State : Assam in India.
Significance : The Pilgrimage Centre.
Location : Majuli, Bardowa, Barpeta, Madhupur etc. in Assam.
Satras Temple Tour in Assam
Satras are the unique features of Vaishnavism in Assam. Satras in Assam are basically monasteries which were established to propagate neo Vaishnavism. The Satras Temple of Assam also became pilgrimage centers and education centers and dissemination of all kinds of art of harmonious living.
The Major Places of Satra Culture
Satra culture developed mainly at Majuli, Bardowa, Barpeta, Madhupur etc.. It was then, when the British invaded Assam in 19th century, followed by missionaries and churches were established all over Assam. Assam is an unique example of communal tolerance and religious harmony, which prevails amongst the believer of different faiths. Assamese society is remarkably free from communal conflict.
The Foundation of Satras
In 15th century the first Satra was founded in Majuli Assam. Since then 65 Satras have come up for the propagation of ethics and socio-cultural ideals. However, at present there are only 22 Satras in Majuli. The others had to be transferred to safer places due to the devastation of flood and erosion.
Majuli, the world's largest river island is one of the major seat of several Satras established by Vaishnava revivalist, Sankardeva. During Rasotsava, thousands of devotees visit these holy Satras every year. The shrine is held in high veneration by the Vaishnavites.
The main existing Satras are :
This Satra was founded by Banamalidev, an exponent of Raasleela, which is now observed as one of the National Festivals of Assam. At the time of Rasotsava, several thousand devotees visit these holy Satras every year.
This was founded by Lakshmikantadeva. During the end of Autumn, traditional Raasleela (co-acting) is shown with great zeal. Some ancient weapons called "Bortop" (canons) are preserved at this place.
Founded by Niranjan Pathakdeva, the Auniati Satra is famous for "Paalnaam" and Apsara Dance. It is also a considerable collection of Assamese old utensils, jewellery and handicrafts.
Founded by Bedulapadma, it is a centre of art, culture, literature and classical studies. It's branch, Uttar Kamalabari Satra, exhibits the Satria Art in several states of India and abroad.
This is a collection of antiques of cultural importance and an advance centre of performing art. Muraridev, the grand son of Sankardeva's step mother founded this Satra. The royal robes belonging to the Ahom king Swargadeo Gadadhar Singha, made of gold and an golden umbrella are preserved here.
The satra is home to famous Mask crafts.
It is about 140 km from Guwahati and about 15 km from Nagaon town. It is the birthplace of the greatest Vaishnava Saint Srimanta Sankardev, a shrine and a centre of Vaishnava art and culture.
Barpeta Satra and Kirtanghar
This famous Shrine and Kirtanghara attracts Vaishanavas from all over India. It was established by Madhadeva, the greatest disciple of Shankardeva.
Journey to Satras of Assam
Airport : Guwahati, the commercial capital of Assam is connected to all the major cities of India. One can easily reach Guwahati from any part of the country, from where one can pick a bus, trains, taxi or boat to various Satras located at various parts of Assam.
Railhead : Rail lines connect Guwahati with all the major cities of India. From here one can easily reach the Satras.
Road Transport : Road routes are well defined in Assam . One can easily reach the Satras by road.
Water Transport : Water Transport is arranged by the tourism department of Assam to provide boats and launches to the tourists coming to the areas like Majuli.
Staying near Satras (Majuli) in Assam
Majuli does not possess a developed infrastructure for tourism and accommodation. There are no hotels. Some satras have guestrooms. If you write in advance, they would certainly be available. In addition to the Satra facilities, there are Inspection Bungalows at some points on the island (the one at Kamalabari is well located), and a Circuit House at Garamur, which is the sub-divisional headquarters.