Assam

Dwijing Festival – An Ultimate Guide


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Live the river”. – is the motto of  The Dwijing Festival. Like first two years, this year the third edition of 12 days cultural Fest held at the Bodoland Area Territory District (BATD). “Dwi ” means river and “Jing” means the bank of the river is rightly named of this festival as it is conducted at the Bank of Aie river behind the Hagrama Bridge to celebrate the cultural activities of Bodoland. Dwijing Festival is such an annual event that gives travel junkies to explore the traditional indigenous community culture of North East India in its true form.

 

The Aie river (Aie means mother) is flowing from Bhutan through the Chirang and Bongaigaon districts of Assam and meets in the river Brahmaputra. The festival will attract you to its vibrant, colourful programs with the assurance of taking you to a different world, where you can be the spectator of the art installations, or different activities can lure you towards the culture more and more.

Dwijing festival entry

I was fortunate to get the invitation from Bodoland Tourism to be a part of Bodoland Ambassadors and celebrate the third edition of the Fest. I spent 7 days learning about Bodo people and glimpse their lifestyle and culture practices.

 

Brief about Dwijing Festival

Bodoland, which is predominantly inhabited by the indigenous Bodo people, is an autonomous territory spreading over the extreme north part in Assam by the foothills of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. Assam is blessed to grow with many rivers and Bodoland is one of the places which is growing on the bank of Brahmaputra , Barak and Aie river.

To promote river tourism and to provide a livelihood opportunity for local people this festival was initiated by Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). Started in 2016-17 with the name of “Aie river winter festival’ later changed its name to “DWIJING festival” to showcase the river “Aie” and its importance in front of the world.

 

“Festivals promote diversity, they bring neighbours into dialogue, they increase creativity, they offer opportunities for civic pride, they improve our general psychological well-being. In short, they make cities better places to live.” David Binder

 

Things to do at the Dwijing Festival

If you are an adventure junkie or an avid photographer or a foodie or a person who loves to exchange cultures, this is just for you.

 

Watch Cultural Performances

The Musical shows and cultural performances are the attractions of this festival. From different states and different tribal communities are performing each day while sharing the stage with International and National celebrities. This year celeb like Himesh Reshmiya , Malaika Arora , Bhumi Trivedi , Kailash Khair were performing at this festival. The bright folk dances, the fashion shows, song performances were just incredible to watch.

 

 

A Foodie’s Paradise

Dwijing festival is a great place to cherish and enjoy local cuisines and traditional local fresh drink and foods. Being a bong I relished the variety of fresh homemade fish curries, fish gravies and sticky rice.

I also tried Sobai Jwng Daau Jwng (chicken dish), Lapah (green veggies) , Pitha (Rice cake), Pigeon fry, Onla (curry),zarwo (Silkworm Fry), Snails with Black Lentils, Goja (sweet dish), Ema Datshi (Bhutani cuisine) and many dishes…

Along with food and snacks, give your tastebuds to guzzle a tangy flavour of Rice Beer; the famous liquor of Bodoland.

 

Feel the emotions behind Art Installation

This year 2018-19 Blurred Perimeters was the theme of the art. It has shown both the plurality of cultural creativity along expressive power in the rest of India. The art installation acted as evidence of North East artists and they’re struggling to create an art that is vibrant, innovative, expressive and keeping good pace with trends that are dominant in the country.  These pieces of depicting their pain, agony, life, sorrow and joy.

 

 

Participate in different Activities

Hot air Balloon ride or Chopper ride is an altogether different experience. Also, walk to the Bamboo bridge can definitely a new experience for urban chaos. If you are an adventurous soul, then river rafting can include in your kitty.

 

Buy some Handmade Souvenir

Local handmade unique cloth-like Dokhona is the main attraction. These are traditional wear for Bodo women. Vibrant, colourful kind of Dupatta you must try. Bamboo Beer Mugs, Bamboo basket, Bamboo back clips, bamboo bangles, bamboo decorative products are the must-buy souvenirs.

 

 

Accommodation Options

There are not many accommodation options in Dwijing. If you wish to stay at the fairground tent options are there. Else you can get a different range of Hotels or Homestay at Bongaigaon which is the closest city from fair.

 

Reach Dwijing Festival

Option 1: Fly down to Guwahati Airport, take Bus or Cab to Bongaigaon, which is 180 km from Guwahati.

Option 2: Take a direct train – at Guwahati Station (Assam). Then take a shared cab or bus till Bongaigaon.

My route: Delhi to Guwahati by air and further by private cab. The time taken from Guwahati Airport to Bongaigaon is 180 Km. So, the total duration to reach near the fair location from Delhi is 9-10 hrs.

 

After reaching Cygnet Park Meghna hotel in Bongaigaon with fellow ambassadors, our excitement levels were swelling while seeing Himesh Reshammiya , who was staying at the same hotel.

The next few days we were living our lives like a dream. Early sunrise made us rise early and we were so excited to visit Dwijing , the much-awaited festival. Aie River was flowing beside the fairground which made the location just heavenly beautiful. The whole seem extra vibrant with the spectacular confluence of art installations, food stalls, ethnic shops, activities, hot air balloon, chopper ride and many more.

 

Document or Permit for Dwijing

A valid Passport or any other identity proof is enough to visit the festival. Also, keep some photographs, though Bodo Tourism is not very strict for tourists.

 

Weather at the Festive time

The weather of BTAD  is a little cold during December -January. Day’s temperature is pleasant (Between 16-20 degree), but during the night, sometimes the temperature drops to 2 to 3 degree Celsius, So carry some woollen outfit/jacket for the night and light warm cloth /full sleeves for the day.

 

 

Facts about the Culture, Location and Festival

  • The location advantage of the state has been enriched by 121 tributaries of the Brahmaputra and 16 of the Barak river
  • The purpose of the festival is to promote Bodoland Tourism and livelihoods for the rural villagers, support conservation, popularize Dwijing river festival, and support the government’s initiative to make the region a better place to live and visit.
  • The Aie river plays a vital role to about 30000 families for their daily livelihood through crops, fishing, etc.
  • During the rainy season, every year it creates massive destruction to the Bankside areas and as a result, lots of properties are lost.
  • Manas National Park, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, is one of the main tourist attractions of the region. Located in the Himalayan foothills, it is contiguous with the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan.
  • The Hagrama bridge is 1200 meter long and the longest bridge in Bodoland.
  • Carry enough cash at ATM is not available or the number of ATM’s is very less.
  • Only Jio and BSNL network is working properly.
  • Ask before you try any meat as they eat mongoose, snails, rat, pigeon, dry buffalo liver, silkworm. So it is always better to ask before if you are not aware of these.
  • Get permission before you click anyone’s pictures.

 

It is Safe for Female Travelers

Before visiting the place I had some different opinion about the place as I never heard about Bodoland earlier. An as a part of North Assam I had some fear about the culture, location, food and people.

After visiting the place, I am dying to visit it again. Yes, you read it right. This place is absolutely safe for female travellers. The people are extremely generous, kind and helpful. They will make you comfortable with their simple smiles and hospitality. I personally recommend the place to everyone and I am soon planning to visit a solo trip to Bodoland again.

 

Dwijing festival is much more than a river festival. It is a place of learning and exchanging the cultural mix. It is the place of experiencing new activities, to cherish the detox network free mode while discovering the land of back soil. The place where again I want to roam with elephants in a small village and witness the best Sunset to satisfy my visual hunger.

 

Come and experience Dwijing with an open heart.

 

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51 thoughts on “Dwijing Festival – An Ultimate Guide

    1. Indeed this was a great fest. Yes , the celeb part I guess they bring because to attract more people and to spread awareness among rest of the world.

  1. I was so excited for you and Amrita when I came to know about this initiative by Bodoland .Indeed an interesting place now for sure to be on the map of tourist going to explore Assam . I am surely interested to visit this place and may be to festival next year.
    Great Post Pam!! Keep travelling Keep Inspiring.

  2. First Time I heard about this festival and I kinda liked it. I think I too will go to witness this. Thank you.

  3. This is quite an interesting and beautiful account of the Dwijing Festival. I absolutely love the concept of the art installations. The photographs are also lovely. I am reminded of all the fun times we had there. Waiting to do another trip soon!

  4. I have to say you are really lucky to have been invited to attend this fantastic festival! There is so much to experience, I would love to visit sometime.

  5. My grandmother is from Gosaigaon in Assam and I have spent most of my holidays there. I really like their food & culture. After reading your blog post I just felt like visiting Dwijing festival. It will be so much fun!! Thank you for describing every little detail that one might need.

  6. I had to let go of an opportunity to visit bodoland this year. But never say never there is always a next time. And I’ll make sure I cover this area. Thank you for sharing.

  7. That looks really interesting! Didn’t know about this festival… Definitely a great and colourful one! Love the pictures of food that you shared…

  8. I loved this interesting account of dwijing festival.I came to know about through your article. I will surely visit it. Thank you for sharing it.

  9. The Dwijing Festival looks like a paradise for all travellers considering the activities and food options available. Love the detailing of the blog

  10. Very well articulated and I love the fact that you are promoting such local events. They should help boost rural tourism and empower the villagers

  11. I loved your piece and especially your photos. I believe it was pretty safe for women to attend it alone. My only concern is why they called Himesh Reshamiya? They need to push more of the local talent and even let outsiders get used to their way of singing and dancing.

  12. The festival has so much depth and vibrancy. Loved the art installations and all the pictures you’ve shared. I specially love the people in North East, so humble and warm.

  13. The North East is a glittering and pristine jewel of India. It is not only blessed by nature but has such a vibrant culture that comes alive in various festivals. The Dwijing Festival is one such, that showcases the best of Bodoland. Reading your post reminded us of our visit to Arunachal Pradesh a couple of years back to attend the BASCON festival and the Mechuka Adventure Festival. We returned back with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

  14. Yaay brings back the memories of Dwijing Festival. It is surely a very colourful and vibrant festival. We had a great time too and we definitely miss those days. It was beautiful. I loved the music and we danced on the New years eve the whole night. It was super fun.

  15. Wow Pamela, I’m hearing about a new place that boasts about an amazing culture, so much talent, variety in food and pleasant temperatures. I would definitely like to check this place out.

  16. This festival is on my bucket list for long… Loved the way you narrated your experience of the Dwinjing festival… Honestly i felt like i just did a virtual travel… And yes great photos

  17. Dwijing has been on my list for the past 2 years now, but somehow never materialized – and this year’s gone by too! But thank you for such a detailed post.on the festival – it helped me live it virtually. The art installations seemed beautiful and poignant. Hopefully I’ll get to visit someday soon!

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