Tailor MadeTrailbreaker

India – The Wild Frontier

We are once again at the forefront of true adventure heading into regions and on paths very few dare to dream of.  Joining our “Wild Frontier” theme of travel we have designed an itinerary deep into the heart of unknown and rarely explored India.  It is India by name but by nature one the most ethnically and linguistically diverse regions of Asia, each state with its own distinct cultures and traditions.  For those of you who have enjoyed India with us or even if you have never been we entreat you to come away with us and immerse yourself in this authentic cutting edge travel experience

Northeast India constitutes about 8% of India's size yet only 3% of the total Indian population.  It exhibits ageless forests and formidable mountain ranges and has a rugged beauty with its multiple tribal cultures, landscapes and peoples.  We take a pilgrimage to Buddhist Tawang, gaze in wonder as rhinos graze in Kaziranga’s swampy grasslands and visit with former head hunters in Nagaland as they slowly embrace modern custom (we hope) in their ancestral longhouses.  The region is surrounded by exotic neighbours including over 2000 km of border with Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh.  Jungles are dense, rivers powerful and regular rains sweep across the landscape during the annual monsoons.  For those with an interest in flora and fauna there are a number of wild life sanctuaries and national parks where rare animals, birds and plants may provide intimate moments and a fascinating insight to the region. 
Come with us if you have a taste for adventure….

19 Day Itinerary
Departure:2nd December 2018(Sunday to Thursday)
Day 1 - arrive Imphal
Arrival day. If early you might visit Kangla fort, the ancient capital of Manipur. This was opened to visitors only in the year 2004 and is regarded as the holiest place for the Manipuri’s faith. It is also one of the most popular pilgrimage centres for all the Manipuri’s residing in Manipur, Assam, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bangladesh and Myanmar. This evening we have a group meeting then enjoy a local meal
Day 2 - Imphal (Loktak day trip)
We set off to Loktak Lake, the largest fresh water lake in Northeast India. This is the last natural refuge of the endangered Sangai or Manipur brow-antlered deer. The park, declared a sanctuary in 1966, was subsequently given the title of a National Park in 1977. We explore the lake by boat and see the fishermen’s huts built on ‘Phumdis’ which are a series of floating islands. We may also have the opportunity to meet some of the local fisherman and their fish ‘farms’. After the boat we then travel to Thanga, a small Meitei tribe village. We then can relax at high-tea taken locally with a view of the lake before returning to Imphal
Day 3 - Imphal to Kohima (140 kms)
This morning we visit the ‘all mothers’ market where we see Manipuri women selling traditional wares sitting on raised platforms. We then drive to Kohima which is a pretty hill station at an altitude of 1444 m above sea level. With panoramic views of the rugged Naga Hills it is the land of the Angami Naga people, one of the major tribes in Nagaland. They are known for terraced wet rice cultivation and were traditionally warriors. In the past the Angami men spent majority of their time in warfare with hostile villages and taking heads. In the afternoon we visit a specific place to buy Naga shawls and handicrafts. Nagas are exceptional craftsmen who fashion wood, metal, fabric, beads, shells and bone into exquisite works of art. You can see colourful Konyak bead chains and necklaces, Wancho wood-carvings, Phom black pottery and the vibrant warrior shawls of the Ao, Angami, Zeliang, Yimchunger and other tribes. These Naga shawls have specific names and usages with each tribe having its own unique patterns and motifs
Day 4 - Kohima
We set off to Khonoma village of the Angami tribe which is renowned for WWII valour and courage. The Khonoma gate tells the story of British infiltration into Naga Hills. We experience the lifestyle of villagers, mingle with simple but hardworking folk and take lunch with a local family. We may see the ‘Mithun’ grazing in the meadows. Driving back to Kohima we make a stop at the World War II cemetery. This is a symbolic memorial dedicated to the supreme sacrifice made by the men of the Allied forces where some of the fiercest fighting of the Second World War occurred
Day 5 - Kohima to Jorhat (230 kms)
We drive to Jorhat today and check in at the majestic Heritage Thengal Manor built in 1929. In the afternoon enjoy a visit to tea gardens at a Tea Estate. Observe the manufacturing processes and try your hand at plucking tea leaves. The tea factory visit is subject to weather conditions and factory operations. In case of closure at the time of our visit we can still enjoy a leisurely walk in the plantation
Day 6 - Jorhat to Majuli (1½ hrs ferry)
We drive early to Neamati Ghat where a river ferry awaits. We reach Majuli Island by crossing the mighty Brahmaputra River and here we explore this seat of Vaishnava culture in Assam. The great 15th century Assamese reformer and saint, Shankardeva set up ‘satras’ or Vaishnavite monasteries to motivate people towards culture and religion. We interact with the monks and hopefully witness a satra dance performance. We enjoy villages specializing in pottery and mask making. Finally we will walk in a nearby Mishing village before dinner. We stay at Mepo Okum Eco Camp in basic huts built on stilts in traditional Mishing style
Day 7 - Majuli to Ziro (via Lakhimpur) (1 ½ hr ferry + 150 kms)
En route today we visit villages inhabited by the Nishi tribes. Our destination is Ziro which is home to Apatani tribes and located in a picturesque valley on the Apatani Plateau surrounded by pine covered mountains. The Apatani tribes themselves are Ziro's greatest attraction. The older men-folk tie the hair in top-knots and tattoo the faces whilst the women wear wooden nose plugs and also tattoo their faces. They practice both wet and terrace cultivation. In the evening we visit local market
Day 8 - Ziro
We spend the entire day exploring villages of the Apatani people in the Ziro region
Day 9 - Ziro to Balipara (Wild Mahseer) (320 kms)
We are making our way today to Wild Mahseer in Balipara. This is a historic colonial plantation with its Victorian architecture and spacious rooms across four individual bungalows. It lies on 22 acres of tropical land surrounded by tea gardens and has a wide variety of trees, plants, flowers, insects and birds. The tea estate was established by the British Assam Tea Company sometime around 1875
Day 10 - Balipara to Dirang (142 kms)
We travel further into the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh and the landscape changes from flat plains to lofty mountains with deep gorges. We will drive along the Kameng River and hotel visit the old Dirang Village. Locally known as ‘Dirang Dzong’ this 17th century fort, built in 1831, represented the authority of the local King. The fort is built out of huge stone slabs and wooden logs. We stay at the Hotel Pemaling which is a heritage property located amidst the lush green mountains overlooking the Dirang Valley
Day 11 - Dirang to Tawang (145 kms)
We drive north west to Tawang, crossing the Sela Pass at 13700 ft. En route we visit Jung Fall and Jaswantgarh Memorial, a legend associated with 1962 Indo-China war. On arrival we settle into the best homestay in Tawang with a stunning location and just few steps away from Tawang Monastery. We will have time in the evening to walk in Tawang town
Day 12 - Tawang
Today we visit the famous 400 years old Tawang Monastery. It was the 6th Dalai Lamas birth place and is home to more than 500 Lamas. It houses the Parkhang library, a collection of ancient ‘Kangyur’ and invaluable manuscripts. We will visit Seru village and interact with the local Monpa tribe learning about their lifestyle and culture
Day 13 - Tawang to Bomdila (180 kms)
This morning we travel to Bomdila on the way planning to visit a nearby school run by the monastery. We will stop at a vantage point from where, on a clear day, we can see the towering peaks of the eastern Himalayas including Gorichen. We stay near the main market in Bomdila and the lower Gompa is a couple of minutes' walk away
Day 14 - Bomdila to Kaziranga (290 kms)
We head down to flood plains of Assam and on to the Kaziranga National Park a world heritage site. A reserve for greater Indian one horned Rhinoceros as well as a birdwatcher’s delight the area comprises of 860 sq.km and is rich in flora and fauna. It has one of the highest population density of the Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic elephant, Asiatic Wild Buffalo and Swamp Deer. We stay at the Diphlu River Lodge and early evening we may enjoy a leisurely walk along the nearby river bank
Day 15 - Kaziranga
We enjoy an early morning safari on elephant back and after breakfast we continue on and visit a nearby local village. We take jeeps on another safari in a different range in the afternoon heading back to lodge by dusk
Day 16 - Kaziranga to Shillong (300 kms)
On the way to Shillong we stop at the ‘Umiam Lake’ near Barapani. We arrive in the afternoon at Shillong which derives its name from "Leishyllong", the Superpower or God who is believed to be residing on the Shillong Peak. Meghalaya is often referred to as the "Scotland of the East" in the olden days due to its striking similarity with the Highlands
Day 17 - Shillong (Cherrapunjee day trip) (56 kms)
We start our day heading to Shillong Peak one of the highest points on the Meghalaya plateau. We continue on to Cherrapunjee one of the highest rainfall areas in the world and visit the Thangkharang Park. From here we may be able to gaze upon the plains of Bangladesh and visit Nohkalikai Falls, the tallest plunge waterfall in India. We return to Shillong in the afternoon in time to visit the local market
Day 18 - Shillong (Mawlynnong day trip) (90 kms)
From our base at Shillong we drive to Mawlynnong village considered to be the cleanest village of India and famous for its matrilineal society. The route is through the winding roads and panoramic views traveling amidst the clouds in the Shillong plateau. On arrival we begin our trek and see the living root bridge which is one of the most extraordinary pieces of art and engineering by human and nature as a team. We finish our walk in the village and taste the lifestyle of the people before returning to Shillong
Day 19 - Shillong to Guwahati (120 kms) depart
Today we head north to our final destination of Guwahati. We have stops at the well laid out and interesting Kalakhetra museum as well as the Navagraha temple of nine planets. A visit to the auspicious Kamakhya temple in Guwahati caps off our final day together. You are free to depart this evening or you may choose to extend your stay in Guwahati

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