Earlier, the festival was celebrated mainly by Bodos but now thousands of people, irrespective of caste and creed, scale the peak in festive mood to welcome Bwisagu festival.
The three-day long 7th Baukhungri festival at Harinaguri village in Assam’s Kokrajhar district began from Friday. Perched at 1,491 feet above sea level, Baukhungri peak is about 10km from Kokrajhar town.
The festival was inaugurated by Biren Chandra Phukan, Principal Secretary, Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC ). Various programmes like cultural show, ethnic food festival, indigenous sports and trekking etc will be held during these 3-days.
The hill is tucked away within Chakrachila wildlife sanctuary, which is home to the endangered golden langur. Since time immemorial, local residents have been climbing Baukhungri hill on Sankranti, the final day of Chaitra — the last month of the Hindu calendar year.
According to Bodo legend, Baukhungri hill is the sacred abode of Sibrai (Lord Shiva) and a number of other deities. Earlier, the festival was celebrated mainly by Bodos but now thousands of people, irrespective of caste and creed, scale the peak in festive mood to welcome Bwisagu festival.
The event was traditionally known as baukhungri jajw gakhwnai or climbing of Baukhungri hill. But over the past seven years, the tourism department of the BTC organises the annual Baukhungri festival in a grand way. The department has made various additions to the festival, like adventure sport, cultural programmes, ethnic food festivals and indigenous sporting events to attract tourists.
At the food festival, visitors can taste mouth-watering ethnic dishes like napham, onla curry, narzi and sobai curry and wash them down with sweet rice beer prepared by the members of the Bodo community.
The trek up the hill also provides some stunning views. The hill is flanked by the beautiful Deeplai Beel and part of Dheer Beel. The lower reaches of the hill are covered with magnificent sal trees and semi-evergreen trees. The area within the sanctuary, a snaking hilly tract running from north to south, has many sites of historical and religious importance.