India Adventure: Cruise & Bike the Brahmaputra
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Welcome in Jorhat
Welcome to Jorhat, one of two major tea centers in Assam! After picking you up from the airport, we’ll enjoy lunch at a tea bungalow before mounting our bikes. A short ride towards the river where our ship will be docked will get our cycling legs ready for the week ahead. Once onboard, settle into your accommodation and enjoy the sunset plus an introductory Assamese traditional dinner, your first impression of the cuisine of the region.
Majuli Island, a vast body of land in the Brahmaputra, is home to a number of unique Vaishnavite Hindu monasteries famous for performances of religious dance-drama. Majuli is a microcosm of regional culture that represents authentic, rural Assam. Majuli also offers a beautiful, flat landscape for cycling. Let’s hop on our bikes and check out the surroundings, where rural villagers will welcome us enthusiastically, as foreigners are not often seen cycling the area. At the end of the day, we’ll visit a monastery and its eclectic museum to attend a dance performance. Later, we return to the boat to start our cruise.
Today, relax on board as we sail towards Biswanath Ghat. We’ll have a chance to meet the crew operating the Chairadew and tour the ship. As time permits we'll make a short visit to a riverside village community. By late morning, Kaziranga National Park will be on our left – wild elephants, are sometimes visible from the boat and at times, memorably, a tiger.
to Biswanath Ghat and Balipara
Assam has many hidden gems, and certainly one such place is the Biswanath Ghat. Named after an ancient temple housing nearly 330 million gods and goddesses, the area still contains more than 100 temples in the vicinity, though what is left today in many cases are just the stone posts. We will pedal from near the river to the start of tea plantation country straddling the northern shore of the river. After this cycling exploration, we’ll rejoin the ship near Tezpur. Tonight there’s time to stroll through this lively town located in the prosperous agricultural region.
An early morning transfer takes us to the edge of Nameri National Park. A naturalist guide will lead us on a walk of this migratory gateway. Later by bike we’ll continue our cycling exploration of small villages and take advantage of the chance to immerse ourselves in this unique subset of Indian culture.
Today is our second full day to relax aboard our ship. Take advantage of this to restore your body for the next day’s riding and enjoy the views as we cruise along. We will have the opportunity to savor a tea tasting session with a professional tea taster and tea auctioneer! Does it get more iconic ‘India’ than that?
Today promises to be an exciting one as we cycle through picturesque villages and countryside along the south riverbank of the great Brahmaputra to the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. This is considered the most densely populated area in the world of the rare one-horned rhino. Get your cameras at the ready to capture extensive birdlife as well as elephants, rhinos, and wild buffalo. After our safari and lunch, we’ll ride back though Mayong, considered the land of black where the worship of witches is still practiced. Back on board, we cruise a short distance to reach Guwahati.
Tour ends in Guwahati
Guwahati is the largest city of Assam and serves as the hub for the seven states of northeast India. This is the site of the region’s well-known religious shrine: Kamakhya Temple which is dedicated to the tantric goddesses of India. This morning we’ll explore the city sites with our guides by foot and coach, before returning to our barge for disembarkation and airport transfers.