Upper Assam

Upper Assam

DIBRUGARH – MARGHERITA – NAMPHAKE – SIVASAGAR – MAJULI

Discover the beauty of Upper Assam as well as know about the history & cultural evolution of the state in this week-long trip. The Ahoms had ruled Assam for more than 600 years. Infact, the advent of Ahoms in 1228 AD across the eastern hills was the turning point in the history of Assam. The Ahoms had their capital at Charaideo near Sivasagar.

In this trip, you will visit Margherita, a place that was dominated by the Singhpo tribes. The Singhpos were the original tea drinkers in the region. You will visit the tea gardens of Assam as you get to know the story behind the brew.

You will have a tryst with the history of World War II after the visit to the War Cemetery and the Stilwell Road. Further, you will visit the Namphake Village. Namphake is the home of the Tai-Phake tribe whose origin can be traced back to Thailand and China. The Tai Phakes had migrated to Assam in the 18th century and are believed to be the descendants of the Ahoms. Witness the unique art, architecture and culture of the Tai Phake people along with enjoying the serene village beside the Burhidihing river.

Finally, you will be ferried across the Brahmaputra to Majuli, the largest riverine island in India. The island is the cultural hub of Assam, the birthplace of Neo-Vaishnavite culture that is followed largely by the people of Assam. It is the home to many Assamese monasteries or Satras where monks reside following the simple way of life. These Satras are not just monasteries, but centres of traditional performing arts. The monks, young or old follow their custom and culture learning traditional arts, music, dance, drama and religion. You can visit the old monasteries and get a view of the lives of the monks. You can also strike a conversation with a monk who will be happy to share his stories and knowledge with you.

This trip will take you to the pages of history as well as introduce you to the beauty and simplicity of Assam. Discover the traditions and culture of Assam while listening to interesting tales from the past and marvelling at the natural beauty of the place.

Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1  |  Story of the origin of tea (Dibrugarh – Margherita)

Welcome to Upper Assam, the land steeped in history and heritage. Dibrugarh is one of the major towns in Upper Assam. The town is also one of the largest producers of tea in the world. You will drive to Margherita, the land of the Singhpo tribes.

Day 2 | The Oil City & Road to Burma (Margherita – Digboi – Ledo)

You will visit the village of the Singhpo tribe. The Singhpo’s are mainly cultivators by profession. They have deep-rooted traditional and cultural values and are an important tribe of Assam. The Singhpos are the tribe that had introduced tea as a beverage to the European travellers. Visit the village to witness the lifestyle and culture of the tribe and listen to the tea story over a cup of fresh Assam tea.

Later you will visit the old cemeteries from the time of World War II and get to know about the stories from the past. A visit to Digboi, the ‘Oil City’ as the country’s first ever oil refinery was established here. Digboi Oil Refinery is the first ever oil refinery established in Asia and it ranks amongst the world’s oldest oil refineries. It was established in the year 1901.

Also, visit the Stilwell Road. The road was the gateway to beautiful Myanmar during the time of World War II. The history behind the road is quite fascinating.

Day 3 | Visit the land of Tai-Phakes  (Margherita – Namphake)

Start early and proceed towards the Namphake village. The drive will be through the beautiful countryside and the famous tea gardens of Assam. Enjoy the beauty of the countryside while you reach Namphake.

Namphake is an ethnic village of Tai-Phake tribe that migrated from northern Myanmar two centuries ago in search of their other Tai clans such as Ahoms, Turungs, Siams, Khamtis and Khamyangs who had settled in Assam centuries earlier.

There is a beautiful Buddhist monastery located in the Namphake Village. On your trip to the Namphake Village, you get to know more about the culture and traditions of the communities residing here. The traditional stilt house of this village is another attractive thing to be noticed here.

Visit the age-old monastery of the village and the Golden Pagoda built in Burmese architectural style. Inside the monastery main house, there is a golden statue of Buddha 6 feet tall.

Day 4 | The ancient capital of Ahoms (Namphake – Sivasagar)

From the land of Tai-Phakes, today you will drive to Sivasagar, the ancient capital of the Ahoms. A huge 237 acres water tank was built here by Queen Madambika. On the banks of the tank, there are three temples, Shivadol, Vishnudol and Devidol. The Shivadol is the most important of the three and is one of the tallest Shiva temples in the country. You will also visit the Rang Ghar, an amphitheatre, Talatol Ghar and the Ahom Museum.

Day 5 | Ferrying towards Majuli (Sivasagar – Majuli)

Start early today to catch the morning ferry to Majuli, the largest river island in India. The ferry journey across the mighty Brahmaputra is an experience in itself. Majuli also happens to be the cultural capital of Assam treasured for its Neo-Vaishnavite Satras or monasteries. Visit the famous Dakshinpat, Auniati and Kamalabari Satra. Also, visit the Natun Samaguri Satra where the monks make extremely elaborate traditional masks. These masks are used for Bhaona, the dance dramas depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.

Day 6 | Slow down your life (Majuli)

Today, simply slow down your life and enjoy the rural charm of Assam. You will embark on a journey to the backwaters of Majuli and engage in bird watching. The large wetlands of the place are a home to various species of birds. You can enjoy fishing on the island as well. In the evening, leisurely enjoy the spectacular sunset on the banks of River Brahmaputra. Visit the villages of the Mishing tribe. The Mishings are the indigenous inhabitants of the island. See their houses; observe their traditional lifestyle while interacting with them. Visit the local handlooms. You can even buy the traditional Mishing handlooms from them.

Day 7 | Majuli – Jorhat. Depart for respective destinations.

After breakfast, catch the ferry to Nimati Ghat and then transfer to the Jorhat or Dibrugarh Airport. Depart with beautiful memories and unique experiences.

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