Assam's Village of Magic is a Tourist Hotspot

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When asked if he believes in magic, Deka smiled. "There are spells to turn a leaf into a fish, or an evil man into an animal. But magic cannot fight against nature's fury; so there is no spell against the annual floods (in the Brahmaputra river)."

Legends - like those of Chura Bez who could disappear into thin air just by muttering the 'Luki Mantra' and sedate an angry tiger with his 'Baagh Bandha Mantra' - anecdotal accounts and magical texts abound in Mayong's esoteric history.

Septuagenarian Basanta Nath, a magic practioner of the village, is a strong believer in magic.

"People these days dismiss magic as superstition. But when you see things for yourself, you believe. Nowadays, when people fall ill, they generally prefer to go to the doctor instead of us. But there are still people who come to us with their troubles," Nath said.

"People from far off states like Punjab, Haryana and West Bengal, other than from Assam and the surrounding places, come to Mayong to learn magic," he added.

Believer or not, courtesy its fascinating history, and also its beautiful surroundings - Mayong sits in the lap of nature, near the Brahmaputra, and has rich wildlife - the government is promoting it as a tourist destination for its culture, flora and fauna, along with the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary, which has a high concentration of the one-horned rhino.
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