Northeast India is a kaleidoscope of colliding cultures, landscapes, languages and tribes. Its natural beauty is at once rugged and ethereal. From the hinterlands of Nagaland where tribes of head hunters roam, to the magnificence of Kanchenjungha arching across the Sikkimese horizon, to the verdant forests of Assam with their thriving wildlife, the Northeast is a land that should be on every ardent traveller’s bucket list. With such an eclectic mix of sights and hues the eight states are a photographer’s dream. Whether it’s travel photography that you’re after, trying to capture the true feel of a place or have an anthropological interest in its people and want to get an authentic picture of the lives of the tribal populace, up, close and personal, the mise-en-scene of the Northeast provides all this and more. Ahom takes you on some of the top guided photography tours in the region. No matter what your interest, we’ll take you to the best spots and set the scene so you can just focus on your lens.
Hornbill Festival is the biggest and most widely celebrated festival in Nagaland. Witness the festivities up, close and personal as ethnic Naga people come together to celebrate their cultural legacy through traditional music, dance, clothes and food. Our tour takes you to the heart of the festival and gives you an intimate insight into the lives of the tribal people. Visit the first Green Village in India, spend a night in tents at a local village and get a true feel of the Nagaland countryside. Trip dates: December
Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO conferred World Heritage Site with the world’s highest population density of tigers and home to the endangered one-horned rhinoceros. Experience the thrill of spending a night inside the park surrounded by the nocturnal cries of wild animals. Visit the neighbouring tea estate of Addabarie with the echoes of colonialism still ringing in the ancient British bungalows. Kaziranga National Park also has the largest orchid garden in India with several hundred varieties of rare and exquisite orchids. Make a trip to Majuli island to visit some of the ancient satras (neo- Vaishnavite monasteries) and discover the traditional art of mask making practised by the Mishing tribe. Stop at the town of Jorhat for a visit to the oldest burning oil lamp in the world and discover relics of the ancient Ahom dynasty in Sivasagar. Best time to visit: November to April Please Note: Any changes to safari timings or park closures are at the sole discretion of the Forest Department. Ahom is not responsible for the cancellation of any safaris made by the park authorities and will be unable to provide any compensation for the same.
Arunachal Pradesh is steeped in spirituality and ancient history. Being the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama, Arunachal is a sacred place for Buddhist devotees who come on pilgrimage to the many monasteries across the state. Each of these has a fascinating history. Our Tawang tour takes you to some of the most famous monasteries in the region. The tour includes a visit to some of the other attractions like the famous orchid garden in Dirang and a trip to a tribal Monpa village. Best time to visit: Around the year
Nagaland is one of Northeast India’s most beautiful destinations, brimming with culture. Various tribes have claimed this part of the land as their home. Your tour will include visits to places like Dimapur, Kohima, Mokokchung, Tuensang and Mon. Witnessing the tribes’ lifestyles up close, steeped in their own unique traditions, will be of particular interest. This is an experience like no other with an introduction to Nagaland’s history and an intriguing study in anthropology. Best time to visit: Around the year Please note: The following itinerary is only suggestive, indicating one of several possibilities. We cater to your needs when arranging holidays. If you would like to modify or tailor a particular tour, just contact us. We are here to make your India tour among the very best.
Ziro valley in Arunachal Pradesh is one of the remotest and most beautiful landscapes in India. The valley is home to the famous Apatani tribe, recognised by their trademark facial tattoos and traditional nose pins. Visit a traditional Apatani village and get a close perspective into the rustic lives of these indigenous people. This pristine valley nestled within the mighty Himalayas is home to an exquisite variety of flora and fauna. Our Ziro tour includes a visit to the Talley Wildlife Sanctuary. In addition to its natural beauty, Ziro Valley is noted for its annual music festival, touted as the largest outdoor music fest in India. Stay in tents and enjoy a diverse range of music in an idyllic setting amidst snow-capped peaks and pristine lakes. Ziro Music Festival is like no other- with performers from across the world flocking to this remote hinterland of Arunachal. Meet lots of interesting people as you set up camp at the festival, swing to the beats of the live music and have an unforgettable experience that you’ll want to relive every year Best time to visit: Around the year/ Last week of September for Ziro Music Fest
Northeast India is an ornithologist’s paradise. The abundant forest cover and the many pristine lakes in the region make it a popular choice for migratory birds that come to nest here for the winter before flying back to their native lands of Siberia or Southern China. Every year, groups of avid bird watchers travel to the northeast in search of some rare and exotic birds that can be spotted here. Some of these birds are local and exclusive to their natural habitat. The Bugun Liocichla was discovered and christened at Eagle Nest Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh and is not found anywhere else in the world. Our 11- day Bird Watcher’s Delight tour takes to you Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on a quest to find some of these spectacular bird species. Our journey begins in Guwahati and takes you to Kaziranga, Nameri, Dirang, Sela Pass and Eagle Nest Sanctuary. Get a taste of life in the wild and spend the night in tents with just basic amenities at Lama Camp. Drive to Sela Pass and be mesmerised by the beauty of the land of 101 lakes. This is an intensive trip into the hinterlands of the northeast with the promise of great sightings, enchanting locales and an unforgettable adventure. Best time to visit: November to March
Dzukou Valley bordering Manipur and Nagaland is one of the most pristine spots in the northeast not least because of the remoteness of the location; but also because of the low hanging clouds that cover the valley in fresh due every morning. The valley is replete with wild flowers cascading rivers and verdant forest with some excellent trails for trekking. our five-day tour of Dzukou Valley takes you to the heart of the valley through Vismewa village and gives you a true taste of the outdoors with overnight stay in tents. Best time to visit: September to April Please Note: All travellers must be over 18 years of age to be eligible for this trek. Previous trekking experience will be an advantage, although not mandatory. For first time trekkers, it is advisable to practice stamina- building exercises and undergo a fitness programme prior to the trip. This trek is not advisable for those with any chronic ailments like heart diseases and for pregnant women.
One of the best kept secrets of Sikkim, the Green Lake Trek is a beautiful yet challenging trek that takes you into the heart of the Himalayas. If you love trekking on untrodden trails, crossing glacial streams and rhododendron forests, surrounded by the solitude of the mountains, this trek is for you. The trek begins in Lachen and takes you to the ethereal Green Lake (4935m) via Tallem, Jakthang and Yabuk. Enjoy unrivalled views of Kanchenjunga as you make your way up the rugged terrain of the Himalayan slopes. This is an arduous trek in Zemu glacier that we complete in 14 days with a couple of rest days in between to let you acclimatise to the changing altitude. There are some steep uphill ascents and challenging treks over uneven terrain of boulders and rocky pebbles. You must be mindful of your steps to avoid slipping. One of the highpoints of any trekking trip is setting up camp at the end of the day. After a full day’s exertions, there is nothing better than to retire to the comfort of your tents and spend the night under the stars, by the warmth of a campfire. Best time to visit: April and October Please Note: Due to the strenuous nature of this trek, it is recommended for seasoned trekkers only. Children below 18 years of age are not permitted on this trek.
The Brahmaputra is the only river in the world that flows through three countries. It originates in the icy slopes of Tibetan glaciers before meandering into India and finally flows into Bangladesh. Our Brahmaputra river cruise gives you an unforgettable experience of travelling on the mighty river. We offer 5-star accommodation on board our luxury cruise ship. Feel like royalty in the land of the Ahoms and discover the many charms of Assam in style. From elephant-back safaris in Kaziranga to trying your hand at tea picking at a plantation, to visiting the relics of the Ahom dynasty at Shibsagar- do all this and more while enjoying top class comfort. Best time to visit: February to April
Northeast India is home to seven of the major national parks in India, sheltering a wide variety of exquisite flora and fauna. Of these, Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park, both in Assam are UNESCO-conferred World Heritage Sites. A visit here comes with the hope of sighting the endangered one-horned rhinoceros, found exclusively in these parts. In fact, the approximate 1800 rhinos in Kaziranga account for two-thirds of the total global population of the species. A photography tour in Assam is a great way for wildlife enthusiasts to capture a range of animals thriving in their natural habitat, including the Asiatic wild water buffalo, Indian elephant, swamp deer, sloth bear, Indian and Chinese pangolin, nine different species of primates, Golden jackal, Bengal fox and several species of local and migratory birds. Ornithologists can be seen flocking to Khonoma Tragopan Wildlife Sanctuary in Nagaland, Namdhapa National Park in Arunachal Pradesh, and Saikhaowa in Assam with their binoculars and long lens cameras. The Black-breasted Parrot bill, Himalayan Griffon, Snowy-throated Babbler are among the rare birds that you can spot in these parks.
Celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the Northeast in the myriad festivals that fill up the social calendar of the region. Each state has its own festivals where live music, colourful dances, traditional costumes and local flavours dominate the festivities. Festivals like the Hornbill in Nagaland are essentially a celebration of the ethnic diversity of the state. All tribes and local communities irrespective of faith come together to showcase their cultural legacies at this festival. A photography tour in Nagaland is incomplete without a visit to Hornbill Festival. You will be met will a riot of colour from every corner- the elaborate headgear worn by Naga chiefs, to the ornate decorations on the war drums, to the delectable spread of exotic foods on display. The Bihu festival in Assam, Kang festival in Manipur, and Ziro Music festival in Arunachal Pradesh are some of the other vibrant festivals in the Northeast. Photographers are spoilt for choices as their subjects are many and varied.
The Northeast states are home to some of India’s most unique and intriguing anthropological treasures. A visit to the remote Ahng Valley of Nagaland takes you to the home of the Konyak tribe- an ancient community of head hunters recognised by their distinctive tattoos. These tattoos are earned as recognition for acts of valour and the Konyak men wear them as proudly as the grizzly decorations that adorn their front walls: human heads collected as prizes from their opponents. Meet the Konyaks, discover their fascinating stories and capture their lives on camera. This is a travel photography tour like no other. The Mishing community of Assam is another interesting tribe. The community lives predominantly in the villages of Majuli Island and are engaged in the age-old trades of weaving and mask making like their ancestors. We take you into the heart of these tribal settlements to give you a chance to interact with the villagers and see their handmade crafts.
The Northeast is inextricably linked to the mountains, with the Himalayas framing the northern frontier of the region. A trip to Pelling in Sikkim provides the best views of Mount Kanchenjungha, the third highest peak in the world. This quaint hill state is also home to a mesmeric array of flowers. Photographers are met with a burst of colour at Yumthang Valley with its stretches of rhododendron blooms in every hue. Natural root bridges of Cherrapunji in Meghalaya are a spectacular example of human ingenuity and innovation where tribal Khasi villagers have trained the roots of living rubber fig-trees to form natural bridges over streams. Ahom’s northeast photography tours take you to the sites of these natural wonders and the spots from where they are seen to their best advantage.
A history of colliding cultures and religions have left an indelible mark on the Northeast, with the most obvious imprints on architecture. Both surviving edifices as well as relics of erstwhile kingdoms bear testimony to the region’s intriguing past. The 400-year old Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh stands in defiance to the ravages of time, sacred to Buddhist devotees as the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama. To this day, the Monastery provides shelter to monks while its enormous central courtyard is used to host traditional festivals like Losar. Shivsagar in Assam on the other hand, is the capital city of the old Ahom dynasty. Visit the relics of the royal sports pavilion at Rang Ghar and the former army base at Talatal Ghar- the architecture of both structures echoing strong Mughal influences. A northeast photography tour is fascinating not just for the shots but also for the discovery of the land’s rich history.
Nature has been especially kind to Northeast India with a treasure trove of breath taking scenery and foliage. Ahom’s photography tours are designed with the specific requirements of photographers in mind. We’ll take you to the best spots, at the best times. With our expertise in the region, we provide the most accurate backgrounds and histories for each place that you visit, making the experience more insightful. So just pack your DSLRs and lenses and let us take you on a captivating journey to the Northeast.