Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Tribal Cottages Homestay in Assam, North East India Tour of Tribes, Assam Tribal Tourism, Upper Assam Tribes and their culture, Rabha Tribe of Assam

Celebrating Indigenous people of the Legendary Tribes of North East India – the Rabha Tribe, Jagun and Chandubi Lake, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

North East India 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 handlooms and handicrafts.

Rabhas are among the nine plan tribe and fourteen hill tribes of Assam. The Rabhas belong to the Indo-Mongoloid group of people and have similarities with other members of Bodo group such as Garos, Kachari, Mech, Koch, Hajong and others.

The traditional economy of the Rabhas in general, is based on agriculture, forest based activities and weaving. In the past, the Rabhas used to practice shifting cultivation. They continued to cultivate the land with Gogo or bill-hook. Later they took up the job of settled cultivation and started cultivation with plough. Besides cultivation, hunting was also an old practice of Rabha people. Weaving was a traditional occupation of the Rabha women.

Like in most tribal communities, dances and music play an important part in the lives of the Rabhas. After every ritual they perform various dances to ingratiate their deities. Most of the Rabha women can both sing and dance. Like most tribal dances, those of the Rabhas are connected to some daily agrarian activity. They have a unique dance form named “Nakchung Reni” to celebrate fishing in the forest rivulets. Rabha women of all ages take part in this dance whole-heartedly.

Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East and be a part in Celebrating Indigenous people of the Legendary Tribes of North East India – the Rabha Tribe, Jagun and Chandubi Lake, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Tribal Cottages Homestay in Assam, North East India Tour of Tribes, Assam Tribal Tourism, Upper Assam Tribes and their culture, Rabha Tribe of Assam
Rabha Tribal people in their traditional attire at the Rabha Village in Jagun

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Tribal Cottages Homestay in Assam, North East India Tour of Tribes, Assam Tribal Tourism, Upper Assam Tribes and their culture, Rabha Tribe of Assam
Rabha Tribal Lady at the Loom in Rabha Village at Jagun

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Tribal Cottages Homestay in Assam, North East India Tour of Tribes, Assam Tribal Tourism, Upper Assam Tribes and their culture, Rabha Tribe of Assam
The Tirap River flows across the Rabha Tribal Village in Jagun in Assam

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Tribal Cottages Homestay in Assam, North East India Tour of Tribes, Assam Tribal Tourism, Upper Assam Tribes and their culture, Rabha Tribe of Assam
The Tirap River flows across the Rabha Tribal Village in Jagun in Assam

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Tribal Cottages Homestay in Assam, North East India Tour of Tribes, Assam Tribal Tourism, Upper Assam Tribes and their culture, Rabha Tribe of Assam
Rabha Tribal practice drying of fish in the sun to make a spicy chutney that they serve with rice

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Tribal Cottages Homestay in Assam, North East India Tour of Tribes, Assam Tribal Tourism, Upper Assam Tribes and their culture, Rabha Tribe of Assam
Traditional Rabha Home in the Rabha Tribal Village at Jagun in Assam

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Tribal Cottages Homestay in Assam, North East India Tour of Tribes, Assam Tribal Tourism, Upper Assam Tribes and their culture, Rabha Tribe of Assam
Rabha Homes in Tribal Villages have huge fields for growing Organic Vegetables that serve a part of their daily cuisine

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Tribal Cottages Homestay in Assam, North East India Tour of Tribes, Assam Tribal Tourism, Upper Assam Tribes and their culture, Rabha Tribe of Assam
The Beautiful entrance to the Rabha Tribal home at their village in Jagun

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Tribal Cottages Homestay in Assam, North East India Tour of Tribes, Assam Tribal Tourism, Upper Assam Tribes and their culture, Rabha Tribe of Assam
Rabha Homes in Tribal Villages have huge fields for growing Organic Vegetables that serve a part of their daily cuisine

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Tribal Cottages Homestay in Assam, North East India Tour of Tribes, Assam Tribal Tourism, Upper Assam Tribes and their culture, Rabha Tribe of Assam
The Traditional Hat of Assam – the “Jhapi” kept at all tribal homes in Assam villages

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Tribal Cottages Homestay in Assam, North East India Tour of Tribes, Assam Tribal Tourism, Upper Assam Tribes and their culture, Rabha Tribe of Assam
Rabha Homes in Tribal Villages have huge fields for growing Organic Vegetables that serve a part of their daily cuisine

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

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Indigenous Tribes of Assam and North East India, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India, Tribal Practices of North East India Tribes

Celebrating Indigenous people of the Legendary Tribes of North East India – the Sumi Naga Tribe, Tipong Colliery, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

North East India 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 handlooms and handicrafts.

The ‘Sumi Naga’ is one of the major tribes of the State of Nagaland – ‘the Land of the Warrior Tribes’. The Sumi Nagas mostly inhabit the central and southern regions of Nagaland in the Zunheboto and Dimpaur districts. Although not many in number, a small population of the Sumi Nagas inhabit a small village in the eastern most corner of the State of Assam at Tipong Colliery. A right turn from the Historic Stilwell Road at Lekhapani will lead you to the Sumi Naga Tribal Village at Lalpahar in Tipong Colliery. The Sumi Nagas of Tipong Colliery still practice traditional customs and have kept the age old practices of the fierce Naga Warrior Tribes alive. Keeping alive their traditional customary practices specially of Weaving on the Loom, the female members of the Sumi Naga society weave out exquisite wonders from their traditional ancestral looms at the small village.

The Sumi Nagas are one of the most united and most aggressive Naga nations. Since times immemorial, other Nagas have feared the Sumi Nagas. Despite their ferocity and aggressive nature in warfare, the Sumi Nagas are known for their simplicity and honesty.

The two major festivals of Sumi Nagas are: Tuluni and Ahuna. Celebrated in the month of July, the ‘Tuluni’ is a festival of great significance for the Sumi Nagas. This festival is marked with feasts as the occasion occurs in the bountiful season of the year. Drinking rice beer indispensably forms as part of the feasts. Rice beer is served in a goblet made of bamboo or made from the leaf of plantain. This drink is called Tuluni which gives the festival its name. Tuluni is also called “Anni” the word of which denotes the season of plentiful crops. This midyear festival is a time of communal harmony and merry-making for the Sumi community.

Celebrated in Novmeber, the ‘Ahuna’ is a traditional post-harvest festival of the Sumi Nagas. Ahuna signifies the celebration of the season’s harvest in ‘Thanksgiving’, while invoking the spirit of good fortune in the New Year. On this occasion, the entire community prepares and feasts on the first meal of rice drawn from the season’s harvest cooked in bamboo segments. The receptacles for cooking or serving on this occasion are freshly made, curved or cut, from locally available resources prolific and abundant in the countryside.

During your visit to the Lalpahar Sumi Naga village you may also interest yourself in visiting one of the oldest underground coal mines of India at Tipong Colliery. Started by the AR&T company during the British rule, the Tipong Colliery boasts of Colonial Bungalows of the British Era and one of the oldest operational Steam Locomotives in the world of the likes of ‘796’ and ‘David’ manufactured by W G Bagnall of Stafford in England in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The charming and warm hearted people, the lush greens and majestic mountains and the gushing waters of River Tipong will surely make your visit to Tipong Colliery one of the most memorable one of your lifetime!

Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East and be a part in Celebrating Indigenous people of the Legendary Tribes of North East India – the Sumi Naga Tribe, Tipong Colliery, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Indigenous Tribes of Assam and North East India, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India, Tribal Practices of North East India Tribes
The Sumi Naga Tribal People at the Lalpahar Village in Tipong Colliery

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Indigenous Tribes of Assam and North East India, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India, Tribal Practices of North East India Tribes
The Sumi Naga Tribal people celebrating at the Tuluni Festival in their local village

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Indigenous Tribes of Assam and North East India, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India, Tribal Practices of North East India Tribes
The Sumi Naga Tribal People in the Traditional attire and Head gear at the Lalpahar Sumi Village

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Indigenous Tribes of Assam and North East India, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India, Tribal Practices of North East India Tribes
The Sumi Naga Tribal Lady at the loom that weaves out Exquisite North East India Handlooms

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Indigenous Tribes of Assam and North East India, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India, Tribal Practices of North East India Tribes
The Akhame – the Bamboo fish trap used by the Sumi Naga people for fishing at Lalpahar Village in Tipong Colliery

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Indigenous Tribes of Assam and North East India, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India, Tribal Practices of North East India Tribes
The Colonial Bungalows of the British Era at Tipong Colliery

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Indigenous Tribes of Assam and North East India, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India, Tribal Practices of North East India Tribes
The famous David Steam Locomotive at Tipong Colliery in Assam

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Indigenous Tribes of Assam and North East India, Traditional Festivals of North East India, Ecotourism Homestays in Assam, Handlooms and Handicrafts of North East India, Tribal Practices of North East India Tribes
The 796 Steam Locomotive at Tipong Colliery in Assam

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Sumi Naga 1
Sumi Naga Tribal folks in Traditional Attire at Lalpahar Village in Tipong Colliery during the Tuluni festival. Image Credits: Mr. Arif Sidiqui
Sumi Naga Tribes, Ahuna Festival Sumi Naga, Tuluni Sumi Naga, Tipong Colliery
Sumi Naga Tribal girls at Lalpahar Village at Tipong Colliery. Image Credits: Mr. Arif Sidiqui
Sumi Naga Tribes, Ahuna Festival Sumi Naga, Tuluni Sumi Naga, Tipong Colliery
Sumi Naga Tribal girls at Lalpahar Village at Tipong Colliery. Image Credits: Mr. Arif Sidiqui
Sumi Naga Tribes, Ahuna Festival Sumi Naga, Tuluni Sumi Naga, Tipong Colliery
Sumi Naga Tribal folks in Traditional Attire at Lalpahar Village in Tipong Colliery. Image Credits: Mr. Arif Sidiqui
Sumi Naga Tribes, Ahuna Festival Sumi Naga, Tuluni Sumi Naga, Tipong Colliery
Sumi Naga Tribal girls at Lalpahar Village at Tipong Colliery. Image Credits: Mr. Arif Sidiqui
Legendary Tribes and Festivals of Assam and North East India, Assam Ecotourism Destinations, Tribal Handicrafts and Handlooms of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of North East India

Celebrating Indigenous people of the Legendary Tribes of North East India – the Deori Tribe, Tinsukia District, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

North East India 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 handlooms and handicrafts.

In our quest to showcase the rich culture and traditions of the Tribes of Assam and North East India we are writing this short note on another important Tribal community of Assam – the Deori Tribe. The Deori Tribal people are one of the major ethnic ethnic tribes of Assam inhabiting the Sivsagar, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, Dhemaji, Tinsukia districts of Assam and Lohit, Changlang Districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

Historically, the Deoris have been known to live in the upper plains of the Brahmaputra Valley. The Deoris belong to the Sino-Tibetan family of Mongoloid stock. In the ancient times of Ahom and Sutiya kingdoms, the Deoris used to serve as priests in the temples of their kingdoms and therefore the origin of the name ‘Deori’ – that means ‘Priest’ in the local dialect. The Deori Tribal people of Assam have maintained their racial traits, languages, religion and folk tales, beliefs through centuries.

The word `Deori’ comes from the word ‘Deu’ meaning Great, Wise and O and R meaning Male and Female respectively. The term ‘Deori’ thus refers to a ‘Great’ or ‘Wise’ male/female human being! The Deori people are expert craftsmen who make exclusive bamboo handicrafts and their handlooms are well renowned across the State of Assam in North East India.

Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East and be a part in Celebrating Indigenous people of the Legendary Tribes of North East India – the Deori Tribe, Tinsukia District, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes

Legendary Tribes and Festivals of Assam and North East India, Assam Ecotourism Destinations, Tribal Handicrafts and Handlooms of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of North East India
Deori Tribal Lady at the Loom that weaves out extrinsic Handlooms

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Legendary Tribes and Festivals of Assam and North East India, Assam Ecotourism Destinations, Tribal Handicrafts and Handlooms of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of North East India
The Deori Tribal people in their local village in Assam

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Legendary Tribes and Festivals of Assam and North East India, Assam Ecotourism Destinations, Tribal Handicrafts and Handlooms of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of North East India
The Deori Tribal people celebrating by drinking locally brewed alcohol in their traditional village home

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Legendary Tribes and Festivals of Assam and North East India, Assam Ecotourism Destinations, Tribal Handicrafts and Handlooms of North East India, Indigenous Festivals of North East India
The Deori Tribal Lady at the Village in Assam

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Ecotourism in North East India at welcoming Homestays and Cottages in the midst of the ‘Paradise Unexplored’!

Ecotourism is a conscious and responsible travel to natural areas in order to enjoy and appreciate nature that promotes conservation, has a low visitor impact and provides for a beneficially active social-economic involvement of local people. Ecotourism involves travelling to relatively undisturbed natural areas with the specific object of studying admiring and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals, as well as enjoying the exciting cultural aspects (both of the past and present) found in the areas of ecotourism. The concept of ecotourism is booming up as the fastest growing sector in international tourism. 

Ecotourism works as a change agent. Such tourism is likely to have the greatest socio-cultural impact on small, isolated communities which may themselves be one of the tourist attractions (Pearce, 1994). The potential benefit of such tourism not only improves the socio economic status but also gives a sense of pride to the inhabitants of the area under operation. Well planned and managed ecotourism can serve as an ecologically, economically and culturally viable alternative to the utilization of natural resources by non-sustainable, consumptive methods (Whelan, T. 1991).

Since time immemorial the North Eastern Region of India is inhabited by both tribal and non-tribal community living harmoniously with their unique cultural and traditional values. The warm hospitality of the people and their mouth-watering ethnic delicacies always offer a warm welcome to any outsider. The awesome landscape of this area painted with the lush green tea gardens along the road, the hillocks, the bountiful flora and fauna, the dark green forest, the streams, enchanting blue hills, flowing rivers, the mysterious clouds that bring rain to the valley, the rich bouquet of art and cultures of the different community etc. will never fail to beckon tourists to this beautiful area throughout the year. This valley has resources immersed in it that can enthral an eco tourist. It’s a futile attempt to narrate the beauty of the North East India in a short paragraph because this region is a nature’s paradise and one can certainly cherish the beauty of God’s creation in this heavenly abode.

1| The Singpho Eco Lodge and Faneng Village, Margherita, the State of Assam, India

Assam Eco tourism homestay and Cottages, Ecotourism in North East India, Tour of Tribes in North East India, Tribes and Festivals of Assam
The Beautiful Singpho Eco Lodge at Margherita

The Singphos are an important tribe inhabiting the North East residing in the Tinsukia district of Assam and Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The Singphos are divided into four major groups namely Numhpuk Hkawng, Diyun Hkawng, Tieng Hkawng and Turung Hkawng. ‘Hkawng’ means an area and each of these groups is named after a local river. The word ‘Singpho’ literally means ‘man’ and is derived from the Tibetian term ‘sin-po’ which means man of shrewed.

The Singpho’s are mostly an agrarian community and their economy is focussed on cultivation of Paddy, tea and kitchen gardens. They are a culturally rich community with ‘Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi’ being the major festival celebrated by the Singphos. During this festival the Singpho youths in their traditional wardrobe display colourful dances and the community displays a wide variety of traditional cuisines and liqour. 

With eagerness of spreading knowledge of their culture around the world a group of Singho youths formed the Singpho Community based Ecotourism socitey (SCES) in 2006. With an aim to showcase the culture of their community while preserving it too they built the Singpho Ecolodge at Inthong village 7 kilometers from Margherita under Dehing Patkai belt of Tinsukia district in Assam. A long driveway through tea bushes lead to the thatched building built along the lines of a traditional Singpho house on the slits. This lodge has eleven spacious double bedrooms, one seperate kitchen, on large dining hall which follows a low seating pattern where guests are served an elaborate, yet organic and eco-friendly Singpho dinner that consists of delicacies such as rice steamed in bamboo sticks, spicy tomato chutney, fresh eggplant, greens and potato preparations and yam soup.

Very close to this place is the Buddhist monastery in the village established in the year 1891. This place of worship has retained its rustic touch. Any visitor to this spot will instantly feel the solace that is so typical of the village. A walk along the village road that will unfold the way of living of the Singpho community is enough to lift the depressed soul.

For your visit to the Singpho Eco Lodge tell us: Jungleideas

2| The Tai Phake Ecotourism Camp, Naharkatia, the State of Assam, India

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Eco Cottages at the Tai Phake Ecotourism Camp

India North East has a vast Tourism potential and this can be seen once you travel across the remote places of the region. One perfect example of this is the Tai Phake Ecotourism Camp at Tipam near Dibrugarh, Assam. The state of Assam is the pride of the North East. A land of majestic landscapes and warm hearted people the beauty of this state can be quoted from the words of Swami Vivekananda “next only to Kashmir, Assam is the most beautiful place in India.”

It’s good to know that locals have realized the tourism potential of the state and are now initiating the up-liftment of eco-tourism sector in the state. The Tai-Phake community of Tipam Village without any form of help from the government has transformed the remote and jungle village into a spot of attraction for home and foreign tourists. Tipam, one of the seven Tai-Phake villages in Dibrugarh district situated Naharkatia has a large Buddha temple, Trekking, Fishing and River Boating facilities. Stay for tourists is arranged at the traditional Bamboo Cottages at the village which the villagers have constructed. There are provisions to accommodate a total of sixteen guests at the village. During their stay tourists are offered traditional cuisine that is served by the women folk of the village.

To reach the village you need to cross the dense forests of the Dehing Patai Wildlife Sanctuary. If you are lucky you can spot majestic deer species on your way. At the Tai Phake Eco Camp modern amenities are hard to find which is covered up by the love of the village folks. There are no security problems for the tourists as the villager’s themselves provide security to them. It would be worth mentioning that without visiting the village it cannot be imagined what is being done by these poor and remote villagers for the upliftment of ecotourism in the state.

For your visit to the Tai Phake Ecotourism Camp tell us: Jungleideas

3| Bedazzled Bird watching at Chandubi Eco Camp and the Saraighat Homestay, Guwahati, the State of Assam, India

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Experience Bedazzled Bird Watching at Chandubi Lake

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.

In addition to the various tourist spots and places of historical and cultural interest, the state of Assam is a perfect destination for bird watching. During the winters migratory birds from across the planet come to the serene water bodies across the National Parks and Lakes of Assam. National Parks like Manas and Nameri are excellent spots for bird watching where ornithologists flock in many to study the species of birds. The state is also home to the famous ‘Jatinga Valley’ in Haflong where every year during the month of October birds come and commit what people call as mass suicide.

When in Guwahati, the perfect location to enjoy bird watching is the Chandubi Lake. A lake that is crystal clear at certain places and covered in other places with thick growth of the ‘arali’ grass that keeps changing its location is all set to change a nondescript area inhabited by Rabha community. Not too far from the bustling capital city of Guwahati, this place is trying its best to emerge as one of the hottest eco-tourism spots in the entire Northeast while providing the city dwellers with a rejuvenating retreat. This lake was created by the devastating earthquake of 1897. It is around 65 Km from Guwahati city. The lake is at the base of Garo hills bordering Assam and Meghalaya. The place is surrounded by deep forests, tea gardens and small and discrete villages and is an ideal place for a day out and picnic. Efforts have been put by the local people at Chandubi towards the development of eco-tourism near the lake.

For your visit to the Chandubi Eco Camp tell us: Jungleideas

4| Wildlife Wilderness at Manas National Park, Manas-Maozigendri Ecotourism Society, the State of Assam, India

Manas Ecocamp
Homestay Cottages at the National Park of Manas

The State of Assam is home to five (5) of the National Parks of India. These national parks are home to the famous and endangered one horned rhinoceros of Assam, the big four cat species, a variety of primates, herds of elephants, deers, various species of birds, etc. The National Park of Manas in Assam is famous for its population of tigers, rhinos, hillock gibbons, langurs, etc. The National Park is situated at a distance of 176 kms from Guwahati – the commercial capital of Assam.

To protect the rich diversity of Manas, the area has been declared a Wildlife Sanctuary and a National Park, it is both a Project Tiger, Elephant and Rhino Reserve, and since 1985 it is inscribed in the List of the World Heritage. The Protected Area supports 22 scheduled species, and, according to World Conservation Monitoring Center, it is the richest in species of all Indian wildlife areas.

The Manas Maozigendri Jungle camp is a small setup with four cottages and a dining cum commons area in ethnic style architecture. In the near-by village two guesthouses can accommodate 20 guests and for those who prefer immediate insight into a Bodo household homestay facilities are available.

The project currently engages a pool of 31 local people as staff (service, housekeeping, gardening, and maintenance) and guides. Whenever tourists visit, the members of this staff pool independently manage their schedule according to their vacancy. This extended staff pool is an excellent model to guarantee best service quality to the customers’ 24/7.The local cuisine uses rice and fresh vegetables. Pork, chicken and fish are common, as the Bodos traditionally are non-vegetarians. The favourite drink of the Bodo’s is a rice-wine named ‘Zu Mai’.

The Bodo culture is a rich blend of colours, sounds and dances. The growing of silkworms is common and from young age on girls are educated in the weaving of the colourful cloths that later become ‘dokhonas’ and shawls, the traditional customer. Almost every household owns a loom and handing over a shawl or a ‘dokhona’ to a visitor is an honour. Moreover, the Bodo are expert craftsmen in Bamboo.

The conservation volunteers of the Manas-Maozigendri Ecotourism Society (MMES) daily go out for patrolling in the National Park and since poaching activities and the extraction of timber have decreased significantly. The entry points to the National Park are permanently guarded, and park management activities like controlled burning of grassland habitats are carried out.

For your visit to the Manas Maozingenri Eco Camp tell us: Jungleideas

5| Eco Stay at the World’s Largest Inhabited River Island, Majuli, the State of Assam, India

Le Maision Majuli
The Le Maison De Ananda at Majuli. Source: natgeotraveller.in

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. 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.

At Majuli, although there are many options of stay with the locals one noteworthy accommodation is that of La Maison de Ananda. Located in the by-lane of a small village in India’s largest river island, Majuli, staying in the eco-friendly property of La Maison de Ananda is definitely the best way to experience local culture and hospitality. Constructed by a French couple, Jim Chauvin and Maka Korbaa in 2005, it is now looked after by the head caretaker Monjit Risong, who lives next door with his family, and a small, affable staff. The other half of the eco-friendly property across the lane, built a few years later and renovated last year, is the contribution of an Englishman, Ian McCarthy. The cottages and rooms (except for one concrete cottage) have all been built of bamboo and stand on stilts, replicating the traditional houses of the local Mishing community. The in-house restaurant serves some delicious Assamese and Mishing cuisine and even a glass of the local rice brew, apong, on request. While here, visit the Neo-Vaishnavite monasteries to learn about Assamese culture, opt for birdwatching or a boat ride in Luit Ghat or rent a cycle to make your way towards small streams that lie across paddy fields and make for perfect sunset spots. Monjit gladly guides guests to local festivals and around Mishing villages on request, showing you sides of the island that not many travellers have seen.

For your visit to the Le Maison de Ananda tell us: Jungleideas

6| Homestay at Khasi Hills Sacred Groves, Mawphlang, the State of Meghalaya, India

Mawphlang Homestay
The Maple Pine Farm Homestay. Source: natgeotraveller.in

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.

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.

The State of Meghalaya is also home to the ‘Wettest place on Planet Earth – Cherrapunjee’. Cherrapunjee records the maximum rainfall anywhere in the world. The Majestic ‘Nohkalikai’ waterfall at Cherrapunji is the tallest plunge waterfall in India. The living root bridges at Cherrapunjee is also unique to the place that thrills most visitors visiting the place.

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.

Maple Pine Farm is a beautiful self-sustained farmhouse in Mawphlang, a village that lies a half-hour drive away from Shillong. The family of James Perry, a Canadian who’s spent most of his life in Northeast India, lives in the same property and there are log cabins, which he’s built with his own hands, available for guests. The property is completely off-grid, with electricity harnessed through solar panels and windmills, and with limited or no phone and internet connectivity at most times. It lies encircled by a stream and you can sit outside for hours watching the grazing horses, fluttering butterflies and the locals go about their daily lives. If you enjoy walking, you’re in for a treat as the Sacred Grove, one of the most beautiful forests, lies a short hike away.

For your visit to the Maple Pine Farm Homestay tell us: Jungleideas

7| Homestay at Asia’s cleanest Village, Mawlynnong, the State of Meghalaya, India

mawlynlong

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.

The State of Meghalaya is also home to the ‘Wettest place on Planet Earth – Cherrapunjee’. Cherrapunjee records the maximum rainfall anywhere in the world. The Majestic ‘Nohkalikai’ waterfall at Cherrapunji is the tallest plunge waterfall in India. The living root bridges at Cherrapunjee is also unique to the place that thrills most visitors visiting the place.

Mawlynnong (located 90 km from Shillong, along the India-Bangladesh border) is a village in the East Khasi Hills district of the Meghalaya state, India. Mawlynnong is famous for its matrilineal society as well as having been dubbed Asia’s cleanest village. At Mawlynnong there are about 95 households. A striking feature of this small village is that the literacy rate is 100%. Agriculture is the chief occupation of the local population, with betel nut being the main crop. The people residing in the community are mostly Khasi people.

Mawlynnong is known for its cleanliness. The waste is collected in the dustbins made of bamboo, directed to a pit and then used as manure. The travel magazine Discover India declared the village as the cleanest in Asia in 2003, and the cleanest in India in 2005. The phrase has since caught on. Moasunep Kichu’s documentary on the village, for instance, is called Asia’s Cleanest Village. (Wikipedia, 2015)

For your visit to the Asia’s Cleanest Village at Mawlynnong tell us: Jungleideas

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam

Celebrating Indigenous people of the Legendary Tribes of North East India – the Moran Tribe, Tinsukia District, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

The Morans are an important tribe of North East India who inhabit the Doomdooma region of the Tinsukia district of Assam. The Morans are considered as the aboriginal people of Assam but for various reasons, in spite of their glorious role in the past history of Assam, they have been unable to attract the attention of the historians, excepting only casual and stray references.

It is believed that the Morans migrated from the Hukong Valley in upper Burma into Assam. Over time they moved from centres on the eastern edge of Assam, then to the Brahmaputra River and thence north to where they are found in numbers today in Tinsukia District but there are families of Morans who chose to stay in some of the early centers of Namrup, Sivsagar, Moran and Moranhat, Dibrgarh and Tinsukia. It is believed that the Morans came to Assam from across the Patkai Hills and settled in Upper Assam much before the coming of Ahom (1228 A.D.), which enabled them to set up and consolidate a principality of their own by the time the Ahoms came to Assam.

According to certain numbers of Elders, the word owes its origin to a myth. It is said that an old lady of the Moran community, a physician by profession, had the supernatural power of giving life to dead ones, for which she was called ‘Moran’, meaning one who can call back a dead.”Mor” means die and “an” means call back.

The Morans were the first among the tribes of Assam to accept initiation from the Mayamara Vaisanava Mahantas and at present happen to be the most dominant one among the disciples of the Mayamara Satra (founded by Sri Sri Aniruddhadeva) that is also the hati sect of Neo Vaishnavism founded and propagated by Sri Sankardeva. This has helped them in getting organized into a distinct community within the greater Assamese people and culture. This tribal community contributed greatly to the cultural, political and economic prosperity of the Ahom Kingdom, the successor state of the historic ancient Kamrupa kingdom.

Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East and be a part in Celebrating Indigenous people of the Legendary Tribes of North East India – the Moran Tribe, Tinsukia District, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam
The Moran Tribal people performing a traditonal folklore

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam
The Moran Tribal people celebrating at a traditional festival 

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam
The Moran Tribal Lady at the Loom at Moran Tribal Village

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam
The Moran elderly at the tribal village in Tinsukia District

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam

Celebrating Indigenous people of the Legendary Tribes of North East India – the Tai Tribe, Faneng Eco Village and Naharkatia, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

The Tai people of Asia are a sub-race of the Mongoloid stock of human race who are found to spread from the West Garo Hills of North East India to the Hanan islands of South China Sea, covering a vast area of seven countries namely Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam and China.

There are around 2 million people of Tai origin who live in North East India. Ahoms, a group of Tai people, came to Assam in the early 13th century, fighting their way to the Brahmaputra valley in 1228 following their Prince, Sukaphaa. Initially they spoke the Tai language and practised Buddhism as their faith. But after the first generation, the Ahoms married the local people, Borahi ( a tibeto-Burman ethnic group) & Moran, and they started adopting  the Assamese language. Their Kings and higher officials converted to Hinduism.

Prince Sukaphaa established his first state in the kingdom of Assam in 1253. The Ahom people kept good records of their past in chronicles called Buranjis. Ahom is the largest group of Tai group in India, settled mainly in Assam.

There are also other groups of Tai people namely Khamti, Phake, Aiton, Turun and Khamyang  who came to the valley at later periods than the Ahoms and made their settlement in various places of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East and be a part in Celebrating Indigenous people of the Legendary Tribes of North East India – the Tai Tribe, Faneng Eco Village and Naharkatia, the State of Assam, Incredible India!

Recommended Itinerary for your Visit: Tour of Tribes of Assam

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam
The Tai Ahom Tribal people performing a traditional religious ceremeony

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam
The Tai Ahom Tribal people performing a traditional religious ceremeony

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam
The Tai Khamyang tribal people in their traditional attire

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam
The Tai Phake people preparing their local savory delight – the Tupula Bhat ‘Steam Rice wrapped in tokou leaves’

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam
The Tai Khamyang people celebrating their traditional festival

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam
The Tai Phake Tribal people in their traditonal Attire

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam
The Lady at the Loom that weaves out exquisite handlooms at Faneng Eco Village

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India

Tour of Tribes of North East India, Eco tourism and homestays in Assam, Traditional festivals and Tribes of Assam
The Tai Phake elderly people at Faneng Eco Village

Recommended Itinerary for your visit: Tribes of North East India