Sualkuchi – the Manchester of Assam

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Around 30 kilometers east of the city of Guwahati lies the sleepy town of Sualkuchi. But in reality, it is anything but sleepy. One lazy stroll from one end to the other of the village and you realize why this town has been named as the Manchester of Assam. The hand looms adorn each house like a jewel, and their symphonic click-clocks vibrate in the air of the village. Every house has at least an adept hand, called the xipini, who is the main weaver of a house. With a population around 50,000(approx.), weaving is the primary to each household. The village has around 30,000 functional weaving looms, and holds the record of producing nearly six million meters of Pat and Muga silk annually. While Assam is famous for three types of silk- Pat or the white silk, Muga or the red silk and Eri or the warm silk, the industries in Sulakuchi are known for rearing and production of former two.

It is said that Sualkuchi was set up by Momai Tamuli Barbarua, a great of the Ahom Kingdom during the rule of Swargadeo Pratap Singha (1603-1641). When Shri Barbarua moved all the weavers of the region to this village, it gradually grew up to be called as the village of Sualkuchi. The sericulture industry of the village intensified manifold under Barbarua’s patronage. However, there is a different story attached to the advancement of the people of Sualkuchi as a silk rearing and weaving community. It is said that the weaving tradition of the village was brought by the Pala King, Dharma Pal, when he sponsored the crafting industry of Tantikuchi and moved it to Sualkuchi around 11th century. The village gradually took its shape as a weaving community under the SHAMS, when they occupied Sualkuchi in the 17th century after defeating the Mughals. Since then, Sualkuchi has ceased to become the weaving town of Assam and have remained intrinsic to its economy since decades.

The village exports raw silk as well as finished products to the rest of the country and abroad. The weavers are also efficient in taking personal orders and dispatching them in minimal cost to the customers. People from far corners of the state have thronged the village for their choice of silk products. If you are in Assam for a holiday, or looking for the best Assam silk at affordable prices, Sualkuchi is a must visit for you.

Apart from its exquisite collection of silk products, Sualkuchi has also a number of historical monuments and temples. These archeological attractions are a must see for the visitors who come to the silk village of Assam. The religious sentiment in this village run quite high, which is proven by the array of beautiful temples like Sidheswar Devalaya, Madhab Temple, Hatisatra among many infamous others lie next to one another.

Apart from silk, another event that mesmerizes the tourists is Sualkuchi’s annual boat race, called Naw Khel in the local language. It is held in the month of July-August, to commemorate the death anniversary of the great poet, Srimanta Shankardev. During the peak monsoons, when the mighty Brahmaputra is swollen like a drunk serpent, the view of the tiny boats racing each other is quite a beauty to savor at. Thousands of Hindus and Muslims participate in the race, giving profound example of communal harmony and peaceful co existence.

Sualkuchi Traditional Boat Race

How to reach

There are frequent bus services from Guwahati to Sualkuchi. However, if you want to relish the view of the river Brahmaputra, you can hop into a ferry to Sualkuchi from the banks of North Guwahati, and you can save time as well.
Where to stay – Though Sualkuchi doesn’t offer the luxury of lavish hotels, it does have a resort few kilometers outskirts of the village. Named as the Silk Route Resort, it lies in a distance of about three kilometers from Sualkuchi. The delicious local cuisine, calm peaceful environment and intricate beauty all around, a stay in this resort will definitely make your visit to Sualkuchi a memorable one.


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