Majuli, the world's largest river island, is situated to the north of Jorhat in India and at the confluence of the Subansiri and Brahmaputra rivers. Flooding ravages the population of 0.13 million every year, robbing them of the basic requirements of life. This island, which was over 1245 km2 in the 1950s, was reduced to 376.93 km2 in 2002 due to continuous erosion of banks by the Brahmaputra river, wiping out scores of villages and displacing thousands of people. The heritage of the people of Majuli, the civilization they have nurtured for the last five centuries, is about to be buried. Burial of this civilization will be a loss to the whole of humanity. Therefore, a global approach to this problem of flooding and subsequent erosion has become inevitable, and is urgently needed to save the world's largest river island as well as its glowing cultural heritage. This paper focuses on the study of erosion problems of the decaying island, deploying remote sensing and an artificial neural network (ANN) technique. © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.