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Sangai and Hornbill Festival-Northeast India Tribal Tour


15 days 14 nights

Code

Category North-East India tours

  • Group Size 2-10 Person
  • Difficulty Level 3
  • Trip Starts From Delhi
  • Trip Ends At Delhi
  • Type Tours
  • Destination Delhi Imphal Kohima Sivasagar Mon Kaziranga Guwahati
Dates & Prices

Overview

The easternmost region of India-known as north-east India is a different India. The region comprise 8-states of India that shares more than 2,800 mi of international border with Tibet Autonomous Region, China in the north, Myanmar in the east, Bangladesh in the southwest and Bhutan to the northwest and no wonder, the landscape, peoples and the cultures here are similar to that of neighboring countries. The region is dominated by forests and formidable mountains, keeping it isolated from the rest of the world. Road conditions vary and tourism facilities are still under way but what we care is the rugged beauty and authentic tribal culture  that you cannot witness  elsewhere in India. 

This trip features two of the most spectacular festivals of North-east India-Sangai Festival of Manipur and Hornbill Festival of Nagaland. Both the festival promotes the local tribal culture, music, dances, costumes, food, adventure and eco sports. 

The trip begins from Imphal, where we join the Sangai Festival for two days and then proceed to Kohima in Nagaland where we enjoy the Hornbill Festival. We visit the historic and cultural sites in Jorhat and Sivasagar and meet the Konyak tribes of Mon-the former head hunters. Konyak are easily distinguishable from other Naga tribes by their pierced ears; and tattoos which they have all over their faces, hands, chests, arms, and calves. 

We spend two days in Kaziranga National Park-home to tigers, elephants and the world’s largest population of Indian one-horned rhinoceroses, before we take flight back to Delhi.

Major attractions

  • Sangai festival of Manipur and Hornbill Festival of Kohima, Nagaland
  • The colonial Cinnamara Tea Estate and Jorhat Gymkhana Club of Jorhat
  • Sivasagar-a heritage town of Ahom Kingdom
  • Konyak tribes of Mon-the former head-hunters.
  • Jungle safari in Kaziranga National Park

Is this trip for me?

The trip involves long day drives on varying road conditions. Roads may be damaged due to monsoon rain. The roads are not suitable for people with back issues. Accommodation facilities are limited. We try our best to provide en suite accommodation where possible but some days, particularly in Kohima, we need to adjust in a home-stay. Food choices are limited; please, do not expect western style fine dining.
What you can sureply expected is the rugged beauty of the region, pristine nature and authentic culture, colorful festivals. All you need to do is adapt to minimum facilities and keep yourself open to adventures. 

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Arrival in Delhi (27 Nov)

Welcome to India! Upon arrival, complete the immigration and custom formalities and meet your guide and driver at the arrival gate. Transer to the hotel nearby the airport. Balance of the day is at leisure.

Day 02~Flight to Imphal, Manipur (28 Nov)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport in time for flight to Imphal-the capital city of Manipur State in north-east India. It's 2-hours and 45 minutes long flight. 

Upon arrival at Imphal airport, you will be met by your guide and driver who will be with you for two weeks. Transfer to the hotel for check-in. You will have time to settle into your room before you leave for the festival. The festival starts at 2 p.m. 

In the evening, visit the Govindajee Temple-the largest Hindu Temple in the area to observe the evening worships that features ringing of bells, blowing of conch, and live music by the resident musicians. Devotees line up on either side of the shrine, men in one side and women in the other with offering.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 03~Imphal: Morning excursion of Loktak Lake and afternoon Sangai Festival (29 Nov)

After breakfast, we take a scenic one and half hour drive (31 miles) through the green paddy fields and mountains to Loktak Lake. The lake is known for its circular floating swamps-locally known as Phumdis. The lake serves as a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply in the region, other than being the source of income for many fishermen who largely depend on it and so the lake is regarded as the lifeline of the people in the area. We will explore the freshwater lake by boat.

We return to the city in the afternoon and join the Sangai festival-a cultural extravaganza that showcases Manipur's music, dances, food, culture, handloom, arts and crafts, eco and adventure sports.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 04~Imphal: Morning excursion of Andro village. Afternoon Sangai Festival (30 Nov)

After breakfast, we take an excursion of Andro Village, 17 miles east of the Imphal city. Andro village is known for its crafts and pottery making by indigenous methods that are still in practice. Here, we visit the cultural complex that encompasses varieties of pottery creations from north eastern India. Another attraction here is the Chakpa Panam Ningthou temple, an ancient Hindu temple, where the sacred fire lit 1000 years back continues to be maintained by the villagers!

In the afternoon, return to the city and visit the festival venue. We will have more inspiring experience of rich cultural heritage of Manipur. Today is the last day of the festival.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 05~Kohima, Nagaland (01 Dec)

After breakfast, leave for Kohima (90 miles, 5-hours). Check into your home-stay and soon proceed to the Naga Heritage village in Kisama-the venue for the Hornbill Festival. Today is the first day of 10-days long cultural extravaganza that promotes Nagaland's cultural heritage and inter-tribal interaction. 

You will enjoy the traditional dances, songs and indigenous games throughout the day. Other regular events are the music festival and rock contest, World War 2 car rally, Naga chili eating contest, Hornbill motor rally, beauty pageant and literature festival.

Evening time is for strolling in the night bazaar and try some naga delicacies.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 06~Hornbill Festival and local sightseeing (02 Dec)

You have the option to spend the entire day enjoying the festival or you can visit some local attractions on the second half of the day. Visit the Kohima museum that has some rare artifacts of the sixteen Naga tribes or the war cemetery- dedicated in honor of the allied soldiers who scarified their lives in the Battle of Kohima during World War-II, or the nearby Khonoma Village-the first acclaimed green village of India.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 07~Hornbill Festival and local sightseeing (03 Dec)

One more day in Kohima to enjoy the festival for go for local exploration.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 08~Jorhat, Assam (04 Dec)

After breakfast, we have a long day drive to Jorhat (200km or 125 miles, 6 or 7 hours). Johat is one of the fastest growing city in Assam, after Guwahati. A few miles before the city, we stop to visit the Cinnamara Tea Estate-established in 1850 is the first Tea Estate of India. We visit the world famous tea gardens and the British era bungalows. We will also visit the Tocklai Tea Research Center.

This afternoon, visit the colonial Jorhat Gymkhana Club, established in 1876 A.D. listed in World Heritage site as the oldest golf course in Asia and third oldest in the world!

There are a couple of interesting temples and the statue of the first Ahom king of Assam.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 09~Sivasagar, Assam (05 Dec)

After breakfast, we leave for Sivasagar (34 miles, 2-hours). 

Sivasagar is a heritage town famous for the monuments of Ahom Kingdom. It was the capital for 6 hundred years before the British took it over.

After wash up and change, we set off to explore the architectural heritages of Ahom kingdom that includes Rang Ghar (amusement house)- a royal sports-pavilion from which the Ahom kings and nobles witnessed games like buffalo fights and other sports-Asia's largest amphitheatre and Talatal Ghar - a seven storied building with four floors of basement and three floors above ground- an amazing simplistic palace for the Ahom Kings. 

In the evening, take leisurely stroll around the Sivasagar Water Tank. Take a seat at the bank of the tank and to enjoy the view of Three Dowls (Temples) situated right next to the tank.

 

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10~Mon, Nagaland (06 Dec)

Today, we travel to Mon (110km or 69 miles, 5-hours) in Nagaland. Mon is the homeland of the Konyak tribes-the former head-hunters! 

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 you 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.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11~Mon: Explore the Konyak tribal villages (07 Dec)

We will visit two Konyak Villages of Mon today- Langmeing and Shangnyu. Langmeing is one of the most interesting villages in the area with traditional Naga houses. You will see people with tattoos on their faces and body. 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.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12~Kaziranga National Park, Assam (08 Dec)

We have a long day drive today ( 268km or 168 miles, 7-8 hours). Upon arrival, check into your accommodation and take rest for the balance of the day.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13~Kaziranga NP: Jungle Safari Excursions (09 Dec)

Today, you shall embark on an elephant ride in the early morning and a jeep safari after that to explore the rich wildlife of Kazirnga National Park, a UNESCO recognized World Heritage. This national park is home to the two third of the world's great Indian one horned rhinoceros population and also provides shelter to a wide variety of wild life. Today, Kaziranga contains 35 different spices of mammals and is also home to various types of migratory birds.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14~Transfer to Guwahati Airport and flight back to Delhi (10 Dec)

After an early morning breakfast, transfer to Guwahati Airport (210km  or 131 miles, 4 or 5 hours) and catch the late afternoon flight to Delhi. Upon arrival at Delhi airport, transfer to a nearby airport hotel.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 15~Depart Delhi (11 Dec)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to next destination. Service ends.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Trip includes

  • Accommodation on double occupancy basis.
  • Three meals a day except in Delhi.
  • All transfers and tour by a private vehicle.
  • English speaking local guide.
  • Sightseeing admission fee including special permit.
  • Boating trip and jungle safari activities as per the itinerary.
  • Airfare from Delhi to Imphal and return from Guwahati to Delhi.

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

Indian Visa and permits

You need to obtain Indian visa before hand as India does not grant visa upon arrival. Cox and King Global Services handles all the India visa requests from inside the United States as a private contractor to the Indian Embassy and Consulates. For more information, please, visit their website.

You are also able to apply eTourist visa online.

The area no longer requires special permit for admission effective Jan 01, 2010, with exception to Chinese and Pakistani nationals who still need to apply for permit before hand.

Trip Difficulty:

It's 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:

We provide a four star category of hotel in Delhi but once you are in northeast India, accommodation will be basic. There will be high demand of hotels during the festival time and we may have to accommodate you in home-stay. Hotels are fairly small; some hotels with 5-6 rooms only. They are clean and have private bathroom with hot and cold shower. 

Meals:

The trip features three meals a day except in Delhi. 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, cofee 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 checkposts 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.

Accomodation

Delhi: Hotel IBIS or similar airport hotel
Imphal: Hotel Classic or similar 
Kohima: Homestay  
Jorhat:MD Continental or similar
Sivasagar: Hotel Sib Palace  
Mon: Helsa Cottage or similar   
Kaziranga: Jhupri Ghar or similar 

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1 866 838 5818
(Toll Free from USA & Canada)

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