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Arunachal Nagaland and Assam Tour with Hornbill Festival


20 days 19 nights

Code INE113

Category North-East India tours

  • Group Size 2-10 Person
  • Difficulty Level 1
  • Trip Starts From Guwahati, Assam
  • Trip Ends At Dimapur, Nagaland
  • Type Trekking
  • Destination Guwahati Kaziranga National Park Itanagar Ziro Daporijo Along Pasighat Dibrugarh Nagaland Tuensang Mokokchung Kohima Jakhama Dimapur
Dates & Prices

Overview

This is an adventurous trip covering Nagaland, Arunachal and Assam-known as the Golden Triangle of India’s North East. Embarking on this journey of India’s 3 remote North Eastern States is tremendous and rewarding. The North Eastern states of Nagaland, Arunachal and Assam offers visitors an in depth look into the tribal culture and wildlife that will lure you with magical richness and stunning variety. This trip, you will attend the Hornbill festival in which all of the Nagaland Tribes participate.

The journey begins with flight to Guwahati which is the gateway to North East India where you will meet your guide and driver and embark on this journey of a lifetime. Enjoy exciting jungle safari rides in Kaziranga National Park that is famous for the one horned rhinoceros. Enter Arunachal Pradesh referred to as the land of the rising sun. Arunachal Pradesh is the most remote and loveliest regions, yet the least populated in the entire North East. Its haunting beauty has a magical charm which invites its visitors to take in all of its natural beauty, tribal culture, crafts traditions, and splendid wildlife. You will travel by vehicle and stop at several tribal village such as Ziro, Daporijo, Along, and Pashighat before entering Nagalnd. You will explore Nagaland; the land of myths, festivals, brave warriors, and tribal richness. You may be quite amazed by its colorful tribal people, lush landscape, and many cultural strengths.

Hornbill Festival

The famous Hornbill Festival is celebrated every year in the first week of December in Kohima, Nagaland. Enjoy this great opportunity to attend the Hornbill Festival, which typically lasts one week. All of the tribes of Nagaland participate in the festival and perform their dances. The festival is named after the Hornbill, a globally respected bird which shows up in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes. This festival is an excellent opportunity to learn about the culture, traditions, and lifestyle of all of the different tribes of Nagaland. Events include dance performances, parades, games, arts and craft displays, food stalls and cultural indigenous rituals.

Trip Cost

US$ 3315 per person on double occupancy basis (Minimum group size 4 persons)

US$ 3735 per person on double occupancy basis (Group size 2-3 persons)

US$ 580 private room supplement.

Note: Internal airfare to Guwahati and return from Kohima is not included.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrive in Guwahati

Arrive in Guwahati on your own. Flights to Guwahati arrive from major Indian cities and there are few flights a week from Paro, Bhutan as well.

Upon arrival, meet your local guide and transfer to the hotel. Balance  of the day is open for exploration of the town. In the evening, you can go for a river cruise to watch the sun set which dramatically changes the color of the water to red which is why the locals call it “luit” which means "the color of the blood". 

 

Overnight: Hotel Royal d'Casa or similar
Meals : Dinner
Day 02~Kaziranga National Park

After breakfast, proceed on a scenic road trip to Kaziranga National Park (280 km/175 miles, 5 hrs).Upon arrival, check into your hotel, and after lunch, you will be taken for elephant or safari based on what's available for the day. (Afternoon safari starts at 2 P.M.

Kaziranga National Park, an area of nearly 166 suare miles with elephant-grass meadows, swampy lagoons, and dense forests and is a World Heritage site and home to more than 2200 Great One Horned Rhinoceros which is two-third of World's existing one-horned rhino population. While the rhinos are the major attraction, the park also provides habitat to several other wildlife such as elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer and various species of migratory birds.

Overnight: Jupri Ghar, Bonhabi Resort, Dubori Resort or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 03~Jungle Safari in Kaziranga National Park

Enjoy early morning elephant safari (5.30 A.M-6:30 A.M.). Return to the lodge for breakfast and right after that leave for morning jeep safari (8:00 A.M.-10 A.M.). Balance of the day is at leisure. If you wish, you can opt for an afternoon safari that starts at 2:00 P.M.

 

Overnight: Jupri Ghar, Bonhabi Resort, Dubori Resort or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 04~Itanagar

You will have a long day road travel to Itanagar today (220 km/138 miles, 6 hrs.). Itagangar is the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh state and quite a modern settlement built in the vicinity of the ruins of a 14th century fort. The archaeological remains of this medieval capital comprise of two brick wall ramparts. Itanagar has an extremely interesting museum known as the Jawaharlal Nehru Museum. Time spent here can really get you acquainted with the culture and tradition of this region. All of the prototypes of the bamboo and cane architecture of the ancient dwellings of different tribes, apparel, design, functional tools, and other handicrafts are displayed here.

Overnight: Dony Polo Ashok, Hotel Pybss or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 05~Ziro

After breakfast, leave for Ziro (150km/94 miles, 5 hrs). Enjoy beautiful landscape along the way and stop for a visit to a Nishi tribal village.

Ziro-situated at an altitude of 1560 m (5,117 ft.) from sea level, is a plateau surrounded by the Apatani tribal villages of Dibbo-Hija-Bulla-Hari and Hong village. Hong village is the second largest and most organized tribal village in Northeast India. There is a uniqueness of the Apatani tribe's dress as they tattoo long lines from the top of the forehead to the tip of their nose on the women's faces and insert cane nose plugs, and the men tattoo a "T" on their chins and insert bamboo plugs in their ear lobes.

The tribes practice paddy-cum-fish culture-that was introduced in the 80s and it worked well. This practice is unique in Arunachal Pradesh and is known to enhance ecological sustainability. We visit Tarin fish farm, museum, emporium and local market. En route, we can visit the Hillmiri tribal villages in Raga. The Nishi, Hillmiri, and Tagin tribe are more or less similar in their culture, customs, traditions, and dialogue.

Overnight: Hotel Blue Pine, Siiro Resort or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 06~Explore the Apatani Villages in Ziro

Today, we have a whole day to explore Apatani villages. The day also includes a trek in the Talle valley. A large part of the Talle Valley National Park is still unexplored! Most Apatanis are loyal followers of the Danyi-Piilo faith, who pray to the sun and moon. The dress of the Apatanis is elaborate and colorful, yet simple in style. Tattooing and the stuffing of large nose plugs were once popular among the women, although this practice has gradually fallen into decline in recent years. You will have most of the day to explore at your leisure.

Overnight: Hotel Blue Pine, Siiro Resort or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 07~Daporijo

It's a long day drive to Daporijo today (160km/100 miles, 6-7 hrs. drive). The road descends from the Ziro plateau and follows the Kamala River valley through dense forests. On the way, we stop and visit the Tagin, Hills Miri, and Nishi tribe villages. In some villages, we cross traditional bamboo bridges.

Upon arrival, check into the guesthouse and later, take a stroll through this interesting township.Daporijo, situated at an altitude of 600m, is home to the Tagin tribe; their ethnicity resembles a Chinese ancestry/lineage. 

Overnight: Hotel Singhik or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 08~Along

After breakfast, depart Daporijo for Along (178 km/ 111 miles, 5-6 hrs!). We follow the Siang River Valley which is the territory of the Adi tribes who are among the largest tribal groups of Arunachal Pradesh. Adi tribe has several sub tribal groups. We drive through some small villages such as Kabu and Kayi. The Adi tribes are known for their cane work. The most notable cane work can be found on the famous suspension bridge in Along.

Upon arrival, you will check into your accommodation and then take an excursion to visit the tribal villages in the area.

Overnight: Hotel Toshi Palace or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 09~Pasighat

After breakfast, leave for Pasighat (105 km/ 65 miles, 4 hrs). On the way, we stop to visit the Minyong-Adi villages.

Upon arrival, check into the hotel and later your guide will take you for exploration of  Adi and Abor villages of Pasighat. The town of Pasighat is located on the right bank of the river Siang and is the oldest town in Arunachal.

Overnight: Hotel Anne or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10~Exploration of Pasighat

Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh derives its name from the Pasi tribes of the area. As the oldest town of Arunachal Pradesh, it is referred to as the heart of Arunchal Pradesh due to its central location. With its breathtaking hillside and lush-green river valleys inhabited by the local tribes, the area is a tourist’s delight and photographers paradise. We will discover more of the 'Pasis' or the Adi Villages.

Pasis are famous for their bamboo works. The hanging bridges of Pasighat made of local raw materials is an interesting point of observation for tourists. We will get to visit their craft center and the museum here. We will cross the Bhramhaputra River, locally known as Siang River, by boat and visit the Mebo village which is the featured granary of the Siang River. We will also visit the Padam village and travel further on to the Aohahi village of Idu Mishmi tribes by boat. 

Overnight: Hotel Anne or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11~Dibrugarh

After an early morning breakfast, we leave for Dibrugarh. First, we  are transferred by car  to the ferry point (45 minutes) and then we cruise on the Bramhaputra River for the next five hours. The ferry trip includes the sights of rich migratory bird life and by luck, fresh water Ganges dolphins.

Overnight: Hotel Natraj or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12~Mon-home of Konyak tribe

Today, we travel to Mon in Nagaland (Approx. 180 km/112 miles, 5 hrs).

Today and tomorrow, we explore Mon-the headquarter of the Konyak tribe. An interesting feature of this tribe is the tattooed faces, the wearing of feathered headgear, and traditional dresses. The Konyaks are adept artisan and skilled craftsman; here we can find excellent woodcarvings, doas (machete) guns, gunpowder, hair brushes, combs, necklace, etc. It is an exciting experience to pay a visit to an Angh’s house. Hereditary chiefs, known as Anghs, rule Konyaks and the institution of Anghship is only prevalent among the Konyaks. The most colorful festival of the Konyaks is Aoling and is celebrated during the first week of April, which is a magnificent spectacle. 

Overnight: Helsa Cottage or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13~Explore Mon and the Surrounding Areas

Today, visit two of the several Konyak Villages of Mon-Langmeing and Shangnyu. Langmeing with traditional Naga houses is one of the most interesting villages in the area. We will see people with tattoos on their faces and body. A walk through the village is an interesting experience. The village has an old building with two log drums and also having several interesting artifacts. Langmeing is one of the very few villages that still have human skulls from the head hunting days (they have embraced Christianity and now, Christianity has become the cohesive bond between the Nagas, who, earlier were at constant fight with each other, one who had the maximum skulls of his enemies being considered the mightiest and most powerful. Konyaks still decorate their houses with skulls, hornbill beaks, elephant tusks, horns and wooden statues).

Shangnyu is ruled by the chief Angh, is prominent in the Mon district. There is a wonderful wooden monument measuring 8 ft. in height and 12 ft. in breadth, believed to be constructed by heavenly angels. Carvings of human beings and other creatures are engraved on this monument. Memorial stones are also found in front of the Angh’s house. The Shangnyu Angh is used to collect taxes from all the villages under his domain ranging from Sibsagar in Assam to Wanchos in Arunachal Pradesh.

Overnight: Helsa Cottage or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14~Tuensang

Another long road trip today! (150km/94mile, 6 hrs.). Tuensang- the homeland of Changs, Yimchungers, Khiamungans, Sangtams, Semas, and Phoms Nagas. These tribes have rich cultural heritage; their dresses are very colorful, and  dances and songs are heartwarming. This area is known for its handicrafts and handloom products. On the way to Tuensang, we may have the Veda Peak in view which is the highest in the area. 

Overnight: KC Lodge or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 15 ~Explore Tuensang

Today, we have a full day for the exploration of Yimchunger Villages of Yakor, Sangphur, and Khiamungan Village of the Pansao tribes. The Yakor and Sangpur villages are two typical Yimchunger Villages that are well worth a visit. The Pansao village has a very beautiful carving that was made out of a single tree trunk. The villagers have a wonderful legend associated with this tree trunk. The village belongs to the Khiamungan tribe. 

Overnight: KC Lodge or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 16~Mokokchung

This morning, we will depart for Mokokchung (115km/74mile, 5-6 hrs. drive). This picturesque town is the cultural centre of the Ao Nagas. The main festival of the Aos is the Moatsu Tsungremmong celebrated during the first week of May and August respectively.

Upon arrival in Mokokchung, check into the lodge and in the afternoon,we will go for an excursion to Ungma and Longkhum villages. Ungma Village is the oldest and biggest of the Ao Villages. According to legend, the early Ao’s settled after coming from Chungliyimti. This village is many centuries old and can be of great interest to people who have a desire to delve into Ao Folklores, customs, and traditions. The village has an interesting old log-drum. Here, we can visit a local Naga house and take pictures of people in their traditional dress and jewelry. Longkhum is a legendary village, situated at an altitude of 1846 m above sea level. It is 17 km west of Mokokchung. Visit the Mata Yimkong, the top of the hillock where once stood a fortress. Footprints preserved on a rock surface are an interesting feature in this village. According to legend, the foot imprints are of China and Tibetan descent– the Romeo and Juliet of the Aos.

Overnight: Whispering Wind or similar.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 17~Excursions from Mokokchung

Today, we will have a full day excursion to Mongsenyimti, Langpangkong, and Molung Villages. The Mongsenyimti village has two very beautiful log drums they use in ceremony. Old women with tattoo marks on their chins can still be found here.

The Langpangkong Village history speaks of an Ahom King, whom fled his capital (Sibsagar in Assam) due to court intrigues and rivalries and had taken refuge in the Langpangkong range, along with the Dikhu and Tzula rivers. The cave where he took shelter still remains. The Molung village has a distinct first American Baptist mission established in the Naga Hills in 1872. This building is still intact and well preserved.

Overnight: Whispering Wind or similar.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 18~Wokha and Kohima

After breakfast, we leave for Kohima (160 km/100 mile, 5-6 hrs). We travel via Wokha (50 miles, 2-3 hrs.)-the seat of Lotha Nagas who are famous for their colorful dresses and sweet and melodious songs. The village has monoliths (Longzu) erected by their rich ancestors to exhibit their status. We visit the Lotha villages to take a peek into their lifestyles.

We also visit the Humtso and Elumyo villages before you continue on to Kohima.

Overnight: Hotel Vibor, Hotel Japhu or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 19~Hornbill Festival and Sightseeing

In the morning, we transfer to Kisama Village and enjoy the Hornbill Festival that brings the entire tribal communities of Nagaland together in one place. The festival-named after the colorful Indian bird-Hornbill that appears in the folklore of all the Nagaland tribes-provides a colorful mixture of dances, performances, crafts, parades, games, sports, food fairs and religious ceremonies. The festival showcases both the culture and tradition of tribal peoples, and reinforces Nagaland’s identity as a unique state in India’s federal union

Afternoon is for exploration of the area around. We will visit the local sights of interest. We transfer to the Khonoma Village of Angami Tribes whom are known for their courage & valor. Nagaland’s history recognizes the Khonoma village as the protector of other neighboring villages when it was at its peak. Next, visit the war cemetery-a memorial of all of the soldiers who died during World War II. We will take a tour of the museum which has collection of rare articles of various tribal groups of Nagaland that tells the Naga’s tradition & history. We will take a short visit to local tribal market as well.

If time permits, we will also visit Kigwema village which is also known as Kepfiizha as well as the Angami tribal village at Jakhama. In the evening,it's worth attending the folk dances performed by the local tribes.

Overnight: Hotel Vibor, Hotel Japhu or similar
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 20~Depart Kohima

After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport in Dimapur (74km/46 miles, 2 hrs.) for your flight to Kolkata from where you can connect to Delhi or other major Indian cities.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip includes

  • Accommodation on double occupancy basis.
  • Three meals a day.
  • All transfers and tour by a private vehicle.
  • English speaking local guide.
  • Sightseeing admission fee including special permit.
  • Boating trips and jungle safari activities as per the itinerary.(1 elephant safari and two jeep safaris)

Trip does not include

  • Drinks, tipping and other expenses of personal nature such as laundry, phone etc.
  • Internal airfares and airport taxes.
  • Extra expenses or loss due to nature and unforeseen events such as flight cancellation, delay, illness, civil unrest, inclement weather etc.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Camera fee to the national park.

Indian Visa and permits

You need to obtain Indian visa beforehand as India does not grant visa upon arrival. There are two kind of visas-conventional visa which is processed via Cox and King Global Services- the only authorized Service Provider for the Embassy of India and its Consulates across the USA for Visa Or eVisa that you can obtain online. An eVisa will be good for two entries 

Admission to Arunachal Pradesh requires Special Restricted Area Permit (RAP) which will be arranged by us in advance. For the RAP application, we need the photocopy of the passport and the Indian Visa together with 04 passport size photograph. Arunachal Royalty is included in the trip cost. There is a requirement of minimum 2 travelers in a group. The neighboring states of Assam, Mizoram, and Nagaland no longer require any special permit for admission effective Jan 01, 2010, with exception to Chinese and Pakistani nationals who still need to apply for permit beforehand.

Trip Difficulty:

It's a motor vehicle based tour with some long day drives. Roads are mountainous and at times can be bumpy, under paved or damaged during the monsoon. No strenuous activities at all! The trip is suitable for travelers of all ages with regular health conditions. No specific preparation is required so far.

Accommodations:

Cities of Kohima, Dibrugarh and Guwahati offer choices of accommodation available and rest of the places have limited choices. Obviously, we pick the best available in the region. Hotels are fairly small; some hotels with 5-6 rooms only. They are clean and have private bathroom with hot and cold shower. But what we count in Arunachal is more the scenery out of the windows rather than the walls or lobby of the hotel.

Meals:

The trip features three meals a day. Indian, Chinese and various Tribal vegetarian foods are served. You may miss western style dishes. In order to supplement with the calorie, you may want to bring some dry foods like energy bars, dry fruits, coffee etc. along with you.

Transportation:

We use top of the range and well maintained cars such as Toyota Innova, Chevrolet Tavera or Tata Spacio driven by reliable drivers for all transfers and sightseeing. The vehicles are comfortable, well maintained and air conditioned but for the climate of Arunachal, we don't need to run air conditioning. Drivers are courteous, friendly and well experienced in the mountainous road of the Himalayas.

Guide:

We are accompanied by a local East Indian Guide who is trained and proficient in English. Most importantly, our guide is friendly, flexible and committed to deliver the best services and personalized care. Your guide will make sure that you have necessary permits and vouchers, coordinate with drivers for day planning, deals with check posts and help you check in the hotels.

A typical day of the trip:

Usually around 9 am, our guide and driver will show up at your hotel to take us on the trip. We visit the monasteries, temples and other sights for about 3-4 hours, depending on the agenda of the day and we will have lunch break between 12 noon to 1 pm. After lunch, we will have a couple of hours more to recover the remaining sights of the day and the tour concludes usually by 4 pm. We will be brought back to our hotel or our driver can drop us somewhere on our request. While we visit the monasteries, or temples or other attractions, we will have plenty of time to take photos, interact with the locals and do bargain shopping. Before the guide and driver leave us for the day, we will discuss the schedule of the next day.

Important Note:

Arunachal has everything to offer to the visitors but luxury. So, travellers seeking luxury accommodation must think twice before deciding to go on this trip.

Booking, payment schedule & cancellation terms

When you are sure you are traveling, please don't delay in booking. Timely made booking helps to secure reservation in preferred hotels and flights. A deposit of US$300 is requested along with complete trip application form and passport copies. Balance payment is due 90 days prior to your departure. Credit card payment attracts additional 3.5% fee.

  • 90 days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
  • 60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 300 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 45 days to 59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher
  • 30 days to 44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than 30 days: 100%.

Travel Protection Plan

While we plan and do our best to make your trip smooth and seamless, there may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage etc. that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. The trip cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.

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