Majuli – Largest River Island

Majuli is the largest river island on River Brahmaputra, mostly populated by the Mishing tribe, the Deoris and the Ahoms. Mishing being the largest in population. Festivals like Raas Mahotsav, Paal Namm, and Ali-ai-ligang. Majuli is also famous for its mask making and pottery. Garamurh Satra, Kamalabari Satra, Dakhinpat Satra, Auniati Satra, etc. just to name a few are the prominent satras of this beautiful island. The best place for cultural programs is Kamalabari Satra. Being a wetland, Majuli is a biodiversity hot spot for flora and fauna, sheltering many rare and endangered species of birds. The island is a birdwatcher’s paradise with storks, pelican, and cranes being spotted here


After a day in vast farmlands of Ziro, next day, we called the agent and he again confirmed regarding the seats. We were waiting for almost half an hour finally, when the sumo arrived, there was single seat on the back. Phone calls went to and fro and that sumo left. We had hard time making the person understand that once booked how can they just ignore it.

Finally, we got two seats for Naharlagun, and back rows were packed with 5+5, I wondered how they sat. Those were mostly workers from Assam, they has come to work for a week at some Rich guy’s house in Ziro. We came across 4 check post on the way and our permits were checked. The workers had an expired permit and had to pay 200 per person at each post (I think, whatever they earned by working for a week, was taken back by the Police), eventually, at last post near Bandardewa, they were detained. Driver was bit sad, for leaving them. He helped us get an auto to Laluk via Harmuti. At Laluk, the drivers started fighting over who will take us to Dhunabhari Ghat. I literally had to shout at them to stop. Finally, one agreed to take us for Rs. 400 and finally spinning off 500 at the end. At Ghat, the Ferry was already in place, we had to wait for an hour and by 2.30 the ferry left for Majuli. We reached Majuli at 3.30 PM. Again, took an omni to Kamlabari.

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Saw this near the homestay, weaver’s nest

We opted for Kamlabari, because, it would have been easier to exit Majuli from there itself. Here we had some snacks, while I googled for stay. I found good reviews for Rupali Tatghar Homestay. Immediately called her, asked her for room, she replied affirmatively. We hired another auto (100) since it was at 900 mts, and walking would have meant carrying 16Kg haversack.

 

_DSC8468.JPGWe were welcomed by a very smiling gracious lady Rupali herself. She made us feel like family, showed us our room. It was very clean. After, sometime, we left to explore the island. We walked on one side of the road, we came back once the dusk set in. We had dinner, cooked by the hostess.

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Majuli Island

Next day, we decided to walk to the Anuiti Satra, I assumed the distance to be around 1-2 kms (forgetting to check on map), it turned to be more than 4 kms, still we managed to view lots of birds. We requested the hostess to send us an auto, because we had to leave by 1.00 pm and we had reached Satra at 11.00 am. Fortunately her husband came to pick us up, one by one in his scooty. We bid adieu to the hostess and left for Kamlabari town in an auto (40). There is a shared auto to Kamlabari Ghat, which leaves only when full. We waited for 20 minutes, before the auto started and we reached Ghat. The ferry was bigger than earlier, more organized metal seats, spacious.

_DSC8517.JPGThe ferry left at 2.30 PM and reached Jorhat at 4:30 PM. From Jorhat Ghat to Jorhat Bus Stand, another shared Omni, we cramped up with our bags on the rear seat (30 each). The driver was about to add one more guy, I told him we would pay for the third person, just let us seat. We took another auto from Jorhat Bus stand to Railway station(100), we finally reached Railway station at 5.30 PM.

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Anuiti Satra

We ordered Dominos Pizza through Zomato and waited for the train to arrive. We had pre-booked 3AC seats from Jorhat to Guwahati. We reached early morning at 6:00 instead of 4.45 AM. We got a shared cab (350- bargained for two) to Airport, after walking for some distance towards ASTC Bus stand. Since, the flight was at 11:00 am, we changed, freshened up in airport itself. Had breakfast, waited and then checked in. We reached Kolkata at noon. We hired a pre-paid taxi to Shalimar RS. We requested the driver to halt at one point to buy some sweets, only realizing later that, they would get spoiled in train journey. We bought little, tasted some of them. Here, the sweet talking driver showed us all the points on the way and later took 110 extra to get us directly through highway (shortcut). We felt cheated and thought we should have booked AC cab in that amount.

 

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Domino Pizza

We boarded the train; it was already boiling hot (desperately missed the cold weather of Tawang), waited for train to start. We had a respite because of 3AC tickets. We saw many people asking the TC to upgrade their tickets from Sleeper.

We reached Mumbai on 6th Morning at 5.30 am and by 09:30 am, I was in office, getting through regular routine.

The total expense for this trip was approximately Rs. 30,000/- per head inclusive of everything.

Tips:

  1. Instead of Bomdila, stay in Rupa or Dirang. Both are equally beautiful and in Rupa, you can visit the Chillipam Monastery, which is on hill top.
  2. There is an evening show, conducted by locals /army at War Memorial area, do inquire about that.
  3. Get the Permit online.
  4. Start early by 5:00 or later by 6:00, after that, you wont get Shared Sumo and direct buses, least chances.

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