Satras are monastic institutions of the neo-Vaishnavite tradition that serve as socio-religious and cultural centers in Assam. An integral part of Assamese life and culture, Satras are repositories of the ancient religious philosophy and artistic expressions attached to them.
They have relentlessly encouraged the arts and crafts, like dance, drama, music, book-illustration, and decorative objects for the beautification of the Satra interiors - the Satriya Architecture. This project aims to analyse and document the various traditional art forms associated with the Satra institution such as music, dance, and drama and crafts like sculpture and mask making. The goal is to identify key structural/ recurring visual elements, forms, and motifs and later visually modify and represent these graphical elements.
Since hundreds of Satras are in Assam and to establish the project's boundary limits, Majuli island was chosen as a study area. Majuli is celebrated as the world's most oversized river island, which nestles in the mighty Brahmaputra's lap. The place of numerous Satra Institutions in which some of the Satra's are celebrated as the most legendary Satras of Assam, carrying the heritage of socio-religious culture and rich traditions of various art and literature.
Majuli, a pilgrimage island of Assam, is distinguished for its geography, culture, and is primarily a place where Vaisnavism has prospered since the fifteenth century. The island is about 300–400 kilometers east from the state's largest city Guwahati. It was formed due to course changes by the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries. The island is a paradise of flora and fauna biodiversity, which is nurtured by the vast Brahmaputra River. This largest river island is home to Assam's pristine cultural heritage and the Vaisnavite shrines, popularly known as Satras. As such, the island has been a place of pilgrimage for the last 400 years. The population of Majuli comprises the tribal and non-tribal communities, which have contributed immensely to its rich and colorful cultural heritage. The inhabitants lead simple lives and are always happy to welcome travelers.