|Boat Ride to Majuli|
Somewhere on the internet once read the need for a vacation within a vacation. I know it sounds oxymoron but trust me when you are on the road for some time you need a day or two just doing nothing. Majuli was supposed to a magical place for us.
As we drove back west from Sivsagar we took the diversion to Nematighat, the boat embarkation point (ferry ghat) to go to Majuli. In recent times Majuli has lost its size due to many floods but it still holds the record for the largest river island.
We thought the drive from the highway to the ferry point would be quick, but it was a long one. The last 2 KM we drove on the bank of the river Brahmaputra and it was fine white sand all over. Even though we were not driving at very fast speed there was a sand storm on our back. As we approached the ferry we queued up for the cars to be placed on the next boat. Now, these are small boats which carry passengers, bikes and cars. But space for a car is limited and if the boat is even smaller it could be only 2 cars at a time.
|Simple Rice Plate|
Lucky for us the car in front of us broke down, they were trying their best to put that car. But Pamela smartly managed the situation and said if they are having so much tough time putting the car on the boat how they will get it out on the other side? Now putting up the car on the boat is not easy, we deftly drove the car down the slushy, scary-steep incline and stopped at the edge of a makeshift jetty on the river and there two wooden planks, almost as narrow as the tires, between the jetty and a country boat. But those guys were extra helpful as they realized we are a tourist. The cars are parked next to each other barely a few inches gap between them and it seems it is a norm to keep the car door unlocked.
|At Deka Chang - Relaxing|
The seating space was very packed as well many travelers were on the top of the roof which provides better ventilation, but it was noon and we opted out of it. The boat ride is about an hour plus and there was an intermediate stop before Majuli. Once we landed in Majuli and got our car out we waited for the other cars and local taxi/tempos and we started towards our hotel.
Majuli welcomes us with its rustic beauty. There are only a few major roads that connect within the island. We stopped at Ural restaurant we found along the road and simple rice plate in the Assamese style.
Our stay was at Deka Chang, the place is supposed to be one of the best ones in Majuli. It even gets featured in the Priyanka Chopra’s promo video of Assam tourism. We got ourselves a very big room which was not needed. But it was due to the fact some government official was staying while he was on official vacation. This stay of the official caused us very poor service. And we were disappointed and cursing ourselves for choosing this property.
In the evening we visited the nearby temple (Satra). This Satra is very special as it runs by family members. It is called Garamur Satra.
Satras are Vaishnav temple and they are very special to Assam’s history and culture. Just to highlight few facts about Majuli
- The first newspaper of Assam was published here.
- Sankaradeva established the first Satra here.
- Here you will find the largest tribal community of Assam the Misings.
- Even though there all religious people stay on this island there is no mosque. It is just to show respect and great community living.
After observing the evening prayer at the Satra we had dinner at the same place where we had lunch and called it a day.