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Assam boasts two of India’s five UNESCO environmental World Heritage sites. This seven night package provides visits to both these sites, Manas and Kaziranga National Parks, together with a short cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra River, as well as visits to villages and the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. Manas enjoys stunning scenery, backed by the jungle-covered hills of Bhutan, while Kaziranga boasts a wide range of easily seen wildlife, the many rhinoceros being the outstanding feature. On the river and its sand islands, one can often see great flocks of migrating waterfowl, and there is also a good chance of seeing the rare Gangetic Dolphin.
India is a country of vast contrasts and incredible diversity, a holiday in India is truly a one of a kind experience. This is a country that will inspire and shock, surprise and confront, all in one day.
The cruise may be fantastic on its own or as an add-on for your holiday. This tour starts and ends in Guwahati, however transfers from other locations can be arranged as required. Discuss options to discover more from India with our Asia Travel Experts.
You will meet your guide on arrival in Guwahati or at Samdrup Jonghkar (Bhutan border) and drive for approximately 3.5 hours to Manas National Park, on the border with Bhutan, to check in to the Lodge. This Project Tiger reserve is proving successful with the tiger count now estimated at around 30, and wild elephant numbers some 500.
Manas National Park elevated to National Park status in 1990. It was declared a Project Tiger Reserve in 1973, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, and because of its beauty and importance to the environment was made a Biosphere Reserve in 1989. It is indeed breathtakingly beautiful, situated between the Sankos river in the west, the Dhansiri river in the east. Bounded by Himalayan foothills, the dense jungle forest alternates with alluvial grasslands, low alluvial savannah woodland and Assam valley semi-evergreen forests, providing a rich wilderness for a great variety of wildlife, including many endangered species. The Tiger Project reserve extends over an area of 2837 square kilometres with a core area of 519 square kms.
Itinerary Option: If you wish to spend some more time in India, Nepal, Bhutan etc before embarking on you cruise trip, discuss additional nights and activities with our Asia experts.
You will take an early morning elephant ride through grassland, hopefully seeing several different species of deer and monkeys, as well as some of the park’s 380 different species of birds, perhaps including the rare Bengal Florican or the Great Hornbill. After breakfast, take a walk through a local village, visit the nearby tea garden and see Bodo tribal handweaving.
If time permits, you will see elephants bathing in the nearby Beki River before continuing by jeep to Mothanguri Lodge to see the sun set over the Manas River. Returning in the dusk, you should see some wildlife, perhaps including wild buffalo, wild elephant, and, if exceptionally lucky, a tiger. After dinner, watch a tribal dance around the camp fire.
After a leisurely morning drive four hours to Guwahati, embark on the cruise ship close to the great Saraighat Bridge. Cruise downstream to an overnight stop close to the south bank village of Vijaynagar.
After breakfast, disembark and explore a riverside village on foot. Cruise upstream to the little town of Sualkuchi and visit its silk weaving workshops. Observe the whole process of silk manufacture, from cocoon to spinning to dyeing and finally to handweaving into exquisite saris and dress lengths. Then drive on to Hajo, a place sacred to Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. Visit a hilltop Muslim shrine with far-reaching views over the surrounding rural landscape, as well as the simple Hindu temple with its frieze of elephants and its sacred tank full of great carp, catfish and turtles. Later, reboard and cruise to an overnight mooring near the Saraighat War Memorial.
Cruising upstream, disembark at Pandu docks and take a short sightseeing tour of the city of Guwahati. Drive up Nilachal Hill to see the holy Kamakhya temple. With its tantric rites and animal sacrifice, the more squeamish may prefer to content themselves with the exterior. Visit the poignant Commonwealth War Graves cemetery. Cross by country boat to the mid-stream Peacock Island with its population of Golden Langur monkeys before re-embarking and cruising for about an hour and a half upstream to Kurua on the north bank.
Cruise upstream past jungle-covered hills, and turn into the Mayong River and towards the road head from where you will be transferred to the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. You should be able to spot some of the park’s dense population of Asian One-Horned Rhinoceros on a jeep safari. Continue to Kaziranga National Park for your accommodation looking across into the park. Kaziranga is a World Heritage site and with a population of well over 1500 rhinoceros, it is the best place in the world to see these animals. There are also healthy populations of tiger, wild elephant, sambar, swamp deer, hog deer, wild pig and many other species.
Rise at dawn and drive for a few minutes to Kaziranga’s Central Range for an early morning elephant ride, the best way to get really close to the rhino and other animals. After breakfast back at the lodge, take a walk through terraced tea gardens and past a Karbi tribal village, before continuing by road to a Mising tribal village, with their distinctive houses raised on piles. After lunch, take a jeep safari in the Western Range, and scan the wilderness from an observation tower.
An early start for the four and a half hour drive back to Guwahati airport, or two and a half hour transfer to Jorhat airport. Alternatively prolong your stay at Kaziranga, subject to availability.
Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.
The Cruise Ship is a 38m long twin-engine steel hulled passenger boat. She was completely stripped down and rebuilt in 2003 to provide 10 twin-bedded & 2 double bedded cabins with en-suite shower and W.C. The grand old lady of the fleet, she makes up in character what she lacks in twenty-first century glitz. The polished brass engine room telegraph and enormous ship’s wheel bear witness to her heritage. All cabin accommodation is on the upper deck, as is a bar and saloon opening onto a front deck. A dining room with full length opening glass doors on each side is on the lower deck, while a large top sundeck offers additional comfortable open-air seating in shade or sun. Local handloom fabrics specially woven for us and comfortable cane sofas and chairs contribute to the attractive decor
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
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All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
7 nights aboard your Cruise Ship and lodge. All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us.
Visas for India
All nationalities need to apply for an Indian visa in advance. Give yourself at least 4 weeks.
The Indian Government has advised that from December 2014, all visa applicants will need to be physically present at a visa application centre, by appointment, to submit their applications and biometric data, including fingerprints and facial imagery.
ALL Australian travellers to India will need to personally attend their nearest consulate to complete their visa formalities. There is NO visa on arrival in India for all nationalities. Indian visas CANNOT be obtained in Nepal.
Availability of accommodation and season.
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"We absolutely loved the service, food and excursions on the India Brahmaputra Cruise MV Mahabaahu. We were lucky to see tigers and one horned rhinos and enjoy Assam province. The guides and drivers were great all across India and thank you for your help Getaboutasia." — Mr and Mrs Johnston, Sydney, March 2018