Ferry to Majuli for a cultural trip

Author: Shivani Subba
Date: 2019-12-04

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Located in Assam, Majuli is one of the world's largest inhabited river islands and attracts thousands of tourists every year. For culture and history enthusiasts, Majuli is an ideal destination as it is was once the centre of Assamese neo-Vaishnavite culture dating back to the 15th century. There are many satras (monasteries) here, which were once constructed by the saint Srimanta Sankardeva and his disciple Madhavdeva, which still exist today. 

For a wholesome experience, visitors are allowed to stay at the satra, take part in daily devotions, and witness the traditional bhaona performances.  The artistic skills of the young devotees residing there can be seen in the displayed masks, musical instruments, and door frames.  

Visitors can take a tour of several satras such as Auni-ati (this is popular for the Apsara and Paalnaam dances and artifacts, Dakhinpat (main venue for Rasleela), Samaguri (popular for mask-making), Garamur (famous for medieval weapons), and Bengena-ati (it preserves the royal gold umbrella and gilded robe belonging to Ahom king Swargadeo Gadadhar Singha. 

Island Festivals 

The most important festivals celebrated here are Rasleela, a 2-day festival usually held in mid-November; Ali-Aye-Ligang, an annual held in February-March celebrated by the Mishing community to mark the start of the sowing of paddy; and Majuli festival, a 4-day festival held in the last week of November.  A large fair is organized where the traditional bamboo and cane craft, pottery, garments, etc are showcased.  

Tourist info:

Getting There 

Buses and share-taxis ply regularly between Jorhat town and Nimatighat, the main ferry boarding point for Majuli on the southern bank of Brahmaputra.  The bus ride lasts about an hour, as does the ferry ride to Kamalabari in Majuli.  The ferries leave every hour from 8am to 4pm every day, charging per head.  The frequency, though, is determined by passenger availability. One can also take two-wheelers and small cars across for a fee, and charter a personal boat on a daily basis. Taxis can be hired from Majuli to move around the island.  

Best time to visit: During the Raas festival in November.  

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