Beached amid the mighty Brahmaputra River’s ever-shifting puzzle of ochre sandbanks is Majuli, which at around 450 sq km is India’s largest river island. For a place continually ravaged by the primal forces of nature (much of the island disappears under water every monsoon), Majuli flaunts unparalleled scenic beauty. The island is a relaxed, shimmering mat of glowing rice fields and water meadows bursting with hyacinth blossoms.
The two main villages are Kamalabari, 3km from the ferry port, and Garamur, 5km further north. Highlights of a visit here include birdwatching (nearly 100 species live here) and learning about neo-Vaishnavite philosophy at Majuli’s 22 ancient satras (Hindu Vaishnavite monasteries and centres for art).
Surveys indicate that, at current levels of erosion, the island will cease to exist within the next two decades.