13 Days, 12 Nights
Duration
21 Nov-4 Dec 2020, 21 Nov-4 Dec 2021
Dates

Come with Ekno on a once in a life time journey that takes in the wilds of Assam and the unique tribes of Nagaland. These two northeast states are in the farthest reaches of India, and as a result they remain largely untouched by tourism. Our trip brings together the stunning beauty of the Assamese plains with the remote hills and valleys of Nagaland as we take in the people, cultures, heritage and cuisine that make these two states of India so special.

Our trip starts in Kolkata, known for being the cultural and artistic centre of India. Visit the vibrant neighborhoods of this fascinating city and soak up the beautiful Raj era architecture on a heritage walk. We will then enjoy a change of pace as we venture to Majuli Island and Kaziranga National Park in Assam.

Our journey culminates with a visit to Nagaland to attend the Hornbill Festival, known as the ‘Festival of Festivals’. The festival attracts members from the 16 major tribes of Nagaland as they celebrate and share their dances, sports, foods and religious traditions. This is truly the ultimate way to get up close and personal with the famous Naga tribes.

 

 

TOUR DATES

21 November – 4 December 2020,

21 November – 4 December 2021

TOUR COST

Price on Application

DURATION

13 days, 12 nights

TOUR HIGHLIGHT

  • Experience the history and culture of Kolkata with a heritage walk and visits to magnificent Raj era attractions
  • Spend a few days relaxing and exploring Majuli Island, known for its unique Assamese monasteries
  • Enjoy a feast prepared by the tribal Mishing community on Majuli Island
  • Stay at Kaziranga National Park – home to the elusive Bengal Tiger as well as rhinos, elephants and primates
  • Journey to Kohima, the capital city of Nagaland, on India’s world-famous railways
  • Marvel at the sights, sounds and flavours of the Hornbill Festival, the ultimate way to experience the unique tribal cultures of Nagaland
  • Visit Kigwema village, for an insight into the traditional way of life for the Angami people.

TOUR ROUTE

Kolkata – Jorhat – Manjuli Island – Kaziranga National Park – Jorhat – Kohima – Hornbill Festival – Dimapur – Kolkata

MAP

Tour-Map

Lama Zopa Rinpoche

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Day 1

Arrive Kolkata

Welcome to incredible India! On arrival you will be met by one of our representatives at transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore the local surrounds. Kolkata is a fascinating city – full of life, vibrancy and culture. Although no activities are planned, your guide will be on hand to offer help and recommendations.

Overnight: Hotel, Kolkata

Day 2

Kolkata sightseeing

Kolkata is an intoxicating city to explore, and today you will discover why. As one of India’s largest cities and the former capital of British India, the city is regarded as the artistic and cultural capital of the country.

We will regroup for breakfast at the hotel before heading to Kumartuli, the potters or sculptors district. This atmospheric area is made up or maze-like alley ways that house over 550 different workshops that create religious idols all year-round. The idols are primarily created for the Durga Puja Festival, and wandering the narrow streets offers a rare glimpse into the ritual and skill involved in creating these idols from clay and bamboo. Watching the idols come to life is also a photographer’s dream.

After exploring we will take a ferry to the Mullick Ghat Flower Market, the largest in Asia. Crossing the mighty Hooghly River by boat is a chance to view this heaving metropolis from the water as you pass under the iconic Howrah Bridge. We will also visit the grand marble Raj era Victoria Memorial.

We will return to our hotel where the rest of the day is free to spend at your leisure.

Overnight: Hotel, Kolkata

Day 3

Kolkata – Jorhat – Majuli Island, Assam

After breakfast at the hotel we will fly to Jorhat. We will be picked up at the airport where we will continue our journey to Majuli Island. Along the way we will stop at the 115-year-old Haroocharai Tea Estate for lunch.

After lunch we will continue to Neemati Ghat, from where we will board a ferry Majuli Island. Majuli is the world’s largest river island but it is slowing disappearing as the land is eroded away by the mighty Brahmaputra River and monsoonal floods.

Majuli is renowned in Assamese culture as home to the medieval Xatras (monasteries) where monks practice Assam’s distinctive form of Vishnu worship. The first Xatra was founded by the Vaishnavite seer Srimanta Shankardev, who denounced the caste system and believed in creating a harmonious society. Shankardev also created a unique dance form, Xatriya, comprised of Yoga, dance and music that is now recognised as a classical dance form of India.  time visiting the Xatras is an eye-opening glimpse into the lives of the monks who still lead an austere life mastering religious scripts, art, music, dance and handicraft.

The afternoon is yours to relax at our beautiful resort and enjoy the change of pace after bustling Kolkata.

Overnight: Hotel, Majuli Island

Day 4

Majuli Island

After breakfast we will set off to visit some of the significant Xatras on Majuli. We will visit Dakshinpaat Xatra, where monks lead a celibate life; followed by Natun Samaguri Xatra where the monks are allowed to marry. Natun Samaguri Xatra is known for its 400-year-old tradition of religious mask making started by Srimanta Shankardev for religious plays.

The afternoon is free for you to soak up the atmosphere of the beautiful island. Take a walk through the rice fields or enjoy some bird watching at the water meadows.

Overnight: Hotel, Majuli Island

Day 5

Majuli Island

After breakfast we will hire bikes and cycle around some of the nearby villages. The bike hire scheme has been set up to promote sustainable tourism in the area and is also one of the best ways to slowly explore the villages and beautiful surrounds. Alternative transport will be provided for those who don’t wish to cycle.

We will pay a visit to Mishing Village, home to the Mishing tribe, who make up almost half of the population of Majuli. As we explore the village you will notice their distinct houses which are traditionally built on raised platforms.

After our bike ride we will return to our accommodation and the rest of the afternoon is yours to relax or explore. Watching the sun set over the Brahmaputra, as people head home by boat, is a beautiful way to spend your time.

In the evening we will enjoy a traditional tribal feast. The food we will dry is very distinctive, and there will be plenty of unusual fish, meat and vegetarian delicacies on offer. Finish off the meal by trying the local rice beer, known as Apong.

Overnight: Hotel, Majuli Island

Day 6

Majuli Island – Kaziranga National Park

After breakfast we will say goodbye to Majuli Island and start our journey to Kaziranga National Park, home to elephants, tigers, primates and India’s famed one-horned rhino.

After travelling by ferry and private vehicle we will reach our accommodation and check in. The park consist of several ranges and over the next two days we will visit the Central Range (home to Tigers), the Bagori Range (home to rhinos, elephants and water buffaloes) are the Burapahar Range (home to India’s only ape, the Hollock Gibbon as well as Capped Langurs).

The afternoon is yours to relax in our luxurious riverside accommodation, from where you might even be able to spot rhinos grazing in the neighboring grasslands.

Overnight: Resort, Kaziranga National Park

Day 7

Kaziranga National Park

Today we will take morning and afternoon jeep safaris. Our safari guide will choose which range of the park to cover and will make sure that we pay a visit to all three over the next two days.

In between the safaris you can relax at the resort and enjoy some of their delicious food.

Overnight: Resort, Kaziranga National Park

Day 8

Kaziranga National Park – Jorhat

This morning we will enjoy our final jeep safari in Kaziranga National Park.

In the afternoon we will drive to Jorhat where we will spend one night before our next adventure to the tribal north-eastern state of Nagaland.

Overnight: Hotel, Jorhat

Day 9

Jorhat – Kohima, Nagaland

Rise and shine early so that we can catch the Shatabdi Express to Dimapur. We will drive to Mariani station where we will board one of India’s famed trains. Our train journey will take two hours and is a perfect time to sit back and enjoy the passing scenery.

We will arrive in Dimapur in time for a late breakfast before continuing by private vehicle to Kohima, the capital city of Nagaland. Kohima is scattered across a series of forested ridges with some picturesque views of the valley below.

After checking into our hotel, we will visit the War Cemetery, which stands at a battle site of the 64-day Battle of Kohima where the Allied Forces won a decisive battle over the Japanese. The cemetery is one of the most historically significant reminders of the war that was fought in this part of the world. We will also visit the Central Market, where tribal people gather to buy and sell local delicacies.

Overnight: Hotel, Kohima

Day 10

Hornbill Festival & Kigwema Village

After breakfast, we will attend the colorful opening ceremony of the Hornbill Festival at the Kisama Heritage Village festival grounds. This will be our first experience of the rich Nagaland traditions of tribal lore, dress, dance, song, games, food and religious ceremonies. Attending the festival and witnessing the Naga tribes in their full warrior dress is truly a once in a life time experience.

The Hornbill Festival is organised annually by the Nagaland State Departments of Tourism and Arts and Culture to promote and preserve the culture of the diverse local tribes. Although each tribe has their own festivals, the Hornbill Festival is an important social and cultural event for all the tribes to meet. The festival is named after the Hornbill Bird, common to the folklore of all the tribes.

We will spend the day at the festival site and enjoy the local delicacies on offer as well as the famous Naga hospitality.

After leaving the festival site, we will visit Kigwema Village. The village is home to the Angami people, one of the major Naga ethnic groups. Several households in the village welcome tourists, giving us a rare peek into the lives of the tribespeople away from the festival site.

Overnight: Hotel, Kohima

Day 11

Hornbill Festival & Kohima Cathedral

After breakfast we will head to Kisama Heritage Village to enjoy the festivities for another day. Today you will be able to watch jaw-dropping performances and enactments of the traditional way of life for the various tribes. Stuff yourself with delicious Naga food till you can take no more.

In the evening we will visit the iconic Kohima Cathedral to enjoy the panoramic views of the city.

Overnight: Hotel, Kohima

Day 12

Kohima – Dimapur - Kolkata

Today we will say good bye to Nagaland. We will have breakfast at the hotel before taking a scenic drive to Dimapur, where we will board a flight to Kolkata. We will arrive in Kolkata by mid-afternoon and transfer to our accommodation.

The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. You might wish to explore the local area or do some last-minute souvenir shopping.

Overnight: Hotel, Kolkata

Day 13

Kolkata

This morning after breakfast we will take a heritage walking tour exploring Kolkata. We will explore BBD Bagh, Barabazar and Old Chinatown. Our walk will take us through winding alleys that teem with life as well as past beautiful Raj era buildings such as the St John’s Church, the High Court building and the Old GPO Building. As we wander around Barabazar and China town you will also be able to get a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Kolkata’s Jewish and Chinese community.

The rest of the day is at your leisure. If you would like us to arrange an optional extra for you, such as a massage or an Ayurvedic treatment, we can do so.

We will transfer you to the airport in time for your return flight home. Thank you for traveling with Ekno Travels and we hope to see you again soon.

INCLUDES

Accompanied by Ekno guide, Vikas Kumar

Met by an Ekno representative at Kolkata Airport

12 nights’ accommodation with breakfast and dinner

All transfers and sightseeing by private car unless otherwise specified in the itinerary

Domestic flights from Kolkata to Jorhat and Dimapur to Kolkata

Return ferry from Neemati Ghat to Majuli Island

One-way train travel from Mariani to Dimapur

Entrance fees to all sights and monuments as per the itinerary

All activities as per the itinerary

EXCLUDES

Return airfares to India

Cost of Indian tourist visa (on arrival)

Compulsory travel insurance of any kind

Lunches and dinners unless otherwise specified in the itinerary

Personal expenditure such as drinks (including bottled water), laundry service and souvenirs

Tipping

Camera and video entry charges at local sights and monuments

Occasional optional items not identified in itinerary description

NorthEast