Kipepeo

Upper Assam Odyssey

Traverse through an enchanting part of Assam as we stay with little know tribes, drive to the Myanmar border and sail on the Brahmaputra

Snapshot

  •   Best Season: October – May
  •   Region: Sikkim
  •   Duration: 10 days
  •   Activity:  Culture
  •   Grade: Easy
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Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas the mountainous state of Sikkim, ed a picturesque land endowed with natural beauty. Its quaint villages nestled on mountain slopes are inhabited by the Bhutias, mycoplasmosis Lepchas, click Limboos, Chettris and Gurungs, who through peaceful coexistence accentuate the beauty of the land. From these verdant hill slopes rises Mt. Khangchendzonga the guardian deity, around whom the history and culture of the land revolves. Indeed so deep is the reverence that Sikkimese celebrate a special festival with a unique Cham dance for the mountain.

On this trip you tread the village paths, living the Sikkimese way of life. The road less travelled takes you to a Bhutia, Lepcha and Chettri village, experiencing first hand their simple life. By staying with a local family you will be able to immerse yourself in their daily lives, be it milking a cow, ploughing the fields or cooking with them. The idea is to learn firsthand about their customs and culture while fostering a greater cultural interaction.

  • Stay in homestays of three different tribes
  • Experience the warmth and hospitality of the Sikkimese people
  • Village walks and day treks
  • Taste local cuisine and alcohol
  • Excursion to Yuksom and Khecheopalri lake

Day 1:Bagdogra to Kewzing

Pickup from Bagdogra airport and drive to Kewzing. O/n at a homestay in Kewzing

Day 2: Kewzing

Kewzing which translates to ‘Land of Wheat Fields’ is a predominantly Bhutia village. With three monasteries belonging to three different Buddhist sects makes it the ideal place to learn about the Buddhist way of life. The village boasts of the only Bon monastery in all of Sikkim.

In the morning go for a short hike to Mangbrue, amongst the chirping of birds. During the day roam around the village and pay a visit to the Bon monastery. O/n at homestay in Kewzing

Day 3: Kewzing to Darap

Drive from Kewzing to Darap, on the way visit the Tashiding monastery, Yuksom – the first capital of Sikkim and Khecheopalri lake . O/n at a homestay in Darap village

Day 4: Darap

Darap is a culturally diverse village with Limboo, Bhutia, Gurung and Rai residing next to each other.

A full day or half day walk around the village and adjoining forest (depending on your interest), participating in the daily activities of the village folk, like milking a cow, farm activities or bee keeping. Understand the unique customs of the Limboo community which resides in this village. In the evening you can learn to make some traditional dishes along with your host. O/n at a homestay in Darap village.

Day 5: Darap to Payong

Your first halt would be at the Pemagyatse monastery followed be a walk to the Rabdtense ruins. From here drive to Payong village. O/n at a homestay in Payong

Day 6: Payong

This tranquil village tucked away in a remote corner of Sikkim, is situated at the base of Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary. The village is a heterogeneous mix of Nepali communities like Chettri, Rai & Gurung, peppered with a few Lepchas.

Take a leisurely walk around the village enjoying the abundant bird life or participate in the farm work of this predominantly agrarian community. Those interested in cooking can learn some Nepali dishes from your host. O/n at a homestay in Payong

Day 7: Payong to Dzongu

A short drive from Payong would get you to the hidden paradise – Dzongu. Dzongu is a special reserve of the Lepcha community who are the original inhabitants of Sikkim. O/n at a homestay in Dzongu

Day 8: Dzongu

Cascading waterfalls, verdant valleys with glacial streams truly make Dzongu the Hidden Paradise or ‘Mayal Lyang’ as the Lepchas call it. An almost virgin territory with a sparse population, it is a beautiful land of dense jungles and pristine glacial streams that nurture both the human and natural habitation around.

In the morning set out for a short trek amongst green fields and conifer trees, to the village of Lingthem . In the afternoon enjoy a scenic drive to the monastic school at Lingza . O/n at a homestay in Dzongu.

Day 9: Dzongu to Gantok

Spend your morning walking around in the nearby forests or chating with your host. Post lunch leave for Gantok. O/n at a hotel in Gangtok

Day 10: Gantok to Bagdogra

Drop to Bagdogra airport

 

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Snapshot

  •   Dates: 12 Feb – 19 Feb
  •   Region: Assam
  •   Duration: 8 days
  •   Activity: Culture
  •   Grade: Easy
  •   Price: Rs.32, discount 500/-
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In spite of being the most well connected and traversed of all the northeastern states, disinfection Assam still holds many secrets for travellers looking to go off the beaten path. The land of tea and one-horned rhinos is also home to about 13 different communities, malady each with their own histories, cultural heritage and traditions. Here, you can experience the scenic, rustic life of India’s largest river island, Majuli, and spot hundreds of birds and butterflies while trekking through the dense rainforest of Dehing Patkai. There’s always something to see, experience and learn.

This trip of Upper Assam will take you to quaint villages of the Tai Phake, Singpho and Mishing communities. You’ll soak up history on your drive on the Stillwell Road to the border of Myanmar, and on your walks through the ruins of the Ahom kingdom in the town of Sivasagar. You’ll sail on the mighty Brahmaputra River towards Majuli and see the monasteries and rich birdlife that the island is known for. Whether you’re looking to explore culture, history or wildlife, this trip to Assam has it all.

  • Stay in villages of Singpho and Tai Phake community
  • Taste local cuisine and alcohol of three different tribes
  • Hike in a rainforest
  • Ferry ride on the Brahmaputra river
  • Stay in Majuli, one of the largest river island in the world
  • Cycle the country roads in Majuli
  • Meet up with Padma Shree awardee Jadav Payeng and walk in his forest

Day 1: Dibrugarh to Margherita

Pickup from Dibrugarh airport and drive to Margherita . The town takes its out-of-place name from an Italian engineer who helped in setting the first railway line over here.

From Margherita we will drive to a village inhabited by the Singpho tribe where we will stay in quaint cottages set in the midst of tea gardens. O/n at Singpho Village Lodge

Day 2: Margherita

In the morning we visit some villages of the Singpho tribe which trace their origin from Myanmar. It was by observing their lifestyle, that the British got the idea of cultivating tea in Upper Assam . We will visit some of their villages to learn about the culture of this trip and learn how they traditionally cultivated tea.

In the second half we will visit the oil town of Digboi, where the first oil refinery in Asia was setup. A visit to the  Oil museum  will give us tons of interesting information on how oil was found over here . O/n at Singpho Village Lodge

Day 3: Margherita to Tipamphake

This morning we move on to our next destination – Tipamphake. It is a small village inhabited by the Tai Phake community who originally came down from Thailand via Myanmar sometime in the 16th century.

Have lunch at our Eco-camp after which we walk down the forested trails of the Dehing – Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary. Being the only rainforest in Assam the walk will provide great opportunities to see birds like the Great Hornbill, Kalij Pheasant, Slender Billed Vulture and many more. In the evening we unwind around a warm bon fire. O/n at Tai Phake eco-camp

Day 4: Tipamphake to Majuli

Before breakfast we stroll through the village, catching a glimpse of the day to day life of the Tai Phake people. Chat up with the villagers, and visit their house to see them weave and do other household work.

Drive down  to our next destination, Majuli. On the way we will stop at Namphake, a larger Tai Phake village. Over here we visit the monastery and interact with the monks .

From Nimati ghat we take a one hour ferry across the Brahmaputra . it will become very self evident why Brahmaputra is the only male river in India.  Stretching across like an ocean , it is 12 kilometers at its widest. The monotony of the river is punctuated by sand bars, friendly fishermen and an occasional sighting of the river Dolphin. O/n in bamboo cottages

Day 5: Majuli

Majuli, one of the largest river island in the world is a storehouse of art and culture. The name is a conjunction of Ma which denotes Laxmi (the godess of prosperity) and Juli meaning granary. The island has been the hub of Neo-Vaishnavite culture since the 15th century, when it was initiated by the revered Assamese saint  Sankardeva.

Today  we go for a full day excursion to  Jadav Molai forest reserve. The forest reserve has been named after Jadav Payeng, who has now been awarded a Padma Shri for planting this forest single handed, over a period of 30 years. The forest now houses some tigers, Rhinos and other herbivores. Take an inspirational walk in the forest , in the hope of doing our bit to make this world a greener place.

Enjoy a nice picnic lunch after which we take our ferry back to Kamlabari . O/n in bamboo cottages

Day 6: Majuli

The most idyllic way to explore Majuli is on cycles, and that is exactly what we do this morning. We cycle across the quaint roads of the Island to visit some of the satras, which are Vasihnavite monasteries. Have hearty conversations with the monks on religion and their simple way of life . Later we drive to the mask making village where a family has been making masks for special dances , since the past four generations.

In the second half we visit a village of the Mishing tribe, one of this most hospitable community in all of Assam. Mainly residing on the banks of the Brahmaputra they are expert at farming and fishing, though the womenfolk are equally skilled in weaving. Enjoy a traditional lunch with rice beer, for which they are well known. O/n in bamboo cottages

Day 7: Majuli to Dibrugarh

By late morning we take our return ferry to Nimati Ghat, continuing our drive back to Dibrugarh . On the way we visit the ruins of the Ahom kingdom in Sibsagar. They ruled Assam for nearly 6 centures, shaping much of the modern day culture of Assam . We visit a temple, palace and a burial ground from their glorious era, learning all about their history.

O/n at Hotel Tea County or similar

Day 8: Dibrugarh

After breakfast drop to Dibrugarh airport.

 

Cost per person: Rs.32,500/-

 

Included

  • Accommodation on a twin sharing basis
  • All meals from dinnner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8
  • Transport using a dedicate Scorpio or similar SUV
  • Ferry charges for Majuli Island
  • A knowledgeable and experienced tour leader

Not Included

  • Flights to and from Dibrugarh
  • Excess stay & meals due to bad weather conditions or strikes, resulting in delay of flights or any other form of transport
  • Soft drink charges, table drinks, bottled water, laundry, cigarettes, telephone expenses, and liquor charges
  • Any other item not mentioned in “Included” section above
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