Visit The World's Largest River Island For Gorgeous Views Of A Disappearing Paradise

India's state of Assam, located in the northeastern part of the country, is a magical place known for its natural beauty. Green tea farms, rolling hills, traditional villages, temples, and glimmering rivers attract travelers from around the world. Stretching across the expansive state, you'll find the Brahmaputra River, which originates in the Himalayan Mountains and eventually meets with the Ganges River in Bangladesh. Stretching about 1,800 miles, it's one of the longest rivers on earth, and within its waters lies the world's largest river island.

Majuli Island has a population of about 150,000 people from different tribes, including the Mishing, the Sonowal Kacharis, the Deoris, and the Ahoms. Together, they give Majuli Island a rich cultural identity. Throughout the year the Majuli people hold colorful celebrations and festivals that attract tourists from around the world.

The island is a peaceful place, where you can escape the hustle and bustle of India's larger cities and enjoy experiencing traditional village life. Unfortunately, the island has been slowly sinking over the past century due to erosion and flooding. Some experts anticipate the island will be entirely submerged by the year 2030. If you're looking for an unforgettable experience during your travels around India, consider planning a trip to Majuli Island before it's too late.

Experience Majuli Island's natural and cultural beauty

Majuli means "the land between two parallel rivers." The island formed after a significant flood changed the course of the river, causing the Brahmaputra River and the Dihing River to converge. Currently, the island is about 136 square miles and was the first island to become a district in India.

Majuli Island is an incredible place to visit due to the friendly locals, the picturesque natural scenery, and the rich culture. Visitors can enjoy food produced from local agriculture and witness locals practicing their traditional craftsmanship, which includes beautiful pottery. With more than 186 species of birds migrating to the wetland ecosystems each year, it is an excellent wildlife destination for bird watchers.

The island is often called the "Cultural Capital" of Assam and is home to incredible cultural and spiritual festivals. Scattered throughout the island, visitors can view 22 Satras, which serve as both Vaishnavite monasteries and hubs for the arts. The vibrant celebrations and traditional dance performances that take place on the island are a significant highlight for locals and tourists alike. The Raas Lila festival is one of the most popular. It's held on the full moon in October and November and celebrates the god Krishna with epic performances.

Planning your trip and finding the perfect place to stay

Winter is the best time to visit the island due to water levels, wildlife, and cultural festivals. To get to Majuli Island, you'll first need to travel to Jorhat. The closest international airport is Guwahati International Airport, about seven hours from Jorhat by car. Jorhat can also be reached by train from most parts of India and has an airport offering domestic flights. After arriving in Jorhat, you must board a ferry to get to the island. The ferry takes about an hour to reach the Majuli Island, and it is possible to bring your car onboard.

Accommodations on Majuli Island include intimate homestays with local families, traditional bamboo cottages, and government-operated hotels. Dekasang is an eco-resort located on the island, featuring unique architecture, art, and an included breakfast. Rooms start around $29 per night. You can find some traditional bamboo cottage rentals for as little as $5 per night, but most cost around $30. It's even possible to book a homestay with a local family online ahead of time on popular sites like Prices for homestays start around $10 per night.

In most cases, a vehicle is necessary to get around Majuli Island, although some tourists opt for bicycle rentals. If you don't arrive with your transportation, booking taxis or Tempos (auto-rickshaws) are excellent options for exploring all that the island has to offer.