BRAMHAPUTRA ASSAM CRUISE
THE TOUR AT THE GLANCE
M V Mahabaahu's upstream journey starts from Assam’s most bustling city of Guwahati and then slowly proceeds to take in the popular highlights. Our first stop is the Kamakhya Temple – a beautiful way to start our journey as we immerse ourselves in Assam’s ancient traditions. We then set sail for the adventure of a lifetime involving nature, wildlife, culture and so much more. Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts have been drawn to Assam for ages. The state consists of a variety of landforms like the foothills of the Himalayas, the vast North Indian plains and a minor plateau. This geographical diversity coupled with a tropical climate has made Assam home to a horde of animal and plant species. The region is drained by the mighty Brahmaputra River, which originates in Tibet and flows into the Bay of Bengal. Along its course, the river makes its way through thickly-forested hills, especially in Assam, and they are ideal to see the rich wildlife of the state. The river too supports a wide array of marine creatures, and to see them, a Brahmaputra river cruise is a great option.
EXPERIENCES AND VISITS IN THIS TOUR JOURNEY
- Sight of the Gangetic Dolphins & visit the Peacock Island
- Talk on the River Brahmaputra and the tribal life
- Visit co-operative Jute Mill
- Visit of Kaliabore Tea Estate
- Drive on to Bagori, the Western Range of Kaziranga
- Once-in-a-lifetime jeep safari at Kaziranga National park
- Enjoy the Chef’s Cooking Demonstration followed by a talk on ‘Majul
- Enjoy Boat Safari at the Eastern Range of Kaziranga followed by breakfast.
- Talk on ‘Majuli’ the seat of Vaishnav culture
- Enjoy a talk on ‘Sibsagar and the Ahom civilization’
- Witness a cultural performance by Satriya singers and dancers.
- Enjoy a Traditional Assamese evening on the ship.
- Visit Shiv Dol, Palace of the Ahom Kings and Tea Estate
- Enjoy a relaxed evening in the Soma lounge
- Walk along the swamps and martins diving to fish
- Daily Yoga and meditation class on the deck for an hour
VIEW FULL ITINERARY
(MV Mahabaahu sets sail at 14:00 hours)
Arrive at Guwahati International Airport and with packed lunch we drive to the Kamakhya Temple. This Temple is devoted to the eternal Feminine- the goddess of desire whose name is Kama Khya, granter of desires. Walking up to the temple complex, we will see many colorful idols of gods and goddesses in the local market shops.
From here, we drive to ‘Pandu Port’ where we will be welcomed on board M.V.Mahabaahu in the Assamese tradition.
We check into our cabins and immediately gather in the restaurant for the essential safety briefing and drill followed by a familiarisation tour of MV Mahabaahu.
All gather on the open deck to enjoy the first sail and scan the river for a fleeting sight of the Gangetic Dolphins. We visit the Peacock Island and return to MV Mahabaahu where we enjoy a talk on ‘Kamakhya and the Occult in Assam’
An evening in the Soma Lounge followed by the ‘Kamrup Swaagat Bhoj’—a sit down welcome dinner completes the day.
Start your morning with Yoga for those who love to pay homage to the forces of nature, the ultimate ‘Sun God’ perhaps on an island or on the deck for an hour. Others scan the river for a fleeting sight of the Gangetic Dolphins and the birders inspect the skies for the winged species.
We move on to breakfast while M.V.Mahabaahu heads on for a full day sail passing by inhabited and deserted islands that may or may not survive the flood season. It is the non-permanency of these islands and the strength of the people to re-establish themselves is what catches ones attention.
After breakfast we enjoy a talk on ‘Assam, its geographical location in the national and international context and how it is acclaiming recognition’
Then enjoy a talk on ‘The River Brahmaputra and the tribal life’, over a cup of tea and some snacks. We anchor at a deserted island for the evening and enjoy sitting around a bonfire to indulge in barbecued snacks.
Dinner and interactions with all on board is a happy come together and we take this opportunity to know the crew this evening.
Early morning enjoy Yoga on the deck , M.V.Mahabaahu sails towards Silghat. We pass by the famous town of Tezpur and under a famous 3 Km 15 m long arched bridge called Kolia Bhomora Setu.
After breakfast we indulge in a talk on ‘Kaziranga and wild life in India’
We sail on for the next couple of hours and enjoy a relaxed lunch. We reach Silghat and M.V.Mahabaahu drops anchor.
We sail on for the next couple of hours and enjoy a relaxed lunch and reach Silghat. After a talk on ‘Tea and Jute in Assam’, we take a short drive to Kaliabore Tea Estate which is a vast expanse of undulating estate with tea bushes, watching the tribal women pick tea leaves. We proceed to the tea factory to see the process of finally producing Assam Tea and coming to terms with all that goes into preparing a cup-of-tea. (The tea factory is not operational from mid-December to mid-February as the tea is at its dormant stage during this time of the year)
Return to where the ship is anchored. Close by, a co-operative Jute Mill is an interesting place to understand how the Jute fiber takes the form of very eco-friendly gunny bags. By sunset, Enjoy a cultural evening on the ship. We have an early dinner and retire for the evening.
We rise very early today and after a warm cup of tea and some snacks, we drive out towards the Kaziranga National Park. The most prized inhabitant of Kaziranga, is the Greater One-Horned Indian Rhinoceros, but the Park is home to as many as 180 different mammals including wild elephants, tiger, deer, Asiatic wild buffalo and a rich variety of birds.
Arrive the Kohora Mihimukh range of the National Park and are ready to start our morning adventure; once-in-a-lifetime jeep safari where we search for the elusive rhinoceros, tigers, swamp deer and hog deer and more and a large number of very interesting birds. The park never ceases to surprise us.
After breakfast at a resort in Kaziranga, we drive on to Bagori, the Western Range of Kaziranga and get into the open jeeps for some more wild life adventure and an extensive coverage of this magnificent park.
Return to MV Mahabaahu for a leisurely lunch and a relaxed afternoon.
After the leisurely pace of the day and having recovered the lost sleep, we once again get together for A talk on ‘Silk in Assam’. We get into the tenders to reach the shores of Bishwanath Ghat. We visit the Shiva Dol in reverence of Lord Shiva and there is no way that we can avoid the women with their weaves. We enjoy a walk through the village and see how this suburban village thrives.
Back to the ship to enjoy an evening on a deserted island and then proceed to a scrumptious dinner.
Early morning Yoga is on the charts as M.V.Mahabaahu sails towards the Eastern Range of Kaziranga for boat Safari. We enjoy breakfast and a talk on ‘The River Brahmaputra and the life that exists alongside’.
The proceed for the safari in our tenders for about two hours. The shores are high but one can see roof turtles on protruding drift wood, water lizards, otters, elephants, wild buffaloes, rhinos, darters, herons, pied kingfishers, white throat-ed kingfishers, serpent eagles and many more. The sightings are always determined by the weather conditions.
Return for Lunch and rest of the day at leisure
This evening we enjoy the Chef’s Cooking Demonstration followed by a talk on ‘Majuli’, the seat of Vaishnav culture.-We gather our experience of the evening . Where the Chef awaits our return to involve us in his cooking demonstration. Our chef talks of the ingredients while we pour ourselves a cup of tea. We enjoy these freshly prepared dishes and snack on them.
This evening we can enjoy a relaxed quiet walk on a deserted island or a game of cricket or volley ball etc. We take some time to get ourselves together for a comfortable evening under the stars with cocktails to order on the sandy island (expect sand between your toes and the breeze could be comfortable to chilly, a light jacket would be advisable) and of course a bonfire is on the charts.
NOTE: (Bonfire may be avoided if a suitable sandbank cannot be found or if we experience inclement weather conditions)
Yoga enthusiasts enjoy an early morning Yogic walk or a Yoga session have your breakfast then sail towards the Mishing Village and further on to Majuli, a cosmos of Assamese culture where various philosophies co-exist and thrive.
We arrive at a ‘Mishing’ village and disembark on smaller boats to reach the village banks. The ‘Mishing’ are an ethnic group inhabiting a number of districts in Assam. It is popularly believed that they were dwellers of the hills of present day Arunachal Pradesh and migrated to the plains of Assam in search of fertile land as well as in search of civilizational progress. Almost all ‘Mishing’ women are expert weavers on handlooms. We get a ‘Mishing’ man to give us a ‘Dhoti’ tying demonstration and a woman to show the ‘Mekhela Chaddor’ tying demonstration. (Dhoti & Chaddor are the traditional dresses of the Mishing).
After climbing up the house platform and exploring Mishing homes, purchasing some of their weaves/fresh vegetables etc.. (You can carry cash to the village to buy the handicrafts made by the villagers to encourage local craft).
MV Mahabaahu leaves behind the Mishing village and after lunch, we enjoy a talk on ‘Sibsagar and the Ahom civilization’ followed by a visit to Majuli Island.
We get on the tenders and arrive on the mainland where a drive takes us to a scenic corner of a Satra for an interesting cultural performance by Satriya singers and dancers. Next, we drive to Kamlabari Satra to witness the Vaishnavite priests dancing to the rhythm of cymbals, drums and chanting in the temple premise.
This evening we get together in the restaurant for a cup of chai and a talk on ‘Majuli and Vaishnavism’ and get acquainted with one of the largest river island systems of the world. After some leisure we try our hand at the Assamese dresses that we had watched the demonstration for, this afternoon. We enjoy a cat walk in the Mungri Mungram and indulge in a lavish dinner by the Chef.
Early morning Yoga session or bird watching is on. Majuli which literally means land between water is a cosmos of Assamese culture where various philosophies co-exist and thrive; ancient monasteries dedicated to preservation and development of culture and art have existed here since the 15th Century. The treasures of Majuli are undoubtedly its Monasteries or Satras that promulgate a form of Hinduism that is called Vaishnavism. These Satras are the hub of culture, art, religion and lifestyle. The Satras preserve antiques like weapons, utensils, jewellery and other articles of cultural importance.
After an early breakfast, we start our day-excursion to Sibsagar, the ancient city and capital of the Tai-speaking Ahoms who came in the 13th Century AD to the area from the north-east and were essentially of Tibeto-Burman origin. Sibsagar town literally means ‘the ocean of Lord Shiva’ as it is built around a huge man made water tank ordered by the Ahom Queen
The Shiva Dol, constructed in the year 1734 is believed to be the highest Shiva temple in India. We visit The Talatal or Kareng Ghar, the palace of the Ahom Kings and the Rang Ghar, an amphitheater, a place of entertainment or important meetings for the Royals and their guests. Thereafter, we drive to a Tea Estate for a relaxed afternoon where we enjoy a traditional Assamese lunch with the Tea-estate family who have been involved in the tea business over a period of a century. Here, we sip our beverages as we explore the lawns and proceed to indulge in traditional Assamese cuisine.
We return to MV Mahabaahu by sunset and enjoy a relaxed evening in the Soma lounge before proceeding for dinner.
Start the day with Yoga and/or go for a walk along the swamps to catch a sight of owls, orioles, yellow footed green pigeons, changeable hawk eagles, adjutant storks, quails, sea gulls hunting with the dolphins and pied kingfishers, swallows and martins diving to fish.
We have a relaxed breakfast. The luggage is brought out of the cabins according to the flight schedule.
We arrive at the Rowriah Airport with packed lunch in Jorhat a couple of hours before the flight schedule and bid adieu to the land of Ahoms.
End of the 7 nights 8 days Upstream Cruise on M.V.Mahabaahu in the Brahmaputra River in Assam, India
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE IN YOUR TOUR COST
- Accommodation on a twin-sharing basis in a superior cabin.
- Accommodation at M.V Mahabaahu will be on a full board basis.
- English speaking Naturalist / Destination Manager guide during sightseeing at all the places as per the itinerary
- Domestic wine/beer with Farewell and Welcome dinners. (Only for boarding or deboarding at Guwahati and Nimati)
- All excursions/lectures/ Safari's /performances and activities as per the itinerary.
- All Arrival & Departure transfers with Representative at the airport and Land transport by air-conditioned vehicles.
- Bottled water as required
TOUR COST WILL NOT INCLUDE FOLLOWING EXPENSES
- International / Domestic Airfare
- Any new admission fees / taxes / fuel surcharges/ Visa fees / Any tipping
- Meals not mentioned
- All personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, trip cancellation and personal insurance, gratuities, excess baggage fees
- Camera/video fees at monuments
- Communication costs
- Evacuation charges in case of medical emergencies, insurance is available on request.
- Any additional expenses due to unforeseen problems like a natural disaster, war or strikes, cancellation or misconnection of flights or a last-minute change of timings, etc.
- Any other service, which has not been specified as "included".
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