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Thu, 05 Dec 2019

Northeast Today

A SNEAK PEEK INTO THE UPCOMING BASCON FESTIVAL 4.0

A SNEAK PEEK INTO THE UPCOMING BASCON FESTIVAL 4.0
November 16
11:33 2019

The Basar Confluence or popularly known as the BasCon festival is celebrated with much zeal and enthusiasm in the Land of the Dawn lit mountains. It is a community based tourism festival and celebrates the tradition, culture, music and the heritage of the diverse tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. The three day festival provides an enthralling experience which one will cherish for a lifetime. The love for the traditions and culture of the people of Basar is something that one can take away from their visit. The fourth edition of the festival, BasCon 4.0 will be observed this year from December 1st to 4th at the quaint hilly town of Basar.

Here are some of the interesting facts to know about the festival if you are planning to visit Arunachal Pradesh in the month of December.

The magical location of the Basar

Located at an elevation on 650m, Basar is surrounded by rustic villages and thick jungles which is green throughout the year. The place is a sublime setting with three rivers and a thicket of bamboo and palms. The breathtaking view is accompanied by golden paddy fields spread in the mellow winter sun which makes it an exquisite setting for a celebration of culture, music & adventure. In addition to that, the congenial Galo people of Basar with their unartificial hospitality ( their hospitality is not just a result of tourism but an inherent part of their life which is rooted somwhere in their tradition since ages) makes it even a perfect destination for taking a break away from the maddening crowd of the city.

 

 

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Basar Confluence was a plastic-free zone

When it comes to environment the people of Basar are strictly committed for maintaining their surroundings wholeheartedly and voluntarily. The first thing that one would notice while entering the venue is a board which says, that the place is a plastic free zone. Their commitment can be validated from the fact that water filling stations are placed in various locations of the venue. The visitors are provided with eco-friendly mugs made of bamboo that had a sling attached to them so they could conveniently carry these mugs over the shoulder and just refill them at the water stations. Moreover, the entire venue is an eco-friendly zone, where structures, including the bridges to cross the Hei and Kidi rivers are made of bamboo. The benches to chill by the rivers, the media watchtowers, and the seating enclosure for the invitees, the tree house to get a bird’s eye view of BasCon and even the main stage are all made of bamboo.
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Different sections of the Basar Confluence venue – a well thought out design

While the main ground and the stage were dedicated to cultural performances, songs and dances there were other aspects to the Basar Confluence that shed light on the overall lifestyle of the people. Galo is the dominant tribe of Basar who are mainly into agriculture. Traditionally they have worshipped the sun and the moon – “Donyi Polo” is the term used. There was a dedicated Agri Tourism section with real rice fields where women are busy harvesting the crop and let visitors participate in the activity. They demonstrate how they would husk the crop and store it for use throughout the year.
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The textile section demonstrated the traditional weaving methods and it is common even now for women to weave beautiful shawls and skirts at home.

The festival also has an Artist Residency, the artists including writer, filmmaker, photographer, musician, installation artist and a painter, demonstrate their creations in a tastefully decorated Artist’s Corner, where they showcase their masterpieces.

 

After all the fun and a tiring day one could just rest and respite at the treehouse and enjoy some barbequed meats and poka from the food stall amidst the palm forest and paddy fields.

 

There is a games section where traditional sports are played like Nyarka Hinam, Archery known as Geppe Abnam in the Galo language are played. Apart from that traditional fishing is practiced and demonstrated at the event.

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Cultural performances at the Basar Confluence

The cultural performances at the festival give an introduction to the Galo tribe and their way of life. The Galo Ponu, Mopin depicts the strong metaphor of what the Basar Confluence represented- growing faster together.

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Photograph by Chetan Karkhanis

Post a picnic lunch by the riverside these women just broke into an impromptu traditional dance

Post a picnic lunch by the riverside these women just broke into an impromptu traditional dance

Artists from other districts of Arunachal Pradesh, including the Ziro valley, the Tirap district, Tawang and from the other states of Northeast like Assam, Manipur and Tripura also perform at the Basar Confluence.

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By evening the venue of the Basar Confluence would transform into a concert ground where the audience go gaga over various versions of traditional Galo folk songs.

Photograph by Chetan Karkhanis
Photograph by Chetan Karkhanis

The people at the Basar Confluence

The people of Basar lived in harmony with their past and their traditions. They held on to their culture with pride and their lives revolve around the nature. The local people are very friendly and eager to know about the visitors and also have conversations with them.

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What’s the story of the Basar Confluence

The society behind Basar Confluence is GRK – Gumin Rvgo Kwalju – “A collaboration of positive minds for Social growth”, a non profit oriented NGO founded on 2012 that works for socio economic upliftment and the protection of the environment. The Basar Confluence was one of the means they devised to bring exposure to this beautiful region and generate economic development through tourism.

A unique feature of Basar Confluence, the organisation of which is guided by the noble philosophies of GRK lies in the central objective of the festival which, unlike other festivals is not just concentrated solely on fostering economic growth of the area, but aligning the path of progress towards achieving sustainable development and disciplined progress in the long run where ethical, social and environmental concerns are accorded utmost importance.
While the first edition of the Basar Confluence had only 2 villages of Basar participating, the third edition Bascon 3.0 saw the participation of 32 villages. Positively impacted by the efforts of GRK, every village we saw was spic and span, not even a stray piece of paper was seen strewn around. Each one had dustbins in the village. The people were actively involved in nature conservation, against hunting and poaching. Every child, irrespective of gender, went to school. Many youngsters had come to Basar just to contribute to the Basar Confluence. They were otherwise doing their graduation or post graduation in other parts of the country.
This overall atmosphere of progress and positivity is refreshing and addictive.
Basar Confluence, in the end, turned out to be a confluence of hearts – of the people of Basar.

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FAQs on Basar

 

  • When is the Basar Confluence or Bascon 4.0?

The dates for the Basar Confluence were 1st to 4th December in 2019.

  • Where is Basar and how to reach Basar?
    Basar is the headquarters of the newly minted LePa Rada district in Arunachal Pradesh. The Bogibeel bridge over the Brahmaputra river has made access to Basar even easier. The easiest way to reach Basar is to fly into Dibrugarh and then drive to Basar. The nearest railhead is Silapathar.  There’s no public transport plying from Dibrugarh to Basar. However, you can avail cheaper taxi fare from Aayat Tours and Travels, Dibrugarh.
    Contact: 9859468178

Map for direction from Dibrugarh to Basar

map

  • Where can we stay in Basar?

There are fully functional homestays in various villages of Basar. Have a look at the GRK website and the official website of the Basar Confluence for the details.

  • What else is there to do in Basar besides attending the Basar Confluence?

Lots. Exploring unheard of villages, enjoying the Galo hospitality in the homestays, jungle walks, treks to waterfalls, caves and haunted places, bird watching, photography, expanding your palette – the options are boundless.

 

Highlights of BasCon 4.0

  • Festival & Folk presentations of different tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Traditional Community Fishing.
  • EB Project Nature- exhibition on biodiversity conservation, rain water harvesting.
  • Exhibition stalls of traditional arts, crafts etc of the tribes.
  • Tribal cuisines & stalls.
  • Agri & textile Tourism.
  • Adventure sports like Hot air Balloon, ATV, Zip lining etc.
  • Exhibition on rare indigeneous plant species, orchids and floral diversity of Basar.
  • Mopin festival, Galo art and Culture.
  • Inter Village traditional sports competition.
  • Village walks, hiking & sightseeing.
  • Camping at pristine locations and Homestays.
  • Village cultural nights.
  • Cycling at Lap Laiho.
  • Photographic hunt for the rare bird- Blyth’s Kingfisher.
  • Folk story telling for students.
  • Galo Live Museum and much more.

Day 1:- 1st December 2019

Carnival:

Display of a multitude of different folk genres of the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh in the form of dance, song and cultural performances.

EB Project Nature:

Visit to EB Project Nature, a successful biodiversity conservation initiative, rain water harvesting, stream water rejuvenation and forest regeneration project.

Showcase of Mopin festival, Galo art and Culture.

 

Day 2:- 2nd December 2019

Festival & Folk presentations of different tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.

Evening Live Performance

 

Day 3:- 3rd December 2019

Traditional Community Fishing at picturesque Ego Valley.

Agri Tourism.

Adventure sports.

Hiking to the Tapen Penru (Bat Cave) at Ego Valley.

 

Day 4:- 4th December 2019

Inter Village traditional sports competition.

Activities for tourists and visitors.

Cultural presentation of different tribes.

 

Nature walk and Site seeing locations

  • Diime Diite waterfalls
  • Bumchi waterfalls
  • Joli, the sacred groove
  • The sacred Nguda hills
  • Trekking & camping at Odii Putu
  • Tapen penru (Bat Cave)
  • Bam View
  • Hiya Ho (Landscape)
  • Camping at Laiho (Landscape)
  • EB Project Nature.

 

Accomodations

1) Camping at the venue as well as Scenic locations.

2) Homestays for a peek into the tribal life.

3) Hotels.

 

☆ Access to the four day Festival: Rs 150

☆ Fishing fee: Rs 100

 

Tourist Packages (Including the charges of entry fee, fishing fee & food)

  1. Camping
  • 1 night – Rs 1949
  • 2 nights- Rs 3500
  • 3 nights- Rs 5050
  • 4 nights- Rs 6600

Bring your own tent (BYOT): Rs 700/tent/night including entry, fishing fee and food.

 

  1. Homestay
  • Rs 1500/night including breakfast, Lunch Dinner.

(Subject to change with the amenities available with Homestay owner)

  • Rs 800/night without food.

 

For booking your accomodation, log on to- www.basarconfluence.org or call +919436019912.

Facebook & Instagram @ Basar Confluence

Helpdesk- +91 9402707020.

 

Based on  the article published in SANDEEPA CHETAN’S  TRAVEL BLOG with inputs from KARYOM BASAR, PRO GRK.

 

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