Saturday, July 19, 2008

Majuli Riverine Island :: The Cultural Heart of Assam

Majuli perhaps the largest riverine island in the world, nestles in the lap of the mighty Brahmaputra, Majuli emerged as the crowning glory of Vaishnavite culture in Assam.

Multifaceted in its attaraction, Majuli unfolds a vanity of interest to the tourist - Rare migratory birds, traditional handicrafts and pottery, ethnic culture and dance forms, water sports etc.

According to the reports of Mr. J. H. Mills in 1853 the total area of Majuli was 2,82, 165 acre, but to strong erosion of the river Brahmaputra it has been gradually decreasing and the present area is less than 880 sq kms. From a historical source, in 1901 the population of the island was 35,000 as per 1991 census the population of Majuli is 1,35,378. The population of Majuli is made up of Ahoms, Kacharis, Brahmins, Kalitas, Koch-Rajbongshis, Benias, Naths, Mishings, Suts, Kacharis, Nepalese, Bengalis etc.

In Majuli, the main attraction for a tourist is the Vaishnava Satras founded by Sankardeva, the father of Assamese culture. Today the main existing Satras are Dekhinpat Satra, Gurumukh Satra, Anumiati Satra, Kamalabari Satra, Bengenaati Satra, Shamguri Satra etc. The entire plain tribes also possess a colourful and resourceful cultural entity.

Various species of rare migratory birds like Pelican, Siberian Gane, Adjuant Stork are found in Majuli. Another festival performed by the Sonowal Kacharis tribe is ‘Bathow Puja’ where ‘Lord Shiva’, is worshipped with high veneration.

To Reach: Majuli can be reached by three main routes, Jorhat – Nimati Ghat from Jorhat, Dhokhakhana fro Dhemaji and Luit-Khabola Ghat from North Lakhimpur. Besides these, there are many ghats with single machine boat from both banks of the Brahmaputra.

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