Palm-fringed beaches, salty breezes and sublime ocean views that seem to stretch into infinity – there is something about a laid-back island holiday that keeps capturing the imagination of travellers across the world.
1. Majuli Island, Assam
Mājuli or Majuli is a river island in the Brahmaputra River, Assam and in 2016 it became the first island to be made a district in India. This beautiful island is located on the Brahmaputra River, and is accessible via ferry boat from Jorhat, Assam. Originally spread across an area of 1250 sq km, it is depleting in size everyday due excessive sediment discharge. So, visit this place before it’s too late! Plus, despite its sheer beauty, the region doesn’t receive a lot of tourists, so you can expect less crowds here. Majuli island didn’t see its first mobile phones until 2009, plastic packaging is an equally recent occurrence, and it’s still in the process of building roads and bridges through its verdant farmlands and forests. As a result, Majuli island is an idyllic place seemingly lost in time. Erosion rips at its banks every year, claiming lives, lands, and homes. In the last hundred years, Majuli island shrank by more than 60%, from over 1,000 km² to barely 400 km². Much of the acceleration is caused by climate change. Rising water levels and increasingly severe weather patterns are never beneficial to a sandy island’s waistline. As temperatures creep higher in India’s Himalayas, the increased snowmelt causes flash floods along the Brahmaputra river. Rain and monsoon patterns, once relatively predictable, have become erratic at best, leading to a loss of crops and property for Majuli’s agricultural community.
2. Munroe Island, Kerala
It is undeniably one of the must-visit spots in Kerala. Munroe Island or Mundrothuruthu is an inland island group located at the confluence of Ashtamudi Lake and the Kallada River, in Kollam district, Kerala, South India. It is a group of eight small islets comprising a total area of about 13.4 km². To make your vacation remarkable, make sure you plan your visit to this place during the Onam festival. Situated around 27 km from Kollam, some of the major highlights of this spot are narrow waterways, canal cruise, the famous Kallada Boat Race, and much more. Also, it has this perfect, tranquil setting that lets you unwind from the constant chaos of modern life. Many people from nearby towns and cities visit this serene spot to spend leisure time in the warmth of the Mother Nature. While a few of them capture the lovely surroundings of the place, many simply relish the tempting delegacies of Kerela, prepared using coconut oil, and served at authentic restaurants in Munroe Island.
3. St Mary’s Island, Karnataka
Also known as Coconut Island or Thonsepar, St Mary’s Island lies off the coast of Malpe in Karnataka. St. Mary’s Islands, also known as Coconut Island and Thonsepar, are a set of four small islands in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Malpe in Udipi, Karnataka, India. They are known for their distinctive geological formation of columnar rhyolitic lava. Renown for its unique hexagonal columns of basaltic lava, this pristine little island is believed to have been a halt for Vasco Da Gama during his journey to Kerala. Watching a surreal sunset at St Mary’s Island, sitting on a rock with your feet dipped in the warm waters, is an experience not to be missed. For one, St. Mary’s Island is blessed with stunning natural beauty. Think golden sands under your feet, tall palm trees grooving to the music of the wind, and white foamy waves crashing against the rocks. Second, this island is special because it has these unique hexagonal, basalt rocks that were formed million of years ago when Madagascar broke away from the Indian subcontinent. Yes, we are literally talking about a relic from prehistoric times.
4. Umananda Island, Assam
Umananda Island is the smallest inhabited river islet in the middle of river Brahmaputra, flowing through the city of Guwahati in Assam, a state in northeast India. Its name derives from Assamese Uma, another name for the Hindu goddess Parvati, the wife of Shiva; and ananda, which translates to “joy”. Also named as Peacock island by the British, this has gained popularity because of its presence in between the river Brahmaputra and can be easily connected when you are in Guwahati. Umananda island is also known as one of the smallest islands of the world and comprise of Umananda temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The old form of rock-cut figures of Lord Surya, Ganesh and Shiva allows anyone to appreciate the beauty and skills of craftsmanship of Assamese people who showed their dedication towards spiritual energy. The sound of temple bells and water alongside uplifts the mood of devotees and tourists in one sway. This has become one the best tourist places in Assam as it is easily reachable by jetties which are available on the banks of Brahmaputra river.