Assam Itinerary – Celebrating Rongali Festival with exploring Kaziranga and Majuli
India is a land of festivals. With different communities in India celebrating different festivals, there is hardly any month without festivities. Rongali Bihu is one such important festival celebrated in the north-eastern states, especially Assam. It marks the beginning of the Assamese New Year and is celebrated for 7 days together, each day having a significant meaning. Recently we had an opportunity to visit the beautiful land of Assam to witness the Rongali Festival along with exploring Kaziranga and Majuli, the river island of India. All thanks to Koyeli Tours and Travels, we got the experience this Assam Itinerary – Celebrating Rongali Festival with exploring Kaziranga and Majuli.
We were invited for a week-long trip to take us around Guwahati, Kaziranga and Majuli respectively. The journey started from Delhi where all 3 bloggers gathered at the airport to start this exciting trip to the North-East. It’s often said that the company matters for any trip and we were surely going to enjoy each other’s company for the next few days! Let’s take you on a day-wise trip of our week-long stint with Assam:
After a 2 hours flight-journey from New Delhi we landed at the Guwahati airport and were transferred quickly to our hotel. Post the check-in formalities and refreshments it was time for us to head out to the Rongali Festival Ground. The function was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Governor of Assam and was followed by a plethora of activities. We met Shyamkanu Mahanta, the chief organizer of Rongali, who told us that they are bringing different communities together through this festival. The highlights of the first evening included the cultural dance performances by the artists from both national and international stature. The popular dances to look forward to were the kids performing the Deshi Janagoshthi and the group performance of Murung Okum.
We were really happy to witness Koyeli Tours and Travels being awarded the best Destination Management Company (DMC) in Assam during the function. Mr. Arijit Purkayastha received the award from the Governor of Assam on behalf of his team. What a proud moment for his entire team! After enjoying the local delicacies of Assam for dinner we called it a day.
Our second day in Guwahati started with a visit to Hajo and Saulkuchi. Hajo is temple town located at a distance of 35kms from Guwahati. It is known for the 3 different religions namely Hinduism, Jainism and Islam practiced here, Hajo’s Hayagriva Madhava Temple is famous as you can find both Hindus and Jains offering prayers here, together!
After Hajo we reached Saulkuchi, the silk village of Assam. This place is a heaven for all silk lovers like me as it offers different varieties of silk. The Assamese Silk and Muga Silk manufactured here are of the finest quality and can definitely be a good gifting option for your loved ones. We also indulged in shopping as we all bought gifts for ourselves and our families.
It was time for us to head back to Guwahati as we wanted to be back to the Rongali Festival Ground before evening. One special reason for the butterflies was that Raghu Dixit, the famous singer, was going to perform live for all of us. It was fantastic listening to his band performing some of the best songs from his collection.
The dinner on day 2 at Guwahati was special as we had different varieties of food, especially on the barbecue. With mammoth size fishes and prawns being smoked directly on the fire, I surely missed Vishu for his love for seafood. As we finished our dinner, we called it a day and came back to our hotel as the next day was to start early for Kaziranga National Park.
The third day of our journey started into the wild, quite literally. We reached the Kaziranga National Park from Guwahati by afternoon and headed straight for the lunch. Post lunch we all ventured for the central zone safari in the Kaziranga National Park.
We spotted a whole range of wild animals from deer, elephants and rhinoceros but couldn’t spot the tiger. The different species of birds spotted there were quite rare to be found. The chirping of the birds were the only form of sound we could hear in the silence of the jungles. We returned to our base, Iora- The Retreat, where we were staying in Kaziranga. The evening was spent relaxing after a long day at the Iora Resort enjoying the beautiful property and its services.
We started the day with a sumptuous breakfast at the resort. My fellow blogger friends went out for the elephant safari early morning but I preferred to skip it. The sole reason of riding an animal doesn’t excite me and I try to avoid any animal rides. After spending half a day at the Iora Resort and rejuvenating, we moved out for another safari in the Western Zone of the park.
This was a jeep safari to move deeper in the jungles in the search of a tiger. Even though we could not spot the tiger in both our efforts, we were quite happy with the way we got to explore the jungle. The evening again was spent at the resort amongst peace and nature.
The fifth day of our trip was going to be an interesting one. We planned to explore the river island of our country, Majuli. Located at a distance of around 150kms from Kaziranga and 350kms from Guwahati, this river island is one of the largest in the world. We checked out from Iora early morning after the breakfast. Majuli was reached via a ferry ride from Neematighat which is located at approx 100kms from Kaziranga.
Once reached, we went to a Dakhinpat Satra, the biggest monastery in town to offer prayers for a safe ferry ride to this place. The next stop in Majuli was the famous mask makers of Majuli. Led by Mr. Hem Chandra Goswami, this place is known for its craft of mask making using bamboo and clay. After this, we checked into the bamboo cottages which were our adobe in Majuli.
The cottages were quite simple and signified the simplicity in the people of Majuli. We spent the evening at the cottages and later visited Uttar Kamalabari Satra. Quite a serene feeling I must say! What inspired us the most was the self-sustaining attitude of the natives of this place. With a feeling of contentment by seeing these simple yet warm people of Majuli, we realized that life can be beautiful by pursuing minimalism in our lifestyle.
Day 6 and 7:
The last two days in Assam for this trip was dedicated to retreat. We started for Guwahati from Majuli and reached there in about 8 hours. The return journey was full of memories from the trip where we discussed about each day.
Before we could realize it was time to head back home and say goodbye one last time. Our journey through Guwahati, Kaziranga and Majuli was full of excitement. We really enjoyed the itinerary suggested by Koyeli Tours and Travels as it was balanced with ample amount of rest coupled with lots of exploration and learning. The places explored, the food relished and the experiences we had during the trip is surely going to last long.
We shall be writing more in detail about our experiences from Kaziranga and Majuli in the next posts. Stay tuned! In the meanwhile, do share your experiences from Assam below in the comments section!
P.S.: We were invited for this trip by Koyeli Tours and Travels. However, the views expressed in the post are solely of the author and have not been influenced by the brand in any way.