Cultural immersion, terrific wildlife viewing and a reception with a king—an MTS exclusive!
In the northeast corner of India, the states of Nagaland and Assam are two of the country’s last strongholds of old tribal cultures. Together, they represent at least two dozen tribes and ethnic groups; each one strongly connected to its customs, folk arts, language, and traditional dress. Teeming with green rolling hills, lush river valleys, rice paddies, tea gardens, forests, and nature preserves, these vibrant lands are open and hospitable, yet are still largely devoid of tourism. Though these cultures have been fading quickly as many other areas of India rush to modernize, ecotourism plays a key role in their preservation. So, join us in the eastern Himalaya and be among the first travelers to meet these friendly people and partake in their colorful traditions—folklore, dancing, singing, and weaving. To top it off, you’ll be welcomed by their angh (or tribal king)!
This is a one-of-a-kind journey that only MTS can deliver—where moderate walking and hiking through gorgeous, unspoiled landscapes meets superb wildlife viewing and genuine, enriching cultural encounters with the local people. During your stay, you’ll have several nights in comfortable, locally-run hotels and eco-friendly lodges, beginning with an exciting camping adventure in Nagaland while visiting the Angh. Our local guide, Mahesh Sriram, has spent over 20 years leading trips and cultivating relationships in India, not only providing our guests with all there is to know about the wildlife and history of the region, but more importantly, a full immersion experience in northeast India that you won’t find with anyone else.
Our voyage begins in Jorhat, a thriving city in Assam, where we’ll start on the right foot with an anthropological lecture on the tribal communities of Nagaland before our four-day camping excursion. We’ll walk to the Siva Dohl Temple and witness the morning rituals of the Hindu devotees. We’ll traverse the Naga hills and observe the traditional tribal dwellings of the Konyah Naga community. We’ll hike near the Tapi River, where we’ll see agricultural land and terraced fields, and learn about indigenous farming practices. And if his schedule permits, we will be received for lunch by the great Nowagang, the last of the traditional anghs, or one of the princes. We’ll visit the museum of Shangunyu Village, known for a well-preserved wooden panel depicting a special folk story, witness the Konyah Nagas weaving their famous textiles, and enjoy the traditional Naga folk songs. Next, a ferry will bring us over the sacred Brahmaputra River to Majuli Island, the largest river island in the world. We’ll hike through villages and along paddy fields, take in a folk performance at the Kamalabari Monastery, and see the stilted homes of the tribal Mising or “water people.” We’ll spend the last few days in Kaziranga National Park, a key wildlife sanctuary and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the floodplains of the Brahmaputra. Here, rhinoceros conservationists and naturalists will explain their anti-poaching efforts in the last home of the great Indian one-horned rhinoceros. On safari, we’ll have the opportunity to see other endangered animals including the Asian elephant and water buffalo, not to mention tiger, sloth, Assam macaques, capped langurs, sambar, Gangelic dolphins, and thousands of water birds.
Journeys like this are few and far between. Bring a healthy dose of curiosity with you as you discover this colorful, welcoming, and unique culture facing an uncertain future in an ever-modernizing country.
Hiking, cultural journey, elephant safari
- Be among the first outsiders to get this rare glimpse into the life of the Naga people on this one-of-a-kind, cultural adventure
- Trek in the remote Naga Hills as royal guests of the Angh (hereditary ruler of a group of Naga villages)
- Immerse yourself in the unique ecology of Majuli, the world's largest river island and home to the Mising tribes, and their fascinating textile-weaving, fishing, and folk traditions
- Explore ancient Hindu monasteries and experience traditional performing arts
- Ride an elephant through the swamps of Kaziranga National Park to see the endangered one-horned rhinos of the Himalayan lowlands
- Get a true insider’s view from our guide, Mahesh Sriram, who has over 20 years' worth of connections here—a unique experience you can only get with MTS!
Duration: 13 days Start Location: Kolkata End Location: KolkataDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrival in Kolkata (This entire trip is below 6,000')
We arrive in Kolkata. After transferring to the hotel, you have the opportunity to relax or explore the city on your own. We meet in the evening for dinner and trip orientation.
Day 2 : Sibsagar, Assam
Fly into Jorhat, a thriving cosmopolitan city and drive to Sibsagar. Settle into the hotel then attend an anthropologic lecture on the tribal community of Nagaland.
Day 3 : Drive to Jahpho Long, Nagaland
Drive to Mon, passing tea gardens, paddy fields, and montane forests on the way. We'll settle in camp at Jahpho Long, located between the modern town of Mon and the traditional village of Mon.
Day 4 : Tangnyu Village
Hike to Tang Village, have a traditional lunch with the Angh ( the hereditary chief of the village). Then hike around the village, where we will visit traditional morungs (youth dormitories), view skull mounds, and stop at the gun maker’s home to learn his craft and trade firsthand. In the evening, we’ll be honored with a traditional Konyak warrior dance and sit down to dinner with the Angh.
Day 5 : Lungwa Village – Jahpho Long
In the morning, we visit the Angh's housewhich is the largest in the villages and also distinguishable by its display of skulls in the front. After our meeting with him, we drive toward Lungwa Village to a traihead and hike to Konyak villages. We meet the Angh Nogawang in his incredible home, where we see the finest pieces of Konyak architecture this culture has to offer. After lunch in the Angh’s house, explore the home's amazing Konyak architecture and decorative art, with its pillars, wood carvings, ceremonial bronze drums, and bamboo craft.
Day 6 : Jahpho Long
Today is highlighted by a meeting with the Angh of Waching at his house. After a drive to Shangunyu Village to visit their small museum, which features a wonderful preserved wooden panel depicting a special folk story, we visit the Angh and explore his fascinating village with interesting architechure which is in desperate need of preservation . We return to our camp and enjoy a presentation of the Konyak Naga singing tradition over dinner. In the evening, we are joined by local youth and elders who demonstrate their unique knitting and weaving skills. This is usually accompanied by the singing of Naga folk stories. (Approx. driving time: 3 hours; hiking time: 2 hours)
Day 7 : Jorhat
Drive to Jorhart. Visit monuments of the Ahom dynasty on the way.
Day 8 : Majuli Island
Early morning drive to to Nimhati Ghat and drive to Majuli and then hike through villages, paddy fields.
Day 9 : Majuli
We begin with a short morning drive to Dapakgaon, a Mising tribal village, where we are welcomed by dancing Mising men and women. We explore their village and learn about their lifestyle. After eating a traditional Mising lunch, we'll take a short hike to Benganati Satra to tour an old monastery that has been relocated three times on the island due to the threats of soil erosion. We visit the Namgarh (prayer hall) of the Satra—first joining the monks in their regular prayers, then visiting their homes.
Day 10 : Kaziranga National Park
Take a private ferry to Neematighat, then drive to Kaziranga National Park, a beautiful wildlife sanctuary. Explore the tea estate where we stay for the night, and learn about the real issues connected with Rhino Conservation and anti-poaching operations.
Day 11 : Kaziranga National Park
We spend a memorable day in Kaziranga, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where wildlife watching is truly spectacular. We'll do our game viewing by vehicle and from the back of trained elephants—a great way to get close to wild animals and view them from a high perch.
Day 12 : Kolkata
Drive to Jorhat, and fly to Kolkata in the early afternoon. After transferring to the hotel, we have the rest of the day free to either rest or to once again explore this rich, metropolitan city.
Day 13 : Fly home
Our rooms are held until noon for the most time to prepare. We transfer to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport to return homeward or join one of our extensions in Asia.
DATES: Best time to go: March, November Departures: Nov 10 - 22, 2014 Mar 2 - 14, 2015 Nov 9 - 21, 2015
$4,795 (8-12 members)
$4,895 (8-12 members)
Located in New Delhi, India’s capital city, The Oberoi, New Delhi reflects the city’s spirit in a harmonious blend of tradition and contemporary sophistication. Located close to the city center near business, commercial and shopping districts, the luxury hotel overlooks Delhi’s prestigious Golf Club on one side and the heritage site of Humayun’s Tomb on the other. Exquisite interiors, impeccable service and fine cuisine combine to make this the Capital’s most graceful and elegant hotel.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you'd never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You'll be in good hands with them every step of the way.