A majority of tourists visit different tourist places for a delightful landscape, weather, natural abundance, or for its historical significance. But there is a place in India that is becoming a popular tourist spot because of its art of magic and sorcery. It is none other than Mayong village in Assam that is also known as the ‘Land of Black Magic’ and located in Marigoan district on the banks of the Brahmaputra River. Mayong village was the Indian Capital of Black Magic and Witchcraft even during the medieval period in ancient India. The village is situated close to the city of Guwahati. Now this magical history of the village is boosting tourism there.
It is believed that the name Mayong originated from the word Maya which means illusion. Also, it is said that when the whole of the northeastern region of India was one, Manipuri people used to reside there. At that time, the area was full of elephants and in Manipuri elephant is known as Miyong. So the village got its name that with time changed to Mayong.
The peaceful environment of the village and picturesque beauty is simply great but does not look normal. It feels as if it is wrapped in some sort of mystery. Many tales of a man disappearing into thin air, or humans being turned into animals, taming of fierce animals, etc are part of the place. As per localities, magic can do all these things but it cannot fight against the odds of nature like floods, etc. Magic is still practiced in the village but not to the extent to which it used to be. Kobiraj (teacher) teaches the magic spells to children when they attain a certain defined age. Most of the magic spells are taught by the word of mouth and very few in a written form. Magic is also used to cure prolonged illness.
Magic and its impact: Aurangzeb ordered Raja Ram Singh, a Mughal General to suppress Ahoms in Assam in 1667. Ram Singh was not afraid of mighty army of his enemies but he was scared of a mystical and land of black magic i.e. Assam. Though he was lucky enough to survive but he faced a defeat there. Then in 1256-57, the Sultan of Bengal, Ikhtiyaruddin Yuzbuk Tughril Khan invaded Assam and never returned back. He along with his entire army died there. There are many stories of defeat and witchcraft in Assam.
Till date, there are lots of texts in Mayong that are untapped and contain rich information about magic. Most of the families at Mayong village also possess these texts that are inherited from their ancestors. Some of the families have preserved these but some have destroyed these texts merely out of fear that these might fall into the wrong hands. People do not reveal the art of magic to anyone and keep this as a secret.
All these stories are now boosting tourism in Mayong, that is also a very striking place. Very close to the Brahmaputra River, in the lap of the nature, the village is rich in wildlife including flora and fauna. Government is now promoting tourism in Mayong for its culture and a nearby Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary for the one-horned rhino.