Explore beautiful hill stations, tea estates, mesmerising temples and numerous national parks in search of tigers and one-horned rhinos on an exploration of the best of East India. Beginning in Kolkata (Calcutta), this tour perfectly captures the highlights of the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya, providing a perfect blend of cultural and scenic highlights.
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Arrive and transfer to the Oberoi Grand for an overnight stay. Afternoon at leisure or take an optional half-day tour of the city. (N)
Take the midday flight from Kolkata (Calcutta) to Dibrugarh and drive the short distance to the charming Mancotta Heritage Chang Bungalow for a 2-night stay. In the late afternoon take a guided tour of the tea estate to observe how tea is grown, picked and graded. Later this evening enjoy a traditional Assam folk dance, a rhythmic, exuberant show performed by young men and women, accompanied by songs around the theme of love. (B, L, D)
This morning take an optional tea tasting session before driving to Naharkatiya to visit the local village of Namphake. Here you will visit the local monastery and interact with the local tribal people. The Tai Phakes are Buddhists who have maintained ancient traditions and customs and wear hand-woven clothes. See the traditional houses in the villages built on stilts made of bamboo and see how beautiful clothingand bags are crafted by hand. (B, L, D)
This morning, drive to Jorhat for an overnight stay at the Kaziranga Golf Resort for 1 night. En route visit the Ahom monuments and the temples of Sivasagar, both belonging to the Ahom dynasty, which dates back 600 years. Sivasagar was once the capital of the Ahom kings and ruins of palaces and monuments dot the landscape of this historical town. Remainder of the day at leisure. (B, L, D)
Drive the short way to Nimatighat where you will board the ferry to Majuli, one of the largest inhabited river islands in the world. Explore the Viashnavite monasteries and visit the local tribes before taking the ferry back to the mainland and driving to Kaziranga National Park. Stay 2 nights at the Diphlu River Lodge. (B, L, D)
Explore Kaziranga’s central range on morning and afternoon jeep safaris. You are likely to see herds of Indian elephants and one-horned rhinos in close proximity. Optional evening visit to the Kaziranga Biodiversity Centre, which aims to conserve local varieties of orchids and to spread local cultural awareness. (B, L, D)
This morning head to Tezpur and visit the Mahabhairab temple. One of the biggest and oldest Shivalinga (Hindu Shrine) in the world, it attracts hundreds of devotees per day. Continue to Nameri National park, known for its huge population of birdlife. Take a short jungle walk before checking into the Wild Mahseer planter’s bungalow for an overnight stay. (B, L, D)
Full-day drive to Shillong, a popular hill station set in a cradle of tall pine conifers, pineapple shrubs and heather-clad hills. Check in at the Hotel RiKynjai where you will stay for the next 3 nights. (B, L, D)
Explore the region’s highlights on a full-day tour of Shillong and the surrounding area. Visit Mawlynnong, a picturesque village known for its living root bridge, made entirely from the roots of Indian rubber trees. Continue to the Umngotriver at Dawki on the border of Bangladesh, a scenic spot where the water is so clear you can see directly to the bottom of the river. Finally visit the Mawsun village cave before heading back to your accommodation. (B, L, D)
Visit Jowai on a full-day excursion. This village is known for its monoliths and remnants of the Jaintia kingdom including the summer palace of the Jaintia kings. Visit the palace, the Durga temple and the biggest collection of monolith stones in the world before heading back to Shillong. (B, L, D)
Proceed to Guwahati for an overnight stay at the Radisson Blu. Enroute, visit Kamakhyatemple, Sualkuchi and the ancient pilgrimage centre ofHajo. The weaving village of Sualkuchi produces some of the best silk in the state and every house that you see will have an adjacent shed (karkana) that houses a traditional bamboo loom. (B, L, D)
Transfer to Guwahati airport and fly to Kolkata. Overnight at the Oberoi Grand. (B)
Transfer to the airport and fly home. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
This tour is best suited to the hardier traveller as it includes some basic accommodation and some rougher road journeys.
For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 3930 5073 or email Info@CoxandKings.co.uk.
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
ESS2018: 12 Nights
Kolkata (Calcutta) was the capital of British India until 1911 and the character of this...