This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Saakshi, from the blog My Travel Recitals. Sit back and enjoy as Saakshi takes us to an offbeat island that is a unique marvel of nature!
Today's destination: Majuli River island, Assam - the biggest river island in the world, it is a tranquil piece of land located in the Brahmaputra river in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti is joined by the Subansiri River in the north!
Nearest Airport: Jorhat
Nearest Railway Station: Jorhat
Prerequisities - n/a
Packing - Nothing special!
Time of the year - January
Length of the itinerary: 2 days
- Saakshi headed off to Majuli as a part of a blogger group that toured the island with Koyeli travels.
- One needs to head to Jorhat, the biggest city from where one can head off to Majuli on a boat or ferry!
- Enjoy the expansive views of the Brahmaputra river as you head off from the Nemati ghat towards Majuli in just over an hour. Make sure you catch a spot on the top floor of the ferry to enjoy the awesome photo ops along the way!
- The views of the Brahmaputra slowly give way to tranquil islands, pure with lush green farms and thatched roof houses that takes you back in time.
- The first stop on the itinerary is the Dakhin Pat Satra. A Satra is essentially a Hindu monastery whose origin dates to around 500 years when a Hindu saint Sri Sankardev settled in Majuli and preached a form of Neo Vaishnavism.
- Although the satra has a lot of similarities with its Buddhist counterpart in terms of the monks and the hierarchy, they are nothing close in terms of the architecture which is influenced primarily by Assamese culture.
- The next pit stop is the Samaguri Satra or the mask making Satra - an art form that is unique and popular in this region. Saakshi also has a chance to interact with Mr. Goswami, one of the drivers of the mask making culture who also happens to be a descendant of Sankardev!
- Later in the day, Saakshi has a chance to experience the bhaona performances to enact Ramayana and other epics making use of the lovely masks prepared in the Satra.
- Saakshi's satra trail is completed with a visit to the Kamalabari Satra which is popular for the Krishna bhakti bhaona performance by young monks of the Satra. All the dance moves and postures are connected to the maati (ground) and are performed in front of the Bhagvad Gita, the holy book.
- Saakshi and the group retired for the day at the Dekasang Resort, a model resort based on the traditional Mishing tribe house.
- The resort is on the banks of the Luit river and one has the opportunity for birding as well as a canoe ride!
- Saakshi then visits a traditional Mishing family, the prominent tribe in Majuli and has a chance to interact with the locals and experience first hand culture and architecture of their homes!
- Cap off this wonderful trip by sampling the traditional rice or Porag aapin and the aromatic Mishing rice beer called Apong!