Back in 2019, I planned a solo weekend trip to Majuli Island, and it was a heartfelt experience I’ve never felt before. Sailing through the Brahmaputra River that Saturday morning from Nimati Ghat in Jorhat took me to a different sphere of life where nothing but the positivity and freshness of Mother Nature indulged me. It almost made me feel like I was the main lead in a movie. The setting of it all was so surreal. The cool summer breeze played with my hair, birds flocked above the river, and the village people carefully walked past me one step at a time on the uneven tile plate placed on top of the muddy riverbank with their bags clung on their hand. As the ferry separated from the port, the calm water was interrupted by multiple waves made by the friction as it began ascending towards Majuli.
I was chasing tranquility and I believe I found it as soon as I arrived on the largest freshwater island in the world, Majuli.
To get to the port to catch the ferry, I took a sharing auto from ASTC station in Jorhat. It took me around 30 minutes (I do not remember the price) through the bustling city and small villages. Luckily, I arrived on time before 10:30 am, else the next ferry was supposed to depart in the afternoon. Since the ferries are government-run, the cost is cheap. I paid 15 rupees one way to Kamalabari Ghat on the Majuli side. The total journey took approximately 1.5 hours but the joy to sail across the mighty Brahmaputra was beautiful.
Brahmaputra river cruise (source: Google)
Here is the time table for ferries that leave for Majuli Island
Sunset viewed from the banks of the Brahmaputra (source: Google)
It was love at first sight. I still remember an old man carrying baskets made of plastic straws on his bicycle paddling along the dirt road across the Kamalabari Ghat. I rode across the paddy field along the narrow nature-built road in an auto smiling throughout the journey to Garamur market. With the beautiful vistas and gorgeous reflections of huts in the wet paddy field, I arrived at the market where I had prebooked my accommodation in “La Maison de Ananda.” It was highly suggested by a friend and I am glad I took the deal. But don’t fall for the name like I did; it was nothing close to French as per the name. Rather it was a very traditionally built cottage.
I stayed in a cosy hut made of bamboo straws. It had a small balcony with wooden benches and soft side pillows and came with all the basic essential amenities that made my stay comfortable. Services included bonfire nights and other island activities, but since they were chargeable, I decided to explore Majuli on my own. After a quick bath, I went to see if there were cycles on rent. Not far from where I was staying, I came across Majuli Cycle Cafe. It was just want I needed to explore the island at my own pace. Surprisingly, the cycles were all in good condition and it cost me 250 rupees per day.
Majuli Cycle Cafe (source: Facebook)
Majuli Cycle Cafe is the most happening place if you want to meet other tourists or savour a delicious meal before heading out for the ride. It also had a shop, gallery, and library. It is a popular place to visit in Majuli if you are a solo tourist visiting the river island. I peddled across the island aimlessly through the narrow lane. I rode along the fringes of the island near the river. I might have cycled for hours trying to find the perfect place to relax and watch the sunset. I wish I had my own pictures but here is a picture of how the sunset in Majuli is like.
The next day, I visited one of the many satras, which are famous for mask-making (especially Samugari Satra). I was spellbound by their work. But since I had only a few hours to check out I couldn’t visit every satra. But some of the best places to visit in Majuli are Aouniati Satra, Dakhinpat Satra, Benganatti Satra, Natun Kamalabari Satra, Natun Samaguri Satra, Bhugpur Satra, Uttar Kamalabari Satra, and Garamur Satra. Considering Garamur as my base in Majuli, distances to these satras are around 15 km away. It is ideal to take a cycle rickshaw or auto to these places.