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Cultural East India Tour

12 Days

east india tourTake a cultural tour through east India from Calcutta, Dibrugarh, Kaziranga, Shillong to  Guwahati. Visit the Shilong Falls or watch the Bihu Dancers, go on an elephant safari or take a tour of a tea estate.

East India Tour Itinerary | Quotation | Booking Information


East India Land Tour Itinerary


Day 1           Arrival: Calcutta                  
Meet upon arrival and transfer to Hotel.

Day 2           Calcutta
AM: Sight Seeing of Calcutta: Victoria memorial, the river side, Howrah bridge with flower market (in the morning), Mother Teresa home, Birla temple, Nirmal Hridey (old home), Jain temple.  Drive pass by Eden gardens, the new secretariat high court, and the race course.

Belur Math: Belur Math is situated approximate 6.4 kms from Howrah station on the western bank of river hoogly. The most fascinating idea about the architecture is that from which ever angle you look, it resembles a temple, a mosque or a church depending the way you look at the temple.  Spread over several acres of land, this is an ideal place of pilgrimage for people from the globe professing different religious belief, faith and religion. The premises of the Belur Math include the main monastery and several temples.  It also includes a sprawling prayer hall with a statue of Ramakrishna Paramhansa. The twin organization Ramakrishna math and Ramakrishna mission situated within the main monastery is committed to spread its message of religious harmony and divinity of soul without any distinction of caste, creed or religion

Day 3           Calcutta / Dibrugarh
After breakfast transfer to airport.

DEP: CALCUTTA      0945 HRS        IC 205 (Indian Airlines)
ARR: DIBRUGARH   1115 HRS

Received at the airport. Transferred to your hotel (14 kms/ 30 mins) in the midst of a tea garden. In the evening enjoy a Cultural Program performed by an ethnic Assamese dance group.

Overnight at Dibrugarh. - This 140 years Heritage Chang Bungalow built by pioneering Scottish tea planters offers a unique experience of the traditional plantation life with beautiful vistas.

Dibrugarh is the gateway to the “hidden land” of Eastern Arunachal Pradesh. The Ahoms from Thailand came through northern Myanmar through this area in the 13th century to establish their empire, which thrived in the ancient land of Assam. It is the “Camellia” town of upper Assam, an undisturbed haven, with its rich tea gardens resembling a lush green carpet. Experience and enjoy the richness of these tea gardens while staying at the Heritage Chang Bungalows. These are constructed on stilts and are situated in a serene atmosphere free from pollution.
           
When the British established their tea plantations in the mid-19th century they quickly built comfortable bungalows designed to make life as pleasant as possible in what, was to them, a hostile and strange land. One of the main features of these buildings has given rise to their name – Chang Bungalows. Chang in the local language means “raised on stilts” and the design served multi purposes; to keep the house cool by allowing the breeze to blow underneath and to keep both water and animals out!

east india tour bihu dancersBIHU is the most popular folk dance of Assam. The people of Assam are very proud of its unique position among all other such dances of India. ‘Bihu’ performed by young Men and Women reflect youthful passions and joys rejuvenating life during the spring season, accompanied by songs Woven around the theme of love and physical yearning.


Day 4           Dibrugarh
After breakfast proceed for a Tea tour to learn about the origin and the history of tea - how it is grown, all about tea tasting and its quality. Visit a Weaving Centre to see traditional looms and the weaving of silk textiles of Assam, famous all over the world. Also, visit a local village or a Namghar – the congregational prayer hall for the Assamese Community. Overnight at the Chang Bungalow.

east india tour dibrugarh tea pluckersA tea tourthrough 157 years old Heritage Tea Garden gives an insight into the different activities that vary from season to season. It teaches us all about tea- its origin, how it is grown, tea tasting and its quality. During the winter months the dormant bushes are pruned to ensure vigorous growth during the warmer months. Once the rains begin, and the temperature rises, the gardens come alive with teams of colorfully dressed tea pluckers, predominantly ladies as they are said to be better able to pluck the delicate buds and leaves. The harvest, which goes continuously from March to November, is taken everyday to the factory where it undergoes an age old process of being turned into the finished product. All stages of the process are carefully controlled to ensure that the tea that leaves the factory is only of the highest quality, a quality that has made Assam tea world famous.

Namphake village is situated near the River Buri-Dihing. A Buddhist Monastery dots the Village which belongs to the Hinayana sect. Tai translation of the Ramayana written on handmade paper has been newly discovered in this village. The structure of the houses is unique as the walls are made of Bamboo and the roof is of palm leaves (Toko), mounted over a Chang or stilt.

The story behind how this Bells Temple was born goes back to about 50 – 60 years, where a man had a dream where he was told to tie a thread around the tree. On doing this, his wish was fulfilled. One night he again dreamt that as a thanks giving he was asked to hang a bell on the tree, so he did just that. Today, one can see thousands and thousands of bells of different sizes hung around the tree. The Banyan tree is right in the middle of the temple, a huge tree, with a band of red thread around it. 

Day 5           Dibrugarh / Kaziranga
Drive to Kaziranga (220 kms / 5 hrs). Enroute visit Sibsagar.

Sivasagar was once the home of the Ahom Kings. The Shans who came from Thailand through Northern Myanmar to this area in early 13th century, ruled for 600 years. The Siva Temple, built by the Ahoms, situated here is believed to be the tallest of all existing Hindu Temples. The ruins of the Ahom palaces and monuments dot the landscape around this historical town. Centuries before the arrival of the British, this part of the world was controlled by a number of Tribal Chieftains.

In the town of Sivasagar, one can still see the remaining well preserved relics. Palaces, Tanks, Forts, Places of worship present the richness of this highly evolved and advanced Civilization. The largest and the oldest Amphitheatre of Asia (rang ghar) is also another remarkable landmark in the history of Sivasagar. The tai- ahom museum of Sivsagar contains some of the relics of the Ahom period, like – Swords, Clothes, Manuscripts and Sundry Artifacts.

On arrival check-in at hotel.

Day 6           Kaziranga National Park

east india tour elepahant safariContinuing with the East India tour, early morning we take an Elephant Safari in the central range of the park followed by a Jeep Safari after breakfast to the western range of the park. Afternoon visit the eastern range of the park by jeep. Overnight at the resort.

east india tour kaziranga rhinoKaziranga National Park - is a world heritage site, where more than 75% of the world’s total population of the great Indian one horned rhinoceros can be found. It lies on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River and is one of the oldest parks of Assam. Besides rhinos, the Asiatic water Buffalo numbering over 1200, Elephants over 1000, Tigers more than 80, Swamp Deer, Barking Deer and Hog Deer can be seen. About 400 Species of Birds are found in Kaziranga National Park. Swamp Francolin, Kalij pheasant, Greylag goose, Gadwall, Eurasian Pigeon, mallard, northern shoveller, northern pintail, streak throated Woodpecker, Bay Woodpecker, oriental pied Hornbill, Great Hornbill, Asprey, Palas’s fish eagle, changeable hawk eagle, pied falconets, lesser adjutant stork, greater adjutant stork, black necked stork, grey-headed lapwing, Indian white backed vulture, long billed vulture, along with a large number of spotted billed pelican. Wild life sighting is excellent and is always a great experience.

Drive to Shillong (390kms/8hrs) overnight at hotel.

Meghalaya, swaddled amidst wraith-like mists is aptly called “The Abode of Clouds”. It is one of India’s prettiest states inhabited by the Khasis, Jaintias and Garos. It is known for its matrilineal society, which governs lineage and ancestral inheritance through the female line. It stands out for its traditional and natural beauty among the other states. Its historical strengths have been irreversibly linked with its superlative natural setting.

Day 8           Shillong / Cherrapunji / Shillong

east india tour shillong fallsContinue with your East India tour with a day excursion to Cherrapunji. Cherrapunjee (56 kms/2hrs), 1300mt – once the heaviest rainfall area in the world. The drive will give us a spectacular view of deep gorges and the rolling hills luxurious with tropical vegetation that boast an innumerable variety of ferns, moss and orchids. At Cherrapunjee, we explore the lime- stone caves. We return to Shillong in the evening . Enroute visit Elephant falls and Shillong peak overlooking the beautiful town. Overnight at the hotel.

At an altitude of 1300 mts above Sea Level, Sohra (Cherrapunjee) was once the heaviest rainfall area in the world. Sohra has gorges, luxurious vegetation and boasts of an innumerable variety of ferns, moss and Orchids. It was here that the welsh missionaries and the Ram Krishna mission started their services in the Khasi hills.

Shillong Peak: The 1960 metres high, Shillong peak, 10 km from the city is another fantastic tourist spot. The peak has a very important legend as it is generally believed to be the abode of a powerful deity known as ‘U Lei Shyllong’ meaning Shyllong god. It is said that ‘U Lei Shyllong’ was responsible for the creation and the origin of the Khyrim and Mylliem Syiemship. The peak gives a magnificent view of the spreading township below.

Elephant falls: 12 km away on the Shillong – Cherrapunjee road lie the elephant falls. A mountain stream descends through successive falls set in dells of fern-covered surroundings..

Day 9           Shillong / Guwahati
After breakfast, we visit DBCIC Museum (Don Bosco centre for Indigenous Culture) and then drive to Guwahati (105kms/3hrs) and check in at hotel. Afternoon, cruise on the river Brahmaputra upto the Umananda Temple on the world’s smallest river island known as the ‘Peacock Island’. In the evening, visit Shankerdev Kalashetra. Overnight at hotel.

DBCIC (Don Bosco centre for Indigenous Culture) is the largest of its kind in Asia. It is a centre where you can see, learn and experience the diverse culture of all the states of north east India under one roof.

east india tour guwahatiGuwahati: Situated on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River in the Kamrup District of Assam, Guwahati is a fast growing premier city. It is the gate way to the north eastern states of India and a principal center of socio cultural, political, and industrial and trade and commerce of the entire region. Dispur, the capital of Assam is a part of Guwahati. Earlier, this city was full of areca nut trees Rappled by pan creepers. Hence this city subsequently got the name Guwahati. The word ‘Guwa’ in Assamese means areca nut and hat means market.

Srimanta Shankerdeva Kalashetra - a multi-art complex portrays the rich cultural diversity and life of Assam as well as that of the North-East.  This art complex has been named after the greatest Vaishnava saint and the integrator of the Assamese society, which is why it is chosen as the venue for many cultural activities. Enjoy the sound and light program on the history of the region here.

The Shiva temple of Umananda stands on an island bluff in the middle of the Brahmaputra. Its location, at the top of a steep flight of steps up from the beach on the Bhasmachala hill, is however, more dramatic than the temple itself. This hill is associated with the legend of Shiva burning Kaama, or the god of lust to ashes.

Note: Srimanta Shankerdev Kalashetra is closed on Mondays.

Day 10           Guwahati
After breakfast drive to Sualkuchi (40kms/2hrs). Enroute visit Hajo.  

At Sualkuchi, explore the dazzling world of Assam’s silk industry, on the North bank of river Brahmaputra. Assam silk is one of the most popular souvenirs to take home. Assam is reputed for its silk. The most prominent variety is muga, the golden silk exclusive only to this state. Apart from Muga, there is Paat, and Eri, the latter being used in the manufacture of warm clothes for winter.

Hajo – The meeting point of Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu faiths on the northern bank of river Brahmaputra, has a number of temples the chief among them being the Hayagrib Madhab Temple – a place of pilgrimage both for the Hindus and the Buddhists. Hajo’s bell-metal work is renowned for the interesting artifacts made by the local craftsmen.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 11           Guwahati / Calcutta
Drive to Guwahati Airport (30 kms / 45 mins) to board flight for onward destination. Option to visit Kamakhya Temple before that (if time permits).

Situated atop the Nilachal Hills, the foremost shrine of Assam, Kamakhya Temple dominates the life of Guwahati, as much as the great Brahmaputra river. Kamakhya is an ancient seat of tantric and shakti cults of Hinduism. A rush of devotees throng the temple during the Ambubachi Puja (June).

DEP: GUWAHATI                  1200 HRS        9W 207 (Jet Airways)
ARR: CALCUTTA                  1310 HRS
Meet upon arrival & transfer to hotel.

Day 12           Calcutta - Departure (or extension to Bhutan)
Transfer to Calcutta International airport for flight to Paro OR journey back home.

* All airline / train schedules are subject to change. All driving times are approximate and depend on local conditions.

Quotation Per Itinerary 

 Hotels in Quotation – 2 Categories (Subject to availability)

01/03 Calcutta Pearless Inn – 4*   std room Taj Bengal – 5*    std room
03/05 Dibrugarh Heritage-Chang Bunglow  std room Heritage-Chang Bunglow std room
05/07 Kazinranga Bonhabi Resort   std room The Retreat    dlx room
07/09 Shillong  Pinewood     std room Royal Heritage Tripura Castle  dlx room
09/11 Guwhati Kiranshree Portico club room Dynasty      executive room
11/12 Calcutta Pearless Inn –   4*   std room Taj Bengal –  5*   std room

Jewels of East India Tour – Quotation

Land & Domestic India Cost – Per Itinerary – 12 days
Minimum 2 persons

  Category I Category II
1) Per person, sharing twin TBA TBA
2) Domestic India Air (economy class) TBA TBA
3) Single Room Supplement TBA TBA

 

  • 11 nights accomodation, sharing twin room with breakfast
  • All transfers/tours by aircon car
  • Accompianed english speaking guide from dibrugarh to guwahati and local guide in calcutta
  • 1 elephant safari & 2 jeep safaris at kaziranga national park
  • 1 boat ride at guwahati
  • 1 tea tour + 1 cultural program + 1 boat ride at dibrugarh
  • Entrance fee as per the program
  • 3.1% govt service taxes

Charges for services of a personal nature, such as personal tipping, telephone, laundry, room service, airport taxes, trip/baggage insurance, visa/passport fees, camera/video fees, extra meals and beverages and any items not specifically mentioned.

Visa - A visa is required for travel to India and we can assist you with this. The cost for the visa for India is $60.00 per person, plus postage and handling, as levied by the official Consulate of India processing center.   Visit: http://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com.

Passport – Your passport must be valid for six (6) months beyond your last date of travel and contain a minimum of two blank pages.

Insurance - We highly recommend trip protection insurance and we can assist you in obtaining this valuable coverage, at competitive rates.

Booking conditions - We request a deposit of $500.00 per person, to proceed with all reservations. The balance is due 60 days prior to departure, and final documents are sent 30 days prior to departure.

Terms of booking - We request a signed copy of our terms and conditions which details our cancellation policies and terms of booking. We also need a clear copy of your passport. (Please enlarge to 120%).

Rates - All rates are quoted are based on current tariffs and rates of exchange and are subject to change. Government taxes are based on current rates and are subject to change. *Excludes Christmas & New Year’s Travel supplements.

Airfares -  All airfares quoted are subject to change, unless ticketed. Once reservation is confirmed ticketing must be completed within seven (7) days. All discount fares are subject to penalties for changes and cancellations after ticketing. No mileage credit.

NOTE: We reserve the right to change or alter the itinerary and costs when circumstances beyond our control deem it necessary.

All hotels listed are subject to availability. All ratings are by the local hotel grading authorities.

Completed booking forms must be sent in with your tour deposit of $500 per person to reserve space on this east india tour.

Click here to download our Booking Form / Credit Card Authorization Form / Terms & Conditions.

We offer low cost add-on airfares from your home city. Call 714-964-6896 / 800-423-9566 for more details.

Please contact us for bookings and information.