The Mishmi trail unfolds to us the untouched beauty of the Lohit in Arunachal Pradesh. Still unexplored, it offers to the guest a heady flavour of the East. It embraces the rich culture of the Mishmis, the sacredness of Parasuramkund, the tranquility of the verdant tea plantations and the golden land of the brave Khamptis- all ensconced in one. It offers a holiday option very difficult to resist.
Received at Guwahati airport and transfer to the hotel. En-route we visit the holy Kamakhya temple. In the evening, we visit the Srimanta Shankardeva Kalashetra. Overnight at the hotel.
Guwahati: Situated on the southern bank of the River Brahmaputra in the Kamrup District of Assam, Guwahati is a fast growing premier city. It is the gate way to the North Eastern States of India and a principal center of socio cultural, political, industrial and trade and commerce of the entire region. Dispur, the capital of Assam is a part of Guwahati. In earlier years, this city was full of areca nut trees rappled by pan creepers. Hence this city subsequently got the name Guwahati. The word ‘Guwa’ in Assamese means areca nut and Hat means market.
Kamakhya Temple: Situated atop the Nilachal hills, the foremost shrine of Assam, Kamakhya Temple dominates Guwahati, as much as the great Brahmaputra river. Kamakhya is an ancient seat of tantric and shakti cults of Hinduism. A rush of devotees throng the Temple during the Ambubachi Puja celebrated in June.
Srimanta Shankerdeva Kalashetra - a multi-art complex portrays the rich cultural diversity and life of Assam as well as that of the North-east. This art complex has been named after the greatest Vaishnavite saint and integrator of Assamese society. It is also the venue for many cultural activities. Enjoy the sound and light programme on the history of the region here.
Today morning we visit Sualkuchi and Hajo. Later drive to Kaziranga National Park (220kms /04 ½ hrs). On arrival check in hotel for 02 nights.
Sualkuchi : Located on the banks of the Brahmaputra, 35 kms north of Guwahati, Sualkuchi is a weaving village that produces some of the best silk in the state. This sleepy little village exudes a charm like no other. Almost every house has an adjacent shed (karkhana) that houses the traditional bamboo loom- the gentle click-clacking of which can be heard from the streets. You can walk into any of the numerous karkhanas and observe the talented weavers weaving intricate patterns on the golden Muga silk.
In the early years of the 20th century, Sualkuchi was developed as a “crafts village”. Most of the funds for this development work came from eminent Gandhians across the country who responded to the “back to the villages” slogan of Gandhiji’s swadeshi drive. Although the weaving industry of Sualkuchi remained almost confined to the tanti community till the 1930’s , with encouragement from the government, people from other communities also took up silk weaving. There are about 17000 silk looms in Sualkuchi producing an eclectic range of silk products. Most of Sualkuchi’s silk is woven into mekhela-chadars and gamosas. Owing to the increasing demand , the weavers of Sualkuchi have diversified to saris, shawls and dress material. The silk weaving of Sualkuchi provides direct and indirect employment to more than 25,000 people throughout the year.
Hajo – the meeting point of Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu faiths on the northern bank of river Brahmaputra, has a number of temples The chief among them being the Hayagrib Madhab Temple – a place of pilgrimage both for the Hindus and the Buddhists. Hajo’s bell-metal work is renowned for the interesting artifacts made by local craftsmen.
KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK - Kaziranga National Park - is a World Heritage Site, where more than 75% of the world’s total population of the great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros can be found. It lies on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River and is one of the oldest parks of Assam. Besides rhinos, the Asiatic Water Buffalo, Elephants, Royal Bengal Tigers, Swamp deer, Barking deer and Hog deer can be seen. About 400 species of birds are found in Kaziranga National Park. To name a few- Swamp Francolin, Great Hornbill, Pallas Fish Eagle, Pied Falconets, Greater Adjutant Stork, Long Billed Vulture. There is no telling what one might find in Kaziranga but it is always a great experience. The specialty here is the Blue naped pitta among a host of Raptors and Waterfowl. The adjoining buffer areas are worth a try too, as numerous rare sightings are reported regularly.
Note : National Park in this sector remains open from 1st Nov to 30th April every year. However during October like previous year, we are hopeful that this coming October also the Forest Dept. will be able to keep the National Park open for Safari's wef 01 Oct. However, this can only be confirmed nearer to date, which Forest Dept. will declare keeping the weather and other factors in mind. Incase park is opened in Oct there is limited access as full access to all the ranges are normally not permitted due to weather and road condition. Alternatively 01 Nov to 30 Apr is confirmed date for opening of park. Hence suggest to plan the trip accordingly
Full day game drive inside the park with early morning Elephant Safari. Post breakfast we go for a Jeep Safari. Later in the afternoon enjoy another Jeep Safari inside the park. Evening at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Elephant Safari: Approximately 45 mins duration 05.30 to 06.30, 06.30 to 07.30
Elephant safari for foreign nationals are held only on Kaziranga Range, Kohora (Central Range) Allocation of elephant riding seats and timings are regulated by the forest department, Kaziranga National Park, Government of Assam. The tickets for the same are issued only on the previous evening of the ride after 7:30 PM. subject to availability It starts very early in the morning and continues for approx 45 minutes. It is the best way to explore the wide variety of wildlife in Kaziranga National Park. The park is covered by elephant grass which is very high and so the view from elephant back is perfect! During the course of the safari one can see herds of Indian Elephants, One-horned Rhinoceros at a very close distance. This proximity to wild animals in Kaziranga National Park makes the trip memorable and thrilling. The elephant safari takes place in the central range of the park and one gets good views of the rhino while traversing through its terrain of swamps and tall grass. It is also great for early morning photography of rhinos in the mist. There are good chances of seeing the Bengal Florican from elephant back.
Forenoon: Entry time between 0730 to 1000 Hours. No entry after 1000 Hrs
Afternoon: Entry time between 1330 to 1500 Hours. No entry after 1500 Hrs .
Jeep Safaris are permitted on pre-defined tourist circuits within Kaziranga National Park- currently at the following four points. Each of these circuits takes about one and half to two and half hours (or even more depending upon interest of the tourists), subject to local range conditions and weather. Jeep Safari may be cancelled / curtailed due to any reason by the Park Authorities without prior notice.
1. Mihimukh in Central Range at Kohora
2. Bagori in Western Range at Bagori
3. Agaratoli in Eastern Range at Agaratoli
4. Ghorakati in Burapahar Range at Ghorakhati
The Central Range passes through the entire habitat spectrum from ox-bow lakes, savannah woodland to swamp forests. It is very good for mammal sightings as well as for birds (Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Great Hornbill, Rufous Woodpecker). While driving along the trail, one can see rows of Indian Roofed and Tent Turtles (Kachuga tecta and Kachuga tentoria). Water Monitors Varanus salvator are sometimes spotted in the beels.
The Eastern Range abounds in water birds such as bar-headed geese, falcated duck, grey-headed lapwing and spot-billed pelican (a colony of 200 pairs of this globally threatened species nesting on the Bombax trees can be found here).
The Western Range has the highest density of rhinos as this part of the park is swampier. It has grassland birds and raptors (swamp francolin, pallas's fish eagle etc ). Smooth Indian Otters ( Lutrogale perspicillata) can sometimes be seen fishing in it’s ox-bow lakes.
Post breakfast visit a local tribal village (Durgapur) and Orchid Park cum and Biodiversity Conservation Centre at Kaziranga. Later drive to Kohima (215 kms / 05 hrs). Enroute we visit the Hot Water Spring and Shiva Temple. On arrival check in at hotel at Kohima for 02 nights.
The Kaziranga Orchid Park cum Biodiversity Conservation Centre is spread across 16 bighas of land. It also has a photo gallery of 500 orchids, a greenhouse, lakes with boating and angling facilities and small tree-houses, among other attractions. The basic purpose of opening this park was to conserve local varieties of orchids, flowers, fruits, fish and also to spread cultural awareness knowledge . Those visiting the park will also be able to taste juices of local fruits, pithas (local cakes) and enjoy Borgeet and Xattriya dance performances as well. Experts have been involved to give shape to the park. Khonjit Gogoi, a teacher who has been preserving orchids for the past 20 years pitched in to shape the park. As did Mahan Bora, a farmer, with his 10-year experience in collecting paddy varieties, Kunti Bora, an expert in medicinal plants, who helped in opening a medicinal plants sales counter, Bihu expert, Dhaneswar Saikia who showcases the original Bihu dance forms and music while Xattriya expert, Biplob Baruah for Xattriya dance training.
Kohima, situated in the south at an altitude of 1444 m above sea level, is the capital city of Nagaland. Kohima has the advantage of being centrally located - bounded by the state of Assam on the West, Wokha district on the North, Zunheboto and Phek districts on the East and Manipur state on the S outh. The Angami, Rengma and Zeliangrong communities mainly inhabit Kohima District.
Today we visit the WWII Cemetery, where the famous Battle of Tennis Court took place, the State Museum, the Handloom and Handicrafts Emporium, the local market and the Khonoma village which is inhabited by the western Angami tribe and is famous for its cleanliness measures. Overnight at the hotel in Kohima.
KOHIMA WORLD WAR-II CEMETERY: Overlooking Kohima amidst scenic environs, the Kohima War Cemetery is a memorial in the honour of those officers and soldiers killed during the World War II. Formerly known as Garrison Hill it is designed as a series of terraces with magnificent stone steps, bearing testimony to one of the most stubborn, close and bloody fighting in the whole of the Second World War.
On the 18 plots of the cemetery, there are 1421 slabs erected in memory of soldiers who were killed in the Battle of Kohima. The cemetery is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Before leaving Kohima the British erected a moving memorial in memory of their fallen comrades:
“When you go home, tell them of us, and say: ‘For your tomorrow, we gave our today.’’
STATE MUSEUM: Located at Bayavü Hill, about 1½ km from the main town, it houses a rare collection of artifacts of each Naga tribe. The State Museum also has authentic Naga precious stones on display. Here one can see the most valued and expensive necklaces used by the Nagas. They are an assortment of precious stones which include cornelian, tourmaline, coral, core of xancus, ivory and other beads, brass and silver bells. Another interesting displays are the Naga Morung/hut models. From these models one can discern that the villages were located on hilltops-perhaps to survey/watch the valley below for approaching friends or foes. The variations in architecture among the different tribes is just amazing. Musical instruments are also displayed. The various instruments give an insight into how music formed an integral part of Naga life. Log drum, Tati, a single stringed instrument, and other instruments made of bamboo and buffalo horns are used during festivals and other social gatherings. For the art lovers, the state museum has an art gallery which houses collections of paintings by different local artists. The themes vary from traditional to modern.
THE STATE EMPORIUM: displays the finest collection of tribal shawls, handbags, wood carvings, mekhalas, cane and bamboo handicrafts and ready-made garments of traditional weaves, designed to modern taste.
LOCAL MARKET: A visit to the market is recommended to savour local flavours. It has stalls piled up with local fruit, vegetables, herbs, chillies (the hottest in the country), edible insects, fish and meat. Women sell local honey and bamboo shoot by the roadside
Khonoma Village: Located 20 kms West of Kohima is Khonoma village.The village referred to as “Khwünoria” by the residents is estimated to be around 700 years old and is surrounded by hills that are as high as 9000 ft. It was here that the Naga warriors made their last stand against the British in 1879. The village is named after a plant locally known as “Khüno” that grows in the area. The alder tree (Alnus Nepalensis) is found in abundance in this region. Khonoma is famous for its management of jhum (shifting agriculture) fields with alder trees, which fixes nitrogen in the soil and checks soil erosion. With its mission "Green Khonoma", it has become the Model Village for eco-tourism. The Village Council has made it mandatory for every household to have dustbins. Once a month, sanitation drives are carried out and the community’s garbage is burnt. The ashes and residue are then used as manure. The combination of rich bio-diversity and stunning landscape makes Khonoma an excellent candidate for eco-tourism.
The Kohima War Cemetery is closed on Sundays and sometimes after lunch on Saturdays. It is also closed on government holidays
The State Emporium remains closed on Sundays and Govt. Holidays.
The State Museum: Visiting Hours: Timings: 10 A.M. - 4 P.M. (Closed on all Holidays and Sundays of the week)
Post breakfast we drive to Jorhat (210 kms/ 05-06 hrs) and check in at the hotel.
After breakfast we drive to Neematighat (30 min) for a ferry boat crossing (1 hr downstream boat cruise- the time taken depends upon the water level of the river) to Majuli - the largest inhabited river island in the world and famous for the Vaishnavite Satras or monasteries (Kamalabari Satra, Auniati Satra, Benganti satra, and many more) and culture. It is nestled between the confluence of the Subansiri and the Brahmaputra River. Visit the monasteries and interact with the tribes on the island. Later in the afternoon we ferry back to mainland and stay overnight at the hotel.
Majuli Island-A World Heritage Site, is located in the Brahmaputra River and is the largest inhabited riverine island in the world. The island has long served as a monastic retreat to the Vaishnavite community and is noted for its beautiful rural setting and the traditional Assamese and Mishing tribal architecture.
On arrival, we drive to a monastery and en-route pass through both Assamese and Mishing Villages - the Mishing houses are typified by being built on stilts and their ‘long house’ style of design. At the monastery you will be given an orientation tour by one of the monks of the monastic cell and temple. (Please note that you will be expected to remove your shoes when entering the Vaishnavite monasteries). These Satras/ monasteries were set up by Srimanta Shankardev, the leader of Vaishnavite revival in the 16th Century. These are active and nurture the traditional dance form ‘Satriya’ (which is the 5th nationally recognized dance form other than Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali and Manipuri), music and crafts (mask- making), besides religious teachings.
The Mishings belong to the Tibeto-Burman clan of the Mongoloid race. It's not known exactly where they migrated from, but it is believed that they were dwellers of the hills of present day Arunachal Pradesh. This explains the cultural and linguistic similarities they have with the people of the Adi (erstwhile Abor) tribe, and to some extent of the Hill Miri and Dafla tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. Somewhere around the 13th century, they started migrating towards the plains of Assam, most probably in search of fertile land. This exodus continued for at least 2-3 centuries.
As fate would have it, they found one of the most fertile river-beds (that of the mighty Brahmaputra) and settled on both banks along the length of the river, starting right from Sadiya in the east, to Jorhat in the west. They continued their practice of living in thatched houses raised on bamboo stilts, known as Chang ghar. It was a protection against flood waters during the rainy season, although the original logic behind raised houses was protection from wild beasts.
The yearly floods ensured that the Mishings lived a life of abject poverty and misery. Agriculture being their main occupation, floods affect them in more ways than one.
Their chief festival is Ali-Aye-Ligang, in the month of February, which celebrates the agricultural harvest. Most Mishings follow both the Donyi-Polo and Hindu religions, and there are a few Christians who follow the Catholic or Baptist faith.
Early morning visit the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary (22 kms/ 40 mins). Later we drive to Dibrugarh (145 kms/ 03 ½ hrs). En-route we visit the Ahom monuments and temples at Sivasagar which encompass the 600 year old history of the Ahom Dynasty. Check in at the Mancotta/Chowkidinghee Heritage Chang Bungalow for 02 nights.
Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, 22 kms from the heart of Jorhat town, famed for its Hoolock gibbon population, is an isolated wildlife forest surrounded by tea plantations. With an area of around 20 sq km, it is located on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River in Jorhat District, Assam. This sanctuary was established with the aim to protect the Hoolock gibbon. It is home to 40 species of mammals. Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary protects capped langur, stump-tailed macaque, pigtail macaque, assamese macaque, rhesus macaque and slow loris.
Sivasagar was once the capital of the Ahom Kings. The Shans who came from Thailand through Northern Myanmar to this area in the early 13th century, ruled from here for 600 years. Thus the ruins of Ahom palaces and monuments dot the landscape around this historical town. The Siva Temple situated in Sibsagar was built by the Ahoms and is believed to be the tallest of all existing hindu temples. Centuries, before the arrival of the British, this part of the world was controlled by a number of tribal chieftains.
Dibrugarh is the gateway to the “hidden land” of Eastern Arunachal Pradesh and Northern Myanmar. The Ahoms from Thailand came through Northern Myanmar to this area in the 13th century to establish their empire which thrived in the ancient land of Assam. It is the “Camellia” town of Upper Assam, an undisturbed , unspoiled and undistributed paradise on earth with breath- taking scenic beauty surrounded by a lush green expanse of tea plantatons. Tea incidentally is a variety of the camellia plant. Experience and enjoy the richness of these tea gardens while staying at the Heritage Chang Bungalows. These are constructed on stilts and are situated in a serene atmosphere free from pollution. In Dibrugarh, Purvi Discovery provides to you, two of its well appointed mid 19th century Chang Bungalows constructed on stilts, Chowkidinghee Chang Bungalow is one such heritage bungalow which welcomes you to Dibrugarh- the “camellia” country! It is ideally suited for a private family holiday allowing you to experience the luxurious raj period hospitality that the British manager and his memsahib enjoyed.
When the British established tea plantations in the mid-19th century, they built comfortable bungalows designed to make life as pleasant as possible in what, was to them, a hostile and strange land. Mancotta Chang Bungalow is another heritage property located on the outskirts of Dibrugarh town. It is conveniently accessible from both Dibrugarh railway station and Dibrugarh airport. It provides a base for a unique holiday set amidst the tea plantations.
Today early morning we drive to Jokai Reserve Forest. It is a small broadleaf forest, minutes away from Dibrugarh. Numerous low altitude tropical species are present here in good numbers like the Small Niltava, Little Pied Flycatcher, Black-winged and Large Cuckoo-shrikes, flocks of Pompadour Green Pigeons, Jay-walking Emerald Dove, Red headed Trogon, Crimson Sunbird, Ruby Checked Sunbird, Scarlet Backed Flowerpecker, Black breasted Thrush. During spring, rare cuckoos (like the Asian Emerald Cuckoo) and flycatchers can be seen here.
Post breakfast, take a tea tour around a tea estate known for producing high quality CTC teas . i.e Ethelwold Tea Estate. Also experience of a Tea tasting session of different types of tea with a knowledgeable person in the field of tea / practicing Estate Manager. Evening enjoy a dance performance by an ethnic dance group on the bungalow lawns. Overnight at Mancotta/Chowkidinghee Heritage Chang Bungalow.
A Tea Tour through a 160 years old heritage tea garden will give you an insight into the different activities that vary from season to season. It will teach you all about tea- its origin, how it is grown, tea tasting and its quality. The estates come alive with teams of colourfully dressed tea pluckers, predominantly ladies, who pluck the delicate buds and leaves. The harvest is taken every day to the factory where it undergoes an age old process of being turned into the finished product. All stages of the process are carefully controlled to ensure that the product which leaves the factory is only of the highest quality, a quality that has made Assam tea world famous.
CTC (Crush, Tear and Curl) tea is a method of processing tea. In this process the leaves instead of being rolled, are passed through a series of cylindrical rollers with hundreds of small sharp "teeth" that Crush, Tear, and Curl.This style of manufacture has the advantage that the finished product brews quickly, gives a dark infusion rapidly, is well suited for tea bags, and yields more cups per kg. In the Indian domestic market, this product has virtually taken over - over 80% of the tea produced is of the CTC type. It produces a rich red-brown color when the tea leaves are boiled and so is best suited for tea made in the Indian style. This is done by boiling leaves in a mixture of milk, water and sugar and some spices (producing Masala Chai).
Orthodox tea: The manufacturing process of orthodox tea is quite different from CTC. Instead of the tea leaf been crushed, the leaves are rolled in a machine that twist and break the leaves to release the natural chemicals that later react with oxygen in the air and give the tea its characteristic aroma and taste. It is the leafy variety of tea.
Mukul Tea Estate has an area of 27hectares and is about 8 Kms (approx 30mins) away from Mancotta Heritage Chang Bungalow. The entire garden which is organic, is located within pristine surroundings. The estate, has within its boundary, a tea plantation, a rich bamboo stand and a wet land which attracts numerous bird species. Visitors can enjoy a firsthand experience of plucking tea by hand and preparing roasted green tea themselves.
Visit to a tea factory is subject to it being operational on the day of the visit. There is no tea plucking between December till mid March and hence the actual manufacturing process of tea cannot be demonstrated when one visits the factory during this period. The factory also remains closed on Monday’s of the week.
Bihu is the most popular folk dance of Assam. It has a unique position amongst other Indian dances given its rhythmic exuberance. ‘Bihu’, is performed by young men and women during the spring season accompanied by songs woven around the theme of love and reflects youthful passion and joy in them. The dance is performed by all- irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
Today post breakfast we visit Namphake Village and Digboi, the first oil town of South Asia. Visit the Oil Museum and the 2nd World War Allied Forces Cemetery where 200 graves are permanently maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Later check in at Wathai Heritage Bungalow, Limbuguri TE.
Namphake is a beautiful ‘Tai’ village situated on the banks of the river Buridihing in Upper Assam.At Namphake one can see traditional houses built on stilts made of bamboo. Their roofs are made of ‘tokou pata’ (fan palm leaves).The Tai-Phakes are Buddhists, who have maintained their traditions and customs, and wear hand woven clothes. They weave beautiful mekhlas and bags of various designs. The people are very hospitable. The Buddhist monastery at Namphake is well maintained and is worth a visit.
Digboi, the first oil town of Asia, is believed to have derived its name from a command- "dig-boy-dig!"- given by the original explorers to their laborers to dig when they found traces of oil in this area. Digboi takes pride in having the second oldest oil refinery in the world which is still partially operational and it also has the distinction of establishing the first oil museum in India. Its 18 hole golf course is an added attraction which lies adjacent to the Upper Dehing Reserve Forest. This golf course is known for its scenic beauty. A visit to the nearby 2nd World War Cemetery and the centenary park offers a unique experience.
Steal yourself away to Wathai heritage bunglow, Limbuguri tea estate- this newly added boutique plantation bungalow will allow you to rejuvenate your senses. As it defines serenity, you will most certainly leave feeling revitalized. It is the idea base whether on a request for quietude or seeking refuge whist on an explorative ornithological tour to the neighbouring Dibru saikhowa national park. Freshly brewed tea from the plantations can be enjoyed in the veranda to the front of the bungalow, while meals are served in the spacious dining room complete with an original fireplace.
N.B.- Digboi museum remains closed on Monday of the week.
Early morning we visit Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Maguri Beel. We take several boat rides on the Dibru River , go for a jungle walk, for a variety of bird sightings and the Gangetic Dolphin sightings. Overnight at the Bungalow.
Dibru-Saikhowa National Park has the most distinct and vibrant wilderness on earth and is known for its pristine scenic beauty. The forest in this park ranges from semi-evergreen to deciduous to littoral to swampy marshes with patches of wet evergreen jungles. Dibru-Saikhowa is a safe haven to many rare and endangered species of over 350 birds and is a must visit site for target-list birders. The big four here are Jerdon's Bushchat, Black-breasted Parrotbill, Marsh babbler and Jerdon’s bushchat. Several other rarely observed species can be found in its extensive grasslands, wetlands, and riverine forests. These include Baer's Pochard, Bengal Florican, Pale-capped Pigeon, Falcated duck, Baikal teal, Chinese spotbilled duck and Rufous vented prinia. Dibru-Saikhowa is a haven for an incredible number of waders ,ducks and raptors. It is well known for grassland birds.
Barekuri – is an Assamese village situated next to the famous Dibru Saikhowa National Park, at a distance of about 10 kms from Guijan . The village is famous for Hollock gibbon, an endangered ape species found in India . Here, the Hollock gibbon has been protected and cared for, ever since one can remember, by the villagers because of their age old religious beliefs. Every day the villagers feed them to ensure that these primates always stay in and around the village. The villagers never cut their tall trees, as gibbons live on them. They also believe that it is a bad omen if a gibbon is seen walking on the ground.
Maguri-Motapung Beel – is in Tinsukia District of Assam. It is a wetland complex which is part of Dibru Saikhowa , and is located just outside the Dibru Saikhowa National Park and Biosphere Reserve. Maguri-Motapung Beel is located in the southern bank of the Dibru River, ‘Beel’ is the local name for a lake with marshy areas around it’s edges. The Beel is connected to the Dibru River by a system of channels and is very rich in aquatic life especially waterfowl and grassland birds. Best time to visit is November to March.
Today take a full day excursion to Wakro, Arunachal Pradesh (02 ½ hrs- 03 hrs). Enroute visit Empong Village inhabited by the Khampti tribes and also visit the Golden Pagoda at Chowkham. At Wakro visit the local villages inhabited by the Mishmi Tribe. In the afternoon drive back to Tinsukia and overnight at the Bungalow.
Khampti Tribal Village at Empong, Chowkham: Empong village near Chowkham (29 kms from Wakro) is a beautiful village enriched by the swiftly flowing Tengapai rivulet and surrounded by lush paddy fields. Tai Khamptis are a sub group of the Shan race of Sagaing Division in northwestern Burma who migrated to India in the 18th century- hence the Khampti possess East Asian features. They are followers of Theravada Buddhism and have adopted the script of Shan origin , known as Lik-Tai. Their houses are built on raised stilts with thatched roof. Wooden planks are used for their flooring and split bamboo for the walls.
Golden Pagoda at Chowkham: It is a beautiful Buddhist Pagoda well located near Tengapani river foot bridge. Close to it one can also see a Buddhist Vihara (Temple ) with an image of the Sleeping Buddha.
Wakro (maximum valley altitude 2000m) is the homeland of the “Mishmis” one of the Mongoliod tribes of Tibeto-Burman origin. They speak their own dialect which varies from different groups. The three major Mishmi groups are “Idus” “Tarons” and the ‘Kamans’. Mishmis are very rich in culture and may be termed as a festival loving people. They believe any day of the year is auspicious for a ceremony if provisions exist. On these days animals are sacrificed. Mishmis are nature worshipers.
Mishmi are the inhabitants of Lohit Districts and the border area of adjoining district. Mishmis are animist and believe in a number of higher spiritual beings. Kabeya, or Pharai in their traditional village council who exercise the judgment of any disputes comes to their society. The Mishmi society is divided into numbers of sub-tribes such as Idu -Mismis, Digaru Mishmi, Miju Mishmi with more or less distinctive characters on its dresses among themselves. This tribe can be easily distinguished from other by their typical hairstyle.
Their dresses reflect the artistic taste and the cultural thinking of the society. The male dress of Miju and Digaru consist of a sleeveless black or maroon coloured cloth with ornamental boarders and waist cloth with a embroidered flag in the front. They wear a head dress of woven cane. The women wear black skirts with coloured stripes reaching above the ankle and a beautiful embroidered bodice and a shawl. The also wear beautiful ornaments made of silver. The women keep themselves busy in weaving. The men are involved in making cane and bamboo products. The puffing of opium with the help of silver or wooden pipes by both men and women is the part and parcel of their tradition. These people may be termed as festive tribe. Reh is the most important festivals celebrated by Idu-Mishmis during 1st week of February
Today after early breakfast drive to Roing, Arunachal Pradesh (02 ½ / 03 hrs). Enroute drive by the India’s longest river bridge - Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Setu also known as the Dhola Sadiya Bridge. At Roing visit the local villages inhabited by the Idu Mishmi tribal people. Interact with the villagers to know more about their rich tradition and culture. In the afternoon drive back to Tinsukia and overnight at the bungalow.
Roing rises from the Himalayan foothills to the middle ranges with the highest point of Mayodia at a height of 2655 meters from mean sea level. Snow-capped peaks, turbulent rivers, mystic valleys and abundance of rich flora & fauna are a few attractions of the district. The district is well known for its largest cover of thick green forest with almost 80% of the area being notified as reserved forest, wild life sanctuaries or unclassified state forests. Idu Mishmi is the major tribe inhabiting this area along with the Adi Padam tribe in the lower plain areas. The Idu Mishmi tribe is also known as Chulikatas (due to their traditional cropped hair). They build their thatched roof houses on the slant of the hills or in the forest. Their main festival is Reh. Their dress is remarkable for the wealth and beauty of its design. Most of it is made by them from wood, partly from cotton and sometimes from nettle fibre. They also wear thick coats of black with white pattern made of nettle fibre and human hair.
The abundance of natural beauty, colorful and charming tribes, ancient archeological sites make the place a perfect destination for nature lovers, adventurous tourists, archeologists and anthropologists.
In time transfer to Dibrugarh airport (45 mins) to board your flight for onward destination.