Majuli is advantageously one of the most fascinating places to travel in Assam, India. Majuli is an island, and for that matter, it is the greatest inhabited freshwater river island around the globe. The island is positioned on the river Brahmaputra in the northeastern state of Assam in India.
Imagine how big the expanse of Brahmaputra River is, that it is home to such an enormous island. Apart from the unique experience of traveling and living on such an island, Majuli (formerly known as Majali) is abounding with natural beauty, cultural experiences, and fascinating things to do. Read this entire travel guide to Majuli and how to plan a trip to the greatest river island around the globe.
With a complete area of 875 square kilometers, Majuli Island spreads for a length of nearly 80 kilometers and spans nearly 15 kilometers from north to south. However, since the island is barely 85 meters above the mean sea level, flash floods, climate change, and weighty erosion along the Brahmaputra River, have been said to shrink Majuli by one-third of its preliminary size over the past few decades.
In addition, Majuli Island, Assam, houses a complete of nearly 140 small and large villages and is home to nearly 1,60,000 individuals. Yes, it is that big! Owing to this Majuli was declared a district and became the first island district of India. It has also been chosen to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO . You wouldn’t feel similar you are on an island unless you visit the sideline.
Table of Contents
Visit Brahmaputra White Sand
As soon as you reach Majuli Island, you will be greeted by white beach sand which is essentially silt carried by the mighty river. The SUV ride out of the jetty to the major island is one heck of a bumpy ride. It is similar to sitting on a camel.
Majuli is a river island that can only be reached by ferry. The ferries plying from Neemati Ghat nearby Jorhat takes nearly 45mins to arrive at Majuli. The ferries are of 2 types, great carrier types, and trivial carrier types. While the large carriers are utilized to carry big vehicles, and bigger animals along with individuals, the smaller ones are used to carry most individuals and vehicles. The ferry ride is a stimulating one as you get to experience different emotions during a short span. The way the individuals sit close to each other while being eventful in their world was a motivating sight. People from dissimilar walks of life like students, workers, and ladies donning saris, were all seen collectively.
As it was a bit jammed inside the sitting area, one can plan to stay mostly outside observing the beauty of the river. The sunrise and sunsets from the ferry are absolutely a frame to look for. The way the ferries ply to and for carrying so many individuals together signifies the way individuals spend their lives without any complaints.
Bamboo Hut Stay
Of all the accommodations accessible on the island, spending your time living in a bamboo hut is a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime experience. These bamboo huts can be found only in Kamlabari and are worth the long travel to the river island. You can choose other places too by these is the most prevalent form of staying here. Rates contrast as per facilities from INR 500-2500 but most of them generally maintain dissimilar options, unlike budgets.
Enjoy Majuli Thali (Food)
Food lovers will just love the food on the island as it is all-you-can-eat non-veg and veg thalis. The thalis are very cost-effective and comprise dal, papad, rice, one vegetable, tiny steamed jacket potatoes, rice kheer at the end, and local Assami-style spicy chutney. The non-veg thali comprises either river fish or chicken. It is an absolute steal when you see the final bill.
Rent a cycle to explore the island
The great way to explore this massive island is by renting a bicycle for a day or two and peeling your way across the place. The humble bicycle is the most prevalent mode of transportation utilized on the island, from school children to adults everyone likes to stay eco-friendly on this Majuli island.
In addition, as of now, bonafide cycle rental shops have opened up at different spots. They also give the impression of having an agreement among themselves so rates are unchanging everywhere. So, there are a pair of cycle rental spots just out of Garamur on the Northern side where one can get one for INR 150 a day.
Explore the Monasteries
Majuli is also the cultural capital of Assam and the monasteries across the island are also better known as Satras. It is a unique feature of Vaishnavism in Assam, established by Sankardeva, the father of Assamese culture. The Satras are not just monasteries, but centers of traditional functioning arts. This is the best place to see artistic activities without having to shell out too much.
Explore Satras of Majuli
If you are planning to visit Majuli we are sure you have heard of the Satras (Neo-Vashnavite Monasteries). It is a good manner to classify the days according to the Satras (Neo-Vaishnavite Monasteries) of Majuli Island because there are different Satras spread all over the island and several other lures can also be enclosed along the way. All you have to do here is to read up a bit and find out about other lures.
Originally there were 64 of them although some had to move owing to erosion still, there are 22 of them remaining. The most imperative Satras that you must have on your list are Garamur Satra, Auniati Satra, Uttar Kamalabari Satra, Notun Kamalabari Satra, Dakhinpat Satra, Notun Samaguri Satra, Bengenaaati Satra, Bhogpur Satra, and many more.
Visit Mask Makers Village
Majuli is home to the traditional art of mask making which has been native to the island since the beginning of civilization there. The artist here makes marks of different Gods, deities, and several other gothic idols from the religious books. These masks have extreme demand in theatre art and street plays and none of the masks on display are for sale. All of them are only made as pre-orders and shipped directly to the demanded location.
Moreover, if you want to see the mask-making procedure, you require to go to the Notun Samaguri Satra, which is the hub of mask-making art. You can talk to artists at work here and also purchase masks as souvenirs.
The full-face masks are stimulated by Hindu mythology and are made of natural elements such as bamboo, cloth, mud, cane, jute, and cow dung. These are then painted using natural colors. All masks are shown in a small museum sort of a place nearby the Satra. Majuli inhabitants use these masks in great theatrical performances all around the world. The scenes indorsed in the play bring Indian mythical stars to life.
Visit one of the missing tribal villages
Spread all over the island of Majuli is the Missing or Missing Tribe. They are the single biggest tribe in the complete North East India. A visit to one of the tribal villages is something worth doing since it is a very unique experience to see how individuals act in houses made purely out of bamboo. The tribals are tremendously friendly and love to stand for the camera. Don’t be astonished if they ask you to stay back for lunch.
Enjoy Rice Beer
A specialty of the Missing Tribals is the traditional fermentation of rice over the complete day to introduce home-brewed rice alcohol. All over the missing tribes, rice beer is served as a welcome drink to anyone and everyone to enters their homes.
Best Time to Visit Majuli
Majuli is an attractive-looking island with astounding cultural traditions and picturesque beauty which fascinates a number of tourists. The place however gets too hot throughout the summer months, and during the rainy season, the humidity and the continuous rains make it problematic to travel here. The best time to travel to Majuli thus will be either in spring or throughout the late autumn and initial winter.
Summer: During the summer, especially the late summer the place gets too hot and uncomfortable, and hence not the ideal situation to travel or celebrate the scenic beauty.
Monsoon: Throughout the monsoon, the place normally gets flooded. However, since the water flow is weighty in the river, it is easier to travel throughout this period.
Winter: The best time to visit the island will be throughout the Raas festival of Lord Krishna, which is held throughout the full moon during the month of November.
How to Reach Majuli?
Majuli is a well-known island on the Bramhaputra River, which flows through Assam. It is the central district island in the country and is fairly close to Jorhat. It is not too problematic to commute to Majuli from Jorhat. You have to reach Jorhat first, which is well-connected with different means of transport from other parts of the state and country as well.
BY AIR: There are regular flights to Jorhat from Guwahati, as well as other parts of the country, particularly the eastern zone. There are 4 flights during a week from Kolkata to Jorhat too. From Jorhat, take a private bus to the Neemati Ghat. One can also book or rent a taxi from Jorhat, and take it on the ferry.
BY RAIL: There are two ferry rides that you need to take while going to Majuli. The initial one takes about an hour, then you have to take a nearly 10 minutes bus trip to Major Sapori. From this island take another ferry ride and then a bus ride to the major town of Majuli. From the Neemati Ghat, which is about 14 km from Jorhat, where at least two ferry boats are available per day that can take you to the river island Majuli.
BY ROAD: Jorhat also attends as the closest road linking from Majuli. On daily basis, you can avail of the ASTC buses within the state. There are several days as well as night deluxe buses from Guwahati to Jorhat at the interval of seven hours.
Majuli is better known today as a fast-disappearing island owing to soil erosion and growing water levels. The island that was once better known as the world’s largest river water island is now at the superiority of extinction. The culture of Assam has different important historical roots in the island’s monuments, dances, and individuals. As of now, due to the growing water levels, the island has been in the news as different wildlife organizations are fighting for the preservation of this attractive place. A must-visit in Assam for an exclusive glimpse into the strand within Hinduism and a sneak peek into Assamese culture and cuisine, Majuli is the great weekend getaway that you have been coming up for.
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