GUWAHATI, March 14 � Around three hundred years back, the Doul Utsav, which is more popular these days as Fakuwa, was celebrated in the city with a two-day programme. In the end part of the 18th century it was celebrated under the aegis of Prince Ghanakanta Yuvaraj with a two-day programme at the Uzanbazar Rajbari, said noted writer Kumudeswar Hazarika.
Hazarika, who was talking to this correspondent, said the venue of this celebration was shifted to the Uzanbazar Barowari Namghar in the 1930s.
Doul Utsav was also celebrated at the Thukubulia Namghar on the Kharghuli Road, with a two-day programme. The Namghar was established by those who fled Upper Assam in the face of the Burmese invasion in the pre-British era, Hazarika said.
After the establishment of Hari Sabha at Panbazar in 1915, Doul Utsav was celebrated there with a two-day programme. The Panbazar Barpeta Sakha Satra has also been celebrating the festival of colour for the past about 100 years, said the noted writer.
After the establishment of the Govinda Temple at the Manipuri Rajbari in Ulubari area of the city, Doul Utsav was celebrated there with a few days of programmes with much enthusiasm.
The festival was also celebrated at the Paltanbazar Chaitanya Gaudiya Math in the early 20th century with a two-day programme.
The Tokobari Kulbil Satra, near the Rupashree Cinema, has also been celebrating Doul Utsav with pomp and gaiety for the past about 100 years with a two-day programme.
The ISKCON has also been celebrating the festival with much enthusiasm.
On the first day of the festival, Guwahati women used to play with colours in their own localities and this is still prevalent in many parts of the city, he said.
�When we were school boys, we used to honour the elderly persons by painting colours on their foreheads and feet and they also reciprocated with their blessings,� said the Octogenarian writer.
And on the Doul days, he said the youths used to take jelapi, bundiya-bhujia and tea at their friends� courtyards before taking bath after playing with colours. �This still makes me nostalgic,� he said.
In the past, the festival of colour was celebrated with pure colours on the first day in Guwahati and the second day was kept reserved for smearing people with mud. But in the 1960s and 1970s, some people started using some harmful products like engine oil, bitumen etc. This condemnable practice is still prevalent in some areas.
The Bishnu Puja connected with the festival has now become popular and it is held in most of the community Puja Mandaps of the city, which was not seen about 60 years back, except at a few Namghars like the ones located at Barowari and Hari Sabha, said Hazarika.