11 days from £3360 per person
Places Visited: Dibrugarh, Sibsagar, Majuli Island, Vishnath, Kaziranga National Park, Tezpur, Guwahati, Sualkuchi
This 10-night cruise covers most of the highlights of Assam, with elephant and jeep safaris looking for rhino in Kaziranga National Park, visits to the old capital of the Ahom kings and to the Hindu monasteries on Majuli Island, and walks in tea gardens and through tribal villages.
Stretching from the erstwhile army town of Dibrugarh through the state of Assam to Dhubri on the Bangladesh border, the mighty Brahmaputra river winds beside wildlife parks, historic towns and cultural sights – the perfect mix for a fascinating cruise.
Arrive in Dibrugarh, a typical colonial town and major American base in WWII, then drive 2.5 hours to Dikhou Mukh and board the ship.
Sibsagar, Majuli Island
Take an excursion by road to Sibsagar, the one-time capital of the Ahom kings of Assam. Shan by origin (Assam and Siam share the same derivation) but converted to Hinduism, they ruled Assam for some 700 years until the 1820s, and their culture and architecture is a strange and delightful amalgam of Indian and S.E. Asian. See temples with stupa-like profiles, and palaces of distinctive form. Lunch is at Horu Charai, a typical tea estate. Return to the ship and cruise for 3 hours down river to Majuli Island, supposedly the world’s largest river island.
Majuli Island possesses unique hindu monasteries famous for their dance drama performances – the whole island is now shortlisted for future UNESCO World Heritage status. Visit Auniati monastery which has an eclectic museum, and in the afternoon attend a dance performance at Kamalabari monastery. Returning to the ship cruise downstream for an hour or two.
On the river
A day spent mostly on the river with a stop to visit a tribal village by the river. By afternoon Kaziranga National Park will be on your left - wild elephants are sometimes visible from the boat.
Vishnath, Kaziranga National Park
This morning you will arrive at the little temple town of Vishnath, with a fine Ahom-period temple. Take a walk ashore before continuing the voyage down to a delightful mooring at Silghat. We disembark for a safari through Kaziranga National Park, taking a jeep ride through its Western Range.
Kaziranga National Park
Disembark pre-dawn and drive to Kaziranga’s Central Range for an early morning elephant ride, the best way to get really close to the rhino. Kaziranga is a World Heritage site, and with a population of over 1000 rhinoceros is the best place in the world to see these beasts. There are also good populations of tiger, wild elephant, sambar, swamp deer, hog deer, wild pig and many other species. After breakfast, walk through terraced tea gardens and visit a village of the Mising tribe. In the afternoon drive to Kaziranga’s little-visited Eastern Range or the newly-opened Burapahar Range for a further jeep safari before returning to the boat.
Cruise downstream to dock at Tezpur. After lunch on board, we visit the remains of the the 6th century Da Parbatia temple then board cycle rickshaws to take us through the bazaars to Cole Park with its collection of medieval stone carvings. Reboarding our ship we cruise down to moor for the night near the isolated Singri Hill.
On the river
The day is spent on the river cruising to Ganesh Pahar.
This morning’s voyage is particularly pretty, with jungle-covered hills on the south bank. Reaching Guwahati at midday, we moor opposite the city and climb up to Aswaklanta temple before driving out to the beautifully sited temple ruins of Madan Kamdev, their erotic carving an indicator of the strong tantric traditions in the area. Returning to the ship we cruise down to Sualkuchi either this evening or the following morning.
Walk through Sualkuchi to visit weaving workshops and see the whole process of silk manufacture, from cocoon to spinning to dyeing and finally to handweaving. We then sail up to dock close to the great Saraighat bridge and take a tour of Guwahati, driving up Nilachal Hill to the Kamakhya temple. With its tantric rites and animal sacrifices, the more squeamish may prefer to content themselves with the exterior.
Disembark the ship in the morning.
11 days from £3360 per person
✓ 10 nights accommodation
✓ English-speaking guides
✓ Entrance fees to sites and monuments listed in tour itinerary
Fleeing persecution in the 15th century, the social reformer Sankardeva gathered his followers together on a remote island in Brahmaputra River called Majuli, where he founded num...
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