JAGIROAD, Jan 15 � The historic �Junbeel Mela� will begin tomorrow Junbeelpar, 4 km from Jagiroad in Morigaon district with a three-day-long programme.
The mela is organised every year on the eve of Magh Bihu celebrations of the Tiwas under the auspices of the Gobha Deo-raja Junbeel Mela Samiti at the direction of the Gobha Deo-raja Rajdarbar.
The ceremonial king of the erstwhile Gobha kingdom, Deepsing Deo-raja along with his ministerial court members and other personalities from the tribe will meet at the mela site to attend a community feast tomorrow evening.
The primitive and indigenous barter system of trade between hills and plains people is still prevalent in middle Assam. One such barter trade market will begin in the early morning of Friday at the mela ground. A community fishing at the Junbeel, the natural water body by which the mela has been named, is another significant event of the day.
On January 18, a Rajdarbar of the Gobha Kingdom will be organised at the mela ground to be followed by an open session and other programmes like collection of subscriptions from the shops of the mela ground, cockfight, exhibition, etc. A souvenir named Junbeel will also be released in the open session.
The organizers told this correspondent that a number of visitors from abroad will also attend the mela.
According to historical records, the mela started not later than the 15th century. Though the exact origin of the mela cannot be ascertained, it is held on the Thursday after Magh Bihu. Till the 14th century, the hills people frequently created disturbances among the people of the plains of these areas and looted their commodities.
To overcome this, the Ahom King during the 15th century organised some melas in certain places on the border areas of the kingdom to ensure commercial and cultural amity between the hills and the plains. The tradition still continues through the Junbeel Mela.
It is believed that originally, the kings of Gobha, Nellie, Chahari and Dimorua collectively took a decision to hold this big get-together, but at present, the Gobha king solely declares the holding of the mela. He also witnesses the fair every year.
The market which once lasted for a day and a night earlier is now a three-day fair. During the mela, the hill people come down to meet their relatives in the plains.