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This is the world’s largest river island that became a district

  • Mrinalini Singh
  • September 12, 2017
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Majuli, one of the most surreal places in India is also the World’s largest river island. Connected via boats with the city of Jorhat, Majuli is a beautiful exotic location, yet unknown to most of the tourists in India. Majuli has also been nominated for one of the places in UNESCO World’s Heritage List. Majuli is a lush green environment-friendly, pristine and pollution free fresh water island in the river Brahmaputra, just 20 km from the Jorhat city.

It is also called the cultural capital of Assam. The festivals celebrated here are all joyous and vibrant. The main festival in the town of Majuli is called Raas and witnessing it is an interesting spectacle. The Paal Naam at the end of Autumn and the Bathow Puja where Lord Shiva is worshipped are some other exciting festivals.

What’s Great?

Crystal clear waters. Beautiful landscapes. One of the few cities in the world which heavily relies on waterways. Here is a mesmerising image of this idyllic locale.

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Serenity at Sunset : Sunsets at Majuli are pink and ethereal – they make one forget that civilisation can even exist in ways less beautiful.

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Cottages on Stilts : Majuli homes are made from bamboo and placed on concrete pillars at a height of about two feet from the ground in order to prevent water from seeping in during the monsoon floods.

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Life in Majuli : The island is home to a mix of communities – the Mishing tribe, the Deoris, the Sonowal Kacharis and the Ahoms. The inhabitants lead simple lives and are always happy to welcome travellers. Mishing tribals, in particular, like to invite visitors into their homes for a bowl of freshly prepared apong or rice beer.

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Masks of Majuli: Masks are an important part of Majuli’s heritage. Craftsmen usually make masks from bamboo frames covered with cotton cloth, clay, and cow dung. At Samaguri, the mask making monastery of Majuli, the walls of workshops are adorned with colourful and macabre masks of animals, humans, and mythological characters.

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Nature’s Bounty : Majuli is carpeted in verdant mats of rice fields interspersed with tiny ponds bursting with hyacinth blossoms. Quiet roads, shaded by bamboo trees, wind their way through the flat terrain. Locals can be seen cycling on these narrow paths, groceries hanging from their handlebars, while fishermen can be seen lugging nets, bulging with fish, from the ponds.

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Spiritual Hub of Neo-Vaishnavism: Majuli is the ancient seat of the neo-Vaishnavite cult, a monotheistic offshoot of Hinduism. It was started in the 15th century by the revered Assamese saint Srimanta Sankardeva, who also established several satras or monasteries. Auniati satra is famous for the Palnaam and Apsara dance by its monks, while the Dakhinpat satra is famous for its Rasleela. Kamalabari satra is known for boat-making while at Garamur satra, several medieval weapons have been preserved.

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The ideal time to visit Majuli is between October to March, however, the monsoons are also quite beautiful in Majuli.

How to reach Majuli?

Jorhat is the only connecting point between Majuli and other cities. With a well-developed airport, Jorhat can be reached easily. Since Majuli is a river island, it doesn’t have any well-maintained system of roadways. There is no train available to Majuli. As Majuli is not commercialised, it is kept as close to nature as possible. Hence, no railways tracks are laid there. If you wish to travel by train, you can get a train to Jorhat which is connected with Guwahati, a major Assam city. Majuli is reachable via one medium, i.e., waterways. Ferries are available to take you to this beautiful river island. Since Majuli is surrounded by water bodies from all the sides, boats and ferries are used to go from one place of this city to another.

Go! Explore the mesmerising glimpses of this charming destination


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