Basar - A tete a tete with the city :
Location : North Eastern India, West Siang District, Arunachal Pradesh
Best time to visit : September to March
Local Transport : Private cars, buses etc.
Souvenirs : Cane and Bamboo products
Basar - The Tale of the city :
History has it that Basar, the small town has been a part of the West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. This is the place where the Galo people stay. Situated amidst the beautiful mountains behind, Basar has been existing for a long time. This is the place where the clans of Basar and Riba of the tribal group of Garo used to live. There are more than 65villages here and they have the British era styled Gaon Burra way of living. The Gaon Burra takes care of the council of the village etc. History has it that the earlier decisions were taken in a dere.
Basar - Down the Ages :
Down the ages, Basar has come about to be a place with an altitude of 578m above the sea level. With a relatively pleasant weather, this town has a population of more than 3800 people. The average literacy rate here is around 72%. The density of population here is around 11 people per square kilometer. Today it produces rice, and maize and is also famous for cultivating wet rice. Fruits such as pineapples, oranges, kiwi and the apple are found in abundance here. Basar today has a language called Galo or Lare. It is very similar to the language spoken in Tibet and China.
Basar - A Rendezvous :
A rendezvous with Basar, the Galo land, reveals that the people here wear the Beke which is tied around the chest. The gale is tied below. They tie it below the navel such that it really looks lovely. The men wear a sleeveless shirt. This is called the Galuk. Then they wrap a Zera over the shoulder. This is made of raw silk cloth. Haabe is a loin cloth worn by the men. And it hangs on a belt that is made of deer skin. This belt is decorated with corals and precious stones. Bolup is a cap that they wear on the head. It is crafted with cane. That was used as a helmet in the days of war. Galos believe in Mithun which means possessing an animal which called the hobe.
Basar - Travel kitty :
With a picturesque background and an ancient history, Basar would offer the best scenic surroundings as the travel kitty. Besides, the very fact that the dress style here is typical gives the tourist another kind of travel kitty. He would want to buy a similar dress and take it back home. Again the cultural festivals here also are a perfect travel kitty. The articles made of bamboo and cane are found here notwithstanding the shawls and jackets having bamboo art.
Basar - Joie de vivre in the city :
The joie de vivre in this city of bamboo is to understand that simplicity and tradition comes with a beautifully decorated mountain background. This simple area with its tribal influence and Culture of the locals offers a lot for the tourist. A person coming here would simply love to inhale the fragrance of the surroundings and enjoy the ambience. Besides this, the Galos practice the Donyi Polo, which seems to have a great majority in the area. They chant rhymes and please the ancestors and take the blessings of the Moon and the Sun. The Nyibu is the priest who is the connecting link between the people and the Donyi Polo.
Basar - Entertainment factor :
If one is in Arunachal Pradesh, then one would certainly come to Basar to see the Galo tribes. The place provides a perfect blend of scenic beauty and natural traditions. Festivals are very much a part of the state of Arunachal Pradesh. In fact, it is believed that the festivals here are mostly held to protect themselves from calamities, disasters and any kind of evil spirits. Thus the décor and the colorful ambience is a means to ward away any kind of trouble,. The whole place looks festive during such festivals and it is certainly a treat for the eyes.
The festival of Mopin is particularly popular here. The Popir dance associated with this festival is danced by the locals. Aimed at driving away evil spirits this festival is celebrated in the month of April. The welfare and wisdom deity is worshipped and the festival lasts for five days. The final touch is the Popir which is a very elegant dance. It is generally a festival for agriculture that is held before sowing the seeds.
With its simplistic surroundings and rich ambience and an equally cultured background, Basar, the tribal beauty comes across as a city which has the perfect mix of culture, tradition and surroundings.
As a person leaves this place he thinks “ Basar is certainly a step to heaven.”