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North East India: Wildlife & Plantations, With Kolkata

Experience the cacophony of Kolkata before heading to the serene wilderness of the north-east India

North East India: Wildlife & Plantations, With Kolkata

$1415 per person

In the Wildlife & Plantations of North East India With Kolkata trip, travelers can experience a journey through wildlife and the plantation areas of Assam, the evergreen forests of Meghalaya, along with the colonial heritage of Kolkata.

On this journey, you can enjoy the hustle-bustle of Kolkata, walk over bridges made from living roots in Meghalaya, sight the one-horned rhino of Kaziranga and experience heritage tea bungalows in Assam.

North East India: Wildlife & Plantations Highlights

  • Colonial heritage of Kolkata
  • The offbeat character of Shillong, North East India
  • A day in Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on earth
  • Walk across a bridge made from living roots in Cherrapunji
  • Sighting the one-horned rhino in the wonderful Kaziranga National Park
  • Amazing views of the mighty Brahmaputra river
  • Experience heritage tea bungalows of Balipara (Tezpur)

Inclusions

  • Hotel accommodation in a double / twin room
  • One elephant ride & two rounds of jeep safari at Kaziranga including park entry fees
  • English-speaking guide in Kolkata (1 Day)
  • English-speaking escort during Shillong – Kaziranga – Tezpur leg of the tour
  • All transfers, sightseeing, and visits as per programme using AC Toyota Innova
  • Any and all applicable taxes are included

Exclusions

  • Any airfare or train fare
  • Entrance fees at monuments mentioned in the itinerary
  • Any meals that are ordered other than that which is part of the “Cost includes”
  • Expenses of a personal nature such as gratuities, telephone calls, laundry, liquor etc.
  • Additional costs and charges as applicable based on any changes made during the holiday
  • India visa charges
  • Travel insurance

Expert Travel Opinion

Experiential Travellers – North East India Tour Package Guests can take an excursion from Kaziranga to Majuli Island (100 kms one way). Majuli is the world’s largest riverine island and is the cradle of Assamese civilization for over five hundred years. The satras set up preserve antiques like weapons, utensils, jewellery and other items of cultural significance.

Wildlife Travellers – Guests can take an excursion from Kaziranga to Jorhat (110 kms one way) to visit the Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, home of Hoolock Gibbons, India’s only gibbons.

Guests interested in walking in a Tiger Territory may look to visit Nameri from Tezpur (25 kms). There is a 5 km walk where one takes a boat ride across the Jia Borelli River (Brahmaputra Tributory) and where one is accompanied by an armed guard provided by the forest department. Nameri is one of the two parks in India (other being Satpura in Central India) where one can walk inside the core area in the heart of Tiger Territory.

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Tour Plan

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Day 01 - Kolkata

Arrival at Kolkata

Arrive at Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal and one of the 4 key metros of India, also a port city which is the main arrival point for international travelers visiting north-east India. During the days of the British Raj, it used to be the largest and most important commercial city. Not only does Kolkata have many monuments from the British Raj era but also has a character that is a perfect blend of modern and old world charm.

Upon arrival, you will meet our representative and get introduced to your private driver who will stay with you for the rest of the trip through Kolkata.

Expert Tip

  • Most International arrivals are during late evenings, so it is recommended that once you arrive at the hotel on day one, you relax.
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Day 02 - Kolkata

Explore Kolkata

Today you will explore Kolkata and proceed to visit the most significant monuments of the bygone era such as Victoria Memorial (dated 1921, built in the memory of Queen Victoria which is now a museum), St. Pauls Cathedral (dated 1847 - example of gothic architecture) and St. John's Church (dated 1787). Also, visit the Mother House (home of Noble Peace prize winner Mother Teresa which is now a memorial)

Enjoy the drive over the bridge on river Hooghly. You will return to the hotel by evening.

Expert Tips

  • The cuisine of Kolkata is extremely popular especially Bengali sweets such as sandesh and rosogulla. These are available all over Kolkata and definitely, a must try!
  • Kolkata is home to a wide range of restaurants that serve authentic Indian Chinese (Chinatown) and ethnic Bengali cuisine. You can venture out on your own in the evening to find these small treasures.
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Day 03 - Shillong

Take a flight to Guwahati and transfer to Shillong

Today you will take a flight in the morning to Guwahati (Assam), a gateway to wildlife and tea plantation areas of North East India. Upon arrival, you will meet our representative and get introduced to your private driver who will stay with you for the rest of your stay. From the Guwahati airport, you will travel to Shillong (120km - 3.5 hours), the capital of Meghalaya, that boasts of its evergreen character and is a gateway to Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places in the world.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure or explore Shillong on own.

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Day 04 - Shillong

Excursion to Cherrapunji

Drive to Cherrapunji (56km - 1.5 hours). Enroute, first visit the famous Elephant Falls. Next, enjoy a bird’s eye view of Shillong city from the Shillong Peak. Stop at the Duwan Sing Syiem viewpoint at Sohra for mesmerizing views of the hills and witness the gorgeous Seven Sisters Falls and Nohkalikai Falls in Cherrapunji.

Later, go for a cave walk inside the Mawsmai Cave, the limestone cave that is a natural wonder with innumerable formations inside. After lunch, stop for a short walk on the living root bridge (a bridge naturally formed by roots of massive trees) and then drive back to Shillong and reach the hotel by evening.

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Day 05 - Shillong

Explore Shillong

Next on your itinerary is Mawphlang, where the sacred forest is said to be cared for by natives since time immemorial as a part of their religious beliefs, which states that forests are considered as a , entity. Thereafter, return to Shillong to visit the War Memorial, museums and churches around Shillong town.

Expert Tip

  • In the evening, you can walk around the markets to get a feel of the local culture and buzz.
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Day 06 - Kaziranga

Travel to Kaziranga

Today you travel to Kaziranga (210km - 5 hours), set on the Brahmaputra River and around tea plantations, it is a prime wildlife and bird watching destination in India. It is also home to the renowned one-horned rhino. The drive to Kaziranga is via National Highway 37A through sparsely inhabited villages and pristine countryside’s and you will reach by late afternoon. You can spend the rest of the day at leisure or by interacting with the resident naturalist.

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Day 07 - Kaziranga

Morning Elephant Ride followed by Jeep Safaris in Central Range of Kaziranga

You will depart at 5:30 AM for the elephant safari in the Central Range, the largest of the 4 ranges of Kaziranga and the only range where elephant safaris are conducted. Safaris are undertaken from the edge of the forest till the tall elephant grassland where one is almost , to sight One-Horned Rhinos from a close range.

The safari lasts for an hour.

After completion of the safari, you will return to the lodge for breakfast and then head back to the Central Range for a 3-4 hour game drive. The Central Range of Kaziranga like other ranges in Kaziranga is in the midst of woodlands and grasslands and the game drive offers the possibility to sight a wide range of wildlife such as the one-horned rhinos, wild elephant herds, wild Asian buffalos, hog deer and more than 250 species of birds. After the game drive, you will return to the lodge at lunch time and you can spend rest of the day at leisure.

Expert Tip

  • You may opt for a post-lunch afternoon plantation walk in the tea plantations around Kaziranga.
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Day 08 - Kaziranga

Morning /afternoon jeep safaris in Eastern Range of Kaziranga

Today you proceed to the Eastern Range of Kaziranga (also known as the Agartoli Range) for a game drive. The drive to the Eastern Range offers views of the surrounding tea plantations.

While the Eastern Range is the farthest of all park ranges, it is less visited and therefore there are more chances of spotting sightings of the wild buffalo, elephant herds or the rhino family. The Eastern Range is also a delight for bird watchers as the numerous water bodies and thick forests are home to a wide range of exotic birds.

Expert Tip

  • The Eastern Range is set on banks of Brahmaputra River. Hence, one can take a boat ride on the Brahmaputra River. You can feel the vastness of the river on the ride as well as catch a glimpse of the small riverine islands and the variety of birds.
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Day 09 - Tezpur

Travel to Tezpur for tea plantation experiences

After breakfast, you proceed to Tezpur (100km - 2.5 hours), a tea plantation area on the edge of Nameri National Park and home to experiential heritage tea bungalows. Arrive at Tezpur for a stay in a colonial-era plantation bungalow and experience living inside a working tea plantation.

In the afternoon, take a tour of the plantation, visit a tea factory, enjoy tea tasting and a walk around the plantations. In the evening, enjoy multi-course meals served for dinner in the old colonial style. Meals are served as per your preferences and are typically a mix of colonial-era recipes and local ethnic cuisine.

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Day 10 - Tezpur

Excursion to Nameri in the morning and a village visit in the afternoon

Today you have to start early in the morning and so a packed breakfast is provided which will keep you full till the time you return from the park at lunch-time. The early morning excursion to Nameri National Park (40km - 1 hour) is an amazing experience. Nameri, a tiger territory lies on the edge of Jia Borelli, a tributary of the Brahmaputra River. It is a haven for bird watchers and it is one of the two parks in India where one can walk inside a tiger’s territory.

Once you arrive at Nameri, you need to obtain a permit which takes 15 minutes after which you can , a short boat ride across the river followed by a 5km walk inside Nameri National Park (accompanied by an armed guard). There is a good chance of sighting the imperial pigeon, great hornbill along with a wide range of other exotic birds. On the banks of the river, you have a good chance of sighting the black-necked stork, small pratincole and ibisbill. Post lunch, you will go on a village walk around Tezpur exploring the cultural heritage of the area. In the evening, you are treated to an elaborate and sumptuous dinner in a typical colonial style manner.

Expert Tip

  • You have the option of opting for a white-water rafting session at Nameri which lasts for two and a half hours.
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Day 11 - Kolkata

Travel to Guwahati for a flight back to Kolkata

On this day, you travel to Guwahati (200km - 4 hours) for a flight back to Kolkata for an onward international departure.

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