Named after the misty range of Patkai and the enchanting Dehing River, this festival is held in the Tinsukia district of the state of Assam. It is organized once every year by the Government of Assam, and gives the visitor a taste of the hills, literally through the tea which is produced there. One of the most important parts of the festival, apart from the breathtaking natural beauty, is a heritage tea tour. There are other types of entertainment involved in the festival such as pleasure trips in the wild, golf playing, tribal dance etc. Alongside these, food festivals are held, where the visitors can taste the delicacies of the North East, especially of Assam. Craft fairs are organized as part and parcel of the Dehing Patkai tea festival to display as well as to promote the traditional arts and crafts of the area. The festival also aims at promoting culture and the tradition of the tribes of the area. About 20 tribes actively participate in the festival and exhibit their traditional songs and dances. Apart from it, during the festival, trips to various places nearby including the Digboi oil mines are also organized.
History of the Festival
The Dehing Patkai tea festival was initiated by the Assam Government in 2002. The chief guest of the first session of the festival was the then President of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The Government of Assam wanted to put the motley culture of Assam to the world outside, and thus the festival started to be organized. There is a part in the festival where a visit to the second world war cemeteries is organized, thus giving a taste of history to the tourists.
Duration of the Festival
This is an annual festival which lasts for three days. It starts on the 16th of January every year and ends on the 18th of the same month.
Highlights/ Important Rituals of the Festival
- Food festival is an important part of the Dehing Patkai Tea Festival where tribal and other delicacies of the area are displayed, bought and sold.
- Elephant safaris are arranged.
- Adventure sports like para-sailing and kayaking are done during the festival.
- Trip to Stilwell road, which once led to Myanmar, is organized.