Majuli – A complete travel guide

by Mar 12, 2018Assam, City Guides, Northeast India

So you have heard a lot about Majuli, heard about its ethereal beauty, saw so many pictures on the Internet and now want to visit there. We visited the island this year in January. Before going there, we too had a lot of questions and apprehensions, but once we were there, the beauty of the place simply bowled us over. So here is our complete DIY Majuli Travel Guide – all that you need to know about the place (Well, almost all!)

Majuli Travel Guide Assam Tourism

Where is Majuli?

Majuli is a river island on the Brahmaputra River in Assam. It also happens to be the second largest freshwater river island in the world and the largest in Asia. It is an isolated place. Isolated in terms of the incessant crowd and hustle of the mainland, nature has quietly seeped in here and seduced its inhabitants into a life of tranquility. The Brahmaputra flows to the south of the island while the Kherkutia Xuti joins the River Subansiri in the north.

The island was once quite large spanning an area of more than 1500 sq km. But the Brahmaputra waters have not been so kind and eroded about one-third of the island. Majuli now has an area of only 352 sq km. The Brahmaputra is still eroding this island. But it is large enough to have several small villages within it and it has been now declared as a separate district. The place is the home to a number of tribes mainly the Mishings.

Once you reach Majuli, the first thing that you will see is the stretches of sand that looks like sandy beaches. Once you are in the heart of this island, the green fields and the water bodies will attract you. You will see greenery wherever your eyes will take you. Although the main market places of Garamur and Kamalabari have looks of a town, the more you travel interior, you will witness the simple rural beauty of the place.

Majuli Travel Guide Assam Tourism

The Satras of Majuli:

Some 600 years back during the medieval times, a Hindu saint Sri Sankardev made Majuli his home and preached a new way of life. It was a period of renaissance in Assam; there was a cultural evolution with changes in the art, music, dance and religion. And all these happened in the heart of Majuli. Sankardev propagated Ek-Sarana-Hari-Naam-Dharma, a form of Neo-Vaishnavism. And Satras (also known as Xatras) are the institutions that disseminate the principles and devotional practices of Neo-Vaishnavism. There are officially 31 Satras in Majuli. The noted ones are Dakshinapat Satra, Kamalabari Satra, Auniati Satra, Garamur, Bengena-ati and Samaguri Satra.

Naamghar is the main place of worship at the Satras. You can often see a lone monk chanting hymns or playing cymbals inside a Naamghar. The Satras are also cultural sites and have a huge influence on the life of the local people. Young boys join the Satras at an early age and devote their life to the Satras.

Satras of Majuli

Things to do in Majuli:

Visit the Satras:

Visit the cultural centres of Majuli. Your visit to Majuli will be incomplete unless you visit the peaceful Satras. Each of the Satra has their own unique character. You can also enjoy the morning or evening prayer at the Satras. The locals will be more than delighted to invite you to the Satra to listen to their bhajans.

Majuli Travel Guide Assam Tourism

The mask-making village at Samaguri Satra:

Majuli is now quite famous for its masks. The new Samaguri (Chamaguri Satra) Satra is the centre of mask making culture of Majuli. Once you enter the room, you can see different types of masks. These masks are also used in Bhaona performances. Hem Chandra Goswami is the one-man army behind the masks of Majuli. Now his family members are also making masks.

Read more about mask making in our post “Masks of Majuli: A Vanishing Tradition

Mask Making at Majuli

The Pottery Village at Salmora:

Another village in Majuli that is known for its potters. You can simply go there, enter into one of the houses. The hosts will be more than happy to show you their work. Here, they do not use wheels for making pottery.

Majuli Travel Guide Assam Tourism

The Handloom villages:

There are a handful of villages in Majuli that practice weaving. Here the women have form co-operatives and they weave handlooms that are even imported abroad. You can see these ladies at work and even buy some sarees, mekhla chadar or stoles.

Majuli Travel Guide

Birdwatching at Majuli:

Majuli being an island, it is a good place for birdwatching. You can see kingfishers, egrets and storks here in abundance. Various migratory birds also come here during the winter. The numerous Beels (ponds) at Majuli are good places to watch the birds.

How to reach Majuli:

Majuli is not a difficult place to reach. You have to first reach Jorhat that is well connected to Guwahati by flight, train and road. From Jorhat, you can take an auto or a shared vehicle to Nemati Ghat.Regular ferries ply from Nemati Ghat to Kamalabari Ghat in Majuli. The first ferry from Nemati Ghat is at 8:30 AM and the last one is at 4:00 PM. From Majuli, the first one is at 8:00 AM and the last one is 3:00 PM. The ferry ride to Majuli itself is a ride of a lifetime.

Yes, you can take your car, bikes across the River to Majuli. You just have to drive them up to the top of the ferry.

How to move around in Majuli:

Scooty, bikes and bicycles are available for rent at Majuli. Bicycles are available at INR 100 while scooty and bikes can be obtained at INR 500. Simply rent one, get a map and roam around the island at your own pace. We had rented a scooty for a day and wandered around in glee.

What is the best time to visit Majuli:

The best time to visit Majuli is the winter season.

Where to stay at Majuli:

Majuli has a number of homestays and hotels. Most of these homestays are actually cottages built by bamboo thus giving a rural and ethnic feeling. The homestays beside the rivers are also quite good to live in.

Most of the Satras have guesthouses where the devotees, as well as tourists, can stay. Staying at a Satra will also help you learn about the practices of the Satra. You can also converse with the monks there.

Budget Travel Guide to Majuli

Eating Out:

Majuli does not have proper standalone restaurants. Most of the homestays provide good food. Ural Restaurant at Garamur provides good local food. Also, the Risong’s Kitchen is another must-eat place. It provides good Mishing dishes. But keep in mind that you have to pre-order for your lunch or dinner here.

Mishing Cuisine, Majuli, Assam Tourism

Majuli is a beautiful place having its own charm and pace. The rural beauty of Majuli is sure to enchant its visitors. So here we tried to get together a guide that would help you to plan your trip to Majuli. Plan well, Majuli will definitely not burn a hole in your pocket.

Here are some photographs that will make you appreciate the beauty of the place.

Majuli Travel Guide Assam Tourism

Satras of Majuli, Assam

Budget Travel Guide to Majuli

Majuli Travel Guide Assam Tourism

Mask of Majuli

Majuli Travel Guide Assam Tourism

Agni & Amrita

Agni & Amrita

Travel Experts

We are Agni and Amrita, the story-telling team behind Tale of 2 Backpackers and partners in crime in travel and (mis)adventures of life. We have been travelling together for more than a decade looking for immersive experiences while enjoying the little beauties of life. We are intrigued by heritage, culture, festivals and people and that is reflected in our travel. And yes, we love the Himalayas too.

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19 Comments

  1. I am hoping to visit this weekend. I plan to take the first ferry over from Jorhat and the last ferry returning so I need to make good use of my time. How well is English spoken? How can I find a guide to hire to more efficiently get around? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Hi Katie!
      English is understood by most of the people, even if it is not spoken well. Please visit Majuli Cafe. They will guide you with every details.
      However I think 1 day in Majuli is very less time. Consider staying for at least a night. Have a great trip!

      Reply
  2. It’s so green, isn’t it? Every time I see a photo of Majuli or read something about it, I get this feeling of calm. It looks so restorative a place.

    Reply
  3. I’ve not been to this country yet, but it’s absolutely on my list after reading this – it’s so scenic! So when I do get around to planning a trip here, I will definitely look into a visit to the pottery place, that looks fab x

    Reply
  4. I’ve not been to this country yet, but it’s absolutely on my list after reading this – it’s so scenic! So when I do get around to planning a trip here, I definitely want to visit the pottery place, it looks fab x

    Reply
  5. The pictures would make anyone want to visit Majuli! What looked particularly interesting were the masks. A friend bought one back for me from his visit and it’s quite a piece of art. Great insights in here!

    Reply
  6. What a charming and interesting place! I would love to visit the many satras there. Seems like it would be a wonderful place for meditation and peace. The mask making is an interesting place and I love the loom making they have like in Thailand villages!

    Reply
  7. Oh wow, so interesting! I love all the photos. I have never heard of this place but just the culture and the colours make me want to visit. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  8. I love ur post.. I have never heard of this place Majuli but looks very interesting ..a mix of culture and architecture..something that I just love exploring…thanks for covering all the important aspect of planning a trip to Majuli..will surely plan in near future..

    Reply
  9. Sounds like an interesting city to visit. It is also interesting to see how the island has been shaped over the years. The mask shops would be very cool to visit and I feel I would enjoy them.

    Reply
  10. Majuli looks like a quaint Indian village with charm and character of its own. Beautiful captures, I would love to visit this gorgeous little island. The activities you listed definitely gives a good insight into the daily life of the locals. Thanks for sharing all the interesting details.

    Reply
  11. HI, you made me discover this beautiful place, so you already done a good job!
    Very well detailed and great picture!
    Keep on like this guys!

    Reply
  12. Hey Agni and Amrita, I was in Assam this December and had a great experience in Majuli. Your post helped all memories to rebounce. Lovely it was. I loved the food at Risong’s. Great that you two have had meals there. Very cool!

    Reply
  13. I have heard about Assam (as I am from Bangladesh), but never heard about Majuli. It was an interesting read! Your pictures are beautiful! Not sure if I will ever make it there but glad to have read this post!

    Reply
  14. An interesting place, unfortunately so far away from me. It looks like one, where I would love staying for a while and do photography. I am sure there is a language barrier though, so wouldn’t go without a good local companion.

    Reply
  15. Mask making village sounds so cool, I’d love to visit there. Your pictures are so amazing, so beautifully capturing the soul of Majuli. To be honest, I did not even know about Majuli until I read your post so this has been an interesting read for me. Unfortunately I have not yet had the opportunity to make it to the northeast part of our country as yet but I will, soon!

    Reply
  16. Majuli looks like a fantastic place to explore. For me I would love to check out the mask making place, I do love crafts.

    Reply
  17. Wow Majuli looks stunning! In particular notice the wonderful local weaving you included – for some reason I seem to notice similar everywhere I go recently. Like in Indonesia and Istanbul it’s awesome to see local crafts!

    Reply
  18. Lovely post. Very informative. It was lovely meeting you guys there and thank you for the tip to hire a bike to explore the place.

    Reply

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