Off Board Experiences
MV Mahabaahu organises jeep safaris in the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site of Kaziranga National Park, and boat safaris on the Eastern Range besides showcasing the diverse heritage of the weaving communities, the Mishings living on stilted chang ghars and the neo-Vaishnavite Gayan Bayan, Maati Akhora, Mukha Bhavana and Dashavtar in Majuli. The cruise between Guwahati and Jorhat also incorporates visits to a jute mill, Ahomiya monuments at Sibsagar, and bonfire evenings on deserted islands as it sails in the shadow of snow-covered Himalayan peaks. The tea tasting on a home-hosted visit with a Planter’s family in Jorhat and the experience of walking through the tea-gardens and interacting with the tea-pluckers while enjoying Bihu, the state dance of Assam in Silghat. MV Mahabaahu’s Naturalist and Destination Manager holds talks and orientations prior to each visit to introduce you to the culture of the area, the community and the norms of sharing the space.
The smallest inhabited river island of the world is called thus as the growth of the flora on the island gives the image of the unfurled feathers of a peacock in its dancing form. Home of many species of birds makes Peacock Island an exciting boat excursion of natural history. The constant arrival of pilgrims to pray at the temples located on the island also gives it a lovely essence of living cultures amid the flowing waters of the great river. A lovely sight to behold!
Our guests love the Bonfire Night on the beach. The uninhabited island we stop at becomes our venue for the evening – no two venues are ever the same because these islands are constantly being reshaped according to the whims of the river! While guests are getting ready, we set up shop – the bonfire is lit, a bar appears and soft music brings it all together. The highlight is the natural beauty and the sounds of the river that surround us as the sun sets, an atmosphere we’re passionate about preserving and enhancing.
Kaliabor Tea Estate
Lush green tea bushes and traditional dances beckon – this is immersive travel at its best. The valley of Assam was the birthplace of the black tea or, as it is so famously called, the English Breakfast Tea.
The visit to the village of the plantation workers who come from a tribe known as the Jhummars with their white and red coloured dresses is another lovely living culture experience. The process of cutting, tearing and curling of the tea leaves in the factory is a great education till the month of December and then from the month of March when the tea leaf plucking season happens.
Haroocharai Tea Estate
Gain insight into the history behind your cup of tea combined with a traditional Assamese meal in a unique setting. A meal with a tea planter’s family is a memorable experience where a taste of the traditional Assamese cuisine combines with an educating talk of how the English Breakfast Tea started. The talk centres around how tea is savoured with the benefits of this famous brew that the world wakes up in the morning to. The original bungalow belongs to the romantic times of the English tea planters and is a walk down memory lane.
Explore the park in sturdy 4WD Jeeps and immerse yourself in the wilderness that surrounds you.
The jeeps allow explorers to both, stand up and sit down comfortably. Photography buffs will find that the solid frames of the jeep provide great support to the body, allowing you to lean further ahead and get the best possible shots.
As travellers pass through the rolling, lush green elephant grass against the backdrop of the mighty river under the shadows of the towering Himalayan peaks there remains no doubt that Kaziranga is one of the most beautiful jungles of the world.
An exciting boat safari through the mingling waters of the Dhansari and Brahmaputra River with plenty of fresh water dolphin sightings.
Get ready to spot swimming elephants, wild buffaloes, tigers, deer, occasionally rhinos, water monitor lizards, beavers, monkeys, turtles, eagles, vultures, storks, kingfishers and more.
The possibility of spotting this much wildlife makes for a truly exciting boat safari adventure for 2-3 hours. Relax in the comfortably cushioned armchairs built in the tenders for the boats to slice through the pristine waters of the rivers bringing back memories and pictures of a great natural history experience. The Brahmaputra River is the only other river apart from the Zambezi River in Africa where such a wonderful experience can be enjoyed.
One of the great pilgrimage temples of India for Hindus, Kamakhya is thronged by devotees coming from all over the sub-continent.
Devoted to the Goddess Kali, the Kamakhya temple is said to be a place of great faith. Travellers can witness, first hand, a temple where the occult and spiritual come together. The fervent atmosphere of mysticism and spiritual tranquillity combined is one our guests are unlikely to forget anytime soon
A friendly village inhabited by immigrants from the low-lying lands of Bangladesh. Interact with this friendly agriculturist community where the village schools teach modern education and where the children gather along the banks of the river to smile shyly at the visiting tourists. These people stay on these river banks in winters when the river subsides as the land is rich for growing crops. Come summer floods caused by the melting snows of the Himalayas along with the deluge of the monsoons the river rises by eight and a half meters and submerges this world under its torrential flows. The villages are prepared to leave only to return next season and so the cycle starts again.
A culturally rich village filled with artisans, music, dance and idyllic views all around.
Travellers get to meander through a large village of Assamese silk weavers, weaving intricate patterns onto colourful fabric made from the lovely Mugga Silk unique to the region. Witness the artisans of the land creating the magic from their handlooms located in the rooms and verandas of their homes. With rock atolls and sand islands in its vicinity where ancient light towers are located to guide the navigators of bygone times, this is a place for the romantics to sit and watch the amazing sunsets across this river.
Come face to face with a tradition fishermen tribe and their iconic bamboo homes built on stilts. The Mishing tribal community is a tribe of fishermen with some agriculture, animal husbandry to supplement their income. The women weave cotton fabric and brew the local apong beer. The people live in bamboo huts built on stilts along the banks of the Brahmaputra River and when the river rises in floods, they climb into their wooden canoes and paddle away to high ground to weather the monsoon months, only to return in September to rebuild their huts and village for the winter.
The largest river island in the world awaits. Get ready to be steeped into its myriad of rich traditions, ancient culture and artistic rituals.
Majuli Island declared by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest river island of the world is home to a pacifist Neo-Vaishnavite culture with 22 monasteries on the island. The male monks of the monasteries live the life of renunciation and their simple life of religious devotion is a wonderful cultural experience. To see their vibrant dances with the beating of drums and cymbals inside their temples is a deeply moving experience. Due to the culture of pacifism, the island is home to many species of both migrant and resident birds including storks of many varieties.
Palaces and Temples
Step back in time in Assam’s ancient capital soaking in the architecture of a glorious bygone era. The erstwhile rulers of Assam or, Asom as they used to call it came originally from Yunan, through the region of Northern Thailand. Being great administrators and benevolent rulers, they won over the local chieftains and established their rule throughout the Brahmaputra River valley. At Sibsagar they established their capital and built their palaces, temples and amphitheatres. A great destination to witness their unique style of architecture combining South East Asian, Bengali and Mughal styles of architecture seen in the buildings of the bygone era.
A step back in time with a visit to an old jute mill using industrial revolution technology.
The good old hemp and jute is today the biodegradable answer to substitute the notorious plastic. With the clickety-clack of the machines that create the jute thread from the hemp plant to the manufacturing of the jute gunny bags – this is an interesting experience of how the early conveyor belt factory working used to be.
Below are some of the awards won by us.