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7 Interesting Things About Assam You Probably Didn’t Know About

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By Shweta Sachdeva:

Known primarily for being home to the precious one-horned rhinoceros at Kaziranga, and the mind-numbing paradox of birds committing mass-suicide at Jatinga; the beautiful state of Assam stands as much more than just these! Moving beyond the clichéd notions that many people have about the state, here are some interesting things about Assam to broaden your horizon about the place!

1. Assam has a State Anthem!
The anthem has been composed by Lakshminath Bezbaroa and goes like this — ‘O Mur Apunar Dex’ (O my endearing motherland). It was officially adopted as the anthem of the State in 1927 at a conference in Tezpur.

2. Celebration of Cultures

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Unlike the image that people have of Assam, it is not a ‘separate country’ in itself. It is in fact home to several Bengalis, Marwaris, Biharis, etc. Every street is peppered with chat wallahs and mithai wallahs, predominantly run by people from Bihar. Marwaris are also very high in number here. They have a specific area earmarked to themselves in the form of ‘Fancy Bazaar’.

3. Assam has Three Different Types Bihu Celebrations

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Bihu is the state festival of Assam. But instead of coming once in a year, it comes thrice! Having been living in Assam for two years now, the grand celebration of the festival has always amazed me. They have the Bohag or Rongali Bihu (mid-April), Maagh (mid- January) and the Kaati Bihu (in the month of October).

4. Guwahati — the pseudo-capital of Assam

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Dispur as we all know is the official capital of Assam. However, the High Court, National Law University, IIT, DGP Headquarters and other important offices are all located in Guwahati. It functions as the un-official capital of the State. Dispur, in fact is so small that the area skids away in a bus-ride of two minutes!

5. Jonbeel Mela
Lesser known even amongst the people of Assam, this is a three-day fest that occurs some 30 kilometers away from Guwahati at the entrance of the Porbitora Wildlife sanctuary. It is unique as it revives the dead and gone concept of ‘barter system’ and agricultural produce and native products are exchanged. This festival is inaugurated by the King of the Tiwa tribe who then collects taxes from the people based on their earnings.

6. All Kinds of Food Available Here!

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Assam offers an inviting palate to all. From rava dosas, cheese momos (try Fancy Bazaar in Guwahati) to scintillating pastas — the state affords all avenues for foodies to take them on an ultimate-gastronomic journey. With their own native specialties of pitha ladu, bamboo shoot-infused duck, pigeon dishes and rice beer, Assam has fantastic options to silence the naysayers about the only food in Assam being ‘rice with anything’. Popular eateries line up the city of Guwahati and other districts. Bhoot Jolokhia is another spicy chilly the place is famous for.

7. Not a Jungle or Rape-state or Flood-land!

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Lastly, here’s a myth that has been “busted” several times previously (and thus its notable mention here). Guwahati happens to be a booming and ever-developing, globalization-welcoming city. Also, since Brahmaputra is one of the largest rivers of the country, it does make sense that once it gets over-flooded during monsoons, there will be floods throughout the state. But it isn’t all ‘water water everywhere’ opposed to popular notion. Thus, these grossly misrepresented impressions need to be debunked.

Open up your minds fellow readers and appreciate the state a bit more! Come to Assam and celebrate life! Pre-sentiments are in attendance for every place, but don’t let that dampen your spirits; let this state spin its magic upon you as well!

You must be to comment.
  1. Bandita

    Very nice article

  2. Nipom

    It’s more like 7 Interesting things about Guwahati,not Assam.

  3. Sankardev Chowdhury

    This is a highly problematic article , especially sl. no. 2 , 3 and 7 . It seems the esteemed journalist was on her vacation to Shillong and in the transit , stayed back in Guwahati, in the popular touristy area, Paltan Bazar and walked down for two hours in the nearby Fancy Bazar , talked to few people and made a piece. I see this piece as a re-assertion of the step-brotherly treatment to north-east in General . In sl. No. 7 , what does the author mean by ‘Not a Jungle or Rape State or Floodland’ ? Yes there are Jungles in the Kamrup Valley (and so what) , Yes there was a murder of two schoolgirls yesterday from the two ends of the same rope in Pathshala, and yes, Rapes happen here too like everywhere else (which makes it as bad as other places) but we do not want the Author to correct a notion of a ‘Rape-State’ in popular imagination , if that is so the Author herself and all of us belong to ‘Rape-Country’ . And yes Floods are so bad here that for two weeks this year, boats were deployed on the roads. Fancy Bazar is a appropriation of ‘Faaansi Bazaar ‘ where Jailed criminals were sentenced to Death as the Jail is nearby. And no , it is not very nice and warm , there is widespread otherisation in Assam as everywhere else. Hope the Author knows about the Killings in ‘Bodoland’ in recent times. And why is the Author surprised that you get ‘all types’ of food here ? As if , since its in North east India, it is supposed to have Dog Steaks everywhere no ? I am sure this article will be resisted from the Intelligentsia of the land , which has seen floods, rapes and jungles. At best the Author has a Orientalist Gaze. Seems she is surprised at the Indian-ness of the Non-indian frontier state. Complete Waste of her time and our time.

  4. Ukshaa

    Definitely written by a tourist who thinks Guwahati is all of Assam. She should be sent to Dhemaji district to see how people suffer from flood every year and also to other districts as well to check what more precious and awesome things assam has besides what she happened to see and mention.

    1. Gautam Kare

      Thanks Ukshaa.

      you are right.

    2. Gautam kharel

      Thanks Ukshaa

      you are right.

  5. Kalyan

    Rape state ?? Flood land ??
    Do I need to explain anything about this.. We are quite aware of the truth, I guess..

  6. Dhrubajyoti

    Yeah That’s nice admin..!!

    I had never visited this site before but from now I wanna visit it all the time and I liked it most that you have published a lot of things about our Assam..!! once again thanks for this and I hope you all will do great in future and congrats for your deeds and awards..!!

    But I want to say one more thing that this is only the good side but I want you to show our bad sides of this state too so that govt. should aware of our problems..!! Thanks once again..!!

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