Take a memorable cruise down the mighty Brahmaputra River in East India, one of the largest in the country, as it meanders past scenic landscapes, wildlife sanctuaries and quaint little villages. In this largely untouched part of India, you will also explore lush green Balipara, one of the best sources of Assam tea, as well as Kaziranga, home to the endangered Indian rhino. Your trip also takes you to the former British capital of Kolkata, known for its rich culture and cuisine.
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Kolkata was once the epicenter of the British Raj and a major trading post of the East India Company.
Highlights of Kolkata Explore Dalhousie Square with landmarks like St.John’s Church, the imposing High Court, the Governor’s House surrounded by vast gardens, General Post Office and Writer’s Building which is the seat of the state government. Visit the iconic Victoria Memorial, on top of which a charming one-winged fairy is perched forever, and St. Paul’s Cathedral that offers an oasis of calm amidst the bustle. Visit Mother Teresa’s House, where many devotees pay respects at this most-revered nun’s tomb. Examine the Indian Museum with its many objet-d’-arts. Embrace Bengali high art at the famous Tagore House where the late Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore composed some of his many great works. (Full Day, Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness Level: Easy; Mother Teresa House closed On Thursdays & National holidays, Victoria Memorial & Indian Museum closed On Mondays & National holidays.)
Guwahati: Gateway to Northeast India Once known as the ‘light of the East’, this is a prominent business city and entry point to N.
Charaidew Cruise 4N/5D (Guwahati) Take a delightful 5-day river boat cruise on the Brahmaputra River, visiting pretty little villages along the way and taking a safari trip to the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. Board the ABN Charaidew at Guwahati and sail downstream, making an overnight stop by the Vijaynagar Village, nestled on the banks of the Brahmaputra. Explore the village next morning after breakfast, before sailing further upstream to the little silk weaving town of Sualkuchi. Discover Assam’s venerable silk tradition by visiting local workshops and learning about the weaving and manufacturing process. Drive up to the sacred pilgrimage site of Hajo and stop by a temple and a hilltop shrine with a heart-warming, panoramic view of rural Assam. Return to the cruise boat for the night and sail back upstream to Guwahati the next morning. Take a short trip around Guwahati before boarding your river boat. Drive up Nilachal Hill to visit one of the most ancient and revered Hindu temples in India—the Kamakhya temple—dedicated to the Mother Goddess. Stop by the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery to pay your respects. Shop for local arts and crafts before taking a country boat across the river to the charming little Peacock Island with its resident Golden Langur monkeys. Return to the cruise and sail upstream to discover the region’s rich wildlife at the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, known for its healthy population of the highly endangered Asian One-Horned Rhinoceros. Experience an exhilarating jeep safari into the parklands, spotting exotic birds and wildlife in their natural habitat. You may either drive up to the World Heritage, Kaziranga National Park, or returning to Guwahati the next day.
Balipara, located in India’s eastern state of Assam, offers peace and tranquility in the lap of lush greenery. There’s the promise of tea plantations, thick bamboo groves, grasslands, and yes, an elephant or two for company!
A Cup of Assam ‘Chai’ Savor the hearty flavors of a refreshing cup of Assam ‘chai’ at this tea tasting session for in-house guests. The Assam brew is noted for its strong body, bright color, and malty flavor. Famous for the robust variety of black tea grown in the valley since the colonial era, get an insight into the factors that go towards determining the quality of tea from an in-house expert. Your introduction to the subtle art of tea tasting will begin at the dining pavilion where nearly 60 different varieties and grades of tea are showcased from around the globe. Begin by evaluating the visual appeal of the dried tea leaf, followed by studying the appearance of the tea infusion, and then tasting a perfectly brewed cup for determining the final quality. Take a sip of your fragrant cup of tea, while soaking in tranquil views of the rolling tea gardens all around you. (Time of Day: Afternoon; Duration: 1 hr, 1530 –1630 hrs; Shared activity; Fitness level: Easy).
Day Out at Nameri National Park Experience the natural beauty of Nameri National Park, situated at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in India. Amid dawn chorus and jungle thrum, follow your guide on sun-speckled trails through tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests. Home to over 300 species of birds and butterflies, the region is a birders’ paradise! Expect to spot hornbills, bazas, flowerpeckers, babblers, ibises, mountain imperial-pigeons, and white-cheeked partridges among others. You might also encounter endangered creatures such as white-winged wood ducks, dholes, Himalayan black bears, and Indian giant squirrels, apart from clouded leopards, bison, and sambars. Break for lunch and refreshments at an eco-camp nearby, and share wildlife anecdotes. Shortly after, experience a leisurely rafting cruise navigating the gentle rapids of Jia Bhoroli that passes through the forest, and hopefully sight herds of elephants hanging out along the banks. Finally, visit the Pygmy Hog Foundation to witness the brilliant conservation breeding efforts of the critically endangered pygmy hogs, before calling it a day. (Full Day; Time: 0800 – 1700 hrs; Private Activity & Transfer; Lunch included; Fitness level: Moderate; Notes: The park is open for safaris only between November and April)
Kaziranga: A tryst with the wild! Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary, nearby Jorhat, is home multitudes of animals like swamp deer, one-horned rhinos, Indian elephants, clouded leopards and majestic tigers; it also houses varieties of exotic birds like the Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Nuthatch, Ward’s Trogon, Rufous-necked Hornbill and Blue-fronted Robin.
Jeep Safari in Kaziranga Set off on an early afternoon jeep safari into one of the zones of Kaziranga National Park. This is the perfect opportunity to get up close with the wild inhabitants of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Stay alert as your local expert guides you to spots known for sightings of the reclusive one-horned Indian rhinoceros, which is an endangered species. Encounter elephants, monkeys, deer, jackals, raptors, wild water buffaloes, and even tigers as you make your way through the sprawling expanse of grassland dotted with swampy lagoons. Try to spot as many as possible of the numerous migratory and domestic bird species that inhabit the region. Capture stunning pictures of the wildlife and the scenic landscape for memories to last a lifetime. (Time of Day:1300 hrs; Duration: 2 hrs each; Private Activity; Fitness Level: Moderate; Please note that safaris are not conducted during May-October.)
Jorhat: A Nature lover’s paradise Jorhat, the nerve center of the Indian tea industry, is surrounded by splendid tea gardens and various institutions.
Exploring Sibsagar, the Historic Abode of the Ahom Kings Buckle up for an hour and a half long drive to Sibsagar, that used to be the power center of the Assamese kings of the Ahom dynasty. Originally belonging to the Shan ethnic group, they converted to Hinduism at one point. Learn about their unique culture and architecture which is a curious and fascinating blend of Indian and Southeast Asian features. Explore the remains of the civilization, with its impressive palaces and peaceful temples reminiscent of stupas. Don’t forget to check out the temple tank here, whose claim to fame is that of being the world’s largest hand-excavated reservoir. (Half Day, Time of Day: Morning, Duration: 6 hrs with 1.5 hrs drive to and fro each; Private Activity; Fitness Level: Moderate)
Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.
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