Aoling Monyu Festival (9 days)

The Aoling Monyu Festival is the annual ‘Spring Festival’ of the Konyaks, the once feared headhunting tribe who reside in the Mon district of Nagaland. It marks the end of winter with the completion of the sowing season by March end, and heralds the New Year.

 

Stretching over six days, this festival provides an excellent insight into the rich cultural heritage of the Konyaks who certainly still know how to celebrate their culture. Bright orange beading, dramatic headdresses made out of horns and feathers, hours of traditional song and dance, and of course copious amounts of the traditional rice beer was consumed during the festival.

 

Guns, with real gunpowder, go off at all times – these are symbolic of their headhunting days of the past. Konyaks have been making their own guns and gunpowder long before coming in contact with the outside world.

 

The festival is celebrated in villages across the district with no defined schedule. You have to ask around about events taking place when you get there.

Places Visiting : Dibrugarh – Mon - Chui – Longwa - Mokokchung – Jorhat

Highlight :

Discover the tribes of Nagaland

Experience the Aoling Monyu Festival of the Konyaks

Visit the house of the king in Longwa which is half in India and half in Burma

Drink a lot of rice beer

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Assam Tea Tour (9 days)

Wake up in the morning with the smell of fresh tea brewing, watch the majestic sun rising over the sprawling tea gardens sipping a cup of tea, perfectly made with tea leaves handpicked from the finest tea gardens, be pampered with paramount attention and service, experience the rich lifestyle of Assam.

Assam tea is derived from a plant species called Camellia sinensis. It is famous for its distinct malty flavour. There are two harvests of tea in a year called first and second flush respectively. The second flush is considered more valuable because of its sweeter taste. The harvest is also called tippy tea because of the golden tip that appears on the tea leaves. Assam tea is a good option to those addicted to coffee and looking for a healthier substitute.

The tea estates in Assam produce almost 1.5 million pounds of tea annually which is about 51% of tea grown in India. The tea industry contributes significantly to the state’s economy and provides employment to 17% of the workers in Assam. Besides the oldest and largest Tea Research Centres at Toklai in Jorhat, Assam is also home to the world’s second largest Tea Auction Centre in Guwahati. These institutions help in marketing the tea grown here in a more efficient way. This has resulted in better monetary return to the tea estates.

Enjoy a stay in boutique heritage bungalows that offer the rich lifestyle of the colonial tea growing days. You will be offered tea tasting tours where you will get to taste different grades of the finest Assam Tea, visit to tea factories where one can learn about the processes involved in tea production, leisurely walks in the tea plantations and interaction with the leave gatherers. You can also enjoy plucking your own leaves.

You can also explore nearby villages to experience the simple yet rich lifestyles of the Indian countryside. When weather conditions permit, scenic boat rides in Asia’s mighty Brahmaputra River can also be arranged. Besides all this, there are arrangements for a fun filled tea time elephant trek, too!

From the adjoining gardens, you may choose to pluck your own organic produces for an informal cooking lesson from the tea pluckers who prepare ethnic cuisine.

You won’t feel like you are staying in a hotel. Instead, you are treated like an honoured house guest with personal attention.

Places Visiting : Guwahati – Balipara - Jorhat – Majuli - Dibrugarh

Highlight :

Stay in a century old heritage tea bungalow, amidst acres and acres of tea plantations

Go for leisurely walks in the tea plantations, interact with the leave gatherers and pluck your own leaves

Visit a tea factory and learn about the processes involved

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Brahmaputra Cruise

The Brahmaputra River (named as the Son of the Creator of the Cosmos, in Hindu mythology) is one of the holiest rivers of the World! Possibly, the only river of the world which is considered holy by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bonpas, amounting to four religions!

A river cruise is on the Brahmaputra is the best way to discover Assam up close and in depth. You can explore northeast from an intimate perspective, spending your time being there, not getting there. Such cruises take you deep into the heart of a country, giving you the chance to see the local sights and experience the culture of a region.

 

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.

You will enjoy all the pleasures of a stylish floating hotel, highly personalized service provided by a friendly, bilingual staff; charming, comfortable and well equipped cabins, and splendid, single-seating dining.

Traditional afternoon tea offers a variety of sweet, delicious pastries. Every evening, international cuisine and local specialties are served in the restaurants. You enjoy fabulous dinners prepared by master chefs.

According to your availability, we can organize upstream or downstream cruises from Guwahati or Dibrugarh. The main places covered are Manas National Park, Kaziranga National Park, Majuli Island, Jorhat and Sibsagar.

 

Places Visiting : Majuli Island - Jorhat - Sibsagar.

Highlight :

A unique way to discover Assam

Spot river dolphin and migratory birds while cruising

Barbeque dinners on deserted sand islands

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Cuisines of Northeast (14 days)

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him... the people who give their food give you their heart. (Cesar Chavez)

The north eastern part of India is perhaps the most under estimated region when it comes to food. In reality, the seven sisters have a wide assortment of culinary styles influenced greatly by topography, climate, geographic location, and neighbouring regions.

The items are comparatively less spicy than the other parts of the country, but no less tasty. Food is prepared with minimum oil or ghee. Smoked and boiled preparations are also in vogue. Dishes prepared with duck meat, bamboo shoots etc are very much popular in North-East Zone. Smoking and consumption of alcoholic beverages are common in both men and women in the hilly states. Each community maintains its own identity and culture of language, art and culinary specialities with their integral traditions forming part of their daily lives.

The cuisines of these regions are as varied as the tribes themselves. Food is simple and for the most part non-vegetarian. Their close proximity to China and Burma has played their part in influencing the cuisine. 

Starting from the bustling city of Guwahati, where the conglomeration of the various ethnicities of northeaster India has opened doors to various restaurants that offer some unique cuisines, the tour will lead on to the rain-fed forested and grassy hills of Meghalaya.

You will visit Shillong, a lush and beautiful hill station, and Cherrapunjee, the world rainiest village. Populated mostly by the Khasi Tribe, the region will provide an opportunity to taste the delicious Khasi food, which mostly consists of various meat items, herbs and organic vegetables. Beside the cuisine, you will be visiting the various lakes, waterfalls and living root bridges that the region is famous for.

Continuing on to the fertile grasslands of Kaziranga National Park, a world heritage site teeming with wildlife, you will get a chance to experience elephant and jeep safaris into the jungle. The popular ecotourism destination has many restaurants where you will get to taste traditional Assamese and Mishing tribal cuisines.

Lastly, the tour will continue to the verdant mountains of the Nagaland, the land of the fierce Naga tribes. In the hill station of Kohima and surrounding simplistic villages, you will get to taste India’s most exotic cuisine, dishes which deal with all kinds of meats, birds and insects. Nevertheless, some of their more normal items, such as those consisting of chicken, pork or beef, are quite delicious and can be eaten by anyone.

In this tour, along with the exotic cuisines, the nature, cultures and wildlife of Northeast India will overwhelm the traveller just as much.

Places Visiting : Guwahati – Balipara - Jorhat - Shiyong - Nyahnyu – Mopungchuket - Kohima – Kaziranga NP - Shillong – Cherrapunjee

Highlight :

Experience the many cuisines of Northeast India such as Naga, Assamese, Indian, Khasi and Mishing

Visit the hills of Meghalaya, considered as the planet's rainiest and wettest region

Walk to the living root bridge of Cherrapunjee

Discover Kaziranga National Park, a world heritage site

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Dree Festival (10 days)

This program introduces you to the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, which is one of the benevolent people of the area and worship Donyi-Polo (Sun and Moon). The Apatani tribe has a long cycle of agricultural rites and festivals. The agricultural rites or festivals of the tribe begin by sacrificing domestic fowls, animals and eggs at different times, starting from the sowing to the harvesting periods to ensure a bumper yield of crops in the year. This festival is organized to appease Gods; Tamu for protection of crops from pest and insect, Metii for rejecting famine and disease, Danyi for protection and prosperity of mankind and Harniang for keeping the soil stable and wet for the paddies. The spot for the festival is selected by the priest and is decorated with branded bamboos. Women prepare lots of local beers called Apong distributed among the community.

 

You will also discover the major tribes of Arunachal Pradesh (Adis, Akas, Apatanis, Bungnis, Nishis, Mishmis, Mijis, Thangsos…) and visit their villages which will give you an insight into the tribal way of life.

Places Visiting : Dibrugarh – Ziro - Daporijo – Along - Pasighat

Highlight :

Experience the colorful Dree Festival

Discover the lifestyle of the Apatani tribe

Cross the mighty Brahmaputra in ferry and spot the Gangetic dolphins

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Handicraft of Northeast (14 days)

India’s northeast is undoubtedly a land of immense potential and possibilities with wonders in every corner of the region. Its people, with rich cultural heritage make the region all the more exceptional. Handlooms and handicrafts form an integral part of the lifestyle of the indigenous people of this region. Crafted goods and magic weaves are not only made for their own use but are also a means of livelihood for numerous artisans scattered all over the region. These invaluable traditional skills need preservation and promotion to stand the tides of changing times.

 

Though, Assam is renowned for its exquisite silks, bamboo and cane products, several other crafts are also made here. The colourful Handicraft items of Assamese Japi (headgear), terracotta of Gauripur and various decorative items bear witness to the craftsmanship of this land. Assam Handloom is indeed noteworthy offering a mosaic of colours and contours with pleasing motifs and designs. The Eri, Muga (Assamese silk dresses) and typical tribal attires are a treat to the eyes of the beholder. 

Nagaland is famous all around the globe for its fine art and craft done by local experts with a finish that is unsurpassed. It is one of those trips that seem to perfectly fit into the schedule of art and craft passionate. The tour will not only show you the different skill sets that the state has to offer but will also help you understand the rural life of the place.

 

Places Visiting : Guwahati – Umden - Kaziranga NP - Jorhat – Majuli - Mokokchung – Tuophema - Khonoma – Kohima - Dimapur

Highlight :

Witness unique handicrafts

Experience homestay

Discover weaving secrets

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Hornbill Festival (10 days)

A narrow strip of mountainous territory with rugged hills, emerald valleys, sparkling streams and a rich variety of flora and fauna, the 16th State of the Indian Union has salubrious climate throughout the year. It is bounded by Assam in the west, Myanmar in the east, Arunachal Pradesh in the north and Manipur in the south. Sometimes referred to as the `Switzerland of the East', Nagaland represents unimaginable beauty, moulded perfectly for a breathtaking experience. For the adventurous, the State is an ideal place for trekking and jungle camping and offers limitless possibilities for exploring its lush sub-tropical rainforests, which are a treasure trove of medicinal plants. The 20-lakh-strong Naga people, by nature, are fun lovers, and life in Nagaland is one long festival.

 

The Hornbill festival held in the first week of December shows that with its stunning natural beauty and great cultural traditions, Nagaland can offer a rich fare to travellers. Fondly known as the “Festival of festivals”, the annual event was conceived as a tourism promotion activity at Kisama, (which is about 10 Km from the capital Kohima). The location is called Naga Heritage Village at Kisama, where one can enjoy the Naga lifestyle and culture, food, music and tradition of each of those 18-20 clans, all at the at same place. Besides the usual showcasing of Naga dance, music, art, ethnic foods, handlooms and handicrafts, many other interesting contests and activities are organized. 

Places Visiting : Dibrugarh – Sibsagar – Mon - Mokokchung – Tuophema - Kohima – Jorhat -

Highlight :

Discover the diverse dances and culture of Northeast

Taste the variety of cuisines

Enjoy the many events of Hornbill Festival

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Losar in Tawang (8 days)

In Arunachal Pradesh, Losar is celebrated by the Monpas who are a majority in Tawang. Belonging to the Mongoloid stock, the Monpas are mainly into agriculture and animal husbandry. Before the advent of the festival, people can be seen cleaning their homes and discarding all unused and old items. It is believed that by doing so one can usher in good health, peace and prosperity to the house. 

 

Commemorating the advent of the new year, Losar is the occasion for the Monpas to feast, drink and make merry. Relatives and friends get together and celebrate this festival in a very pompous manner. The festival of Losar falls in the end of February or early March and is celebrated for 8 - 15 days. Indeed, the joie-de-vivre that characterizes this festival is simply fascinating.

Places Visiting : Guwahati – Nameri NP - Dirang – Tawang - Bomdila.

Highlight :

Drive through Sela pass which was once a Tibetan border

Enjoy the Buddhist New Year festival “Losar” among the Mahayana believers

Explore Asia’s second largest monastery

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Moatsu Mong Festival (7 days)

Moatsu Mong Festival is celebrated during the first week of May every year by the Ao tribe. Various rites and rituals are performed during this period. The festival is observed after the sowing is done. The festival time provides the people a period of activity and entertainment after the stressful work of clearing fields, burning jungles and sowing seeds. The Moatsu festival is marked by singing song and dance. The whole festival is observed only for three days. Sangpangtu, is one of the main celebration where a big fire is lit and men and women adorned with best attire sit around it. Women serve the wine and meat to the attendees. Rice-beer is prepared and all the reared pigs and cows are slaughtered during the festival. Women weave the traditional garments and adorn themselves with traditional jewellery. Women join men in dancing, eating, drinking and composing warrior songs.

Places Visiting : Jorhat – Mokokchung - Tuophema – Khonoma – Kohima -

Highlight :

Encounter the most diverse tribal land of India

Discover the tradition, music and dances of the tribesmen along with enjoying the festival among the locals

Stay in Local Naga cottages

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Mopin Festival (9 days)

The Adi Gallongs in the Along-Basar-Bame areas celebrate Mopin festival in the first five days of April. Mopin is thought to bring wealth and prosperity to the village but also drive the evil shadow away and receive the blessing of God for universal happiness. During this festival, the Adi Gallong villages come alive with the dancing and chanting of their rhythmic songs made livelier by smearing of rice powder on each other’s faces. The Mopin festival plays an important role in the cultural history of the Gallong tribe.

Places Visiting : Dibrugarh – Pasighat - Along

Highlight :

Be a part of Adi Galo society to enjoy the Mopin Festival

Meet Adi Galo people, eat local food and drink rice beer

Cross the mighty Brahmaputra River on a ferryof past hunting glories and change of lifestyle

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Myoko Festival (6 days)

Apatanis of Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh celebrate the Myoko festival in March every year. They attach importance to this festival as they have this age-old belief that by performing the rituals they can ensure fertility, both in the fields and in its people. Another aspect is the firm conviction that they can promote and strengthen family, clan and inter-village ties.

 

Sacrifice of livestock like pigs and chicken form a major part of the festival as also the rituals performed by the village Shaman or priest. There is dancing and merry making by the village folk, taking out processions in their traditional dresses are some of the features of the festival.

Places Visiting : Guwahati – Nameri NP - Ziro – Tezpur

Highlight :

Witness the rituals of the Myoko Festival

Taste the local cuisine

Interact with Apatanis and listen to their stories of past hunting glories and change of lifestyle

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Ras Leela-Majuli (7 days)

Majuli literally means ‘land between two parallel rivers’ and so it was many centuries ago, lying between the rivers Brahmaputra to the north and Burhidihing in the south. Several earthquakes, changes in the course of the rivers and severe erosion have today left Majuli with a meagre 420 Km² of area, down from 1,250 Km² that it once covered. Majuli is now the 2nd largest fresh water river island in the world and a treasure island of culture, snuggles in the bosom of the mighty Brahmaputra.

Every year in November, Majuli hosts the Raas Mahotsav Festival, celebrating the divinity of Hindu God Krishna with infectious fever. The various monasteries of the island stage various interpretations of Krishna’s life by using folk dances, puppets, masks, songs and dance, all enrolled in a charming riot of colors. All communities of the island play a part during this time - children acting in plays, teachers lending their voices to characters, shopkeepers and bank employees reciting songs and chants.

Places Visiting : Guwahati – Kaziranga NP - Majuli

Highlight :

Discover different Satras of Majuli

Witness the the Raas Leela festival

Cross mighty river Brahmaputra on a ferry

Enjoy bicycle/motorcycle ride around the island

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Sekrenyi Festival (10 days)

Sekrenyi is the main festival of Angami Nagas. It is mainly celebrated in Kohima on February and lasts 10 days. The Festival is associated with a series of rituals and ceremonies. The first among the series of rituals is "Kizie". The lady of the house takes few drops of rice water from the top of the jug which is called "Zumho", and puts it into leaves and placed them at the three main posts of the house. The first day of the festival starts with all young and old men going to the village well for bathing. During the night, the well is cleaned by two young men. After the cleaning of the well is over, some of the village youths guard the well at night so that no one fetches water after cleaning the well. The womenfolk particularly are not allowed to fetch water from the well. All the young men of the village take a bath in the well in the next morning. The whole process of bathing is carried out in a ceremonial manner by the men of the village. 

 

The most interesting part of the Sekrenyi Festival is the Thekra Hie, where the young people sit together and sing traditional songs. During the celebration jugs of rice beer and meat is served to the participants. The seventh day of the festival is reserved for hunting for the young men.

 

This trip is a once-in-a-lifetime experience ideal for adventurous travelers who are comfortable with long scenic drives and rustic accommodations

 

Places Visiting : Dibrugarh – Mon - Mokokchung - Tuophema - Khonoma – Jorhat

Highlight :

Discover the magnificent tribes of Nagaland

Attend the Sekrenyi festival of Angamis

Enjoy lush tropical forests, waterfalls, and the exotic beauty of tropical birds and flowers

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Solung Festival (6 days)

Solung is one of the most popular festivals in Arunachal Pradesh that is celebrated by the Adis of on beginning of September every year. It is an agro-based festival, but it also reflects the socio-religious features of the people. There are three main parts in the celebration of this festival, which includes Limir-Libom, the first part and the sacrificial day; Binnyat, the second part, the ritual offering to goddess of crops, Kine Nane; and Ekop (also called Taktor), the ritual made for protection against harms by evil spirits by appeasing to Gumin-Soyin, the household guardian, and Doying Bote, god of wisdom and human welfare.

 

Local beers “Apong” is prepared, animals are sacrificed and exchanged among the people for good will and good wishes. This program takes you inside the community so that you can blend among them and enjoy the best of it.

Places Visiting : Dibrugarh – Pasighat

Highlight :

Experience the Solung Festival and interact with the Adi community

Enjoy local cuisine

Cross the mighty Brahmaputra by ferry

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