Bodoland – untouched Assam

Gethsemane, a man-made woodland near Bhairabkunda in Bodoland’s Udalguri district, leaves one awestruck. Sown into a 15 lakh tree cover over 17 years, it is veritably the region’s jewel in the crown. Today, all along the drive through Gethsemane to Bhairabkunda, one marvels at the handiwork of the local community in transforming 750 hectares of barren land into a green cover and home for animals and birds.

Bhairabkunda, Assam  itself is a unique attraction—bounded by Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh  near the Bhutanese town of Daifam, with its famous Shiva temple situated in Bhutanese territory! The first stop of the journey from Guwahati would be Goreswar, to see how the elongated wooden dhols and nagaras are crafted from wood and goat skin. Driving through small towns and villages, one would stop near Dimakuchi to enjoy  packed breakfast overlooking tea gardens. And, if in Bodoland on a Tuesday, one can even witness the worship of the Shijou plant, the symbol of Obonglaoree, the supreme God of the Bodos—the largest ethnic and linguistic community of the Brahmaputra Valley.

In fact, Udalguri and Kokrajhar are the hub of Bodoland—a land that is a rich blend of colour, tradition, music, dance and food. Cooked with various kinds of herbs, Bodo dishes have distinctive flavour, aroma and taste that lingers in the buds and in the memory for long. Fish and dried fish are regulars, as is pork—called Oma Bedor—which is fried, roasted, or cooked as a herb-infused curry. Another interesting food is the silkworm, considered a delicacy in Bodoland.One also cannot miss Maibra Jou, a special sweet and strong rice beer prepared from sticky rice and amou, the fermentation agent.

Finally, while in Bodoland, one simply cannot miss watching Bodo women weave the colourful dokhona in the home looms.

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