The Brahmaputra Cruise Tour
Duration : 13 Nights & 14 Days
Destination : Kolkata - Dibrugarh - Sibsagar - Majuli Island - Kaziranga - Singri Hill - Guwahati
Accommodation : Luxury Hotels / Palaces or Heritage Hotels
Best Time to Visit : October to June
Journey Type : Group & Private Journey
The Brahmaputra Cruise Tour takes you to Assam, the rich mystical land located in the North Eastern part of India. Assam casts a spell on all its visitors with its dense forests, verdant hills, undulating paddy fields, aromatic tea estates and the mighty Brahmaputra River. After exploring Kolkata, the City of Joy, you will embark on a ten day long cruise on the River Brahmaputra which will take you to sacred islands, off beat destinations, ancient temples and forts, sprawling tea estates and the finest wild life reserves. Search for famous one horned rhinos, royal Bengal tigers and other rare wildlife species amongst the rich flora of Kaziranga National Park. You will meet eclectic tribal communities, visit Hindu monasteries on the unique Majuli Island and visit Sivasagar, ancient capital of the Ahom kings of Assam. You can also see the manufacturing process of the colourful and vivid Assam silks in the weaver's village of Sualkuchi. Finally, in the cosmopolitan city of Guwahati, you will visit the famed Kamakhya temple known for its Tantric rituals. Discover the untouched natural splendour, spiritual aura, ancient legends, fascinating history and the rich cultural heritage of Assam while cruising in the resplendent waters of one of the greatest rives in India on our Brahmaputra Cruise Tour.
You will get a warm welcome on your arrival at the Kolkata International Airport by our travel counselor, who will then assist you in your hotel transfer and check-in. Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta, is a 350 years old metropolis located on the banks of River Hooghly on India's Eastern coast. It served as the capital of British India till 1911. Even today, the city presents an intriguing paradox of old colonial charm lingering in its monuments, mansions and museums and new, modern and futuristic establishments looming everywhere. Kolkata is often known as the birthplace of a modern Indian literature, art, music and creativity.
Its busy, chaotic and vivid streets are brimming with great shopping opportunities. A short ride on the cities underground subway and a boat ride on the Hooghly will help you in unravelling the multiple layers of this city.
After breakfast you will proceed for city sightseeing of Kolkata. Get acquainted with India's fascinating natural history and art on your visit to one of the oldest museum in Asia, the Indian Museum established in 1814. You will visit the majestic white marble structure of The Victoria Memorial, built to commemorate 25 years of Queen Victoria's rule over India. With 64 acres of lush green lawns, it is currently a museum documenting the city's history. You can also visit the National Library of India and the Academy of Fine Arts and other art galleries to know more about Kolkata.
Visit The Missionaries of Charity, a place that personifies compassion and the spirit of humanity. Established by Mother Teresa in 1950, this place has more than 4500 Sisters helping the poor, the disabled and the needy. In the evening, enjoy a meditative sunset at one of the many Ghats on river Hoogly with stunning views of the grand Vidyasagar Setu bridge. Finally, behold the massive steel structure of the Howrah Bridge, which is lit up and dazzling in the night. An iconic landmark of Kolkata, it one of the longest cantilever bridges in the world.
After breakfast, you will leave for Dibrugarh. On your arrival, you will be assisted in your transfer to Dikhou Mukh from where you will embark your ship for cruising. Dibrugarh got its name because of its origin at the mouth of River Dibaru. It is one of the biggest producers of tea in India. The city has a remarkable colonial connect. It was the commercial and administrative capital of the British in the region of Upper Assam. It was also the principal military base used as a transit camp for Burma evacuees during World War II.
You will begin your magical cruise with breathtaking landscapes spanning blue rivers and verdant hills in the placid waters of River Brahmaputra also known as the lifeline of Assam. Behold the mesmerizing natural beauty of the area and the vivid, refreshing hues which make Assam one of the most beautiful destinations in India.
After breakfast, you will get off your cruise ship and leave for an excursion by road to Sivasagar. The city of Sivasagar meaning -- the ocean of Lord Shiva is surrounded by rich and diverse biodiversity of the Dehing Rainforest where the Dehing and Lohit rivers meet. One time capital of the Ahom kings, Sivasagar is popular for its beautiful Ahom monuments and palaces which are a strange and delightful amalgam of Indian and South East Asian architecture.
You can explore the ancient palaces, stupa like temples and monuments from the Ahom era in the Sivasagar countryside. You will see one of the most interesting features of the city, Borpukhuri one of the largest hand excavated reservoirs in the world. You will enjoy a relaxed lunch in the midst of acres of lush green tea plantations at the serene Horu Charai, tea estate. After that you will return to the ship and cruise for another 3 hours down river to one of the largest river islands in the world, Majuli Island.
Add a dash of excitement to your North Eastern adventures with a visit to Majuli Island : a virtual paradise nestled amidst the mighty Brahmaputra River. Due to floods each year, this stunning oasis is slowly eroding and will disappear completely in the next 20 years. The Satra's or Hindu monasteries are the heart of the culture, literature and art in the island. Post noon, you will watch a traditional dance performance depicting a religious tale at the Kalambari Satra which is mainly used as a theater.
Another feature that has put Majuli Island on the world map is the intricate masks made here. You can visit the Natun Samaguri Satra to observe the incredible crafting process of these masks made for festivals and events. With picturesque paddy fields, a vibrant culture and a gentle, hospitable locals, a visit to this pollution free environment friendly place will leave you feeling blessed. Later you return to the ship for further cruising.
You will be spending most of the time on the ship today, occasionally stopping en route to visit tribal village along the banks of Brahmaputra River. You will get a peek into the heart of Assam -- the centuries old traditions and customs of its tribal people who remain untouched by the modern world even today. Take a walk into an incredible tribal village and experience their everyday rural life, their cultural offerings as well as their religious rituals. Soak in their fascinating history and natural splendor of the surroundings in which they live. You can also get better acquainted with their local music and indigenous crafts.
In the afternoon, you will touch the outskirts of Kaziranga National Park. You may get to see some movement of the abundant wildlife of the park from your ship itself.
After breakfast you will visit the quaint temple town of Vishwanath Charali overlooking the Kaziranga forest. It has a fine Shiva temple constructed on a hillock by Ahom King Rajeswar Singha in 1751-69. Take a stroll along the Vishwanath Ghat before boarding the ship back for sailing. At noon you will disembark at the Kaziranga National Park.
Kaziranga National Park is a beautiful confluence of nature and wildlife coming together to form a paradise for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. Home to two-third population of one horned rhino's of the world, Kaziranga National Park is one of the India's leading wild life reserves proclaimed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located across the flood plains of the mighty Brahmaputra River, it is characterized by tall elephant grass intermixed with marshlands and tropical evergreen forests.
Apart from the famous one horned rhinos, Kaziranga is home to many other rare species like the Asiatic elephants, wild water buffalo, leopards and Royal Bengal Tigers amongst many others. It has one of the highest densities of tiger population in the world and was officially listed as a Tiger Reserve in 2006. It is also a popular destination for exotic migratory birds like the black-nested stork and the lesser white-fronted goose to name a few.
You will enjoy a thrilling afternoon jungle safari through Kaziranga National Park, taking a jeep ride through its Western Range which has woodlands, grasslands as well as wetlands which can be viewed from look-out towers.
The story of how Kaziranga National Park was formed dates back to 1904 when the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon along with his wife Mary went on an excursion to this region but found no signs of rhinos here even though it was known as a home to them. So Mary Curzon proposed the idea of converting Kaziranga into a reserve forest. Today, it is one of the finest wildlife reserves in the world, harbouring over 2400 rhinoceros, making it the best place in the world to see these beasts.
You will have a memorable early morning elephant ride in the central range of the National Park where you can enjoy watching these majestic beasts in their natural habitat. After breakfast, you will take a serene walk through beautiful terraced lush green tea gardens and then leave for a visit to the village of the ethnic Mishing Tribe. The Mishing tribe can trace its roots to South East Asia from where they came to Assam as early as 16th century. Visit their village to experience their rich culture, beautiful folk dances and melodious music, and interact with these fun loving and hospitable people.
In the afternoon, you will go for another adventurous jeep safari into Kaziranga's little-visited Eastern Range or the newly-opened Burapahar Range before returning to your cruising vessel.
You will enjoy exhilarating morning and evening jeep safaris with an expert naturalist in the Gir Forests. Made up of rugged ridges, hills, plateaus and valleys, Gir has a rich biodiversity. It is not only the last abode of the big and regal Asiatic lion but also houses a variety of other animals like leopards, deer, sambhars, cheetals, blue bulls, jackals and hyenas amongst many others. Later, you can unwind in the Hotel.
You will spend a leisurely morning relaxing on board the cruise ship. After lunch, you will disembark in the little village of Dah Parbatia. Visit the remnants of Da-Parbatia temple, a Hindu temple believed to have been built around 5th or 6th century. With stunning carvings and supreme artwork on its walls and doors, it is one of the finest representations of the architectural splendour and iconoclastic art of ancient Assam. Later you will take a cycle rickshaw to explore the local markets of Dah Parbatiya. After that you will re-board your ship and cruise down to moor for the night near the isolated Singri Hill.
You will spend the entire day on the cruise, traversing the waters of River Brahmaputra, which hides strong undercurrents under its serene exterior. Soak in the heavenly landscape of lush green hues, verdant hillocks, undulating paddy fields and the occasional sand bars. Brahmaputra, the lifeline of Assam is home to almost 200 species of aquatic vertebrates, mostly fishes. You can sit on the decks to enjoy views of the rustic countryside and charming wooden boats. If you are lucky, you may catch a fleeting sight of the Gangetic River Dolphin somersaulting in the water. You can also do some bird watching.
Later, the cruise will get close to the range of hills beyond which lies Guwahati. You will then stop for the night not far from the Ganesh Pahar, a small immigrant Muslim village.
You will be mesmerized by the morning leg of your cruise surrounded by stunning landscapes of jungle-covered hills. At midday, you will reach Guwahati and the cruise will moor opposite the city. Enjoy a scenic climb up to the ancient Hindu Aswaklanta temple on a hillock. Built in 1720 AD by the Ahom King Shiva Singha, the temple faced major demolition due to a massive earthquake in 1897. However due to the efforts of Lord Curzon - the Viceroy, it was renovated again. Surrounded my many Hindu legends, the temple has incredible stone inscriptions on its walls.
You will then drive to Baihata Chariali to visit the beautiful temple ruins of Madan Kamdev, also known as 'Khajuraho of the East.' Surrounded by dense forests, small water bodies and green hills, the temple is an archaeological site dating back to 10th and 12th century AD. Prepare to be spell bound by the intricate carvings and more than 500 stunning sculptures celebrating eroticism and the beauty of female form. The awe and mystery surrounding the temple is easier felt than put in words. Later, you will return to the ship and cruise down to Sualkuchi either in the evening or the following morning.
After breakfast, you we will visit the weaver's village of Sualkuchi to get a peek into the traditional Assamese culture of weaving. Trace the process of silk manufacturing, from cocoon to spinning to dyeing and finally to hand weaving into exquisite saris and textiles. You will fall in love with the colourful Assamese silks called Mekhala Chadars with their vivid designs. You can interact with the weavers who have been working on hand operated looms for many generations in their workshops
You will then go on to explore the city of Guwahati after the ship docks. Soak in the bustling bazaars, local flavor, slow crawling traffic and the unhurried pace of life in the largest metropolis of the entire North Eastern region of India. Later you will drive up to the Nilachal hill to pay reverence at the Kamakhya temple, one of the most sought after pilgrimage destinations for Hindus. Dedicated to goddess Kamakhya, the temple is considered a symbol of women power and fertility. Shrouded in ancient tales and legends, it is known for its black magic rituals, Tantric worshippers and animal sacrifices.
After, breakfast you will leave for the Guwahati airport from where you will board a flight to your onward destination. Please Note River cruise is subject to river conditions and the elephant safaris are subject to availability. Both Kaziranga and Orang National Parks contain low-lying grasslands which may not be accessible when the river is at or near flood level.