The “Manchester of Assam”, Sualkuchi village is situated at around 35 km away from Guwahati, Assam on the banks of grand Bramhaputra river. The densely populated village has huge count of cottage industries employed in handloom. The main occupation in the village is weaving and the village has around 17000 looms of the famous Muga silk and Pat silk.
Starting from all, the introduction to silk weaving in Sualkuchi, to the encouragement and support to the silk industry, encouragement to the talent of weaving and finally turning it into the beautiful fabric. Credit to all this goes back to the king of Pal dynasty, king Dharma Pal who brought few silk weaving people to Sualkuchi village from Tantikuchi, settled them at the village and sponsored all the weaving craft. Until 17th century, this tradition continued and Sualkuchi became the silk weaving center in Assam. It was further boosted during early 20th century to support the great freedom fighters slogan, “Back to the village”. The silk weaving village of Assam got huge financial support and backup from Gandhians and despite all the struggle at some times during Indian independence, the village came out strong and victorious.
Almost every house in the village has minimum 2-3 looms to the maximum of 20-30 loom per house or factory. At present, Sualkuchi has around 17000 looms which are used to produce variety of patterns of Pat silk and Muga silk. These 17000 looms signify the importance and significance of weaving in each villager’s life by providing employment for around 25000 or more people directly or indirectly. The variety of patterns made from silk include Mekhela Chadar which is a traditional attire of Assamese women, Dara cheddar which is bridal dresses, silk kurtis, shawls, sarees, skirts, dress materials, shirts for men, gamosa which is traditional assamese attire for men, etc.
Apart from just being the hub of silk weaving, there are many more things to do in this tiny village.
Things to do in Sualkuchi:
Photo by Carol Mitchell
Hear the melodious sound of Looms while passing by the huts –
As you walk down the streets anywhere in town, you can hear the unique sound of looms and flying shuttles operating in the house or factories. For every handmade silk saree, it takes around 6 or more days of continuous work. People living and working here are very welcoming and warm-hearted. Walk into the factories and take a tour of the factory. You can also see the live making of silk sarees and other things. Appreciate their efforts and they will give you a warm and genuine smile which you will surely remember for long.
Spend some time in fishing –
Fish is their main part of cuisine and the ponds in village are quite good for fishing. Spend some time there with traditional khaloi and hakoi.
Buy traditional Jaapi and Bamboo crafts –
Jaapi is traditional assamese umbrella prepared with bamboos and leaves.
Pamper yourself with some exclusive hand-loom silk material –
Buy some exclusive and unique silk fabrics for yourself. Assamese traditional Mekhela Chadar is very famous and widely in demand. Also, the unique type of silk Muga silk which is also known as the golden silk which is one of the most expensive type of silk, warm Eri silk and unique white Pat silk are prepared here.
End your day with the lovely sunset on the blanks of Brahmaputra–
The view of massive bright red sun set down in the mighty Brahmaputra is extraordinary. So, while you are here the sunset is a must to see.
Photo by mckaysavage
How to reach to Sualkuchi –
Sualkuchi is only 35 kms from away from Guwahati, Assam.
Featured Photo by amalakar