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Why our community always choose hillocks to reside in Guwahati?

By Bijit Sarma, UAE

Born and brought up in a hilltop mostly inhabited by Bishnupriya Manipuri and Meitei Manipuri, at Bamunimaidan, Guwahati. I was always haunted by the question why our community always did choose hillocks to reside in Guwahati. After some introspection I zeroed in to the following possible reasons for settling in hillocks though they could have bought land in other plain areas in those days:

  • insecurity to live among other communities
  • to form a village-like atmosphere in the city far away from their own villages
  • to avoid drying up offensively malodorous dry fish in front of other communities
  • to grow Yennam and Fen-kochu in their backyard
  • to build a mandir and maldhep combination for occasional puja and porbo
  • to continue the culture of dola doli
  • to borrow sugar, salt, Amul milk powder and occasional tea leafs from their BM neighbours
  • just to settle in Govt/ Forest land without spending any money
  • to help preserve the language and culture after leaving villages


  1. Very correct to some extent. The same question has always caught my attention. I remember when my parents bought a plot of land they considered all these factors. For my mom it was must to grow Yennam and Fen-kochu in their backyard.

  2. Though in the modern age, people prefer to live with all comfort of urban life in village or town, the social and economic factors compel them to live in group, say forming small village, colony, or basti. Now the question is why they chose the hillocks to settle in.
    Again I will like to mention here that economic feasibility accompanied with social security is the main cause behind choosing places like hillocks. It depends on financial capability of the person to buy a plot of land. We have also seen that due to social factor, people use to follow ‘amar manu’ while selecting a plot of land. I don’t believe, people select a plot of land for creating a village like atmosphere, or to avoid aromatic flavor of dry fish which may be of bad taste of other community people, or for feasibility of kitchen garden or to indulge in dola doli and lastly for creating infrastructure for daur leishang/ Malthep.
    Of course, in course of time, these phases (societal life) come automatically as the man can not live without society.

    Ranjit/Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh


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