BRAHMAPUTRA – There really is no need to hard-sell a river cruise, in fact any river cruise—a small bobbing boat, a gently moving landscape and shore excursions to punctuate the whole experience… And when it comes to this particular experience the mere words are persuasion enough: Brahmaputra River Cruise. You can see the entire expanse of Assam pass you by and when you’re not floating on the mighty river, you make little forays into tea estates, quaint local villages, heritage monuments, and the cherry on top, Kaziranga National Park. How could anyone resist? And, more importantly, why would you? Cruises are run by many operators and come in various itineraries.
KAZIRANGA – Tall elephant grass as far as the eye can see—that’s quintessential Kaziranga! It’s been more than 100 years since Kaziranga was first deemed a Reserve Forest. This Unesco World Heritage Site today is a wonderful success story of our wildlife conservation efforts. About 860sq km of mostly grassland, interspersed with marshes and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, crisscrossed by four rivers, this park is most famous for harbouring two-thirds of the world’s Great One-horned Rhinoceroses. Apart from that, it affords visitors the chance to see the tiger, the elephant, wild buffalo and swamp deer as well as close to 480 species of birds! The park is 217km/4 hrs from Guwahati by road.
MAJULI – In the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra river is India’s largest river island, Majuli. This fascinating landmass used to be significantly larger at 1,250sq km but the fury of the Brahmaputra has whittled it down to something merely over 350sq km. Which is a pity because the culture is quite unique: apart from lush green forest and beautiful beaches, the island is also a stronghold of a line of neo-Vaishnavism—a legacy of the 15th-century saint-scholar Srimanta Sankardeva and still has over a score of ‘satras’ that are monasteries as well as repositories of art. Reports say the island may well disappear over the next couple of decades, so you might want to go now! Majuli is accessed by ferry from Jorhat, 22km/1 hr.