CULINARY CRUISE ON THE BRAHMAPUTRA: A TASTE OF ASSAM'S LOCAL & TRIBAL CUISINES
6 days | Guwahati – Kaziranga National Park – Bishwanath – Majuli Island – Jorhat
FIXED DEPARTURE: 22 to 27 February 2020
Cruise in comfort on a heritage passenger vessel on the Brahmaputra river, decked out in Assamese looms
Try your hand at preparing Assamese desserts like the pitha and laru
Observe and participate in Assamese and Mishing tribal cooking demonstrations
Relish a tasting experience of a range of Assam teas on board
Explore the mighty Brahmaputra river by country boat
Get up close with rhinos, elephants, wild water buffaloes... and if you're lucky, a tiger!
Bathe a domesticated elephant at Diphlu River Lodge
Discover the monastic culture of Majuli, the world's largest river island and an idyllic village
Witness traditional Assamese dance performances
Relax with a G&T as you watch spectacular sunsets on the Brahmaputra river from the ship's sundeck
Enjoy a sumptuous bonfire dinner on a lonely sandbank
Cruise Asia's mightiest river, the Brahmaputra, on a culinary expedition through Assam's local & tribal dishes, tasting the best, most unique and prepared-with-love food that this region has to offer.
On this cruise, you'll discover that the food of Assam is indeed quite different to the rest of India. Locals use less oil and spices in comparison to other parts of India, relying solely on choice herbs and a few spices to enhance the flavour of the food. In general, Assamese cuisine is light, full of indigenous leafy vegetables, and centred around rice (of which there are multiple types!).
Eat your way from Guwahati to Jorhat in upper Assam, while taking some time out of your post-prandial coma to go for a safari into the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park. Rhinos are a virtually guaranteed sighting here! Then, visit Majuli Island, a veritable microcosm of Assamese culture, and learn about the monastic practices and dances of these neo-Vaishnavite monks.
Stay aboard the heritage passenger vessel, ABN Charaidew I as you experience the best of riverine living from your twin-bedded cabin with en suite, decked out in Assamese looms and cane furniture.
Plavaneeta Borah is a food and lifestyle writer based in New Delhi. She has been writing extensively on food for over a decade, having worked for top media houses like NDTV Food, BBC Good Food, The Times Of india, among others. It’s her love for cooking and the fact that such little is known about Northeast Indian cuisines that led her to start an initiative called Assam Track Mind in 2017. Under this, Plavaneeta has been hosting Assamese Food Pop-Ups in Delhi to encourage people to discover the flavourful food of Assam. She has also hosted Assamese food pop-ups in some of the most popular restaurants in Delhi such as Whisky Samba, Jamun, and more.
DAY 1 | 22 FEBRUARY 2020 | GUWAHATI
Fly into Guwahati in the state of Assam | En route, visit Kamakhya Temple, one of the most revered sites of worship in India | Get your first taste of ethnic Assamese cuisine at a local restaurant in the city | Drive to Silghat to board ABN Charaidew I | Traditional Assamese dance performance | Dinner and overnight stay on ABN Charaidew I
DAY 2 | 23 FEBRUARY 2020 | KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK
Packed breakfast on the way to Kaziranga National Park | Early morning safari into Kaziranga National Park | Close encounters with rhinos, elephants, wild water buffaloes and exotic birdlife | Assamese cooking demonstration and lunch at Diphlu River Lodge, an award-winning eco-lodge | Elephant bathing experience | Dinner and overnight stay on ABN Charaidew I
DAY 3 | 24 FEBRUARY 2020 | BISHWANATH
Sumptuous breakfast on board | Cruise to Bishwanath | Visit a nearby Assamese village | Lunch on board | Assamese dessert preparation session on board | Documentary on the Brahmaputra river in the evening | Dinner and overnight on ABN Charaidew I
DAY 4 | 25 FEBRUARY 2020 | SAIL
Sumptuous breakfast on board | Cruise to Majuli | Tea-tasting session on board | Relax on sundeck | Mishing tribal cooking demonstration | Lunch, dinner on ABN Charaidew I
DAY 5 | 26 FEBRUARY 2020 | MAJULI ISLAND
Sumptuous breakfast on board | Arrive at Majuli Island | Visit the island's satras or monasteries of the neo-Vaishavite sect | Traditional Assamese dance performance by monks | Monk-style lunch at a satra | Visit another satra that's famous for their religious mask-making practices | Bonfire dinner at a sandbank | Overnight on ABN Charaidew I
DAY 6 | 27 FEBRUARY 2020 | DEPART
Sumptuous breakfast on board | Cruise to Neamati Ghat by country boat | Disembark and head to Jorhat airport for onward journey
Note: cruises are subject to prevailing river and weather conditions.
PRICE & DATE
Price: INR 44,625 per person (inclusive of 5% GST) on a twin-sharing basis aboard ABN Charaidew I
Date: 22 to 27 February 2020
Note: the minimum number of passengers for the tour to operate is 16.
5 nights' accommodation aboard ABN Charaidew I on a twin-share basis
All sightseeing and transfers as per itinerary
All meals as mentioned in the itinerary (except Michinga restaurant)
All activities as mentioned in the itinerary, including dance performances and cooking demonstrations
Services of an English-speaking escort
A jungle safari into Kaziranga National Park
Entry fee for Kaziranga National Park
Airport pick-up from Guwahati airport on Day 1
Airport drop-off to Jorhat airport on Day 6
Camera charges, tips, drinks, laundry
Insurance, telephone charges
Bearing 10 air-conditioned twin-bedded and 2 double-bedded cabins with en-suite bathrooms, ABN Charaidew I is purposefully intimate in size, so that guests can rediscover what it means to stay in serenity, far from the bustle of life on shore.
All cabin accommodation is on the upper deck, as is a bar and saloon opening onto a front deck. A dining room with full-length opening glass doors on each side is on the lower deck, while a large top sundeck offers additional comfortable open-air seating in shade or sun.
Local handloom fabrics specially woven for us and comfortable cane sofas and chairs contribute to the attractive decor.
Guests who are interested in history will observe that ABN Charaidew I still retains a traditional wheel (or helm), and instructions to the Driver stationed in the engine room is still passed on by the Master of the vessel by shouting into a brass speaking tube. Its polished brass engine room, telegraph and steering wheel were untouched during renovations as a mark of respect for the ship's heritage.