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Things to do in Majuli Island

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Are you ready to go to an island vacation? Yes, it is beautiful and something you might have never experienced before. But before you start dreaming about the white sand and beach waves, let me tell you we are not going near the sea. It is a river island we are travelling to.

Majuli, the largest river island in the world is situated right at the heart of Assam. Majuli means ‘the land between two parallel rivers’ and, as a matter of fact, this island was formed by the confluence of Brahmaputra and its tributaries. The island has an abundance of natural beauty, diverse wildlife and a vibrant culture. Majuli is still not very popular among the tourists and hence makes for the perfect vacation spot for anyone who wants some tranquility in life.

how to reach majuli island
Source: IG handle @majuli_island

The island is home to the tribal communities of Deoris, Sonowal Kacharis and Misings. You will not see a lot of impact of modern world in Majuli. The locals can still be seen living in bamboo huts, making things by hand and cooking on the fire. Do you know that the first mobile phones were introduced here in 2009? Spending few days in the rustic countryside will be an experience you’ll cherish for a long time.

How To Reach

The nearest international airport is in Guwahati. From there, you’ll need to catch a bus or private transport to Jorhat. There are fixed scheduled ferries that leave from the Nimihat Ghat in Jorhat and would take around one hour to reach Majuli Island. From the ghat, share cabs and buses operate that will take you further inside the island.

Best time to visit

The summer season (March – June) is extremely hot and humid and therefore not a good time to explore the island.

Monsoon season (July – September) is when the island is the greenest. The weather is pleasant but due to excessive rainfall, there are high chances of floods and therefore this season should also be avoided.

Winter (Oct – Feb) comes with a cool climate which would enable you to enjoy the natural vistas without much ado. This is the best time to visit the island

Things to do

Visit Satras: Majuli Island is the most ancient site of Assamese neo-Vaishnavite monastery, or first Satra. These satras are dedicated to god Vishnu. The first satra was built on Majuli in the 15th century, and today there are 22 Satras on this river island. Originally, there were 64 satras, but most of them were destroyed by the floods and many are relocated to the mainland in Assam.

Each satra is a place of study and prayer for the residing monks, as well as a center for performing arts. These are home to several cultural relics and artifacts like ancient weapons, literary manuscripts and jewellery and will help you to know a little bit more about the culture. Some of the famous ones are Dakshinpat Satra, Kamalabari Satra, Garmur Satra and Auniati Satra.

satras in majuli island
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Watch the process of mask making: Mask making is an activity that has been an integral part of the community since a long time. Depending on the complexity of the design, a mask can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to months in order to complete. Traditionally, these masks are used for theatrical performances and festivals. To see the mask-making process, head over to Natun Samaguri Satra and take a tour of the place.

mask making in majuli island
Source: https://sandeepachetan.com

Tengapania: You will find a beautiful golden temple on the banks of the Brahmaputra River. Tengapania is a place you should visit to spend some time in the midst of beautiful nature. Built in the unique Ahom architectural style, the temple premises is filled with beautiful pillars and statues. The greenery around the temple with some breathtaking views of the Brahmaputra makes it the perfect spot to unwind and relax.

Source: https://gohariindiatour.com/

Bird Watching: If you are someone who is interested get excited on seeing a colourful bird, then you are in luck. The island has many domestic and migratory birds. You can expect to see storks, kingfisher, egret, purple moorhen, pelicans, Siberian cranes and white-breasted waterhen.

bird watching in majuli island
Source: https://sandeepachetan.com

Village Tour: Go around the village to explore its beautiful culture and traditions. Sit with the locals and hear about their lives on this island. Grab a glass of local beer and hang out with your newly made friends. You can also cycle across the lush countryside and enjoy that slow paced life.

All of this seems like a dream, doesn’t it? Sadly, in few years Majuli Island would only remain in our dreams. Majuli is disappearing at an alarming rate due to soil erosion and heavy floods that are reducing the size of the island gradually. Climate change is also playing a big role here. The rising temperatures and an increased snowmelt is causing flash floods along the Brahmaputra River. In the last hundred years, Majuli Island shrank by more than 60%, from over 1,000 km² to barely 400 km², and if the surveys and findings are to be believed, this beautiful island will vanish in next 15 to 20 years. Visit the island as soon as you can so that you have a memory of such a beautiful place.

best time to visit majuli island
Source: IG handle @majuli_island
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