Every year, in the third week of November, Majuli hosts the Raas Leela Festival. This festival is a celebration of 500 years of cultural and artistic contributions of the various Sattras and the diverse tribal traditions. Medieval saint Srimanta Sankardev used dance dramas to share the stories of Lord Krishn with the tribals who didn't understand the texts written in North Indian languages. In the earlier days, only Sattras' monks and saints used to perform Raas.
That changed a few years ago and today locals participate alongside Sattra monks in the three-day festival and enact Lord Krishn’s life via songs, chants, folk dances, puppet shows and plays. Some participants live a life of austerity for a few days prior to the festival in order to gain full focus on their performances.
Some of the best enactments are – birth of Krishn, Krishn herding cow in Gokul, childhood pranks, Makhan Chori (stealing clarified butter) and his killing of demons such as Bakasur, Kaliya and Kans. Bhaona dramas, where performers wear masks made by monks, are very captivating. Another highlight is the classical Sattriya dance that can be witnessed at various Sattras. Raas Leela festival is a remarkable amalgamation of neo-Vaishnavite and Assam’s tribal culture.
When is the Raas Leela Festival in 2018
Raas Leela Festival is from November 21st to 24th
How to reach Majuli Island
The only way to reach Majuli Island is via ferries from Neemani Ghat which is about 14km from Jorhat.
How to reach Jorhat
By air: Rowriah Airport (JRH) in Jorhat has decent connections to/from most major cities of India.
By train: Jorhat Town (JTTN) Train Station has regular trains to/from Guwahati.
By road: There are regular buses between Guwahati and Jorhat.
Where to stay in Majuli Island
Okegiga Homes (₹2,000 for double), Subansiri Vacation Homes (₹900 for double). For more options, check here.
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