Places to visit in Majuli
Majuli, perhaps the largest riverine island in the world, nestles in the lap of the mighty Brahmaputra. Her face uplifted to the limitless frontiers of the blue sky, her feet perpetually caressed by the lapping waters of the holy Brahamaputra, her vision stretched to the distant hills of the Himalayan and other ranges, Majuli is a creation of none other than the master craftsman who moulded the universe-God himself.
There will be a lot of scopes to fit yourself as a part of this festival . Special events are being organized during the festivals days round the clock. Cultural programmes will continue with the participation of various traditional and classical cultural troupes of Assam and troupes from rest of the country, in addition to rich cultural heritage of Majuli.
Exhibition will also be there with the demostration of various Assamese products specially designed and prepared by experts artistes highlighting traditional glory of Majuli too.
Assamese and tribal dishes of Majuli will also be made available, and food festival will also be organized during this time.
The festival will include a number of attractive allied activities covering various aspects. Leading exponents from wide spectrum of activities are being approached to make the occasion a remarkable one. Seminars are also being organized on different topics.
Therefore the festival will definitely make you reach a desired destination for adventure and spiritual tourism.
The assemblage and assimilation of all ethnic groups under the same sky, retaining their respective individual and traditional cultural entities is a very striking phenomenon that easily attracts the visitors to this island. With the glories history of five hundred years of Satriya living cultural tradition, the rich and colourful tribal cultural elements and the natural beauty with a unique assemblage of flora and fauna; Majuli has the charm to beckon the tourists unraveling itself as paradise on the earth. Extinct species of various migratory birds are found in Majuli which creates an environment of bird sanctuary.
The striking Juxtaposition of man and nature in its harmonies best accentuated by a palpable undertone of spirituality and the unfathomable aura of mysticism that governs the essence of life combined with the exotic mosaic of diverse ethnicism lend the island an enchanting uniqueness, rarely found elsewhere in the world. Majuli is a rich place in tradition and culture and boasting of a glorious past. With the establishment of Vaishnava Saint Srimanta Sankaradeva and his chief disciple Sri Sri Madhavdeva in the 15th century, Majuli emerged as the crowning glory of Vaishnavite’s culture in Assam. The most remarkable feature of Majuli, apart from its aura of spiritualism in a total population free environment, it is the colourful mosaic of diverse ethnicity. A vibrant tradition of art and craft is an important component of culture continuum of Majuli. Music, Dance, Drama were the basic medium deployed in propagating the monotheistic philosophy of Vaishnavism. The self taught artisians of Majuli transform a small piece of wood or bamboo to exquisite works of art. Basketry, ivory, silver filigree work are a few of the traditional crafts still being carried on the island.
No wonder then that the sublime and the serene atmosphere of the island – the intimate companionship of the soul with the elements and river provided the backdrop for the historic “Moni Kanchan Sanjog” between Assam’s pioneer Vaishnavite Saints Sankardeva and his desciple Madhabdeva in 15th Century. Ever since that meeting of the great minds and the subsequent establishment of “Satras” that followed, Majuli emerged as the crowing glory of Vaishnative culture in Assam.
Multifaceted in its attraction. Majuli, unfolds a vanity of interest to the tourist-rare migratory birds; traditional handicrafts and pottery, ethnic culture and dance forms,water sports etc.
It’s People :
The people of Majuli represent the varied ethnic forms of cultural heritage. Hospitality of Majulians are remarkable. One who visited the island cannot but appreciate the simplicity and inherent spirit of the people. As you travel through this river island you will experience tribes with traditions you could never imagine to be in existence. Open-heart attitude, which is the hallmark of the Majulians, is sure to make carry their images all through out your life. Such is the type of love evoking lot of people the Majulians are !
The island is situated in North latitude of 26045 – 27012 and in the East Longitude of 93039 – 94035
Area of Population :
According to the report of Mr. J. H Mills in 1853 the total area of Majuli was 2,82,265 acres. But due to strong erosion of river Brahamaputra 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 sensus the population of Majuli is 1,35,378. On the North bank the river “Subansiri” and on the South bank the river Brahamaputra has separated the island from the main land. While Lakhimpur is on the North, and Golaghat is to its South-West Sibsagar is on the South-East and Jorhat is to the South of Majuli. On the extreme East is Dibrugarh District.
The population of Majuli is made up of Ahoms, Kacharis, Brahmins, Kalitas, Koch-Rajbongsis, Bonias, Koibartas, Naths, Misings, Deoris, Suts, Chutias, Sonowals,Nomosudras, Nepalis, Kumars, Bengalis and Rajasthanis etc.
The main tribes living in Majuli are the Misings, the Deoris and Sonowal Kacharis.
Population Density : 300
Nos. of Village : 243
Nos. of Satras : 22
Language dialect: Assamese, Mishing, Deori
Climate: Coolest months are from November to February when the average temperature is 270 c.
Hottest time March to June 340 c .
What to see :
Vaishnava Satra founded by Sankardeva, the father of Assamese culture.
In fifteen century Shankardeva took shelter in Majuli and spent a couple of months at Beloguri (in West Majuli), which was a place of glory for the historic and auspicious, ‘Manikanchan Sanjog’ between Shankardeva and Madhavdeva . This was the first “satra” in Majuli, From “Manikanchan Sanjog” there had been sixty five “Satras frowing up for propogation of ethics and socio-cultural ideals. But at present there are only twenty two satras in Majuli. The other had to be shifted to other safer places due to devastation of flood and erosion. Among those the main existing satras are (a) Dakhinpat Satra, (b) Garamurh Satra, (c) Auniati Satra, (d) Kamalabari Satra, (e) Bengenaati Satra and (f) Samaguri Satra. These Satras are the treasure house of “Bongeet ” Matiakhara, Jumora Dance, Chali Dance, Notua Dance, Nande Vringee, Sutradhar, Ozapali, Apsara Dance, Satria Krishna Dance, Dasavater Dance etc. which were contributed by Shri Shankardeva.
Dakhinpat Satra : Dakhinpat Satra was founded by Banamalidev, an exponent of Raasleela, which is now observed as one of the National Festivals of Assam.
Garamurh Satra : This “Satra” was founded by Lakshmikantadeva. During Autumn ending traditional RAASLEELA (co-acting ) is shown with great enthusiasm, Some ancient weapons called “Bartop” (canons) are preserved here.
Auniati Satra : Founded by Niranjan Pathakdeva the Satra is famous for “Paalnaam” and Apsara dance and also its considerable collection of Assamese old utensils, jewellery and handicrafts.
Kamalabari Satra : Kamalabari Satra founded by Bedulapadam Ata, is a center of art, culture, literature and classical studies. Its branch Uttar Kamalabari Satra has performed cultural programme of Satria Art in several states of India and abroad.
Bengenaati Satra : It is a store house of antiques of cultural importance and an advance center of performing art. Muraridev, the grand son of Sankaradeva’s step mother has founded the Satra. The royal robes belong to the Ahom King Swargodeo Godadhar Singha, made of gold and an umbrella which is also made of gold are preserved here.
Samaguri Satra : The satra is resourced with famous Mask-crafts in India.
Other Attractions :
The entire plan tribes also possess a colourful and resourceful cultural entity.
Various species of rare migratory birds like Pelican, Siberian Crane, Adjutant Stroke are found in Majuli.
Festival like ALI-AI-LVIGANG of the Mising tribe is also celebrated here during the first Wednesday of the month GINMUR POLO. (February – March)
The pottery making center is situated at Upper Majuli.
Many suitable places are there for viewing the full sunset during winter.
The PAAL NAAM at Auniati Satra is a huge mela, held at the end of Autumn.
Another festival performed by the Sonowal Kacharis tribe is ” Bathow Puja “, where Lord Shiva, is worshipped with high veneration.
How to go :
Majuli can be reached by three prime routes in normal time. From Jorhat through Nematighat, Luit-Khabalu ghat from North Lakhimpur and Dhakuakhana from Dhemaji. Air connectivity to Jorhat from Delhi via Kolkota and daily flight to Guwahati from Delhi and Kolkota are available. By roadways Jorhat and Lakhimpur are the first destination where from you will get next road communication to Majuli through daily ferry services available on the bank of Brahmaputra and Khabalu river respectively. By roadways daily train services are there to Guwahati from Delhi and Kolkota.