Ten things to do in Majuli, Assam
Majuli, the cultural capital of Assam is the largest river island in the world and is home to one of India’s largest tribes. From taking a ferry ride to reach the island, to living in bamboo huts, here are a list of things to do in Majuli.
1. Ferry Ride
The only way to access the island of Majuli is by crossing the mighty Brahmaputra River on an over crowded ferry from Nimati Ghat in Jhorat. The journey takes around 45 minutes and is an experience by itself.
2. Brahmaputra white sand
As soon as you reach the Majuli island, you will be greeted by white beach sand which is actually silt carried along by the might river. The SUV ride out of the jetty to the main island is one heck of a bumpy ride. It’s like sitting on a camel.
3. Bamboo hut stay
Of all the accommodation available on the island, spending your time living in a bamboo hut is a one of a kind, once in a life experience. These bamboo huts can be found only in Kamlabari and is worth the long travel to the river island.
4. Rent a cycle
The best way to explore this massive island is by renting a bicycle for a day or two and peeling your way around the place. The humble bicycle is the most popular mode of transportation used on the island, from school children to adults everyone likes to stay eco-friendly on this island.
5. Majuli Thali
Food lovers will just love the food on the island as it is all you can eat veg and non-veg thalis. The thalis are very economically priced and included papad, dal, rice, one vegetable, tiny steamed jacket potatoes, local Assami style spicy chutney and rice kheer in the end. The non-veg thali includes either river fish or chicken. It’s an absolute steal when you see the final bill.
6. Mask makers village
Majuli is home to a traditional art of mask making which has been native to the island since the beginning of civilization there. The artist here make masks of various Gods, deities and other gothic idols from the religious books. These masks have high demand in theatre art and street plays and none of the mask on display are for sale. All of them are only made as per order and shipped directly to the desired location.
7. The Monasteries
Majuli is also the cultural capital of Assam and the monasteries around the island which are also know as Satras. It is a unique feature of Vaishnavism in Assam, founded by Sankardeva, the father of Assamese culture. The satras are not just monasteries, but centres of traditional performing arts. This is the best place to see cultural activities without having to shell out too much.
8. Missing Tribe
Scattered all over the island of Majuli is the Missing or Mising tribe. They are the single biggest tribe in the entire North East India. A visit to one of the tribal villages is something worth doing since it’s a very unique experience to see how people actually live in houses made purely out of bamboos. The tribals are extremely friendly and love to pose for the camera. Don’t be surprised if they ask you to stay back for lunch.
9. Rice beer
A specialty of the Missing Tribals is the traditional fermentation of rice over the entire day to produce home brewed rice alcohol. All over the missing tribes the rice beer is served as a welcome drink to anyone and everyone to enters their homes.
10. Stay a week
After making it all the way to biggest river island in the world there is no point in rushing through and running out to explore other parts of Assam or the North East. It’s best you rush the rest of your trip and end your journey on this island with plenty of time to spare. You can spend days just living the island life. Read a book, cycle a bit, meet the locals, learn to make mask the island has it all.
For a similar experience to North East India please >> click here