The Brahmaputra River charts a course of epic proportions. It journeys through the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in India, and Bangladesh. The river’s name means “Son of Brahma”. Brahma is the creator of the universe according to Hindu mythology. The river itself, however, acts as both, a creator and a destroyer – it’s responsible for fertile soil and marine life which provides a livelihood to millions but at the same time also causes devastating floods.
There are several interesting myths associated with the Brahmaputra:
The son of Brahma – The river is believed to be the son of Lord Brahma. Legend has it that Lord Brahma was enchanted with the beauty of Amodhara, the wife of Sage Shantanu. Brahmaputra is supposed to be Brahma’s son who was conceived with Amodhara.
The other interesting fact about the river is that it’s the only male river in India, from the Ganga to the Tapti, the rest are all female.
An interesting phenomenon that occurs in the Brahmaputra Delta is the Barisal Gun Phenomenon. These sonic booms are yet to be fully explained by science but have led to a barrage of theories from meteors and tsunamis to vents of gas. But no theory or answer has been convincing enough thus far.
You have to cross it twice – When travelling in the North-Eastern states of India, you will hear this belief at least once. If you cross the mighty river once, you have to cross it again. Ask anyone and they will confirm this popular superstition.
The flora and fauna: Brahmaputra river basin hosts very rich and unique bio-diversity. All of northeast India is a globally recognized biodiversity hot spot.
In Assam, the Brahmaputra is responsible for the forests of sal – a timber tree of immense value economically and agriculturally, both. The land is highly fertile on the banks of the Brahmaputra in Assam and the many fruit trees produce everything from bananas and mangoes to papayas and jackfruit. Bamboo thickets abound throughout Assam and Bangladesh. The region is also known for its mangrove swamps.
The most-notable animal of the swamps is indubitably the icon of Assam, the one-horned rhinoceros. Kaziranga National Park provides a refuge not only for the rhinoceros but several other species such as elephants, leopards, tigers, deer and more. For complete insight into the wildlife of Kaziranga, click here. Numerous varieties of fish include the pabda and chital. Dolphins also call the mighty river their home.
The people: Those living in the different sections of the Brahmaputra valley are of diverse origin and culture. Agriculture is the primary livelihood of several of the communities and tribes that live by the river
One of the Brahmaputra River’s unique cultural microcosms exists on Majuli Island – the world’s largest river island! This island has been a part of Assam’s rich culture and heritage for over 400 years and is home to its highly distinct culture. From the art centres and monasteries known as Satras to the traditional masked dances – there is so much to see and absorb in Majuli! The island is also home to the Mishing tribe known for their exquisite weaving and homemade rice beer!
The best way to explore the river? Meet the MV Mahabaahu. This river cruise ship has redefined tourism in Assam by offering a luxurious way to explore a completely off-the-beaten-path destination. This cruise ship is the only 5-star river cruising experience in Assam.
If you truly want to explore the Brahmaputra from a completely immersive perspective, the MV Mahabaahu is the way to do it. To know more about the cruise ship and the myriad of activities offered click here.