Assam

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Route : Guwahati Kaziranga Majuli Island Jorhat Sivasagar Dibrugarh

Tour Highlights

  • See the world famous one horned rhinoceros.
  • Ride an elephant and discover wildlife in Kaziranga National Park.
  • Visit Majuli- the largest river island in the world.
  • Live in colonial splendor, Visit a Tea Plantation.
  • Experience how different varieties of tea are processed in surrounding plantations.
  • Explore local villages and sights.
  • Enjoy a local dance performance.
  • Visit to Silk Village of Assam “Sualkuchi”
Route Map
Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Received at Guwahati airport and transfer to the hotel. Enroute visit the Kamakhya temple. Evening visit Srimanta Shankerdeva Kalashetra. Overnight at the hotel.

Guwahati: Situated on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River in the Kamrup District of Assam, Guwahati is a fast growing premier city. It is the gate way to the North Eastern States of India and a principal center of socio cultural, political, industrial and trade and commerce of the entire region. Dispur, the capital of Assam is a part of Guwahati. Earlier, this city was full of areca nut trees rappled by pan creepers. Hence this city subsequently got the name Guwahati. The word ‘Guwa’ in Assamese means areca nut and ‘Hat’ means market.

Situated atop the Nilachal Hills, the foremost shrine of Assam, Kamakhya Temple dominates the life of Guwahati, as much as the great Brahmaputra River. Kamakhya is an ancient seat of tantric and shakti cults of Hinduism. A rush of devotees throng the Temple during the Ambubachi Puja (June)

Srimanta Shankerdeva Kalashetra - a multi-art complex portrays the rich cultural diversity and life of Assam as well as that of the North-east. This art complex has been named after the greatest Vaishnava saint and the integrator of the Assamese society, which is why it is chosen as the venue for many cultural activities. Enjoy the sound and light programme on the history of the region here.

Day 2

After breakfast take a boat ride on the Brahmaputra River upto the Umananda Temple on the world’s smallest river island known as the ‘Peacock Island’ on a country boat. Also visit Sualkuchi and Hajo' . Later in the afternoon drive to Kaziranga National Park (222 kms 05 hrs) and check in at hotel for 02 nights.

The Shiva temple of Umananda stands on an island in the middle of the River Brahmaputra. Its location, at the top of a steep flight of steps up from the beach on the Bhasmachala hill, is, however, more dramatic than the temple itself. This hill is associated with the legend of Shiva burning Kaama, or the God of lust to ashes.

Sualkuchi : Located on the banks of the Brahmaputra, 35 kms north of Guwahati, Sualkuchi is a weaving village that produces some of the best silk in the state. This sleepy little village exudes a charm like no other. Almost every house has an adjacent shed that houses traditional bamboo looms (ta~t.xal), the gentle click-clacking of which can be heard from the streets. You can walk into any of the numerous looms and observe the talented weavers, weave intricate patterns on the golden Muga silk.

In the early years of the 20th century, Sualkuchi was developed as a “crafts village”. Most of the funds for this development work came from eminent Gandhians across the country who responded to the “back to the villages” slogan of Gandhiji’s swadeshi drive. Although the weaving industry of Sualkuchi remained almost confined within the tanti (Tant meaning Loom) community till the 1930’s with encouragement from the government, people from other communities have taken up silk weaving.

There are about 17000 silk looms presently working in Sualkuchi producing an eclectic range of silk products. Most of Sualkuchi’s silk is woven into mekhela-chadar and gamosas. Owing to the increasing demand from other parts of the country, the weavers of Sualkuchi have diversified to saris, shawls and dress material. The silk weaving of Sualkuchi provides direct and indirect employment to more than 25,000 people throughout the year.

The large number of looms and the ever increasing output from them has earned Sualkuchi the monicker “Manchester of the East”.

Hajo – the meeting point of Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu faiths on the northern bank of river Brahmaputra, has a number of temples The chief among them being the Hayagrib Madhab Temple – a place of pilgrimage both for the Hindus and the Buddhists. Hajo’s bell-metal work is renowned for the interesting artifacts made by the local craftsmen.

KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK - is a World Heritage Site, where more than 75% of the world’s total population of the great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros can be found. It lies on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River and is one of the oldest parks of India. Besides Rhinos, the Asiatic Water Buffalo, Elephants, Tigers, Swamp deer, Barking deer and Hog deer can be seen. About 400 species of birds are found in Kaziranga National Park.  Swamp Francolin, Great Hornbill, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Pied Falconets, Greater Adjutant Stork, Long Billed Vulture. There is no telling what one might find in Kaziranga but it is always a great experience. The specialty here is the Blue naped pitta among a host of Raptors and Waterfowl. The adjoining buffer areas are worth a try too, as numerous rare sightings are reported regularly.

Note: The park remains open from 1st Nov to 30th April only.

Day 3

Early morning go for an elephant safari followed by jeep safari post breakfast. Afternoon go for another jeep safari.

Timing (Kaziranga NP)

Elephant Safari - approx 45 mins duration

05.30 to 06.30

06.30 to 07.30

Jeep Safari

Forenoon : Entry time between 07:00 to 09:30 Hours. Visiting time till 12:00 Noon

Afternoon : Entry time between 13:30 to 15:00 Hours. Visiting time till sunset.

Note :

Elephant safaris for foreign nationals are held only in Kohora (Central Range).

Allocation of elephant riding seats and timings are regulated by the forest department, Kaziranga National Park, Government of Assam. The tickets for the same are issued only on the previous evening of the ride after 7:30 PM.

Day 4

After breakfast drive to Neematighat (124 kms / 03 hrs) and ferry crossing (1 hr downstream ferry ride, the time depends upon the water level of the river) to Majuli - the largest river island in the world and famous for the Vaishnavite Satras or monasteries (Kamalabari Satra, Auniati Satra, Benganti satra, and many more) and culture. It is nestled between the confluence of the Subansiri and the Brahmaputra River. Visit the monasteries, local Mishing village  and interface with the Mishing tribe. Overnight at Mepo Okum, Majuli (basic accommodation)

Majuli Island - A World Heritage Site, is located in the Brahmaputra River and is the largest inhabited riverine island in the world.  The island has long served as a monastic retreat to the Vaishnavite community and is noted for its beautiful rural setting and the traditional Assamese and Mishing tribal architecture.

 On arrival, you will be transferred by road to a monastery, enroute pass through both Assamese and Mishing Villages - the Mishing houses are typified by being built on stilts and their ‘long house’ style of design. At the monastery you will be given an orientation tour by one of the monks of the monastic cell and temple.  (Please note that you will be expected to remove your shoes when entering the Vaishnavite monasteries). These Satras were set up by Srimanta Shankerdev, the leader of Vaishnavite revival in the 16th Century. These are active and nurture the traditional dance form ‘Satriya’ (which is the 5th nationally recognized dance form other than Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali and Manipuri), music and crafts (mask- making), besides religious teachings. 

The Mishings
The Mishings belong to the Tibeto-Burman clan of the Mongoloid race. It's not known exactly where they migrated from, but it is believed that they were dwellers of the hills of present day Arunachal Pradesh. This explains the cultural and linguistic similarities they have with the people of the Adi (erstwhile Abor) tribe, and to some extent of the Hill Miri and Dafla tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. Somewhere around the 13th century, they started migrating towards the plains of Assam, most probably in search of fertile land. This exodus continued for at least 2-3 centuries.
As fate would have it, they found one of the most fertile river-beds (that of the mighty Brahmaputra) and settled on both banks along the length of the river, starting right from Sadiya in the east, to Jorhat in the west. They continued their practice of living in thatched houses raised on bamboo stilts, known as Chang ghar. It was a protection against flood waters during the rainy season, although the original logic behind raised houses was protection from wild beasts.
Agriculture being their main occupation, floods affect them in more ways than one.
Their chief festival is Ali-Aye-Ligang, in the month of February, which celebrates the agricultural harvest. Most Mishings follow both the Donyi-Polo and Hindu religions, and there are a few Christians who are Catholic or Baptist. The language of the Mishing people is also known as Mishing.

Day 5

Morning continue exploring Majuli Island. Later in the afternoon ferry across to mainland and check in at Thengal Manor for overnight.

A Colonial Style Manor “Thengal Manor” is located at a distance of 8 miles from Jorhat Town. The land area is 6 hectares. Thengal is a 72 year old mansion and its name is written in the annals of history because the first daily newspaper in Assamese Language ‘Dainik Batori’ was launched from here. Thengal offers the unique pleasure of gracious living in the lap of nature. Plush Suites of single and double bedrooms with baths and dressing rooms attached offers unique comfort living with luxury. In addition there is a sitting room, dining room, lounge, kitchen and pantry. Thengal offers a feel of ambience of colonial days as one relaxes in  period furniture and décor.

Day 6

After breakfast drive to Dibrugarh (145 kms/ 03 ½ hrs). Enroute we visit the Ahom monuments and temples at Sivasagar which encompass the 600 year old history of the Ahom Dynasty. On arrival check in at Mancotta/Chowkidinghee Heritage Chang Bungalow for 02 nights. Evening enjoy a dance performance by an ethnic dance group on the bungalow lawn of Mancotta Heritage Chang Bungalow.. Overnight at Heritage Chang Bungalow.

Sivasagar was once the capital of the Ahom Kings. The Shans who came from Thailand through Northern Myanmar to this area in early 13th century, ruled for 600 years. The Siva Temple, built by the Ahoms, situated here is believed to be the tallest of all existing Hindu temples. The ruins of the Ahom palaces and monuments dot the landscape around this historical town. Centuries, before the arrival of the British, this part of the world was controlled by a number of tribal chieftains.

In the town of Sivasagar, one can still see the remaining well preserved relics. The largest and the oldest ampi-theatre of Asia (Rang Ghar) is also another remarkable landmark in the history of Sivasagar. The Tai- Ahom Museum of Sivsagar contains some of the relics of the Ahom period like – swords, clothes, manuscripts and sundry artifacts

DIBRUGARH is the gateway to the “Hidden Land” of Eastern Arunachal Pradesh and Northern Myanmar. The Ahoms from Thailand came through Northern Myanmar to this area in the 13th century to establish their Empire which thrived in the ancient land of Assam. It is the “Camellia” town of Upper Assam, an undisturbed haven, with its rich tea gardens resembling a lush green carpet. Experience and enjoy the richness of these tea gardens while staying at Heritage Chang Bungalows. These are constructed on stilts and are situated in a serene atmosphere free from pollution.

When the British established their tea plantations in the mid-19th century they quickly built comfortable bungalows designed to make life as pleasant as possible in what, was to them, a hostile and strange land. One of the main features of these buildings has given rise to their name – CHANG BUNGALOWS. Chang in the local language means “raised on stilts” and the design served multi purposes- to keep the house cool by allowing the breeze to blow underneath and to keep both water and animals out! 

BIHU is the most popular folk dance of Assam. The people of Assam are very proud of its unique position among all other such dances of India.  ‘Bihu’ performed by young men and women reflects youthful passion and joy rejuvenating life during the spring season, accompanied by songs woven around the theme of love and physical yearning. The dance is performed by all irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

Day 7

Post breakfast we take a tour of a tea plantation and Tea Factory. Also experience a Tea tasting session with the Estate/Factory Manager.

Later we drive to Naharketia (60 kms / 01 ½ hrs ) and visit Namphake Village. On return we visit Bells Temple. Overnight at Heritage Chang Bungalow.

Namphake Village is the largest of the Tai-Phake villages in Assam, boasting 70 odd families, which trace their ancestry to the great Tai race. The village folk speak a dialect similar toThai, still follow the traditional customs and dress code of the great Tai race. The hamlet is also home to the Namphake Buddhist Monastery, one of the oldest and most respected Buddhist Monasteries in Assam. They are Buddhists and have their own script, having preserved a few manuscripts, which are mainly religious scriptures. These manuscripts are written in Tai-script, which are preserved in their village Vihars.

The story behind how this Bells Temple was born goes back to about 50 – 60 years, where a man had a dream where he was told to tie a thread around the tree. On doing this, his wish was fulfilled. One night he again dreamt that as a thanks giving he should hang a bell on the tree. So he did just that. Today, one can see thousands of bells of different sizes hung around the tree. The banyan tree is right in the middle of the the temple, a huge tree, with a band of red thread around it.

Note : Visit to tea factory is subject to being operational on the day of the visit. There is no tea plucking between December till mid March and hence the actual manufacturing process of tea cannot be demonstrated when one visits the factory during this period. Factory also remains closed on Monday’s of the week.

Day 8

In time transfer to Dibrugarh airport to board flight for onward destination.

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