Geographical Features

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Erosion is likely to submerge the largest fresh water River Island in next 15-20 years.

The Island has been formed with change of course of the river Brahmaputra as well as its tributaries from time to time. Some more references on the Majuli Island are found in the text of the "Third Division of Assam, Majuli or the Great Island" in the book, "An account of Assam" by Dr. John Peter Wade. 1972-93. "Majuli then was constituted with 13 (thirteen) Chaporis or small islands intersected by channels of communication by boat between the Dihing and Lohit, which in reality, it concerts into a cluster of islands and in addition to these, numerous smaller island range the whole length, formed by various branches of the principal streams. Some of these were always overflowed in the season of inundation, others occasionally only; all possess a stratum of rich soil above a deeper layer of sand or soft clay".

The geographical feature of Majuli was entirely different when it was visited by Shri Sankardeva, the founder of Vaishnava religion and culture, in 1510 AD "From mouth (Out fall of the river Subansiri upto Kherkotia Suti the river island which stretches along was "Majali" or "Majuli" in between the Lohitya (Lohit) and the Dihing river. At that time Lohitya (Lohit) was flowing parallel to the Dihing from kherkatia suti and fell into Mahuramukh. From Mahuramukh, the upper part of it was known as the Dihing. The rivers like the Dikhow, Desang, Disai and Dhansiri were tributaries of the Dihing.

According to Edward A, Gait, at that time (1622 A.D.) the Brahmaputra was flowing along the present channel of Lohit to the north by Majuli while Dihing was flowing along the present channel of Brahmaputra to the south of the island. After receiving Desang and Dikhow, Dihing had its confluence with the Brahmaputra at the western extremity of the island. At still earlier period, Dihing is believed to have flowed to the Brahmaputra further east than the Burhi-Dihing does now. At that time, according to native traditions, Dikhow had an independent course as far as Kajalimukh, part of which still survive in the Majuli as the Tuni river, and part in Nagaon, as the Kalang".

In 1671, the Dihing changed its course to have its confluence into the upper Lohit. According to Mr. Gait and Captain Billcock, a wild flood of great intensity mainly due to Dihing devasted the entire area in 1735 when the Brahmaputra after abandoning its course followed the abandoned course of Dihing.

According to the census of 1971, the geographical area of the island (including some Chars or Chapori area) was 924'60 Sq. Km; but area of the island with smaller island, as per record of Revenue, was 1246 Sq. km. The island is located to the north of the Jorhat Sub-Division and is now a Civil Sub-Division with Head Quarters at Garamur since 26th Jan-1978. At present, the island is bounded by the river Brahmaputra on the south, the river Subansiri (Lohit) on the North-West and Kherkotia on North-East; in the west it stretches to the confluence along the either sides of rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Subansiri.

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