Majuli or Majoli is India’s largest river island in the Brahmaputra River. Majuli Island is one of the majestic and amazing places to visit in Assam. Majuli Island is nearly 200km away from Guwahati. Every year thousands of visitors come here to enjoy the scenic beauty of Majuli. The island is a relaxed, shimmering mat of glowing rice fields and water meadows bursting with hyacinth blossoms. However, Majuli Island often gets affected by the river Brahmaputra and is facing the danger of extinction owing to its shrinking size year after year. Regular floods ravage through the area devasting the inhabitants and their unique abode.
The island came into prominence in the 16th century with Shankardeva, considered to be the Father of Assamese culture, propagating a new form of Vaishnavism. Shankardeva’s Vaishnavism was simpler, more accessible and less ritualistic than the Hindu religion. It was rooted in faith and prayer. There was no idol worship or sacrifice, instead a dance drama form of bhaona and ankiya not using the Bhagwat Gita, written by Shankaradeva was evolved. This was preceded by a decade-long tour by Shankardeva to all pilgrimage centres in the country.
Historically too, Majuli is considered quite important. It is said that Lord Krishna played with his consorts here. Though, thousands of kilometres away Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, one has only to visit Majuli during the Ras Purnima in the month of Kartik to experience the magic. During the three-day-festival, one transported back in time. It is a festival in which everyone signs and dances to a religio-spiritual ambience.
There are many things to see in Majuli, the Vaishnavite satras culture, Assamese culture, different types of satras and various cultural programs and to know it well one must visit and experience these. Initially there were seven hundred satras and among them twenty two are still surviving. Earlier, the satras had hundreds of disciples. They were trained not only in mask-making, but also in boat-building and other traditional arts and craft. Centuries ago the mishing tribes immigrated here from Arunachal Pradesh. Apart from the mishing tribes there are Sonowal Kacharis and Deori tribes live there. They speak in mishing, assamese and deori languages. Among the surviving satras there are dakhinpat satra, Kamalabari satra and sharmaguri satra. The most interesting, accessible satras are the large, beautifully peaceful Uttar Kamalabari and Auni Ati, where monks are keen to show you their little museum of Ahom royal artefacts.
Chains of festivals happen in Assam and Majuli every year. People from various parts of North east India come to take part in the festivals. People forget their worries for few days and enjoy the festivals to stay away from the tough life they lead. Assamese folk dance is known as Bihu and tourist often want to capture glance of this beautiful dance form in time of the festivals. Every year the Bihu festivals happen thrice. In the month of April Rongali Bihu happens. After that is time for Magh Bihu in the month of January and Kati Bihu in time of October. Among the festivals Rongali Bihu is extremely colorful and most people celebrate festival every year. People gather at the namghar and offer cooked food. This is the way they celebrate the festivals. Various tribes and sub tribes are there in time of the festivals one can see the perfect fusion of various cultures. Tea festival, Dehing Patkai festival, Elephant festival, Brahmaputra beach festival and Majuli festivals are arranged by the Assam tourism. The best chances of observing chanting, dances or drama recitations are around dawn and dusk or during the big Ras Mahotsav Festival, in celebration of the birth, life and feats of Krishna.
The Main Tourism attractions of Majuli :
- Boat ride in the mighty Brahmaputra River.
- Learn about Assamese culture.
- Interact with local tribes.
- Stay in a traditional tribal hut, and live a peaceful and relaxed life.
- Spend time bicycling.
- Go bird-watching rare and colourful species.Different types of birds like Swamp Francolin, Red headed trogon, Finn’s weaver, pied harrier and various such gorgeous migratory birds are found there
- Apart from the birds Majuli is famous for the flora and fauna. As a bio diversity spot Majuli has become hugely popular among the tourists.Four national parks are located nearby and one can see one horned rhino, buffalo and elephants there. Apart from the one-horned rhino, Hog deer, tiger, leopards and sambar barking deer are also found in the national parks.
- Fishing in the lap of nature.These areas are mostly green and semi ever green. North east India has many places unexplored and anyone planning to visit Majuli won’t get disappointed for sure.
- This is one place in the world where the potter’s wheel is not used for making potteries. Instead, Harappan style handmade pottery is used.