ChaloHoppo™ to a lesser known Nagaland around the Aoleang Festival
March 27 – April 5
6 or 7 Days Office Leave Required
Price Starts at ₹ 47,500 – Limited Seats Subject to Availability
Welcome to Assam! Today you drive to Kaziranga through a highway that is straight like an arrow. You will pass many small villages and paddy fields will become a regularity. Eventually you enter the animal corridor and the lane starts getting narrower. Reach Kaziranga to settle in your comfortable room and sleep early to wake up in time for the morning safari at 5: 30 pm. Total drive time from Guwahati to Kaziranga will be 4 hours.
Good morning! Your grogginess should be shrugged away for today, since the animals in the wild and a ferry at the bank of the Brahmaputra awaits you. Breakfast can wait till after the safari. While you are almost certain to see the famous one-horned rhino and deer, you could get lucky and spot the Indian leopard, the clouded leopard and even the Royal Bengal Tiger. Drive to Nemati ghat to catch your last ferry to Majuli island and float on the waters of the Brahmaputra at dusk. Now that you have reached your stay for the night, it is time to enjoy some delicious food and a perfectly brewed glass of the local black rice beer aka kala apong.
Total drive time from Kaziranga to Nimati ghat will be 3 hours Total time take taken by ferry to reach Kamlabari ghat(Majuli) will be 1.3 hours.
Let life slow down while you explore the Mishing villages of Majuli. The island, being a haven for vibrant Vaishnavite culture has a lot of activities that you may indulge in. Whether you choose to visit the famed mask-makers house or maybe experience the traditional hymns and dances in the Xatras(Traditional Schools of Vaishnavite culture), Majuli has a lot to offer. You can rent some cycles or scooters if you would like to explore the island on your own. You can also go on a country boat ride if you can request the fishermen to do so.
Overall you will experience the bliss of Majuli and the calm of this river island will definitely have a soothing influence.
Drive past the Assam border to enter the land of the Nagas, and not any Nagas, the Konyaks was also known as the last of the tattooed headhunters. You will slowly leave the plains and tea gardens of Assam and head towards higher elevation on bumpy roads. The drive slowly starts to give you the feeling that you are entering a different zone, something unknown. Thatched huts and flowering plants serving as boundaries of homes will welcome you into Nagaland. The clouds should be right up there with you. But you have to understand that this will be one of the bumpiest rides of your life and hence prepare accordingly. Check into your comfortable stay for the night after trying some local food. For non-vegetarians, this will be the beginning of a different trip, a food trip.
Total drive time from Majuli to Mon town will be 7 hours.
Today we hope to meet the last surviving face tattooed headhunter Angh, i.e. the chief or the king of a Konyak village. Usually, he is found sitting in his kitchen drinking dearly bitter black tea with other old men, all of whom sports tattoos on their wrinkled skin. The king or his men don’t really speak English but a conversation can be facilitated with the help of the local guide cum translator. Don’t forget to ‘pay’ your regards to the Angh.
A further drive of 2 hours on absolutely terrible roads takes you to the village of Shiyong where you meet the author of “The last of the tattooed headhunters” and live in her working farmhouse overlooking a tea garden. You have to understand that it is a homestay but Phejin is a lovely lady. Spend the evening in the village or in conversation with the author and learn about the Konyaks and their tattoos. Total drive time from Mon to Shiyong village (30 kilometres) will be 2 hours.
Please note that the roads are in such bad shape that you may have to get off the car every now and then.
This is the festival that you have come to witness and you shan’t be disappointed if a strong dose of culture and rice beer is your kind of cocktail. Aoleang is the most important festival of the Konyaks and most Konyak people living in the cities return home to be a part of the festivities. Everybody is in high spirits and the generally hospitable Naga people may open their homes and make you a part of the celebrations. Dancing, singing, some gunshots to ring memories of a wild past and you have a colourful event and mostly un-orchestrated.
The day has to be started early. Pack some bread and jam and grab a few bananas and off you go another bumpy ride(on the same road) to visit the village of Longwa known for the unique geographical location of the village chief’s house. The house is split exactly in half between India and Burma. Take a walk through the King’s house and then pay a visit to the opium den where locals go about their daily routine of smoking opium sourced from Burma. The village gets more fascinating as you visit the gun maker’s house and understand the nuances of the gun culture in Nagaland. It doesn’t end here as now you have the option of buying some really cool craftwork from the blacksmith’s house(if he’s home). It’s a very special experience to buy an artist’s work from his workshop and that’s what Longwa offers. You can head back to your homestay for lunch, which is a delight in itself with a beautiful view of the Konyak hills from every room. Take some rest and head out for a walk to explore the border and village in general.
Total drive time from Shiyong to Longwa will be 4 hours.
The sunrise is usually very pretty in the village and if you are an early riser, a hike up to the India Burma border pillar no 155 will give you a sort of bird’s eye view of the village. Rest of the day you can spend as you like, walking and hiking.
Heading out of Nagaland Post that it is time to bid goodbye to the hosts of your homestay and head out from Longwa by 10 am.
Total drive time from Longwa to Simalguri(railway station) will be 5.5 hours.
Today it is time to bid goodbye to your hosts and to Nagaland. We drive out by 10 am.
Total drive time from Longwa to Simalguri(railway station) will be 5.5 hours
Duration: 9 Nights | 10 Days
Twin Sharing Basis
March 27 – April 5
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