Bihu

Why To Go

One of the most prominent festivals that is celebrated in Assam, a northeastern state in India, Bihu is actually marked by three different sets of celebrations spaced out each year. The three Bihus are held at different times, marking the beginning of a different season, mainly the Bohag or Rongali (Baisakhi), Kaati (Kartik) and Maagh, which are celebrated in mid-April, October or November and early January respectively.

The lush green paddy fields of Assam turn a shade brighter during this time of the year. The manicured tea gardens are geared up to produce their first flush of the year.

It is believed that the term Bihu originated from the language of the Dimasas, one of the Assams many tribal communities. The word Bi (to ask) and Shu (peace and prosperity in the world) make for Bihu which roughly translates to a celebration meant for the entire state.

An exciting aspect of this festival is its detachment from religious and case boundaries. People across the state celebrate Bohag Bihu irrespective of their social status.

Travel Tips

If interested to enjoy and view the festival, it is essential to visit during those times only. The hotels might always be booked during the season, making pre-booking an essential thing. Lastly, the Bihu does not have any loud noise; it is, therefore, imperative to enjoy while it still lasts.

Things To Do

India is a country rich in culture, and each state celebrates its heritage differently. While festivals like Onam and Durga Puja have been commercialized and are becoming famous, it is the whole gamut of others like Bihu and the Chhat Puja that are slowly vanishing from India and being replaced by the more hip and happening. This has made it extremely important to look forward and encourage people that indigenous festivals can attain the same level if they wanted to. Bihu is one such festival and Assam is desperately trying to showcase its simplicity and beauty to the world. As with all other states of the country, the state of Assam is also rich in culture and heritage. The Bihu is one of their major ones, and since it is also an agricultural state, the year is marked with festivals that herald the growth and harvest of crops. With green paddy fields as the dominant crop of the country, the festival is celebrated with the seeding of the paddy (Bohaag), sowing of the paddy (Kaati), and culminating with the harvesting. (Maagh). As with all other festivals in India, Bihu too marks the celebrations of agriculture. However, it just doesn’t end there; they also have the Kaati Bihu or the Kongaali Bihu, which is the Bihu of the poor. Despite it being an agricultural festivity, what will mesmerize you is the simplicity that it celebrates. It is both secular and non-religious and marks the arrival of Spring. The festival abounds in songs and dances that last for several days, and the young men and women move about the village in circles dancing, singing and merry-making. What an amazing feature is that all Assamese are well aware of the Bihu songs despite being changed in each generation. The songs in Bihu have a different beat in it, and words are usually couplets that impart a different emotion. The distinctive dance of Bihu is accompanied with it and you as the traveler is surrounded by a sequence that enthralls your mind and your soul. The style of Bihu is, however, simple, explicit, and suggestive, and the songs are not preachy or overloaded with Sanskrit, the ancient language of most songs and scriptures. A significant influence on the Assamese literature, even the ordinary Hindu scriptures like the Mahabharata and Ramayana has their importance in them. However, as is with all culture, the Bihu too, is slowly withering away and thereby has limited itself to the only certain parts of the state where commercialization and modernization is yet to reach. The Mukoli Bihu is one thing that cannot be seen anymore. The state has realized this and therefore holding several fairs where amateurs and professionals come together to perform. Earning the prestigious title of Bihu Kunwori, the festivals are held to promote the popularity of the dance and thereby let other people also know about the heritage of Assam. To make the dance festival more musical, the musicians also use of the following: • Dhol (Drum) • Taal • Pepa (An instrument made of buffalo horn) • Toka • Baanhi (Flute) • Xutuli • Gogona The Bihu festival is culpable because each generation has influenced it in some way or the other. How it will change in this century is yet to see, and we hope its always for the best, and the more musical.

Getting Around

The only viable option to travel around the city is tuk-tuk locally called Auto.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

The main airport of Assam region is at Guwahati. The airport has flights from all over India, and it is also connected to smaller airports like Tezpur, Itanagar, Shillong, Tawang, and Agartala. From the airport, prepaid and postpaid taxis can be taken to reach different parts of Assam.

TRAIN

The closest railway station to Dispur is Guwahati, which is well connected to all major cities in India. Since trains are frequently available, they are the ideal forms of transport, and the tickets are also cheap.

ROAD

Both state-owned and private buses are available from Guwahati to Dispur. Used extensively by the perfect mode of transport, the buses depart from various points of the city during the day. You may also avail buses and private cars from any stations or airport to reach various spots of Assam.

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Surrounding Attractions

Both state-owned and private buses are available from Guwahati to Dispur. Used extensively by the perfect mode of transport, the buses depart from various points of the city during the day. You may also avail buses and private cars from any stations or airport to reach various spots of Assam.
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