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.
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.
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.
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.
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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