ENCHANTING COUNTRYSIDE OF MAJULI ISLAND
“Let’s talk about countryside, floating water hyacinth, bamboo huts, a sunset worth priceless and people with big hearts!!” 🙂 🙂
Simplicity and rustic country side life of World’s Largest River Island – MAJULI ISLAND, is a steal for your heart, food for soul and peace for find. I could not find a single moment when I was not happy and at peace taking abode in the beautiful River Island of Majuli. Surrounded by the majestic Bramhaputra River, the little place is no short of beautiful glimpses to satiate your wanderlust. The roads running between water bodies on both sides, water hyacinth beautifully floating on lakes, bamboo bridges, the quaint little wooden boats and clear blue skies makes your walk through MAJULI ephemeral.
ABOUT MAJULI 🙂 🙂
MAJULI – is an introspection of pure bliss and inner peace. It is the largest River Island in the world surrounded by Brahmaputra River and completely a place to let you loosen the collar and set free. It is located in the state of Assam and famously known for SATRAS (Religious Places for Assamese Culture). Majuli is the spiritual hub for Neo-Vaishnavism culture which was started by Assamese Saint Srimanta Sankardev in 15th Century who established many Satras or religious places. Majuli is only a religious submission but is also known for its profound sunset, beels (lakes in Assamese), bamboo structures and migratory birds (during season). The culture of MAJULI ISLAND is unique and is home to four dominant ethnic tribes – The Mishing Tribe, Deoris, Sonowal Kachari and Ahoms. The lifestyle of the picturesque Island is very simple and you will see happy and smiling faces everywhere. MAJULI is known for craftsmanship mostly crafts made of bamboo, pottery and is famous for mask making which are used in religious plays, called BHAWNA (Playing a part of Mahabharata enacting the characters).
HOW TO REACH MAJULI
Majuli is nestled between the Mighty Brahmaputra and thus a ferry ride amidst the large water body is a definite inclusion. Jorhat and North Lakhimpur are the nearest place in Assam from where one can start their journey on Ferry to Majuli Island. I have travelled via the Jorhat way only, so will be writing the details about the same.
JORHAT is well connected by roads and railways and reaching Jorhat is not a problem at all. There are direct trains to Jorhat Town if you are travelling from Guwahati or else the route can be also covered by bus. It is recommended to travel by Jan Shatabdi from Guwahati that starts at 6.30am and reach Jorhat at around 1.30pm. The ferry to Majuli Island starts from NimatiGhat located around 15 to 16 kms from Jorhat. There are shared as well as hired autos easily available to the Ghat from where the ferry plies.
- Shared auto or six seaters are available from Jorhat to NimatiGhat from Public Bus Stand at Rs 40 to 50 per person. If you are new to the place, it is better you take a hired auto.
- Hired autos are available right outside the railway and for NimatiGhat will charge around Rs 250 to 300.
- The last ferry from NimatiGhat to Majuli Island starts at 4PM and the distance from Jorhat to NimatiGhat is around 30 mins. Manage your time accordingly.
The ferry ride is an absolute delight across the mighty Brahmaputra River with sunlight radiating and gleaming on the water like crystal. The ferry has seats made of wooden plank and the beautiful ferry ride from NimatiGhat to Majuli Island costs you only Rs 20.
Take the ferry that sets to Kamalabari and after reaching there you will find lot of shared cabs and travellers going to various places. I arranged my accomodation in Garamur and boarded a shared cab to the place for Rs 30 per person. You can also use individual tempos but it will be slightly expensive so it is better you get a shared one.
WHERE TO STAY?
Majuli is very safe and tourism friendly place which is completely within a budget and there are many guest houses and tourist resorts. Most of the accommodations in Majuli are in form of bamboo huts built on concrete cement stand few metres above the ground. Many Satras have their own guest. The accommodation is very cheap not going beyond Rs 1000 usually. One place that I would definitely suggest is LA MAISON DA ANANDA from my own experience. The charges start from Rs 500 for rooms to Rs 1000 for cottage. 🙂 🙂 There are five bamboo made rooms raised above the ground using concrete pillars and have basic facilities like running water, western toilets and hot water. Monjit Risong will be your host for the days you stay there and trust me, I haven’t found a better host them him in my entire life. The bamboo rooms are simple and very basic rooms built out of countryside look with a small Veranda with bamboo sofa. All the rooms are in straight line and it is more like a feeling of homecoming staying there. The Risong’s family kitchen is next to the bamboo huts and you feel completely at home sitting and eating with everyone.
Contact Monjit Risong for bookings – 09957186356.
HOW TO TRAVEL AROUND MAJULI?
MAJULI is a very small place with rustic beauty but that doesn’t mean you can set on foot. Transportation around Majuli is not a problem as there are cars or tempo you can hire for the day to visit the Satras and Sunset point. I recommend stay at LA MAISON DA ANANDA because they rent bicycle, scooty and bikes at a very minimum price for the day. For a person like me (Can’t ride even a bicycleL. It was a sob sob moment!!), renting a tempo for the day is a great option and the charges will be around Rs 1500 per day.
I recommend you set on foot for nearby villages to see their culture, talk to people and explore the places more closely. There is a Mishing Village very close to the place I stayed, maps are available and it is easy to locate, set on foot to enjoy the mass of water hyacinth amidst the lakes and green mat of paddy fields.
In Majuli, generally it is very difficult to find a restaurant that offers authentic traditional and tribal food. I had sumptuous tribal food for Rs 300 per plate at La Maison Da Ananda along with their traditional rice beer called Apong. The tribal food was tasty with sticky rice, fresh water river fish curry, pattot dia mash (small fish wrapped in banana leaf and baked), chicken khorika (roasted chicken on stick called khorika) and fresh vegetables. This is a must try if you are in Majuli. If you want Rice Beer you need to place the order by afternoon as it is prepared accordingly.
PLACES OF INTEREST
It has already been a long blog on how to reach, where to stay and how to go around the places. I will be coming up soon with a detailed blog on what are the things we need to do in MAJULI and best places to visit. For a trailer, here are the places that you need to definitely chance upon.
SATRAS – There are many SATRAS in MAJULI out of which only few are definitely a must inclusion in your trip.
VILLAGE WALK – Stroll around the place on foot and explore the nearby villages to know their culture.
SUNSET POINT – If you haven’t seen the sunset across the mighty Brahmaputra being in MAJULI, your trip is not complete.
SUNRISE POINT – If you are in Majuli, you definitely need to see the beautiful sunrise. The golden lines of the first rays of sun border the clouds and slowly the sun peeps out of its hideout.
The largest River Island nestled between Brahmaputra will give you memories and experience of lifetime and take you into extreme countryside life. Life is slow and simple but there is so much peace and happiness surrounding it. The moment I saw Majuli Island from the ferry, I knew I am in the right place and the two days spent in the enchanting far away rustic terrains is worth all the time. 🙂 🙂