Majuli, exploring the rural beauty of Assam
Get the rural and rustic charm of Assam at the largest river island in Asia, Majuli. Located on the Brahmaputra River, Majuli is formed by the Brahmaputra in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti joined by the river Subansiri in the north. The place is an absolutely gorgeous with water bodies all around and winding roads that take you to nowhere. The place is also the home to a number of migratory birds.
Reaching Majuli itself is a wonderful journey. You have to travel across the mighty Brahmaputra River in a ferry for about an hour to reach Majuli. The ferry ride is quite a memorable experience.
Majuli also happens to be the cultural capital of Assam treasured for its Neo-Vaishnavite Satras or monasteries. These Satras are the learning centre of the Neo-Vaishnavite philosophy propagated by Sri Shankardeva. The Satras are also known to stage dramas and Assamese folk theatres. The festivals of Majuli are also big crowd pullers the most famous one being the Raas Leela held during the month of November. Majuli is also known for the bamboo masks that are made in Samaguri Satra and also the pottery work at Salmora.
A beautiful and serene place, Majuli is a must visit for anyone who travels to Assam. Soil erosion on the Brahmaputra is a big threat to the island and as a consequence, the island is losing area gradually. From an area of 1256 sq km in 1991, the island now has an area of only 875 sq km.
Experiences at Majuli:
- Experience the beauty of the island and the serenity of the place. Majuli is a place where time seems to have stopped. You just have to forget all your worries and feel the beauty of the place.
- The island is crisscrossed by a number of rivulets. Take a boat ride on the river and get a feel of the village charm.
- Visit the Satras or monasteries of Majuli. There are 31 Satras here, the most famous being Dakshinapat, Auniati, Samaguri, Garamur and Kamalabari Satra. The Satras are a religious and cultural institution which is concerned with the dissemination of the principles and devotional practices of Neo-Vaishnavism – a religious movement which has had a strong impact on the religious and socio-cultural life of people of Assam since the 15th century. These principles are disseminated to the common man through devotional music, songs, and dance forms. These cultural activities are an integral part of the Satras.
- Visit the Mask village of Majuli at Samaguri Satra. Here bamboo masks are made that are used in the Bhaona dance performances of Assam. Meeting the mask-man Hemchandra Goswami at Samaguri. He is an excellent story-teller as well. At Samaguri, you can undergo training in mask making from the masters.
- Visit the numerous water bodies at Majuli like Chakoli Beel, Vereki Beel and Borbilla. These places are great for bird watching.
- Take a visit to Salmora, the pottery village of Majuli. Here you can see the villagers make pottery. You can even try your hand at pottery.
- Visit Jengraimukh to see the textiles of Assam. Here mostly the women work and produce handlooms.
- If you want to experience the sunset, visit the southern part of Majuli. You will be rewarded with an amazing sunset.
- Jorhat: To visit Majuli, you have to pass through Jorhat. Jorhat is a beautiful and second largest city in Assam. You can visit the Gibbon Sanctuary at Jorhat where the famed Hoolock gibbons are found.
- Sivsagar: Sivsagar is an ancient city of Assam and was the kingdom of the Ahom Kings of Assam.
Best Time to visit Majuli:
The best time to visit Majuli is from September to March. During the summer season, the temperature remains quite hot and humid. During the monsoon, most part of the island remains under flood.
How to Reach Majuli:
The nearest airport is at Jorhat. The nearest railhead is also Jorhat.
From Jorhat, you can take a shared vehicle to Nemati Ghat. From Nemati Ghat, there are regular ferry services to Kamalabari Ghat.
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