Kargil | Aryans Villages

Aryans villages are situated near the India – Pakistan Line of Control ( LOC ), it is a 65 km drive from Kargil, after crossing over the Humboting-La pass. Just before the villages on the banks of river Sindhu (Indus) a road goes up to Batalik village on LOC it is a restricted area.  Darchik village is on the left bank of river. there are other Aryans villages within 45-50 km Garkon , Dah and Hanu and few more at some distance on the banks of Sindhu river.

Red Aryan Lady from Darchik village, Batalik, Kargil

Red Aryan Lady from Darchik village, Batalik, Kargil

 

Red Aryan Man from Darchik village, Batalik, Kargil

Red Aryan Man from Darchik village, Batalik, Kargil

Settlers of these villages are different from other villagers in neighboring villages , they are Brokpa, Dard people claim to have migrated from Gilgit , they have lived in isolation in their inaccessible villages , they claim to be pure bloodline of Aryans, they also claim to be the descendants from Alexander’s army solders who never returned with their contingent while retreating in 326 BC from the banks of river Indus ( Sindhu) , they also call them self “Minaro”. According to a legend there were three brothers Dulo, Galo and Melo who came in search of fertile land and got settled here and people from these villages are their decedents.

Lady from Red Aryans Darichik village, Batalik, Kargil

Lady from Red Aryans Darichik village, Batalik, Kargil

Red Aryans village , Garkon, young man , Batalik, Kargil

Red Aryans village , Garkon, young man , Batalik, Kargil

 

These people are tall, high cheek bone, green or blue eyes, fair complexion and few have blonde hair, they are not shy of wearing the modern cloths but their traditional dress men wear a long maroon gown a cloth tied on waist, woolen trouser , women weat a long gown made of goat skin without arms , decorated with shells, silver and pearl ornaments . The headgear called “Tepi” is with silver base decorated with fresh and dried flowers from the mountains , they wear sheep wool shoes.

Red Aryans village, Darchik, Buddhist monastery, Batalik, Kargil

Red Aryans village, Darchik, Buddhist monastery, Batalik, Kargil

 

They are nature lovers strict vegetarians except for their festival “Bon Na” when they sacrifice a goat to their God “La”, they follow “Bon” which is older than but similar to Buddhism of Tibet , they follow the Tibetan solar calendar and celebrate the “Lohsar” the Tibetan New Year , they also use “Swastika” sign in their celebrations probably this is the one of the identity their being Aryans. Ibex are sacred for them

Red Aryans village Garkon, school kids, Batalik, Kargil

Red Aryans village Garkon, school kids, Batalik, Kargil

 

These villages are in a narrow valley with warm weather due to low altitude, dry rocks on higher reaches but these villages are green due to their positions near the drains pouring their water in Sindhu river. they grow Millet, Barley, Apples, Apricot, Walnut, grapes, tomatoes , they take two crops in a year. they extract oil from Apricot seed which is therapeutic and used as medicine, their staple food is roasted barley flour with salted butter tea (cha tsampa) . they do not consume Cow milk or its products , eggs and chicken, they take goat milk,  Festivals are celebrated with wine of grapes ( gunchang), they are experts in making Apricot red and white wine . Dancing and singing is part of any celebrations with drums and pipe called “Dingjangs”

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Kargil | 5th Century Lord Buddha’s Rock statues

Kargil 5th century rock carved out statues are the only three statues left in the world after Bamiyan Buddha’s statues of 5th century were destroyed in Afghanistan .

Kargil in Ladakh region of India is an ancient town situated on the junction and a transit point to the Silk route, traders from Central Asia, China, Tibet, Zanskar, North India traded the spices, tea, textile, rugs, dyes,  through Kargil till 1947. Kargil which was also known as Purig , the popular language spoken here is Balti-Purig which is a dialect of a Tibetian , Zanskar people speak Bhoto . After the Shia Islam was introduced around 13th Century and in 16th Century The King Thi Namgyal directed his people conversion from Buddhist to Shia Islam, lots of Persian words and Phrases become part of the daily speaking language , the social celebrations like marriages still have Islamic and Buddhist common rituals.

There are many statues and impressions which were made during the Buddhism period are beautiful rock carved statues of Maitreya Buddha exhibiting the skill and dedication of artists and devotion of people from that period.

42 Kms. from Kargil town is a village Karstekhar near Sankoo, on Kargil – Suru valley road , here a ten meter tall statue of Maitreya Buddha is cut out from a greyish yellow rock , it has been carved by the skillful artists , holes around it suggest that scaffolds were used to get such a tall statue carved out with very fine details on face, it is supposed to be carved in 7th Century.

Matreya Buddha, Chamba statue, Karstekhar, Sankoo, Suru valley, Kargil

Maitreya Buddha, Chamba statue, Karstekhar, Sankoo, Suru valley, Kargil

The Bodhistva Maitreya is in “Abhya Mudra” with right hand  and left hand is carrying a “Kamandal” the water carrying pot , there are “Rudraksha Mala” tied on wrist and arm above the elbow , here we see “Janeu” and “Kardhani” the waist band are also of “Rudraksha” , decorative necklace and a headgear . Knotted hair are falling over the shoulders.

 

Matreya Buddha, Chamba statue, Kartsekhar, Sankoo, Suru valley, Kargil

Maitreya Buddha, Chamba statue, Kartsekhar, Sankoo, Suru valley, Kargil

 

Matreya Buddha, Chamba statue, apati village, Sod valley, Kargil

Maitreya Buddha, Chamba statue, apati village, Sod valley, Kargil

Apati village is about 25 km from Kargil, one is to walk through a small green village settled along a water stream, after crossing the village and drain a beautiful Maitreya Buddha statue with right hand is in “Abhay Mudra” and in left hand is a “Kamandal” to carry water, the eyes are protruded out like Frog eyes, one can see the red colour in the parts above the shoulders and on the wall behind which has faded out with time .

 

Matreya Buddha, Chamba statue, Mulbek, Kargil

Matreya Buddha, Chamba statue, Mulbek, Kargil

Mulbek is 42 km from Kargil on Srinagar-Leh highway , The Maitreya Buddha 9 meters tall  is carved out in a rock with four arms , first right hand is in “Varada Mudra” , second right hand carrying “Rudraksha Mala” the Rosary, first left hand is carrying the “Kamandal” the water pot and second left hand is carrying branch with leaves. both the arms above the elbow and wrist are having Rudrasha mala tied around ,long ears are with “Kundals” ear rings ,neck is adorned with decorative necklaces . one can see a “Janeu” hanging from left shoulder till below the naval . knotted hair are falling over the shoulders . The statue here is completely different from Apati and Kartsekhar statues.

Drass is 65 km from Kargil on Leh-Srinagar highway , there are few stone statues partly recognizable as a Maitreya Buddha , Avalokivtesara , a horse rider , a Lotus flower and a stupa. These figures are supposed to be of pre Tibetan influence in the valley .

These three Buddhist rock carved statues in Kargil , India are only left in the world after the demolition of Bamiyan Buddha statue in Afghanistan .

 

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What not to be missed in Kargil

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What not to be missed in Kargil , most of the tourist travelling by road Srinagar / Leh use Kargil as a overnight   halt because of not much information available with the travel agents , situated on the midway on Srinagar – Leh highway, ancient town which had trading links with Tibet, China , Central Asia and India has a long history. Before Shia Islam established in 16th century, Buddhism was followed and still the natives have common rituals in marriages and other celebrations .

Kargil city on the banks of Suru river

Kargil city on the banks of Suru river

Present Kargil district is group of small kingdoms have majestic landscape , many little known rarely explored yet beautiful interesting stories attached to history, religious monuments, tribes, ethnic groups, battle fields, grass meadows, high mountains, glaciers, apricot orchards, barley and wheat fields .

Kargil Heritage walk takes you around the old bazar of small shops constructed of mud and wood, old gurudwara and mosque with common wall, Balti Bazar the old trading houses, Munshi Aziz Bhatt Sarai where traders from Tibet, China, Central Asia use to stay , old bridge over Suru river and Munshi Aziz Bhat heritage museum .

Drass is the second highest cold inhabited place in the world, Kargil war memorial in the memory of soldiers who sacrificed their life for the nation is at the base of Tololing , here the names with their Regiments are engraved on stone slabs .

Dropti Kund is supposed to be associated with Hindu epic Mahabharata queen Dropti, a water lake which changes its color with the change in the season. The locals trust that if a childless couple consumes  water from here get blessed with a child .

Dropti Kund Drass , Kargil

Dropti Kund Drass , Kargil

Bhim Bhat is seven feet long black cylindrical rock, supposed to be a body part Bhim from the epic Mahabharata, locals trust that a childless lady can conceive if she consumes the dust from the rock. Even when a goat or a cow stops giving milk, the locals feed them with the grass from its proximity to get it to start lactating again.

Bheembhat Drass village Kargil

Bheembhat Drass village Kargil

Manman Pass is the point from where one can have beautiful views of Dras valley, Tololing, Rhino Knob, Tiger hill and snow laden peaks across the Line of Control between India and Pakistan.

Kaksar village on the banks of Shingo river, is the ancient village still having the old houses. This village is on the Line of Control and one can see the territory across the line of control. The villagers have lots of stories and memories of Kargil war and every year organise  Shaheed Capt. Saurabh Kalia Memorial Cricket Tournament in the memory of the Kargil war Heros . Shingo river originates from the Pakistan occupied Kashmir and enters India near this village, meets the Drass river then merges with Suru river and re-enters Pakistan occupied Kashmir again near Hundarman.

LOC Village Kaksar , Kargil

LOC Village Kaksar , Kargil

Hundarman village is recorded to be a about six hundred years old , from far it appears to be a cluster of separate  houses but in fact it is one interconnected house for a family, this village is on LOC and one can see a POK village known as Brolmo where every Friday one can see a large gathering at Shekh Ali’s mazar .

Apati village is an ancient village have a Ghandhara style Maitryea Buddha rock cut statue supposed to be of 8th century one of the three statutes in Kargil area left in the world .

Lord Buddha's statue at Apati village Kargil

Lord Buddha’s statue at Apati village Kargil

Aryan’s villages There are few villages (Dha Hanu, Garkone, Darchik) along the Sindhu ( Indus ) river near Batalik , people living here are Dards call themselves pure Aryans Brokpa, are tall and fair different in looks, traditions,cloths different language and their marriages are among their four villages only.

Lady in traditional gear Aryan’s village

Karche khar  a small ancient village have a 7 meter tall lord Buddha’s rock cut statue of 7th century it has fine details, it is one of the three rock cut statue in Kargil area left in the world .

Lord Buddha's rock cut statue at Karchekhar village Kargil

Lord Buddha’s rock cut statue at Karchekhar village Kargil

Suru Valley  is  also called the Gulmarg of Ladakh with dense plantation of Popular and Willow trees , it is full of Myricarea and wild roses , two side snow caped mountains and large number of Suru river tributaries , it is a famous picnic spot and pilgrims come here to pay their respect at the tomb of Syed Mir Hashim a Muslim scholar saint who imparted the Islamic teachings in this area .

Syed Mir Hashim Tomb Kargil

Syed Mir Hashim Tomb Kargil

Trespone is a picturesque village with a beautiful mix of Tibetan Islamic architecture famous Imambara over a hilltop  it is also a place where people still make a traditional Scythian Bow by using mulberry frame and Ibex horn which is highly tensile and strong known as Scythian Bow it is used for the annual archery competitions held in almost all the villages in Kargil region .

Parkachic Village is at the end of Suru valley famous for its glacier and beautiful views of twin peaks of Karakoram range Nun (7135 mtr) Kun (7077 mtr) .

Mulbek is on National highway to Leh here is the 9 meter tall Chamba statue of lord Budhha of 7-8th century one of the three rock cut statues left in Kargil of lord Buddha in the world .

Lord Buddha's statue at Mulbek village Kargil

Lord Buddha’s statue at Mulbek village Kargil

One can reach Kargil throughout the year by air from Leh , by road from Srinagar Zoji-la pass is closed from around December first week till April end and from Manali roads closes around October till end of May every year .

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Harsiddhi Mata Temple | Ujjain | Madhya Pradesh

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Harsiddhi Mata Temple Ujjain is situated on the Eastern bank of river Shipra in one of the ancient city of world Ujjain , this city is also mentioned in ancient Hindu text as Ujjaini, Avanti , Avantika and Avantikapuri . It was the center for learning Astronomy & Astrology in the early days of Sanatan civilization .

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This temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths, it has a important place in the ancient Hindu texts, according to Shiva Puran when lord Shiva was carrying away the burning dead body of Ma Sati , her elbow fell here , this place is over a hillock in the west of Mahakaal temple near the Shipra river .

The original temple at this site was supposed to be built by King Vikramaditya, at the entrance there are statue of Bharaiv Nath on both side of entrance. The present temple is built by the Maratha rulers with the impressive stone carved lamp pillars .

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The original seat of Harsiddhi Mata is at Kyolo Dungar Miyani, Porbandar Gujarat   https://promarktravels.com/blog/2015/12/harsiddhi-mata-temple-miyani-gujarat/    It is said to be built by Lord Krishan who worshiped Amba Mata to defeat the demon King Jarasandha after the win he built the temple at this place and accepted her as his Kul Devi . The present temple is built in 1300 AD by a merchant Jagdu Shah

How this temple was built at Ujjain by King Vikramaditya legend is the King visited the Kyolo Dungar to pay his respect at the temple , he was blessed by the Harsiddhi Devi and asked him for a boon , King requested her to come and stay at Ujjain where he will worship her daily, Devi accepted the request and put a condition that she will stay at night in Ujjain and during the day she will be present at Miyani Gujarat..

According to Skandha Puran ( ancient Sanatan text ) two demons Chand and Prachand wounded the Nandi Bull to enter into the Kailash territory , Lord Shiva got angry called Ma Chandi to kill them , after her success Lord named her Harsiddhi .

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The present temple is constructed by Maratha rulers  surrounded by a wall with four gates there, there are two large stone lamp post smaller is female and larger is male , at a time eleven hundred lamps are lighted , a 10th century, step well built during Parmar rulers , Ma Harsiddhi is over Shree Yantra in the sanctum  along with Ma Sarasvati and Ma Lakshmi also there is a Shri Yantra in the assembly hall with fifty one pictures of goddesses with the Beej Mantara .

Legend is that King Vikrmadtiya use to offer his head to Ma Harsddhi every twelve years, it happens eleven times that Ma reinstalled the head but on twelfth time it could not happen and King died .

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Kargil | Sayed Mir Hashim Tomb | Suru Valley

Sayed Mir Hashim a Islamic preacher and scholar came to Suru Kurchay upon invitation from Thi Namgyal a Buddhist king of Purig Kurchay,king had one of  Muslim queen Rigyal Khatoon also known as Thi Lah Khatoon wanted him to educate and train their son Thi Mohammad Sultan in 17th century .

Dargah Sayed Mir Hashim , Karpokhar, Sankoo Valley, Kargil

Dargah Sayed Mir Hashim , Karpokhar, Sankoo Valley, Kargil

Sayed Mir Hashim is decedent Mir Shamsuddin Iraqi who came to Kashmir to preach Islamic teachings and made lots of followers , Sayed Mir Hashim came to the Suru with his disciple Akhoon Fazil , due to their teachings and training Thi Mohammad Sultan became a popular king and worked to spread Islam in the valley .

Dargah Sayed Mir Hashim Karpokhar, Sankoo valley, Kargil

Dargah Sayed Mir Hashim Karpokhar, Sankoo valley, Kargil

Sayed Mir Hashim was then invited by King of Wakha Regyalde Cho on the birth of his son Babar Khan to bless the newly born, after staying for some time and preaching Islam he left Akhoon Fazil at Wakha and return to Suru Karchay and stayed here till his death, his Tomb is located at Karpo Kharon near a small town name Sankoo in Suru valley 42 km from Kargil . It is a shrine with great reverence for the people of Ladakh .

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Kargil | Bheem Bat | Drass Valley

Bheem Bat is in Drass Valley is about 2 km from the Kargil War memorial 53 km from Kargil very close to the National Highway 1D to Drass – Kargil – Leh.

 

Bheem Beda, Drass Valley, Karakoram range backdrop, Kargil

Kargil Bheem Bat, Drass Valley, Karakoram range in backdrop, Kargil

While travelling from Drass to Kargil about two km from the Drass War Memorial , on the right hand of highway there is a beautiful green meadow , one is to walk about two hundred meters in the open green area to reach near the Drass river, just before the gorge is a cylindrical black rock lying on ground about 7 ft. in length encircled by a wall of stones is Bheem Bat .

Bheem Beda , Drass Valley , Kargil

Bheem Bat , Drass Valley , Kargil

It is a piece of rock as per legend goes, it is a body part of Bheem a Pandava brother from epic Mahabharat , it moved overnight from the other side of mountain by itself. It is treated as a holy relic, locals Muslims and Buddhists believe that it has healing powers. the grass and mud around it is used in treating the Goats and Cows for increasing the quantity of milk .

It is also believed that consuming the scratched dust from this rock by a childless lady results in early conceiving .

 

Locals and the army men posted in this area visit this place regularly to pay their respect by lighting the incense sticks and oil lamps .

Drass Valley is a surrounded by snow caped mountains of Karakoram range , river Drass flows through it , one can enjoy the beautiful views of Tiger hill, Rhino Knobb, Tololing one one side and on the other side is Mun mun pass from where one can have view of beautifull Drass valley and India – Pakistan Line of control .

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Majuli|Mishing Traditional Apong Beer

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Apong is the traditional rice beer ( country liquor) of Mishing tribe of Majuli , Apong forms an integral part of the culture, traditions and rituals of the Mishings , it is an integral part of the life of the Mishing people. It is brewed in every Mishing household.

Prepration for Apong ( Beer) , Mishing Tribe Majuli Island

Prepration for Apong ( Beer) , Mishing Tribe Majuli Island

Apong is prepared by fermenting rice, it comes in two types – Nogin Apong and Poro Apong. The Nogin Apong is whitish in colour, while Poro Apong has a dark greenish colour.

Rice and burnt husk , Apong , Majuli Island

The method of preparation is different, the two Apongs  differ in their taste and colour , sophistication involved in brewing rice beer were not only herbs but even the ladies preparing it can change the taste with its moods.

Herbs are part of brew Apong, Majuli Island

 

Each house lady has its own taste of brew and recipe is a close secret of a family, each family member enjoys it even the new born kids are given few drops of it to prevent many diseases among the infants.

Preparing for Brew , Mishing tribe lady, Majuli Island

During Ali-Aye Ligang festival it is offered along with chickens and pork to please the spirits and seek their blessings

 

the beer pots

One can reach Majuli from Jorhat by road to Nimatighat and then a ferry 1.30 hrs. sailing to cross the river Brahmaputra reach Kamalabari Ghat , there are Jeep/bus service available for Gramurh , it is also a port of call for river cruise M.V. Mahabaahu .

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Majuli | Mishing Tribe Culture

Mishing Tribe of Majuli 

Mishing or Miri migrated few century ago from the hills of Arunachal in search of fertile and safe land, they are one of the most colorful tribe fun loving enjoying the life, have their own music, musical instruments, dance and songs for different occasions.

Worship mother Sun and father Moon and believe that their ancestor Abotani ( the first man on earth) as their son, they have their own religion “Mishing Faith” the two forms, Animism and Vaishnavism, are two different ways of religion, but they have coexisted in the Mishing society without any conflict .

Mishing Tribe girls performing Bihu, Majuli Island

Mishing Tribe girls performing Bihu, Majuli Island

Strict rule for not to marry in same clan or different clan but have a brotherhood.Most of the marriages are with elopement and then seek the blessings from elders, arrange marriages are quite often when two three meetings are done over a plate of rice and home brewed Beer .

Mishing Tribe enjoying Moran Bihu, Majuli Island

Mishing Tribe enjoying Moran Bihu, Majuli Island

Houses are stilted made of bamboo over the wooden posts and beams, floor and walls are of bamboo, it has a thatched roof, houses are in cluster with granary and cowshed, poultry, piggery and goats are quite common, Fishing and growing different variety of paddy rice, mustard, pulses, maze, tobacco, vegetables is main job, they prepare two type a rice beer and greet their guests with it.

Mishing village family home, Majuli Island

Mishing village family home, Majuli Island

Traditional institutions like Murang is a community bachelor boys home which performs the protecting role for the village , Mimbir Yame  is a group of young unmarried boys and girls who are taught Mishing ethics, discipline and community rules, farming , house making , wedding arrangements or any where help is needed they take care .

Each village has its village chief and ( Kebang) council who take care of village community his words are final in matters to the faith , small disputes and crime , person found guilty are punished. The Bane Kebang is group of two or more villages council Jurry consisting of selected elderly people , judgement delivered is honored by all.

Mishing village home , Majuli Island

Mishing village home , Majuli Island

Weaving is part of every household. they have been making cotton and silk cloth even with growing of cotton , rearing the silk worms , spinning the threads, dying and then weaving the famous varieties from Assam .

Mishing Tribe lady on hand-loom, Majuli Island

Mishing Tribe lady on hand-loom, Majuli Island

Mishing textile piece, called gadu. It is the traditional Mishing blanket, fluffy on one side, and it is woven on a traditional loin loom.

Mishing Tribe Hand-loom Mekhla , Majuli Island

Mishing Tribe Hand-loom cloth , Majuli Island

Making use of bamboo for their daily use items , wood work is limited to boat making only. one can see a canoe with each house hold.

Mishing man making bamboo trap for fishing, Majuli Island

Mishing man making bamboo trap for fishing, Majuli Island

There are several dances and festivals of the Mishing tribe. Their dances are called Paksong or Soman similar to Bihu , three type of songs are sung , Aku singers sings about the history and culture , Oi and Anu nitone are love songs , modern instruments along with traditional Bansuri (flute) clapping of metal bells are used.

One can reach Majuli from Jorhat by road to Nimatighat cross river Brahmaputra 1.30 hr. ferry to Kamalabari Ghat and then jeep/bus to Gramur , it is also a port of call for river cruise M.V. Mahabaahu 

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Majuli, Deori Tribe Culture

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Deori Tribe of Majuli

Deoris  migrated from hills staying at various places and then finally reached Majuli through river Brahmaputra, they call themselves children of Sun and Moon (Jimo – Chaayan) have their own culture and faith along with the Hindu Gods they worship their ancestors, they served as priests for the royal families even today they have same respect among the other tribal communities. Deori means wise male and female.

Deori Tribal Ladies , Majuli Island

Deori Tribal Ladies , Majuli Island

Houses are stilted built by using bamboo, cane and wood, animals are on the lower level and upper level family stays, normally there is a corridor till the center of house which is used for all day to day work, there is place for faith in God and each home have a reserved place for it.

Deori Tribal Village house , Majuli Island

Deori Tribal Village house , Majuli Island

 

Marriages are arranged by the family elders and day is fixed, as gift cloths and ornaments are offered and it is solemnized in the presence of community as a religious ceremony. They enjoy rice, pork, goat, fowl in their meals.

Deori Tribal Mother and Child, Majul Island

Deori Tribal Mother and Child, Majul Island

Two major festivals associated with the agriculture activity, Magiyo Bisu is celebrated in the month of January and Ibaku Bisu is in April, there are special rules, it is celebrated for seven days, the village elders shower blessings by visiting all the houses and, puja is performed in each house by the head of family, guests are treated with homemade rice beer “Suzen” young boys and girls gather in an open space and dance the whole night.

Bhohagiyo Bisu is a religious festival and a very important Deodhani dance celebrated for two weeks, it is believed that a special power is there with few who can be a Deodhani, they predict about the prosperity of village or person, it is a holy female god dance and during this period no men are allowed in colored clothes in the dance area called the “Than”. Joydam festival is celebrated in the month of February it is very important festival and cultural meet for all the four groups of Deori tribes, it is to pay the respect to motherland and celebrate the bumper harvest or before the sowing of seeds, the main profession of Deori tribe is agriculture .

One can reach Majuli from Jorhat to Nimatighat by road and the take a 1.30 hr. ferry to cross the Brahmaputra , it  is also a port of call for river cruise M.V.Mahabaahu 

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Majuli, Sonowal Kachari Tribe Culture

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Sonowal Kachari Tribe of Majuli

Sonowal Kachari Tribe have its origin with Mongoloid features, they have no language of their own at present and speak Assamese language.They got the Sonowal name because they were experts in extracting gold dust from the rivers, they also have a good knowledge about the medicinal herbs and using them for many ailments .

Sonowal Kachari Tribal family, Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari Tribal family, Majuli Island

Believe in supreme power of creator and spirits worshiping the ancestors and sacrificing the animals and birds to please them but accepted the Vaishnave Satras followings in 17th century which is against any such things, each village have a place of worship called the “Namghar”.

They believe that they were the descendants of great Bhaskar Varma, Narakasur, Ban, Bhagadutta, Hadimba, Ghototkach, Bhim, Prahlad and Bali . They worship lord Shiva and performs the Bhouwa dance in praise of Lord Shiva. This dance signifies the beginning of a new life, a clean society and the removing of bad omen.

Bhouwa dance by Sonowal Kachari Tribe in praise of Lord Shiva

Bhouwa dance by Sonowal Kachari Tribe in praise of Lord Shiva

Family and village elders are treated with respect, villagers believe in cooperation and extend help in agriculture and house making in exchange for food and drink.

Sonowal Kachari Tribal Ladies , Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari Tribal Ladies , Majuli Island

Beetle nut and beetle leave are a part of their life and symbol of welcoming the guests at home, it is an important part of any ritual to include these, their villages are full of trees of beetle nut .

Sonowal Kachari village, Beetle nut trees , Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari village, Beetle nut trees , Majuli Island

 

Beetle leaves , Sonowal Kachari village, Majuli Island

Beetle leaves , Sonowal Kachari village, Majuli Island

 

In their family system there are clans and sub clans, marriages are forbidden in same and brother clan, they follow monogamy but having more than one wife is not objected, widow marriage is allowed.

Sonowal Kachari Lady at handloom , Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari Lady at hand-loom , Majuli Island

In marriage it is must to present a hand-loom to the girl, they wear colorful home weaved dresses, dhoti, kurta and Gamsha. They love rice based food with less spices.

Their main occupation is agriculture, dairy farming, poultry and hand-loom cotton and silk cloth, all ladies are expert in weaving .

Sonowal Kachari, mother and child, Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari, mother and child, Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari ladies performing Bihu , Majuli Island

Sonowal Kachari ladies performing Bihu , Majuli Island

Kacharis celebrate their festivals with great joy and enthusiasm there are three Bihu festivals, marriage, harvesting or any opportunity is enjoyed with dance.

One can reach Majuli from Jorhat by road to Nimatighat and then 1.30 hrs. ferry to cross the river Brahmaputra to  Kamalabari ghat and the by Jeep / bus to Gramur , it is also a port of call for river cruise M. V. Mahabaahu .

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