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DESTINATIONS - Off the beaten trail

By The Assam Tribune
DESTINATIONS - Off the beaten trail
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Arijit Purkayastha

Narayanpur – on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra, could be the perfect getaway for weary city folks.

Assam is a mosaic of unique travel destinations, some little known ones offering you the chance to walk off the beaten trail and find the perfect Instagrammable photo. One such destination, steeped in spirituality, is Narayanpur, on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra. There is Letekupukhuri – 12 kms from Narayanpur, which claims pride of place as the birthplace of the famous Vaishnava saint and important preceptor of the Ekasarana Dharma, Mahapurush Madhabdev. There are also the nearby Bor-Khamti and other villages – with the distinction of being a crime-free place, populated by Tai-Khamtis, followers of Theravada Buddhism and one of the smallest Tai ethnic groups of the North-East.

Guru Griha

Walking through these villages, each with its own monastery, you learn that their years are filled with spiritual festivals and rituals. That their society is hierarchical. That they have their own script – Lik-tai, much like the one used by the Mons in southern Myanmar. That while they are largely concentrated in Namsai, Arunachal Pradesh, some also reside in Narayanpur.

Narayanpur is also home to the Deoris, the tribe of wise people and children of the sun and moon. Experiencing life in a traditional Deori home, an exotic mix of bamboo, cane, reed and wood, with a fireplace around which the family gathers, can be calming for city-weary folks. Men dressed in Ikhoons or loin cloth, while they stay at home, and women in Ujaduba Igoon (blouse), Jokachhiba (skirt), Gathiki (gamosa) to cover their heads, and many ornaments, all going about their daily lives, make for attractive pictures.

Golden Pagoda of Bor-Khamti

So, while Narayanpur might appear obscure, it has a charm that few other places can match. Exploring the lifestyle of the indigenous tribes here, with their distinctive languages and customs, dance and music is inimitable and unforgettable. A visit here can be clubbed with Majuli – a ferry from Kamalabari to the Dhunaguri Ghat, and then by road to Narayanpur.

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