By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Feb 12: Imagine bounties of ture –medicil herbs, wild orange, exotic cuisine, hand-made paper, lush green forest and whatnot! An interior village in Kamrup district along the Assam-Meghalaya border, Umthali Gaon, hitherto an uncharted territory for tourists, is just 60 km from Guwahati. In order to woo tourists to their place, the villagers are set to hold a three-day festival – Dura Landu Festival – med after the picturesque Dura Landu Falls located in the village – from February 14 to 16, 2017.
Education and job opportunities for youths sound alien for the villagers. They largely depend on cultivation, including horticulture. They are perennially penury-driven. Over the years they were ignorant of the fact that the land they have been living for centuries could be a tourist destition, if projected and showcased in the right way. Taking cue from the Ukium Festival held in December last year in the nearby area, the villagers of Umthali Gaon are ready to hold such a festival to woo tourists. Theirs is a festival on an experimental basis.
Addressing the press at Guwahati Press Club today, Dura Landu Festival convener Chandan Keshab said: “The site is a mosaic of lush green forest replete with medicil and other plants, streams, Dura Landu Falls, etc. Organic cultivation, traditiol cuisines, traditiol home-stay, housekeeping, handmade paper, wild orange locally known as memang rong etc., do add to the richness of the spot, hitherto an uncharted territory for tourists.”
Keshab said: “Tourists will certainly get a lot which they can’t expect elsewhere. Some of them are the exotic food (the local cuisine), hospitality of the simple-living local tribes, their diverse culture and the scenic beauty. What’s strange is that despite being located at an interior place along the Assam-Meghalaya border, the villagers have sanitary facilities, albeit in their traditiol style. Cleanliness is the middle me of the area as the villagers are very particular about preserving the environment. Pollution is something unknown in the area.”
Enumerating other virtues of the area, Keshab said: “Even during the peak of summer the temperature in the area remains well within 24-28 degree C. This is one of the reasons behind the region remaining pollution-free. The Ukium Festival organized in December last year in the nearby Ukium is an eye-opener for the villagers of Umthali Gaon.”
According to Keshab, Umthali Gaon can be reached by taking a road located one km from Chhaygaon. The road leads one to Ukium, from where one has to go 5 km afar. The village has around 300 families, mostly Garos and other tribes.