meghalaya are known to be hospitable, cheerful and friendly. Mawphlang is a village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya state in north-eastern India, 25 kilometers from Shillong. The word ‘maw’ means ‘stone’, ‘maw phlang’ means ‘grassy stone’, and is one of many settlements in the Khasi hills named after monoliths. Mawphlang is the site of one of the Khasi Hills sacred groves. Khasi heritage village- located in the Mawphlang district is considered to be the hub of Khasi culture.

The Monolith Festival is a soulful and mesmerizing festival offering of Meghalaya. If you are interested in music but are more inclined towards soulful strains than rock beats, then the Monolith festival is the one for you. This began as primarily an initiative of the Khasi tribes of Meghalaya but now other tribes too participate whole heartedly in the festival. The debut of the festival was a huge success and happened 4 years back. Since then tourists from all across India have been targeting the Monolith Festival in Meghalaya for its rich experience of cuisine, music and tribal expressions of life.

The major attractions of this festival are Cultural Performances (Dance & Skit), Indigenous Musical Performances, Exhibition & Sale of Handloom and Handicraft, Herbal Massage, Traditional Games, Museum Visit, Indigenous Food and Wine, Ethnic Costume Show, Phawar Competition, etc.

Jungleideas welcomes you to the North East India and be a part of the ‘Monolith Festival’ at Mawphlang, the State of Meghalaya, Incredible India!

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Festivals of Meghalaya, Ecotourism in Meghalaya, Mawphlang Eco tourism homestays and Cottages
The Monolith Festival at the Khasi Hills Sacred Groves , Mawphlang, the State of Meghalaya, Incredible India

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Monolith Festival Meghalaya, Khasi Sacred Groves, Mawphlang Dam, Shillong Meghalaya
The Sacred grove forest at the Khasi Hills sacred groves at Mawphlang in Meghalaya

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Monolith Festival Meghalaya, Khasi Sacred Groves, Mawphlang Dam, Shillong Meghalaya
The majestic Mawphlang Dam at the Khasi Hills sacred groves at Mawphlang in Meghalaya

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

Monolith Festival Meghalaya, Khasi Sacred Groves, Mawphlang Dam, Shillong Meghalaya
Traditional Khasi Huts at the Khasi Hills sacred groves at Mawphlang in Meghalaya

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Festivals of North East India

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‘The Festival of Festivals’ – The Hornbill Festival, Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, the State of Nagaland, Incredible India!

Every year during the 1st week of December the North East of India gathers to celebrate what is called the ‘Festival of Festivals‘. Not very far away from Kohima, the capital of the State of Nagaland, in a small picturesque heritage village of  Kisama where you will find a congregation of Tribes, Tradition and the Modern world! This ‘Festival of Festivals‘ is better known as the ‘Hornbill’ Festival – A week long festivity that is organised by the Government of Nagaland to encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland – the ‘Switzerland of the East’.

The Hornbill festival is named after the bird species of the Indian Hornbill. The Indian Hornbill is the most admired bird species by the Naga people for its qualities of alertness and grandeur – a trait very similar to the ‘Naga Warrior Tribe’ who are known for their fierceness and their majestic attire. The Indian Hornbill is linked closely with the social and cultural life of the people of Nagaland which is displayed in folklore in most of the state’s tribes. The Naga people’s admiration for the bird is symbolically displayed on most of the traditional tribal headgears worn during festivals across Nagaland.

In the week long festivity at the Hornbill Festival one can experience the rich and diverse culture of Nagaland. The Hornbill Festival unites one and all in Nagaland and people from across North east India and around the globe. One can visit the Hornbill festival to enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies of Nagaland. In addition to the festivities you also get to see traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, sculptures which are on display. One of the highlights of the crafts put on display are the Naga beaded jewellery. These jewellery are home made by the ladies of Kohima and are sure to impress the female visitors to the Hornbill Festival from a distance.

Main events/highlights of the Hornbill Festival are:

  • Cultural events spread throughout the festival highlighting traditional dances, music, indigenous games
  • Port Fat Eating Contest
  • The Hornbill Rock Festival
  • North East Cultural Ensemble
  • King Chilly Eating Contest
  • Hornbill Adventure Rally
  • The Kohima Night Bazaar
  • World War Peace Rally

Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East and be a part of the celebrations of the ‘Festival of Festivals’ – the Hornbill Festival at Kisama Heritage Village, Kohima, the State of Nagaland, Incredible India! 

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit to the Hornbill Festival of Nagaland ~

Day 1 ~ Guwahati

Arrive at Guwahati Airport. On arrival you will be received by our representative at the airport offering a warm welcome in traditional Assamese style. From the Airport drive to the Holy Kamakhya Temple. Dedicated to the revered Goddess of Maa Kamakhya, the Kamakhya Temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India and the most revered shrine in North East India famous for its cult of Tantric practices in the early era. Travel to your Hotel/Homestay in Guwahati city. In the evening we will visit the Srimanta Kalakhetra at Guwahati city which details the History and Culture of the State of Assam.

Night Stay: Comfortable Hotel at Guwahati

Meals Included: NA

Day 2 ~ Guwahati – Sonapur – Kaziranga National Park

After Breakfast we will proceed to Sonapur to visit the Treasured Wheels Museum that has on display vintage Cars and Motor Bikes from the Era of World War II. Later we will depart to the Kaziranga National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kaziranga National Park is home to the highest population of the Endangered One Horned Rhinoceros species anywhere in the world. On arrival check into a Comfortable hotel/Guest House. Visit the nearby tea gardens in the late afternoon. Evening Bon fire and cultural performances (Bihu Dance of Assam) on request.

Night Stay: Comfortable Hotel at the Kaziranga National Park

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 3 ~ Kaziranga National Park – Kaziranga Orchid Park

Early morning go for a Jeep Safari into the Kaziranga National Park from the Bagodi/Kohora Safari Range at the National Park. Later in the day visit the Kaziranga Orchid and Bio-Diversity Park at Kaziranga National Park. The Kaziranga Orchid and Bio-Diveristy Park is the Largest Orchid Park in India.

Night Stay: Comfortable Hotel at the Kaziranga National Park

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4 ~ Kaziranga National Park – Kohima

After Breakfast depart to Kohima. Upon Arrival, visit the Kohima World War II Cemetery near the venue of the Hornbill Festival and relive the memoirs of the Battle of Kohima. Also visit the Kohima Cathedral which is the largest Cathedral in North East India. Later, check into the Hornbill Camp near the Kisama Heritage Village (the Venue of the Hornbill Festival). Enjoy night Bonfire to beat the chilly weather. Savor freshly brewed traditional Naga wine with traditional Barbecue.

Night Stay: Open Air Tents at Camp Hornbill/Hotels or Resorts at Kohima Town

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5 ~ Hornbill Festival at Kisama Heritage Village

Today, spend your day witnessing the Festivities of the ‘Festival of Festivals ~ the Hornbill Festival’ at the Kisama Heritage Village in Kohima.

Night Stay: Open Air Tents at Camp Hornbill/Hotels or Resorts at Kohima Town

Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6 & 7 ~ Kisama Heritage Village – Dzukou Valley

Embark on your trek to visit the Pristine Dzukou Valley at the border of the States of Nagaland and Manipur. Night halt at Tents at Dzukou Valley. Return back to Camp Hornbill the next day.

Night Stay: Open Air Tents at Camp Hornbill/Hotels or Resorts at Kohima Town

Meals Included (for Dzukou Trek): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8 ~ Depart

Depart to the Dimapur/Jorhat (Airport of your choice) to board your flights to your onward destination. Tour Ends. Bid Adieu!

Meals Included: Breakfast

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A Naga fire-eater bites a burning wood at the Hornbill festival (Image Credits: Anupam Nath)

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The ‘Naga Warrior’ tribes in their traditional attire. Source: nagalandtouristplaces.com

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Tourists witnessing the Grandeur of the Naga Warrior Tribes at the Hornbill Festival. Source: yahoo.com

To Read More about Hornbill Festival click here ~ Hornbill Festival Nagaland

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Traditional Head gear of Nagas on display . Source: oktatabyebye.com

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Naga Warrior Tribes performing the Grand Naga Warrior Tribes Heritage Dance at the Hornbill Festival at Kisama Heritage Village, Nagaland

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Freshly Brewed local alcoholic beverage to be savored at the Hornbill Festival at Kisama Heritage Village, Nagaland, India

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Tourists exploring India’s Paradise Unexplored ~ the Incredible North East of India at the ‘Festival of Festivals’ the Hornbill Festival, Kisama Heritage Village, Nagaland

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Welcome to the Capital of Nagaland ~ the Town of Kohima

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Traditional Tribal Huts of Nagaland 

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Local Cuisine at Hornbill Festival

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Naga Women in Traditional Tribal attire at Hornbill Festival

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Naga Women Weaving traditional handlooms at Hornbill Festival

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Naga Warrior Tribes at the Hornbill Festival

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Naga Warriors at the Hornbill Festival

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Naga tribes perform at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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World War II Peace Rally at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The beginning of festivities at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Angami Tribes of Nagaland at the Hornbill Festival at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Angami Tribes of Nagaland perform at the Hornbill Festival at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Tribes of Nagaland perform at the Hornbill Festival at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Angami Tribes of Nagaland perform at the Hornbill Festival at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Chang Tribes of Nagaland perform at the Hornbill Festival at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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Naga Wooden Handicrafts at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Konyak Tribes of Nagaland perform at the Hornbill Festival at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Konyak Tribes of Nagaland at the Hornbill Festival at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Khonoma Fort at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Ao tribes of Nagaland perform at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Sumi Naga Tribes of Nagaland perform at the Hornbill Festival at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Pristine Dzukou Valley at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Dzukou ~ Nagaland ~ India

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Open Air Camping at Camp Hornbill at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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Camping Grounds at Camp Hornbill at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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Barbecue at Camp Hornbill at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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Our Campsite at Camp Hornbill at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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Our visitors by the Bonfire at Camp Hornbill at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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Hornbill Festival, Nagaland Tourism, Hotels Kohima, Dzukou Valley, Nagaland Tribes
Welcome to the Hornbill Festival at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Festive Grounds of the Hornbill Festival at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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Traditional Naga Tribal head gear at the Khonoma Fort at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The pristine Dzukou Valley at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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Enthralled visitors at the pristine Dzukou Valley at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Majestic and pristine Dzukou Valley at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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Hornbill Festival, Nagaland Tourism, Hotels Kohima, Dzukou Valley, Nagaland Tribes
Visitors enjoy the sight of the Majestic and pristine Dzukou Valley at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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Hornbill Festival, Nagaland Tourism, Hotels Kohima, Dzukou Valley, Nagaland Tribes
At our camping grounds of Camp Hornbill at your tour of Hornbill Festival ~ Kohima ~ Nagaland ~ India

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The Life of Lord Krishna depicted in an Art form – The ‘Raas Leela’ Festival, Majuli Island, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

The State of Assam, in addition to being bestowed with wonders of Nature is also rich in culture and heritage. From being the home to the fierce ‘Ahom Dynasty of Kings’ who were the only ones to beat the Mughals at the fierce ‘Battle of Saraighat’, it is also the land of the famous ‘Muga’ (Golden) and the ‘Eri’ (Ahimsa) silk. These silk are indigenous to Assam and the originals cannot be found anywhere in the world as the silk wormed survive only in the conditions of Assam. In addition, the world’s largest inhabited river island ‘Majuli’ and the world smallest inhabited river island ‘Umananda’ have made Assam their home.

The island of ‘Majuli’, has a very rich heritage and has been the abode of Assamese ‘Vaishnavite’ culture with tremendous option for spiritual and Eco tourism. This island has been the cultural capital and cradle of Assamese civilization for the past five hundred years. The ‘Satras’ of Majuli preserve antiques like weapons, utensils, jewelry and other items of cultural significance. Pottery made in Majuli is from beaten clay and burnt in driftwood fired kilns in the same mode carried out by the people of the ancient Harappan cilvilization. The hand loom work of the tribal people of Majuli mostly the ‘Mishings’ are renowned internationally. Although hand loom is a major occupation of the people of Majuli it is mostly a non-commercial occupation. Weaving is exquisite and intricate with the use of a variety of colors and textures of cotton and silk, especially the ‘Muga’ Silk. Fishing, dairying, pottery, boat making and mask making are the other important economic activities of this island.

The ‘Raas Leela’ is an annual festival being performed on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of November (Kati- Aghun) during the autumn season. Although it is not known for certain in which ‘Satra’ Raas Leela was first introduced in Majuli as a performing festival but this festival draws a large number of people from across the ‘Satras’ of Majuli. The ‘Raas Leela’ is the story of the life of Lord Krishna presented in the performing art form. Virtually everyone from this tinsel town participates in this festival like children acting in plays, teachers lending voice to the characters, business men and government employees reciting hymns and songs. The ‘Raas Leela’ at Majuli is like an all night long extravaganza with no ad breaks where everybody’s eyes are glued to the performances of the talented artists in the World’s largest inhabited river island.

Jungleideas welcomes you to the North East India and be a part of the ‘Raas Leela Festival’ – The Life of Lord Krishna depicted in an Art form at Majuli, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Visit Kaziranga, Majuli & Sivasagar

Assam Eco tourism homestays, Majuli river island homestays, Eco tourism in Assam, Sustainable tourism in North East India, the Raas Leela Festival of Assam
The beautiful River Island of Majuli – the World’s largest inhabited River Island. Source: wikipedia

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Visit Kaziranga, Majuli & Sivasagar

Raas Leela Festival, Kaziranga Majuli Tour, Homestay Majuli, Awesome Assam
Traditional Masks of Majuli used during traditional art forms ~ Majuli Island ~ Assam ~ India

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Visit Kaziranga, Majuli & Sivasagar

Raas Leela Festival, Kaziranga Majuli Tour, Homestay Majuli, Awesome Assam
The Sattriya Nritya of Majuli is one among the eight classical dance forms of India ~ Majuli Island ~ Assam ~ India

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Visit Kaziranga, Majuli & Sivasagar

Raas Leela Festival, Kaziranga Majuli Tour, Homestay Majuli, Awesome Assam
The Lost Art of Traditional Mask Making of Majuli ~ Majuli Island ~ Assam ~ India

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Visit Kaziranga, Majuli & Sivasagar

Raas Leela Festival, Kaziranga Majuli Tour, Homestay Majuli, Awesome Assam
A Neo Vaishnavite Monk of Majuli preparing to offer his prayers ~ Majuli Island ~ Assam ~ India

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Visit Kaziranga, Majuli & Sivasagar

Raas Leela Festival, Kaziranga Majuli Tour, Homestay Majuli, Awesome Assam
Bhauna being performed during the Raas Leela Festival of Majuli ~ Majuli Island ~ Assam ~ India

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Visit Kaziranga, Majuli & Sivasagar

Raas Leela Festival, Kaziranga Majuli Tour, Homestay Majuli, Awesome Assam
The Uttar Kamalabari Satra at Majuli is famous for the practice of Sattriya Nritya ~ Majuli Island ~ Assam ~ India

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Visit Kaziranga, Majuli & Sivasagar

Raas Leela Festival, Kaziranga Majuli Tour, Homestay Majuli, Awesome Assam
Artists performing a Bhauna wearing Traditional Masks of Majuli ~ Majuli Island ~ Assam ~ India

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Visit Kaziranga, Majuli & Sivasagar

Raas Leela Festival, Kaziranga Majuli Tour, Homestay Majuli, Awesome Assam
Enjoy sunset by the River Brahmaputra at Majuli ~ Majuli Island ~ Assam ~ India

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Visit Kaziranga, Majuli & Sivasagar

Raas Leela Festival, Kaziranga Majuli Tour, Homestay Majuli, Awesome Assam
Traditional fishing by the Brahmaputra at Majuli ~ Majuli Island ~ Assam ~ India

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Visit Kaziranga, Majuli & Sivasagar

 

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Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Visit Kaziranga, Majuli & Sivasagar