The usual places are all covered and you now want to explore someplace new. Or even if you are a rookie traveller but you know you prefer exploring the unknown instead of feeding up on the over-marketed common places, then this is for you. These river islands are located comfortably near major cities and towns, making their exploration possible even by new travellers. So, what are you waiting for, check out the list, select your pick and pack your bag!
Location: Brahmaputra River, Assam
Best time to visit: July to September
How to get there: To get to Majuli, you have to first get to Jorhat. Jorhat has an airport with daily flights to Guwahati and Kolkata. Jorhat also has a railway station linked to major cities, the closest one being Guwahati. From Jorhat, Majuli is about 20km away and you will have to take a ferry till there. Once in Majuli you can rent bicycles to travel around.
Known to be the world’s largest river island, Majuli packs within it a vibrant culture and breathtaking scenic beauties. Majuli is spiritually rich, being the seat of Neo-Vaishnavism (a branching from Hinduism), as a result of which you will get to see many Satras or monasteries unique to the Assamese people. Majuli is also a nature lover and a bird-watcher’s paradise. As for accommodation, there are amazing bamboo cottages built on silt, to give you the authentic experiance.
2. Quibble Island
Location: Adyar River, Tamil Nadu
How to get there: You can reach Adyar by road from Chennai. From Adyar, take a ferry to Quibble Island. The nearest railway station would be Guindy Railway Station.
This island is the battleground of the Nawab and the French-led Indian soldiers, leading to the formation of the well known cemetery there. Even after it’s close proximity to Chennai, it remains to be non-commercialised and hence it a great place for all those travellers who would like to take some time off from humans and the crowd and be near nature, water and oneself.
3. Divar Island
Location: Mandovi River, Goa
Best time to visit: Mid-November to Mid-February
How to get there: It is about 10km from Panjim. There are three points from where you can get a ferry or a boat to the island- Old Goa, Naroa and Ribandar.
A typical fisherman village with old-style churches and a reminiscence of the Portuguese, this island will take you back in time. The entire island is full of greenery and you can feel the freshness of it as you take in the cool, clean air. Accommodation is also taken care of by the various hotels and cosy little guest houses.
4. Bhavani Island
Location: Krishna River, Andhra Pradesh
Best time to visit: October to March
How to get there: The nearest airport is Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. The nearest railway station is Vijaywada Railway station in Vijaywada. The closer place would be Vijaywada, from there you can take a ferry or a boat to the island. It will take you about 20-30 minutes.
Recently, thanks to the Government’s interest in it, it has developed a lot and has been made more accommodating to tourists. It’s the perfect weekend gateway. Laze away in hammocks beside the water. If you prefer a bit of active fun, they have water sports too.
5. Kavvayi Island
Location: Kavvayi River, Kerela
Best time to visit: September to January
How to get there: First, one has to reach Kannur and from there, Kavvayi Island is a ferry ride away.
Located in the backwaters of Kerela, this place has even found place in writings of great travellers like Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta. The Kavvayi beach house is perfect for relaxing your tired mind.