In what is expected to be a major boost for tourism and the enhancement of Garo traditions and their development, Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma announced an amount of Rs 10 crores to develop the Garo Heritage Village at the permanent site at Chibragre.
The 44th edition of the festival concluded today, before music bands from across Garo Hills took over to enthral people present.
The announcement by the CM was made today while he was addressing a few thousand people from within the state and outside that had come to be a part of the Wangala festivities.
Today’s program saw the presence of the CM along with his colleagues, Marcuise Marak and North Tura MLA, Thomas Sangma. The area where the site for Wangala is being held falls under the North Tura constituency.
The Chief Minister during his speech stated that the government was committed to promoting and preserving the culture and traditions of the Garo tribe.
“With this thought in mind, the government has allotted an amount of Rs 10 crore to develop a Garo Heritage Village at Wangala A’dam,” he said.
The development would see various infrastructures being developed, including facilities and amenities for tourists as well as visitors alike.
The CM also presented a Rs 20 lakh cheque to the 100 Drums Wangala Festival Committee, through the deputy commissioner, for the year for hosting the festival. This is the second year in which the festival is being held in the present site after it was moved from Asanang, about 7 kms away.
Wangala is the biggest post harvest festival of the Garos. The festival relates to thanksgiving to Misi Saljong the sun god for blessing the people with a rich harvest.
The colourful festival concluded today with the guests dancing with the entire gamut of 100 Drums Wangala troupes that came from across Garo Hills to be crowned the best Wangala dancers for the year.
While the festival was celebrated in a muted manner in the past year due to the raging COVID pandemic, this year saw record numbers attend the fest with the last day being the biggest in terms of numbers.
“The crowds today surpassed any previous fest that has been organized for Wangala in Garo Hills. People have been coming to the site even after the conclusion of the program,” said one of the organizers.
The festival has also been a showcase for various indigenous games traditionally played, the way of living as well as the culture of the Garo tribe.