From our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, April 18: The 5th Baokhungri Festival, which started from April 12, concluded on April 14 at the historic Baokhungri hills situated near Kokrajhar with a huge flow of visitors from the north-eastern States as well as States like Gujarat, UP, Punjab, West Bengal and Tripura.
The hill trek competition, competitions of indigenous games and ethnic food festival, added tothe essence of the festival. In the hill trekking competition on the hill top of Baokhungri, over 200 participants took part from various districts of Assam, including competitors from Punjab, Gujarat, UP, Tripura, Kartaka, and West Bengal. The trekking competition was organized separately for male and female. The winners of both categories carried a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh while the second and third position holders were given Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 25,000 respectively and Rs. 5,000 was given to each participant from fourth to 10th position as consolation prize.
In the male category, the first prize was bagged by Yogendra Kumar of Dahod district in Gujarat. He finished the 7-km hill trekking in 37.30 minutes followed by Parag Kumar Deka of Morigaon (37.48 minutes) and Rajendra Kr. Bind Allahabad, UP (38.44 minutes).
The top 10 position holders were Jahidul Islam of Kamrup, Dulu Sarkar of Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, Hemanta Ray of North Abhayapuri, Bongaigaon, Abul Hossain of Coochbehar, West Bengal, Bhupen Deka of Morigaon, Sanjay Bhumij of Tinsukia and Kuldeep Kumar of Sandwra, Punjab.
In the female category, Shyamali Sing of Pachim Medinipur in West Bengal got the first prize while Kiranjit Kaur of Bhatinda district of Punjab, who had won the competition for three consecutive terms, came third this time. Sing finished the 7-km rough hill trekking in 47.04 minutes against Kaur’s 43.32 minutes record last year. Meanwhile, Poom Singh of Allahabad, who finished in 47.46 minutes won the second prize and Kiranjit Kaur of Bhatinda of Punjab who finished in 49.35 minutes got the third prize. The top 10 position holders who received Rs. 5,000 each are Matowara Ahmed of Kalatoli, Kamrup, Dipti Chutiya of Golaghat, Razi Parbin of Kamrup (Rural), Mi Bordoloi, Nowkhola, Morigaon, Minuwara Khatun of Kamrup (Rural), Momata Fulmali of Cachar and Rabi Mashahary of Medaghat, Baksa.
Similarly, the champion of Gila competition, Bhalukjhora of Kokrajhar received Rs. 20,000 while second position holder Bhalukjhora A and Ghoshkata of the same district received Rs. 10,000 and 5,000 respectively. In Khomlaii, Udalguri district won the highest prize followed by Baksa and Kokrajhar. The Khomlaii competition was conducted in five categories for both male and female. The first prize winners were given Rs. 10,000 and certificate each while the second and third rank holders were given Rs. 5,000 and Rs 2,500 respectively. Over two lakh people from various places enjoyed the traditiol hill trekking and Baokhungri festival.
The deputy chief of BTC, Kampa Borgoyary while attending the prize distribution ceremony as chief guest, said the council gave importance to preservation of indigenous games in BTC area and with a view to prevent the traditiol games from being extinct, the prize money of Khomlaii, Gila and other traditiol game competitions would be enhanced from next year. The first prize winner in Khomlaii would be given Rs. 25,000 while the second and third prize winners would be given Rs. 20,000 to Rs 15,000 respectively. He also said the prize of Gila would also be enhanced from Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 40,000 and the live cock fight would also be given due importance.
Borgoyary said paragliding from the Onthai Gufur hill near Baokhungri was one of the most attractive events in the festival.
He said that other than in Sikkim, there was no paragliding in the north-eastern States and now the BTC was trying to include it in the tourism sector. As many as six paragliders from BTC returned after completing the training in Sikkim and now the council would introduce it, he said.