Brahmaputra River Cruise Tour

Duration: 07 Nights - 08 Days
Destinations: Guwahati - Silghat - Majuli
Tour Highlights
Day 1 Arrive Guwahati/M.V.Mahabaahu/Towards Silghat
Day 2 Sailing towards Silghat
Day 3 Arrive Silghat
Day 4 Silghat/Kaziranga National Park/Silghat/Bishwanath Ghat
Day 5 Bishwanath Ghat/Towards Majuli
Day 6 Sailing towards Majuli
Day 7 Arrive Majuli/Neamati Ghat/Sibsagar/Neamati Ghat
Day 8 Neamati Ghat/Jorhat/Departure

Day 01Arrive Guwahati/Board M.V.Mahabaahu/Sail towards Silghat

On arrival at the ‘Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi airport’, Guwahati, we are met at the receiving area by our destination manager. We then board our vehicles with packed lunch and drive through the busy streets to ‘Kamakhya Temple’.

This Temple is devoted to the eternal feminine, the goddess of desire whose name is Kama Khya, granter of desires. The Kamakhya Temple in Assam symbolizes the "fusion of faiths and practices" of Aryan and non-Aryan elements in Assam. Animal sacrifices take place here almost every day.

Walking up to the temple complex, we will see many colorful idols of gods and goddesses in the local market shops.

From here, we drive to ‘Pandu Port’ where we will be welcomed on board M.V.Mahabaahu in the Assamese tradition.

We check into our cabins and immediately gather in the restaurant for the essential safety briefing and drill followed by a familiarisation tour of MV Mahabaahu.

The tour takes us to the Donyi Polo Deck to experience the first sail where we raise a traditional toast to Goddess Kamakhya to give us a safe passage on the River Brahmaputra that carves the valley of Assam where we will be spending the next 7 nights and 7 days. We relax here sipping Assam tea/coffee or Indian ‘masala chai’, whatever the taste buds crave for and enjoy the snacks.  Peacock Island where the Umananda temple is located.  Peacock Island is famous for the highly endangered Golden Langur.  It would be a good idea to have one’s binoculars and cameras at hand. 

We proceed into the evening with a talk on ‘Kamakhya and the occult in Assam’.  Soon MV Mahabaahu drops anchor and the evening follows into a ‘Kamrup Swaagat Bhoj’ or welcome dinner in the Mungri Mungram Restaurant with the Chef’s lavish spread of Asian, continental and oriental cuisine that demands a buffet display.   Overnight on board M.V.Mahabaahu (L, D)

Day 02 Sailing towards Silghat

We start this morning with Yoga for those who love to pay homage to the forces of nature, the ultimate ‘Sun God’ perhaps on an island or on the deck for an hour. Others scan the river for a fleeting sight of the Gangetic Dolphins and the birders inspect the skies for the winged species. 

We move on to breakfast while M.V.Mahabaahu heads on for a full day sail passing by inhabited and deserted islands that may or may not survive the flood season.  It is the non-permanency of these islands and the strength of the people to re-establish themselves is what catches ones attention.

This is a day for sunbathing on the Donyi Polo Deck or a dip in the pool or indulging in massages or sitting in the warm waters of the Jacuzzi or enjoying a steam/sauna and getting rid of one’s tiredness from the journey.  We make ourselves comfortable for the week to follow and observe the beauty of this pristine river.  We indulge in a relaxed lunch and then after tea we proceed for a talk on ‘The River Brahmaputra and the tribal life that exists alongside’.

Dinner and interactions with all on board is a happy come together and we take this opportunity to know the crew this evening.  Overnight on board M.V.Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 03 Arrive Silghat

As we indulge in some Yoga, M.V.Mahabaahu sails towards Silghat.  We pass by the famous town of Tezpur and under a famous 3 Km 15 m long arched bridge called Kolia Bhomora Setu.

After breakfast we indulge in a talk on Kaziranga and wild life in India’

We sail on for the next couple of hours and enjoy a relaxed lunch.  We reach Silghat and M.V.Mahabaahu drops anchor.

We take a short drive to a tea estate where we can stretch our legs and enjoy a leisurely walk through the tea estate watching the tribal women picking tea leaves. Here we stop for a talk with the Manager of the tea estate who familiarises us with the essentials of running a tea-estate, the lay of the land and the climate. We proceed to the tea factory to see the process of finally producing Assam Tea and coming to terms with ‘all that goes into preparing a cup-of-tea.

By sunset we are ready to drive back to MV Mahabaahu to enjoy a cultural evening on board and proceed for dinner and retire early for the next morning elephant safari.  Overnight on board M.V.Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 04 Silghat/Kaziranga National Park/Silghat/Bishwanath Ghat

Rise before the sun and after a warm cup of tea and some biscuits to snack on, set off for the Kaziranga National Park’s Kohora Gate and  once-in-a-lifetime elephant-backed safari where we search for the elusive rhinoceros. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO 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, tiger, deer, bison, and a rich variety of birds. Kaziranga means the "Land of red goats (Deer)", as the word Kazi in the Karbi language means "goat", and Rangai means "red".

After breakfast at a resort in Kaziranga, we drive on to Bagori, the Western Range of Kaziranga and get into the open jeeps that are lined up to take us for some more wild life adventure and an extensive coverage of this magnificent park dotted with large water bodies called ‘beels’ in the local language.

We return to the ship for lunch and set sail towards Bishwanath Ghat. Lunch is followed by a short orientation in Bishwanath Ghat. We can then snatch a couple of hours of sleep we lost in the wee hours of this morning.  On arriving Bishwanath Ghat (also called ‘Gupta Kashi’), we take the smaller boats to visit this charming village. We visit the Shiva Dol in reverence of Lord Shiva and there is no way that we can avoid the women with their weaves and enjoy an excellent bargaining hour for the home-spun weaves as we watch the ladies busy at their handlooms. (You can carry cash to the village to buy the handicrafts made by the villagers to encourage local craft). We walk through the streets near this Ghat and move towards a quaint little pretty rocky inlet of the Brahmaputra.

We return to M.V.Mahabaahu and get ready to spend the evening in the Soma Lounge and then to Mungri Mungram for dinner.  We can then choose to watch a documentary or retire for the evening. Overnight on board M.V.Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 05 Bishwanath Ghat/Towards Majuli

Early morning Yoga is on the charts as M.V.Mahabaahu sails on. Breakfast is followed by a talk on ‘Sibsagar and the culture of the Ahoms’. We enjoy leisure hours till lunch time.

After lunch, we are ready for a boat safari on the Eastern range of Kaziranga where the two waters of River Dhansiri and River Brahmaputra meet. Here, the presence of hovering pied kingfishers is an indication of fish life & the fallen branches of trees into the river support roof turtles. Monitor lizards as well as otters are very much a part of this area. Asiatic water buffaloes are known to swim over from the park to the sand banks on the other side of Dhansiri. Endangered vultures and eagles too can be spotted.  Several migratory birds depending on the time of the year feature themselves in this area.  We must keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. 

We gather our experience of the evening and return to M.V.Mahabaahu where the Chef awaits our return to involve us in his cooking demonstration. Our chef talks of the ingredients while we pour ourselves a cup of tea. We enjoy these freshly prepared dishes and snack on them. 

This evening we can enjoy a relaxed quiet walk on a deserted island or a game of cricket or volley ball etc.  We take some time to get ourselves together for a comfortable evening under the stars with cocktails to order on the sandy island (expect sand between your toes and the breeze could be comfortable to chilly, a light jacket would be advisable) and of course a bonfire is on the charts. NOTE: (Bonfire may be avoided if a suitable sandbank cannot be found or if we experience inclement weather conditions) Overnight on board M.V.Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 06 Sailing towards Majuli

Yoga enthusiasts enjoy an early morning Yogic walk or a Yoga session as M.V.Mahabaahu sails on.

We arrive at a ‘Mishing’ village and disembark on smaller boats to reach the village banks. The ‘Mishing’ are an ethnic group inhabiting a number of districts in Assam. It is popularly believed that they were dwellers of the hills of present day Arunachal Pradesh and migrated to the plains of Assam in search of fertile land as well as in search of civilizational progress. Almost all ‘Mishing’ women are expert weavers on handlooms. We get a ‘Mishing’ man to give us a ‘Dhoti’ tying demonstration and a woman to show the ‘Mekhela Chaddor’ tying demonstration. (Dhoti & Chaddor are the traditional dresses of the Mishing).

After climbing up the house platform and exploring Mishing homes, purchasing some of their weaves/fresh vegetables etc. we return to the comfort of MV Mahabaahu for a fine leisurely lunch and a relaxed afternoon while our vessel brings us closer to our destination. (You can carry cash to the village to buy the handicrafts made by the villagers to encourage local craft).

This evening we get together in the restaurant for a cup of chai and a talk on ‘Majuli and Vaishnavismand get acquainted with one of the largest river island systems of the world.  After some leisure we try our hand at the Assamese dresses that we had watched the demonstration for, this afternoon.  We enjoy a cat walk in the Mungri Mungram and indulge in a lavish dinner by the Chef.  Overnight on board M.V.Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 07 Arrive Majuli/Neamati Ghat/Sibsagar/Neamati Ghat

We sail on towards Majuli Island while an early morning Yoga session or bird watching is on. Majuli which literally means land between water is a cosmos of Assamese culture where various philosophies co-exist and thrive; ancient monasteries dedicated to preservation and development of culture and art have existed here since the 15th Century. The treasures of Majuli are undoubtedly its Monasteries or Satras that promulgate a form of Hinduism that is called Vaishnavism. These Satras are the hub of culture, art, religion and lifestyle. The Satras preserve antiques like weapons, utensils, jewellery and other articles of cultural importance. 

After breakfast, we take a short boat ride to the mainland where a drive takes us to a scenic corner of ‘Garamur Satra’ for an interesting cultural performance by Satriya singers and dancers.  The art of relating mythical tales through dramas and masks is an important part of Majuli culture.

After soaking in the untouched beauty of the area and a tête-à-têtewith the performers, we move to ‘Kamlabari Satra’ to witness another performance by the Vaishnavite priests in the temple premise.  We walk through the humble dwellings of the monks and talk about their daily chores and this is an insight into their chosen path. We then take the short boat ride back to M.V.Mahabaahu and sail towards Neamati Ghat. On arriving Neamati, we disembark and drive to to Sibsagar, the ancient city of the Ahom Kings; a town that literally means 'the ocean of Lord Shiva’.  The district is strewn with the tell-tale ruins of a powerful empire of the Ahoms. Sibsagar was the capital of the Tai-speaking Ahoms who came to the area from Yunan and China in the 13th Century AD.   We go on to visit the Talatal or Karen Ghar which was the palace of the Ahom Kings and after a leisurely stroll in and around the monument w go on to Rang Ghar which was a place for hosting wrestling bouts and buffalo fights and other entertainment for the royals and their guests.

We proceed to Sibsagar town that is built around a huge man made water tank ordered by the queen and dug over 200 years ago. On its banks are located some of the famous temples of Sibsagar. The Shiva Dol, constructed in the year 1734 is believed to be the highest Shiva temple in India.

We then drive on to a Tea Estate for an evening with the Tea-estate family to get a peep into the lifestyle of the families that have been involved in the tea business for generations. As we sip our beverages and explore the lawns the cultural performances begin followed by a Talk by the professionals on ‘Different types of Tea’ especially the ones produced in Assam along with a tea-tasting session.  Thereafter, return to M.V.Mahabaahu for our farewell dinner where we again raise a traditional toast to the journey completed and the one ahead. Overnight on board M.V.Mahabaahu (B, L, D)

Day 08 Neamati Ghat/Jorhat/Departure

Yoga for those of us who may create time, or maybe an early morning indulgence in the spa or a hair do and settling of all extras before breakfast and we proceed to place our suitcases in the corridor before breakfast and enjoy a relaxed breakfast before disembarking and driving with packed lunch for our drive to the Rowriah Airport in Jorhat to board our onward flight.(B, L) End of the 7 nights 8 days Upstream Cruise on M.V.Mahabaahu in the Brahmaputra River in Assam, India

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