Jorhat is one of the major cities of Assam. Jorhat acts as a gateway to upper Assam and to the state of Nagaland. It was the last capital of the Ahom Kingdom and home to many historical monuments of Assamese culture. In the north of the district, the Brahmaputra River forms the largest riverine island of the world, Majuli, which spreads over 924.6 square kilometres with a population of about 150,000. The island, threatened with constant erosion by the mighty and unstable Brahmaputra River, had been the principal place of pilgrimage of Vaishnavites since the age of the Ahom rulers. Several Sattras (monasteries) resembling those of medieval times are headed by Satradhikars teaching Vaishnavism, which was introduced by Srimanta Sankardeva (1449-1568). Each Sattra has an unknown wealth of Vaishnavite scriptures and extensive revenue-free lands cultivated by the Bhakats (celebated monks) of the Sattras. The cultural diversities which prevailed in Jorhat nearly a century ago has inspired the people to participate in cultural activities through the decades and as a result Jorhat has been able to produce many creative writers, musician, actors, historians and journalists, terming Jorhat "The Cultural Capital of Assam".