Cockfighting, Bodoland Indigenous Games Association, Baokhungri Festival

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– Gameness til the End

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Kokrajhar is a town in Bodoland Territorial Council, Assam, one of the North East States and territories of India.

Kokrajhar city is located along the bank of Gourang River. The North East Indian Railways divides the city into two sides, north and the south. Kokrajhar city is the headquarters of Kokrajhar district and the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).

Bodoland is a proposed state of India consisting of areas located in the extreme north on the north bank of the Brahmaputra river in the state of Assam, in north east region of India, by the foothills of Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh. It is one of the most beautiful regions in eastern India. The region is predominantly inhabited by over one million indigenous Bodo people. Currently the map of Bodoland includes the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) administered by the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and other parts covering over twenty-five thousands square kilometres. The territory came into existence under the BTC Accord in February 2003. The map of Bodoland overlaps with the districts of Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang and Udalguri in the state of Assam. At present, Kokrajhar serves as the capital of Bodoland Territorial Area Districts.

Fourth Baokhungri Festival gets under way in Kokrajhar

From our Correspondent | The Sentinel

KOKRAJHAR, April 12: The 4th Baokhungri Festival at the historic Baokhungri hills situated near Kokrajhar got under way from Tuesday with much enthusiasm and all flavours of ethnic food festival, hill trekking and indigenous games to attract people. The festival is a significant step to make the Boakhungri and Chakrasilla Wildlife Sanctuary a world tourist destination.

The deputy chief of BTC, Kampa Borgoyary, who is also the in-charge of Forest and Tourism, opened the main venue in presence of BTC EM of Sports and Youth Welfare and senior officers of the council. He also hoisted the flag of the organizing committee and flagged off the hill trekking which was followed by the inauguration of the ethnic food festival, cultural extravaganza and indigenous games of the Bodos. He also planted saplings in the festival venue.

The EM of Sports and Youth Welfare, BTC, Doneswar Goyary, who is also the vice-president of the Bodoland Indigenous Games Association (BIGA), hoisted the flag of the association and the Principal Secretary of BTC, Robinson Mashahary paid floral tribute to Chanakya Brahma who was the founder of the BIGA. EM Doneswar Goyary inaugurated the arena of Khomlainai, Ghila and live cock fight (Daola Soulainai). The hill trek competition, indigenous games, ethnic food festival and paragliding added to the essence of the festival where participants from different districts of Assam and autonomous councils and also from Bhutan participated.

In the hill trek competition on the hill top of Baokhungri, over 200 participants from various districts, including competitors from Bhutan took part. The trekking competition was organized separately for males and females. The winner of both categories will carry a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh while the second and third position holders will be given Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 and Rs. 5,000 each will be given from fourth to tenth position holders as the consolation prize.

Similarly, the champion of Gila Gelenai will receive Rs. 20,000 while second and third position holders will receive Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 5,000 respectively. In Khomlainai which will be conducted in five categories, Rs. 10,000 will be given to each winner while the second and third position holders will get Rs. 5,000 and Rs 3,000 respectively. The live cock fight will also carry a cash prize of Rs. 20,000 while the runners-up will get Rs. 10,000.

The cultural programme was inaugurated by the secretary of BTC, Cerol Narzary and was also attended by BTC EM Rajib Brahma, CHDs of Tourism-Mahan Chandra Brahma, Kanjana Brahma and others.

The auspicious day of Sankranti is most eagerly awaited by many to climb the hill top of Baokhungri hill every year and feel the divine touch of Sibrai (Lord Shiva). A Bodo legend has it that Baokhungri hill is the sacred dwelling of Sibrai and other deities. The traditional folklore depicts that Princess Deeplai, the daughter of King Daokha sacrificed her life in Baokhungri peak when she received the tragic news of martyrdom of her beloved Prince of the neighbouring kingdom. In Bodo, Bao means to offer or propitiate and Khungri means Princess. Therefore, the name Baokhungri means the Princessm who offered herself to God in the name of her beloved. There is also belief that if someone climbs the hill top thrice consecutively every year on the day of Sankranti they will be blessed with the boon of success in love and conjugal bliss.

Baokhungri hill perched at 1,491 feet above the sea level is about 10 km south east of Kokrajhar town which is also situated in the famous Chakrasilla Wildlife Sanctuary that is the home to the rarest and most endangered species Golden Langur. Besides, there are other primates like leopard, Malayan giant squirrel, Chinese Pangolin, jungle cat, Burmese rock python and many other animals and birds.




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