Discover the reasons why houses in Assam are built on stilts, a unique architectural style that reflects the culture and geography of this northeastern Indian state. Explore the environmental and cultural significance of stilt houses in Assam.
Assam, known for its lush green forests, exotic wildlife, and tea plantations, is a state in northeastern India. The state is also known for its unique architectural style, where houses are built on stilts. This practice of raising houses on stilts has been in existence in Assam for centuries and has become an integral part of its cultural heritage. In this article, we will explore the reasons why houses in Assam are built on stilts and how this practice reflects the culture and geography of the region.
Why Houses in Assam are Built on Stilts?
The Geography of Assam and the Flood-prone Areas
Assam is located in a flood-prone area, surrounded by the mighty Brahmaputra river and its tributaries. The region witnesses annual floods that inundate large areas, causing extensive damage to property and infrastructure. To protect their houses from flooding, people in Assam have traditionally built houses on stilts.
The Climate and Weather Conditions
Assam has a humid subtropical climate, with high levels of humidity and rainfall. The region experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, which lasts from June to September. Building houses on stilts allows the houses to remain dry during the monsoon season and protect the inhabitants from the water-logged ground.
The Availability of Materials
Stilt houses are built using locally available materials such as bamboo, wood, and thatch. These materials are eco-friendly and sustainable, making them ideal for building in a region like Assam. The use of locally available materials also ensures that the cost of building houses is kept to a minimum.
Cultural Significance of Stilt Houses
Apart from the practical benefits of building houses on stilts, stilt houses also hold cultural significance in Assam. The houses are an integral part of the Assamese culture and are seen as a symbol of their identity. The houses are decorated with intricate designs and motifs, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region.
Environmental Benefits of Stilt Houses
Stilt houses offer several environmental benefits. The houses are built above the ground, allowing the natural flow of water, which helps in reducing the impact of floods. The houses also provide natural ventilation and insulation, which helps in reducing the use of air conditioning and heating systems.
How long have stilt houses been in existence in Assam?
Stilt houses have been in existence in Assam for centuries.
What materials are used to build stilt houses in Assam?
Locally available materials such as bamboo, wood, and thatch are used to build stilt houses in Assam.
What are the cultural significance of stilt houses in Assam?
Stilt houses are an integral part of the Assamese culture and are seen as a symbol of their identity.
Why houses in Assam are built on stilts?
Assam houses are built on stilts because the state receives a lot of rain, which increases the risk of flooding. In the event of a flood, water may enter the houses if they are built on the ground level; therefore, houses are built on stilts and above the ground level to avoid flooding.