My first sight of Majuli island (as you can see in the photos below) was on a humid afternoon in June when I arrived on the morning ferry from the city of Johrat. For about ten minutes, the adjoining land was aswarm with activity as people poured forth from the ferry to find a place in the already waiting sharing jeeps and buses, and made their way into one of the many small towns of Majuli.
Then abruptly all became silence and I found myself left behind, wandering through the empty shores – waiting for another ferry to arrive and share a jeep with its people. This is how my unforgettable journey to this surreal, almost magical place began. Soon, its pristine beauty left me startled, craving to stay there for ever. Let’s walk on a photo tour to know more about this place.
To reach Majuli Island you are required to cross the Brahmaputra River in a ferry (or in a comparatively small boat) full of people, cattle, cars and what not. No it’s not like travelling on the roof of a bus, but something more interesting than that.
Majuli’s secluded locales will enthrall you, surprise you and will ensure that your appetite for nature and stillness gets completely satiated.
The island in itself is a complete world – full of space and freedom – detached from the outside world and standing alone, without any influence of urban sprawl.
As if that wan’t enough, its people and their warmth give you a thousand more reasons to come and stay there forever.
One can travel around by going on easy walks to villages and different tribal communities. You can also rent a motorbike or take rides in the hand maneuvered boats.
But the best way to get around Majuli is on an old-school bicycle, which you can rent from almost anywhere in Majuli for Rs 100 a day.
Riding a bicycle in Majuli has its own grace. It makes you feel that you’re perhaps living in the golden era of 60’s or 70’s – where beauty and culture is perfectly intertwined. It will simply set your soul free and take you to another level.
You can also wait for hours to hire a paid and often shared, taxis.
To make your stay simply delightful the entire island offers simple tribal-style cottages made on stilts and spread around an open riveting area.
This is ‘Ygdrasill Bamboo Cottage’ where I happened to spend a week and ended up losing my heart to its beautiful setup and a bunch of great hosts.
One can also opt to stay in a Satra which are like Ashrams, for as much as Rs 150 a day. A Satra is basically a Hindu monastery where Hindu monks learn Indian philosophy, scriptures and worship lord Vishnu.
There are a total of 25 Satras across the island today accommodating between 50 to 500 disciples each – which makes Majuli a hot touristic destination for various globetrotters, as well as a place of high religious significance.
Call To Action
Majuli island is the largest river island in the world. Located in Assam in the mighty Brahmaputra River, this 400 sq km island is a surreal and sprawling emerald of mesmerizing landscapes in its verdant and vast forests. I heard many people boasting about its arresting and celebrated landscapes in a way that it would inspire even the most uninterested person to go and explore the place.
And well there is another compelling reason for you to visit Majuli. This idyllic beauty – which is no less than a relic to India’s diversification and a grace to this temperate world – is in trouble. Due to soil erosion, Majuli is losing its land surface every minute. And if this continues around the island over the next 25 years, as is evidently possible, then the whole of the Majuli island could become nothing but plain water.
Already a large chunk of its land has already been swept away in Brahmputra. Clearly, as ever there is a time to experience this singular beauty, it is now!
[Also read Nongriat, Meghalaya: In Pictures]
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