Most people visit Jorhat en-route to Majuli, the world's largest river island. Majuli is 12 kilometres from Jorhat, in the middle of the Brahmaputra River. The main attraction of Majuli is its Satras, Hindu Vaishnavaite monasteries that also function as centres for Assamese arts.
The institution of the Satra was founded in the 15th Century by the Assamese poet, composer and philosopher Sankaradeva. At the Satras, Vishnu is worshipped through dance dramas re-enacting the stories of the Mahabharatha, with music and poetry. The Satras of Majuli, no more than 5 kilometres away from one another, are rich with a tradition that marks Assamese Hinduism from all other traditions.
This strategically located district of Assam is a nature lover's paradise and has a lot to offer a visitor. The Kaziranga National Park is also close by and draws large crowds every year.
Jorhat is connected by road, rail and air to other parts of Assam and major cities of the country.
Population: Approximately 9,01,206
Main Language(s): Assamese, Hindi and English Time Zone: GMT + 05:30
Phone Area Code: 0376
Best Time To Visit: The best time to visit is during the Bihu festival in April and Raasleela festival in November, but one can visit all year around. During the rainy season it tends to get flooded, but it makes getting around by boat easier. The spring festival of Baisakh, in April is also a good time to make a visit.
Airport Distance from City Center: 6 kms
Taxi Rates from Airport to City: Taxi service available from Airport to Kaziranga wild life sanctuart for Rs. 1000 (Approx. 90kms) and Rs. 150 from the airport to city centre
The Satras of Majuli
The Vaishnava Satras were founded by Sankardeva, the father of Assamese culture. The historic and auspicious 'Manikanchan Sanjog' was the first Satra in Majuli. At one time there were 65 satras which propagated ethnic and socio-cultural ideals. Today there are only 22 Satras in Majuli and the rest have been shifted to other safer places due to floods and erosion.
The Dakhinpat Satra was founded by Banamalidev, an exponent of Raasleela, which is now observed as one of the State festivals of Assam.
This Satra was founded by Lakshmikantdeva. The Raasleela is performed here with great enthusiasm. Some ancient weapons are also preserved here.
Founded by Niranjan Pathakdeva, this satra is famous for the 'Paalnaam' and Apsara dances and it also has considerable collection of old Assamese utensils, jewellery and handicrafts.
The Kamalabari Satra founded by Bedulapadma Ata, is a center of art, culture, literature and classical studies. Its branch Uttar Kamalabari Satra has performed cultural programmes of satria art in several states of India and abroad.
This Satra is a storehouse of culturally important antiques and an advanced center of performing arts. The royal robes belong to the Ahom king Swargadeo Gadadhar Singha, and an umbrella, both made of gold, are preserved here.
Bilvesvar Siva Temple
About 35 Km. north of Jorhat lie the ruins of this old and small temple, along with a tank built by Rucinath Burgohain.
Kaziranga National Park
Among the nearby tourist places, Kaziranga National Park is the most famous and is known through out the world for its one-horned Rhinos. The animal is often found along with the magnificent wild buffalo, the sambhar, the swamp deer, the hog deer and occasionally with wild elephants and various water birds. The sanctuary is easily accessible by road from Jorhat. Kaziranga National Park is open for visitors from November to April.
Dol - This spring festival of colours also called Holi in other parts of India. The festival is a celebration to the triumph of good over evil. People put wet and dry colours on each other. Folklore and dances are performed around the fire to welcome the new season.
Bihu - It is a regional agricultural festival, started by King Biswa Singh. Bihu is celebrated over the entire harvest season from seeding to reaping.
Baisakh or Bohag or Rangoli is a crop-growing festival that goes on for 3 days, in April. This is one of the best times to make a trip to Assam.
Kati Bihu or Kangali is celebrated during the harvest season, which falls in the middle of October.
Magh Bihu or Bhogali, is the festival celebrated during crop collection and continues for 2 days all over Assam.
Ali-ai-lvigang, a festival of the Mising month GINMUR tribe of Assam, is also celebrated here during the first Wednesday of the POLO. (February-March)
Bathow Puja, performed by the Sonowal Kacharis tribe is a ritual in which Lord Shiva is venerated.
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