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Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland konyak Tribe

Tucked away in the far north-east of India, wedged between the borders of Bhutan, Burma and Tibet, Arunachal Pradesh is India’s newest and least-known state. Before the region was elevated to statehood in 1986, Arunachal Pradesh, along with Assam, Nagaland and 4 other states was known as the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA). Except for occasional forays by administrators and anthropologists during the time of the British, nothing much was known about this area for most of the 20th century. The isolation of the North East Frontier Agency was legally safeguarded by India's own government; before laws permitting limited tourism were passed in 1995, even Indian citizens were not allowed to visit..

The North East Frontier Agency lands never belonged to ancient India. They were, and still are, peopled by Mongoloid and Mon-Khmer austere stock, far removed from Aryan-Dravidian blood of the mainstream. The people here are animists (except the area of Tawang where they accepted Buddhism); in the Highlands, wild Burmese tribes enthusiastically practiced indiscriminate headhunting until as late as the fifties. To the north, Mongoloid tribals, bare-bodied in breech-clouts and are today still encountering “civilization"..

Nagaland is almost entirely inhabited by 16 groups of Tibeto-Burmese tribes. Among them are Angamis, Aos, Konyaks, Kukis, Lothas, Semas and Wanchus.

The Nagas, who were once head hunters, have been known for their fierceness and the regular raids they made on Assam and Burma. The warring tribes believed that since the enemy’s animated soul, waha, was to be found at the nape of the neck, it could only be set free once beheaded. However, since the spritual soul, mio, resided in the head and brought good fortune, enemy heads (and those of dead comrades) were prized as they could add to a community’s own store of dead ancestors.

The hilltop villages are protected by stone walls. The morung, a meeting house, acts as a boy’s dormitory, and is used for storing weapons and once displayed the prizes of war i.e. the enemy heads. The huge sacred drum, which stands by each morung is hallowed out tree trunk carved to resemble a buffalo head.

  • Day 1: Delhi/ Kolkatta/ Dibrughar/ Pasighat

    • Delhi / Kolkatta/ Dibrughar/ PASIGHAT/ by reserved ferry 1 hrs crossing mighty Brahmaputra river. We drive towards pasighat 3 hours before heading west to reach the Brahmaputra River Valley. We continue to drive on a military road downriver to Pasighat. Pasighat is a fairly big town on the banks of the Brahmaputra. Here the mighty river exits the mountains to empty onto the Assam plains. From being a few hundred feet wide, it suddenly grows to six miles across.
      Overnight Hotel Anne option/ DoniHango Guest House
  • Day 2: Pasighat to Along

    • Early breakfast driver to Along 120km 4 hrs drive. Enroutevisit Adiminyong tribal village Drive to Lower and Upper Bari village on the way cross the river Yamgo. From here hike for one hour to Mobuk village which sits pretty on a saddle. Also visit Monku village. We will also organize cultural evening in the village here.
      Over/ night/ hotelKanzing/ hotel west
  • Day 3: Along to Daporijo 190km 6 hrs drive

    • Along to Daporijo 190km 6 hrs drive Along early morning and visit Darka village of Adi-Gallong tribes. A short twelve-mile drive another Adi-Gallong tribal village. Adis are very accomplished weavers of cane goods. They make baskets, hats, breastplates, shield, but the excellence of their cane work shines supreme in the famous cane suspension bridges of Arunachal Pradesh. "Marvels of untutored engineering skills," was how a 19th-century British explorer described the bridges. The Adis also excel at weaving intricate patterns for their clothing, and we may see examples of their pottery today.
      Over/ night/tourist lodge/ hotelSinghit
  • Day 4: Daporijo to Ziro 163km 5 hrs drive

    • Departing early in the morning, we descend from the Daporijo plateau and drive along the upper seing river valley through dense jungle country, passing picturesque villages of Nishis and the Hill Miris tribes. We will visit MuriMugli,a HillMiris tribe, and if road conditions are good we will continue another eight miles on a mountain dirt road to Noori, a small traditional village of the same people. The Ghansi sect of the Miris that we encounter here are of short stature, scantily dressed with a sleeveless jacket and loincloths. They will usually carry woven cane knapsacks and a dao (broad sword) along with bow and arrows. The Panibotias, another sect of the Miris that we will meet, are just the opposite: tall, well-built people. Continue driving to Ziro on the banks of the lower Subansiri River. Daporijo is the junction of three important tribes; Hill Miris, Tagins and appatani.
      Over/ night/ hotelZiroVally Resort
  • Day 6: Ziro

    • Full day visit at the Myoko festival of the Apatani tribe. Overnight at the hotel.
      Using Ziro as a base, the entire 02 days are spent visiting the Hong and other Apatani Villages. Everywhere we go we are warmly welcomed. As E.T. Dalton noted in 1845, "The men do not rejoice in much drapery, they wear a girdle of canework painted red which hangs behind in long bushy tail." Just as the tail is the distinctive part of the male dress, so is the nose plug peculiar to the Apatani women. It is the ambition of each woman to wear the largest possible nose plugs, which are made of wood. Both sexes extensively tattoo their faces. Each sect has distinctive features. Their hats, clothes, ornaments, language and even physical features are totally different.
  • Day 9: Ziro - Majuli (By surface 220 Kms/07 Hrs + Ferry crossings)

    • After breakfast drive to Majuli Island, En route cross the local tributaries of Brahmaputra River by local made ferry.
      The world's largest River Island is famous for its twenty-two 15th Century "satras". These are Hindu Vaishnev (followers of Lord Vishnu) monasteries functioning as centers of Assamese arts. The worship of Lord Vishnu is through dance, music and poetry. The satras take in young boys and groom them. The daily routine includes working in the fields, tending cattle, prayer, discussion and study. The satras have also nurtured certain art and craft traditions, which can now be found only here. In NatunSamugrisatra for instance, one can still find the craft of mask-making; Kamlabarisatra still makes the finest boats.
      On arrival in Majuli, check in to the MapoAgom Bamboo house overnight stay.
  • Day 10: Kohima to Dimapur 75km 2hrs drive airport fly to Kolkatta/ Delhi by connected flight

    • Full day to explore the Majuli Island. The world's largest River Island is famous for its twenty-two 15th Century "satras". These are Hindu Vaishnev (followers of Lord Vishnu) monasteries functioning as centers of Assamese arts. The worship of Lord Vishnu is through dance, music and poetry. The satras take in young boys and groom them. The daily routine includes working in the fields, tending cattle, prayer, discussion and study. The satras have also nurtured certain art and craft traditions, which can now be found only here. In NatunSamugrisatra for instance, one can still find the craft of mask-making; Kamlabarisatra still makes the finest boats. We will also explore the villages of Miri tribes who live on this island.
      Over/ night/ MapoAgomBambo guest House
  • Day 10: Majuli Island to Kaziranga

    • Majuli Island to Kaziranga 140km 2hrs drive over/ night hotel 2 hrs ferry crossing drive to Kaziranga .
  • Day 11: Elephant Ride and Jeep Safari inside National Park

    • Elephant Ride and Jeep Safari inside National Park
  • Day 12: Kazaringa to Mon (By Surface 07 Hrs drive)

    • Early morning start your drive to Mon for 5-6 hours. After going through checking formalities at the border of Nagaland, we enter the state. Visit first village atPhuktong village. It has two great Morungs (men's dormitories). Also visit Angh's (chief's) residence. On arrival, check in to the Typical Naga house /helsa Resort.
  • Day 13: Shangnyu village

    • Full day to witness the colorful tribal area of Konyak tribes who have been head hunters in the recent past.
      Visit Shangnyu village which is ruled by the Chief Angh and is a prominent village in Mon district.Memorial stones are also found in front of the Angh's Palace. History records that good and friendly relationship existed between the Shangnyu and the Ahom Kings of Assam. ShangnyuAngh use to collect taxes from all the villages under his domain-extending from Sibsagar in Assam to the Wanchos in Arunachal.
      Also visit Sangha to see head hunting trophies and houses constructed in the true Konyak tradition with palm leaves roofing and the main pillars jutting out.
      Overnight in the HelsaResort
  • Day 14: Full days visit to Langmeing, Chaohavillages

    • Langmeing, One of the most interesting villages in the area, and has traditional Naga houses. One can find old people with tattoos on their faces and body (some of them with barely any clothes). A walk around the village is very interesting. The village has an old Morung with 2 log drums (the village boys can be requested to play the drum). The Morung also has interesting artifacts. Langmeing is one of the very few villages that still have human skulls from the 'head hunting' days.
  • Day 15: Longwa Village

    • Longwa Village, One of the biggest villages in Mon district, it is an interesting sight to see. As the village straddles an international boundary line, one half of the Angh's house falls within Indian Territory, whereas the other half lies under Myanmarese control. However, the whole village is controlled by the Angh and the village Council Chairman. Another interesting feature of this village is that the Angh of the village has 60 wives and his jurisdiction extends up to Myanmar and Arunachal Pradesh.
      Overnight in the HelsaResort
  • Day 15: Mon - Dibrugarh (By surface approx. 240 Kms/6 to 7 Hrs)

    • After breakfast you will have again chance to photograph around Mon. Later drive to Dibrugarh for overnight stay. (Our car and accompanying guide will drop you at hotel in Dibrugarh)
      Overnight in the Hotel Natraj
  • Day 15: Dibrugarh Departur Delhi/ Kolkatta

    • Dibrugarh Departur Delhi/ Kolkatta
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