Assam is a state of India in the north-eastern region. Located south of the eastern Himalayas, Assam comprises the Brahmaputra and the Barak river valleys along with the Karbi Anglong and the North Cachar Hills with an area of 30,285 square miles (78,438 km²). Assam is surrounded by six of the other Seven Sister States: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya.
Assam is rich in culture, ethnic groups, languages/ dialacts spoken and literature. It is known for Assam tea, large and old petroleum resources (the first oil reserves of India were discovered in Assam in the late 19th century), Assam silk and for its rich biodiversity. Assam has successfully conserved the one-horned Indian rhinoceros from near extinction, along with the Pygmy hog, tiger and numerous species of birds, and it provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant. It is becoming an increasingly popular destination for wildlife tourism, and Kaziranga and Manas are both World Heritage Sites. Assam was also known for its Sal tree forests and forest products, much depleted now. A land of high rainfall, Assam is endowed with lush greenery and the mighty river Brahmaputra, whose tributaries andoxbow lakes provide the region with a unique hydro-geomorphic and aesthetic environment.
Derived from the Sanskrit word “ASOMA”, Assam is a peerless land gifted amazing by the wonderful treasures of nature. It is an ideal gateway to the Seven Sister States and offers an exciting trip spot to the nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, adventure lovers and pilgrims. The state is rich in cultural heritage, colorful fairs and festivals, temple, historical ruins, wildlife parks, affectionate people and offer world class hospitality that make Assam a beautiful tour and travel destination not to be missed at any cost whole on trip to North East India.
Assam has many wonderful and alluring tourist places and major one are highlighted as below:-
Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Jatinga Hill Station, Haflong Hill Station, Maibong, Assam Tea Gardens, Majuli, Sonitpur, Sivasagar, Hajo, Nameri National Park, Sualkuchi and many more.
Assam has a composite culture born of the confluence of various traditions. Its numerous tribes lend it a cultural identity that is multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious yet distinct from the rest of the country in terms of political history.
One factor that construes as the binding agent of the various Assamese people is its Bihu festival. Three varieties of it, the Bhogali, Rongali and Kati Bihu, the festival is a dogged representation of Assamese identity and its uniqueness. The local flavour of celebration, however, goes way beyond just the Assamese folklore with the large number ethnic tribes like Mising, Karbi, Boro Dimasa, Rabha, Tiwa, Garo, Jayantia etc. having their own distinctive cultural features, facets and forms. The sheer physical beauty of these tribal people, their intricately woven attire ensembles and the striking colors of their clothes coupled with the incredible landscape that they call their homeland makes the composition of Assam’s demography one of the most desirably diverse in the world.
Bohag Bihu: Bohag Bihu is the spring time Bihu coming at seed-time. It also ushers in the Assamese New Year. It has an alternative name Rongali Bihu or the bihu of merriment, being associated youth, joy and mirth.
Magh Bihu is the harvest festival coming in winter and featuring big bonfires and feasts because of which it has the alternative name Bhogali Bihu or bihu of enjoyment.
Baisagu: Famous for its myriad of colours and merriment, `Baisagu’ is generally celebrated by the Bodo-Kachari is in the month Baishakh or mid-April. It is the most cherished festival of the Bodos. The first day begins with the cow-worship. On the second day elderly members of the family offered respect. The supreme deity `Bathou’ or Lord Shiva is also worshiped on this by offering him chicken and rice beer. There is age bar or sex bar dancing during this festival. The traditional musical instruments that are used in this dance festival are `Kham’ (drum), `Jotha’ (mnjari), `Khawbang’ (Taal), `Gogona’ (mouth-organ made of bamboo) and `Siphung’ (flute). It is also customary at the end of Baishagu festival to offer community prayer at a particular place called, `garjasali’
Bohaggiyo Bishu: The most fascinating spring festival of the Deoris. The Deoris are one of the four divisions of the Chutiyas, which are believed to have been members of the great Bodo race. Like other springtime festivals, Bihagiyo Bishu is also observed durinf rnid-april at a stretch for seven days with unrestricted joy and merrymaking. The Bihsu must be preceded by a Than Puja and evidently it must start on Wednesday. There is also much socio religious significance and arrangements, to be made before the puja. The Deodhani dance forms the most important significant part of the festival.
Rajini Gabdra & Harini Gabra: The annual festival of the colourful Dimasa tribe. It is exclusively socio religious festival which is generally observed before the starting of new cultivation. Rajini Gabra is celebrated during the day time. The `Kunang’ or village headman, propitiates family deity by closing the village gate on the puja day. In the same night the function called `Harini Gabra’ the presiding deity is worshiped for protection and welfare of the people.
Rongker and Chomangkan: Rongker and Chomangkan are the two most important festivals of the Karbis. Rongker is basically a springtime festival and is performed at the beginning of the New year. To propitiate different Gods and Goddess for the well being of the entire village, the elderly malefolk organize Rongker so that people could be free from diseases, natural calamities for the entire year. They pray for good harvest too.
On the other hand, Chomangkan is a festival, dedicated to the dead. It is primarily a death ceremony. There is no particular time for holding this funeral ceremony. It depends upon the convenience of the community. This festival is a must for every Karbis. It is non-stop four days and four nights celebration.
Ali-Ai-Lvigang: This is a spring festival of the Mishing tribe. This colourful festival is held every year on the first Wednesday (Lvigang Lange) of the month `Ginmur Polo’ (February — March). Ali means root, seed; Ai means fruit and `Lvigang’ means sow. Dance performed by the young boys and girls characterized by brisk stepping, flinging and flapping of hands and swaying heaps.
Baikho: Although the Rabha community does not have any national festival of their own, the different groups celebrate their own festival. The `Baikho’ or the springtime festival is only celebrated `Baikho’ or `Khoksi’ puja to propitiate the goddess of wealth, `Baikho’.