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Mājuli or Majoli (pron: ˈmʌʤʊlɪ)) is a in the , and in 2016 became the first island to be made a district in . It had an area of 880 square kilometres (340 sq mi) at the beginning of the 20th century, but having lost significantly to erosion it covers 352 square kilometres (136 sq mi) as at 2014. Majuli has shrunk as the river surrounding it has grown. Majuli is currently listed as world's largest river island in Guinness book of world's record.

The island is formed by the river in the south and the Kherkutia Xuti, an of the Brahmaputra, joined by the in the north. Mājuli island is accessible by ferries from the city of . The island is about 300–400 kilometres (186–249 mi) east from the largest city —. It was formed due to course changes by the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries, mainly the . Mājuli is the abode of the neo- culture.

Contents

History[]

Kaziranga National Park 100 (310).jpg

Originally, the island was a long, narrow piece of land called Majoli (land in the middle of two parallel rivers) that had the Brahmaputra flowing in the north and the Burhidihing flowing in the south until they met at . It was once known as Ratnapur and was the capital of the powerful Chutia kingdom. Frequent earthquakes in the period 1661–1696 set the stage for a catastrophic flood in 1750 that continued for 15 days, which is mentioned in historical texts and reflected in folklore. As a result of this flood, part of the Brahmaputra discharged southward into what was the Burhidihing's lower channel and Mājuli island was formed.

The Burhidihing's point of confluence moved 190 km east and the southern channel which was the Burhidihing became the Burhi Xuti. The northern channel, which was previously the Brahmaputra, became the Luit Xuti. In due course, the flow in the Luit Xuti decreased, and it came to be known as the Kerkota Xuti; and the Burhi Xuti expanded via erosion to become the main Brahmaputra River.

The locals speak in Assamese and Mising language mainly. A few speak in the Deori language as well.

Mājuli has been the cultural capital of Assamese civilisation since the 16th century; based on written records describing the visit of — a 16th-century social reformer. Sankardeva, a pioneer of the medieval-age neo-Vaishnavite movement, preached a monotheist form of called and established monasteries and hermitages known as on the islet.

The island soon became the leading center of Vaishnavinism with the establishment of these satras. After the arrival of the , Majuli was under the rule of the British until in 1947. It is as at 2016 the world's biggest river island.

Economy[]

A household in Majuli

The main industry is , with being the chief crop. Mājuli has a rich and diverse agricultural tradition, with as many as 100 varieties of rice grown, all without or artificial .[] Fishing is also among the main industry after agriculture. Among the fascinating arrays of rice produced are the , a unique type that can be eaten after immersing the grains in warm water for 15 minutes and usually eaten as a breakfast cereal; the bao dhan, that grows under water and is harvested after ten months; and the , a sticky brown rice used to make the traditional cake with fish is known as . , , , and boat-making are other important economic activities.

Jengraimukh

Handloom is a major occupation among the distaff population of the villages. Although largely a non-commercial occupation, it keeps many of the inhabitants occupied. Weaving is exquisite and intricate with the use of a variety of colours and textures of and , especially Muga silk. On November 4, 2017, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched 647 schemes with a total financial outlay of Rs. 24.57 crore to boost Majuli’s development.

A village in Majuli A Deori Community Women weaving Gamusa From Kamalabari Kamalabari Satra

The population of Majuli comprises the tribals, non-tribals and the scheduled castes. The tribal communities include the Misings, the Deoris and the Sonowal Kacharis. The scheduled castes include the Kaivartas, the Brittial Banias etc. The non-tribal communities include Koch, Kalitas, Ahoms, Chutiyas, Keot, Yogis etc. The Mising community has the largest population in the island who immigrated from to Majuli centuries ago . Languages spoken are , , and Deori. The island has with a population of over 150,000 and a density of 300 individuals per square km.

Ferry service which operates six times a day connects Majuli to Jorhat city. Night super buses ply between Guwahti to Majuli via Lakhimpur. Despite inherent drawbacks faced, modernism has touched this island, with the setting up of medical centers and educational institutions. Housing, too, has segued from traditional bamboo and mud construction to ones made of concrete.

Culture[]

The festival of Ali aye ligang is celebrated during mid-February with great pomp and show. It is celebrated for five days starting from second Wednesday of February till the next week. Local dishes like purang apin (rice wrapped in special leaves), apong (rice beer) and dishes made of pork, fish and chickens are served. Traditional Mising dance Gumrag Soman is performed in every village worshiping the almighty Donyi polo (mother sun and father moon) asking for good year of harvest.

Other festivals like Christmas is celebrated by the majority Christians of Mising tribe in upper Majuli where Jengraimukh village is the epicentre of Christians. Majuli has been the cultural capital and the cradle of Assamese civilization for the past 500 years. The satras set up preserve antiques like weapons, utensils, jewellery and other items of cultural significance. Pottery is made in Mājuli from beaten clay and burnt in driftwood fired kilns in the same mode carried out by the peoples of the ancient . Sociologists have stressed the preservation of these unique peoples, whose culture and dance forms are untouched by modernism. The hand-loom work of these tribes is internationally famous.

Virtually every person on the island is involved in the three-day long raas festival, depicting the life of Krishna. People from hundreds of kilometers away come to celebrate this festival including a number of expatriate members of community. The satras have honed certain art and craft traditions, which can now be found only here. In Natun Samuguri Satra for example, one can still find the craft of mask-making; and in the Kamalabari Satra the finest boats are made.

Neo-Vaishnavite Satras[]

The island has been the hub of Assamese neo- culture, initiated around the 15th century by the revered Assamese saint Srimanta Sankardeva and his disciple . Many or monasteries constructed by the saint still survive and represent the colourful Assamese culture. The saint took refuge in Mājuli and spent a couple of months at Beloguri in West Mājuli, which was a place of grandeur for the historic and auspicious, 'Manikanchan Sanjog' between Shankardeva and Madhavdeva, this was the first satra in Mājuli. After the "Manikanchan Sanjog", sixty five satras were set up. However, today only twenty-two of the original sixty-five are operational. Sixty-five out of the six hundred and sixty-five original satras in Assam were situated in Mājuli. Mur nam Majuli The main surviving (Satra) are:

During Rass Mahotsav, artists perform Bhawna wearing masks.
  • : Founded by Banamalidev, a supporter of Raasleela, which is now observed as one of the National Festivals of Assam.
  • Garamurh : This "Satra" was founded by Lakshmikantadeva. During the end of autumn, the traditional the Raasleela is enacted with pomp and celebrations. Ancient weapons called "Bartop" or are preserved here.
  • Auniati : Founded by , the satra is famous for the "Paalnaam" and Apsara Dances and also its extensive assortment of ancient Assamese artefacts, utensils, and . It also has a hundred and twenty five disciples and over seven hundred thousand followers worldwide.
  • Kamalabari : The Kamalabari Satra, founded by Bedulapadma Ata, is a centre of art, cultural, literature and classical studies on the island. Its branch the Uttar Kamalabari Satra has performed cultural programmes of the Satria Art all around the country and abroad.
  • Narashingha : ln the year of 1746 shri shri alengi narasingha satra was established by Ahom king Promottra singha. The founder person of the satra was NRISHING CHARAAN. The Narasingha satra is specially famous for sashi puthi, mask, THIO NAAM, ancient architec, Bor geet, satriya nritya, gupi nritya, sutradhar etc.
  • Benegenaati : It is a reliquary of antiques of cultural importance and an advance centre of performing art. Muraridev, the grandson of Sankaradeva's stepmother was the founder of the Satra. The royal raiment belongs to the Ahom king Swargadeo Godadhar Singha, is made of gold. Also preserved is the royal umbrella made in gold.
  • Shamaguri : The satra is famous for the mask making in India.
  • Bihimpur satra : These satras are the treasure house of "Borgeet" Matiakhara, Satriya Dances (Jumora Dance, Chali Dance, Notua Dance, Nande Vringee, Sutradhar, Ozapali, Apsara Dance, Satria Krishna Dance and Dasavater Dance), all promulgated by . It has become a center for shuddhi in the Northeast of India, due to the efforts of .

Photo gallery[]

  • Kamalabari Satra

  • Dakhinpat Satra

  • Pooja at Dakhinpat Satra

  • From one of the satras

  • Aauniati satra gate

  • Kamalabari Post Office

Ecosystem[]

Majuli wetland The island is shrinking due to erosion.

A , Mājuli is a hotspot for flora and fauna, harbouring many rare and endangered avifauna species including migratory birds that arrive in the winter season. Among the birds seen here are the , , and the . After dark wild and fly in flocks to distant destinations. The island is almost free owing to the lack of polluting industries and factories and also the chronic rainfall.

The island is under threat due to the extensive on its banks. The reason for this magnitude in erosion is the large embankments built in neighbouring towns upriver to prevent erosion during the season when the river distends its banks. The upshot is a backlash of the tempestuous Brahmaputra's fury on the islet, eroding most of the area. According to reports, in 1853, the total area of Mājuli was 1,150 km2 and about 33% of this landmass has been eroded in the latter half of 20th century. Since 1991, over 35 villages have been washed away. Surveys show that in 15–20 years from now, Mājuli would cease to exist.

To save the island, the Union Government of India has sanctioned ₹ 250 (US million) for the protection of the island. The water resource department & The Brahmaputra Board are struggling to solve the erosion problem of this island for the last three decade but without much success. Recently it was suggested that a four-lane highway protected by concrete mat along the southern boundary of Majuli and excavation of river bed of the Brahmaputra River, only can solve the problem. The project also includes two flood gates for the Kherkatia suti which is a tributary of the Brahmaputra. The Brahmaputra River Restoration Project is yet to be implemented by the government. However, a nomination has been sent to the for the declaration of Mājuli to be as a .

Local environmental activist has planted a 550 hectare forest, known as to combat erosion on the island. Much of the island was barren sandbars that were vulnerable to erosion, but thanks to Payeng's afforestation, has become a lush forest. The forest has become habitat for animals including elephants, tigers, deer, and vultures.

Tourist interests[]

A view of Majuli FALGU RATH YATRA (narasingha satra) Majuli - A paradise for bird watchers

Mājuli is 20 km from . One can take the bus or a hired taxi to the Nimati Steamer Ghat from where ferry services ply. The distance takes over three hours to cover, with three bus rides and two ferry rides.

On the north bank is the river Subansiri and on the south bank, the mighty has excided the island from the main land. town is to the north and is to its southwest. The town of is on the southeast and is to the south. On the extreme east is .

  • The Vaishnava Satras founded by Sankardeva
  • The colourful culture of the tribes
  • Migratory birds
  • The Ali-ai-ligang festival in Feb-March
  • Pottery making
  • Mask making
  • Paal Namm festival in the end of winter
  • Folgu utsaav(holi)
  • The sunset in winter
  • Exotic homespun masks crafts
  • The natural beauty

Birdwatching[]

The southern part of the island is a bird lover's paradise. The best time to visit is between November to March as the weather and wildlife view is satisfactory. There are three locales for birdwatching:

  • The southeast of the island
  • The southwest of the island
  • The northern part

.Sakuli Beel, near Kamalabari. .Magurmari Beel, Dakhinpaat Satra. .Verki Beel, near Kamalabari.

Educational Institute[]

Main article:

Colleges[]

Junior Colleges[]

  • Namoni Majuli Junior College
  • Pitambar Deva Goswami College
  • Majuli Janajati Jr. College.
  • Utar Majuli Janajati Jr. College,
  • ISLAND ACADEMY, Kamalabari
  • Ratanpur Higher secondary,Nayabazar
  • Rangachahi TN HS school, Rangachahi
  • ecoland acedamy

Schools[]

  • Alimur Bamun Goan LP School
  • Keshab Ram Borah High school
  • Milita Ratanpur Doloni LP School
  • Ratanpur Gabhorumelia LP school (Founder Mr Bishwajit Sarmah)
  • Ratanpur Highschool
  • Nikinikhowa LP school, Nikinikhowa
  • Mohkhuti Gereki L.P. School
  • Gereki Janajati M.E. School
  • Island academy
  • Jengraimukh High School
  • Jengraimukh Girl's High School
  • Sri Lohit High School
  • Majuli Auniati Hem Chandra High School
  • Meragarh Narayan Dev Higher Secondary School
  • Chamaguri Satra Rawanapar [CSR] Model Higher Secondary School [estd.1962]
  • N. S. Greenwood English Medium High School
  • Mekheligaon Janata Girls' High School
  • Karatipar High School, established 1940
  • Milonjyoti High School, Totoya Gaon
  • Bapuji High school
  • RangachahiTanuram Nath high school
  • RangachahiTanuram Nath M.E. school
  • 208 no Rangachahi Nimno Buniyadi Bidyaloy
  • Madhya Majuli Parijat Higher secondary School, Kakotibari gaon.
  • Jonaki Chamahiya Ati Higher Secondary School.
  • Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya Majuli
  • Phulani High School
  • Phulani ME School
  • No. 1 Phulani LP school
  • Garamur Sri Sri Pitambor Dev High School
  • Chiram High school
  • Bhakatiduar Higher Secondary School
  • Ratanpur Miri High School, Nayabazar
  • Chiram Banamalidev Higher Secondary School
  • Mudoibil Teliabari Senior basic School
  • Major Deori Tribal High School
  • Swarnasiri HS.
  • Rangachahi Rupjyoti LPS.
  • Jamudchuk Lahan HS
  • 1 No.Kamalabari L.P
  • 17 No.Bechamora L.P
  • 2 No.Kamalabari L.P
  • 68 No.Namkatoni L.P
  • Kamalabari Academy, Dariya
  • Kharjanpar Tribal High School
  • Jonaki Jatiya Bidyalaya
  • No.48 Kakotibari LP school, Kakotibari
  • 136 No. Prachin Chamaguri Satra L.P. School

Schools[]

  • 130 No Majarbari L P School
  • Alimur Bamun Goan LP School
  • Keshab Ram Borah High school
  • Milita Ratanpur Doloni LP School
  • Ratanpur Gabhorumelia LP school (Founder Mr Bishwajit Sarmah)
  • Ratanpur Highschool
  • Nikinikhowa LP school, Nikinikhowa
  • Mohkhuti Gereki L.P. School
  • Gereki Janajati M.E. School
  • Island academy
  • Jengraimukh High School
  • Jengraimuk Girl's High School
  • St. Paul's high School, majuli
  • Sri Lohit High School
  • Majuli Auniati Hem Chandra High School
  • Meragarh Narayan Dev Higher Secondary School
  • Chamaguri Satra Rawanapar [CSR] Model Higher Secondary School [estd.1962]
  • N. S. Greenwood English Medium High School
  • Mekheligaon Janata Girls' High School
  • Karatipar High School, established 1940
  • Milonjyoti High School, Totoya Gaon
  • Bapuji High school
  • RangachahiTanuram Nath high school
  • RangachahiTanuram Nath M.E. school
  • 208 no Rangachahi Nimno Buniyadi Bidyaloy
  • Madhya Majuli Parijat Higher secondary School, Kakotibari gaon.
  • Jonaki Chamahiya Ati Higher Secondary School.
  • Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya Majuli
  • Phulani High School
  • Phulani ME School
  • No. 1 Phulani LP school
  • Garamur Sri Sri Pitambor Dev High School
  • Chiram High school
  • Bhakatiduar Higher Secondary School
  • Ratanpur Miri High School
  • Chiram Banamalidev Higher Secondary School
  • Mudoibil Teliabari Senior basic School
  • Major Deori Tribal High School
  • Swarnasiri HS.
  • Rangachahi Rupjyoti LPS.
  • Jamudchuk Lahan HS
  • 1 No.Kamalabari L.P
  • 17 No.Bechamora L.P
  • 2 No.Kamalabari L.P
  • 68 No.Namkatoni L.P
  • Kamalabari Academy, Dariya
  • Kharjanpar Tribel High School
  • Jonaki Jatiya Bidyalaya
  • No.48 Kakotibari LP school, Kakotibari
  • 136 No. Prachin Chamaguri Satra L.P. School
  • 110 No Guwalbari L.P. School
  • 65 No Balichapori L.P. School

Politics[]

Majuli (Vidhan Sabha constituency) falls under the 99 constituency of legislative assembly of . It is a reserved seat for the Scheduled tribes (ST). It is under jurisdiction of Mising Autonomous Council having three constituencies. Rajiv Lochan Pegu [2001-2006 & 2006-2011, 2011- 2016] was MLA (Member of legislative assembly) from Mājuli in Assam Assembly until 2016. He was bearing the portfolio of Minister of State (Ind.), Water Resources Dev., WPT & BC, in the . won constituency in and presently chief minister of assam.

Mājuli is one of the 9 assembly segments of . At present (2014-) is the MP (Member of Parliament) from Bharatiya Janata Party. He is currently the Chief Minister of Assam.

See also[]

References[]

  1. ^ Majuli, District (8 September 2016). . FP India. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  2. ^ Sarma, J. N.; Phukan, M. K. (2004-05-03). . Geomorphology. 60 (1–2): 1–19. :.
  3. Manogya Loiwal (18 February 2014). . India Today. Retrieved 2016-04-05.
  4. , 14 April 2013, New York Times
  5. , India-north-east.com
  6. , Agrarian System of Medieval Assam, by Jahnabi Gogoi, pg 21
  7. Majuli, River Island. . Guinness World Records. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  8. 1 May 2017 at the .
  9. Kalita, Jitu. . . . Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  10. Newsner. May 17, 2017. How one man save an island and brought its animals back.
  11. . Election Commission of India.

Ribhaba Bharali - Future of Brahmaputra & Majuli Published in Amar Assam a daily news paper in Nov2012. & Brahmaputra River Restoration Project Published in Assamese Pratidin & Amar Assam in October 2012 & Restoration of Majuli published on Assamese Pratidin in June 2013.

External links[]

  • travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • maintained by Majuli Island Protection & Development Council (MIPDC)





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