Rongali festival – An extravaganza of art, food & music

Rongali festival

Of the time I spend in researching about a destination, most of it goes in looking for local festivals and their celebrations in those places. I immensely enjoy being a part of the festivities around significant events of a destination. So, when an invite to attend Rongali festival came my way, without a second thought,  I was found boarding a plane to Assam.

Upon being received by Koyeli tours and travels, we were made comfortable in Hotel Atithi. After freshening up, we decked up to attend the inauguration of Rongali festival in Guwahati. The venue Srimanta Sankaradev Kalakshetra was elaborately done in neon colors and arrays of lights. The mood was set from the time I entered the venue and the festive vibe took over me.

The young artists decked up in their authentic local dresses were reciting the folklores in their melodious voices which echoed through the entire venue. Ofcourse, my first stop had to be to the ground where the youth of north east was passionately singing out their daily lives through these folklore. Indulging in the music, observing their dresses and the instruments they played made me feel one of them. I was lost in the moment when the other group started dancing merrily with a sieve in their hands. Upon enquiring, I got to know that this dance form called Deshi Janagoshthi is about depicting the local life.

Rongali festival

Rongali festival

The ground was dotted with local art and crafts like peculiar masks from north east and many other cultural products. All this while, I was tapping my feet on the beats of a local band which was a huge crowd puller at the event.

While walking to the other ground, I wondered true to what I had heard of Rongali festival, it is indeed a festival extravaganza to celebrate the new beginnings and spirit of life. The guide from Koyeli tours and travels mentioned about the line up of events involving locals arts, crafts, food competitions, cultural dance forms and sports competitions. It was not difficult to reach the area where food stalls were put up and suddenly my feet started pacing up as the aromas were incessantly inviting me.  There were a number of stalls showcasing the local cuisines and variety of pitha from Mishing tribe.

Rongali festival
With the organizer of Rongali festival and our host from Koyeli Tours & Travels Picture Courtesy : Travel by Karma

The next stop was the inaugural ground where the Governor of Assam addressed the crowd and handed over some awards. We were delighted to know that our host Mr. Arijit Purkayastha, founder of Koyeli Tours & Travels had also won the Best Tour Operator Award. The event was attended with many ministers and who’s who of North East. A line up of fashion shows stole the show from thereon and musical performances from various bands of Bangalore, Bhutan and North east were absolutely the highlights of Rongali festival. The audience got grooving when Raghu and his band set their feet on the stage and I will not forget the time when Raghu so effortlessly made the crowd sing a popular Kannada song.

Rongali festival

Rongali festival

The grandeur of Ankia Bhaona – a local musical form portraying stories around Krishna gave me goosebumps. The international dancers performed the bhaona with unrivalled perfection and poise. The expressions, the costumes and the dance were on the mark and enthralled the entire audience.

Rongali festival

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This 3 day fiesta was a captivating experience for art lovers, foodies, fashion ninjas and suckers for music. My sojourn with this vibrant capital city of Assam didn’t end here and I went on to explore some temples, silk village and many more things to do in Guwahati (details on it will follow soon).

Also read – Kaziranga National Park- An Assam jungle odyssey

Do you have any stories to share about any local festival you have attended ?

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Rongali festival

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10 Replies to “Rongali festival – An extravaganza of art, food & music”

  1. Nicely described Sakshi and pics are amazing!
    How can I share my post on your blog?

  2. Loved the Spectacular extravaganza, Sakshi 🙂 I recently attended the Nyishi tribe’s Yazali Nyokum Yullo Festival in Arunachal Pradesh and it was mesmerizing to see their colorful rituals and traditions.

    1. saakshimaheshwari says: Reply

      Thanks a ton Richa! I closely followed your journey to that Festival! Loved every bit of it.

  3. I love how colourful the costumes are! Your photographs have really captured the soul of the festival. Is it held annually in Feb-Mar?

  4. I’ve heard loads about the Rongali Festival, but have never had a chance to visit. Lucky you, to have gotten this beautiful experience. 🙂 The pics are amazing, and the festival sounds fascinating!

  5. Thanks for this colourful post about the Rongali festival. I’m sure I would enjoy the music, dance, food, and art celebrated here.

  6. Denny George says: Reply

    I visited Guwahati during the Namami Brahmaputra festival a couple of years ago. While I found the place a tad bit too congested for my taste, the artistic performances were truly spectacular. Seems like you had a similar experience at Rongali festival, sans the crowds. The art forms of Assam are truly unique, and by and large unknown in rest of the country.

  7. What a wonderful way to celebrate the new beginning and festivities of life. I never knew that there was a Rangoli festival celebrated in Assam. Thanks for the introduction. When I plan my Assam trip, I will plan it around the festival timings.

  8. The Rongali festival is indeed a revelation. It looks so colourful and spectacular. Assam is one region that we have not visited and can see that the culture is so vibrant especially the dance and the music part. The folk arts of India are so varied and unique and one wishes that these are encouraged more and more. Events like these are a sure boost to these art forms.

  9. Attending festivals is a great way to learn about the culture and heritage of a place. Rongali Festival of Guwahati seems to be one of such festivals with local folklore dancing, singing and playing. I always heard that music goes hand in hand with Northeast India and this blog of yours proves that statement to be correct. I loved a few of your portrait photographs of Assamese in their local attire. Very well articulated and very informative. Thanks for sharing

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