Thrown across the farthest reaches of India, obscured from the greater world by ageless forests and formidable mountain ranges, the Northeast States are one of Asia’s last great natural and anthropological sanctuaries. Sharing borders with Bhutan, Tibet, Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh, these remote frontiers are a region of rugged beauty, and a collision zone of tribal cultures, climates, landscapes and peoples. In this wonderland for adventurers, glacial Himalayan rivers spill onto Assam’s vast floodplains, faith moves mountains on the perilous pilgrimage to Tawang, rhinos graze in Kaziranga’s swampy grasslands and former headhunters slowly embrace modernity in their ancestral longhouses in Nagaland.
Of course, it’s not all smooth sailing in these faraway states, and here’s a horde of obstacles to battle along the way. Only those with a taste for raw adventure need apply. Come explore this formidable yet spellbindingly beautiful region of India with Offbeat Tracks!
- Day 1: Shillong: Fly to Guwahati and drive to Shillong.
- Day 2: Shillong: Local Shillong sightseeing and a trip to Cherrapunjee.
- Day 3: Shillong: Day trip to Mawlynnong.
- Day 4: Kaziranga: Drive to Kaziranga National Park and evening safari.
- Day 5: Kaziranga: Elephant Safari and relax at Guest House.
- Day 6: Nagaland, Kigwema: Drive to Nagaland and settle into homestay at Kigwema.
- Day 7: Kohima: Kohima sightseeing, Khonoma tour, night market.
- Day 8: Kigwema: Kigwema village tour.
- Day 9: Kigwema: Culinary tour and treks around Kigwema.
- Day 10: Departure: Departure from Dimapur airport.
- 3 nights in Shillong
- 2 nights in Kaziranga at a local homestay
- 4 nights in Kigwema at a traditional Angami homestay
Room with Breakfast: Shillong
Room with Breakfast & Lunch/Dinner: Kaziranga, Kigwema
Medium sized luxury vehicle.
Day 1: Fly into Guwahati and drive to Shillong
Fly into Guwahati and after reception drive to Shillong. Stop at the scenic Umaim Lake for lunch.
This is a scenic drive with excellent roads. Settle into your homestay for the evening.
Day 2: Local Shillong Sightseeing
Shillong the Scotland of the East, was the capital of the erstwhile British created state of Assam. Visit the Laitlum Canyons Mawphlang Sacred Forest, Spread Eagle Fall, Sweet Fall, Elephant falls and Shillong peak, the Cathedral Catholic Church and Lady Hydari Park.
Explore the market streets and night life of this city and tuck into some delicious street food!
Day 3: Shillong-Mawlynnong village-Dawki-Cherrapunjee
After breakfast, drive to Mawlynnong which is the cleanest village in Asia. Drive through winding roads and panoramic views. Visit the famous living roots bridge and explore rural lifestyle in the village.
About the Living Roots Bridge:
Living root bridges are a form of tree shaping common in the southern part Meghalaya. They are handmade from the aerial roots of Rubber Trees by the Khasi and Jaintia people of the mountainous terrain along the southern part of the Shillong Plateau.The pliable tree roots are made to grow through betel tree trunks which have been placed across rivers and streams until the figs’ roots attach themselves to the other side. Sticks, stones, and other objects are used to stabilize the growing bridge. This process can take up to 15 years to complete.
Day 4: Drive to Kaziranga National Park.
This is a five hour drive from Shillong to Kaziranga National Park. Settle into your homestay tonight. If time permits, you can take an evening jeep/ elephant safari.
Day 5: Kaziranga National Park
The famed one-horned rhinoceros, one of India’s best-known tourism wildlife mascots, calls the expansive grasslands of the Kaziranga National Park home. The park consists of western, central and eastern ranges, with the central range doubling as the venue for early-morning elephant safaris. Spend the day today taking an elephant safari followed by a jeep safari and enjoy the abundance of wildlife that this park has to offer.
Day 6: Ahoy Nagaland!
Start early for a long drive to Kohima. The capital of Nagaland. The uncontested ‘wild east’ of India, Nagaland is probably one of the reasons you come to the Northeast in the first place. A place of primeval beauty, Nagaland’s dazzling hills and valleys– right on the edge of the India–Myanmar border – are an otherworldly place where, until very recently, some 16-odd headhunting Naga tribes valiantly fought off any intruders.
Come settle into a cosy homestay with an Angami family and revel in traditional Naga hospitality.
Day 7: Khonoma and Kohima visit
A one of its kind project in the country, Khonoma village is a testament to the will power of the tribal groups of Nagaland to protect and conserve their natural habitat. The village is an ecovillage with all forms of hunting admonished for a more sustainable ecosystem.
The reason Khonoma is even more special is that the Naga tribes, who live here are traditionally known to be largely dependent on nature for their food and hunt on a mass level, but the tribes of the Khonoma villagers have given up on this century old practice, to protect their environment An ambitious project of converting a whole tribal village into an eco-friendly, conservation based village whose people have given up on traditional practices which used to harm their own surroundings. Traveling to this village hidden in the base of the mountains of Nagaland one admires their courage, resolve and success. Khonoma Village is worth a visit to see for oneself the success that can be achieved in an alternative form of living.
Visit the capital city of Kohima and marvel at its splendid landscape the famous cathedrals, the war cemetery and spend some time at the local market and watch the city go by! Spend the evening at the market purchasing exotic ingredients for your culinary tour experience by night! You must visit the Kohima Museum, The British War Cemetery and the Kohima Cathedral.
Day 8: Spend a day like a local Naga villager
Learn the traditional Angami way of life, see the Morungs and local homes. Learn basket weaving and shawl weaving. Spend your afternoon walking the fields and have an exotic lunch in the fields savoring locally brewed wine.
Day 9: Treks and village walks & stays
Spend your day at the village walking amidst the lush green fields. You may explore the surrounding forests and watch the stream cascade by.
Day 10: Departure from Dimapur
Drive down to Dimapur today and fly back from Nagaland with memories to last you a lifetime!