The essence of the experience
The northern banks of the Brahmaputra River are lined with charming villages where the ancient art of weaving has been passed down from generation to generation. In Assam this skill is revered as a time-honoured craft. The inspiration behind this art form can be found in the breathtaking and colourful landscapes of India. The deep, rich colours run through the very roots of the land, from the fauna and flora to the vibrant culture of the local residents. Pass through golden paddy fields, lush hills and emerald plains on your journey to visit the master artisans.
The soothing click clack of the traditional hand-operated throw-shuttle looms can be heard from numerous homes throughout the villages, fondly referred to as taatxaal. Age-old techniques are employed to create the most splendid motifs and designs, depicting figures from the time of the Ahom kings, as well as the wildlife of the Kaziranga National Park. Fabrics are dyed using various ingredients, such as deep indigo lac, derived from the shells of Indian beetles, soaked tea leaves, healthy turmeric and the soft pastel petals of the Polash and Sonaru trees.
The imposing looms create dainty silk mekhela chadars, traditional Assamese dresses, lively saris and comforting shawls. The graceful dance of the local women as the drape the golden silk of Assam the Rongali Bihu festival is truly a sight to behold. The material, known locally as muga, is an intrinsic part of Assamese.