Majuli Island , Itanagar
About Majuli Island
Majuli, within the Brahmaputra River, is the largest river island in the world. It is located 350 kilometers from Guwahati and with its paddy fields, ponds filled with hyacinth, migratory birds and cotton trees, is also the seat of neo-Vaishnavite culture. However, continuous erosion has affected the land and the island is shrinking in size. Visit Majuli for the Vaishnavite sattras, the colorful festivals and culture, birdwatching and enjoy exotic views of the sunset and river banks.
Majuli Island is an existing proof that spectacular things cannot be achieved without great obstructions. Majuli was the consequence of continuous flood which occurred, which slithered a tributary from River Brahmaputra from the South, coupled by Kherkutia Xuti, an anabranch of River Brahmaputra and River Subansiri from the North.
The island is said to be the primal center of Assamese culture since the 16th Century, information derived from written records. Also on the religious front the population of the island follows Vaishnavism, a propaganda disseminated by Sankardeva, a social reformer. The island has 144 villages, comprising of the Missing Tribe from Arunachal Pradesh, and tribes of Sonowal Kacharis and Deoris as well. The chief employment of the villagers here is agriculture and also creation of handlooms. Travelers are highly recommended to check out festivals of Raas based on the life of Lord Krishna, the Majuli festival, a celebration which brings various tribes of Assam together, Sonowal Kacharis’ Bathow Pooja and surprisingly Christmas too. Travelers can visit Mahuli from Jorhat, about 20 kilometers away from it and hire ferries to get further to the island. Unfortunately the island is shrinking due to erosion every year during monsoons; it remains to be at risk despite of persistent efforts to nurture it. But it is definitely the place one will be want to visit due to its scenic wetland environment, colorful culture and picturesque horizons.
Majuli Island's area has alarmingly come down from 1,250 sq. kms to 421 sq. kms by the year 2001, due to rapid soil erosion that has taken place.