A Journey to North East India

A Journey to North East India
with Revd. Mark Woodrow
6th to 20th April 2018

This time we are going to an altogether different part of India – the tea countries of Assam and Darjeeling – for a lazy stroll up a big old river and a cuppa in the hills. Away from the dust, heat and noise – the North East of India is green, temperate and peaceful.
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We will start our journey in Kolkata where we will learn some of the history of this fascinating city and also visit the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity, and former home to Saint Mother Teresa. From here we move on for a 5 night river cruise up the mighty Brahmaputra river, stopping in villages, deserted river islands, and Kaziranga National Park to shoot tigers (with cameras) and learn about traditional Assamese culture.

Finally we will travel back in time in Darjeeling where we will sip fine tea and take in views of the high Himalayas.

This tour has been designed for seasoned travellers who have been to India with us before, as well as first time visitors – in fact this region, although remote, is relaxed and a good introduction to India.

Scroll down for the full details

Group tour: A Journey through North East India

London – Kolkata – Guwahati – Brahmaputra River Cruise – Darjeeling – London

Itinerary:
DAY 1: FRIDAY 6TH APRIL 2018 – FLY LONDON TO KOLKATA

Meet at London Gatwick board Emirates flight EK0016 departing Gatwick at 14:30 and arriving at Dubai at 00:35. Board connecting flight EK0570 departing Dubai at 02:05 and arriving at Kolkata at 08:20.

DAY 2: SATURDAY 7TH APRIL 2018 – REST DAY IN KOLKATA

Arrive at Kolkata Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at 08:20 and transfer to hotel LaLiT Great Eastern Kolkata.

A day at leisure to relax at the hotel after the long journey, with an afternoon talk at the hotel on the history of Calcutta.

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Overnight in the LaLiT Great Eastern Kolkata

DAY 3: SUNDAY 8TH APR 2018 – CALCUTTA HERITAGE WALK & MOTHER TERESA’S

Morning heritage walk in Kolkata – including St Paul’s Cathedral and Victoria Memorial – and an afternoon visit to Mother Teresa House.

Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

Overnight in the LaLiT Great Eastern Kolkata

DAY 4: MONDAY 9TH APRIL 2018 – FLY CALCUTTA TO GUWAHATI. EVENING KAMAKHYA DEVI TEMPLE.

Morning transfer to Kolkata airport to board Jet Airways flight 9W-7048 from Kolkata (10:35) to Guwahati (11:45). Flight time: 1h 10m.

Guwahati is the bustling capital city of Assam state. Here we check into hotel Cygnett Inn Repose and in the afternoon visit the famous Kamakhya Devi temple.

 Overnight in Cygnett Inn Repose, Guwahati

DAY 5: TUESDAY 10TH APRIL 2018 – DRIVE GUWAHATI TO JOIN CRUISE IN SILGHAT (200KM).

Drive 200km to Silghat, board MV Mahabaahu and check into our cabins. We take a short drive to Kaliabore Tea Estate and visit the tea factory to see the processing of famous Assam Tea, and possibly a co-operative Jute Mill.

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We enjoy a cultural evening on the ship followed by an early dinner.

Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu

DAY 6: WEDNESDAY 11TH APRIL 2018 – KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK, WEAVER’S VILLAGE AT BISHWANATH GHAT

This morning we set out towards the Kohora Mihimukh range of Kaziranga National Park and are ready to start our morning adventure – an elephant-back safari is an experience, to search for the elusive rhinoceros, tigers, swamp deer and hog deer and more and a large number of interesting birds.

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After breakfast at a resort in Kaziranga, we drive on to Bagori, the Western Range of Kaziranga and get into open jeeps for more wildlife adventure. We return to MV Mahabaahu and sail towards Bishwanath Ghat enjoying a leisurely lunch and a relaxed afternoon.We get into the excursion boats to reach the shores of Bishwanath Ghat and visit the village. Enjoy the evening on a deserted island before dinner.

Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu

DAY 7: THURSDAY 12TH APRIL 2018 – BOAT SAFARI

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast over a talk on ‘The River Brahmaputra and the life that exists alongside’. We proceed for the boat safari viewing roof turtles on protruding drift wood, water lizards, otters, elephants, wild buffaloes, rhinos, darters, herons, pied kingfishers, white throated kingfishers, serpent eagles and many more – sightings are determined by the weather conditions.

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This evening the chef will give us a cooking demonstration, and afterwards enjoy a bonfire on a deserted island.

Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu

DAY 8: FRIDAY 13TH APRIL 2018 – MISHING VILLAGE VISIT

After yoga and breakfast, we enjoy the sail towards the Mishing Village. The Mishings live on the bank of river in ‘Chang Ghars’ – houses with raised platforms.

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We return to the ship to enjoy a talk on ‘Sibsagar and the Ahom civilization’ and proceed to get ready for a Traditional Assamese evening.

Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu

DAY 9: SATURDAY 14TH APRIL 2018 MAJULI VISIT/NEAMATI GHAT/ SIBSAGAR. LAST NIGHT ON CRUISE (JORHAT).

After breakfast, we enjoy a talk on ‘Majuli the seat of Neo –Vaishnav Culture’ and then board the excursion boats to go to the mainland.

A drive takes us to a scenic corner of a Satra (monastery) for an interesting cultural performance by Satriya singers and dancers. We then proceed to Kamlabari Satra to witness the Vaishnavite priests dancing to the rhythm of cymbals, drums and chanting in the temple premise.

We enjoy lunch on MV Mahabaahu as we sail towards Neamati Ghat. Later we drive through the countryside to reach the ancient city of Sibsagar. The Shiva Dol, constructed in the year 1734 is believed to be one of the highest Shiva temples in India.  We also visit Talatal or Kareng Ghar, the palace of the Ahom Kings. We return to MV Mahabaahu by sunset for the farewell dinner.

Overnight on board MV Mahabaahu

DAY 10: SUNDAY 15TH APRIL 2018 – FLY JORHAT 14:15 TO GUWAHATI 15:05

We drive to the Jorhat airport en-route stopping at a tea Estate to enjoy a traditional Assamese early lunch. Depart for Jorhat airport to board Jet Airways flight 9W-7049 from Jorhat (14:15) to Guwahati (15:05) and transfer to Cygnett Inn Repose for overnight stay.

Overnight in Cygnett Inn Repose, Guwahati

DAY 11: MONDAY 16TH APRIL 2018 – TRAIN FROM GUWAHATI TO NJP & DRIVE TO DARJEELING

Early morning transfer to Guwahati Railway Station to board “Dbrt Rajdhani Ex” train number 12423 from Guwahati (07:00) to New Jalpaiguri (13:05) in AC First Class. Journey time: 6h 5m.

At New Jalpaiguri we drive 75km (2 hours) to Darjeeling and check into The Elgin.

Overnight in the Elgin, Darjeeling

DAY 12: TUESDAY 17TH APRIL 2018 – SIGHTSEEING IN DARJEELING

In the morning we have a ride on the toy train “Darjeeling Himalayan Railway” from nearby Ghum, and in the afternoon enjoy a heritage walk in Darjeeling.

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Overnight in the Elgin, Darjeeling

DAY 13: WEDNESDAY 18TH APRIL 2018 – SIGHTSEEING IN DARJEELING

Dawn visit to the Tiger Hill to view (on a clear day) Mount Kanchenjunga and the peak of the Mount Everest.

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Also see the Ghoom monastery, where the 15 feet statue of the Maitreya Buddha is enshrined.  After lunch visit the Botanical Garden, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre.

Overnight in the Elgin, Darjeeling

DAY 14: THURSDAY 19TH APRIL 2018 – DARJEELING – BAGDOGRA – KOLKATA

Drive 2 hours to Bagdogra to board Jet Airways flight 9W-7159 departing Bagdogra at 13:00 and arriving at Kolkata at 14:00. Transfer to Viceroy Hotel.

Overnight in Viceroy Hotel, Kolkata

DAY 15: FRIDAY 20TH APRIL 2018 – FLY KOLKATA TO LONDON

Morning transfer to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport Kolkata to board Emirates EK0571 departing Kolkata at 09:50 and arriving at Dubai at 13:10. Board connecting flight EK0009 departing Dubai at 14:55 and arriving at London Gatwick at 19:45.

The cost per person sharing a twin or double room:
£3,975
Single room supplement:
£1,520
The cost includes:
  • Return International flight from London to Kolkata with Emirates (via Dubai) in Economy Class.
  • 3 internal flights: Kolkata to Guwahati, Jorhat to Guwahati, and Bagdogra to Kolkata.
  • 13 nights’ accommodation in hotels or cruise boat with en-suite facilities (Check-in is 1400 hrs and checkout 12 noon. Early check-in late checkouts are subject to availability).
  • 5-night river cruise on Bhramaputra on board MV Mahabaahu
  • Daily breakfast and dinner at all hotels/breakfast, lunch and dinner on board cruise
  • All arrival/departure transfers, long drives and sightseeing by a chauffeur driven private air-conditioned vehicles
  • Services of a local English-speaking representative for all arrival and departure transfers to assist you at airports.
  • Services of English speaking guide during sightseeing as specified in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to all monuments during sightseeing as specified in your itinerary
  • Escort guide for entire tour
  • Mineral water while traveling
  • Full ATOL bonding
The cost does not include:
  • India visa fee. You can now apply for visa on arrival in India- please click here for more information. https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html
  • Lunches
  • Any expenses of a personal nature like laundry, telephone calls, beverages, gratuities etc.
  • Camera fees at monuments and other places of interest.
  • Travel Insurance: It is essential to have adequate travel insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.
Please ensure:
  • It includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover
  • It provides cover for your whole trip
  • It covers you for all activities
  • It covers all your pre-existing medical conditions
  • Keep your Policy Number and Insurer’s 24-hour Emergency Number handy with you

If you wish to book this tour, please compete the booking form, sign and e-mail it to us. A non-refundable deposit of £1200 per person is needed at the time of booking. Balance payments will be due 8 weeks before departure. You can make the deposit payment by debit card or electronic transfers to our bank. Credit card payment will be charge at 2% extra. Our Bank details are on the booking form. Bookings are confirmed on first come first served basis. When the tour is full we will take about 5 additional names on the waiting list to replace their booking with any cancellations etc.

CONTACT US

To enquire or make a booking on this tour, please call: 020 8901 7630 Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm, Saturday 11am – 4pm

TESTIMONIALS:
“I cannot recommend this company enough. Safe to say India has got under our skin and into our hearts, and when we visit again we will definitely be booking with this company - if you are thinking of going I urge you to do the same.”- Gillian and Ashley Iredale
``The whole experience was great, the most relaxing day of the holiday was the cruise up the backwaters when the whole group experienced it together``- Margaret Fortune
``A whole variety of experiences- worship, culture, scenery, friendliness of the people & their hospitality``- Daphne Brindle
``Being in India and witnessing the faith that the people of India have, Hindus, Muslim or Christians, seeing with my own eyes the devotion the people have`` - Steve Breward
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