This Rongali Bihu, ‘Majuli on Cycle’, an initiative by Root Bridge in association with Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) and small finance bank ESAF, took enthusiasts and tourists across a carbon-free tour to the soul of the world’s largest river island, Majuli.
Majuli on Cycle is the first curated carbon-free story telling tour ever conducted in the island. As many as 25 guests, including foreign tourists, participated in the day-long cycle ride in Majuli on the first day of Rongali Bihu. The visitors experienced the life and culture of the people living on the island by visiting the Mising villages, a farm to see agricultural practices, the art of mask making at Chamaguri Satra, the ancient pottery art practiced by locals at Salmora village and by savoring the traditional Mising food before dipping themselves in the serenity in the backdrop of the breathtaking view of sunset over the mighty river Brahmaputra.
Root Bridge, an advocacy group for ethical travel, introduced the carbon-free travel to set a bench mark for ‘Thoughtful Travel’ in the world’s largest river island. Unlike regular tour, the organizers took the visitors through off beat roads – and bicycles were used as the mode of travel. All the travellers, accompanied by the storytellers of Root Bridge, rode the bicycles through paddy fields, crossed a rivulet, river beds, and witnessed farming practices in the island with the locals, besides visiting the Chamaguri Satra, one of the main attractions for tourists in the island.
“Cycle is the best way to explore this beautiful river island. Root Bridge’s initiative will help the tourists to experience the Majuli in a better way. I wish more people explore the island using carbon-free vehicles,” said Majuli superintendent of police Vaibhav Nimbalkar, while flagging off the Majuli on Cycle from Garamur.
As it was the first day of the Bihu – ‘Goru Bihu’ – the tour started with participants taking part with locals in giving a traditional bath to the cattle in one of the Mising villages in the island and taking part in the fishing activity with the locals in the village.
The tourists were then taken to an agricultural farm in the island where they witnessed the agricultural practices followed by the locals. The tourists were welcomed in the village with a Mising Bihu dance performed by the village to give them a slice of Mising culture. All the programs were specially curated for the visitors to get the life and culture of Mising community.
The guests were also taken to the Chamaguri Satra to show the art of mask making and to the Salmora village to show the pottery art practiced by the locals. In the evening, all the tourists were taken to the river bank to witness the magnificent sunset view over the mighty Brahmaputra river.