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The East Himalaya World Heritage Tour is a journey through the hidden treasures of East & North-East India. Traverse the fiercely protected Sundarbans – the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. Discover the secrets of the historic city of Calcutta. Indulge in the renowned hospitality of the Assamese people. Visit the legendary Manas Tiger Reserve – considered by many as one of the prettiest natural reserve in the country, if not the world. All the while, basking in the richness and culture of the indigenous tribes that inhabit the beautiful hills & valleys of the North-East.
Your trip begins with a two day city tour exploring Calcutta, this culturally rich city of India. Discover this exciting city on a ‘Heritage Walk’ of the distinct architectural heritage of Calcutta. It highlights the evolution of this city from where it all began, Dalhousie Square. The first walk takes us on a two hour journey around some 15 buildings in the area, including the imposing Writers Building, the newly renovated Town Hall, the St John’s Churchyard and the historic Metcalfe Hall.
We also visit the House of Rabindranath Tagore and the Marble Palace. The tour includes visits to a number of the city’s museums and monuments along with a taste of an era gone by with a city tram ride.
In the morning transfer to Sonakhali jetty through beautiful countryside and rural bazaar’s with stopovers at a local tea shop and fishermen’s villages. You will arrive at Gadkhali mid morning and will be greeted with morning tea and a briefing by a local guide. You will then board a motorised boat for a two hour cruise through rivers Bidya, Durgaduani and Gumdi. An optional stopover at Gosaba is possible to visit the house of Sir Danniel Hamilton - a Scottish banker who initiated the first co-operative movement of India here.
Enjoy a hot lunch at the Sunderbans Jungle Camp after checking-in. Your afternoon will be occupied by a three hour Birding and Game cruise to Sudhanyakhali watch tower through creeks and canals, searching for the elusive tiger, as well as estuarine crocodiles, rhesus monkeys, Irrawaddy dolphins, water monitors, several species of crabs and birds, otters and various other species of flora and fauna. You will return to camp by evening greeted with tea and snacks and ‘infotainment’ by one of the camps poacher-turned-guide. A hearty meal of local cooking from the village’s organic farm will mark the end of an eventful day at Sunderbans Jungle Camp.
After a filling breakfast, your next day will mostly consist of a full-day Game Cruising and Birding trip to the National Park. Lunch will be served on board.
Back to camp in the evening where you are invited for an evening experience at the local rural theatre (Bonobibi Yatra) performed by the villagers. The theatre tells the interesting story of the Tiger Lord, Forest God and Goddesses, fishermen and honey collectors with lots of local songs and dances. Dinner and overnight at Sunderbans Jungle Camp.
After breakfast you will enjoy a guided Village Walk with further opportunities to interact with local villagers. You will experience wonderful encounters helping you understand more about their lifestyle, local crafts, cuisines and even the indigenous farming and household equipment used by the villagers. You will finish your tour with a guided adventure cruise in a manually-oared country boat. Dinner and overnight at Sunderbans Jungle Camp.
After an early breakfast the next day, transfer back to the airport and board a flight to Guwahati or Jorhat and proceed to Kaziranga Tiger Reserve.
Kaziranga National Park in Assam has to be the most beautiful and attractive place you can choose to visit in Northeastern India. An UNESCO World Heritage Site Kaziranga’s 900 sq.kms of lush green flood plains is home to some of most fascinating wildlife of Asia.
The next day, embark upon Elephant back safaris and game drives in the Eastern and Central range of the park. Overnight at the Jungle Lodge.
After breakfast you will drive to Guwahati. After a brief rest your pre-booked hotel, you will set out for a cultural visit to the Kamakshya Shakti temple, Assam Craft Emporium and Umananda temple which is located on the smallest Island named Peacock Island on Brahmaputra river. Overnight you will stay with an Assamese family in their beautiful homestay.
Moving on from Guwahati, your day begins with a brief introduction to Brahmaputra – one of the greatest river systems in the world that flows through three countries – China, India and Bangladesh! And finally you reach Manas. Lying on the foothills of the Himalaya, Manas is the most stunning pristine wildlife habitat in India, comparable to the best in the world in the beauty of its spectacular landscape. It is also a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve - a unique distinction. Manas is the melting point of the west and the east, with many species at the westernmost and easternmost point of their range representing a gateway for species exchanges between the typically Indian and Malayan' faunas.
A total of 55 mammals, 50 reptiles and three amphibians have been recorded, several species being endemic. Manas contains 21 of India's Schedule I mammals and at least 33 of its animals listed as threatened, by far the greatest number of any protected area in the country. After checking in at Florican Jungle Cottage - a community based lodge run by a local conservation NGO, you will be greeted by your hosts with a small traditional reception ceremony. Your local trip guide will de-brief you about the project and the tour. Overnight at Florican Jungle Cottage.
In the morning you will set out for a day-long wildlife and patrolling expedition with our conservation team in the park. You will explore the Central core of the National Park and visit patrolling camps, species conservation and monitoring centres.
You will return to camp by evening greeted with tea and snacks and ‘infotainment’ by one of the coordinators of the project. A hearty meal of local cooking from the village’s organic farm will end your day at Florican Jungle Cottage.
On the last day, transfer to Guwahati airport and depart for Delhi/Calcutta for onward journey.
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