All about Majuli Island, Assam
Majuli Island is the largest river island in the world and a lesser-known gem of the northeastern state of Assam. Not denying how exceptionally fancy the tagline, world’s largest river island, sounds. But the island has much more to its glory. Completely isolated from the chaotic 21st-century city life, this island sits slap bang in the middle of the majestic Brahmaputra River.
Majuli is uncharted territory for many and one of the best-kept secrets of Northeast India. It is a niche destination inhabited by people mainly belonging to the missing tribe. These tribes strive tirelessly to promote both a sustainable lifestyle and a responsible tourist outlook to preserve the originality of the island.
The island is damn gorgeous with a tranquil vibe. Everything is raw and hand-made, there is no quick fix, it is just as God had intended. :*
If you’re looking for places to add on your Northeast India adventures, I would urge you to pen down Majuli Island at the top of your list. And trust me; it won’t disappoint you 😉
Read here more about hidden gem of Himachal pradesh, Grahan village!
How to reach Majuli Island?
Commuting to the Island of Majuli is only possible via ferry ride, which is a thrilling and unique experience in itself.
You can reach Majuli from several parts of Assam; since Guwahati is the capital city and the key point of most visitors for North-East trip; so I will focus mainly on the route from Guwahati.
To reach Majuli from Guwahati, you have to first reach Jorhat city which is approximately around 306kms. From the Jorhat main town go to the Nimati Ghat which is the river bank. From Nimati Ghat a ferry will take you to the mainland of Majuli. (Guwahati— Jorhat— Nimati Ghat— Majuli).
There are ample bus and train services on the Guwahati-Jorhat route. The Shatabdi train is the most reliable one. Bus service to Jorhat is available all day from Guwahati ISBT with the last bus leaving at 9:30 pm.
From the Jorhat bus stand, take a shared auto/tempo to Nimati Ghat. Ferry service from the Nimati Ghat to Kalambari Ghat of Majuli is available almost every hour. The service commences at 7:00 am and the last ferry leaves the Ghat at 4:00 pm and is pretty cheap.
It takes almost an hour and a half to cross such a wide 12km river on a ferry. It is exhilarating to witness nature at its best- the strong current of Brahmaputra River, various deserted islands, and migratory birds pooping from the sky and aquatic weeds.
Where to stay in Majuli?
Majuli is inhabited by the people of the Mishing tribe. There are several homestays in Majuli which are built like the traditional Mishing style bamboo stilt huts. And they are built in such a manner so as not to lose the originality of the place and to avoid floodwater from entering the huts during monsoon.
The rooms are very basic with no luxury but are cute, comfortable and clean. The furniture too is bamboo made giving the place an earthy and rustic feeling. You can stay here and experience a sustainable tribal lifestyle.
Among the other options for stay are some small hotels in Majuli and the Majuli resort which have pretty good reviews. Do confirm their availability in advance before visiting from booking.com.
Best time to visit Majuli Island
The winter months are the ideal time to visit this island from around September to march. around this time the weather is pleasant.
During the summer months, the island experiences heavy rainfalls hence the commute becomes a little tough and usually more than half of the island gets flooded.
Do check the weather updates before you head there to not ruin your touristy experience.
Things to do in Majuli
Majuli is one of those destinations that are more of a feeling and have serene ambience rather than a checklist of specific places to visit. Nevertheless, there are really interesting things that you can do on your trip to Majuli:
Visit Satras in Majuli
Majuli is one of the holy places of Vaishnavite religion and culture where Satras are built as a centre of learning traditional art and culture. There are twenty-two Satras which are the top places to visit in Majuli. The most famous Satras that we visited were the Auniati Satra, Kamalabari Satra, Garamurh Satra, Shamaguri Satra. Among these, Shamaguri Satra is the mask making Satra which is the most intriguing one. Here masks are made and imported all over the country to be used in various dramas and plays. The Satra heads are happy to share more about their work technique and tell you local tales.
Enjoy the local cuisines
When in Majuli, do not forget to enjoy the native Mishing meal. The thali consists of rice, vegetables, fish and meat. The rice is cooked in a leaf called Tora pat that gives it a distinct flavor. Other delicacies include pamnam fish (fish baked in banana leaf), pamnam chicken (chicken baked in banana leaf) and mamsing, chutney of dry fish. They also serve chicken, fish, and pork cooked in bamboo pipes, a traditional way of cooking. It is not only the food but also the experience of the authentic tribal culture that you get.:)
Try the local beer
How exciting is the idea of trying a unique beer in an isolated land? Mishing people brew an amazingly aromatic beer from rice called the Apong. And I truly insist that it is a must-try thing if you visit the island. Feel free to visit any Mishing house and join them for the traditional beer.
Spend time in the lap of nature
Nature has blessed Majuli with lush green paddy fields extending till the horizon, fascinating skies, small and large lakes beside the bamboo hut, birds chirping, green lands and huge areas of wetlands. The sunsets at Majuli are incredible and out of a fairy tale. A unique variety of fauna grows on the wetlands and various migratory birds visit the island. You can also visit Beels i.e. lakes and spend time by them;*
- You can rent a bicycle and go around exploring the island. It is an enthralling experience to ride a bicycle here as the roads are well built and spread with green on all sides. It is economical as well, costing around INR100 per day.
- Among the other facilities available for local commuting are private taxis and rickshaws though these aren’t that abundant since this island has recently started witnessing the advent of tourism.
- Do remember to carry enough cash as there are hardly any ATMs here, that too mostly without cash.
- Keep in mind that sunrise here is around 5.50 a.m. and about 5.30 pm it gets pitch dark, so plan the itinerary accordingly.
From Majuli, with love!
Majuli is overall a rustic destination created by God in full glory and of course, maintained by tribals to carry its legacy. Where the White sand of the island gets washed by the Brahmaputra River, the white desert looks exhilarating and fascinating.
However, the river swallows the shores of this island every year during monsoon. It is a threat to the existence of the island and causing a continuous decrease in the area of the island, giving you all the more reason to visit it soon.
Do add this exotic island to your North East India bucket list and experience the best of god’s creation! And yeah! You can thank me later for it!!
Also Read: Grahan Village: an Offbeat Hike beyond Kasol