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Hornbill Festival - Package Detail

Hornbill Festival

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Overview

To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland, the Government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December from 01-07th December. This colourful festival is organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments. Hornbill Festival showcases a mélange of cultural displays under one roof.

It is held at Naga Heritage Village- Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in this festival. The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions. One can witness and understand the people and culture of Nagaland, and an opportunity to experience the food, songs, dances and customs of Nagaland within a single arena. The weeklong festival unites one and all in Nagaland and people enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are also on display. One should consider to witness the opening ceremony of the festival held on 01st Dec every year. 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Received at Dimapur airport and transfer to Kohima (80 kms / 02 hrs). Check in at hotel for 03 nights. Overnight at the hotel.  

Dimapur is the commercial hub of Nagaland. Dimapur, situated on the banks of the Dhansiri river was once the capital of the Kachari Kingdom- remains of the broken pieces of stone pillars and other stone carvings can still be seen.

Kohima, situated in the south at an altitude of 1444 m above sea level, occupies pride of place as the capital city of Nagaland.  Kohima  has  the  advantage  of  being  centrally located - being bounded by the state of Assam on the west, Wokha district on the north, Zunheboto and Phek districts on the east and Manipur state on the south. The Angami, Rengma and Zeliangrong communities mainly inhabit Kohima District.

Day 2

Following breakfast you will be taken to the Kisama Heritage Complex (12 kms / 30 mins) for a full day to observe the different tribes performing and to soak up the atmosphere of this great event. Enjoy Cultural Dances (All 16 major tribes), War Dances (All 16 major tribes), Folk Songs, Indigenous Games, Music (Rock Beat contest in the evening), Fashion Show (Cultural & Modern), Handloom & Handicrafts, Local Cuisine , Local drinks (Zutho, Thutshe) etc. Evening enjoy night Bazar. Overnight at hotel.

Day 3

Hornbill Festival

Located in the northeastern corner of India, Nagaland, sometimes called the ‘Switzerland of the East’, is made up of sixteen major tribes, each with its own language, culture and traditions. A land of festivals, all Naga tribes celebrate their distinct festivals, which are seasonal in nature and are characterised by grand displays of colour, music and dance. Once a year, however, they all get together for a combined celebration.  In the first days of December the annual Hornbill Festival takes place in the village of Kisema in Nagaland. This grand ceremony has become well known for its authenticity and exposure to the different cultures to be found in the region. 

Day 4

Post breakfast you again visit the Kisama Heritage Complex to witness different tribes performing. Afternoon we drive to Kaziranga (215 kms / 05 hrs) and check in hotel 02 nights.

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 Assam. Besides rhinos, the Asiatic Water Buffalo numbering over 1200, elephants over 1000, tigers more than 81, Swamp deer, Barking deer and Hog deer can be seen. About 400 species of birds are found in Kaziranga National Park. Swamp Francolin, Kalij Pheasant, Greylag Goose, Gadwall, Eurasian Wigeon, Mallard, Northern Shoveller, Northern Pintail, Streak Throated Woodpecker, Bay Woodpecker, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Great Hornbill, Osprey, Palas’s Fish Eagle, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Pied Falconets, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Greater Adjutant Stork, Black necked Stork, Grey-headed Lapwing, Indian White Backed Vulture, Long Billed Vulture, along with a large number of Spotted Billed Pelican. Sighting is excellent and is always a great experience. The specialities here is the blue napped pitta among a host of eagles and waterfowl.

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

Day 5

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

Note : Elephant safari for foreign nationals are held only on Kaziranga Range, Kohora (Central Range)

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 safari for foreign nationals are held only on Kaziranga Range, 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. We will try our utmost to avail the seats but cannot guarantee the same.

Day 6

After breakfast we drive to Neematighat (80 kms / 02 hrs) for ferry crossing (1 hr downstream boat cruise- the time depends upon the water level of the river) to Majuli - the largest inhabited 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 and interface with the tribes on the island. Later in the afternoon ferry across to mainland (01 ½ hrs) and check in at hotel, Jorhat for overnight.

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. 

Day 7

After breakfast we drive to Dibrugarh (140 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. Check in at Mancotta/Chowkidinghee Heritage Chang Bungalow. Evening enjoy a dance performance by an ethnic dance group at Mancotta Heritage Chang Bungalow. Overnight at the 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 the 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. Perhaps except Bhangra (the popular folk dance of Punjab), no other folk dance in India can compete with the rhythmic exuberance of the Bihu dance. ‘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 8

Morning option to take a tea walk /visit tea factory. Later in time transfer to Dibrugarh airport to board flight for onward destination

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. 

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