Assam Despatch 3
Durations : 8 Days
Destinations : Assam
Day 1, Sat
Midday arrival at Tezpur airport and transfer 30 mins to Steemer Ghat, a lovely beach below jungle-covered hills. Alternatively arrive Guwahati airport and driven 4 hrs to Steemer Ghat. Cruise upstream until dusk, with Kaziranga National Park on the right bank - wild elephant can sometimes be spotted.
Day 2, Sun
The morning is spent cruising, and around midday we reach Vishnath, with an Ahom-period Shiva temple. There are other later temples too, and we can walk through the town before reboarding and setting off again.
Day 3, Mon
The day is spent on the river, and we have a good chance of spotting Gangetic dolphin, as well as creating a sensation in bankside villages as we pass. We should arrive in the evening at lonely Dhansiri Mukh.
Day 4, Tue
This morning we land and take a jeep safari in Kaziranga's little-visited Eastern Range, with good woodland as well as grasslands where you may spot the rare Bengal Florican. Returning to the boat, we continue our cruise upstream.
Day 5, Wed
Another day spent cruising upstream. We shall take time to pause and walk through a village, getting an insight into the life of Indian villagers.
Day 6, Thu
Day 7, Fri
We drive for about an hour to Sibsagar, the one-time capital of the Kings of Assam. Shan by origin (Assam and Siam share the same derivation) but converted to Hinduism they ruled Assam for some 700 years until the 1820s, and their culture and architecture is a strange and delightful amalgam of Indian and S.E. Asian. We shall see temples with stupa-like profiles, and palaces of distinctive form - note the crocodiles and rather sexy caryatids that adorn the roof of the Rang Mahal. For the record book, the temple tank here is believed to be the world's largest hand-excavated reservoir. Later we visit the Tocklai Tea Research Station to learn something about the different processes of growing, picking and processing tea. Returning to the boat we spend our last night on board.
Day 8, Sat
AM drive c 2 ½ hrs to Dibrugarh airport, passing through this typical colonial town and major base for American flights over "The Hump" to China in WWII. Alternatively transferred 30 mins to Jorhat airport.
Itinerary subject to river conditions. Elephant rides subject to availability.