Majuli, which was recently crowned with the title of the planet’s largest river island by the Guinness World Records, is now India’s first island district. The titles for the district are likely to boost tourism in the north-eastern Indian state, ‘Awesome Assam’.
In the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, on the banks of river Brahmaputra, is the district of Majuli, the state’s heritage island. The Guinness World Records recently named the district as the largest river island in the world and now it has become India’s first island district.
Majuli was declared India’s first island district on September 8, 2016 and the new status is likely to boost the district’s growth momentum in terms of tourism, infrastructure, art and culture, sports and other development factors.
With an area of 880 square kilometres and a population of about 160,000 people, Majuli is home to tribes like Mishing, Deori and Sonowal Kachri. It is here that the neo-Vaishnavite movement revolutionised various socio-cultural norms in Assam; it brought the backward classes to the forefront, developed theatre, music and dance forms, and minimized rigidity of cast distinction; the movement was led by saint Sankaradeva.
The Vaishnavite monasteries here which were established in the 16th and 17th century are both religious as well as cultural centres and attract a large number of tourists during the non-monsoon months. During rains, the lands of the district are usually flooded, cutting Majuli from the mainland.
This area stayed long neglected but is now the 35th district of the state. Majuli will further help promoting ‘Awesome Assam’, with the state’s newly-launched tourism logo, promoting ‘Brand Assam’ at a global platform.
Boosting avid tourism
The Assam government is promoting tourism aggressively in the state. A new logo and tagline was formulated for the state’s tourism brand entity, ‘Awesome Assam’, with a view of taking the tourism sector to a new height by investing most of its resources on publicity and brand campaigns. The new tourism logo depicts the state’s quintessential identity to the visitors as a land of tea, one-horned rhino and the Brahmaputra. Accordingly, the logo has been composed of symbols of two leaves and a bud, the flowing river and a rhino with a shining sun in the backdrop.
The new logo is to be used for publicising the brand outside the state with a single-window clearance policy being initiated for issuing permission to shoot films in Guwahati, the largest city of Assam.
Besides the Majuli River, the Kamkhya temple, an old Hindu temple, will be used to attract tourists. A world heritage site, the Kaziranga National Park, a famous tourist attraction here, is one of the five national parks in the state to which government sanctions have been allotted.
To further boost tourism, the government has planned to develop about 700 rural houses as home stays with modern facilities for foreign and domestic tourists making it possible for tourists to experience Assam’s greenery and cultural richness, and paving employment opportunities for rural communities.