14 days Tribal and wildlife safari

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TOUR DETAILS

Dree River at Acheson

Visiting tribal habitat of Mishing, Apatani, Nishi, Hill Miri, Tagin and Adi tribes and Kaziranga National

This tour is designed for travelers interested in the land, its people and wildlife. The focus is on nature, wildlife and tribal culture. The tour starts at Guwahati; explores wildlife at Kaziranga and crossing the mighty Brahmaputra River by boat, moves on to Majauli Island- the largest river island in the world, with its unique Hindu monasteries and riverine tribal culture of the Mishing tribe.

Thereafter you cross the river to the North bank and enter Arunachal Pradesh to travel to Ziro. Now begins a traverse of the river valleys of the Subhansiri, Syiom, and Siang rivers.
You will journey through the fascinating tribal habitat of Apatani, Nishi (Daflas), Tagin, Hill Miri, and Adi tribes . Explore ethnic homesteads, visit tribal shamans, and peep into beliefs and culture, see their handicrafts and incredible cane and bamboo suspension bridges. During the journey we will pass through miles of forests, and marvel at the incredible variety of flora.

Finally we will cross the mighty Brahmaputra River by ferry, for the third time, navigating through sand bars to Dibrugarh in Assam.

ITENERIES

Day 01: Guwahati – Kaziranga NP

Arrive Guwahati airport. Transfer by car from Guwahati to Kaziranga. Drive East through the wide a scenic Brahmaputra Valley ( Also called the Assam Vallkey), for 220 Kms in 4.30 hrs to Kaziranga National Park. Upon arrival, check in at Wild Life Resort for overnight.

The World Heritage Kaziranga National Park. has more than 70% of the world’s one-horned rhino population, 70% of the world population of the Eastern Swamp Deer and 75% of the world’s wild Asiatic water buffalo.

It has a significant population of the Asian Elephant. Close encounters with the Great Indian one horned Rhino, and wild Indian Elephants Swamp Deer, Asiatic Water buffalo, and a host of animals are assured. The Park also has more than 450 species of birds, 18 of them are globally threatened species. The Bengal Florican is the main attraction.

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Day 02: Kaziranga

Two wild life safaris by jeep in the outlying ranges of the park. Overnight at hotel / lodge.

Day 03: Kaziranga- Majauli Island

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Early morning Elephant safari followed by one wildlife safaris by jeep.
After early lunch transfer to Nimati Ghat via Jorhat 140 Kms in 2.30 hrs. Arrive in time to board the afternoon ferry and cross the Brahmaputra River to Kamlabari ghat at Majauli Island in 1.30 hrs.
Transfer to community home run by the Mishing tribe – a unique property constructed exactly like a Mishing tribal house out of Bamboo and thatch; with modern toilets. Overnight.

Majauli is famous as the world’s largest river Island. But it is really more interesting, for its 22 satras – Hindu Vaishnava monastries that are also centres for the arts. At the satras, Lord Vishnu is worshipped through dance dramas re-enacting the stories of the Mahabharata, with music and poetry. The satras take in young boys and groom them. The daily routine includes working in the fields, tending cattle, prayer, discussion and study.

The satras have also nurtured certain arts and craft traditions, which can now be found only here. In Natun Samugri satra for instance, one can still find the craft of mask-making; Kamlabari satra still makes the finest boats.

Day 04: Majauli exploration

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Explore the Island, Visit a Satra and tribal villages. See locals engaged in riverine agriculture, fishing, weaving and pottery making Explore the shoreline in a country boat for water birds, and watch the breathtaking sunset on the great river. Overnight at Community home.

Day 05: Majauli – Zero ( Arunachal Pradesh)

Drive North from Majauli to cross the river by ferry to North Lakhimpur, Continue up the forested mountain road . The 220 Kms journey will take 6-7 hrs. Enroute there will be time to peep into some tribal villages. Ziro, is the headquarters of the Lower Subhansiri District located in the the Apatani valley – plateau. Overnight at your hotel.

 

The Apatanis occupy a 26 sq Kms valley-plateau in central Subhansiri at an altitude of 1524 m. The plateau is enclosed by steeply rising ridges rising to 2438 m. Drained by the Kali River it is entirely taken up with wet-field cultivation. Population is near 22000 (1991). They can be best described as “animist-shamanist”.

Experts at wet-farming methods, the people are agriculturists growing rice, and millet. Field work is done entirely by iron hoes, digging sticks and batons.

Day 06:

Take a 03 hours walk to explore three Apatani tribal villages. E.T. Dalton noted in 1845, “The men do not rejoice in much drapery, they wear a girdle of canework painted red which hangs behind in long bushy tail.”

Just as the tail is the distinctive part of the male dress, so is the nose plug peculiar to the Apatani women” Return to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, we drive to Hung Apatani village – the largest village of this tribe. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 07: Ziro- day trip to Nishi tribal village

Drive 15 kms to Nishi Tribal Village. Visit the tribal long house. Return to your hotel for lunch.

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Neighbours of the Apatanis, the Nishis are a strudy and proud hill tribe, considered independent, and turbulent during the British “Raj”. They live in “long houses” – each may shelter up to 20 families. More warlike the Nishis are not proficient in arts. They are adept at cane work and some weaving.

They are individualistic – the society has no chiefs, and no council of elders. They have a strong belief in different spirits – good and evil, each with assigned habitat. The spirits are placated by sacrifice of animals.
In the afternoon, visit the local handicraft centre, tribal museum, orchid centre and bazaar. Overnight at hotel.

Day 08: Ziro- Domporijo

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Drive 180 kms to Domporijo – a small market town of the Tagin Tribe, close to Daporijo the headquaters of the Upper Subhansiri District. On the way we will stop; to walk up to Raga – a village of the Hill Miri Tribe in the Kamala River Valley.

Hill Miris numbering about 11000 (1991), occupy the valley of the Kamala River at altitudes of 900 to 1200 m. Living in very small villages – seldom more than 20 houses each 60-70 feet long sited on slits with gabled roofs made of leaves. A chief heads the village. Like others the Hill Miris also believe in a host of benevolent and malevolent spirits and the Sun-Moon god.

Overnight at Damporijo circuit house / homestay / hotel.

Day 09: Domporijo

Explore the habitat of the Tagin tribe. Drive for about 30 Kms into the surrounding areas to explore the Tagin tribal villages of Dolum and Sappi.
Numbering around 18800 ( 1991) souls, the Tagins inhabit the upper Kamala Valley. Difficult terrain isolated the tribe. They were first surveyed in 1911. Very volatile and independent people, they have a history of massacring outsiders – the last outrage was in 1953 when 47 out of a government party of 165 were killed. Road building and setting up of administrative centers at Daporijo and Limakang have helped in bringing the tribe into the mainstream.

The society is divided into distinct classes in hierarchical order – rich, middle-class, poor, hunters, priests, shamans, and slaves (no longer). Religious practices are shamanistic with rites and sacrifices propitiating inimical spirits. The sun-moon god is at the apex with unlimited powers – all benevolent. They practice shifting cultivation producing rice, maize, tubers, and vegetables.

They also grow tobacco and are persistent smokers. Tagins are expert hunters and use poison from plants for arrows. Selling of land is considered taboo, as the presiding spirit is likely to be annoyed and bring misfortune.
In the afternoon visit the local handicraft centre and the bazaar. Overnight at circuit house / homestay / hotel.

Day 10: Damporijo– Along

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Drive 147 kms in 05 hours, to the town of Along- the Headquarters of the West Siang District.. Located at an altitude of 350 m it is set in a wide open valley where the Sippu River joins the Siyom River The people are mostly Adi-Gollongs with some Adi- Miniyongs.

Adis ( Abhor) are the dominant tribe of the Siang River Valley. They are also the largest with a population of around 1,58000. ( 1991). They comprise of two sub-groups: 1) Gallongs – include Gallongs, Ramos, Bokars, and Palbos 2) Padam-Miyong sub group: Includes Padams, Ninyongs, Pasis, Panggis, Shimongs, Boris, Asings, and Tangams.

All groups are bound together by common language and culture with dialectal differences. A unique hairstyle – with short cropping with a knife are a distinctive feature. The British considered the Adis as powerful people, proud and outspoken, friendly, hospitable and social –but suspicious of strangers, Today the community is considered as “progressive”. Adi society is highly organized with political institutions like the village council.

Originally dominated by priests and shamans and deriving authority from supernatural sanctions, it was transformed into a secular body during the British period when power was vested in nominated village headmen. The institution of separate boys and girls dormitory has far reaching influences on personality development and community cooperation. The Adis also believe in numerous spirits and the sun-Moon- God ( Dony- polo).

They are great agriculturist cultivating rice, maize, millet, buckwheat, mustard, ginger, potatoes, tobacco, chilly, and vegetables. There is a vast store of folklore. Elders are endowed with prodigious memory. This oral literature takes the form of rhapsodies called “Abang”. People love to dance. The “Tapu” war dance ( Minyong tribe) by males and “Ponung” welcome dance by girls are well known. Over the years the Adis have demonstrated a rare native ingenuity in constructing cane and bamboo bridges over great spans.

They are adept at making cantilever bridges of bamboo, suspension bridges with ribbed bamboo footways, trestle bridges and their combinations. Cane suspension bridges are indeed a marvel of “untutored engineering skills.”

Day 11: Along countryside exploration

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Trek to visit Paia and Kabu Villages inhabited by the Adi- Galongs. This entails walking over a cane suspension bridge. Return to Along to visit local handicraft centre and bazaar. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 12: Along- Passighat

Drive Along to Passighat. The distance is only 68 Kms. The road follows the Siyom River till it joins the Siang river; which originates as the Tsang Po in Tibet, and latter is called the Brahmaputra. Enroute we will take time to visit an Adi Minyong tribal village, and experience crossing the Siang over the longest suspension bridge, to take a nature and culture walk using inter-village tracks to explore more tribal villages in the countryside.

Arrive at Passighat late afternoon. Overnight at your hotel / government guest house.

Day 13: Passighat – ferry crossing – Dibrugarh

Drive to Urium Ghat in 02 hrs to board our local ferry boat to cross the mighty Brahmaputra river in 03-04 hrs. Once across, drive to Dibrugarh. Overnight at hotel.

Day 14: Departure

Transfer to airport to board your flight to Kolkata or Delhi. TOUR ENDS.

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