Jun­gle story

How the world's first hu­man­made for­est is be­ing sus­tained by an in­dige­nous com­mu­nity in As­sam de­spite a range of threats

Down to Earth - - LIFE & NATURE - SHA­HEEN S AHMED |

Ahour drive from Jorhat town in As­sam takes HALF AN you to the sleepy vil­lage called Kok­il­a­mukh.Nes­tled on the banks of the mighty Brahma­pu­tra,the vil­lage func­tions as the ac­cess point to peo­ple liv­ing in the mid­dle of the river on sand­bars, or saporis as the As­samese call them.A half an hour bhut-bhuti (or crude steamer) ride from the banks of Kok­il­a­mukh vil­lage leads to one of the big­gest sand­bars called Aruna sapori. The “river­scape”is punc­tu­ated by sev­eral sand­bars with wild veg­e­ta­tion and fo­liage, but largely un­in­hab­ited. Aruna sapori lies be­tween the main­land and one of the largest river is­lands in the world, Ma­juli.

Aruna sapori cap­tured pop­u­lar imag­i­na­tion of na­ture lovers and the global me­dia re­cently be­cause of Mu­lai Kathoni or Mu­lai’s For­est.Mu­lai Kathoni is of­ten re­garded as the world’s only hu­man­made for­est cre­ated by Ja­dav Payeng,a lo­cal res­i­dent.Way back in

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