Saturday, 22 August 2015

Beautiful Majuli, largest river water island in the world, Assam,

An exotic view of Majuli.

Majuli Island its surroundings.Assam,India.

Considered as the largest fresh water river island in the world, Majuli is located in the middle of the mighty Brahmaputra river just 20 km away from the Cultural Capital of Assam - Jorhat. The island, situated in Jorhat district of northern Assam, is about
80 km wide and about 10-15 km long, with a total area of 875 in midstream of the delta system. The island is formed by the Brahmaputra river in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti, a branch of the Brahmaputra, joined by the Subansiri River in the north.

Majuli island , Assam The Better India

Majuli, Assam Crossing the river.
 The Majuli island was formed as a result of  a catastrophic flood in 1750 that continued for about two weeks (mentioned in historical texts). Frequent earthquakes in the period 1661-1696 set the stage for the flooding mentioned above. The awe-inspiring Majuli island is easily accessible only by ferry boats from the urban center of Jorhat. The vast island  was geomorphologically  shaped by the direction and  course changes by the river Brahmaputra  and its tributaries, principally the Lohit. The threats of flooding  by  the Brahmaputra are very much there, so are the dangers from external and modern influences. Because of plenty of water is available the island supports excellent bio-diversity system pregnant with rich flora and fauna. Migratory birds, both uncommon and facing threats visit this island during the winter.   Siberian crane also known as Siberian white crane/snow crane (Leucogeranus leucogeranus), lesser whistling duck (Dendrocygna javanica) and  Pelican  are  frequently sighted here and it is  a heaven for bird watchers  and wild  life photographers. October to March is the best time to visit this place that has no noise and other pollution as you will find in the crowded cities. Soil erosion is a major problem caused by embankments built in the town upstream and the Indian government in the past  sanctioned about $55million  to save this island and to prevent soil erosion, etc.

Hindustan Times

Majulians, who migrated to the island over centuries, form a mixed community of various ethnic-cultural groups , each retaining their own traditions and skills. Here people follow the Neo - Vaishnava tradition propagated by saint Srimanta Sankardeva. During  the three-day long Raas festival, every person on the island is  actively involved, depicting the life of  Sri. Krishna. Majuli has been the cultural capital of Assamese civilization since the 16th century.  Majuli include Vaishnava Satra, Paal Namm and various other festivals, Pottery making, Sunset, Mask making and so on.Main occupation here is agriculture and they follow a diverse agriculture tradition. The staple crop is rice and they produce an array of more than 150 varieties of rice here. An interesting aspect is rice can be cooked in boiled water in 15 minutes' time without any fuss. No chemicals and fertilizers are used for cultivation here. Apong (rice beer) is quite famous here.Major ethnic groups include Mishing, Deori, Sonowal Kacharis.

Surprisingly  the island is made of hundred and forty four villages with a population of over 160,000 and a density of 300 individuals per square km. Their only contact with the outside world is by means of ferry services that are available six times a day.
It is a fertile island and this being due to  nutrient-rich sediments deposited on the banks of Brahmaputra.  Namghar is an important place of activities for the villages. Here, they meet frequently and discuss issues with respect to the affairs of the villages, their grievances, social, civil issues, etc.

Majuli Island
Majuli include Vaishnava Satra, Paal Namm and various other festivals, Pottery making, mask- making, fishing, dairying, Hand loom, boat-making, etc are other important economic activities.People - mostly tribes  here are steeped in their culture and time-bound customs and traditions.  Mājuli island can be accessed  by ferries from the city of Jorhat. The island is about 300-400 km east from the state capital - Guwahati. Nomination had been sent to the UNESCO for the declaration of Mājuli to be as a world heritage site