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Explore the Neo-Vashnavite Culture of Majuli

Explore the Neo-Vashnavite Culture of Majuli

Overview

Majuli, the largest river island in the world created by the river Brahmaputra in the south and southwest and its many tributaries in the north banks, is one of the main centres of the Neo-Vaishnavite movement in Assam.

Back in the 15th century, when the Ahom Kingdom thrived in Assam, the main forms of religious belief revolved around Saivism and Saktism. It was then that Assamese reformer Srimanta Sankardev started a cultural revolution by opposing the existing practices of society (such as sacrifices and casteism, amongst many others) by introducing Neo-Vaishnavism.

To further the movement, many Sattras (monasteries) were set up around the region. Sattras were a very important part of society which proved to be centres for religious study, worship and cultural preservation. Very importantly, they also fostered the development of various forms of traditional arts and literature. One fine example is the one-act play called the Ankiya Nat, an important part of Sattriya dance tradition.

Neo-Vaishnavism has played a very important part in shaping the culture of Assam today and there is no better place than Majuli to learn more about it.

Map of Majuli

TIME: 10 HoursĀ 

Location: Majuli

Why you will love it

In this short escape, you will be diving deep into the centuries-old traditions of Neovashnavism, visiting the major Sattras in the area – Uttar Kamalabari Sattra (known for their Gayan Bayan [singer-dancer] performances), the Samaguri Sattra (where you will witness how traditional masks and costumes are made for Assamese dramas and theatre) and Dakhinpat Sattra. Enjoy a simple, wholesome meal made specially for you by the monks and take in the rich history and culture of Neovashnavism and its relevance in Assamese society today.

What it includes

  1. Transport (pick up and drop) from meeting point*. (All our single day short escapes are designed considering that guests are already in the locality. If you would like us to organise transport from a destination slightly further away, we are more than happy to help you).
  2. Local guide. (Languages- English, Hindi and Assamese)
  3. Lunch at the Sattra
  4. Gayan Bayan Performance at Uttar Kamalabari Sattra

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