Published by The Sunday Times, UK
Sue Bryant gets a flavour of one of India’s wildest regions on a cruise of the mighty Brahmaputra. I rafted down the Brahmaputra in 1984 and fell in love with it,” says Sanjay Basu, a mountain climber turned travel entrepreneur. “It’s such a wild, volatile river.” Roughly 33 years later, I’m drinking tea on the deck of Sanjay’s Brahmaputra dream, the 46-passenger MV Mahabaahu — one of only two cruise ships to operate on this vast waterway. There’s a good reason for this. The Brahmaputra, which cuts through the state of Assam, is a beast of a river, rising on the Tibetan plateau and racing through China. It collects 40% of the annual Himalayan meltwater before reaching India, where it becomes swollen with monsoon rain and reaches 18 miles wide. Villagers farming the banks abandon their houses every spring and return to an altered landscape once the water has receded….