Assam, the Pragjyotishpura of olden times was also known as Kamarupa, the land where Kamadev was given a fresh lease of life by Lord Shiva. Moving from legend to history this land is also known as the land of the red river and the blue hills. In myths, legends and history, Assam has always been celebrated as the region of exotic appeal, whether because of its ethnic and cultural diversity or the interface of the gift of nature and the skills of man. It is a land of understated attractions, which are coming into focus only recently.
Besides harbouring countless varieties of flora and fauna including the great one horned rhino and many species of orchids, it has a staggering variety of crafts, costumes and cuisines. The thousand plus tea estates in the region with their own communication also add to the variety of the food of the region. It has attraction galore for tourists and travellers of any dispensation.
The Assamese spring festival Bihu brings to the fore many of the customs, and manners and the cuisine. Assam is endowed with lush greenery and the mighty river Brahmaputra, whose tributaries and oxbow lakes provide the region with a unique hydro-geomorphic and aesthetic environment. It is one of the richest biodiversity zones in the world and possesses number of tropical rainforests, deciduous forests, riverine grasslands, bamboo orchards and numerous wetland ecosystems.
Two ancient industry of Assam was gold washing and jewellary making. Gold was available on the sand of different rivers flown down from the mighty Himalaya. A tribe called Sonowal Kacharis were engaged for gold washing the rivers. The river Subansiri was the main river of gold wash.Assamese traditional jewellery are exquisite and unique. They are handmade and envy of Assam. Our jewellery includes Keru, Doog-doogi, Loka-paro, Bena, Gaam-kharu, Gol-pata, Jon-biri, dhol , Thuriya etc.
Weaving has been an integral part in the lives of assamese society. The handloom industry of Assam is silk oriented. It is the largest and the oldest industry of Assam. It is dated back to about 11th century. Sualkuchi, the Manchestar of the east is situated on the bank of the river Brahmaputra, about 35 kms from Guwahati. Weaving is the prime occupation of this small town. Pat, Eri and Muga silk Is Assama's pride. A bride attire is of Pat silk. White Pator mekhela shador is a designer's envy. Bright colour are also popular amongst the younger generation.Eri or the Endi is of dull brown colour. The texure is warm and has a long durability. The older it is the warmer it gets. Eri shawl are very popular in Assam. Muga is the finest of India's wild silks. It is of naturally gold colour and warm. Muga silk is a wonderful gift of nature. It is found only in this part of the world.
Bell-metal and brass have been the most commonly used metals for the Assamese artisan. Sarthebari, a small town near Guwahati is famous for its bell metal utensils. Traditional utensils like Xorai, Bota, Thal, Ban- bati. Bati,,Lota are found in every Assamese household. The Xorai, bota,Kalah etc have been in use for centuries.The Vaishnava Satras were founded by Sankardeva. These Satras has considerable collection of old Assamese utensils. Also many old Assamese families have. Today it is really nice to see utensils like Xorai, Kalah, Bota etc as a part of drawing room decoration.The Xorai and bota are used in all our auspicious occasions. Still today, in many rural areas meals are served to honoured guests in Ban-kahi. Bota is used to offer betel-nut and paan while welcoming distinguished guests. Tamul- bati, a silver bowl with a cover is a much used bowl during the marriage ceremony. A small Bota made of silver is also used by a new bride to welcome guests.