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NAGALAND’S HORNBILL FESTIVAL AND BRAHMAPUTRA EXPEDITION

16 NIGHTS FROM US$7,195.00

Nagaland is known as the land of festivals and each December, the Hornbill Festival takes place in Kohima uniting the various Naga tribes for a yearly celebration of the culture and traditions of the region. Famed for its fierce and distinct Naga Warriors, Nagaland is a must-see for travellers in India’s North East and for the first time Pandaw is offering a guided tour of this unique annual celebration, combined with a 10 night expedition along the mighty Brahmaputra River.

This special one-off departure sails in December and is the perfect way to experience the once-in-a-lifetime festival and experience North East India with Pandaw.

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represented by Sayang Holidays
16 NIGHTS FROM US$7,195.00

IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

YOUR HOTELS

PRE CRUISE HOTELS
Hotel in Kohima

Hotel in Kohima

OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS
NOTE: This package is only available on the cruise section

Private Dining

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NOTE: This package is only available on the cruise section

Free Flow Drinks & Wine Package (India)

Inclusive Add On
This package is now included free on your cruise for all guests.

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ITINERARY

DAY 1 ARRIVAL KOHIMA

Arrive at Dimapur Airport or train station. Upon arrival you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to Kohima. Rest of the evening at leisure or join our expert guide who will give a talk on the Battles of Kohima and Imphal of the WWII’s Burma Campaign in the evening with welcome dinner.

Overnight in Kohima
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Arrival Kohima
Arrival Kohima

DAY 2 KISAMA HERITAGE VILLAGE

The first part of today’s tour will give you an introduction to Nagaland and its people through a guided tour of Kohima town. Some of the places to visit include Kohima village, Nagaland State Museum and the Kohima War Cemetery, one of the most iconic WWII battlefields in the world also known as the ‘Stalingrad of the east’. Post lunch in Kohima, you will be driven to Kisama Heritage Village – the main venue of the Hornbill Festival. Experience all the vibrant activities in this ‘festival of festivals’.

Overnight in Kohima
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 3 KIGWEMA AND NIGHT CARNIVAL

After breakfast, prepare yourself to spend the day at the festival venue. There is never a dull moment at the venue of the Hornbill Festival with dances, music, food, drinks, different people from several tribes with their colorful attires, traditional sports and many other exciting things. Try out the traditional Naga food items for lunch and if you are interested, visit the neighboring Angami village of Kigwema which has a rich heritage. After taking some rest in your hotel at Kohima, visit the bustling Night Carnival in the town where we try out another set of local food items for dinner there.

Overnight in Kohima
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Kigwema And Night Carnival
Kigwema And Night Carnival

DAY 4 KHONOMA GREEN VILLAGE

After breakfast, you will be taken to Kisama Heritage Village to enjoy the Hornbill festival again. Each day is a different experience during the festival and you can enjoy the colorful dances and several traditional games performed by members of various tribes. In the afternoon we visit Khonoma, also known as ‘India’s first green village’, and an important home of the Angami tribe. On reaching this village with full of history, you will be able to see the Naga age-group houses (Morungs), forts, ceremonial gates and the Angami way of living through an engaging village walk. While returning to Kohima, if time permits, stop by Maj. General John Grover’s memorial in Jotsoma village. You can visit the Night Carnival again today, if interested.

Overnight in Kohima
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 5 MOUNT PULIEBADZE

A late start today, after breakfast, for a short hike to Mt. Puliebadze (2300 m) just outside Kohima. This is a moderate trek between 1 to 2 hours, depending on one’s fitness. While walking up Mt. Puliebadze, one can imagine the much harder climb embarked upon by the allied soldiers looking to rout the Japanese upon Aradura Spur during the battle of Kohima in the WWII. A hike on the legendary Mt. Puliebadze is always a good way to connect with nature and you will also get to enjoy spectacular views over Kohima and the surroundings from the peak. A picnic lunch will be arranged at the base of Puliebadze. Return to Kohima in the afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.

Overnight in Kohima
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Mount Puliebadze
Mount Puliebadze

DAY 6 DIMAPUR TO GUWAHATI

After breakfast drive to Dimapur for your train journey to Guwahati. No journey to India is complete without experiencing one of the most extensive rail networks in the world and this local train journey provides unrivalled views of this mountainous region. Upon arrival to Guwahati transfer to your hotel for the night.

Overnight in Taj Vivanta Hotel or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7 EMBARK GUWAHATI

Check out after breakfast and transfer to your Pandaw vessel via a visit to the ‘Kama-khya Temple’, devoted to the goddess of desire.

Set sail passing Peacock Island, famous for the endangered Golden Langur. Enjoy an evening welcome dinner and talk.

Embark Guwahati
Embark Guwahati

DAY 8 MYSTICAL MAYANG

Stepping ashore in Mayang, a sizeable village along the shores of the Brahmaputra, we learn about the history of magic and sorcery that was prevalent in the region. We visit the fascinating Mayang museum which explains how various mantras were used for anything from curing ailments to identifying a thief. We are then welcomed into the home of a local Mayang resident for a discussion and perhaps demonstration of some tricks.

DAY 9 SUTARGAON RIVER VILLAGE

Today we stop at a local village consisting of migrant populations that have settled and been provided with official status by the government. Their charming village is the perfect place to learn about life along such a dramatically changeable river.

Sutargaon River Village
Sutargaon River Village

DAY 10 KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK

Our expedition continues with a visit to the UNESCO accredited Kaziranga National Park where we enjoy a full day Jeep safari searching for Indian One-Horned Rhinos, Buffalos, Elephants plus a host of birdlife, including hornbills and kingfishers. Tiger spotting at Kaziranga is extremely rare despite having the highest density of tigers in the world.

DAY 11 BISWANATH

We sail upstream to Biswanath, a charming riverside village where we stop and explore. Of interest is the Bordol Temple, a brick built temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and built in the 1700s. Enjoy a walk through the village and along the riverfront before returning to your ship.

Biswanath
Biswanath

DAY 12 TOWARDS MAJULI

As we sail upstream toward Majuli, we visit a local village and learn about the Bihu culture. Our chef will entertain us in the afternoon with a cooking demonstration as we continue our sailing before we moor for the evening on a sandbank. Enjoy a special sandbank BBQ dinner with your crew and fellow travellers.

DAY 13 MAJULI

Arrive at the ancient town of Majuli on what is the world’s largest river island and home to the ethnic ‘Mishing’ people. We explore the impressive Satras dating back to the 15th century and meet a family who have been making the famous masks of Majuli for over 150 years. After lunch ashore, we travel to Auniati monestary to witness a special drum performance from the monks.

Majuli
Majuli

DAY 14 SAILING

We take a morning stroll through a local village before casting off and sailing toward Nemati Ghat.

DAY 15 JORHAT GIBBON SANCTUARY

Travel 30 minutes from Nemati Ghat to Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, home to India’s only ape and gibbon species, the Hoolock Gibbon as well as the Bengal Slow Loris. This protected area has been reserved for preservation since 1881 and is rich in biodiversity.

Jorhat Gibbon Sanctuary
Jorhat Gibbon Sanctuary

DAY 16 SIBSAGAR

We continue to Sibsagar, capital of the Tai-speaking Ahoms who came from Yunan and China in the 13th Century AD. Explore the Shiva Dol, built in 1734 it is the highest Shiva temple in India. We continue our exploration at the Royal Pavilion built by King Pramatta and said to be one of the oldest surviving amphitheatres in Asia.

DAY 17 DISEMBARK

Disembark and transfer from Sibsagar to Dibrugarh for your onward flight. Journey time of 3 hours, except during high water situations where we will sail further and dock near Bogibeel bridge at Dibrugarh. We advise booking your flights for afternoon departure.

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WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: Land - Hotels and meals off ship as noted. Entrance to the Hornbill Festival, transfers and expert guides. 1-way 2nd class train ticket from Dimapur to Guwahati, all taxes and fees. Onboard - Meals onboard your ship from lunch on embarkation to breakfast before disembarkation, transfer to/from Ship, entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes plus our India complimentary drinks package.

Cruise Price Excludes: Land - Flights, laundry, Indian visa costs, meals and drinks not noted on the itinerary, Insurance, personal expenses, tipping for guides and service providers, any special phot/video permits required. Onboard - fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes, tipping for cruise guide and drivers.

Note: We suggest to change money at a bank at the international airport before exiting.

Hotels offered in Kohima will be booked based on availability due to high demand during the festival. All guests may not be staying in the same hotel. If you have any special requests for your hotel please inform us at time of booking and note these may not be possible due to the festival. La Colline Resort Kohima or Similar.

TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 17 DISEMBARK

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Dibrugarh airport. From Sibsagar 110km, 3 hours. We advise booking your flights for afternoon departure.

TESTIMONIALS

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