fbpx

India Expedition: Sikkim, Assam & Nagaland

India Expedition: Sikkim, Assam & Nagaland

From $ 4,265 AUD

Description

Set off on a 16-day expedition to the unspoiled wildlife reserves, spectacular wetlands and rambling mountain villages that make far-flung northeastern India so spectacular. Learn about the cultures of Sikkim, Assam and Nagaland, search for the iconic one-horned rhinoceros in Kaziranga National Park and take a winding journey on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Explore the floating villages of Majuli Island, visit Gangtok’s controversial Rumtek Monastery and check out a living root bridge – the handiwork of the Khasi people. Be prepared to be wowed by a side of the country few visitors see.

Trip Name
India Expedition: Sikkim, Assam & Nagaland
Last Updated
2024-04-14
Days
16
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Embark on full day trips to vast national parks, including Kaziranga National Park, home to two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinos, as well as wild boar, tigers, elephants, panthers and some incredible birdlife.
  • Learn about the proud warrior traditions of the Naga people and their resistance against colonial forces, exploring hillside villages like Khonoma and Kigwema.
  • Visit a lush Khasi village dubbed the cleanest in India by the former prime minister, then hike to a living root bridge that looks like something out of a fairy tale.
  • Gaze out at the Himalayas from the Darjeeling Toy Train as it winds its way through the mountains – it doesn’t get much more fun than a steam-powered locomotive ride.
  • Travel to parts of India seldom seen by tourists, and be rest assured that with a local trip leader by your side every step of the way, you’ll find the best lookout points, dinner spots and local secrets.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll learn about our Intrepid Foundation partner, Positive Change for Marine Life. Donations help them to nurture ocean health with community-led conservation initiatives that inspire coastal restoration, sustainable fishing practices and waste-management. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Kolkata
Namaste! Welcome to India. Your adventure begins in vibrant Kolkata – a hub for Bengali theatre, dance, poetry, art, music and film. You’ll have a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. If you arrive early, maybe visit the grand Victoria Memorial and spend some time relaxing in the attached park. Tonight, why not head out for a welcome dinner with your group – your trip leader will always have some great suggestions.
Day 2 - Kolkata – Dimapur – Kohima
This morning after breakfast, you’ll take a private transfer to the airport and board a flight to Dimapur. When you arrive, you’ll have some time for lunch before driving to Kohima – the capital city of Nagaland – stopping along the way to stretch your legs. Arrive in the late afternoon and enjoy a free evening, to relax at your accommodation or take a walk around the colourful houses in town to get your bearings.
Day 3 - Kohima - Kigwema Village - Khonoma Village - Kohima
Set off in the morning on a half-day excursion to Khonoma Village, stopping at Kigwema Village on the way – a traditional Naga village. The Naga people are the Indigenous people of northeastern India and northwest Myanmar, made up of a variety of tribes that share similar customs and warrior roots. After meeting the locals here, continue to Khonoma, where the Angami Nagas held off British forces from coming into their hills. In 1897, after an invading British officer was killed, a bloody war raged for a year before a peace treaty was signed. The resistance of the local Nagas is held in high regard across Nagaland. Today, the inhabitants of Khonoma place a lot of emphasis on wildlife conservation and you’ll about the Khonoma Nature Conservation and the Tragopan Sanctuary while you’re here. This afternoon, visit the Naga Heritage Village for a glimpse into traditional tribal life and see some historic remnants from the 19th-century British invasion. Then, visit the World War II memorial (if time permits), before heading back to your accommodation for the night.
Day 4 - Kohima - Jorhat
This morning, leave Kohima and drive towards Jorhat. Grab a window seat if you can and watch the rolling scenery pass you by. When you arrive this afternoon, you’ll visit the local tea plantations for a tasting and a visit to the Tocklai Tea Research Center. Walk around the lush surroundings of the plantations and learn why this is an important industry for Assam’s growing urban centre. Later, you’ll have a free evening to relax, find some dinner or go for a walk.
Day 5 - Majuli Island - Jorhat
Travel to Majuli today – located on the Brahmaputra River, this is one of the largest river islands in the world and has been the cultural capital of Assam ever since the 16th century. Take a ferry to the island, looking out for the many migratory birds that call this place home. When you arrive, visit the Anuati, Uttar and Kamalabari satras (monasteries that are linked with the Ekasarana tradition of Vaishnavism). Interact with the local monks here with a visit to the monk’s quarters. Then, visit the Mishing tribal village, a pottery making village and a mask making village to learn about the local handicrafts and cultural traditions. Later, return to Jorhat for the night.
Day 6 - Jorhat - Kaziranga National Park
After the breakfast this morning, take a private transfer to Kaziranga National Park – this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the oldest park in Assam and sits right on the banks of the Brahmaputra River. Kaziranga is a natural habitat dedicated to the conservation of the biologically diverse flora and fauna within. The park is also home to the world's largest population of one-horned rhinoceroses and shelters about 15 different species of India's most threatened mammals, including tigers, elephants, panthers and bears. After some free time for lunch, you’ll have the option to visit the Kaziranga Orchid Center before soaking up a free afternoon. Tonight, enjoy a group dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 7 - Kaziranga National Park
Set out on two jeep safaris through Kaziranga National Park today, scheduled for the early morning and the evening to maximise the chances of spotting wildlife. Look out for elephants, deer, wild boar and, of course, the famed one-horned rhino. Local birdlife is also plentiful, so keep an eye on the sky to spot eagles, parakeets, blue-tinged Indian rollers and more.
Day 8 - Shillong
After breakfast, leave Kaziranga and drive towards Shillong. When you arrive, head out for an orientation walk with your leader. For dinner tonight, the street food in town is recommended, so you might want to head out straight after your walk for some momos (dumplings) and chutney or local specialty jadoh (spicy and sour rice).
Day 9 - Shillong
Drive to Mawlynnong today. This tiny village has made a huge commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly living – efforts that saw it crowned ‘Asia’s Cleanest Village’ by India’s former prime minister. When you arrive, take a walk around the gleaming, litter-free streets among the Khasi residents, then head out for a 1.5-hour hike to the nearby living root bridge. The bridge is a perfect example of the art of tree sculpting, practiced by the Khasi people. Stop at Dawki and admire the crystal-clear waters of the Umngot River and the border of Bangladesh. Return to Shillong this afternoon and if time (and group energy) permits, maybe walk to Shillong Peak for some gorgeous views over the town for sunset.
Day 10 - Shillong – Overnight train
Enjoy a leisurely morning, then say goodbye to Shillong and travel to Guwahati. From here, you’ll take an overnight train to New Jalpaiguri, departing at around 10 pm.
Day 11 - Darjeeling
Rise and shine early this morning as the train pulls into New Jalpaiguri at around 6 am. Make tracks for Darjeeling, where you can enjoy the rest of the day at leisure among the Himalayan mountains. Maybe take a stroll around the town to check out the colonial-era architecture backdropped by mountain peaks. If you're feeling the effects of a few long travel days, maybe just find a spot to enjoy a cuppa as you gaze up at the spectacular views of the Himalayas (weather-depending).
Day 12 - Darjeeling
Take an early morning walk to Tiger Hill today to catch a glorious sunrise over the snowy peak of Kanchenjunga – the world’s third-highest mountain. Then, return to Darjeeling for a few hours at leisure. In the afternoon, you’ll transfer to Ghoom and board the Darjeeling Toy Train. Winding your way through the mountain, this classic steam-powered locomotive is probably the most romantic way to experience the Himalayan landscape.
Day 13 - Gangtok
Head to Gangtok this morning. This is the capital of the northeastern state of Sikkim. Its chaotically laid-out townscape and jovial atmosphere make it a nice place to walk around. Maybe head to a local viewpoint and if it's clear, spot the majestic peak of Khangchendzonga in the distance. Tonight, you’re free to find a local dinner or find a good spot to watch the sunset.
Day 14 - Gangtok
Sprawling down a mountain ridge, Gangtok is a haven for Tibetan Buddhists. This morning, you’ll visit the monastery at Rumtek – also called the Dharma Chakra Centre, this monastery is the centre of the Karmapa controversy. A lengthy battle has been played out in the Indian courts, with two rival organisations (the Tsuphu Labrang and the Karmapa Charitable Trust) each supporting a different candidate for the 17th Karmapa, claiming stewardship of the monastery and all its contents. Since 1992, the monastery has been the site of pitched battles between monks supporting the two different candidates. After, maybe take up a hike to the old Gompa, a little further down the road. In your spare time this afternoon, maybe pick up some local tea or explore the Tibetology Museum.
Day 15 - Kolkata
Drive to the airport in Bagdogra this morning, then fly back to Kolkata. If the hustle and bustle are too much to bear after your mountain getaway, you can explore the vast green fields of the Maidan (also known as ‘the lungs of Kolkata’) or take refuge in the beautiful botanic gardens along the banks of the Hooghly River.
Day 16 - Kolkata
With no activities planned for today, your trip comes to an end this morning. If you’d like to extend your stay in India, just speak to your booking agent.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
10-11-202425-11-2024AUD $ 4,775-
24-11-202409-12-2024AUD $ 4,265-
11-12-202426-12-2024AUD $ 4,265-
03-01-202518-01-2025AUD $ 4,480-
04-01-202519-01-2025AUD $ 4,480-
01-02-202516-02-2025AUD $ 4,655-
01-03-202516-03-2025AUD $ 4,655-
05-04-202520-04-2025AUD $ 4,480-
10-04-202525-04-2025AUD $ 4,480-
25-10-202509-11-2025AUD $ 4,480-
29-11-202514-12-2025AUD $ 4,655-
27-12-202511-01-2026AUD $ 4,655-

Accommodation

Hotel (14 nights),Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Transport

Plane,Private vehicle,Heritage train,Overnight sleeper train,Boat,Metro,Taxi

Map