Jonbeel Mela

Nowadays we can’t imagine our lives without money. But perhaps, it is not true for all places. For example, Morigaon district of Assam in North-East India. There is a group of villagers, who don’t use the money. These villagers engage in barter trade. This takes place in January every year during Jonbeel Mela festival.

Joonbeel Mela is a three-day community fair held in a huge bazaar at Joonbeel in Dayang Belguri area. Local tribes such as Karbi, Khasi, Tiwa, and Jayantia converge from across the hills. More than 1000 tribes are estimated to participate in Jonbeel Mela. In addition, families from the hills bring herbs, spices and exotic fruits found only in those places. And exchange their goods with local people. This old barter system is an interesting phenomenon to experience.

The event starts with Agni Puja where locals worship the ‘God of Fire’. After Puja, locals get together to fish in the wetland. Meanwhile, visitors and mela participants engage in a freewheeling exchange of various goods. Tribes exchange their goods for rice, fish and pitha sweets. This event is a great example of communal harmony where people eat together and celebrate as one happy family. Come join us to experience this old tradition firsthand!

Guwahati region, Assam, India

Jonbeel Mela festivity takes place near Guwahati. Jonbeel is the biggest city in the state of Assam. This region is famous for its natural and cultural wonders as well as for its exceptionally delicious traditional food. Furthermore, nature lovers enjoy spotting exotic birds, trekking through forests, exploring rivers and waterfalls. Culture lovers visit holy temples, the land of black magic and Silk! ‘Muga’ (Golden) and ‘Eri’ (Ahimsa) silks are indigenous to Assam. Interestingly, these silkworms survive only in Assamese conditions.

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Day 1:

 We greet you at Guwahati Airport and accompany you to Lokhra homestay. In the afternoon, we visit the famous Basistha temple. Later in the evening, we go to spot birds at the nearby Dipor Bil Wildlife Sanctuary and before it gets dark, we visit the holy Balaji Temple. At night, back at homestay bonfire and traditional Bodo dinner will be waiting for you.

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Day 2

We wake up early and travel to Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary for a Jeep Safari to spot one horned Rhinoceros, an endangered rhino breed indigenous to Assam. Later, we travel to Mayong, which is the famous land of black magic in India. Although black magic is no longer practiced, Mayong museum provides an opportunity to see the relics of it. On the way back to the homestay, we will stop by Burha Mayong to visit the longest Stone inscription in Asia (3.85 meters).

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Day 3

We wake up early to go to Chandubi Eco Camp. After breakfast, we will do boat riding, bird watching, trekking and visit Joramukhuria forest village and waterfalls. After lunch at Chandubi Eco Camp, we will visit the North East Crafts museum and showroom of Handicrafts and Handlooms.

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Day 4

 Festival day! After breakfast, we travel to Morigaon district for Jonbeel Mela. We will spend the entire day at the Festival and witness barter trading in practice. In the evening, we will return back to Guwahati.

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Day 5

We will go to Suwalkuchi, also referred as ‘The Manchester of the East’. In this Silk town of Assam, you will visit the Silk Museum to see a variety of traditional silks. Later, we travel to Hojo, the holy land of Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. In the evening, we say goodbye to the mighty Brahmaputra River and enjoy a lovely dinner aboard a river cruise.

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Day 6

Early morning, we will visit the holy Kamakhya temple in Guwahati. After breakfast, we drop you at Guwahati Airport to return home or continue exploring India?.

Tour operator: Jungle Ideas, India

Tour package includes the following:

  • Accommodation for the entire stay
  • Breakfast and dinner during entire stay
  • Bonfire expenses
  • Entrance to all National Parks/Wildlife Sanctuaries
  • Guide charges at the National Parks/Wildlife Sanctuaries

Further customization is possible, please contact us.

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