Ever since tourism has touched new heights in the last few years, people have started venturing out to offbeat not so popular travel destinations. They want to get rid of the hustle bustle of life and hence look for unknown, untouched places to vacation. North East India is one such hidden treasure in India. People have started exploring northeast India and are surprised to find breathtaking beauty all around.
Table of Content
- Location & Area
- Culture & Festivals
- The main festival in the town of Majuli is called Raas and witnessing it is an interesting spectacle.
- When To Visit?
- The Tribes Here Are At Risk.
- Why Is It Called ‘Disappearing Island’ ?
- People of Majuli
- Things To Do In Majuli
- Majuli is an example of what unprecedented development and human activities can do to a beautiful place and it’s innocent people. I hope you all travel responsibly through the disappearing island.
- Happy Travel!
Location & Area
One such beautiful, surreal place is Majuli in Assam. Majuli is a river island in the Brahmaputra River, Assam and in 2016 it became the first island to be made a district in India.
The island is formed by the Brahmaputra river in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti, an anabranch of the Brahmaputra, joined by the Subansiri River in the north. Mājuli island is accessible by ferries from the city of Jorhat.
Culture & Festivals
With a total area of 1250 sq. km, Majuli is the world’s largest river island and it attracts tourists from all over the world. Among one of the most surreal places in India, Majuli is also a strong contender for a place in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Mostly inhabited by Tribals, the culture of Majuli is unique and quite interesting and is one of the key reasons why people love this place so much. It is also called the cultural capital of Assam. The festivals celebrated here are all joyous and vibrant.
The main festival in the town of Majuli is called Raas and witnessing it is an interesting spectacle.
When To Visit?
Majuli Island sits slap bang in the middle of the Brahmaputra River. Each year the river levels rise higher and causes major flooding which consumes a massive part of the island. Hundreds of homes washed away and lives taken in the process.
The Tribes Here Are At Risk.
The best times to visit Majuli Island is between October – March which are the ‘dry’ winter seasons. If you’re visiting from April – July it’s summer and if you’re visiting from July – September you’ll be visiting in sub-tropical monsoon. These are the months you don’t want to be caught in freak flooding.
Why Is It Called ‘Disappearing Island’ ?
It seems too good to be true, and in a way, it is: in 15-20 years, surveys by a local NGO say Majuli island may no longer exist. Majuli once held a Guinness World Record for being the world’s biggest river island, but it’s slowly but surely being washed away by the fast-moving waters of the Brahmaputra river.
Erosion rips at its banks every year, claiming lives, lands, and homes. In the last hundred years, Majuli shrank by more than 60%, from over 1,000 km² to barely 400 km².
People of Majuli
The variable nature of the land makes life difficult for much of Majuli’s population. The majority of the island’s inhabitants are dependent on agriculture to survive, and as the years pass, the amount of destruction and loss of land from flash floods and erosion is straining their ability to adapt and provide for themselves.
Most affected by natural disasters are those living closest to the Brahmaputra’s banks, and the damage is not restricted to farmers alone.The Kumar people in southeastern Majuli are one such example; they make a living handcrafting pots from river clay. The nature of their materials dictates they remain close to the river’s edge.
Things To Do In Majuli
The Satras, most of which can be visited. At some of the satras, monks give traditional performances involving dance and drumming. Majuli is also famed for its mask making. Elaborate masks depicting various gods are painstakingly made by hand, and many of the masks you might encounter are used for theatre performances.
You can find rice beer all over the northeast, and Majuli is no exception. This homemade concoction is delicious and cheap, and one of the best ways to befriend the locals is to hang out with for a night of drinking and chatting.
Throughout the island, you can find craftsmen and women making all sorts of handicrafts. From the pottery mentioned above to beautiful woven saris and even boats. If you like handicrafts, Majuli island is a perfect place to visit.
You can simply cycle across the island and breathe in the majestic beauty and lush green surroundings of Majuli. You can even visit the Majuli Theatre for the island has an ancient history of theatre and dancing.