Majuli, one hour drift in mighty Brahmaputra river from Jorhat is one of the most serene places I have ever been to. We reached Jorhat early morning in June after a tiring bus journey and rushed towards ferry point but unfortunately Majuli was still two hours away as the first ferry starts somewhere around 6:30 or 7 in the morning. Ferry is the only way of transportation to Majuli so it was crowded with local villagers, vehicles and sometimes even elephants.
A white coloured scorpio was waiting for us on the island for taking us to our hotel. As there is not much local transportation available in Majuli, hotel pick up and drop can be expensive. There were some beautiful ponds with lush greenery everywhere and quite silent roads. I was expecting a brick and stone hotel with staff in their proper uniforms but I was startled when the car stopped near a pond with a bamboo bridge which led to some lovely cottages. We were shown our cottage which was around 5 feet above from the ground. Even cottages were made of bamboo and timber above concrete columns standing on the ground. All this just for 1000 Rupees per night. Do not forget to see the funny video of the cottage attached here.
Majuli is not a suitable place for adrenaline junkies but it is definitely the best place to relax and rejuvenate yourself from the hustle bustle of city life. We arranged our luggage and a boy came with two cups of amazing Assam tea and some cookies to enjoy in the balcony with a lovely view of butterflies above a pond with two boats. The owner of hotel was very friendly and he even taught us how to ride those boats.
I might have told this story to my friends like a zillion times but I will never forget this incident. On our way to boats, he found a snail on the ground. My friend and I were stupid and young enough to get astonished by seeing a snail on the ground but the man accompanying us just picked the snail and put in his pocket. "I have found my breakfast", he replied when we asked.
We had our lunch at the hotel which included steamed rice, eggplant and another dish of cucumber and green chillies. We spent most of the day in our boats relaxing in the pond, reading novel and listening music. In the evening we rented bicycles and went for the tour around and we found a beautiful sunset point which has some horses tied and some local villagers fishing in the pond for their dinner.
Next morning we went around the island and found some interesting satras which are the most popular tourist spots on the island. Majuli is very famous for its art of mask making. We found a man who invited in his house and showed us the beautiful masks his forefathers have been making for decades.
Sun sets early and rises early in north eastern part of India. Nights are very silent in Majuli and there is not much of night life to enjoy on the island. Our hotel owner was kind enough to invite us to dinner to one of his friends house nearby We started on two bikes and that was the darkest path I have ever been to. We were scared to death that we are being abducted on this lonely planet but after 20 minutes of journey we reached the destination. Houses in Majuli are different in every sense from what we have usually been to. The house was divided by bamboo partitions with curtains which acted as different rooms for the family. They even had a dining space where a special pot was kept for cooking. The pot was designed in such a manner that smoke from the wood even kept the insects and mosquitoes away, which is an inevitable requirement. They brewed rice beer in the paddy fields right behind the house. Their local rice beer is known to be very strong but they claim that it's not at all harmful. When back at hotel, we closed our mosquito net, and burnt whole booklet of Goodnight Flash Cards but still we were not able to see the roof in the morning.
Now it was time to head back to our daily life with undying memories of this undisturbed place. Also, Majuli is a strong contender for a place in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.
"Sleep undisturbed within this peaceful shrine, till angels wake thee with a note like thine" - Samuel Johnson