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Monks, Tribes, and Rhinos

offered by supplier M19691 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 19 day(s)
Group Size: 1 - 15 people
Destination(s): India  
Specialty Categories: Cultural Journey   National Parks  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 400 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2645 Pound Sterling (GBP)

From the grandeur and chaos of the capital to the incredible diversity of North East India, this exciting tour showcases the very best of unseen India. Rise above the Himalayan clouds to stunning Tawang, home to the world’s second largest Buddhist monastery. Encounter the ancient Apatani tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, chill out in bamboo huts on Majuli Island, the world’s largest river island. Learn how tea is grown in Assam’s famous tea estates, spot the fabled unicorn rhinos on elephant-back and other stunning wildlife in Kaziranga National Park. This trip promises to take your breath away.

Day 1: Arrive in the morning into Delhi airport where you will be met by our representative. Transfer to guesthouse. Freshen up and relax. Half day tour of Delhi, lunch en-route. Drive by India Gate, the Presidential Palace, lunch en-route, and then on to Old Delhi – visit impressive Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site - a symbol of India`s Mughal past, and now of India`s sovereignty. Immerse yourself in the chaos of Chandni Chowk on cycle-rickshaw. Stroll around magnificent Humayun`s Tomb and its gardens, and watch it change colour as the sun starts to set. Evening to relax and enjoy sumptuous North Indian cuisine. Overnight in Delhi. Meal plan: N/A.

Day 2: After a leisurely start, transfer to Delhi airport for flight to Guwahati, Assam. Your guide and driver will greet you at airport for onward drive to the Eco-Camp at Nameri. Arrive before sunset and dine in the open air banquet area and feast on mouthwatering Assamese cuisine. Have a drink by the bonfire and gaze at the night sky. Overnight in excellent bamboo tents, complete with comfortable bamboo beds and attached bathroom. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 3: Morning chai, then set off for gentle boat ride down the Bhorelli river observing wildlife. Stop off on the river bank for a freshly cooked breakfast. Return to jeep and start journey through the Himalayas north to Dirang. Settle in at the hotel overlooking picturesque Dirang Valley. Evening meal and overnight in Dirang. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 4: Spend the day exploring Dirang. After breakfast, visit picture-postcard Old Dirang, its winding streams and Old Fort. Take a light trek through Sangti Valley and enjoy fantastic views of Dirang, encountering its people and wildlife on the way. Afternoon lunch, rest of day to relax or wander through Dirang. Dinner and overnight in hotel. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 5: After breakfast, we start our journey to Tawang, the Buddhist heartland of Arunachal Pradesh. Rise high above Himalayan clouds and through snow-capped peaks. Stop at Sela Pass, one of the world’s highest motorable passes, at 4400 metres. Continue onwards to Tawang passing yaks on the way. Arrive late afternoon, put your feet up and relax. Munch on Tibetan-style food for dinner. Overnight in Tawang. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 6: Early morning walk to Tawang Monastery, the largest Buddhist monastery outside of Tibet. Perched majestically on the cliff face of the Himalayas looking into neighbouring Bhutan, watch monks assemble for their daily prayers, admire the huge statue of Lord Buddha and the sublime views. Proceed on to Urgelling Gompa, the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, then on to charming Ani Gompa (nunnery), and watch the lowering of the Indian flag at the Indo-China War Memorial. Have a relaxing dinner and overnight in Tawang. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 7: Leisurely start to day, wander through Tawang’s main bazaar area and pick up souvenirs. Drive back via Sela Pass to Bomdila. Stop en-route for lunch, chai and photo opportunities. Arrive early evening in Bomdila. Staying within the campus of the living Buddhist monastery. Overnight in Bomdila. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 8: Set off after breakfast for the drive to Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh. Stop off at the Sessa Orchid Sanctuary for forest walk. The sanctuary is a haven for all kinds of orchids and flora, as well as rare birdlife. Have lunch at one of the small restaurants nearby. Continue on to Itanagar. Enjoy tasty North Indian cuisine. Overnight in Itanagar. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 9: After breakfast set forth on the tribal circuit, winding your way through lush tropical mountain scenery, very different to the Himalayan monks circuit. Pass villagers and mithuns en-route. This burly beast breeds in the wild and is also semi-domesticated. It is a symbol of prosperity and commonly sacrificed during tribal ceremonies. Arrive into Ziro, home of the little-known Apatani tribe, whose older women bear distinctive nose-plugs and tattoos. Visit nearby Hong village, the largest tribal village in Asia. Overnight in village lodge, Ziro Valley. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 10: Free day to explore Ziro. Suggested walks include venturing out to the paddy fields where you can learn about the ingenious system of ‘pisci-culture’ where villagers breed fish and grow rice within the same plot of land. Visit the craftshop in Ziro, run by Future Generations Arunachal, a worthy NGO supported by our company. Wander through more tribal villages, learn about Apatani culture. Overnight in Ziro Valley. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 11: After breakfast, leave Ziro and head northeast towards Daporijo. This stretch passes through other tribal villages, including the Hill Miri tribe of Raga. Have lunch en-route in local restaurant, then continue on to Daporijo. Our resting point for the evening is a private and secluded spot by the bank of the river at Lida village. Enjoy the warmth of the bonfire and deliciously cooked food. Overnight camp in Lida. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 12: Wake up to glorious views of the river and mountains. After breakfast, take a walk to the small picturesque temple situated in the middle of the river, and only accessible by stepping stones and a short and easy climb. Pack up and head to the nearby village of Dumporijo for an excellent lunch and majestic hill-top views. Drive to Kabu, a tribal village close to Along, where you will have the opportunity to stay the night with a tribe. Relax in the comfort of their ingeniously designed bamboo homes. Enjoy apong (a form of rice beer) and eat rice and traditional food cooked and served in intricately carved bamboo vessels. Overnight in Kabu. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 13: Morning to explore local environment. Suggested hikes include a refreshing walk through some of Arunachal’s best scenery. Brave the remarkable bamboo hanging bridge. Stop for a snack by the river and continue onwards through fields and remote villages. After lunch, cross back into Assam and overnight in the colourful town of North Lakhimpur. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 14: Early start for journey to Majuli, the world`s largest river island, increasingly threatened by climate change. Short ferry ride across the mighty Brahmaputra River to Majuli. After settling into your comfortable bamboo hut, stroll around and savour the atmosphere of this unique island life. Overnight in Majuli. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 15: Explore Majuli – visit the island’s ancient satras (rare Hindu Vaishnavite monasteries worshipping Lord Vishnu). Pop into the local mask shops and pottery workshops and watch master craftsmen at work. Bikes can be hired and a bike ride is a good way of exploring the island. Overnight in Majuli. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 16: After breakfast, cross by ferry to mainland Assam. Drive through the low-lying terrain, passing perfectly manicured tea estates and paddy fields. Check into your bamboo cottage on the fringes of Kaziranga. Take a rest, enjoy lunch and then visit an Assam tea estate and visit the local tribal Mising Village. Return to the lodge, savour a fabulous meal and have a drink by the bonfire. Overnight in Kaziranga. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 17: Early wake up with hot cup of chai and biscuits. Jeep will take you to the Central Sector at 5 am for your elephant safari. As the sun rises, ride on elephant-back and wade through thick elephant grass looking out for the endangered unicorn rhino. Witness a host of other wildlife, including barking deer and tigers (if you are lucky! Kaziranga is home to the largest concentration of tigers in a protected area). Return to the jungle lodge for a hearty breakfast. Relax, amble around the surroundings. After lunch, leave for the afternoon jeep safari in the national park. Return and overnight in Kaziranga. Meal plan: B, L, D.

Day 18: Leisurely start to day. Optional morning visit to Panbari Forest Reserve to look for the elusive hoolock gibbon. After lunch, set off for Guwahati and enjoy a relaxing evening in excellent hotel accommodation. Overnight in Guwahati. Meal plan: B, L.

Day 19: Late start to day. After breakfast, simply unwind at hotel or wander around the local market. Transfer to airport for afternoon flight to Delhi. Meal plan: B.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

- Price: £2,095 (minimum a group of 4 people, unless run as private trip)
- Including flight: £2,645 (minimum a group of 4 people, unless run as private trip)
- Single supplement £400.

Price Includes:
- International return flight (where indicated)
- Airport pick-up and drop-off
- All internal flights
- Ground transport
- Accommodation
- Restricted area permits
- Entrance fees to sites and parks
- Activity fees (rafting, safari)
- Most meals (refer to itinerary for meal plan)
- Drivers and guides
- Climate Care contribution.

About This Supplier
Location: England
Joined InfoHub: Sep 2009

Our company was born with the aim of helping you discover these unspoiled hideaways in some of the most off the beaten track locations on Earth. We have personally crafted these off the beaten track tours ourselves and made every effort to ensure that our strict standards are adhered to. By sourcing the most...

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