Expedition with photographer to Indian Tibet for Myoku Festival of Apatani, Aulyang Festival in Nagaland and Cherrapunjee living root bridges


March 20 – April 4, 2025
Tour North-East India

Tour to India expedition to Arunachal Pradesh Tawang Nagaland Konyak Cherrapunjee tour to North East India Indian Tibet

Kaziranga Assam Majuli Torgya Monpa Mon
Burmese headhunters, showing you their trophies, one-of-a-kind Apatani women worshiping of Moon and Sun and wearing rattan pieces in their noses, 20-meter long living root bridges, sophisticated trekking, stirring Tibet landscapes, amazing Manas and Kaziranga National parks with rare populations of tigers and rhinos, the world’s largest riverine island and one of the most syncretic place in India! All that you can find in remote North-East appendix of India in Himalayan foothill – absolutely authentic part of the planet, hardly touched by the time.

Our fifth expedition to the North-East India aims at visiting two great festivals – Apatani animistic Myoko festival in Ziro and Aoleang festival of Naga Konyak headhunters in Nagaland.

Tour to India. Dancing Buddhist monks dressed in ceremonial masks and theatre costumes, Burmese headhunters showing you their trophies, unique Tibetan tribes worshiping of Moon and Sun and wearing rattan pieces in their noses, 20-meter long living root bridges, sophisticated trekking and stirring Tibet landscapes... All that you can find in remote North-East appendix of India in Himalayan foothill - absolutely authentic part of the planet, hardly touched by the time.

© Alexey Kolbov, MZUNGU EXPEDITIONS, 2022
Dates: March 20 – April 4, 2025

Duration: 16 days / 15 nights

Number of participants: 8 – 12

Cost per person (based on TWIN/DBL accommodation):
– USD 3 350 subject to 12 participants,
– USD 3 450 subject to 10 – 11 participants,
– USD 3 590 subject to 9 participants or
– USD 3 690 subject to 8 participants.

10% early booking discount (in case you book before October 20, 2024)

Everything is included, except for:
– international flight to Dibrugarh round trip,
– medical travel insurance,
– Indian visa (Indian visa obtained upon arrival to Delhi with pre-visa on the website, at visa fee of USD 60).

Estimated cost of flight Moscow – Dibrugarh – Moscow: USD 900 – 1100 (to be bought on your own. We consult you).

Single supplement: USD 930 (provided throughout the entire itinerary).


Day 1. March 20, 2025 (Thursday). Dibrugarh – Ziro (240 km, 6 hrs drive)

Morning flight via Delhi to Dibrugarh city, North East India, with IndiGo, Vistara, Air Asia or another airlines.
Arrival at Dibrugarh Airport no later than at 10 am. Meeting the guide at Dibrugarh airport, and head by our cars to Ziro.
En route we cross the border of Arunachal Pradesh state and fix all the paper formalities (sometimes it takes long).
If we are on time (otherwise on the way back from Ziro to Majuli on Day 4), stop in Joram village with the long common house to meet Nyishi tribe famous for their long houses and as the closest people to Apatani.
Late arrival in Ziro, the area of Apatani people. Ziro is almost a level valley enclosed on all sides by pine-clad low stooping hills. This area, also called Apatani Plateau, is famous for Paddy-cum-Fish culture.
Overnight in Siiro Resort or similar.

Accommodation: Siiro Resort or similar
Meals: lunch, dinner

* Recommended flights to Delhi:
- with Aeroflot, departs from Moscow on March 19 at 19:30, arrives in Delhi on March 20 at 4:05 am,
- any other flight with arrival in Delhi before 4 am on March 20 in order to safely connect with the flight to Dibrugarh early morning on March 20.

** Recommended flights to Dibrugarh:
- with IndiGo, departs from Delhi on March 20 at 6:55 am, arrives in Dibrugarh on March 20 at 9:00 am,
- any other flight with arrival in Dibrugarh no later than at 10 am on March 20.

Day 2. March 21, 2025 (Friday). Myoko festival in Ziro

The next two days, will be spend on exploring Apatani villages and witnessing Myoko ceremony of this community. Myoko is a spring festival celebrated when apricot trees start to bloom. This is a biggest celebration of Apatani community related to agriculture, spiritual, nature and communal harmony amongst the Apatani and their immediate neighbors Nyishi. Since most of the tribes in the region doesn't have their own script, so according to Apatani legend it's believed that they being a mongoloid stock migrated somewhere from Mongolia long time back. They were told to celebrate this Myoko festival by their ancestors wherever they settle down when the peach tree start to bloom, which they brought along with them.
This day we will witness a palm procession carried out by all the male member of the village. This is the ritual where they invoke the spirits of their departed ancestors to join the festival. A skull of long tailed macaque which they purposely hunt down for this ritual is used during the ceremony.
Apatani women traditional dancing in Michi village.

Accommodation: Siiro Resort or similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3. March 22, 2025 (Saturday). Myoko festival in Ziro

Another day in Myoko Festival to witness an animistic ritual of Apatani tribe and to enjoy the hospitality of the community. They have an early morning Pig offering ceremony by a married couple. This happens near an apricot tree. All the married couple willing to offer a pig brings a pig to this sacred altar called "Yugyang". Later these animals are sacrificed in the name of Myoko deity. Apatani has a unique way of slaughtering this animal. A person is appointed for this work with an assistant. They are called 'Aha Pornw'. They move from house to house to take the heart out from the pigs. He cut the chest open of the pig when the animal is still alive and put his hand inside to grave the heart of the animal and pull it out and put it in the basket of hearts he has already taken. After this ritual he is taboo to take any food which doesn't belongs their community for more than a month. Dozens and dozens of pigs are slaughtered ritually. This appears one of the massive and bloody animistic ceremonies.
Discovering the local culture of the Apatani tribe whose old ladies still practicing the unique tradition of nose plugs piercing and facial tattooing. Apatani practice Doniy Polo animism and believe in Sun and Moon.
We also make an excursion to the interior of Ziro valley visiting the Hong village, the largest village of Apatani Community, and probably (if time permits) some of the other Apatani villages such as Bulla, Hari, and Hija.

Accommodation: Siiro Resort or similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4. March 23, 2025 (Sunday). Ziro – Majuli (157 km, 5 – 6 hrs drive)

After breakfast visit to some last events of Myoko festival.
Today is Sunday, so we can attend the prayer in Donyi Polo temple, and hava a chance to talk to the priest to know more about this religion.
At 12 at the latest start driving back to Assam state. We head to Majuli. Majuli is famously known as the world's largest (or, arguably, second largest) river island. It is located in between two streams of mighty Brahmaputra River.
En route stop in Nyishi traditional village or Mishing tribal village to know more about their culture and way of living.
On arrival check-in at hotel in Majuli. Dinner and traditional dances of Mishing (Miri) people. Overnight at Majuli.

Accommodation: Hotel Ayang Okum or similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5. March 24, 2025 (Monday). Majuli

Full day Majuli sightseeing, visiting the temples with age old history and learn about the monks staying in the temple, amazing Gayanbayan folk dance by the monks, visit mask making temple, pottery village and Mishing tribal villages.
Majuli is the cultural capital of Assam. Shrimant Sankardeva established this practice of Vaishnavism in 16th century. Vaishnavism is a sect of Hinduism where they worship Lord Vishnu, The Protector, and his re-incarnation. The major population of this island is in habitat by Mishing tribe, who are believed to be migrated from present Arunachal Pradesh. History says that they were bond laborers of Adi Tribe for finding gold in river bed. To escape this they follow the river and migrated down to Assam. Now most of this tribe is settled down in Assam close to water body.

Accommodation: Hotel Ayang Okum or similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6. March 25, 2025 (Tuesday). Majuli – Umananda – Guwahati (320 km, 7 hrs drive)

After very early breakfast, farewell with Majuli island and leaving for Guwahati, taking the first ferry at 8 am. Arrival in the center of Guwahati, to Umananda Ghat, from where we take a 10-minute boat in order to reach one more island, this time the smallest inhabited riverine island on the planet. Today we started from the world’s largest river island and reached the smallest one!
The islet Umananda is located in the middle of the mighty river Brahmaputra. Owing to its unique structure which resembles the splayed feathers of a peacock, a British officer even gave the island the name Peacock Island. We will visit Umananda temple of Shiva.
To get ferry, we must be at jetty at 3 pm at the latest. In case we are late for the ferry, we visit Kamakhya temple – a Sakti temple dedicated to the mother goddess Kamakhya and one of the oldest of the 51 Shakti Pithas.
Later transfer and check-in at the hotel Ghar 365 Residency or similar. Stay overnight in Guwahati, the economical capital and the biggest city of the Assam state, and also the largest metropolis in northeastern India. It is called the ''Gateway to North East India”. Dispur, the capital of Assam, is in the circuit city region located within Guwahati.

Accommodation: hotel Ghar 365 Residency or similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7. March 26, 2025 (Wednesday). Guwahati – Cherrapunji – Arah Cave – Nohkalikai Falls – Nongriat Living root bridges (165 km, approx. 5 hrs drive)

Early morning after breakfast, we drive to Cherrapunji – the wettest place on Earth (some 5 hrs driving). In Cherrapunji visit Arah Cave, famous for its fossils which we can observe in the lit-up interiors, especially towards the end of the cave. Then visit Nohkalikai waterfall which, with its 340 meters, appears the tallest waterfall in India. While waiting for lunch, we enjoy breathtaking view on the Nohkalikai falls from the observation desk.
Later we go on a guided hike trek down to Nongriat village to visit world famous living root bridges. The path to the bridges is around 3 kms long. It has approximately 3500 stairs and descends 750 meters elevation. Upon reaching at Nongriat, explore the village and visit 2-store living root bridge (Double Decker). In total we explore 3 different living root bridges.
Living root bridges are created entirely by manipulating the roots of the Indian Rubber fig tree by hand, and without the aid of a scaffolding or any other natural or manmade materials.
Sunset at the most famous Double decker root bridge. For those who want to photograph the place in the night, the night starry sky photo session at living root bridges.
Overnight in Serene Homestay Guest House in Nongriat with basic amenities.

Accommodation: Serene Homestay Guest House or similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8. March 27, 2025 (Thursday). Nongriat Living root bridges – Rainbow Waterfall – Cherrapunji – Mawsmai Cave - Shillong (60 km, approx. 2 hrs drive)

Early wake-up in order to take sunrise photos at Double-decker root bridge. After breakfast, keep exploring the area of Living Root Bridges.
Cherrapunji has a couple of world records and appears the wettest place on Earth! It impacts extremely dense vegetation around here. We can find and try Meghalaya red fruit. In the past, the tropical showers were bringing so many water flows along the river valleys of Cherrapunji, that only living root bridges was able to stand for the nature. That is why these technics were born here. Even if it is not unique for our planet, the Living root bridges of Cherrapungi are the most famous and the most elaborative.
For those who are in a really good shape, trek to Rainbow waterfall (2,5 hours hike).
On the way back we visit another Living root bridge, the most photogenic. Ascend upstairs, it may take up to 3 hours.
In the afternoon, if the place will be open for tourism, we may drive and visit one more amazing waterfall – Wei Sawdong, appearing the cascaded bowl.
Otherwise we visit the Mawsmai cave a beautiful lime stone cave.
Usually during these days Shad Suk Mynsiem festival takes place with the culmination on Sunday. If the Khasi festival falls on this day, we will witness Khasi traditional dance.
Later drive to Shillong, the former capital of Assam and all North East India.
Overnight stay in Shillong.

Accommodation: Hotel Highwinds or similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9. March 28, 2025 (Friday). Shillong – Umium Lake – Bodo traditional village – Manas (240 km, 6 hrs drive)

After breakfast, visit to Don Bosco Museum in Shillong.
After breakfast you will transfer to Manas National park. En route visit Umium (Barapani) Lake, which landscapes in a way unexpectedly resemble Baikal Lake in Siberia.
Manas National park is an UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, a Project Tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve in Assam. Located in the Himalayan foothills, it is contiguous with the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan.
On arrival at Manas, we will see the Bodo traditional village and explore their way of living. It is believed that this tribe arrived in Assam from Tibet through Bhutan passes. As the primitive settlers of Assam valley, the Bodo community is considered to be the most traditionally and culturally rich community of the state. Their rich culture incorporates elements like dancing, singing etc. We enjoy the Bodo traditional dance in the evening.
Check in at a resort. Overnight stay at Manas.

Accommodation: Sikhri Cottages or Similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10. March 29, 2025 (Saturday). Manas National park – Kaziranga National park (325 km, appox. 7 hrs drive)

Today early morning we will go for jeep safari in the Bansbari Range of the Manas National park. We most probably encounter rhinos, elephants, buffalos, water bucks and also have chance (even if rather modest) to meet Indian tiger.
After that back to the hotel and have breakfast. Later, we will drive to Kaziranga National Park. An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kaziranga National Park is home to the unique One Horned Indian Rhinoceros apart from several other wild animals. After arrival at Kaziranga, check in into Kohua Bon or similar.

Accommodation: Kohua Bon or Similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11. March 30, 2025 (Sunday). Kaziranga National park

This day we dedicate to Kaziranga National park. Early morning, before sunrise we drive to the gate of Kaziranga park where Elephant safari starts. Here mounted onto Indian elephants we can enjoy the wildlife and spot a great number of One Horned Rhinos. Probably nowhere on Earth you can encounter so many rhinos. These Asian rhinos are the biggest in the world and look like if they had an armed skin. Kaziranga National Park at sunrise with its fogs and wildgrass appears the worlds’ most photogenic place for taking pictures if rhinoceros.
After some rest, in the afternoon board to jeep for evening safari in a different part of the park, in western range of Kaziranga National Park, famous for one horn rhinos. Besides one horned rhinos, we will meet various mammals like wild boar, hog deer, swamp deer, Asian buffalos, wild Indian elephants. Here we also have chance to find the Indian tiger.
Evening visit – The Orchid Bio Diversity Park, there you can enjoy the cultural show. Overnight stay at Kaziranga at Kohua Bon or similar.

Accommodation: Kohua Bon or similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 12. March 31, 2025 (Monday). Kaziranga – Sivsagar – Mon (approx. 255 km, 7 – 8 hrs drive)

After breakfast, drive up to Mon in Nagaland. En route visit historical monuments of Ahom dynasty in Sivsagar, such as Shiva Dol and Kareng Ghar. Sivasagar was the capital of the Ahom Kingdom in 18 century. The Ahoms ruled Assam for six centuries until their kingdom fell to the Burmese in 1819 and their ruling class was all but wiped out.
Arrive in Mon in the evening, registration in the police first.
Mon is the home of the Konyak Nagas who were the last of the headhunters. They are famous for their accomplished craftsmanship in making woodcarvings, headgears, necklaces etc.
Overnight at Helsa Resort in the suburban of Mon or similar.

Accommodation: Helsa Resort or similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 13. April 1, 2025 (Tuesday). Aolyang festival in Mon – Hongphoi village – Mon (20 km, 1 hr drive)

After leisure breakfast drive to nearby village called Hongphoi to witness Aoleang festival of Konyak tribe. Aoleang is a main festival of this tribe to mark the beginning of their agricultural cycle of the season. The main attraction of this festival is the dances in colorful traditional attires, beating of log drums in their community hall called Morung and muzzle loading gunfire. We can meet the tattooed Konyak elders and interact with them in Morung and also visit the modest king's house.

Accommodation: Helsa Resort or similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 14. April 2, 2025 (Wednesday). Aolyang festival in Mon – Longwa village – Mon (85 km, 4 hrs drive)

Spend the first half of the day at Aoleang festival and in the afternoon drive to Longwa village. Longwa is situated in the eastern most tip of Nagaland and the village itself is right on the border in between India and Myanmar. The villages are ruled by the hereditary chief the Angh (king). The house of the Angh of Longwa is situated half in India and half in Burma in the fantastic picturesque place, among the emerald hills. Explore the village to meet and interact with the Angh, who has 16 villages in Myanmar and 4 villages in Indian territory under his sovereignty.
Drive back to our hotel in Mon for overnight.

Accommodation: Helsa Resort or similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 15. April 3, 2025 (Thursday). Mon – Dibrugarh (120 km, 4 – 5 hrs drive)

After breakfast, driving to Dibrugarh. On the way visit Naga Konyak village of Lampongsheanghan to meet other tattooed Konyaks or further attend the Aolyang festival events in one of the villages in the area (if available).
Arrival in Dibrugarh. Evening take a stroll to the upbeat market of Dibrugarh. Overnight at Hotel Hotel Tree Fern.

Accommodation: Hotel Tree Fern in Dibrigarh or similar
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 16. April 4, 2025 (Friday). Dibrugarh – Return flight

After breakfast, transfer to the airport of Dibrugarh for flight back to Delhi. Departure from Dibrugarh at 10 am to 2 pm.
Arrival in Delhi at 1 to 5 pm. Onward journey or international flight back home.

Accommodation: no
Meals: breakfast

* Recommended flights from Dibrugarh:
- with IndiGo, departs from Dibrugarh on April 4 at 9:55 am, arrives in Delhi on April 4 at 12:55 pm,
- any other flight with departure from Dibrugarh before 14:00 on April 4.

** Recommended flights from Delhi:
- with Etihad Airways, departs from Delhi for Abu Dhabi on April 4 at 16:55, with 7 hours 55 minutes stopover in Abu Dhabi, arrives in Moscow at 8:05 am on April 5,
- any other flight with departure from Delhi after 4 pm on April 4 in order to safely connect with the flight from Dibrugarh in the morning on April 4.

Cost includes:

- accommodation in TWIN sharing rooms (in DBL rooms for family couples) as per itinerary
- transport along the route (4WD Toyota Innova with 2 persons on a back seat of a car)
- pick up from and drop off at Dibrugarh Airport
- 3 times a day meals throughout the enire itinerary
- unlimited drinking water along the entire itinerary
- English speaking main guide along the entire itinerary
- English speaking local guides for sightseeing at Ziro, Majuli, Nongriat, Manas and Mon
- Toll tax and Parking Fees & permits for vehicle
- Majuli to Nimatighat transfer by the Public Ferry
- Permit (PAP) for Arunachal Pradesh and all other permits for all states, incl. Nagaland and Meghalaya
- Ride Jeep (4 Persons in one Jeep) and Elephant Safari at Kaziranga National Park and at Manas National Park
- all sightseeing as per itinerary
- all traditional dances as per itinerary (Apatani, Mishing, Bodo and Gayanbayan dances)
- Entrance fees and tickets for all sites and parks mentioned in the itinerary
- financial support of local communities
- English and Russian speaking team leader photoprapher

Cost excludes (additionally paid):

- flight to Dibrugarh roundtrip (about USD 600 – 900)
- Indian visa (obtained upon arrival for USD 60)
- medical insurance for international trips
- tips

To take with:

- wear sets fitting weather conditions
- warm and windstop clothes,
- trekking shoes and comfortable shoes
- swimsuits
- forehead torch
- raincoat
- set of long sleeve clothes,
- repellents,
- anti mosquito net
- comfortable closed trekking footwear, also warm
- sun and wind protection means (cream, sunglasses, sun hat)
- personal hygiene means
- personal medical kit (analgetics, antiseptic, antibiotic, your personal medications)
- backpack or bag or suitcase for luggage,
- small backpack for radial walks
- photo and video camera
North East India

Best season: September - May

North-East appendix of India is absolutely exotic for tourists and short of rear travelers. It spreads along mighty Brahmaputra river by the root of Himalayas.

Humid Meghalaya jungles, which is considered the most rainy place on Earth, and a true wonder of the world hidden in a ravine - 30-meter long Cherrapungee living root bridges. Trekking to the bridges includes a descent to the ravine, which demand considerable effort when ascension back.

Unique Tibetan-Burmese tribes, such as Apatani, worshiping of Moon and Sun, and whose women are the only ones wearing rattan pieces in their noses.

The most significant Apatani animistic festival Myoko with bloody scarification ceremonies.

Aoleang festival in Nagaland, where former headhunters Naga Konyak tribe makes a huge annual celebration. True headhunters, who are 80 years old now, will tell us by the fire stories of their trophies obtained.

Washed by Brahmaputra Majuli island, marked by Guinness Book of World Records as the largest in the world river island and Kaziranga National Park - home for Indian elephants, one-horned rhinos and Bengal tigers.
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