Tribes of Arunachal & the Brahmaputra River
Situated in the extreme east of India, the state of Arunachal Pradesh is strikingly different from the classic image of Himalayan scenery and culture. Although the Tibetan worlds of the Monpa and Sherdukpen people can be seen on the northern frontier with China (see article on the Tawang monastery, Trek magazine, no 2), the main attraction of Arunachal undoubtedly lies in the richness of its animist-shamanist populations who are of Tibetan, Burmese and Mongol origins. You cannot help but feel the proximity of South East Asia, Burma and Laos.
Over sixty different ethnic groups share this immense territory with its swathes of barely penetrable forest. Whether they are rice growers, hunter gatherers or farmers, the Apatani, Nishi, Tajin or Adi tribal groups you come across on this journey reflect a true ’ethnic state’ where the ancestral Dony-Polo religion has not died out in spite of the recent rise in conversions to Christianity.
With its twelve towns, 3,500 villages, one of the largest concentrations of primary forest in the world and the smallest population of any Indian state ( one million inhabitants), Arunachal is unique. The road network is almost non existent and the area is geographically isolated as well as politically marginalised (the former North East Frontier only became the 25th Indian state in 1987).
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> Transfers and ground transports (private vehicle with and English speaking driver)
> Flights and/or trains as mentioned in the program
> Accommodation: twin/double room in hotels
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
> International flights and airport taxes
> Entrance fees for temples, monuments and museums mentioned in the program
> Optional activities
> Repatriation fees, should they be required
> Meals (except if mentioned in detailed itinerary) > Drinks and personal expenses
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Day 1: Arrive in Delhi
Airport pickup and transfer to hotel in central Delhi. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Flight Delhi - Guwahati - Nameri - [2 hour flight - 4 hour drive]
Morning transfer to airport for flight to Guwahati. Airport pickup and drive to Nameri Eco Camp near the Bhorali River in Nameri National Park, with its lush vegetation and Mising tribal villages. Overnight in hotel.
Day 3: Nameri - Dirang (1740m) - [5 hour drive]
Prayers in the Kalachakra gompa to receive the blessing of the gods. Set off for Dirang. Visit the village and the Dzong, an old fort which also served as a frontier post when trading took place with Tibet.
Day 4: Dirang - Tawang (2960m) - [5 hour drive]
Set off for Tawang via the Sela Pass (4270m). This was a battle ground during the Indo-Chinese war in 1962. Visit the Jaswant Singh war memorial and the Nuranang Falls.
Day 5: Tawang (2960m)
Visit Tawang monastery, built in the 16th century and home to 700 monks. Other sites to see are Anigompa Urgelling nunnery where the sixth Dalai Lama was born, Monpa village and the Tawang market. Overnight in hotel.
Day 6: Tawang - Bomdila (2590m) - [6 hour drive]
Set off for Bomdila, administrative centre of the East Kameng district. Visit Gompa and market. Overnight in hotel.
Day 7: Bomdila- Itanagar - [6 hour drive]
Drive to the capital of Arunachal. Visit museum and market. Overnight in hotel.
Day 8: Itanagar - Ziro (1700m) - [4 hour drive]
Set off for Ziro, home of the Apatani tribe and one of most beautiful valleys in the region with its rice fields and village women with their pierced upper nostrils. Visit village and meet a shaman. Early evening cultural programme in village.
Day 9: Talle Valley
Day to hike in the Talle Valley with its variety of fauna and flora. Return to Ziro at the end of the afternoon. Overnight in hotel.
Day 10: Ziro - Daporijo - [6 hour drive]
Drive to Hill Miri and the Tajin villages. Continue on to Daporijo. Overnight in guest house.
Day 11: Daporijo - Along - [5 hour drive]
Visit Adi Gallong villages. Overnight in hotel.
Day 12: Along - Boleng - Komsing - [3 hour walk]
Transfer to Boleng. Walk to Komsing where you will be treated to Ponung dances and local beer (Apong). Overnight in village.
Day 13: Komsing - Boleng - Pasighat - [4 hour drive]
Return to Boleng then drive on to Pasighat. Cross bamboo bridge over Siang river and visit Adi Minyong villages. Overnight in hotel.
Day 14: Pasighat
Cross the Siang River to visit the villages of Adi Padam of Ayeng, Mebo and Siluk, then Aohali, Idu and Mishmi. Return to Pasighat at the end of the afternoon. Overnight in hotel.
Day 15: Pasighat - Dibrugarh - [4 hour ferry]
Cruise down the Brahmaputra to Dibrugarh. Afternoon visit to tea plantation. Overnight in hotel.
Day 16: Dibrugarh - Majuli
Visit Sibsagar, which used to be the capital of the Ahom, the former leaders of Assam who emigrated to Burma. Ferry to Majuli and night in the Satra monastery.
Day 17: Majuli
Majuli is the biggest river island in the world. It is also the centre of the Vaishnavite Hindu sect. Meet the Satra monks and visit the Mising villages. Overnight in monastery.
Day 18: Majuli - Kaziranga National Park
Drive to Kaziranga National Park. Arrive in evening and transfer to lodge.
Day 19: Kaziranga National Park
After breakfast, elephant safari in the central and western parts of the park. You may be lucky enough to see a one-horned rhino. The park is also home to myriad animals and flora which are native to this locality. Jeep safari in the afternoon. Return to lodge for overnight stay.
Day 20: Kaziranga national park - Guwahati - Delhi - [4 hours drive - 2 hour flight]
Free morning. Transfer to Guwahati airport for flight to Delhi. Airport pickup and transfer to hotel.
Day 21: Delhi
Visit Delhi by private vehicle or go shopping. In the afternoon we keep on one hotel room in which to leave our things and have a shower before the late transfer to the airport.