Make a trip to Umananda- India's smallest inhabited river island, if you are looking for a serene place to take a break
If you have a river flowing downstream through your city, and if that international river has a heritage of flowing by the culturally rich largest populated river-island Majuli where you were born some decades ago, you are lucky to find solace sitting on the lap of the smallest island along its course.
You have the option to take a quick break from your daily assignments and set for this tiny island â Umananda, which at only 10 minutes ferry-ride distance from the bank of the Brahmaputra in Assamâs capital city Guwahati. You will find a temple with its centuries old mythological story, its rock base, pristine trees.
Beautiful, double storied ferries are all set in every half an hour to take you to this tiny island, also known as Peacock Island at a nominal cost of Rs.20 for a to and fro trip.
You can wait for your turn in the serpentine queue of pilgrims to get inside the temple, or chat with the Sadhus who have untold stories to tell you, which are as interesting as the ones you had listened from your Grandma.
You may pretend to be an attentive listener having faith on their stories, or not, but the words they speak will certainly heal wounds of heart. The stories are highly uncommon, solitary, and travel alone.
Some of the Sadhus and priests and temple staff live on the island till high monsoon. They have to abandon the temple during high flood season when the communication to the island becomes unsafe.
The option to explore the treasure of its floral resource is like as fresh as a deep breath.
If you are lucky, you can easily spot Mohan- a Golden Langur, the last of a six member family that is surviving on this tiny island.
He is so friendly to be framed with you when he is offered water and something to eat food by food vendors.
Sitting on the steps carved out of rocks in front of the river, you may also murmur your special words to the floating water and the river will carry these words to the sea along with its flow.
PHOTO AND TEXT -- Ratna Bharali Talukdar