Hornbill Festival Nagaland

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specialCelebrated from 1st till 7th of December every year in the village of Kisama, Hornbill Festival is an annual cultural extravaganza celebrated by the tribal people in the state of Nagaland. The festival is named after the hornbill, a respected bird that shows up in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes. Its goal is to sustain, revive, and protect the richness of the Naga culture and heritage. This tour is your rare chance to be a part of this enchanting land, its people and culture. Hornbill Festival Nagaland is a giant color-splashed hodgepodge of dances, folk songs, handlooms, handicrafts, parades, games, sports, ethnic food fairs and religious ceremonies of all Naga tribes.

01 Dec, Day 1: Arrive Guwahati – Kaziranga (230 kms/ 4 ½ hrs)
Arrive Guwahati airport by flight. Met and assist and transferred to Kaziranga National Park. Check into a lodge. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight.

Kaziranga National Park is a World Heritage Site and no doubt one of the richest places in the world when it comes to wildlife. It is the home of the great Indian one-horned Rhinoceros. Kaziranga exhibits a very complex ecological balance, because of its forest, tall elephant grass, rugged reeds, mellow marshes and shallow pools. Apart from the one horned Rhinoceros, Elephant, Indian bison, Swamp Deer, Samber, Hog Deer, Sloth Bear, Tiger, Leopard cat, Jungle cat, Hog badger, Capped langur, Hollock gibbon and Jackal; a large number of migratory birds can also be seen here during the winter season.

02 Dec, Day 2: Kaziranga National Park
Early morning go for another elephant safari or jeep safari inside the Park. Return to the Lodge for breakfast. Mid morning visit nearby village inhabited by Mishing tribe or walk in the tea or rubber plantation. Lunch.

After lunch go for a jeep safari inside the park from another side (central range). Return to the Lodge at dusk. Dinner and overnight.

03 Dec, Day 3: Kaziranga – Kohima (230 kms/ 5 hrs) – Hornbill Festival
Early morning go for another elephant safari inside the park. After breakfast, transfer to Kohima. On arrival, check into hotel.

Late PM: Visit local market. Dinner and overnight.

04 Dec, Day 4: Kohima – Hornbill Festival
Whole day at Kisama village for the Hornbill Festival.

PM Drive to Khonoma village, a place renowned for its valor and courage. The Khonoma gate tells the story of British infiltration into Naga Hills. Drive back to Kohima. Dinner and overnight.

05 Dec, Day 5: Kohima – Hornbill Festival
AM Kisama village for the Hornbill Festival.

PM Visit the State Museum and the famous war cemetery, a symbolic memorial raised as citation for the supreme sacrifice made by the officers and men of the Allied forces during World War II. Dinner and overnight.

06 Dec, Day 6: Kohima – Hornbill Festival
Full day at Kisama village for the Hornbill Festival.

07 Dec, Day 7: Kohima – Mokokchung (190 kms/ 7-8 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Mokokchung. Enroute visit Ungma or Longkhum village (time permitting). Check into a lodge. Dinner and overnight.

08 Dec, Day 8: Mokokchung – Mon (270 kms/ 8 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Mon. Enroute visit Mopinchuket, a village famous for their crafts and woodwork. Check into a guesthouse. Dinner and overnight.

09 Dec, Day 9: Mon – Day trip to Longwa Village
We will head towards the border of India and Myanmar to Longwa. The traditional lifestyle still prevails in this village. Konyak are adept artisan and skilled craftsman; here you can find excellent woodcarving, doas (machete) guns, gunpowder, head brushes necklace and other bead ornaments, bone carving, brass and metal works, tribal weapons such as decorated machete, spears and muscle loading guns, tribal tattoos tribal architecture of thatch houses with fan palm leaves, and textile of Konyak tribe.

10 Dec, Day 10: Mon – Sibsagar – Jorhat (180 kms/ 6 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Jorhat in Assam. Our drive will be through lush green valley of the tea estates of Assam.

Enroute visit Sibsagar – the old capital of the Ahoms who ruled Assam for 600 years before the arrival of the British into these parts until the 1820s, and their culture and architecture is a strange and delightful amalgam of Indian and S.E. Asian. Shan by origin (Assam and Siam share the same derivation) but converted to Hinduism.

There are a number of old monuments built by them; the most significant being the huge man made tank ‘Sibsagar’ from which the town got its name. For the record book, this temple tank here is claimed to be the world’s largest hand-excavated reservoir. See temples with stupa-like profiles, and palaces of distinctive form – note the crocodiles and caryatids that adorn the roof of the Rang Mahal.

Drive on to Dibrugarh and check into a Tea Bungalow. Dinner and overnight.

11 Dec, Day 11: Jorhat – Majuli Island (1 ½ – 2 hrs ferry)
Today we will proceed towards Neemati Ghat. From here we will take a ferry across the mighty river Brahmaputra to one of the biggest river islands in the world and also the heart of the Assamese culture – Majuli. Here in Majuli, we will be exploring this cultural place and the seat of Vaishnava culture in Assam.

The great 15th century Assamese reformer and saint, Shankardeva had come down here and set up ‘satras’ or Vaishnavite monasteries to make the people motivated towards culture and religion. We will be visiting these ‘satras’ and interact with the monks and other locales there. Afternoon visit a tribal village of the Mishing – the Mishing tribes migrated all the way down from the hills of Arunachal Pradesh. They are found settled on the outer rim of this island or near rivers and water bodies in general. Very good fisherman – they are well known for their skill in navigation on the ever changing sand banks of the Brahmaputra. Dinner and overnight.

12 Dec, Day 12: Majuli Island
Today we will visit the ‘satras’ – Auniati monastery with an eclectic museum and Kamalabari monastery. Interact with the monks.

Later drive further east to visit mask making and pottery village. Packed lunch will be served today. Return to our lodge and walk around the village and interact with the locals there. Dinner and overnight.

13 Dec’, Day 13: Majuli Island – Depart Jorhat
Early morning, transfer to the Jorhat airport for your departure flight onward or homebound.

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