Fleeing persecution in the 15th century, the social reformer Sankardeva gathered his followers together on a remote island in Brahmaputra River called Majuli, where he founded numerous monasteries dedicated to Vishnu, the ‘Preserver’ of the Hindu pantheon. Today, more than twenty of these Sattras survive amid a bucolic landscape of riverine rice fields, serving as unique cultural centres whose white-turbaned monks are renowned for their chimeric dance plays and ecstatic music.

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