Northeast India is a region of great cultural and evolved artistic capabilities. Skills of the indigenous people combined with available natural resources have opened up unique possibilities of artistry and craftsmanship. The distinct design and aesthetics of each community, the rich culture, the fervor to live in close proximity of nature, and the urge to be self-reliant has created this exceptional land of promise. The village lifestyle involves handloom and handicraft for most native tribes making it an integral occupation for many and a fringe activity for few. Cane, bamboo, silk, cotton, metal, wood, seed, stone, clay and many more available resources are used to craft goods and magic weaves. It is also a livelihood for several artisans who have made northeast proud by showcasing to the world its rich traditions. The priceless skills and ethnic practices need conservation and expansion to withstand the impact of modern age.
Best time to visit: September to March
What is included in the tour
- Hotel/ homestay accommodation
- Ferry ride to Majuli
- Kaziranga NP Jeep safari
- Premium SUV for local transport
- All meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea
- To and from airport transfers
What is NOT included in the tour
- Any personal purchases
- Any additional services (eg. organised cultural shows)
- Food/drinks not specified in itinerary
- Travel insurance
- Visit Sualkuchi, a globally known Assamese weaving village
- Visit Umden in Meghalaya known for Eri silk production and weaving
- Home visits to metal-work artisans and master weavers of Jalukonibari
- In Majuli, visit weaver, mask painter and potter’s villages
- In Nagaland, see fine weaving in Mokokchung, Tuophema and Khonoma
- See wood carvings and Diezephe crafts village in Kohima
- Cruise on a boat to the largest inhabited river island Majuli
- Jeep safari in Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Go on a river safari and spot the elusive river dolphins
- Welcome at the airport and transfer to Guwahati. Night in hotel/ homestay.
- Exploration around Guwahati: Sualkuchi silk weaving village, Amingaon pottery area, Hajo brass metal, Sarthebari bell metal craft and Nalbari for cane weaving. According to time spent in each area, we might not be able to cover everything on that day. Road back to Guwahati. Night in hotel.
- In the context of silk weaving in the north eastern state of Assam, Sualkuchi is a name that stands apart. The nerve centre of Assam's silk fabric, Sualkuchi is a weaving village of international repute. Situated on the bank of the river Brahmaputra, this picturesque village has been developed over the years as a major centre for commercial production of indigenous silk fabrics, especially the Pat and Muga silk. Traditional architecture is typified by ethnic and durable bamboo framework, and walls coated with mud. This keeps the interiors cool in summer and warm in winter. The majority of the community is engaged in weaving magic on the looms and the rest are farmers or fishermen. The picturesque Sualkuchi forest range on the opposite side, well-tended agricultural fields and the village fishing pond complete the rustic picture.
- You leave Assam to enter Meghalaya and reach the quaint little village of Umden, famous for Eri silk production and weaving of traditional handlooms like ryndia, stoles in exquisite patterns. Night in bamboo house.
- Umden village takes pride in continuing the age old tradition of producing silk following the unique method of not killing the silk worm during the process of extracting silk from the cocoons. It is called ‘ahimsa’ tradition of sericulture.
- Here one can witness all the steps in the sericulture value chain- starting from rearing of silk worms to spinning and reeling of silk to yarn production and dying and finally to weaving. You can even try your hand at weaving with a one-day course on weaving (please contact us).
- You return to Assam through small roads to reach Kaziranga National Park. If early arrival, you can enjoy a jeep safari or roam around in the nearby villages. Night in hotel/resort/ homestay.
- In this delightful day, you will embark on 2 thrilling jeep safaris which will go deep inside the wilderness of the national park, through grasslands and teeming forests. There are four forest belts in Kaziranga, namely Agoratoli (eastern range) which is primarily dense forest, Kohora (central range) grasslands and home to majority of the rhinos, Bagori (western range) has mixed grasslands and forest and the offbeat Burapahar range which has a hilly forested terrain.
- Apart from the jeep safaris in the forest ranges and wildlife corridors, visitors can also enjoy a river safari at the confluence of Dhansiri and Brahmaputra rivers to spot the river dolphins, aquatic species, migratory wetland birds and also perhaps the tiger! Night in resort.
- Handicraft is an important cottage and household industry sector, which is largely emphasized for providing self-employment opportunities in the rural areas to supplement/ augment their earnings. The focus may be given to development of Kuhila craft, pottery and terracotta, jute / cane / bamboo products and Rantholi jewellery.
- After breakfast drive to Jorhat. Check in at Thengal Manor or similar. Afternoon visit the villages nearby. Amble across from this regal mansion to the sights and sounds of the typically Assamese village of Jalukonibari. Peep into the homes of metal-working artisans and master weavers, whose exquisite work may never be seen by eyes beyond this village, except yours. Night in hotel.
- After breakfast, drive to Neematighat and take a boat cruise to Majuli (1 or 2 hrs upstream boat cruise - the time depends upon the water level of the river) - one of the largest inhabited river island in the world and famous for the Vaishnavite Satras or monasteries and its culture.
- Enroute there is a possibility of sighting flocks of migratory water birds and the Gangetic River Dolphin. Visit the monasteries and interface with tribes on the island. Overnight in bamboo hut.
- Full day visit of Majuli by car/ cycle/ motorcycle. Explore the satras, its dancing monks and Mishing villages. This day will also acquaint you with Majuli's textile heritage as you visit small weaving villages along the Brahmaputra river that are entirely sustained by this cottage industry. After interacting with the weavers, it will soon become evident that the socio-cultural life of these communities are significantly expressed in their textiles and patterns.
- Continue on to visit a mask painters’ workshop and a potters’ village. Pottery is made by hand from beaten clay (not on potters’ wheels) and burnt in driftwood-fired kilns; this is said to be the same method used by the people of the ancient Harrappan Civilisation.
- In addition, if you are interested, Majuli Island is a bird watchers’ paradise; it is home to nearly one hundred species of birds, including many rare and endangered species, such as the greater adjutant stork, pelican and the whistling teal. Night in bamboo hut. Night in traditional bamboo hut.
- Morning take a ferry ride across Brahmaputra River to arrive at Nimatighat and drive to Nagaland. Traditional shawls can be seen in creation at the Mishing Village in Assam. Shifting from plains to hills will bring a change in the weather and make the temperature cool down. You will get to see a lot of local weavers on the way making bamboo mats. This is done by using the renowned Bamboo technology. You will also come across the small enterprises that the Nagas are beholding even in the villages and one such is the Ilenden Village. Night in hotel.
- Spend the day discovering the cultural hub of Nagaland. Observe the lifestyle of the Ao Tribe, visit their homes, and learn more about their customs. Visit the district art and culture museum and the town centre to look for handwoven shawls. Another great excursion can be to the nearby village of Mopungchuket. Night in hotel.
- Drive to Tuophema Village. En route visit Wokha, the Lotha and Angami tribe belt. The time in the afternoon can be used for the exploration of the hamlet, especially the stone from where the villagers are known to take their designs for shawls. For a well spent evening, you can observe the cotton spinning by the local women along with traditional music and songs of the state. Night in the traditionally built cottages.
- After breakfast, depart for Khonoma Green Village. While touring the entire place, you will check out the local women weaving fine shawls in different colours as well as designs. Spear making art and cane basket craft can also be seen as an activity among the men of the village. You might meet the National Winners in cane basket making here at the village itself.
- A visit to Morung is also scheduled. It is supposed to be a ceremonial gate according to the locals from where the history and culture of the place is passed on to the coming generations. There are some forts to cover as well. Night in hotel/homestay.
- After breakfast, drive to Kohima, the state capital. Here you will find some fine weavers as well as a range of wood carvings. A visit to the Sale Emporium is also scheduled thereafter.
- Some of the other attractions of the place included in the sightseeing are State Museum, War Memorial and a visit to two close by villages Kigwema and Kisama where Hornbill Festival is organized annually. The festival is inclined towards agriculture and is celebrated with great passion. It is held during the first week of December at the Naga Heritage Village. Night in hotel.
- After breakfast, road to Dimapur airport. If time allows us, we can stop in Ruzaphema or Diezephe Crafts Village. End of services.