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This article appears in Volume 24: The Slow Issue.
Majuli Island, Assam, India
In 20 years it’s thought that Majuli may disappear altogether due to the Brahmaputra’s levels rising as a result of climate change. For now, however, it remains a world where nature and community are celebrated above all else.
Located on the Brahamaputra River in the north-east of the country, the island is home to a number of traditional arts, crafts and religions. The Kamlabari Satra, a monastery-like complex that houses devotees of the Hindu god Vishnu is a must-see. Music and dance is the focus here, but there’s another Satra a few miles down the road that makes vibrant masks.
Who to take with you
The best way to get around is on two wheels, so you’d be smart to travel with someone who is physically fit and keen for adventure. Set off on a pushbike along bumpy, car-less roads as the sun rises over the golden fields.
When to go
October to March for bearable weather conditions.
Most likely to bump into…
Noone you know. Visit a potters’ village by the water’s edge and it’s likely the women, dressed in bright saris, will invite you into their homes to watch them work.
Essentials to bring with you
Patience. The slow pace of life on Majuli should be relished in.
How to get there
Majuli Island is not a place you’ll find on most people’s itineraries of India. To head here from Kolkata, the nearest big city, means days on dodgy boats and rumbling trains.
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