MYOKO FESTIVAL, ISLAND IDYLL & RIVER CRUISE
Cycling past bucolic scenes in Majuli, one of the world's largest river islands and a microcosm of Assamese culture
River cruise on the Brahmaputra river on a comfortable houseboat
Participate in the Myoko Festival in the pine-clad valley of Ziro
Discover the unique culture, customs and lifestyle of the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh
Visit archaeological remnants of the Ahom dynasty of Assam
9 nights / 10 days
17 to 25 March 2020
Cycling & village hiking
Easy to Moderate
JTI Adventure boat in Assam
Basic guest house in Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
DAY 1 | 17 March
Arrive at Jorhat airport and be received by our representative who takes you to your accommodation for the rest of the trip – JTI Adventure boat at Neamati Ghat. Start cruising downstream till you reach Majuli, one of the world’s largest river islands and a microcosm of Assamese culture. The island is a stronghold of the peaceful religion of neo-Vaishnavism; its elegant island satras (monastery) – some for celibate monks, some for families – showcase a unique way of life where the faithful live simply, offering worship through gayan-bayan (songs and musical instruments) and readings. Dock by a sandbank and enjoy a bonfire and dinner on the boat.
DAY 2 | 18 March
After breakfast this morning on the boat, embark on a 38 km cycling trip from the ghat to a famous island satra, tiny villages, markets and more. Majuli represents rural idyll in Assam, so there will be plenty of bucolic scenes to capture for avid photographers! Stop along the way to discover the island's culture as well as a crucial cuppa, before heading back to the boat for lunch. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure on the boat, or interact with your guide to learn more about the unique arts, crafts and culture of neo-Vaishnavites in Majuli.
DAY 3 | 19 March
We spend another day docked at Majuli and cycle 15 kms through the countryside to visit another island satra. Head back to the boat for your meals and leisure, before setting out again in the evening for a Sattriya dance recital by artists performing exclusively for you. Return to the boat for a good night's sleep.
DAY 4 | 15 February
Post breakfast, disembark and drive (168 kms/7 hours) to Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh for the Myoko Festival.
The home of the Apatani tribe, the Myoko festival is a time to renew and revive old and new friendships and offerings are prepared to present before Donyi Polo (the deity worshipped by the Apatanis) for a prosperous year ahead. This is the time of the year when the Apatanis also pray to ensure better cultivation, protection of the grains from the elements, and the well-being of villagers and livestock.
Upon arrival at Ziro Valley, check into your lodge, and enjoy dinner and a good night's rest.
DAY 5 | 20 March
After breakfast, head to the Myoko Festival – a ten-day socio-religious festival celebrated on a rotational basis by the Diibo-Hija, Hari-Bulla and Hong clans of the Apatani tribe. The festival is also unique in the way the tribesmen offers prayers and make offerings to their holy gods Donyi-Polo (meaning 'the sun and the moon') to bless them for a good harvest.
Visit the different clans in separate village hamlets, witness the festivities, and enjoy lunch in the house of a local tribesmen. Return to the hotel for dinner and night stay.
DAY 6 | 21 March
Post breakfast, continue exploring different village hamlets, and taking part in the festivities. Interact with the village elders and learn more about their unique piercings and face tattoos.
DAY 7 | 22 March
After breakfast, begin your return journey (of 168 kms/7 hours) from the hills of the Eastern Himalayas to the plains of Assam to embark on our JTI Adventure Boat.
DAY 8 | 23 March
Today, post breakfast, embark on a cycling trip of 25 kms through 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 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, enjoy lunch in the city before driving back to the JTI Adventure boat. Spend the rest of the day at leisure and have dinner on the boat.
DAY 9 | 24 March
A relaxing day of cruising from Disangmukh to Bogibeel Ghat lies ahead of us, passing several small islands and scattered villages. All meals will be on board JTI Adventure boat.
DAY 10 | 25 March
Disembark at Bogibeel Ghat after breakfast and drive (36 kms/1 hour) to Dibrugarh airport for your onward journey.