AOLING FESTIVAL OF THE KONYAK TRIBE, WILDLIFE & RIVER CRUISE
Immerse yourself in the Aoling Festival, the traditional harvest festival of the Konyak tribe of Nagaland
River cruise on the Brahmaputra river on a comfortable houseboat
River safari by country boat at Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, a unique collection of wetlands
Interact with the tattooed (former) head-hunters of the Konyak tribe, and discover their way of life
10 nights / 11 days
28 March to 7 April 2020
Cycling & village hiking
Easy to Moderate
JTI Adventure boat
Basic guest house
DAY 1 | 28 March
Arrive at Dibrugarh airport and drive (120 kms/2 hours) to reach your camping site. Go on a nature walk and enjoy a traditional dance performance later on. Overnight in tents.
DAY 2 | 29 March
Post breakfast at the camping site, begin your cycling adventure of the day, covering a total of 46 kms. Cycle past villages, across the longest bridge in India, and the natural beauty of the Assamese countryside. After a packed lunch, drive (40kms/1.5 hours) to Guijan to embark the JTI Adventure boat, your home for the next few nights.
DAY 3 | 30 March
Start cruising to Dibru-Saikhowa National Park today, and keep an eye out for the elusive, endangered Gangetic river dolphins. Located in the southern banks of the Brahmaputra river, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is home to an incredible array of birds and mammals like tigers, elephants, leopards, bears, and the rare White-wing Wood Duck and Black-breasted Parrotbill.
Hike for about two hours in the national park, spotting wildlife with the help of a guide and a forest guard, before returning back to the boat for lunch and leisure.
Late in the afternoon, hop on your bicycles again and cycle for 6-7 kms to Maguri Beel, a large wetland that's become a resting zone for a variety of migratory birds. Climb onto a country boat and explore the wetland, keeping your binoculars handy to spot birds like the Bar-headed Goose and Baikal Teal. After this birding experience, cycle back to the JTI Adventure boat for an early dinner and rest.
DAY 4 | 31 March
Cruise to Disangmukh for majority of the day, and then disembark for a cycling trip of 16 kms in the nearby village market area. Return to the boat for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 5 | 1 April
Today, post breakfast, embark on a cycling trip of 15 kms to the Tai-Ahom Museum in the town of Sibsagar. A city of immense historical significance to the Assamese, explore the Siva Dol, an ancient shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, the God of Destruction and another prominent figure in Hindu mythology; Joysagar, the largest manmade tank built during the reign of Ahom dynasty; and Rang Ghar, a royal sports pavilion during the Ahom period and one of the best surviving structures of this era. Later, drive (20 kms/1 hour) back to the JTI Adventure boat. Spend the rest of the day at leisure and have dinner on the boat.
DAY 6 | 2 April
Check out of the JTI Adventure boat today after breakfast and drive (116 kms/5 hours) to Mon, a scenic district in the hilly state of Nagaland that's known for being the home of the unique Konyak tribe. Check in to your guest house in Mon village and go for a stroll after lunch. Dinner and overnight at the guest house.
DAY 7 | 3 April
This morning, post breakfast, drive (18 kms/2 hours) to Hongpui and Wanla villages to meet the members of the Konyak tribe. In the past, this tribe used to hunt heads (literally) over property disputes, fishing rights or vengeance. With unique tattoos etched on their faces and bodies, and blackened teeth, they reflect a different time and era. Post interaction with the tribesmen, drive back to the guest house for lunch. In the evening, visit the festival grounds to witness the preparations for the Aoling festival. Return to the guest house for dinner and night stay.
DAY 8 | 4 April
A full day of exploring Longwa village lies ahead of us. After breakfast, drive (33 kms/2 hours) to reach this village that spreads across the Indo-Burmese border. As such, the locals of Longwa have dual citizenship as the border divides the village chief’s (or the Angh) house into two halves, making one half lie in India and the other half in Myanmar. Enjoy the serene surroundings, a local lunch and the warm hospitality of the people, before heading back to the guest house for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 9 | 5 April
After breakfast, drive to the Aoling festival arena to explore the tribal song and dance performances, the traditional attire, handloom, accessories, food and local alcoholic beverage stalls. Aoling is the main festival of the Konyak tribe, and it's celebrated as a way to pray for a good harvest. Dinner and overnight stay at the guest house.
DAY 10 | 6 April
Check out of the guest house and head back to the festival grounds to witness the closing ceremony. Drive to Dibrugarh (127 kms/5 hours) in Assam, and check in to your lodge.
DAY 11 | 7 April
Post breakfast, transfer to Dibrugarh airport for on your onward journey.