Trip report - Kaziranga and Meghalaya - April + May 2018

#1 Jun 23rd, 2018, 12:47
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  • parmardevang is offline
#1
Since long I had been thinking of visiting N-E India. Cousin Sister of my mother stays in Guwahati. Many a times we started planning, but it never got concluded. This year I started seriously thinking about vacation in N-E from January 2018. Started reading few blogs and visited various web sites to gather information. We wanted to be in Guwahati for couple of days (family time) and visit Kaziranga National Park. I was open for remaining days for visiting other places – Arunachal, Assam, Meghalaya or Sikkim.

Somewhere in February 2018 I started a thread in IndiaMike to get help in finalizing my plan -
Help Travel Plan - Meghalaya + Kaziranga (For April 2018)

That’s where Kari Kor helped me in bringing clarity in my plan. In between I was suggested to visit Sikkim by one of the relative. So I started working on Sikkim tour plan. Then once again plan got changed and we finalized Assam + Meghalaya for our trip.

We were six people (myself, wife, 15 year old Son, 8 year old daughter, father and mother). Since we were traveling with my parents I did not include Double Decker Bridge and David Scott trek in my plan. I would definitely suggest to people who can trek MUST do these two places.

Below was our finalized plan:
1. Day 1 (25-Apr-2018) : Reach Guwahati
2. Day 2 (26-Apr-2018) : Kaziranga
3. Day 3 (27-Apr-2018) : Kaziranga.*Reach Shillong by evening
4. Day 4 (28-Apr-2018) : Shillong sightseeing
5. Day 5 (29-Apr-2018) :Sacred Forest, Garden of caves. Reach Sohra by evening
6. Day 6 (30-Apr-2018) :Sohra sightseeing
7. Day 7 (01-May-2018) :Mawryngkhang. Reach Mawlynnong by evening
8. Day 8 (02-May-2018) : Mawlynnong, Dawki, Tamabil, Krang Shuri. Stay Jowai.
9. Day 9 (03-May-2018) : Tyrshi falls, Nartiang. Reach Guwahati
10. Day 10 (04-May-2018) : Guwahati sightseeing
11. Day 11 (05-May-2018) :Family time
12. Day 12 (06-May-2018) : Return

  • Booked my flight on 19 Mar 2018
  • Contacted couple of cab drivers (numbers I got from various blogs) and got their quotes. Booked one Innova for my trip from Day 2 to Day 9 (total 8 days).
  • The cab driver booked hotel for us at Guwahati, Kaziranga and Shillong.
  • I booked hotels at Sohra, Mawlynnong and Jowai.

I had lot of trouble in connecting with homestays in Mawlynnong. Most of the time phones were not reachable. At times the contact numbers I got from internet were not correct. Finally got my homestay booked after lot of searching and calling. I was ready with all the booking by 1st week of April. We had good couple of weeks for detailed study and plan our entire route.

Stay tuned for daywise trip report.
#2 Jun 23rd, 2018, 13:36
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  • snotty is offline
#2
Subscribed.
Sar Pass Trek , Rohtang, Munnar, Badrinath Kedarnath, Vaishnodevi, Goa, VOF, Kedarkantha, Kuari Pass, Brahmatal Trek
#3 Jun 25th, 2018, 22:54
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#3

Day 1 (25-April-2018): Travel to Guwahati.

So finally the day arrived to start long pending vacation to NE India. Our flight was in the afternoon to Kolkata. We started from home after finishing our lunch and boarded our flight to Kolkata. We had stopover in Kolkata for 2 hours for our next flight to Guwahati. Flight was on time and we landed in Kolkata at 6.30 PM. Completed dinner at airport itself.

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And then boarded flight for Guwahati. We reached Guwahati at 9.45 PM. We could not get any Uber or Ola at the airport, so booked pre-paid taxi to our hotel.

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Two rooms at Hotel Abhisekh were booked for us by our cab driver. We reached hotel at around 10:30 PM. We had plan to start 8 AM in the morning for Kaziranga. After we reached we informed our relatives about arrival. They planned to visit us next day in the morning. We had a good sleep in the night.

Rooms were decent at the hotel. Nothing great. We booked our hotels for basic required amenities, so expectations were met.

Stay: Hotel Abhisek (INR 1200 per night for double occupancy)
#4 Jun 25th, 2018, 23:30
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#4
Nice start . Following
#5 Jun 26th, 2018, 12:45
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Good start. Waiting for more, specially interested as I am planning this trip in April'19
#6 Jun 26th, 2018, 23:00
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#6

Day 2 (26-April-2018): Travel to Kaziranga. Night stay at Kaziranga

Next day morning we woke up at 6 AM. Kids were still sleeping. Got ready and had a stroll around the hotel. Hotel was right in the middle of the market. Had nice tea on one of the tea stall. We woke kids up at 7.00 AM. Our relatives arrived at our hotel at 8.00 AM. They brought delicious breakfast with them for us. We had thepla, khakhra and tea which was more than enough for breakfast. Our Innova was already there at the hotel by the time we finished our breakfast. We then started for Kaziranga at around 9.00 AM.

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After crossing dusty Guwahati, highway did not have much of a traffic. We stopped at couple of places in between to enjoy coconut water\tea and reached Kaziranga around 2.30 PM.

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Our stay was booked at T G Resort in Kaziranga. We got settled at the resort, our jeep safari was booked for 3.30 PM. Also we confirmed about booking for Elephant safari for next day morning. The manager informed that slot for Elephant safari will be confirmed in the evening around 8.00 PM.

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We all got ready for our Jeep safari. Jeep arrived at our resort at 3.30 PM and took us to Kohora region. There were some formalities to be completed, so safari actually started at 3.45 PM. We entered the national park. After going in for 10 minutes we saw some deer and wild buffaloes near the lake. Another 10 minutes and we spotted one rhino, very close.

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Our driver stopped jeep for few minutes. During the entire safari we saw different birds, buffaloes, deer, elephants etc. On return journey we stopped at a watch tower for 15 minutes. It was two storied watch tower, giving nice view of the national park and water reservoir (or lake). From up there we could spot few more rhinos and elephants. Safari got concluded in approx. 2 hours and we returned back to our resort at 5.30 PM.

We decided to order our dinner from resort itself. Resort did not have restaurant, but dinner need to be booked on prior notice. Upon the orders received they prepare the food in the kitchen and dinner will be ready at our suitable time. We ordered roti, subji, dal and rice. Also on kid's demand we had noodles as well. We spent some time in strolling around the resort. There were few more resorts in the vicinity. Also there were couple of shops nearby. My wife started communicating with the shop owner there (she does it so easily!!!), and she got lot of information on local food items and varieties. Even she ordered local variety of rice (which was not available with shop owner), for which shop owner agreed to get it next day morning from nearby village.

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It was dinner time already, as we had asked for our dinner to be ready by 7.30 PM. Dinner was very delicious. The quantity of food was way more than we expected. Everyone enjoyed the food.

The manager informed that they have organized Bihu dance performance in the resort garden at 9.00 PM and invited us to enjoy the evening and the performance. At 9.00 PM we got settled in garden for the dance performance. The group of 10 artists performed Assamese dance, we thoroughly enjoyed. They even invited guests to dance with them. We took photos with the group and performance ended in 45 minutes.

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By this time resort manager informed about confirmation of our elephant safari. It was booked for the 5.30 AM slot. He also informed that he will give us a wake-up call at 4.30 AM.

We decided to call it a day, as we will have to wake-up at 4.30 AM next day.

Stay: T G Resort (INR 1300 per night for double occupancy)
#7 Jul 12th, 2018, 09:19
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Day 3 (27-April-2018): Kaziranga and travel to Shillong

Today was a long day planned. We woke up at 4.30 AM. Got ready quickly by 5.00 AM. We then reached Bagori entrance for elephant safari. One of the person from resort accompanied us. We waited at the gate and had a cup of tea, meantime the resort person ran around to register our names and get entrance pass.

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We entered the gates at 5.45 AM. We had to walk 500 meters to elephant riding point. It was a platform prepared from where one can sit on the elephants. One by one elephants came from 1st session of 4.30 AM. Out of 6 of us, 5 were accommodated on one elephant. I got on to another elephant.

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It was really fun time. There were around 20 elephants in the safari. They all started one by one and moved into the forest. In a while we came to open grassland place. We saw rhino up-close. Elephants went very near to rhino and we could almost see it right beneath the elephant. Elephants stopped at that point for few minutes, for all tourists to take selfie and photos.

Then we moved on. We rode around the forest and saw few more rhinos, but they were little far. Our mahavat (elephant driver) instructed elephants to give photographic pose, and we took each other’s photo.

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During the entire 1 hour, we saw many deer and wild buffaloes. Also saw pelicans, horn bill, kingfisher etc. After the fun filled 1 hour, we returned back to the platform where our elephant safari ended. We reached back to our resort at around 7.15 AM. We completed our breakfast and got ready to start our long journey to Shillong. My wife had asked for local rice from the shopkeeper the previous night, so we waited for some time for shopkeeper to deliver it to the resort. As soon as we got the rice, we started our journey to Shillong at around 8.30 AM.

Route to Shillong was the same route which goes to Guwahati. We stopped at one of the vegetarian hotel (Jain hotel) for our lunch. Food was OK. We had Choole – Puri, Roti – Subji, Dal – Rice. After filling our tummy we started further journey.

We stopped at Umiam lake at around 3.30 PM. We entered Umiam Sports Complex and walked down till the lake. It was a huge lake, with lot of activities to offer – Boat ride, Khasi dress, Speed boat etc. We spent approx. an hour over here. And then we continued our journey to reach to our hotel – stay for next two days.

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Shillong had very narrow and hilly roads. I was impressed by the driving skills and discipline of the drivers. They drove two way in such a narrow lanes, it was really impressive. We encountered some traffic as soon as we reached Shillong. We reached our hotel at around 7.00 PM. We checked-in to our hotel and got freshen up. We ordered our dinner from hotel kitchen itself, as did not know much about availability of food in that area. As we had experience in Kaziranga, we had to order our food upfront and hotel will keep it ready at the time convenient to us. We asked them to keep our food ready by 8.30 PM.

We went out for a walk and see the market around the hotel. It was a good market place with lot of street food options. We decided that we will not have dinner in hotel the next day, instead will try those street food items. Finished our dinner and called it a day. We had plan to start next day at 8 AM.

Stay: Hotel Pine Brook (INR 1600 per night for double occupancy)
#8 Jul 12th, 2018, 09:24
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  • parmardevang is offline
#8

Video Log of Kaziranga trip

Sharing link to my VLOG which covers our trip for 25, 26 and 27 April 2018. Starting from home to Guwahati. Then to Kaziranga which includes jeep safari and elephant ride.

This VLOG is a compilation of pictures and video captured during our trip.

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