Majuli is India’s First River Island District

The country got its first river island district when Majuli, the world’s largest sweet water island, located in Assam, was upgraded from a sub-division to the Asaam’s 35th district.

The island, perched on the confluence of Brahmaputra and Subansiri rivers, was declared the world’s largest river island by the Guinness Book of World Records.

The state cabinet, which met for the first time outside Guwahati on the island took a number of decisions towards its protection. The biggest threat to the island is erosion.

Majuli is the centre of Assam’s neo-Vaishnavite religion and culture and the satras are the Vaishnavite monasteries. The satras promote the cultural and spiritual movement started by 15th century saint-reformer Srimanta Sankardeva.

The floods and erosion have hit the island hard over the past many decades, shrinking its size from 1246 sq km in 1853 to 650 sq km now, and bringing down the number of satras from 65 to 32.

The island’s elevation to a district coincided with the 90th birth anniversary of legendary singer-musician Bhupen Hazarika.