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Aoling Festival Tour

Aoling Festival Tour – Spring Festival of Tattooed Headhunting Tribes of Nagaland

This 7-day Nagaland and Assam Aoling festival tour takes you from the plains to deep inside Nagaland, high up in the Patkai hills. During the second part of this Aoleang festival trip, you experience the deep-rooted tribal culture of the headhunting tribe of Nagaland, the Konyak. From living with the last surviving head-hunting tribes to eating and celebrating with them, this leg of the trip in Nagaland will be full of merry-making and a lot of fun. Songs, dance, various competitions –  you name it. And the Assam – leg of the tour will be no less. Very interesting in a different way with its unique satras, craftsmanship, and pottery. Calm, peaceful, and in the laps of nature – in the Majuli islands.

Aoling Festival Tour – Kaziranga, Majuli, and Mon

The detailed itinerary of the Aoling festival package tour including Kaziranga National Park and the Majuli Islands will be as follows:

  • Day 1 – Guwahati – Kaziranga
  • Day 2 – Jungle Safaris in Kaziranga National Park – Majuli
  • Day 3 – Exploring the Majuli Island
  • Day 4 – Majuli – Mon
  • Day 5 – Mon – Longwa
  • Day 6 – Aoling festival celebration in Longwa village
  • Day 7 – Longwa – Dibrugarh

Day 1: Guwahati to Kaziranga National Park

The tour starts from the Guwahati airport, where you will be received by North East Explorers’ representative. After a quick introduction, you drive from Guwahati to the Kaziranga National Park will start. Through the plains of Assam, crossing a number of big & small towns and some lush green tea plantations, you will finally reach Kohora, inside the Kaziranga National Park after around 5 hours of being on the road.

If you reach on time for the Jeep safari, you will head out for the same almost as soon as you reach Kaziranga. Kaziranga Jeep Safari is great for your tryst with wild Assam. But in case you reach late, you can always go to the Kaziranga Orchid Park to enjoy so cultural performances. Or, you can just rest & relax at your stay.

kaziranga jeep safari
Kaziranga Jeep Safari

Day 2: Kaziranga to Majuli Islands

Depending upon which slot you are allocated by the forest department for your first Kaziranga Elephant Safari, you will have to wake up somewhere between 4 AM and 6 AM in the morning. But believe me, when I say, this trouble of waking up this early will be so well worth it. While on the elephant safari inside Kaziranga, you will get a chance to see the one-horned rhino, among many other wild animals inhabiting the park, from very close quarters. Suffice it to say, you will come out happy from the safari.

If you did not get a chance to go on the Jeep Safari yesterday, you would be going for it today, post breakfast. Enjoy the jungle again, this time, for more than twice the time.

After your Kaziranga Jeep Safari, start for Neemati ghat and cross over to the largest river island in the world, Majuli. And settle down in simple Mising (the local tribe of the island) bamboo cottages, not far from the Luit river.

great Indian hornbill
Great Indian Hornbill in the Kaziranga National Park

Day 3 – Exploring the Majuli Island

Today will be a slow & easy day. You start our day by visiting the Satras, the birthplace of Vaishnavite culture in Assam. You will then visit the Samaguri satra to explore the unique mask-making art of Majuli. Interaction with the artists is a good way to learn how these unique masks take shape, from bamboo structures to the final product.  Not to mention, the stories your local guide, who is also a monk of one of the satras of Majuli, which are just as much filled with knowledge and interesting facts.

In the evening, either cycle around or relax by the river. Post dark, sit by the bonfire, share stories, and sip your favorite brew.

We also visit a nearby Mising (the local tribe of this part of the region) village(s). While on the walking tour, we interact with the locals and know more about their daily life and their culture. We also learn and see firsthand, how wonderful weavers they are.

satriya dance majuli
Monks performing Satriya dance at Uttar Kamalabari Satra

Day 4 – Majuli To Mon Town

Today is the day when we finally enter Nagaland, the land of the last surviving headhunters. The journey is not very long but it is done in parts. First on a ferry to the Majuli islands and then on roads, part of which are great while the other part is pretty bumpy. But the experience that awaits you at the other end of the journey is well worth the bad roads. Not to mention the dense landscapes that accompany you all the way till Mon, and beyond.

Depending upon what time you reach, you can head to enjoy part of the festivities of the Aoling festival or you can choose to relax for the evening.

mon district mountains
Blues hills of Mon district, Nagaland

Day 5 – Aoling Festival in Mon and drive to Longwa village

Today is unarguably the most interesting day of the tour. Today, you will visit the Indo-Myanmar border village of Longwa, today you will meet the last surviving konyak head hunters & interact with them, and today you will meet and interact with the Konyak king as well. The Angh (king) rules villages that spread across parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and even Myanmar.

Konyak Naga men celebrating Aolean Monyu at hongpoi village, Mon Nagaland
Konyak Naga men celebrating Aoleang Monyu at Hongpoi village, Mon Nagaland

Actually, there’s more. We will also visit the king’s palace which is divided between India and Myanmar. And, we will stay in the village for the night. But first, we will head to the Mon festival ground to enjoy the biggest Aoleang festival in the Mon district. After spending enough time in Mon, we will start for Longwa village. The drive will be bumpy but just like yesterday, the views will more than make up for that. And the bonus is the sunset view from Longwa.

Undisputedly, one of the best sunsets you would have seen ever!

sunset longwa village
Pictures almost ever do justice to the real beauty

Day 6 – Aoling festival celebration in Longwa village

Today is going to be a busy day, busy at the festival grounds. The full day will be spent today enjoying the celebrations by the village folk. Dancing, singing, firing in the air, and then, some more dancing.

While all this is going on, we will also take out some time to walk around the very simple but lovely village. We will then also visit the gun-maker’s home and see him in action. We will meet some more headhunters and listen to their stories of the times when headhunting was still in practice.

Last but not least, we will walk up to the Indo-Myanmar border pillar, situated on the edge of the village. As darkness sets in, we will take refuge at the king’s palace and watch the village folk discuss random things and laugh at their own jokes while smoking locally grown opium.

Day 7 – Longwa To Dibrugarh

We take it easy in the morning. Maybe a relaxed morning walk around the village and some final photographs of this unique place and its people is something you would want to go on. Feel free. Half of the village will already be at the festival ground, or maybe not. After a relaxed breakfast and multiple rounds of Tizit tea, you start your drive back to the plains of Assam.

We reach Dibrugarh by late afternoon which would mark the end to one of a kind of memorable trip.

Inclusions

  • All permits for Indian Nationals as required.
  • All Toll Charges.
  • A dedicated vehicle with a driver cum guide for the entire trip.
  • Local guide wherever required.
  • Accommodation on a twin-sharing basis.
  • Breakfast on all mornings from Day 2 till the last day’s check-out.

Exclusions

  • Any personal/sanitary/medical expenses.
  • Any unplanned extension in the number of days staying.
  • Food and snacks.
  • Parking Fee
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the inclusions section above.
  • 5% GST.
  • Any Gratuity money

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star rating  Knowledgeable tour operator in NE India  - Fantastic experience - Rajiv is extremely knowledgeable about the NE area, has good network of drivers, guides and home stays. He understands your requirements and customises the tour accordingly. The... read more

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star rating  We wanted to travel to NorthEast and were looking for local tour operator since they would have good knowledge and plan our itinerary better. We were lucky to find NorthEastExplorer,... read more

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