Discover North East India & Hornbill Festival
Route : Kolkata - Guwahati - Cherrapunji - Kaziranga - Majuli Island - Sivasagar - Dibrugarh - Mon - Mokokchung - Kohima - Dimapur - Kolkata
If you have a yearning for the exotic and a sense of adventure, our tour of these northeast states will not disappoint. Natural beauty, picturesque towns and untamed mountains await you in this comfortably paced trip that begins in Cherrapunjee, (in the state of Meghalaya) -counted as one of the wettest places on the planet! Take a walk in the clouds or if you are up to it, trek through the incredible network of tree-root bridges and enjoy the natural splendor. Follow the scenic trail to the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Explore this UNESCO World Heritage site – home to the one-horned rhinoceros – and head to the wild as a jeep safari takes you right to the heart of the park, alongside the Brahmaputra River. Discover the myriad moods of this mighty river with a visit to one of the largest river islands in the world – Majuli. Immerse yourself in the culture and lives of its tribes and the Hindu Vaishnavite monasteries that are the repository of Assamese history. Take a walk with the monks and witness traditional crafts such as mask-making, weaving, and brewing local rice beer! Your tryst with Assamese culture continues with a visit to ancient Sivasagar And a stay at the many wooden bungalows on stilts. Soak in the rich history as you enjoy a cup of tea at one of the many plantations or enjoy the rhythmic Bihu dance. Your final destination on this tour is the mountainous state of Nagaland. Meet the various Naga tribes – most of them known to be fierce and proud warriors – and hear some fascinating stories of their headhunting days! Wind up your stay in this exotic land with the Hornbill festival, where tribes perform a cultural medley for visitors. Good music, festivities, tribal dances and some amazing Naga cuisine – there is no better send-off than this!
• Land in Guwahati, a city earlier named Pragjyotishpur, located on the banks of Brahmaputra River.
• Drive to Cherrapunjee, a city known as the place with the highest rainfall.
• Cherish the natural beauty of ‘Scotland of the East.’
• Take an adventurous walk to the famous Double Decker Root Bridge.
• Trek 7km in the walk which also includes a descent of around 250m along with a subsequent ascent.
• Visit Kaziranga National Park (World Heritage Site), known for having the largest population of Indian one-horned rhinos.
• Witness the indigenous culture at Don Bosco Museum
• Take a jeep safari to Kaziranga National Park.
• Experience a scenic jetty ride to Majuli Island, located between the confluence of Subansiri and Brahmaputra River.
• Board a ferry to Nimatighat and drive to Sivasagar, the capital of Ahom rulers from 1228 to 1826AD.
• Visit tea gardens of Dibrugarh and drive to Naharkatiya, visit Namphake Village inhabited by Tai Phakial people. Interact with the locals and visit Buddhist monastery.
• Visit Oil Museum and 2nd World War Allied Force Cemetery which has 200 graves.
• Drive to Mon, home of Konyak Nagas.
• Reach Mokochung from Mon and from Mokochung to Kohima.
• Witness the famous Hornbill Festival, a cultural festival celebrated by the locals with great enthusiasm.
• Reach Dimapur from Kohima and from Dimapur to Kolkata to board flight back home.
See Full Itinerary
Arrival TimeMidnight or Late night
Dress CodeCasual, Warm and Sports Wear
Tour Itinerary : - Discover North East India & Hornbill Festival
Day 01: Arrive Kolkata
Arrive at Kolkata International airport. After completing the immigration and customs, proceed towards the arrival hall. Meeting and assistance on arrival with a traditional welcome of garlanding and transfer to the hotel (the room being held from 1400 hrs).
Overnight in Kolkata
Day 02: Kolkata – Guwahati Flight, Guwahati – Cherrapunji Drive (185 km/about 5 hrs)
This morning, you will be transferred to Kolkata airport to board the flight to Guwahati – the gateway to the North East is situated on the banks of the Brahmaputra River. Once known as Pragjyotishpur – the Light of the East, the capital city of Assam, Guwahati was named so due to its significance as the astrological center.
Meeting on arrival at Guwahati airport and driving to Cherrapunjee, which is located 56km away from Shillong. The city is known as the place to receive the highest rainfall all over the world. This place which nestles in panoramic landscapes, Cherrapunjee is the best location to experience the summer monsoons in India, a unique annual meteorological activity which is directly influenced by South-West monsoon and the North-East winds. The heavy monsoon rains over these mountains undoubtedly creates in Sohra, one of the rarest biodiverse vegetations in the world.
Overnight in Cherrapunjee
Day 03: Cherrapunjee
This morning, after early breakfast we will set out to explore and discover some of the spectacular scenery – most notably the waterfalls and valleys – which makes up the so-called "Scotland of the East".
We undertake an adventurous walk to see some of the much-photographed living root tree bridges, including the famous Double Decker Root Bridge near the village of Nongriat. There is a return trek of 7km in the walk which also includes a descent of around 250m along with a subsequent ascent. A majority of the ascent/descent is on the steps however, we will also have to cross rope bridges. This walk may seem problematic for some people though the results are highly rewarding.
Overnight in Cherrapunjee
Day 04: Cherrapunjee – Kaziranga (350 km/about 9 hrs)
This morning we start early for Kaziranga – one of the oldest parks, is a World Heritage Site, lying on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River where the world’s largest population of the great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros can be found. Besides rhinos, the Asiatic Water Buffalo, Elephants, Royal Bengal Tigers, Swamp deer, Barking deer and Hog deer are the highlights which can be seen. It is probably India’s foremost in terms of conservation success, variety and accessibility of species.
En route, we will stop off at Shillong’s acclaimed Don Bosco Museum which provides a great introduction into the many indigenous peoples who reside in India’s diverse North East.
Overnight in Kaziranga
Day 05: Kaziranga National Park
Early morning and afternoon embark on a jeep safari through the Kaziranga national park which owes its existence to Lady Curzon, who persuaded the British Indian Government of the time to create a protected area. We get to explore the various parts of the park looking out for the wide range of animals that reside here
Overnight in Kaziranga
Note: The park only opens after 15th November
JEEP SAFARI- Morning: between 0730 to 1000 hours. Afternoon: between 1330 to 1500 hours.
Day 06: Kaziranga–Majuli Island 100 km/about 3.5 hrs & 1.5 hrs Ferry ride
This morning after early breakfast, we drive to Nimatighat jetty to board the ferry to Majuli Island - 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.
Later in the afternoon, we will visit a community tribal village
Overnight in Majuli Island
Day 07: Majuli Island
This morning after leisurely breakfast we set out to explore the villages inhabited by the Mishing tribal people and also visit the monasteries known as ‘Satras’ on the island.
Shamaguri Satra is famous worldwide for its Mask-making tradition. These masks are used in bhaonas or one-act plays in the Satras, mostly during festival times. Auniati Satra is famous for "Paalnaam" and Apsara dances. Another point which can be talked about is its substantial selection of ancient artifacts as well as handicrafts, jewelry, Assamese old utensils, etc. The Sattra Institute of Majuli is famous for wall paintings and making masks.
Kamalabari Satra is a center of culture, art, classical studies and literature and was founded by Bedulapadma Ata. Also, the finest boats are built on this island. We will also get an opportunity to explore another Satra where we will get to see a Satriya or monastic dance and a delicious lunch (simple vegetarian).
We will head to explore another village in the afternoon to see weaving and we will also see how rice beer is prepared with traditional methods and we may get to taste it!
Overnight in Majuli Island
Day 08: Majuli Island – Sivasagar – Dibrugarh, 175 km/about 6 hrs including ferry rides and drives
This morning after early breakfast, we head towards Kamalabari Ghat to board the ferry to Nimatighat.
We drive to Sivasagar – the capital of the Ahom rulers from 1228 to 1826 AD. Sivasagar got its present name from Sivasagar Tank, excavated by the Ahom queen Ambika. The tank was named after her husband, Shiva Singha. Sivasagar tank is also known as Borpukhuri, literally, big lake. The Shans came to this area in the early 13th century, crossing Northern Myanmar from Thailand. They ruled here for around 600 years. Ahoms built a Shiva Temple in Svasagar and is considered to be the tallest temples among the Hindu temples.
Later, we will head to Rang Ghar, a two-storeyed building, largest amphitheater of Asia where Ahom Swargadeos or Kings would organize cultural activities and games. Rang Ghar was built in 1746 during the rule of King Pramatta Singha. You will see a beautiful place near the building which adds to the beauty of the surroundings. Later, we proceed to Dibrugarh – the gateway to the “Hidden Land” of North East India and also a major center for tea plantations during the days of the Raj. The British built many chang bungalows here (chang meaning “raised on stilts in the local language) which served a dual purpose of maintaining the cool temperature of the house by letting the breeze pass below and to keep animals and water out.
Overnight in Dibrugarh
Day 09: Dibrugarh
This morning we start early to visit the Tea Garden and also maybe visit a Tea factory to see the processing of the famous Assam Tea.
We will then drive to Naharkatiya (60 km / about 2 hrs) and visit Namphake Village inhabited by the Tai Phakial people. Visit the village and the Buddhist Monastery and interact with the local people to know more about their rich traditions and culture. Later in the afternoon, we will drive to the first oil town of South Asia, Digboi. We will visit the Oil Museum. After that, we will head to the 2nd World War Allied Force Cemetery which has 20o graves. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintains the cemetery.
We will visit the oldest vegetable/fruit/wholesale/hardware market of Dibrugarh. Evening we can walk on the bank of Brahmaputra river and visit potters settlement along the riverside.
Note: Digboi museum remains closed on Sundays of the week.
Overnight in Dibrugarh
Day 10: Dibrugarh – Mon (180 km/about 7 hrs)
This morning after early breakfast, we drive to Mon - situated at an altitude of 897 meters above sea level, which is the home of the Konyak Nagas. Anghs ar the hereditary chiefs who ruled Kanyaks and the institutions of Anghship prevail in the Konyak Naga tribe only. It is so fascinating to see the tribe people with their faces tattooed, putting on traditional wardresses and headgear. These people have incredible artistic skills and are known for their impressive woodwork, black smithery and handicrafts.
We will cross the state border into Nagaland, one of the smallest but most mountainous states in India, where the allied forces finally stemmed the flow of the Japanese army from Burma. The people of Nagaland are known for their tattooed faces and bodies, and until quite recently the headhunting Naga tribes bravely fought off intruders.
Overnight in Mon
Day 11: Mon
This morning after breakfast, we set out to explore the nearby area and experience the traditional aspects of Konyak villages.
We also visit Longwa village which straddles the border between India and Myanmar. A large part of this place still highlights its old-world charm and we will see the chief Angh’s mansion along lots of other houses which have been constructed in traditional Konyak style, with roofs made up of palm leaf and the main pillars jutting out. The local people here are excellent artists and have extraordinary skills of handicrafts, wood carvings and black smithery which we will also get to see.
After lunch, we plan to visit a second village, Hongphoi, where we will have a chance to meet the village elders – all former head-hunters and proud of their traditions.
Overnight in Mon
Day 12: Mon – Mokokchung 160 km/about 7 hrs
This morning after early breakfast we proceed to Mokokchong, a long one, covering through some fascinating areas with lush scenery.
Enroute visit Nazira and visit Kareng Ghar – The Royal Palace of the Ahom Dynasty. We will also visit Impur village and if time permits to visit the oldest church of Northeast India by US missionaries
The town of Mokokchung sits at an altitude of 1350 meters above sea level in a picturesque area with a white water river running nearby. It is the cultural center of the Ao Nagas who live in the many surrounding villages and are famous for their colourful dances.
Overnight in Mokokchung
Day 13: Mokokchung – Kohima 140 km/about 6 hrs
This morning we start very early and proceed to Kohima – located at an altitude of around 1444m above sea level in the south, and is honoured as Nagaland’s capital. 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 primarily inhabit this city.
Enroute we visit Ungma village – the second largest and oldest village of Nagaland. Late afternoon, we will walk around the town and explore the highlights – The Catholic Cathedral has Asia's biggest wooden cross. However, the iconic place which we will explore is War Cemetery., known for the Battle of Kohima, the last post for the allied forces which fought against Japanese in WW II. The War Graves Commission maintains this beautiful cemetery. As we walk through the exit, there is an epitaph which reads, “When you go home, tell them of us and say for your tomorrow, we gave our today.”
Overnight in Kohima
Day 14: Kohima - The Hornbill Festival
Our next two days are dedicated to one of the most famous festivals, the Hornbill Festival.
Nagaland is famous as the land of festivals. Every tribe which lives here has its own culture and festivities which they celebrate with great zeal and spirit.
The government of Nagaland organizes this festival to encourage and establish inter-tribal interaction. The government also preserves and promotes the cultural heritage of the state through this festival. The festival is named after the famous bird, Hornbill, which has an integral place in the folklore of the tribes of this state. All the tribes participate in this festival.
The festival is organized in Kisama village which is located at a distance of 12km from the capital city Kohima. Once we enter the village, we will cross a giant wooden gate which is decorated with the scimitar of buffalo head and horns. Major events which will take place in the festival include food fairs, ceremonies, sports, crafts, cultural performances, music & dance, etc.
The major highlights of the festival include the traditional Naga Morungs Exhibition and the cultural medley of songs and dances performed by each different tribe.
Overnight in Kohima
Day 15: Kohima - The Hornbill Festival
This day is also dedicated to the Festival.
The festival is celebrated to protect, preserve and revive the cultural and heritage richness of Nagaland and to showcase its traditions and extravaganza. This festival offers a wonderful opportunity to understand the culture and tradition of this state and witness the delicious food, songs & dances, customs and rituals of the state.
Overnight in Kohima
Day 16: Kohima – Dimapur (70 km/about 3 hrs)
Dimapur Kolkata Flight
This morning, after breakfast, we drive to the nearest airport Dimapur to board the flight to Kolkata depending on flight time.
On arrival in Kolkata, we proceed for quick wash and change at the hotel and then head back to the airport to board the flight back home with mesmerizing memories of the North East trip with the Hornbill Festival as the highlight. Overnight in Kolkata
Day 17: Departure
Board the flight back home.
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Prices per person
01 paying person in a Single Room
02 paying persons in a Double Room