Majuli is the Largest River Island in the World, in Assam state, India. It is in the Brahmaputra River. Last year the island was declared as a separate district; first of its kind in India.
Majuli river island is at the confluence of Brahmaputra river and Kherkutia Xuti. Kherkutia Xuti is an anabranch of the River Brahmaputra and Subansiri River.
Frequent earthquakes of the 16th century resulted in a massive flooding in 1750, which lasted for 15 days. The combined effect of the earth quakes and flood resulted in Brahmaputra river discharging partly towards the southward direction. Majuli island was thus formed.
In the beginning of the last century, this island had an area of 1,250 square kilometers. Currently, it has an area of 352 square kilometers only. The island has shrunk as river Brahmaputra has engulfed the land area. The island was originally called Majoli. The island and the rivers surrounding the island, has changed a lot, in course of time.
This island district is considered as the cultural capital of Assamese civilization for the last four to five centuries. Its the abode of abode of Assamese Neo-Vaishnavites. Srimanta Sankardeva, a great social reformer visited the island in the 15th century and established many hermitages and monasteries. They are called satra.
Auniati satra is one of the oldest satras and the main tourist attractions here. Natun Kamalabari Satra, Uttar Kamalabari Satra, Garmur Satra , Shamaguri Satra (famous for mask making), etc, are some of the main satras in the island. Garmur Satra and Auniati satra has museums.
Sankardeva‘s disciple Madhavdeva was also instrumental in propagating the Neo-Vaishnavite culture in this island.
There are a lot of migratory birds in the winter season. Soil erosion is a major cause of worry for this island. Goverment is implementing some projects to avoid this problem. Afforestation efforts also helped in restoring some of the lost greenery.
There are schools and colleges in the island. A few concrete houses has come up in the island even though most of the residents still reside in huts. The island is does not have any industries and hence it is almost pollution free, except for a few vehicles.
Namghar is the heart of the island, where local assemble to sing, pray and to conduct religious functions. Raas leela is the main festival of the island, conducted during the month of November. It is is one of the most colorful festivals of India.
Economy of Majuli
Economy of Majuli is mainly dependent on agriculture. Paddy is the main crop here int he island. There are more than 100 varies of paddy here, which are cultivated using organic farming methods.
Fishing, Weaving of Hand loom products, Pottery making, Mask making, etc, are the other main sources of income for the villagers of Majuli Assam.
Muga Silk Sarees, once reserved only for the members of the royal families, is a popular silk produced in the the island and other parts of Assam.
How Do I Go to The Largest River Island In The World – Majuli?
Jorhat is the nearest city at around 20 kilometers distance south of the island. It is connected by ferry services to the island.There are a total of 6 services per day between from the Nimati Steamer Ghat at Jorhat, on the mainland.
Lakhimpur town is situated to the north of the island (The island is part of Lakhimpur Lok Sabha constituency). Golaghat town is on the southwest side of the island. Sibsagar town is on the southeastern side.
Guwahati city, the capital of the state of Assam, is at around 350 kilometers distance from the world’s largest river island. Guwahati to Jorhat bus services are available. Jorhat to Guwahati distance is around 306 kilometers. Jorhat to Guwahati traveling time is around 7 hours. Majuli to Guwahati traveling takes more than 8.5 hours.
What About Majuli Resort or Lodge in Majuli?
Kamalabari Satra has a lodge in majuli island, with rooms for night stay at very affordable rates; inside the satra.
River View Bamboo Cottage, Okegiga Homes, Hotel MD’s Continental,The Manor, Hotel Jironi, Hotel Jora Palace, Thengal Manor, etc, are some the Majuli island resort and hotels in and around Majuli and the mainland region.
La Lolat Eco Camp, Gibbon Eco Camp costs lesser than the above mentioned hotels. Kamalabari Satra also scores on price front.
Travel Tip to Majuli River Island Tourists
You can take your car or two wheeler in the ferry to the island, from Jorhat Assam. Hiring a cab is very costly in the island.