Research project in Majuli, India – largest and oldest inhabited river island in the world, located on the Brahmaputra river in North East of India, Assam. Its unique and remote location has enabled it to survive the vagaries of time and its heritage and culture traditions. It is an island of outstanding universal value of cross cultural diversity, a unique continuous 16 century Vaishnavite religious and cultural traditions in parallel to the Renaissance period in Europe. Over the years the size of Majuli island has shrunk from 1256 square kilometers to 875 square kilometers and at places to less than 500 square kilometers. This can be attributed to changing course of the Brahmaputra river, the excessive sedimentation and triggered by regional morpho-tectonic and anthropogenic activities up stream and due to changing regimes of rainfall due to climate change.
Queen’s will provide an integrated approach to this unique and fragile habitat, by addressing the challenges posed to both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage which has been in operation since the 16th century. It will analyse the culture and heritage of the island and how it has adapted to climate change – providing scientific approaches to protecting the island’s culture and heritage. It is a unique carbon neutral biodiverse heritage site in the world.