The Last Frontiers of India - Nagaland Hornbill Festival

The Last Frontiers of India - Nagaland Hornbill Festival

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 13 days
Type: GroupTravel with a small group of other travellers


Day 1 - Kolkata

Arrive in Kolkata, India’s second largest city, which encapsulates modern India –hectic, vibrant and teeming with life. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at Lytton Hotel or similar. 

Day 2 – Kolkata – Kohima (70 kms, approx. 4 hours due to the very poor condition of the roads)

After checking out of our hotel we will transfer to the airport for a flight to Dimapur (15kg checked bag allowance and 7kg hand baggage), and on arrival transfer to Kohima. Overnight at a local hotel. (B)

Day 3 – Kohima –Hornbill Festival Opening Ceremony

Today we will spend the day at the site of the Hornbill Festival, which takes place at Kisama Heritage Village, and join in the opening ceremony. This open-air museum has a representative selection of traditional Naga houses and morungs (bachelor dormitories) with full-sized log drums. The festival is attended by all of Nagaland’s major tribes, and features traditional arts, dances, folk songs and games. All this takes place amidst immaculate replicas of tribal hutments complete with wood carvings and hollow log drums, which are beaten in haunting symphony at the end of the day. The opening speeches begin at 2pm and are followed by the performances. There are many handicraft and food stalls as well as heady palm beer and wine to sample. In the evening the main attraction is the Hornbill National Rock Concert, where bands from all over the country come to compete. This is followed by a night market in town. Overnight at a local hotel.

Please note that when the sun goes down it can be very cold, so you should bring warm outdoor clothing with you.

Day 4 – Kohima – Hornbill Festival

Today we will attend Day 2 of the festival. Overnight at a local hotel. (B)

Day 5 – Kohima- War Cemetery (24 kms, approx. 1.5 hours due to poor road conditions). Kohima to Khonoma village (48 kms, approx. 3 hour return trip due to the poor state of the roads).    

This morning, we will visit the Kohima World War 2 cemetery, a tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives during the Japanese invasion of the Second World War. In the afternoon visit the picturesque Khonoma Village outside of Kohima and home to the Angami tribe. Overnight at a local hotel. (B)

Day 6 –Kohima - Jorhat (195 kms, approx. 7 hours in total due to very poor condition of the roads)

Today we travel to Jorhat, a major tea centre, conveniently located for visiting nearby Majuli Island. Overnight at Thengal Manor Hotel or similar (B)

Day 7- Jorhat – Majuli

Take the local ferry on the mighty Brahmaputra River to Majuli Island, noted for its beautiful rural setting and the traditional Assamese architecture. It is also famous for its monastic retreats where the worship of Lord Vishnu is through dance, music and poetry. Overnight at a local guesthouse. (B)

Day 8 – Majuli Island- Kaziranga (155 kms, approx. 6 hours)

Take the ferry across to the mainland and then drive to Kaziranga, which was declared a game reserve in 1926, with the aim of saving the Indian One- Horned Rhino from extinction. Overland at Landmark Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Day 9 – Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park is a World Heritage Site offering great opportunities to spot the iconic Indian One Horned Rhino– more than 75% of the world’s population reside within the park boundaries. Other wildlife is also plentiful and includes water buffalo, elephants, tigers, swamp deer, barking deer and hog deer along with some 400 species of birds. In the morning we will take a safari through the park, sometimes on elephants which will be confirmed the day before, looking for rhino and other animals. Return to your hotel for lunch and in the afternoon return to the park for a jeep safari. Overnight at Landmark Hotel or similar (BLD)

The use of elephants for the safari is currently under review

Day 10 – Kaziranga – Shillong (252 kms, approx. 5.5 hours)

Drive from Kaziranga to Shillong the capital of Meghalaya state. This evening you can stroll around the busy Police Bazaar with its stalls and restaurants. Overnight at Poinisuk Hotel. (B)

Day 11- Shillong- Mawlynnong Village (100 kms, approx. 3 hours) - Shillong

Take an excursion to the attractive village of Mawlynnong, known as the cleanest in Asia. While there you will have the opportunity to see a living root bridge, formed from the roots of rubber trees, before returning to Shillong. Overnight at Poinisuk Hotel. (B)  

Day 12– Shillong

Today we take a city tour of Shillong and the best way to enjoy its sights is on foot. With no significant monuments, the attractions here lie in the scenic beauty, parks, waterfalls and panoramic views. Places worth visiting include the Don Bosco Museum, decorative Ward Lake in the heart of Shillong and the Bara Bazaar where you can see local and hill-people, mostly women, trading their wares including interesting jewellery and handicrafts. Overnight at Poinisuk Hotel or similar (B)

Day 13 – Shillong – Guwahati (120 kms, approx. 3 hours) - Kolkata – Departure

After checking out of your hotel we will transfer to the airport in Guwahati for a short flight to Kolkata (15kg checked bag allowance and 7kg hand baggage).to connect with your onward flight or further accommodation can be arranged in Kolkata (B)

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