The North East of India has a vast area of its land under forest cover. Although this size has decreased over the years due to random felling of trees for the purposes of timber and the use of forest land for construction purposes but still the area under cover is noteworthy. The State of Assam has a total of 27,673 Sq. Km. forest cover. This area is 24.58% of the total geographical area of the state and also 3.2% of India’s total forest cover. These forests are home to some exotic species of Flora, Fauna and Avi Fauna. The endangered species of the likes of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, the Capped and Golden Langurs seek shelter in the forest covers of the National Parks of Assam. One noteworthy product of the forests of Assam is the ‘Poor Man’s Timber’ – the Bamboo plant.
Bamboo or ‘Bambuseae’, is a tribe of flowering perennial evergreen plants and one of the most versatile grasses found on Earth. This amazing grass is extremely fast growing and can be harvested and put to use very soon. For centuries now, people have been using bamboo for almost everything from food to construction. Bamboo can be used as a wood substitute for construction work and also for making furniture. Other products from Bamboo include paper, cloth, handicraft items, weapons and musical instruments from bamboo. While the shoots and other tender parts of the plant are used to make pickles and other food items.
Today, with the growing competition the craft of making bamboo furniture and utensils has also been revamped. Manufacturers are using bamboo to makes Sofa sets, Weaved bamboo blind and screen, Barbecue sticks, Fruit forks, Party picks and many more. Though the aim is to capture the foreign markets, the traditional designs and patterns used are equally popular among youth who relive their heritage by giving patronage to this ancient craft. Not only is Bamboo used only for making products of Interior Decor. People of Assam are well aware of the tensile strength of this material and they have experimented this across many generations. Results of these tests have led to Bamboo being used in construction of Homes and Cottages mostly by the Tribal people. Small thatched houses made from Bamboo are a sight to be spotted across the entire States of North East India. People have also perfected in the use of Bamboo to make Bridges across the many small rivers of Assam. These bridges are of high tensile strength and easily can allow transportation of people and two wheelers across the rivers of the State.
The people of Assam and expert craftsmen when its comes to making of extrinsic Handicrafts and Handlooms. The handicrafts made from Bamboo look exquisite and are exported across the World. Although most of the people use Bamboo handicrafts for their own personal use in their households but in recent times these products have caught global attention and people from across the World visit Assam to witness these age old practices of Handicrafts in the villages of Assam. During your journey across Assam you will find many number of small shops that sell these exquisite Handicrafts.
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to indulge in the adventurous experience of Seeking ‘Green Gold’ amidst the dense forests – Bamboo and its relevance as the poor man’s timber, the State of Assam, Incredible India!