Assam and Sunderbans Cruise

15 Nights / 16 Days, Assam, India (0)
from/per person USD 0
  • East India

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Destination

Delhi – Kolkata – Jorhat – Majuli – Jorhat – Kaziranga – Tezpur – Barpeta – Manas- Guawahati –Kolkata- Delhi

Best Time to Visit : October To April


Trip Highlights

Brahmaputra 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.

The coastal active delta of Sunderbans at the mouth of Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh, having a complex geomorphologic and hydrological character with climatic hazards, has a vast area of mangrove forests with a variety of flora and diverse fauna in a unique ecosystem.

Highlights:

Kolkata:- Flower Market, Howrah Bridge, The Victoria Memorial, The Saint Paul’S Cathedral Botanical Garden.
Majuli:- Majuli Island, Paalnaam, Salmara Village
Kaziranga:- Elephant Ride, Kaziranga National Park.
Manas:- Manas National Park (Only Tiger Reserve In Assam)
Guwahati:- Kamakhya Temple, Mathanguri Point


Day Wise Plan

Day 01: Delhi

You will be received at the airport in a traditional manner with garlands and proceed to your hotel.

Day 02: Delhi – Kolkata

Morning after breakfast we will take you to airport o catch flight for Kolkata. On arrival transfer to hotel. Visit the picturesque flower market of Calcutta. After a short walk across the famous Howrah Bridge you will take a Ferry to the north of the city to an interesting artist’s quarter. After lunch inspection of the Potash Temple, The Victoria Memorial, The Saint Paul’s Cathedral and the Botanical Garden. You will end the day at College Street, the street of the book salesclerks in Calcutta.
Meals: Dinner.

Day 03: Kolkata -Jorhat-Majuli

Spend the morning at leisure. Later transfer to domestic airport to board flight to Jorhat. Our representative will receive you at the airport and we will proceed to Nimati Ghat (Closest bank to Brahmaputra on Jorhat side).

Take a Ferry to Majuli. After approximately one and half hours of sailing we will arrive at Majuli Island (Majuli has been the cultural capital and the cradle of Assamese civilization for the past five hundred years. The satras set up preserve antiques like weapons, utensils, jewellery and other items of cultural significance. Pottery is made in Majuli from beaten clay and burnt in driftwood fired kilns in the same mode carried out by the peoples of the ancient Harrappan Civilisation. Sociologists have stressed on the preservation of these unique peoples, whose culture and dance forms are untouched by modernism. The handloom work of the people is also internationally famous. This world’s largest river islandis famous for its Satras or Vaishnava monasteries which are the centre of learning, art and culture. Although the origins of Majuli may be uncertain, it is known for a fact that the social reformer Sankardeva visited the island in the early sixteenth century. Sankardeva propagated a form of Vaishnavism that was simpler and more accessible than the ritualistic Hinduism of the time. His approach was rooted in faith and prayer, and stressed on the cultural aspects of life and living. There was no idol worship or sacrifices – instead, he developed the dance-drama forms of the bhawna and ankiya-nat, an theatrical depictions of the triumph of good over evil, using as material, the Bhagawat, which he himself had written.Sankardeva had spent ten years as a mendicant itinerant traveller, visiting all the great pilgrimage sites in the country, to learn from them. Perhaps it is because of this that people from all over are able to relate to it).

Upon arrival, check-in at Tourist Lodge / Monastery Guest House.
Evening visit Uttar Kamalabari Satra (Srimanta Sankardeb Established Satra or Vaishnav Monasteries in Majuli to nurture this philosophy and practice of life. In its heyday, there were sixty five satras, each with hundreds of bhakats or disciples, and several thousand followers all over the state. Even today some retain this position. Today, there are only 22 Satras in Majuli and rest has been shifted to other safer places due to flood and erosion). Witness the Monastery Dance performed by the monks of Uttarkamalabari Satra.

Post visit, return to your Tourist Lodge / Monastery Guest House for dinner and overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast + Dinner.

Day 04: Majuli

Today, we will explore the rest of the important sites of Majuli covering Auniati Satra (Founded by Niranjan Pathakdeva, the satra is famous for the “Paalnaam” (Monastery Prayer) and Apsara Dances (Dance of the Angels) and also its extensive assortment of ancient Assamese artefacts, utensils, jewellery and handicrafts. It also has a hundred and twenty five disciples and over seven hundred thousand followers worldwide) and Natun Samaguri Satra ( Shamaguri Satra is a unique feature of Vaishnavism in Assam.Shamaguri is not only a hub of art, cultural and classical studies but is also famous for its unique art of mask making).

Afternoon we will take you to Salmara Village to show the Art of Pottery Making(Pottery in Majuli is probably the single most important heritage of all. The potter’s wheel has not found its way till date. Pots are made with hand from beaten clay and burnt in driftwood fired kilns. Only the womenfolk in the village labour to shape the pots with hand. Finished pots are ferried up and down stream on country boats for barter trade. Archeologists opine this to be a missing link between Mohenjodaro & Harappan civilization. Elsewhere in the world potter’s wheel reigns supreme; but Majuli still retains its link with the long dead past. Thus Majuli is a living archeological museum in its own right). The day would come to an end with a visit to Dhapak Village of the Mishying Tribes (Mishyings are a plains tribe who prefer to have their settlements next to the Brahmaputra River. They are of the Arunachal hill tribe origin especially of the Adi tribes of the Abor hills of Arunachal. Like some of the Arunachal tribes they worship the Donyi Polo).
Evening back to Tourist Lodge / Monastery Guest House for dinner and overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner.

Day 05: Majuli – Ferry (01-01 and Half Hrs.) – Jorhat – Kaziranga 96 kms

Morning after breakfast, take your Ferry back to Nimati Ghat. Upon arrival, proceed to Kaziranga (Kaziranga is one of the largest Protected Areas in India and one of the most significant conserved forest areas on the earth. From the time it was declared as a Proposed Reserve Forest for the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), it has become an exceptional model in conservation, also providing an ideal habitat for numerous other threatened species. Kaziranga is an outstanding example of the ongoing eco-biological processes in the evolution and development of the flood plain ecosystem and its plant and animal communities. It is a symbol for the dedicated commitment of the people who work ceaselessly to protect and preserve this richly diverse biological heritage. Kaziranga has justly earned its place as the flag bearer among all the wildlife conservation efforts across the globe. Into its hundredth year of existence, the tradition continues).
Arrive and check-in at your Jungle Lodge.
Post lunch (Around 2 PM) proceed for a safari to Kaziranga Range (This drive covers central region of the park. Is an ideal introduction to the park and its ecology as the route passes through the entire spectrum of habitat types prevalent in the area There is a possibility of sighting elephants as well as the other Mega herbivores.It is a yarding place of Swamp Deer.You can also enjoy a beautiful sunset during this visit).
Evening return to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner.

Day 06: Kaziranga

Early morning at 0630 Hrs. proceed for an hour of Elephant Ride inside Kaziranga National Park.
Post ride return to lodge for breakfast.
Afterwards proceed for the Jeep Safari to the Western Range of the Park (It takes near about 25 minutes to reach the entrance of this Range (The route traverses the southwest portion of the park. This range has maximum short grass areas and is the optimum habitat for Rhino and Water Buffalo. Representative perennialox-bow lakes surrounded by marshy Haemarthia compressa stands can be seen. Part of the drive is also through Low Alluvial Savannah Woodland.A round of the entire circuit is around 20 km. High herbivore densities around these wetlands are characteristic of the habitat).
Return to your lodge for lunch. Post lunch, we will take you to another Jeep Safari to the Eastern (Agaratuli) Range (Situated towards the eastern part of the park. The area is excellent for birding. Includes nesting of the globally threatened Pallas’s Fish Eagle and a colony of Spot-billed Pelicans. Migrant waterfowl may be observed at Sohola Beel. Various woodland birds can be seen along the drive through very scenic Dillenia Swamp Forest.Elephants may be encountered, as well Water Buffalo and Swamp Deer).
Evening return to hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner

Day 07: Kaziranga – Tezpur – Barpeta – Manas

Post breakfast drive down to Manas National Park (Bordering Bhutan and formed by the watershed of the Manas, Hakua and the Beki rivers, the Manas National Park is the only Tiger Reserve in Assam. It has a wealth of wildlife and is picturesque. Twenty species of birds (including the rare Bengal florican) and animals that figure in the highly endangered list of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) red data book make these jungles their home. Migratory birds come here during winter and fly back at the onset of summer. Along the river banks one can spot water birds such as mergansers, Brahminy ducks and egrets. The park covers an area of 2,840 km, but its core area is 360 km. While tiger sighting is rare, you might just catch sight of the golden langur, the Asiatic buffalo, wild bison, wild dog (dhole), otter and civet. The rare red pandas are also found here but on the Bhutan side.
The park has eastern Himalayan moist mixed deciduous forests. The eastern alluvial grassland also covers a major portion of the park. These grassland are grazing grounds for many herbivores).
Upon arrival check-in at your Jungle Lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner

Day 08: Manas

Morning proceed for an Elephant Ride in Manas National Park. Tea/Coffee and Cookies would be provided during your ride inside the jungle. Later return to the lodge for breakfast. Post Breakfast; proceed for a jeep Safari to Mathanguri – Uchilla Road (The road cuts through woodland cover and savannah and grassland patches. Sighting of animals in Manas is not as good as Kaziranga but the diversity of the habitat is very high). Return to the lodge for Lunch.
Post lunch visit one of the nereby villages to see the culture and tradition of the Bodo Tribe. Later in the afternoon return to your Lodge. Evening enjoy a Traditional Bodo Dance performed by the local artists. Dinner & Overnight stay at your Lodge.
Meals: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner.

Day 09: Manas – Guwahati

Morning after breakfast, we would take you to a guided walk to Mathanguri Point on the Bhutan Side (Walks are allowed on Bhutan side, ford the river to move to the Bhutan for sighting golden langurs.The range of these species is limited to areas around Manas and only 40 km west of it.The Mathanguri point is one of the most beautiful points in the entire national park).
Post lunch drive down to Guwahati (Guwahati, the capital city of the northeastern state of Assam, was formerly known as Pragjyotishpur (The City of Eastern Light). Its etymological root is derived from two Assamese words, “Guwa,” meaning areca nut and “Haat,” meaning market. Couched between the picturesque hills of the eastern flanks of the Himalayan mountain range, Guwahati houses the political capital of the state, Dispur. The gateway to the seven other north-eastern states, Guwahati is a vital tourist link point, besides being an attraction in itself).
Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel. After a short rest, we will take you for an Assame Speciality Dinner at one of the Finest Local Restaurants. After dinner, return to hotel for overnight stay.
Meals: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner.

Day 10: Guwahati – Kolkata

Morning after an early breakfast, we will take you for a guided tour of Guwahati City covering Kamakhya Temple (Kamakhya temple on Nilachal Hill, eight km west of the city is believed to be an ancient ‘Khasi’ sacrificial site. It has been a part and parcel of Assamese life and culture from ancient times. The temple dedicated to the Goddess Kamakshya is one of the oldest and most sacred centres for Shakti worship and Tantric Hinduism. The original 10th century temple was destroyed by Muslim converts but was rebuilt in 1665 by King Naranarayana of Koch Bihar. The sikhara or spire is in the shape of a beehive and it has the nymph motifs and the long turtle back hall. The stone images and other relics found around the temple have been dated by archaeologists to the eighth century onwards. It attracts pilgrims from all over India, especially during the Ambubachi Festival which usually falls around July. The ponds here are home to some giant turtles. There is a majestic view of the city and the Brahmaputra River from the hill top. Non-Hindus are not allowed to enter the sanctum).
Post sightseeing, we will transfer you to airport to board flight for Kolkata. Shikhar Travels’ Representative would receive you at Kolkata Airport and transfer you to your hotel. Spend the evening at leisure. Overnight at your hotel.
Meals: Breakfast + Dinner.

Day 11: Kolkata – Vivada Cruise

Morning after a leisurely breakfast transfer to Millennium Park Jetty by 1330 Hrs. M.V.Paramhamsa will cast off at 1400 Hrs. The Cruiser sails along the beautiful Ganges towards the South, passing through various heritage sites. After 7 Hours, it reaches the gateway to Sunderbans-Namkhana, a fishermens’ cove. Guests can unwind,relax,soak in the beauty of the river, read books in the library, interact with artisans or take an ayurvedic massage. The Cruiser drops anchor at Namkhana for the night. Guests can have several choices-watching wild life film shows or chat with a wildilfer before a gala dinner with modern and traditional bengali music.
Meals: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner

Day 12: Cruise

At 0530 Hrs. when the Cruiser sets towards the East, one can see the spectacular sunrise. During the day guests experience the lifestyle of people in Sunderbans, their traditions,culture and the rich biodiversity of the region. The busy fishing harbor gives an insight to the lifestyle of fishermen. Guests can buy fresh fish and other sea foods to be cooked in the live kitchen counters. The crusier than enters Sunderbans to navigate through the narrow creek of Hatania-Doania. It is here that one gets the first glimpse of the dense mangrove and the vast river system with several creeks flowing in to the main rivers.
The 1st excursion is to Lothian Island, a forest trail or a visit to the Crocodile Project at Bhagabatpur. The Cruise then travels North-East. The Exotic Sunderbans Tiger Reserve-with myriads of rivers and creeks will unfold gradually. This is the world’s largest tiger reserve in any single reserve forest. The vessel will drop anchor at some of the exotic islands of Sunderbans like Sajnekhali,Sandeshkhali, Sudanyakhali, Dobanki, Nethidopani, Bonnie Camp for a canopy walk and visits to the watch towers. The wildlife will guide guests to experience the forest, sight animals and birds, explain various mangrove species and narrate interesting stories of the island.
Before sunset, the Cruiser will anchor at Bali, a beautiful Sunderban village. Guests can experience the lifestyle of Sunder ban villages as well as farming, paddy husking, hone packing, fishing and various occupations of the region.
Meals: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner.

Day 13: Cruise

The Cruiser will hear back on its journey to Kolkata travelling from East to West. Before starting the return journey, & depending on the tide, guests will be transferred to a small boat to visit some exotic locales not visited the previous day.
Meals: Breakfast + Dinner.

Day 14: Cruise Ends

The Cruise will reach Kolkata by Forenoon. Spend the day for last minute shopping. Overnight stay in Kolkata.
Meals: Breakfast + Dinner.

Day 15: Kolkata – Delhi

Early morning you will be transferred to the International Airport to take the flight for Delhi, on arrival transfer to hotel, Day at leisure and overnight. stay at hotel.

Day 16: Delhi

After breakfast we will take you to international airport to flight for onwards destination.


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