Magic, Mysticism and Mayong
A land of magic that rests somewhere amidst the verdant aura that the north eastern region of India is blessed abundantly with, the quaint alluring village of Mayong is a wonder world of a different kind. Steeped in the pristine beauty of the state of Assam where it rests, this is a charming rural retreat where life goes about in its own sweet pace, undeterred by the din of modernity that has indeed come to set in here since long even as its fame as the Land of Black Magic sees its otherwise somewhat remote and eerily deserted routes treaded more than often by many a curious tourists and travelers who simply cannot help but evade the spell of magic woven upon their intrigued minds by the many a surreal tales taking shape from this land of the occult. In the district of Morigaon in Assam, this otherwise ordinary village of the humble common folks has long received attention owing to its identity as a place wherefrom many a lore of witchcraft and wizardry has spanned, even imbued in its history has been such sparkles of the extraordinary that perhaps even lent the now globally famous village its revered name.
Believed to have its origins in the Sanskrit word for illusion i.e Maya, the name Mayong itself spells out its own tale of the charms and the chants. Equally steeped in its prestige of the magics has been this place in its reference in history, having found mention in epics like the Mahabharata where the chronicles of a certain Chief Ghatotkacha of the Kachari kingdom allude to a magical play of powers that took place in the Great Battle of Mahabharata. Legend has it that so widespread had been the reputation of Mayong in being more than a credible practitioner of the magical arts that even the most valiant of enemy warriors dared not to invade this otherwise small kingdom. And a certain royal Mohammad Shah learned it the hard way when in 1337 his entourage of 100,000 well equipped horsemen who had set out to conquer this land of the mystics and the mystery all vanished without a trace in this land feared indeed for the immense power yielded by its very effective practice of black magic.
- Source: Beyonder Travel
But inspite of such concrete tales of sorcery overhauling all pursuits in its history, the other references to Mayong emerging to be India’s center for witchcraft and wizardry centuries back remains shrouded in an air of vagueness, as if almost in some cloud of mystery much like the identity of the land itself. Supposedly, it had been the witches and sorcerers of black magic who had come to dwell in the woods of Mayong long back, lingering therefore thereon in all their mavericks and magic spinning a web of the mystics that continue to permeate the very air of the eerie land in an aura yielding the lure of its powers through every strand of even its present day existence.
But the powers of this land that have emerged indeed to be a phenomenal exploration of the cultural and the touristry realm of India have dwelled forever as much in the wonders of what magic can afford parallely with the mysticism it inspires. Thus, even as tales of men vanishing into thin air and people being converted into animals rule large, with one particular play of the occult being the sticking of a sitting tool to one’s hind, what also has seen prevalence in Mayong is the many realms of goodness over which this practice of the craft of magic has ensued. The many spells and charms that weave magic throughout the expanses of Mayong in what is a veritable form of cultural expression there has long also served the interests of the common passes. So even as wizards whipped up magic potions and concoctions to relieve many an ailing from their illness and unscheming sorcerers devised ways and means to foil the scheming intentions of those usurping the belongings of others, all of these was done for a price. Everything as ‘trivial’ as gold and gems were accepted as payment but what also did the rounds in no less prominence had been the practice of animal sacrifice and quite sinisterly, human sacrifice as well. Offerings of human life however might perhaps have been also a prevalent way to appease the Goddess Shakti, as excavated swords and such other sharp weapons and tools point towards the commonplace nature of such sacrifices. Historical references such as these as well as archaeological relics and artefacts, including books on black magic and Ayurveda make for the compendium of documents at the Mayong Central Museum and Emporium that reinstate only further the continuing magical legacy of this land tucked away in the realms of fantasy. Wall engravings, rock inscriptions, idols, voodoos and chants written on parchments bear further testament to Mayong’s magical history and that which also serve as mediums through which generations of the inhabitants of this magical land continue with their legacy of forever having magic happen in every corner of this characteristically remarkable land.
The practice of magic in Mayong however is more than just trickery, it’s in fact a way of life there. In the enchanted expanse of its exorcism lies intertwined the heritage of a land also ruled large by other aspects of ‘magic’ that conform instead to norms of science. Applied psychology and chemical application have forever played a big part in bringing forth the unexpected nature of happenings, therefore intricately tying Mayong’s rich and diversified legacy to a medley of occurrences that delivers upon its continuing tradition a credibility that have helped its cause in bearing relevance even in the times of today. For a land of people who could effortlessly afford a flight in air simply by a chanting of the Uran mantra and perform numerous such acts otherwise inconceivable within the means of the ‘ordinary’ human existence, Mayong’s many a recounting of its anecdotal accounts and fascinating tales speaks of a belief that proudly lives on in the village’s rich repertoire of traditions and history.
- Source: Culture Trip
But while Mayong continues to reside still in the annals of a charm bestowed by its deeply intriguing brush with magic that which has come also to be the spectacular identity of what is otherwise another of the ordinarily enticing villages of India, its prominence in the tourism scenario though encompasses a lot more elements of fantasy. A historical, archaeological and cultural tourism hotspot, Mayong matters also in its profusion of greenery and wildlife, being located in close proximity with the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, renowned itself for boasting the highest density of one horned rhinoceros in the world. With such a wonderful juxtaposition of sorts, in what can indeed churn out a dual delight for many an enchanted travellers and tourists, the celebration of the wildly fantastical realm of magic and the magical exploration of Assam’s famed diversity of wildlife is what makes Mayong another proposition in touristry prominence. And swaying along to the exuberance that this peculiar parallelism of the supernatural and the natural conjures up is the Mayong Pobitora Festival that however offers also other experiences in overwhelming diversity. From a taste of ethnically exotic food fare to an exploration of the rich and varied cultural heritage of Assam, this celebration of all things native to the greater traditional exploration of the state is a really enriching way to discover Mayong in all its individuality as well through its essence as a part of the whole. On tow of course are unbelievable displays of Mayong’s famed magical exemplariness and a tour of Pobitora’s wildlife but what perhaps captures the spirit of each and every soul who make their way to be part of this distinctive festival is the calm that descends upon them as they discover with awe the many a ingenious delights of a land forever mystifying in its magic. In seeking recourse to nature and discovering a splendid experience in the forever encapsulating realms of something as delightful as magic, that too as an element of heritage imbibed deeply in traditions and cultures as a form of art itself, the magical mystery of Mayong continues to capture the fancy of its enthusiasts well after forfeiting the physical perception of it, cradling them instead in a world of unparalleled wonder where magic manifests as the essence of all life.