Assam Cruise: Dispatch 1 - Upstream

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Assam Cruise: Dispatch 1 - Upstream

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Destination for this trip:

Guwahati, India; India

Length of trip:

9 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 2000 to $ 3000

Best travel dates to go:

January, February, March, April, October, November, December


Detailed Description of this trip:

The cruises feature visits and attractions such as wildlife viewing (both by jeep and on elephant back), village walks, visits to tea gardens, exploring country towns in cycle rickshaws, barbecues on deserted river islands, dance performances and visits to craft workshops in the state of Assam (North - East India). This 7-night cruise starts at Dhubri, near the Bangladesh border, and finishes at Guwahati. Dhubri is a 5 ½ hour drive from Bagdogra/Siliguri, and then we will drive for 4 hours from the Bhutan frontier at Phuntsoling or from Jaldapara wildlife sanctuary. This cruise is ideal to combine with Sikkim, Bhutan or Darjeeling. The highlights which you will visit are the Manas National Park, the archaeological site of Sri Surya Prahar, the silk weaving village of Sualkuchi, and the pilgrimage center of Hajo.


Trip Properties:


Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - India

    You will arrive in India at either of the two main connecting cities of Delhi & Kolkata (Calcutta) to Bagdogra and you will meet our representative at the airport, who will transfer you to your hotel.

  • Day 2 - India

    Bus

    Assam Bengal Navigation arrangements commence at Dhubri, which is a 1 ½ hour drive from Cooch Behar, then a 4 hour drive from Bhutan's border at Phuntsoling, and finally a 5 ½ hour drive from Siliguri/Bagdogra.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Embark on RV "Charaidew" at 1400 hrs at the river port of Dhubri.

    Sightseeing

    While the ship is preparing to sail, you may take a short trip in gaily-painted cycle rickshaws past the great Sikh temple to admire the town's statue of Queen Victoria.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Sail at around 1500 hrs and cruise till nightfall.

  • Day 3 - At Sea

    River or Barge Cruise

    A day spent on the river, where we will take in the vastness of this empty landscape of water and sand islands.

    Sightseeing

    If we make good progress, there should be time to stop and walk through a riverside village.

  • Day 4 - India

    River or Barge Cruise

    We will cruise all morning and then reach the town of Goalpara around lunchtime.

    Sightseeing

    We will travel out by road to see the peaceful archaeological site of Sri Surya Prahar. Here we will see boulders which have been carved into stupas, lingams, and bas-reliefs by early Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains.

  • Day 5 - India

    National Parks

    We will drive to Manas National Park, on the border of Bhutan, and check in to the simple Bansbari Lodge. This Project Tiger reservation is now recovering and the tiger count is now estimated at over 80, and wild elephant population is around 500.

    Sightseeing

    We will take an afternoon boat ride on the Manas River, and will hope to see wild buffalo, wild elephant, several different species of deer and monkeys, as well as otters, and some of the park's 380 different species of birds.

  • Day 6 - At Sea

    Sightseeing

    An early morning elephant ride probably offers our best, though still slim, chance of seeing tiger, or even perhaps leopard or other rarity. Bird highlights could include the Bengal Florican or the Great Hornbill.

    River or Barge Cruise

    After lunch we will drive through Barpeta, which is famous for its great Vaishnavite monastery, to rejoin our vessel at Tarabari Ghat. There should be time for a bit of cruising before night fall.

  • Day 7 - At Sea

    River or Barge Cruise

    This is a day spent on the river, with a chance to enjoy the rich bird life and look out for Gangetic Dolphin. The Garo Hills, once the abode of headhunters, rise on the south bank.

  • Day 8 - At Sea

    River or Barge Cruise

    After lunch we will reach Sualkuchi, where we will disembark and visit its silk weaving workshops.

    Sightseeing

    We shall see the whole process of silk manufacturing, from the early stages of cocoons, to spinning, to dyeing, and finally to handweaving into exquisite saris and dress lengths. We will drive on to Hajo, a place sacred to Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists. Also, we will visit a Muslim shrine with extensive hilltop views over the surrounding rural landscape, as well as the simple Hindu temple with its frieze of elephants and its sacred tank full of great carp, catfish, and turtles.

    River or Barge Cruise

    Later, we will return to Sualkuchi and reboard.

  • Day 9 - Guwahati

    River or Barge Cruise

    We will disembark and drive across the river to Guwahati for a sightseeing tour of the city.

    Sightseeing

    Drive up Nilachal Hill to see the holy Kamakhya temple. With its tantric rites and animal sacrifices, the more squeamish may prefer to content themselves with the exterior. Visit the poignant Commonwealth War Graves cemetery, the Museum and the bazaar area.

    Commercial Flight

    Transferring to fly to Delhi or Kolkata to connect international flight with a room for short stay at the airport hotel..

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