A Palanquin


Place - District Museum, Tezpur


Courtesy - Atreena Rana Kaushik


A palanquin (known as dola in Assamese) dating to the late nineteenth century kept in the District Museum of Tezpur. Upto the first half of the nineteenth century, traditional transport systems were frequently used in Assam due to bad condition of the roads. The traditional transport system consisted of walking for the common people, palanquins and elephants for the rich and nobility and boat which had been the most preferred transport system to travel from one place to another since the ancient times. Palanquins were essential means of wedding transportation. Brides were carried to the bridegrooms' places by dolas. It also used to be the conveyance for noble Bengali & Assamese women as well as for landlords of that time. Palanquin as a mode of transport began to decline from the mid-nineteenth century when steamer and rail communications started and general transportation began to improve. With the development of roads and highways and increasing use of horse and bullock carts and carriages, the palanquin as a means of transport faced extinction. It however continued to be in use till the early 20th century.

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