ASSAM DESPATCH 7:
GUWAHATI TO GUWAHATI
Meet at Guwahati airport and embark your ship by mid-afternoon close to the great Saraighat Bridge. Enjoy lunch while cruising downstream to the little town of Sualkuchi, where the clatter of looms gives a clue to the town’s industry. Post-lunch, walk through the village and visit its silk-weaving workshops and observe the whole process of silk manufacture, from cocoon and spinning to dyeing and hand-weaving into exquisite mekhela chadars (a two-piece sari, the traditional attire of Assamese women).
This morning you’ll cruise upstream and disembark at Pandu docks for a short sightseeing tour of the city of Guwahati. A drive up Nilachal Hill brings you to the holy Kamakhya temple, though with its tantric rites and animal sacrifice, the more squeamish among may prefer to content themselves with its exteriors. Visit the poignant Commonwealth War Graves cemetery as well as a shop selling local crafts. You’ll then cross by country boat to the mid-stream Peacock Island with its population of Golden Langurs before reboarding and cruising past Kurua on the north bank.
Today you’ll cruise upstream past jungle-covered hills and turn into the Mayong River. Here you’ll take a country boat for a kilometre or two to the roadhead from where you’ll be driven to Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary.
This small park has a dense population of the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros and it would be unlucky to not spot some of these armoured beasts on a jeep safari around the park. Those departing today are picked up from the park and driven for 4 ½ hrs to Kaziranga National Park.
Return to the ship in the afternoon and cruise to a riverside village, which you can explore on foot. Later, sail downstream to spend the last night close to Kurua.
Cruise down to Pandu port. Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Guwahati airport for your departure.
This itinerary, including the cruise and approximate driving durations, is subject to river and weather conditions.
The 'Brahmaputra Taster' cruise is offered in the Boutique and Active Expedition cruising styles.
ABN Charaidew II
With 18 cabins in total, including two spacious deluxe cabins, 12 standard twin/double cabins, and four standard cabins with a queen bed for solo travellers, ABN Charaidew II is a boutique, modern ship that wonderfully blends traditional Assamese aesthetics with touches of colonial elegance. All standard cabins have French balconies, while the two deluxe cabins have a private balcony.
ABN Sukapha was designed specifically to navigate the mighty waters of the Brahmaputra river, making her an extremely adept yet comfortable active expedition-style ship. Her 12 cabins are bamboo-panelled, roomy and offer panoramic views of the river. Cane furniture on board, objet d'arts and handlooms on the ship are all locally made by talented artisans from Assam.