Around 10,000 people gathered on the bank of river Pahumara on Friday evening to witness the traditional boat race at Medhikuchi of Bajali sub-division of Barpeta district in Assam.
At a time when some of traditional events are on the verge of extinction, people of No 2 Medhikuchi village undertook this praiseworthy effort.
In fact, they have been holding the event of boat race competition for more than 100 years now.
On Friday, the bank of Pahumara River in Bajali sub-division of Barpeta district wore a festive look with the decorative kahua – harbinger of autumn on both banks of the river and thousands of jubilant audience thronged to enjoy a rare event of traditional boat race on the day of Bijoya Dashami.
Local people informed that such boat races have been a tradition of the locality for more than 100 years.
But the villagers have been organizing it in a systematic manner since the last five decades.
This year too, on the Bijoya Dashami day, it was no different as around 10,000 people gathered on the banks of Pahumara River to witness the annual event.
At least 600 meters of distance was fixed for the competition. Dipul Patgiri informed that such events strengthen the unity and integrity in the society without considering any caste and creed.
The race started from a specific point of Pahumara river near No 2 Medhikuchi, about five kms from Pathsala, which is popularly known as the ‘Member Ghat.’
The boats, which are at least 50-foot-long and in resplendent colours were powered by at least 50 rowers on the mildly flowing waters of the Pahumara river.
With the kohuwa on both the sides of the river playing the perfect backdrop of autumn, the cheering crowd put an extra dimension to the competition.
The rowers with colourful attire also provided a lyrical touch to the competition as they sang rhythmic songs playing ‘taal’ while navigating their boats with ores. The rowers took part with full enthusiasm.
Four teams, namely Tazmahal, Ma Mayurjan, Moishal bandhu, and Tazmina took part in this year’s competition that was held in various rounds.
‘Mayurjan’ was adjusted first and won cash prize of Rs 10,001 in memory of Sahadev Kalita while ‘Maishal Bandhu’ bagged the second prize that carries a cash award of Rs 7,001 in memory of Surendra Nath Patgiri.
Earlier, Zakir Hussain Sikdar, MLA of Sarukshetri Constituency formally declared open the traditional event.
He expressed hope that unity among the people will be strengthened through such events. He also praised the efforts of the organizing committee for organizing such an event which is in the verge of extinction.