The “Mahabahu”: Lifeline of Assam

Assam is a diverse state with multiple cultures, language, ethnicities. Various people from different communities, tribes have migrated and settled in Assam since centuries. Though people belong from different communities and tribes, they altogether have become a part of the larger community called Assamese.

The people of Assam and the river Brahmaputra goes a long way. The Brahmaputra River is entwined with the everyday life of the Assamese people. Much more than a river, The Brahmaputra provides a point of confluence and assimilation for the different people and cultures of Assam thus shaping people’s lives for centuries.

The name Brahmaputra meaning ‘son of Brahma’ is fierce, powerful, and at times unquiet. It is the only ‘male river’ in the Indian sub-continent, the river meanders through Guwahati, giving north-eastern India’s largest city a breath-taking riverfront.

Brahmaputra River originates in Talung Tso lake in southwestern Tibet as the Yarlung Tsangpo. From there it meanders across southern Tibet to break through the Himalayas in great gorges and enters Arunachal Pradesh where it is known as Dihang or Siang. It flows southwest through the Assam Valley as the Brahmaputra, before emptying itself into the Bay of Bengal.

Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, a famous singer, a film-maker par excellence has immortalised the river through his unforgettable songs and music. He has written songs that narrates the joy and sorrows, creation and destruction, love and hostility of the river Brahmaputra and other tributaries of it.