Skip to main content

Travel Info: Discover Assam – Immerse yourself in India’s culture! | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture! | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture!

I am delighted to be able to publish such a detailed travel report today. Terralaya Travels has created a very individual tour for Patrick. For 3,5 weeks he traveled with guides, organized by Terralaya Travels, through North East India.
And here you can experience one stage of the tour up close, ASSAM.

How I discovered the Assam region

From Zurich via Dubai and Kalkota, I reached Guwahati airport the next day. The flight with Emirates was very pleasant and the stopovers were short enough for my luggage to make it. One of the flights was on the Boeing A380, which had rows and rows of empty seats. So it was even possible to doze lightly stretched out on 4 seats, what a grateful luxury.

At the airport in Guwahati, we first had to change money, as it is no longer permitted to bring in Indian rupees. An exchange office in the baggage hall was very welcome for changing a few thousand rupees. My Swiss francs were no problem. Only later did I realize that there were also ATMs outside. ATMs are available in many larger places and accept VISA and Mastercard.

I could already feel the Indian time at baggage claim. I waited patiently for my wheeled suitcase, which eventually found its way to me. I was already beginning to imagine how the Lost & Found procedure would work here.

I left the arrivals hall happy and ready for the adventure. As a European, you already stand out here. And so it was not surprising that Teiso recognized me very quickly and greeted me warmly. My luggage was quickly stowed in the white car and I was off in the direction of Guwahati City, a city of millions and very spacious. I love being chauffeured along the roads of India. The friendly honking will accompany me for many days to come.

In general, the roads in Assam are in very good condition. We drove on secondary roads as well as on the Asian Highway 2 (AH2), which is currently being converted into a multi-lane highway with a length of over 13,000 km from Indonesia to Iran. In some places it is already finished. In many places, however, construction work is still in full swing. An interesting project to which various countries have committed themselves.

Assam at a glance

Assam impresses with its large, wide and flat tea and rice fields. They stretch for kilometers along the Brahmaputra, the most water-rich river in Asia and with its 3.100 km one of the longest rivers in the world. The land is fertile and often flooded during the monsoon. The level of the river then rises easily by 2–3 m, which has a significant impact on the appearance, the wildlife and, above all, the living conditions of the population. Adaptation for all life here is very relevant in this situation. In addition to agriculture, fishing is therefore also widespread.

So my tour often took me back to Assam to reach another state.

Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati
and the history of the 51 holy places

22 November 2018 Within the first few kilometers after the airport, Teiso mentioned that we would be visiting an important temple complex in Guwahati. It was one of the 51st holiest places, the most in India. I was amazed at the number … according to a legend, the deceased wife of the immensely grieving Lord Shiva was divided into 51 parts by Vishnu (God of protection, preservation) and distributed on the earth, one ‘fell’ here in Guwahati.

On the footpath up to the temple, we passed many stalls, showing that this must be a special place. Even today, 4 goats are sacrificed every day. This took some getting used to, but is part of the cultural heritage.

It is a place where many believers make a daily pilgrimage and queue in long lines to get inside the temple.

Drive to Kazirange National Park

28 November 2018 As usual, we set off at 08:30 in the morning and my two friends picked me up. We had become a real dream team in the meantime and I got on really well with both of them. We were on the same wavelength and when I needed time to myself … or she needed time for herself, it was a matter of course. That’s how I like it, leaving space for everyone.

So, shortly after Shillong, we made another “tourist” stop at Umiam Lake View Point, this time with many other Indians (= those from central India). We had a wonderful view over to the Barapani Boathouse. The barrier was quickly bypassed so as not to have any unwanted railings in the picture.

From then on it went steadily downhill towards the plain and to the Brahmaputra. The winding road past Jyntru and on to Pahammawleiñ only allows for a more leisurely pace. So after a long break from sitting, a refreshing stop with fruit was very welcome. Further along the way, typical colorful Indian trucks lined up at gas stations from time to time. In general, much more was transported here on the plains.

Brick distillery SBI, Indian craftsmanship

At some point, I noticed the smoking chimneys that kept appearing nearby. When I asked what they were, we spontaneously left the highway and looked for a way to one of these huge chimneys. Then my question was answered … bricks are made and then “baked” at the end. We set off to see the whole thing up close. Entire families are scattered around the work area, big and small, fathers, mothers and children, most of them of Bengali descent, as I was told. They work here during the dry season. Some of the kids were having a playful break, others were busy shaping the clay into blocks.

The clay blocks are then left to dry in the sun. In the evening, when it is cooler, everyone gathers and carries 6–8 dried stones on their heads to the open pit, where they are stacked in rows. The pit is then covered and glowing and burning coal is poured into the aisles of the rows through a hole from above. The stones remain underground for 15 days until they have cooled down. The whole area around the fireplace is divided into various pits so that cooled bricks can be carried out while the others remain in place.

Fisherman in Morigaon

After these interesting impressions and another great encounter with the locals, especially the open-minded children, we drove on. What would a river be without fishermen? Near Morigaon, we took a break to watch the fishermen at work. Wading through the swamp, they cast their nets into the river at regular intervals, hoping for a good catch. I was fascinated by the casting technique. | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture!

Watching people at work makes you a little tired yourself. Subsequently, and after a tea break at a Dhaba Highway restaurant (good food for originally long-distance drivers), we traveled swiftly to the national park. The closer we got, the greener the fauna became again. Palm trees, pineapples and mangos lined the road again. And there it was, right at the start of the park we saw it from a distance, the famous and protected rhino. Wow, just arrived and already such a sight. | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture!

Kaziranga National Park

28.11-30.11.2018 I happily made my way to my accommodation, Diphlu River Lodge, which is privately owned and located right on the edge of Kaziranga National Park, with only a narrow river in between. I was advised not to go to the river after nightfall. Apparently tigers had already been spotted.

Ranesh, the owner/general manager or something, is a great host and we had an exciting conversation over a glass of fine wine.

Elephant riding in India

The day started early this morning. I was up at 5:00 a.m., it was still dark, and I got ready for the morning game drive with the elephants in the nearby national park. I was registered for the second group this morning. The meeting point was 5:45 am at the reception with the park guide and, of course, Teiso. There were four of us and Toni, another Swiss from Basel, joined us. He also loves taking pictures of nature. We quickly made friends and then we set off in an open jeep to the park entrance, 20 minutes away. It was chilly and I was glad I had taken a jacket with me.

It was slowly getting lighter as we drove along the road. Finally we turned left off the main road and soon we stopped at the park entrance, the gate was still closed for us. Several tourist jeeps were waiting there and different languages from all over the world reached our ears. The stop allowed us to capture the rising sun and some wonderful atmospheric pictures.

After about half an hour, we were granted passage and drove a few minutes off-road to the assembly point where the elephants were mounted. It had a kind of high stand so that you could easily get onto the elephants’ backs. Toni and I got in line and waited, I was very excited. A few minutes passed before we spotted the elephants through the morning mist and the first group returned. What a joy! Everyone quickly dismounted and it was our turn. Surprisingly, our guide picked us up from the queue and we quickly mounted our elephant cow. Everyone must have been a bit excited, some wanted the best seats. I took a seat behind the mahout and Toni behind me. So there were three of us on our lady. I was excited. | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture!

Soon we were off, there must have been 8–12 elephant cows including a few young ones … and it wasn’t even minutes before a rustling sound caught our attention … there, a rhino about 10m away from us. It didn’t let itself be disturbed at all, didn’t even lift its head and continued to eat without a care in the world. Wow, that’s great!

The group was already walking on through the mist and the man-high elephant grass and we were still with our guide at the rhino … very nice, that suited me very well. We had a great mahout in general, as we were mostly away from the group later on. We really appreciated this, it gave us space for encounters with the animals and for taking photos. At one point we even crossed a small lake on our own … it was very special to have water all around us. A very queasy feeling, but we still had complete confidence in our lady.

Tia, the 1-hour ride was totally worth it. The mystical experience of moving through the mist and getting up close to the wildlife was fantastic. We encountered many rhinos, some with their young, deer, wild boar, storks and other birds. One of the pigs even followed the elephant … I think that such a large bunch of elephants might be tasty food for the boar. Oh well, we didn’t find out.

I felt disoriented when we reached our destination after what felt like a long time and thanked both the elephant guide and his lady. It was so easy and beautiful. We also learned that after the morning rides, the elephants can move freely in the park. So they also have a pleasant existence here. That made me happy!

After these joyful impressions, we had breakfast with eggs, sandwiches and orange juice, accompanied by my beloved masala tea. Wonderful!

Jeep safari – wild India with rhino, eagle, deer and many other animals!

29.11.2018 After a well-deserved break, the four of us set off again to experience the eastern national park by jeep in a 3-hour drive. In the afternoon, the western part was on the agenda. We weren’t the only ones on both trips in very pleasantly warm temperatures. Quite a few vehicles had the same program, understandably. But even now, we made sure to be at the beginning or end of the caravan, especially as some visitors love to enjoy nature with loud comments. The rides were a dream, even if the tiger remained hidden from us. Instead, we saw pairs of otters, probably around 30 rhinos, lots of wild buffalo, wild boar, banded sea eagles, Barasingha deer, iguanas, a gigantic black squirrel, water turtles, a bull elephant and lots of birds, including kingfishers, ducks and storks.

It was strictly forbidden to leave the vehicle during the entire journey (not even to go to the toilet). So make sure you use the restroom beforehand. The evening hours in the park were just as expressive as those in the morning. The evening sun bathes the landscape in a warm light before sealing the day behind the horizon. It was already dark when we left the park full of happiness and returned to the lodge. A magnificent evening dinner was waiting for me there. All typical Indian dishes, soup, curry dishes with vegetables, various meats and fish with tours. In the meantime, I ate everything, including raw vegetables. I had complete confidence in the careful preparation for us Europeans.

Journey to Jorhat

03.12.2018 Intoxicated by the past few days in Kohima at the festival, today I had to say goodbye and drive back along the dusty road to Dimapur and then head for Jorhat. It was going to be a long day and I said to myself today, let me consciously take in the journey.

Along the dusty pass road, there were often corrugated iron huts where the families of the construction workers live while the road is being built. Every now and then there was a broken-down truck, probably waiting for spare parts to come from somewhere. Or it was simply parked and everyone helped themselves to usable parts until all that was left was a skeleton.

In Damipur, I realized once again how everything is still made by hand here. A young man was cutting wood for furniture next to the road, a man was skillfully assembling ‘silver’ metal boxes without a plan. Or, a little later, a typical Indian sewing machine, which is still set in motion by legwork with a belt, just like in the olden days. All artists of their kind.

Fancy a cup of tea? This was a must during the long hours in the car. The small tea houses always provide great images where light effects appear together with the smoke from the fire.

The rest of the journey on the Assam plain took us past rice fields where the stalks were being busily gathered. I was told that the rice is either beaten by hand or they lead 2–3 cows in circles over the stalk bushes scattered on the ground.

The visit to another market near Hanjanglangso was a nice change. Young men, students, often asked me for a selfie with them at such stops. I don’t think I’ve ever been photographed so much together. Which is always very funny and shows that they are very open-minded. By the way, have you ever tried insects? Me neither, not yet. The lively, yellowish caterpillars looked interesting. I don’t think it will be the last time they sell them at markets. Who knows, maybe in a few years it will be normal here too.

On the further way we made a detour, it was supposed to have been a shortcut … but I had my doubts. We drove through a Karbi tribal area. Their houses are very interesting and beautifully built. The walls are logically made of bamboo and plastered with fine, white clay, with a palm thatched roof. Each house had its own garden, separated by a woven bamboo hag. | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture!

The day was soon drawing to a close and we crossed a river at just the right moment at sunset to take a few more worthwhile pictures. My accommodation was not far away. I reached the former and restored British tea manor Thengal Manor by Night. As a surprise, a wedding was winding down and the groom welcomed me with a friendly invitation to join them later. Oh, what a surprise. After a great Indian dinner with a personal attendant, I briefly met some guests by the fire, but soon said goodbye as I was completely tired … from sitting in the car ;-). And I also wanted to enjoy my oversized and luxurious room a little.

Drive to Dibrugarh | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture!

06.12.2018 In some places, it is not a matter of course to have running water in the house and it can be fetched from the nearby draw well, as here at the guesthouse. After breakfast, we left Mon and thus Nagaland. I will definitely return to this jewel of north-east India with its murongs. The journey today took us back to Assam, to Dibrugarh.

We stopped off again near Tuimei to visit another small Konyak murong. It stands somewhat elevated in the center of the village and is probably still used as a place to sleep, judging by the belongings inside. Teiso told me more about the Konyak tribe and the headhunters at this place.

Young aspiring Konyak warriors leave their families to live in the Morung and learn the knowledge and customs of their tribe. To a certain extent, this is the stage before becoming an adult and joining the ranks of warriors. But what are headhunters? The Konyak have or had the belief that if they cut off the head of a foreign tribe member, they take over his spirit and thus become stronger, gaining possession of his knowledge and spiritual strength. This was generally practiced until the 1970s, the last time in 2004, so not so long ago. It was not a matter of arbitrarily chopping off heads. There were often far-reaching reasons for the decision (e.g. land ownership, threats), but rarely revenge, and the tribal shaman released the time by means of a ritual.

In those days, the severed heads were displayed on stakes in front of the Morung and ‘dried’ before being moved inside. The higher the victim was in the hierarchy of the other tribe or even had tribal tattoos due to exceptional merit, the more spiritual power was believed to have been captured. To avoid revenge in such actions, the victors smeared pig fat over the eyes of the victims to avoid revenge and to prevent the perpetrator from being seen mentally.

Today, this is no longer practiced. On the contrary, 80% of the inhabitants of Nagaland are Christians. In the run-up to Christmas, we were able to see nativity scenes lovingly set up and decorated in many villages.

We met a tribal elder in the square after our lesson on headhunters. What a ‘coincidence’ that he appeared on the scene at that very moment. A portrait was of course a must, even if it cost me a little. Such expressive pictures mean a lot to me and if he can make a living with this small income, it’s a win-win situation, thank you my friend. | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture!

After this lesson, we made our way to Dibrugarh. In addition to the nativity scenes, the locals also decorated entire stretches of road with white branches at this time of year. Who knows, maybe it was the landmark for St. Nicholas so that he knew where to bring the presents.

Shortly after the border in Assam, I asked for a stop to finally take a few pictures of the many rice workers. It was a cheerful group, as soon as they saw me, they greeted me warmly from a distance and must have enjoyed it … It’s wonderful to receive such greetings. | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture!

We continued on side roads, past the usual rice and tea fields, where people were still busy harvesting. Later we visited another market. It was noticeable that it was mainly men who offered their goods for sale here. I wandered through the stalls, had a chat here and there with boys and was asked several times for a selfie.

On the rest of the tour through Assam, we again encountered fishermen who were either trying their luck with a rod or going about their work with large nets. It must have been a muddy affair. These small fish are grilled whole or dried in the air.

I don’t know how Teiso always did it, but we reached Dibrugarh and thus the Brahmaputra again exactly at sunset. The sun set behind the river bed, glowing red and atmospheric, creating a peaceful silence. Relaxed and somewhat lost in thought, we then made our way to the well-known market hall in the city. I quickly got a first impression and before we drove to the “Tea County” hotel, it was clear to me that I would spend my time here in the alleyways instead of having dinner. I therefore memorized exactly where I had to go. So I set off alone to experience the hustle and bustle of this corner of the city at night. I felt very safe walking along the streets in the dark. Many craftsmen were still at work. They were busy cutting or welding metal. Safety precautions for such activities are rare here. I immersed myself in the alleyways and let myself be enchanted. For dinner, I had two portions of momos at a stall. Wow, I just love these things!

Another day was gone. | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture!

Trip to Majuli & Majuli

13-15.12.2018 I will remember Ziro forever. This plateau with its wonderful people and misty mornings has touched my heart. Well, after a typical Indian breakfast, I headed to Majuli today, my last stop in this corner of the world. | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture!

We stopped again near Yazali to make another detour on foot to a Nashi village. We didn’t get far and we heard voices from the village longhouse telling us to join them. Half or all of the village had gathered there. We climbed the steps to the entrance and were greeted warmly. We learned that everyone present was practically from the same family. The grandfather had 15 wives and this resulted in a clan with 100 grandchildren. So the whole village was one family, wow. That was beyond my imagination at first and felt wonderful. The house itself had 3 open fireplaces, normally one for each woman … with 15 women it would probably have been a mega long house. It was already very big as it was.

We stayed for a while, talked to people, had selfies taken with us and then continued our walk down to the other houses and on to Mon, who was already waiting for us. It was an unusual experience for me as I was brought up very differently. The drive continued through the dense jungle to the Lower Subansiri District View Point, with a view of the dam below us with the Ranganadi Hydro Electric Power Station. The view was impressively beautiful. From a distance, we spotted a family of Mithun cows with young and a bull on the bank.

Assam came closer and with it the warm plain. We took one last break to buy a few wicker baskets of mandarins. Teiso and Mon wanted to bring them home as Christmas presents. They also tasted super delicious, very different from what I know from home, of course, fresh from the trees. | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture!

With the taste of mandarin oranges in our mouths, we passed mustard seed fields and reached the ferry that would take us to the island of Majuli. Incidentally, it is the largest river island in the world, as was just confirmed in 2018. Well the ferry still looked the same, same procedure and we set off in no time. The crossing didn’t take long, the sun was already setting.

Once we arrived, we had to step on the gas. Majuli has a long bridge made of wood and bamboo, just like in Myanmar, which is an incredibly beautiful motif at sunset. We only had 15 minutes. In situations like this, I often say to myself, we’ll make it … we can do it … a mantra that helps and yes, we made it to the minute. It always works, one way or another.

After that, we allowed ourselves a more leisurely pace, watching cows being brought home here and there, the smoke from a fire expanding mystically instead of rising into the air and simply enjoying the twilight on the drive to our accommodation Mepo Okum, an eco camp with my own hut. Jujui, another cottage for me. Tired from sitting and the experiences, I was glad to be able to go to bed soon. Tomorrow morning Teiso said we wanted to experience the sunrise with mist on the nearby river … that meant getting up at 5i. Ok, “let’s do it”, I thought, let’s see.

More craftsmanship in North East India… Potteries

14.12.2018 I got up again at midnight to search the clear starry sky for the predicted meteor storm. A few shooting stars flitted past from time to time, but there was no sign of a storm. Well, it was worth a try.

So I went back under the mosquito net and slept until my next appointment. At 5 o’clock on the dot, I was in the square in front of the eating house waiting for Teiso. Equipped with headlamps, we marched to the river a short time later. Hm, I guess the fog didn’t materialize this morning. We decided to abandon the exercise. I then went back, but couldn’t sleep and set off to look for some motifs along the river and found what I was looking for. The silence was also incredibly good for me in view of my imminent departure, it was almost meditative.

Strengthened by a great Indian breakfast, we set off later in the morning to explore the surrounding area, where mainly Mishing tribes have settled. It was to be a very varied program, first we drove to the famous potteries, I think it was near the Tuni River in the Doria Gaon area. In any case, there were whole family businesses making clay pots and sharing the kilns. We were happy to be shown how it was done and in no time at all, uniform pots of different sizes were being produced, dozens of which were then fired. Each pot is then checked for quality and repaired if necessary. The clay came from the banks of the rivers. They really offer a lot and are the lifeline for many inhabitants. During the monsoon, this area is flooded and many homeowners stay, we were told. Their houses are constructed in such a way that their easy facilities such as fireplaces, beds could be moved to higher ground.

We continued on foot and came across two men sawing wooden planks out of a log … all by hand with a saw blade that must have been 2 meters long. A really exciting place. Youngsters were further up the river catching fish by hand and there an older man was recycling an old boat, removing the ancient nails and prising the heavy planks apart. Within a few meters we encountered a variety of activities, each completely focused on their work, really great.

Touched by our sweet gifts to her children, a resident took us into her home at the end, proudly presented her pots and served betel nut with glue leaf at the end. Tia, now I couldn’t say no. Teiso, my guide, told me in easy English not to swallow the spit, which I did. As soon as we were out of range with the vehicle, it was time to part with the nut.

Sri Sri Samaguri Sara Monastery and the most beautiful masks from India

14.12.2018 The next attraction we visited was the “Sri Sri Samaguri Satra” monastery, where masks of Shiva in his various guises are made. What was special about this monastery was that the members are allowed to marry and live in their own houses. There we met the son of the priest Sri Koshakanta Dev Goswami, the recipient of the Sangeet Natok Academy award in 2003. He told us this with great pride and then showed us around the mask hall. A mask basically requires 4 production steps: 1. making the basic structure with bamboo / 2. applying a kind of paste / 3. shaping the face with mortar / 4. applying the color

These masks are ordered from all over India. He had just shipped 14 pieces for Mumbai.

Visit to the mustard oil factory

14.12.2018 After these colorful impressions, my next visit took me to the mustard oil factory. I had already seen the huge yellow mustard seed fields at the very beginning of my tour. Here, the seeds were cold-pressed in two different ways. One method uses pistons to press the seeds in a kind of funnel and the oil drips out at the bottom. This is the more intensive method and one pass is enough. In the other case, the grains are tipped into a trough and an auger pushes the mass into the compaction area. Behind this, the pressed mass comes out again and is fed back into the trough.

While I was looking around the factory, my two companions bought a few canisters of oil for friends and relatives back home. It must be very popular.

Ute Kamalabari Sara Monastery

14.12.2018 So, the day was soon over. The visit to the Uttar Kamalabari Satra monastery was our last stop today. Around 200 unmarried monks live there. We also saw a number of children and young people. They are admitted to the monastery at the age of 5 after passing the aptitude test and are placed under the care of an experienced monk. From then on, both live together in the same apartment. So a monk doesn’t just have one room, no, he lives in several rooms, including the kitchen.

The peaceful and relaxed atmosphere was truly palpable. The monastery also owns some land, which is leased to local residents. In return, the tenants supply the monastery with tours. As we walked through the empty corridors, bales of rice were piled up here and there, ready to be threshed. A door opened and a 90-year-old monk made himself comfortable on the cold stone floor … When asked what the secret of growing old is, he simply said: “Through serenity and prayer. What a wonderful answer, as we in the western world are always on the go, driven by goals that are imposed on us. Why not leave everything behind for once and look inside ourselves, because there is so much to discover.

We soon finished our tour of the monastery and headed back to camp. It was time to process our impressions and take a break so that we could later walk to the market in Majuli. But that didn’t happen, a spontaneous volleyball match with the locals required our full assistance … Great, we had fun and everyone quickly found their place in the game. The subsequent dinner was also highly recommended, grilled fish in a bamboo tube … wow, it was delicious. Of course, it was accompanied by tours, chili peppers and well-seasoned vegetables. I loved it like that.

Sidrad Har Village

15.12.2018 As usual, I was up early and went to the river again. I had seen a Kingfisher bird there yesterday and thought to myself that it would surely greet the sun in the same place today. And that’s exactly what happened. They have their habits too. An owl (Spotted Owl) also crossed my path, what a joy.

As my departure was not planned until later, Teiso and I went for a walk around the village after a hearty breakfast in the sun. We were sure to find some great motifs at this hour of the morning. The day was still young, fresh, like the children playing with rice sacks. Further along the way, we came across women at looms weaving their colorful cloths. The initial conversation eventually turned into an invitation into the house so that we could look at other cloths, with the wish that we might buy something. Unfortunately, the colors were not quite to my taste, otherwise I would probably have bought myself a nice souvenir.

The village had much more to offer if you are mindful and present. There was a young woman sitting in the sunlight brushing her teeth in front of her house built on stilts. Or children on bicycles whizzed past happily, the bikes were just too big … They knew how to help themselves. In these communities, people looked at each other, there was a wise older woman squatting on the ground with kids and they were playing a game. At one point, we saw a young mother chopping wood and the little one just wanted his mother’s full attention at that moment and was accordingly indignant. Without further ado, Teiso took the axe so that the little one got the affection he wanted. In general, Teiso was very helpful on the whole tour. Wherever two hands were needed, he lent a hand without thinking twice.

The largest monastery complex

15.12.2018 After the village visit, it was time to slowly leave the camp. We packed everything up. However, before we left the river island by ferry, we visited one of the many monasteries, which is said to be the largest here. The name was something like “Onjatti Monastery” or similar and is home to around 350 monks, 150 of whom are children. It also contained a small museum with antiques. As yesterday, we first went to the prayer house, the Namghar, and then we walked sensually through the square corridors. The many corridor doors led to the elongated apartments of the monks and we were sometimes given a glimpse into the rooms when the door was open. Here, too, we rarely met any monks except for one who had just sat down in the sun and regularly invited us in for a chat. He was around 70 years old and had chosen this monastery in 1975. Towards the end of our tour, we came across a 7-year-old monk. Bright as he was, he was keen to take a photo and took a really good shot of Teiso. He accompanied us to the exit, where we said goodbye to him. A special rule is that visitors are not allowed to touch the monks. The little boy, however, gave little importance to this rule.

Journey to Jorhat

15.12.2018 Tia, now the time had come, after this visit to the monastery, we set off on the ferry. Lost in thought, my senses once again took in the beautiful surroundings and I reminisced about the past few days in Arunachal Pradesh. A really big ship awaited us at the harbor, with room for several vehicles. Many passengers stood there and admired the modern vehicle. The loading of the boat was very exciting and there was also a wait for the last passengers, who had probably registered by telephone. So the captain lowered the bridge again, as a latecomer was probably expected. Later, we cast off for good and the crossing took around 1.5 hours. Watching the sunset on the Brahmaputra was a worthy end to the day and to a fantastic tour.

The arrival on the other side was very spectacular. The ship slid into the sandbank at some speed, stopped abruptly and then had to be righted with roaring engines before the bridge was lowered. The trip to the famous “Thengal Manor” tea house in Jorhat was short and after a last hearty Indian dinner I went to my room. | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Travel Info: Discover Assam - Immerse yourself in India's culture!

Goodbye North East India and thank you very much I will definitely be back!

16.12.2018 Yes, the time had really come, today I was leaving this wonderful country with all its enchanting people and tribes. As my flight didn’t leave until lunchtime, I had enough time to look around the estate and chat with another guest, a tour guide from Delhi.

In the end, Teiso and Mon brought me safely to the airport, from where I traveled back to Zurich via Guwahati and Delhi. I didn’t have a day of rain in almost four weeks, always sunshine … both outside and in my heart. My only regret at the end was that our jeep broke down after I left and Mon had to stay a little longer in Jorhat.

Would you like to read more travel reports? This was just the beginning for Patrick, the next part of his tour , Meghalaya is already in preparation! Here you can find more travel reports

Would you also like to travel India individually? Then get in touch with us. We will put together your personal tour according to your wishes. We look forward to your inquiry!
Or browse through our existing tours, divided according to interests and regions, you are sure to find your India tour. See you soon, your Terralaya Travels team.