This journey combines three of India’s premium North Eastern States – Manipur, Nagaland and Assam
The North East States of India are culturally and geographically quite different from ‘main-land India’, as the north easterners themselves refer to the rest of the country. Still relatively unaffected by tourism, the north east can be considered one of the last true wilderness areas of India, with an unusually rich diversity of ethnic groups, religions, wildlife, climate and landscapes. In this tour we combine a visit to three states; Manipur, Nagaland & Assam. The journey is planned to coincide with the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, a colourful gathering of the major tribes of the region.
Manipur offers a mix of landscape and was referred to as the ‘Land of Jewels’ by Jawaharlal Nehru, due to its serene beauty.
Nagaland is home to 16 major tribes. The main focus of this part of the tour will be the Hornbill Festival, this annual event is organised by the Nagaland Tourism department as an opportunity to showcase, protect and preserve the culture of Nagaland and give a closer understanding of the people of this region. Both Manipur and Nagaland were strategically important during World War II and our tour will also encompass this period of history.
Assam, one of the largest states in the NE is famed for its tea gardens. It is also the habitat of the highly endangered one-horned rhinoceros and the trip will include safaris in the Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage site. The trip will be a fascinating journey combining the very best this area of India has to offer. We are
assured of a warm welcome and the whole experience will be memorable and particularly exciting for photographers. Emma will personally accompany the trip and she will be joined by expert local guides.
COMPREHENSIVE NORTH EAST TOUR– ITINERARY
DELHI OR KOLKATA/IMPHAL
Fly from Delhi or Kolkata to Imphal.
Met on arrival and transfer to Classic Grande hotel.
Afternoon introductory sightseeing tour including a visit to the bustling Ima Keithel, Mother’s Market and a visit to the Govindaji temple.
Overnight Classic Grande Hotel
Depart Imphal for drive through the countryside to Loktak Lake; the largest freshwater lake in the North East of India. On route to Loktak we will stop at Red Hill and the INA Museum in Moirang, both important landmarks during WW2, and will visit the relatively new Japanese Peace museum.
At Loktak there will be a boat ride on the lake to explore the floating islands (phumdis)and fisherman’s villages.
After lunch return to Imphal.
Overnight Classic Grande.
Depart Imphal for the drive to Kohima, this road was built in 1944,
and remains today Manipur’s lifeline and main connection to the rest of India.
The drive to Kohima will take approximately 5-6 hours; the drive is through attractive countryside, but the road may be rough in places.
After checking in at the guesthouse we can take an evening walk to the bustling ‘Night Market’ which is organised by the students during the festival period.
Overnight Razhu Pru Heritage Guesthouse.
Drive to Kigwema for the opening ceremony of the Hornbill Festival; as well as dance and music performances there are many stalls show casing the Naga handicrafts and offering
excellent retail experiences. Small restaurants give you the opportunity to try the local cuisine.
The Kohima WW2 Museum is located at the festival site and is well worth visiting.
Overnight Razhu Pru Guesthouse.
We will begin the day with a visit to the Kohima war cemetery and memorial of the Allied forces during World War II. Continue to Khonoma Village (approximately 1 hour’s drive). Also known as the ‘Green Village’, this village occupies a remote and beautiful location and gives an excellent introduction into the life of the Angami tribe. The residences of Khonoma were known for their valour and courage against the British infiltration into the Naga Hills. Lunch in the village prior to returning to Kohima.
Overnight Razhu Pru Guesthouse.
A morning walk can be arranged in Kohima Village, the original Angami village above our guesthouse, prior to final visit to Hornbill Festival.
Full day at the Hornbill Festival. Today is the final day of the festival so we will be able to see the closing ceremony.
Overnight Razhu Pru Guesthouse
After breakfast depart Kohima and drive to Dimapur (approximately 3 hour drive). Dimapur is a bustling town on the border of Nagaland and Assam. In the afternoon we will visit a weaving centre, encouraging the production of traditional handicrafts.
Depart early for the drive to the Kaziranga National Park (approximately 5 hour drive).
Arrive in time for lunch followed by jeep safari inside the park.
Overnight Diphlu Lodge.
Wildlife viewing in the Kaziranga National Park. Morning and
afternoon safaris will be included.
Overnight Diphlu Lodge.
Wildlife viewing in the Kaziranga National Park. Walks in the villages and tea plantations can also be arranged.
Overnight Diphlu Lodge.
Depart Kaziranga and drive to Jorhat, the second largest town in Assam
(approximately 3 hour drive).
Evening walk in nearby tea garden.
Overnight Thengal Manor
JORHAT - MAJULI
Day trip to Majuli Island, a river island In the Brahmaputra this is the seat of Vaishnavite culture in Assam. The river is about a 45 minute drive from the hotel and we will cross by local ferry to the island.
Once on the island we will visit some of the many Satras (Vaishnavite monasteries) which maintain the ancient traditions, manuscripts, religious plays and dance forms. Return by ferry to Jorhat.
Overnight Thengal Manor.
JORHAT/DELHI or KOLKATA
Transfer to the airport at Jorhat for flight to Delhi or Kolkata for onward flight.
Depending on time of flight it may be possible to include a morning visit
to the Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, as well as home to several species of primates the forest is excellent for birdwatching.
End of arrangements
Economy Airfare: Delhi or Kolkata/Imphal & Jorhat/Delhi or Kolkata – Airfare (subject to change prior to issue)
Price Includes: all arrangements, transport and transfers as per the itinerary
Accommodation on half board basis in Nagaland
Accommodation on full board basis in Manipur & Assam
Lunch in Khonoma Village
Transport in private chauffeur driven AC Innova/SUV
Services of an English-Speaking escort guide throughout
Monument Entry Fees
Entry to Hornbill Festival
Jungle activities in the Kaziranga National Park
Government Taxes (subject to change)
Price Excludes: any arrangements in Delhi or Kolkata
Domestic airfare – quoted separately
Lunch in Nagaland, except as detailed
Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, visa fees, insurance, camera fees
Extra costs incurred due to change in the itinerary for reasons beyond our control
Please note that the infrastructure in the North East is not sophisticated. The road from Imphal to Kohima and onto Dimapur is a mountain road and in places not in good repair so the drive can be slow and bumpy. We will be using comfortable Innova vehicles (or similar) and the cost is based on 3 people per vehicle allowing for plenty of space. The accommodation is varied and interesting, with a local flavour.
In Imphal the hotel is a modern 3/4 star property, in Kohima & Dimapur we will stay in relatively simple guesthouses, in Kaziranga the lodge is an excellent 5 star property and in Jorhat we are in a boutique heritage hotel.
At 1,500ms above sea level temperatures in Kohima at this time of year will be cold. Night falls early making for particularly chilly evenings! Day time temperatures are very pleasant. Due to local conditions and specific events the exact itinerary may change but rest assured all itinerary changes are made to improve your overall travel experience.
Notes on itinerary:
1. For those with more time available the trip could be extended to include further time in Assam or other parts of the North East.
2. If you have limited time it may be possible to shorten the itinerary and visit only Manipur & Nagaland or Nagaland & Assam – this will be dependent on number of sign-ups for the full tour.
3. Extra arrangements in Delhi and Kolkata can be arranged – currently not included
Come prepared and you will be in for a wonderful & memorable journey.