(14 nights 15 days)
The Seven Sister States are a region in northeastern India, comprising the contiguous states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura. The sisters lie deep in the lap of easternmost Himalayan hills in north-eastern part of India. Connected to rest of India by merely a 20 km wide strip of land (at Siliguri, West Bengal), this region shares an over 2,000 km border with Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
- Day 1: Guwahati- Cherrapunjee 5-6 hrs drive Fly into Guwahati around mid- morning and drive to Cherrapunjee. Reach Cherrapunjee resort in the evening. Check-in and rest. Live music around a bonfire in the evening. Night stay in Cherrapunjee.
- Day 2: Cherrapunjee full day Caving Meghalaya has more than 5000 caves out of which only 600 have been mapped till date. The Krem Mawmluh cave we take you to is a labyrinth of routes totaling about 7 kms.
We reach Cherrapunjee, put on overalls and boots and with carbide lamps firmly put on head, we are all set for our adventure. We get into the cave through a small opening. Once inside, it is a different world altogether. We walk on sand and rocks, squeeze ourselves though narrow openings, sometimes on all fours. You will be able to see the impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations and water pools. Open your lunch hamper in one of the sandy chambers in the cave or finish caving and open the hamper outside on the rocks under the sun.
Those not keen on caving, go for a sightseeing trip of Cherrapunjee.
- Day 3: Cherrapunjee - Shillong 3 hrs Double Decker Living Roots bridge walk- 10 kms drive and 5-6 kms trek one way- 6-7 hrs round trip
The lower reaches of the southern slopes of Khasi and Jaintia hills in Meghalaya are humid and warm and are streaked by many swift flowing rivers and mountain streams. A species of Indian Rubber tree - botanical name: Ficus Elastica - thrives and flourishes alongside these streams and rivers. This tree can comfortably perch itself on huge boulders along side the riverbanks or in the middle of rivers and send its roots down to the riverbed. These trees shoot out many secondary roots from their trunks. The early war-Khasis noticed these qualities of this tree and adapted it to serve their need for bridges to cross rivers and streams. In order to direct the roots in the desired direction, betel nut tree trunks, sliced half in the middle for their entire length, are hollowed out and are positioned according to the requirement of the bridge. The thin and long tender roots are then passed through these hollowed out betel nut tree trunks. The roots start growing towards the directed end. When they reach the other end of the stream or river, they are allowed to take root in the soil. The roots used in one of these bridges are about 18 inches broad and about 6 inches thick. They take 10 to 15 years to become fully functional.
This is one of the most beautiful treks. The high point of this trek is the Double Decker Root Bridge and the natural swimming pools in the river bed. This trek is open through-out the year and is being used by the villagers daily. The rivers in spate and streams and waterfalls in full flow during the monsoon months add magnificence to the root bridges spanning these rivers and streams. Before reaching the Double Decker Root Bridge you come across another Living Root Bridge and Steel Rope bridges. The valley scenery is very impressive. Beyond the Double Decker Root Bridge you walk on level ground another 2 km (say 20 minutes) to reach Mawsaw Steel Rope Bridge. From here you access natural swimming pools. The larger pool is deep and we recommend only good swimmers to attempt it. The smaller pool can be used by others. After a refreshing swim, it is time for lunch. Leave the pool side by 2:30 p.m. to reach the top before it is dark.
Drive back to Shillong and stay the night in Shillong. Shillong is the Pop-music capital of India.
- Day 4: Shillong- Nameri National Park 7 hrs Nameri is a haven for many rare animals. The rich wildlife includes Tiger, Asiatic Black bear, Clouded Leopard, Leopard, Indian wild dog, Asian elephant, Gaur or Indian Bison, Chinese Pangolin, deer (Sambar, Muntjak and Hog deer), Capped Langur, Jackal, etc. Various species of birds such as the endangered white-winged wood duck, four species of Hornbill, butterflies and reptiles are also found here. Nameri is famous for its golden Mahaseer and it was an angler's paradise prior to declaration as a national park.
- Day 5: Nameri Rafting on the river and walk in the forest.
- Day 6: Nameri - Dirang 7- 8 hrs Dirang is the largest town occupied by Monpas. Its impressive dzong (fort) is located just before the pass at Sela. The Sherdukpens live south of the Bomdila Range, in the valleys of the Tengapani, and have close affinities with their Monpa neighbours. They wear distinctive gurdams, or yak's hair skullcaps, from which jut tassel-like projections that serve as guttering. Traditionally Sherdukpen men wear a sword in a scabbard tucked into their waist or on a strap. This part of Arunachal sees very heavy rainfall.
- Day 7: Dirang Tawang 7- 8 hrs The inhabitants of this district are all of Monpa tribes except Shyo village which is dominated by people of Tibetan origin. The Monpas belong to Mongoloid stock. They are well built, fair in complexion. Their houses are built with stones and timbers. Agriculture and Animal Husbandry are the fundamental means of the Monpas occupation.
Tawang Monastery is one of the most important elements in Social and Religious life of the Monpas. This Monastery is known as "GALDEN NAMGYEL LHATSE". It is one of the largest Lamaseries of Mahayana sects in Asia.
There are beautiful lakes around Tawang. One is Pankang Teng Tso. It is a fetching heaven only 17 km away from town. We visit the lake and monastery in the afternoon if time permits. Night stay in hotel.
- Day 8: Tawang Another day in Tawang. Visit various lakes and monasteries etc. Go for hikes/ walks etc.
- Day 9: Tawang- Bomdila 7- 8 hrs
- Day 10: Bomdila - Kaziranga 7- 8 hrs Leave for Kaziranga around mid- Morning. Reach Kaziranga towards early in the evening close to sunset time. Check into the resort. Night stay in a resort.
Lady Curzon, wife of the British Viceroy to India, visited Kaziranga in the winter of 1904. Unfortunately, contrary to her expectations of seeing the great Rhino itself, she could only find a few of its hoof marks. Struck by its perilous state she impressed upon her husband Lord Curzon, the need to save the Rhino. Today 100 years later, in what can be called this Century’s Greatest Conservation Success Story, the Rhino population at 1600 is the single largest in the world!
Kaziranga National Park in Assam has to be the most beautiful and attractive place you can choose to visit in north-eastern India. An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kaziranga's 470 sq kms of lush green flood plains is home to some of the most fascinating wildlife in Asia. The Burma Monsoon Forests of Kaziranga lies in the flood plains of the mighty Brahmaputra River at an altitude of 50-80m. The habitat consists primarily of tall, dense grasslands interspersed with cane brakes, open woodlands, interconnecting streams and numerous lakes or 'beels'. The three primary types of vegetation are alluvial grasslands, tropical wet semi-evergreen and evergreen forests. Wet savanna grassland covers 65-70% of Kaziranga. Everything about Kaziranga is large. From 5 meter tall elephant-grass to Greater Adjutants, Bengal Floricans, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Black-necked Storks, Greater One-horned Rhinoceros and Asian Elephants, size dominates the vast grasslands. The rarity and restricted range of most of these giants adds to the excitement and experience. Kaziranga is a birding paradise with a checklist of almost 500 species. The park also popularly known as the home of the "Big Five" - the elephant, rhinoceros, wild buffalo, tiger and Swamp Deer. A total of 52 mammalian species has been recorded in the Park itself and include such rarities like Gangetic Dolphin, Chinese Pangolin, Hoolock Gibbon, Hog-Badger and Flying Squirrel. 39 reptiles make the list and include the endangered Gharial and the rare Assam Roofed Turtle. Both the Reticulated and Rock Pythons occur in the area.
- Day 11: Kaziranga A full day of safaris in the park. Night stay in a resort.
- Day 12: Kaziranga - Touphema 5- 6 hrs After breakfast at leisure, drive to Kohima and on to Touphema where we stay for the night. Touphema is a Naga village resort.
- Day 13: Touphema- Kohima- Touphema- Hornbill Festival Begins To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland, the Government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December. Hornbill Festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in this festival. The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions. The Festival is named after the hornbill, the globally respected bird and which is displayed in folklore in most of the state’s tribes.
The weeklong festival unites one and all in Nagaland and people enjoy the colorful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and religious ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are also on display. Festival highlights include Traditional Naga Morungs Exhibition and sale of Arts and Crafts, Food Stalls, Herbal Medicine Stalls, Flower shows and sales, Cultural Medley-songs and dances, Fashion shows, Beauty Contest, Traditional Archery, Naga wrestling, Indigenous Games, and Musical Concert.
- Day 14: Touphema- Jorhat 5- 6 hrs Drive to Jorhat. Check into hotel on arrival. Rest of day free for sightseeing. Night stay in hotel.
Jorhat was the last capital of the Ahom Kingdom. In the year 1794 the Ahom king Gaurinath shifted the capital from Sibsagar (erstwhile Rangpur) to Jorhat. This town was a flourishing and commercial metropolis but completely destroyed after a series of the Burmese invasions since 1817 till the arrival of the British force in the year 1824 under the Stewardship of David Scott and Captain Richard. The British Rule, though, was not free from rebellions and revolutions, contributed to re- emergence of this historical town. From the very first decade of the British rule, the great revolutionists who emerged were Gomdhar Konwar, Jeuram and Piyali, British system of administration, came into vogue in the year 1839 with an established Police Thana. In 1885, a narrow gauge train services (Jorhat Provincial Railway) had come into operation and ultimately became instrumental in rapid growth of tea industry.
Though, the Civil Sub-division under Sibsagar district at Jorhat was formed in 1869, this great place was declared as administration head quarter of the undivided Sibsagar district in 1911 which comprised of the present Sibsagar, Jorhat and Golaghat and parts of Karbi-Anglong district with Major A. Playfare as the first Deputy Commissioner.
- Day 15: Jorhat- Guwahati- 7 hrs Leave early in the morning from Jorhat and reach Guwahati. Tour ends.