The Duol Ustav- Revealing the essence of Holi Festival in North East India

Tripoto
19th Mar 2019
Photo of The Duol Ustav- Revealing the essence of Holi Festival in North East India by srivatsan sankaran

The Duol Ustav- Barpeta - Revealing the essence of Holi Festival in North East India

Photo of The Duol Ustav- Revealing the essence of Holi Festival in North East India 1/25 by srivatsan sankaran

Holi in Mathura is world famous and is now a part of every traveler's bucket list. Barsana is a fairy tale experience everyone would want to be a part of. Celebrated with much pompous, there's quite a contrasting celebrations in the other side of the country - the North East.

The Doul Utsav, similar to Holi is celebrated at Barpeta, a small town nestled in an hour's drive from Manas National Park, Assam. It is a beautiful town with a lot of green cover and one would immediately recall of lush green Kerala and its freshness.

The challenge as soon as I arrived in Barpeta town was to find an accommodation due to advance bookings for the season. Every utility required for a daily living is in a walk-able distance. The first day of the festival is Banhutsava, and the crowd gathered around the temple to celebrate. The evening embellished with fire crackers, the joyous mood of the residents, the vibe of evening bhajans and the sumptuous food was good enough to a satisfactory beginning.

The first man who celebrated the Doul Festiva in the model of Vaikunta (Heaven) l was Mathura Das Bura Ata. The reason being that it was believed that the festival was first celebrated in the heaven and thereafter, it was being associated with Satriya Parampara (traditionally) till today at Barpeta Satra or Ditiya Vaikunta (Second Heaven) located at Barpeta.

In spite of the language barrier, the next morning, being the last day of the festival, was a day to enjoy with water colors. It was a different, calm yet an enchanting experience intertwined with chaos. The Krishna Idol was brought from a place called Jagmohan Ghat in a Dhola. The crowd uplifted the mood with Bhajans that gave a positive vibration, electrifying joy and pure happiness. I framed few interesting portraits and dynamic mood of festivals. Some of them were dancing in the warm noon and it was quite exhilarating to experience them.

The Dhola was then taken outside and moved around the temple for 7 times. The never ending enthusiasm is a culturally enriching experience, leaving one bewildered and in awe with the serenity of the unique experience.

Thank you Dingata Sarma for the wonderful support and coordination during the trip.

Basic Information:

Total Distance from Guwahati: 140-150KM

How to reach Barpeta:

Either by bus or cab or train. Bus service is available from jalukbari, Guwahati. If you are going by Train, you will be getting down at Barpeta road station. You need to get bus to reach Barpeta town which is 20km away. Road transport is most recommended.

Where to stay: There is not much hotels available in Barpeta. despite few are there. It will be fully booked during the festival time. It's required to book hotels in advance. Restaurants are less too. So please plan accordingly.

When: It happens during the Holi festival (March).

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