7 NIGHTS | 8 DAYS
KOLKATA | GUWAHATI | KIRIAKARA | TEZPUR | KAZIRANGA | BISHWANATH GHAT | MAJULI ISLAND | NIMATI | SIBSAGAR | KOLKATA
Far Horizon takes you to the city of joy. Kolkata – the city of intellectuals, of football, of processions and protests; the city of political movements and of flash strikes; the city of arts and culture (cultural capital of India); the city of festivals and last, but certainly not the least, it is also known as city of the best sweets and cuisine. This itinerary combines the best of two worlds – the great cultural experience of Kolkata and the soft adventure of a river cruise on the Brahmaputra River, aboard the M.V. Mahabaahu.
DAY 1 (Saturday): Arrive Kolkata
Our representative will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel.
Visit to the Victoria Memorial – Kolkata's best known monument. It has a rich collection of miniature paintings and images of Queen Mary, King George V and Queen Victoria. Of special importance are the Queen's dresses, the famous Rosewood piano, the Whispering Gallery in the dome and a large artillery collection. (Please note that the Victoria Memorial Museum remains closed on Mondays)
Visit the St. Paul's Cathedral, built in the Indo-Gothic style in 1847 by Major W.N. Forbes of the East India Company. This Cathedral has the rare distinction of being the first Episcopal Church of the East. The St. Paul's Cathedral is similar in design to the famous Canterbury Cathedral.
Pay a visit to Mother Teresa's House – 'Nirmal Hriday' and also visit Shishu Bhawan located near her house. Overnight at the hotel (B)
DAY 2 (Sunday): Kolkata / Guwahati (by Flight) / Kiriakara (Join the main tour)
Drive to the airport to take the flight to Guwahati to join the main tour. (B)
Time permitting, we will visit the Kamakhya temple on the way to the ship.(closed from 1.00 pm to 3:30 pm) This Temple is devoted to the eternal feminine, the goddess of desire, whose name is Kama Khya,the granter of desires. Animal sacrifices take place here almost daily.
At 14:00 hrs., the M.V. Mahabaahu sets sail to Kiriakara. Guests will be given safety briefing followed by the Captain's welcome dinner. Overnight onboard (B, L, D)
Day 3 (Monday): Kiriakara / Tezpur
Spend the day sailing to Tezpur – the upstream cruise offers a perfect vantage point for viewing life on the mighty Brahmaputra. Enjoy a massage in our spa, soak in the jacuzzi or swim laps in the pool. You may prefer to scan the river for a fleeting glimpse of the Gangetic Dolphins or do some bird watching from the decks. There's lots to do onboard. The book lovers are sure to enjoy our well stocked library; see a presentation on ‘The Wildlife of Kaziranga’ or watch a DVD on the tribes of Assam. Overnight onboard (B, L, D).
Day 4 (Tuesday): Tezpur / Kaziranga
Start the day by sailing to Tezpur where we will visit a tea plantation after breakfast. Wander through the manicured tea gardens of the Wild Mahseer Tea Plantation, watch tea pickers at work and taste the perfect cup of Assam tea. Wild Mahseer Tea Plantation is a top-class resort in the Planter bungalow tradition which takes you back to the colonial days. Later, our ship sails towards Silghat.
After lunch, leave for a jeep safari to the Kaziranga National Park. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Kaziranga National Park is located in the flood plains on both sides of the Brahmaputra. The most prized inhabitant of Kaziranga is the Greater One-horned Indian Rhinoceros, but the Park is home to as many as 180 different mammals including wild elephants, deer, bison, and a rich variety of birds. Overnight onboard (B, L, D)
Day 5 (Wednesday): Kaziranga / Bishwanath
Rise before dawn and set off for the Kaziranga National Park for a once-in-a-lifetime elephant safari to look for the elusive rhinoceros and tiger. After breakfast at the resort in Kaziranga, return to the jungle for a jeep safari. You return to the ship for lunch as it continues to sail to Bishwanath. We take smaller boats to visit this charming village. Watch the village women weave cotton and silk in almost all the houses here as they happily share their experiences with you. In the evening, enjoy a dance performance onboard followed by a demonstration of the technique of wearing an Assamese sari. Overnight onboard (B, L, D)
Day 6 (Thursday): Bishwanath Ghat / Towards Majuli
As the ship sails to Majuli, there is time to enjoy a massage in the spa, soak in the jacuzzi or swim laps in the pool. You may prefer to scan the river for a fleeting glimpse of the Gangetic Dolphins or do some bird watching from the decks. Arrive at an isolated island for drinks and dinner. Overnight onboard (B, L, D)
Day 7 (Friday): Majuli Island
Arrive at Majuli in the afternoon and after lunch onboard, visit the Satra's. Majuli is a treasure house of Assamese culture and ancient monasteries dedicated to the preservation of the arts that have existed here since the 15th century. Written records are found of the visit of Shankardeva, a social reformer, during the 16th century. He promulgated a form of Hinduism that was also called Vaishnavism. He established monasteries or hermitages that were called Satras. These Satras became the hub of culture, art, religion and lifestyle. Even today, Satras preserve antiques like weapons, utensils, jewelry and other articles of cultural importance. In Majuli, visit the Samagudi Satra and enjoy the masked dance. You will also meet the Mishing people in their village.
Return to the M.V. Mahabaahu and enjoy a talk on 'Vaishnavism in Assam'. Overnight onboard (B, L, D)
Day 8 (Saturday): Majuli / Nimati / Sibsagar
Start your day with a visit to Auniati Satra. Visit the prayer hall, the monks quarters and watch the art of fan making. A drum dance is the perfect way to end this cultural experience.
Sail to Nimati. Disembark and travel overland to Sibsagar, the ancient city of the Ahom Kings. Sibsagar, which literally means 'the ocean of Lord Shiva', is strewn with the tell-tale ruins of a powerful empire, the Ahom. The Thai-speaking Ahoms came to the area from Yunnan, China, in the 13th century AD. The town is built round the Sibsagar Lake, dug over a 200 years ago. On its banks are located some of the famous temples of Sibsagar. The Shiva Temple, constructed in the year 1734, is believed to be the highest Hindu temple in India.
Back onboard the M.V. Mahabaahu, there is time to relax and pack before the farewell dinner. Overnight at the hotel (B, L, D)
Day 9 (Sunday): Disembarkation / Flight to Kolkata
Disembarking at Nimati, guests departing from Dibrugarh Airport will have an early morning departure. Travel time is four hours through the rich paddy fields of Assam. Fly to Kolkata from Dibrugarh. Check into your hotel. (B)
Day 10 (Monday): Departure
Early morning transfer to the airport to board the flight to onward destination.
WEATHER AND SEASONAL INFORMATION
There are four distinct seasons in Assam – summer, monsoon, autumn and winter. The best time to visit Assam is in the autumn and winter seasons, i.e. from October to April, which is also the festive season of Assam.
While winter days are usually sunny, the temperature can fall to 8 degrees Celsius (46 F) at night. Our cabins are air conditioned and heated for your comfort, but you should include warm clothing, hats and jackets in your bags when visiting during the winter months.
Kaziranga National Park is open from 15th October until the 30th of April. During the first half of October and May, the Park has a “Partially Open” status. This means that the Park will be open but all roads may not be navigable, as they work to restore them to pre-monsoon standards.
Please note, there are no elephant-back or jeep safaris between May and the first half of October. Instead, boat safaris will be offered during these months. During the months that the Kaziranga National Park is closed, we are able to explore the shores of the Park on our expedition boats. We will cruise the Park shoreline and many of the riverine islands that are home to a number of animals, as well as a wide variety of birds.
During the peak winter season, from mid-December to mid-February, the itinerary will be adjusted according to daylight hours as the M.V. Mahabaahu does not sail during darkness. In order to provide for full coverage of the Kaziranga National Park during these winter months, we will not visit Bishwanath Ghat.
RIVER CONDITIONS AND DISCLAIMER
River cruising in this part of the world is an adventurous experience. Assam is still in the developing stages of tourism and the developing infrastructure is rushing to keep pace with the rapidly growing interest in this part of India. As such, our voyage is an expedition-style cruise with all creature comforts on-board. Our onshore staff will make every effort to attend to your comfort during onshore expeditions. However, vehicles and roads may not be of the same standard that you have experienced elsewhere, although we use the best of what is available locally.
Please note, this itinerary is subject to weather and river conditions. The Captain/Cruise Director reserves the right to adjust the itinerary for passenger safety and comfort.
The Brahmaputra River is subject to seasonal fluctuations. Islands and sand bars can appear and disappear between one sailing and the next. Also, being one of the highest precipitation zones in the world, our program is subject to weather and river conditions.
We reserve the right to convert the direction of the cruise from upstream to downstream or vice versa without any compensation.