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The former road to Majuli's ferry dock, now washed away. The line of trees on the horizon marks the previous location of the dock.

Paradise Lost: Erosion Threatens to Destroy Assam’s Ancient Island of Monasteries

Sri Tirtha Mahanta, spiritual leader of Majuli Island’s Bor Alengi Satra, displays some of the relics he was able to salvage before his satra washed away. Sri Tirtha Mahanta, the 74-year-old spiritual leader of the Bor Alengi Satra, a Hindu monastery on Majuli Island, in Assam’s Brahmaputra River, remembers the moment in 1950 when the island’s destiny changed forever. “I was in boarding school, eating my dinner. Suddenly the house started shaking like it was made of grass. All the ground was shaking. Then the land split open and muddy water came pouring out of the ground. Everyone started screaming and I got very scared. All the students were taken to a shop where we spent the night, sleeping on the floor. There were aftershocks all night. In the morning, there were dead bodies floating by in the river. Huge trees and wild animals washed up on the island. After that, the river was never the same. I think it went mad.” Ever since, the Brahmaputra has been acting like a river with Post-Traumatic Stress

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