Majuli – North East Tourism is the most renowned and significant place. The biggest river island in the world is known to be the center for neo-Vaishavinism in Assam that was promoted by the Srimanta Sankardeva.
‘Kamala’ means orange, and ‘Bari’ means the garden in Assamese. The Kamlabari Satra was established in 1595 by the Badala Ata, a celebrated disciple of Madhavadeva.
The Kamalabari Satra is even regarded as the center of culture, art, and literature for centuries. It is in the form of Kamalabari that Sattriya Dance got its popularity later getting the status of a classical dance form.
Every year, the monsoon season makes the Auniati Satra vulnerable, and much has been destroyed in the incessant experiences of Majuli flood.
Kamalabari Satra is also famous for creating mythological sculptures. The best time to visit the Kamalabari Satra is when the monsoon recedes, and the Island is not flooded. Tourists usually have to take a ferry from Nimati Ghat in Jorhat to reach the Satra.
How to reach Majuli Island
Reach Majuli by Rail
The nearest railway station to Majuli is Jorhat at a distance of around 20 km from it. Jorhat is an essential town of Assam which is connected to a major railway in and around the state. After reaching Jorhat station, one can take a ferry to reach Majuli Island.
Reach Majuli by Road
Various ASTC buses and deluxe buses operate between the Jorhat and Guwahati on a day to day basis. Moreover, buses from some other parts of Assam are also available to Jorhat. From there, Ferry is the only means to reach the Majuli.
Reach Majuli by Air
The Jorhat airport is the nearest link from Majuli district and has flights to all the major cities of the state and India. From the Jorhat, you have to travel to Neemati ghat at a distance of around 14 km and from these regular ferries to reach Majuli.
Things to do in Majuli Island
Majuli Island is known for its arts, natural beauty, and culture. So, here is a list of must-do things to do in Majuli Island.
A Day in the Monasteries or Satras
You will need at least one day to visit the beautiful Satras on the Island. More than twenty Vaishnava Satras are spread across the Majuli Island. Some of the Satras date back to the 15th century and house more than hundreds of monks.
The Satras use ancient customs of mask making, music, theatre, and dance and are even home to various cultural artifacts and relics such as the jewelry, literary manuscripts, and ancient weapons.
When you are on the island, make sure to visit the Kamalabari Satra, Garamur Satra, Anuiat Satra, some of the most famous Satras on the island.
Spend a Day Getting to Know the Local Culture and Lifestyle
The local people in Majuli have a vibrant and rich lifestyle. Spend a day at one of the Mising villages or visit any of the agricultural farms. If you are inclined towards arts, head to the Salmora Village and learn about the local pottery practices.
Thee locals in the Majuli are friendly and warm and a day spent among them will give you a glimpse of their unique lifestyle.
A Stroll by the Brahmaputra River
This will be one of the most tranquil walks which you have taken in a while. A personal favorite walking route of mine is the stretch alongside the Brahmaputra outside the Dekasang resort.
On the riverside, you will sometimes find a fisherman rowing a boat or fishing nets by the riverside set up by the local people. Morning walks by the river are especially recommended. The skies look to blend into a riot of colors at the time of evening, and the sunsets on the islands are spectacular.
Witness the Festivals in Majuli
At the time of planning your trip to Majuli, try to coincide your travel dates with the famous Raas Leela festival that even takes place in the third week of November.
The most popular festival of the island is a celebration of music, dance, and theatre. Just for the sake of this festival, lots of devotees visit the Dakhinpat Satra.
Another famous festival is Ali Aye Ligang. It is celebrated during the month of February for six days. At the time of this festival, local beverages and food are served and prepared.
Enjoy a Local Meal at Majuli
The Dekasang Resort in Majuli is known for the sumptuous food that they prepare. What is much more famous about the food here is that fresh local delicacies are prepared that give you a peek into the culture of the region.
A traditional meal includes the meat, vegetables, rice, and fish along with the Apong, the Mising rice beer.
Where to Stay in Majuli Island?
There are various options for accommodation in Majuli. If you would like to know more about the religion, a culture of the place, then stay in one of the monasteries on the island. Apart from that, there are many other guests houses, bamboo cottages and Majuli hotels, where you could visit:
Uttar Kamalabari Satra
The Uttar Kamalabari Satra is famous among the travelers, houses its guests in traditional bamboo huts. If you like the rustic settings and serene surrounding in the culture, this is your place!
Okegiga is another great option to stay. The cottages are very well kept. The best part is that they serve some of the great food.
The third option to worth trying for staying is the Dekasang Resort. The architecture of the resort is an embodiment of rustic art and Assam culture. The rooms are spacious and culture and provide the picturesque views of the paddy fields in front of the resort.
Majuli Island Life
The Island houses various villages that are mainly inhabited by the Mising Tribe. Some other tribes which are found at Majuli are Sonowal Kachari and Deori.
A walk through any village will give you a glimpse of the daily life on the island – fishing, agriculture, and dairy farming are main industries. Silk weaves and cotton in exquisite colours are the main specialties here.
The villagers also make some of the pretty pottery and tribal face masks, especially at the time of the festive season, and these make the great souvenirs.