Assam-Meghalaya-Nagaland with Hornbill Festival
The state of Nagaland in the North East of India is home to several tribes each of which are distinct in their language, culture and customs. The festivals are important to the tribes as these revolve around agriculture, which is a major profession in the state. The Nagas consider their festivals sacred and so participation in these festivals is essential. To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland, the Government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December. The festival is named after the Indian hornbill, the large and colourful forest bird, which is displayed in folklore in most of the state’s tribes. If you are headed to the Hornbill festivel, it’s a great opportunity to combine this trip with a stay and safari at the popular Rhino destination – Kaziranga National Park. To make the North East experience complete a short trip to Meghalaya and its beautiful capital Shillong would just do that.
Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless.Chief Seattle
- Destination: Nagaland, Assam, Meghalaya
- Nearest City (Airport): Dimapur, Guwahati, Shillong
- Nearest City (Railway Station): Dimapur, Guwahati
- Dates: 1-9 Dec (Itinerary customisable based on request)
- Level: Easy
- Price: On request
If you are going to the North East India, experience the best of the best in the wild Nagaland, Meghalaya and Assam.
Hornbill festival is one of the most colourful festivals. It’s a celebration of local tribal art & culture, food coupled with natural beauty of the place and people. Theres quite a bit of history too – Kohima was site for one of the bloodiest battles between the British and INA supported Japanese army during the World War II. The beautifully silent war cemetry and a thoughtful World War II memorial is a testimony to that.
From colourful Nagaland, we move onto the wild Assam right in the heart of Kaziranga National Park with safaris, and stay in the wild with the Rhinos, Elephants and more such abundant wildlife.
However, the North Eastern experience cannot be complete without the customary visit to Meghalaya, the land of Khasi, Garo and Jaintia tribes. Shillong, the state capital is truly the Scotland of the East. In addition there are many place see and things to do – the bustling and beautiful Shillong, Cherrapunjee, sacred groves, pristine rivers, caves, living root bridges and more.
North-East India with Hornbill Festival: Assam-Meghalaya-Nagaland
- Day 1 / Arrive in Guwahati and transfer to Shillong (120 km/3 hrs)
- Arrive in Guwahati airport and transfer to Shillong (120km / 3 hours) the capital of Meghalaya. Shillong is also popularly known as ‘Scotland of the east’ as its surroundings resemble like the Scottish highlands. On the way, see the pristine Umiam Lake from the viewpoint. Evening will be free at leisure. Overnight stay at a city hotel in Shillong.
- Day 2 / Explore Local Shillong
- After breakfast, full day local sightseeing. Visit Don Bosco Museum (Sunday closed), the largest cultural museum in India. Also visit the Ward’s Lake, old churches, Golf links, Shillong Peak (Wednesday closed) and Elephant Falls. Evening will be free at leisure to explore Police Bazar or visit popular cafes. Overnight stay in Shillong.
- Day 3 / Day excursion to Cherrapunjee / Mawlynnong or Dawki/Shnongpdeng
- Go on a day trip to Cherrapunjee (55km / 2 hours), also known as Sohra. On the way, halt at Mawkdok Dympep valley viewpoint. See some beautiful waterfalls such as Nohkalikai and Dainthlein falls. Next visit the Arwah cave complex which has limestone formations and remains of prehistoric fossils. If time permits, visit the Eco Park and Bangladesh viewpoints. Return to Shillong by sunset. Overnight stay in Shillong. OR Full day excursion to Dawki/Shnongpdeng (80km / 3 hours) near Bangladesh border. Go on a boat ride in the beautiful Umgnot River which is famous for its crystal clear waters. Continue driving towards Mawlynnong (35km / 2 hours), considered as Asia’s cleanest village. Explore the beautiful village, walk through its lanes and see the Balancing Rock and century old church. Also, walk down to the living Root Bridge at Riwai village nearby, an architectural marvel made by the Khasi tribe using natural resources. Return to Shillong (80km / 3 hours) by evening. Overnight stay in Shillong.
- Day 4 / Drive to Kaziranga National Park (280 km/7 hrs)
- After breakfast, travel to Kaziranga National Park (280km / 7 hours) an UNESCO natural heritage site and is famous for the one-horned rhino. Arrive by sunset, check-in at hotel and rest in the evening after a long journey. Overnight stay in Kaziranga National Park.
- Day 5 / Explore Kaziranga National Park
- Early in the morning, go on an elephant safari in the Central / Western Range for sighting rhinos which inhabit in the grasslands of the Brahmaputra flood plains. (Govt. run elephant safari seats are subjected to availability). Return for breakfast and rest. Later visit the Orchid Park where cultural program and folk dances are held for entertaining visitors. In the afternoon, proceed for a jeep safari in the forests of Eastern Range for spotting various migratory and wetland birds. Overnight stay in Kaziranga National Park.
- Day 6 / Day of Travel, drive from Kaziranga - Kohima (210 km/6 hrs)
- After breakfast, travel to Kohima (210km / 6 hours), the capital of Nagaland to experience the cultural extravaganza of Hornbill Festival. On the way, halt at Dimapur, the largest town of Nagaland to see the ruins of Kachari Dynasty (optional). Evening will be free to explore the local markets, try local cuisine and see the carnival night fair. Overnight stay in Kohima.
- Day 7 / Attend the Hornbill Festival at Kisama. Explore Kohima.
- Witness the annual Hornbill Festival at Kisama Heritage village. See the cultural programs, traditional dances, indigenous sports and food festival of the sixteen different tribes of Nagaland. Also see the traditional architecture of their Morungs (dormitories) and the World War II Museum within the complex. Afternoon can be spent exploring Kohima town, visit Reconciliation Cathedral, State Museum and World War II cemetery. Overnight stay in Kohima.
- Day 8 / Explore Khonoma Village and Dzuleke forest area
- Day trip to Khonoma (20 km / 1 hour) a historic village of Angami tribe and is also known as ‘Green Village’ as it was the first to ban hunting in Nagaland. Walk through the fort area, see the old houses and observe traditional lifestyle of Angami people. Drive little further to the quaint Dzuleke village situated amidst scenic surroundings. One can walk around the terraced rice farms and community forests around the village. Return to Kohima (25 km / 1 hour) by sunset. Overnight stay in Kohima.
- Day 9 / Kohima
- Spend another day at Kisama to see the events of Hornbill Festival. Witness the spectacular closing ceremony. Evening will be free at leisure to explore Kohima. Overnight stay in Kohima.
- Day 10 / Depart. Kohima - Dimapur (75km / 3 hours)
- After breakfast, transfer to Dimapur airport (75km / 3 hours) for departure. End of tour.
- Please Note:
- (1) We are not responsible for any law and order, natural calamity, strikes etc. (2) Every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of local strikes, landslide, heavy snowfall etc., which are beyond our control, all schedule and itineraries are subject to last moment changes without prior notice and any additional cost, will be borne by the guests directly. (3) Elephant seat subject to availability. (4) Booking process will be done after deposition of 50% as advance and res you are requested clear 15 days prior to start of the tour. (5) Terms and Conditions Apply. (6) For permits in Nagaland , you are requested to mail us the scanned copy of Aadhar Card or Driving License or Passport or Voter ID Card of each member Also 2 Passport size photos of each person. It takes minimum 2 days to get. Saturday and Sunday closed. (7) Permits are required for Indian Nationals only in Nagaland. (8) Rates may be changed if there is any hike regarding the Jungle Safaris and Fuel Mainly. (9) Hotels are subjected to availability. Please read online reviews of the suggested hotels before confirming. (10) Terms and Conditions Apply.
- All Accommodation twin sharing with breakfast. ( Standard Category Rooms).
- Transportation ( All Sightseeing, transfers, long drive, pick up & drop).
- 1 Elephant Safari ( Elephant seats subject to availability).
- 1 Jeep Safari in central range of Kaziranga National Park.
- Kaziranga National Park Entry Fees.
- Entry tickets. Parking fees.
- Drivers Allowances.
- Local Guides (wherever mentioned in the itinerary) - Shillong, Kohima and Khonoma.
- Sightseeing activities as per itinerary.
- Inner Line Permit (ILP)
- Camera fees.
- Cost for Evening snacks & Tea and lunch,Dinner and other meals.
- Cost for service not mentioned under the “cost includes” heads.
- Cost for airfare, train fare or any other internal fare.
- Personal expenses such as laundry, soft drinks, mineral water, porter, tip etc.
- Liability for or insurance against injury, loss of life, accidents or loss of goods.
- Expenses incurred due to change in oil price, mishaps, landslide, strike, political unrest etc. In such case, extra will be charged as per actual which will be collected directly from the guest.
- Covid testing/treatment/quarantine.
- Room heater, firewood.
- Any additional expenses.
- Any item not mentioned in the inclusions.
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