I’m sitting in Kathmandu right now writing this piece of article for you guys. My trip of 40 days in the north-east is soon going to be over. The memories of my journey are empowering my heart and mind with all the mixed emotions that I am going through right now. I still remember when I was back in Delhi, I was going restless, thinking whether I made a good decision to travel to north-east or not. And now knowing that I have a few days left sitting in Pumpernickel bakery with a cup of coffee, pen, and diary, I feel nostalgic writing about my trip so far.
Almost every house in Majuli owns a boat and also a mini pond inside their house for fishing. I wish we had that back home. Our own mini pond full of fish.
I still remember my first day when I had landed in Jorhat completely clueless. With a backpack over my shoulder, I went looking for the concerned authority or person to guide me. I had the option of booking a private taxi but it was too expensive!
My struggle continued in a place where people neither speak proper Hindi nor English.
I somehow managed my way to the Neemati Ghat from where I had to cross the river on a ferry for the Island. To reach ghat one has to go down a narrow lane. Going down the lane, the scenery in front of me left me awestruck. This was the first time in my life I was seeing a river this big, blue, clear, its color perfectly blending with the sky and a ferry in front of me overloaded with bikes, cars, people, and animals. Where was I? What was it? MESMERIZING Brahmaputra!
When people say India is vast and rich in culture, it indeed comes as an undeniable fact.
I crossed the Brahmaputra on the ferry to reach the island: Majuli.
About half an hour later my feet were on the land of the world’s biggest river Island. I reached there in the evening around 4:00 pm. Instead of going to my hotel I chose to stay on shore for the sunset. It was one of the most beautiful sites to witness.
In front of my eyes was a huge river and a never-ending sky changing color from blue to orange to golden to black. By 5:00 pm it was already dark. Since the place had already shut down after sunset I fiddled a few minutes to get a taxi for the guesthouse.
I was the only one sitting on the shore with my father at this place. It was so serene and calm.
We ran and raced to the shore. And while returning back we decided to walk back since the path was without any hurdles, all plain. It was fun.
I stayed in Majuli for 3 days and it went a little out of budget to stay in a bamboo hut.
I roamed around in Majuli on a bicycle because transportation was expensive and not easily available. The village has beautiful bicycle trails.
Almost every house in Island had huge fields for agriculture and pisciculture inside every home. A foodies’ paradise who loves fish cuisines.
I stayed near the Mishing Tribe basti which is the second largest tribal community in North-East. They will welcome you with open arms and Cha! (Chai)
Apart from visiting the Mishing Tribe don’t miss out on the Satra’s (Monasteries) of Majuli. Sadly I managed to visit only 4 of them:
- Auniati Satra: Famous for Apsara dance and Paalnaam dance
- Kalamkari Satra: Famous for the unique history and shopper’s paradise.
- Samagrai Satra: It’s known for the art of mask making. (My personal favorite)
- Dakshinpat Satra: It was chief Satra patronized by Ahom king.
Once you reach Assam be prudent about the people who will try to rip your pocket by charging you extra while commuting by public/private transportation. Always ask a local before asking the conductor/driver about the ticket price.
Also, it is advised to be back home by 5-6:00 pm since the whole place shuts down after sunset.
Do Visit: The Basti’s (village) where traditional shawls are made by hand.
Must Watch: Sunset or sunrise. Or both!
The best mode of Transportation: Rented bicycle or Shared taxi’s which operate till 4:00 pm
Touring Time: Between 6:00am to 5:00pm
Nearest Airport: Jorhat, Assam
Must-try dish: Pamnam (Baked fish in banana leaf)
Do Taste: Beetle leaf as mouth freshener (can be a little bitter).
Why a disappearing world? Because every year, the river swells and eats away large portions of land from the island.
Bamboo Home-stay: The River view bamboo cottage
Approx cost of bamboo home-stays: 1000/night for 2 people.
The estimated cost of trip: INR6,500 (4-5 days)
So when are you packing your bag for a trip on this amazing Island, Majuli?
All pictures shot on Oneplus 3T.