Advice on Trip to Kaziranga, Shillong and Cherapunji
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| Senior Member

Advice on Trip to Kaziranga, Shillong and Cherapunji

Hello All,

I am going to visit the North East (Guwahati - Kaziranga - Shillong - Cherapunji) from the 31st Oct till 8th Nov. Below is my itinerary for which the Air and Hotel Bookings are already done.

31st Oct - Kolkata to Guwahati (Air)
1st Nov - Morning visit Kamakhya Temple. Move to Kaziranga and Night Stay.
2nd Nov - Kaziranga National Park Tours
3rd Nov - Move to Shillong. Night Stay at Shillong
4th Nov - Shillong Sight Seeing
5th Nov - Move to Cherapunji. Night stay at Cherapunji.
6th Nov - Sight Seeing in and around Cherapunji
7th Nov - Free day
8th Nov - Move to Shillong Airport. Fly back to Kolkata.

Now the help that I need from you all is regarding the transportation (their availability, feasibility and cost)
1) How much does a pick-up/drop in a Sumo/Qualis cost from:
a) Guwahati to Kaziranga
b) Kaziranga to Shillong
c) Shillong to Cherapunji
2) Should I keep my own transport for the entire tour or are the transport facilities available for each leg of the journey even from places like Kaziranga?
3) Are there any designated places where I can go and book the taxis (like maybe a taxi stand or some travel agents)?
4) Any idea about the Jungle Safaris that are done in Kaziranga? How to Book them?

Your help is eagerly awaited. Thanks

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27 Replies

| Maha Guru Member

There are two types of safaris in Kaziranga
-Elephant safari, you must book that the eving before
-Jeep safari, no need to book in advance.

In this thread I summarized the costs of the various safaris.

We arranged a car from Kaziranga to Tezpur, so i guess to other destinations it is also possible.
| Member
Hi Kanishka... you can get taxi from airport to city. At times a bus also runs from the airport to city. However taxis ply regularly to Paltan Bazar where the Rly. stn. is also situated. A full taxi should take around Rs.300/400. In Paltan Bazar area you will get a large number of hotels and taxi stand from Shillong/Kaziranga etc. Some good hotels around Paltan Bazar are Hotel Nandan, Hotel Mayur, Hotel Siroy Lily, Hotel Atithi, Hotel Mahalxmi etc. is also there. One way trip to shillong by Indica type car (full car) will cost you from Rs.850 to 950. Share taxis are also available. For Kamakhya, take a city bus from Paltan Bazar Nepali Mandir Stoppage to Kamakhya Nursery (foothill) from there you'll get bus or share taxi to the temple. From temple you'll get direct bus to the city. Get down at Kachari and take a bus to Paltan Bazar. You can make the trip by hired car also which you can get in Paltan Bazar area itself or your Hotel can arrange that too. But city bus service is good in Guwahati. Its cheap and frequent.

In shillong try to book a hotel in Police Bazar area. There are number of hotels in the area. Hotel Pegasus Crown, Hotel Alpine COntinental, Hotel Broadway, Hotel Grace etc. are some of the hotels in the area. Police Bazar remains awake till around 10 in the night. Other places in Shillong will be closed by that time and after sun set you'll have hardly anything to do unless you stay in the Police Bazar/Jail Road area. Just opposite to the Main Bus Stand (they call it motor office) in Police Bazar there is the counter for Meghalaya Tourism Deptt. They conduct conducted tour etc. for Shillong and Cherrapunjee. There should be other tours also for places like Mawsynram etc. You can always give a try to their tours. These are guided trips and convenient. You can also hire cars from Shillong. Your Hotel may help you in this regard. A trip to Cherrapunjee should cost you Rs.2000/- to and fro. Night halting charges will be extra I suppose. There is a place called Mawlynnong. They call it the cleanest village in Asia (may be). Its on the Shillong-Dawki Road and takes around 2 and half hours drive from Shillong and an Indica type car charges around 1500 to 2000 for the to and fro trip. I visited the place in April this year. Its worth visiting because of the scenic beauty of the road, the village too is interesting having a beautiful church, a view point and a living root bridge. The way to the root bridge provides you with some adventure and one should be careful with his steps. There are provisions for night stay there but I dont have the details. You can try these numbers for Kolkata Bookings 9831095234/30533974 (source Bhraman Magazine April 2010 issue). We took an Indica for the trip from Shillong driven by a man called Arup (Bengali). He is a gentleman and drives well. His number is 09863064010, you can give a try. We paid Rs.1700/- for the trip to and fro.

It will be convenient to travel to Shillong from Guwahati than from Kaziranga. For Kaziranga you can contact the Assam Tourism Office on the Station Road two buildings away from the RBI Building. Taxis are also available from Paltan Bazar area. I am not sure about the fare but should be within 1500/- one way. Assam Tourism's Aranya resort is a good place to stay. THere is another good resort namely Wild Grass. It takes around 4/5 hours to reach Kaziranga by taxi.

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| Senior Member
Thanks a lot INTERROGATIVE. Its very informative and I am sure its going to help me
| Senior Member
I have pretty much booked the hotels and planned for the trip. Thanks to you all.
A few transport related queries that I have are:
1) What will be the cost of a sumo (full vehicle) from Guwahati to Kaziranga drop?
2) What will be the cost of a sumo (full vehicle) from Kaziranga to Shillong drop?
3) What will be the cost of a sumo (full vehicle) from Shillong to Cherapunji drop?
| Senior Member
Do not miss the evening river cruise on Brahmaputra while in Guwahati.
Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.
| Senior Member
Thanks Indra. I will try to accommodate the cruise.
Do you have any idea about the queries though?
| Senior Member
No, I am afraid. I have been to Guwahati only once, that too on my way back from Arunachal.
Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.
| Senior Member
Sorry for being a bit late in writing down my experiences as I had to travel down to Bangalore the very next day I returned

to Kolkata due to some urgencies in my work.

Day 1
Reached Guwahati by Indigo flight at around 2.30 pm. After much bargaining we finally arranged for a maruti van (7 seater) at

the airport who agreed to take us to our pre-booked hotel (Hotel Minerva) at Pan Bazar for Rs 500. It took us around 45 mins

to reach the hotel and we received a shock to find out that this was by no means a hotel (double room rent 1200). It is a

newly constructed building where they have started a hotel, without a geyser in the toilets, no restaurants ( you cant even

get a cup of tea ), no courteous staffs, etc. I will never stay there again even if someone offers me a free stay.
After reaching the hotel, me and my brother went out to arrange for a vehicle for the next day to take us first to the

Kamakhya Temple in the morning and then drop us to Kaziranga. In order to arrange for one, we walked down to Paltan Bazar

which is just across the overbridge from Pan Bazar (around 15 mins walk). We got quotes ranging from Rs 5000 to 8000 for a

Sumo type vehicle. At the point of losing hope of finding a single decent person to talk to we managed to find a person

called Ali who agreed for this leg of the trip for Rs. 3700.

Day 2
Early morning at 8 am we started for Kamakhya Temple and took the Rs 500 ticket which happens to be the VIP queue. It took us

around 1-1.5 hrs to complete the darshan and by 11 am wwe came back to the hotel to collect our luggage and start for

Kaziranga which is around 235 kms. It took us around 5-6 hours to reach Dhanashree Resort (pre-booked) at Kaziranga. Its a

wonderfully maintained resort in the lap of greeneries. We booked the Jeep Safari for the next day for the Kohra range which

costed us Rs.1700 for a Gypsy (6-people).

Day 3
Usual strolling and relaxing throughout the morning and then after lunch the Safari Gypsy came to pick us up from the resort.
The safari was nice and we got to see an ant-eater, a couple of deers and wild boars, quite a few elephants and a solitary

rhino (though I had to utilize the entire 20X zoom). By 5 pm we were back to the resort. At this juncture we experienced a

twist in the tale. All this while the resort guys had confirmed that they will be able to arrange for a 7 seater vehicle to

Shillong the next day. But today they told us that there is a major conflict going on between the Meghalaya Tourist Taxi

Association and the Assam tourist vehicle Unions. Not a single tourist vehicle from Assam was being allowed in to Shillong

City and there were news of violence as well. We were completely out of ideas as we could see our entire trip getting

jeopardized. Someone suggested that they can arrange for a drop till Jorabat, and from there we can try to find a Meghalaya

registered vehicle to go to Shillong. We did not like the idea as we had a couple of senior citizens in our group. After

brainstorming for an hour or so with the resort managers, we suddenly came up with the idea of hiring two Tata Indica

(Private registered) for a drop till Shillong. It was confirmed by the resort and we had to pay 3800 per Indica. Along with

that we also had the elephant safari booking done for the next morning for which we will have to leave the hotel at 4 am.

Day 4
At 4.30 am a forest gypsy came to pick us up and took us to the elephant safari place around 15 kms from the resort. The

elephant safari was amazing. The big animal was demolishing and eating those tall grasses all along the way and made its way

with its trunk. Here also we saw the exact smae animals which we had seen during our jeep safari yesterday. The good thing is

that the elephant went real close to the rhino and we could see it at a distance of 15 feet from us. We came back to the

resort by 7 am and got ready by 8.30 am as we were told that it would take around 9 hours to reach Shillong ( 200 kms from

Kaziranga to Jorabat and from Jorabat to Shillong its around 80 kms). the two Indicas came on time and we started for

Shillong at 9 am with a lot of apprehensions and the drivers of the indica told us that if any protesters block the way, then

we need to tell them that these are our own vehicles and we were just on a private trip to Shiillong. Although there were a

lot of fear and assumptions, but by the grace of God, nothing actually happened and we reached Shillong 7 pm. We pulled up at

Hotel MiCasa which is a nice hotel, run by some professional people and at a 100 metres distance from the Police Bazaar.

Day 5
As the tourist vehicles were on an indefinite strike, hece we had to book two Maruti 800 Taxis for Rs700 a piece for 7 points

and 4 hours. The tour got over by 3 pm and all evening we were just strolling and doing some marketting in the different

shops and emporiums around the Police Bazaar and Bara Bazaar area.

Day 6
A Mahindra Maxx came to our hotel to pick us up from Shillong and drop us at the Cherapunji Holiday Resort at Cherapunji.

This vehicle was arranged by Mr. D. P. Rayen the owner of the Resort and we had to pay him Rs 1500. We reached Cherapunji in

3 hours ( stopping at 2 viewpoints along our way ). This was an amazing drive. One needs to be there to understand what I am

saying. On reaching the resort we were given a warm welcome by Mr. rayen as well as his staffs. The resort has 6 rooms and

each room and its inmates are given personal care by each and everyone from the management. We could not believe the way

things were managed in such a remote place where the nearest market happens to be around 18 kms. We reached the resort at 2

pm. and wanted to visit the nearest Living Root Bridge that very day. Immediately Mr. Rayen arranged for a guide and four of

us were on our way to the Root Bridge. Its around a 2 km trek downhill and then a 2 km trek uphill to the resort. Each of us

was given a bamboo stick whose use we could not foresee at that point. As our trek went ahead we could realize how important

that stick was. It took us around 1.5 hours to get to the root bridge. We were completely exhausted and was afraid to think

that how much time it would take for us to go back to the resort as it was already almost dark. But the Root Bridge is really

a thing to see. We almost forgot our tiredness once we were there, Our guide, a young man ( Mr. Baht ) had carried 3 litres

of water for us and also 3 torches which proved to be life savers on our way back. To add to it, he took the entire weight of

my wife on his hand for the entire trek. He is indeed a nice and responsible man. The entire trek took us around 4 hours end

to end. The rate for the guide is Rs. 250 but we paid him 500 bucks as a sign of our gratitude.

Day 7
We went for a cherapunji local sight seeing ( the entire day with packed lunch arranged by Mr. Rayen) which covered a lot of

falls, some caves and some viewpoints. Each and every one was unique and wonderful. I can tell you the names of them if you

want to know them. It took us around Rs. 1500 for the entire sight seeing in a Mahindra Maxx. The evening we enjoyed a

bonfire at the hotel and dined with some Khasi delicacies called Jadoh and Pork Neyoing.

Day 8
This was free day where just strolled around the Khasi village around the resort and met with the local tribal people. We

were amazed to see the development work that is being done by Mr Rayen for these villagers.

Day 9
Air India Flight from Shillong to Kolkata. Please be aware that it takes around 4 hours to reach Shillong Airport from

Cherapunji Holidat Resort. It was a nice experience to board a propeller driven ATR plane. The Shillong Airport is also a very picturesque, nice and small airport in the lap of the surrounding hills. Very neat and clean with only one flight operating the entire day. Everything is manual here, so please do expect some delays in obtaining your boarding passes.

Note: No prepaid mobile phone will work for the entire journey. Only postpaid phones will work in Guwahati, Kaziranga and Shillong. In Cherapunji nothing from the plains will work ( not even the postpaid SIMs)
| Reborn-Travel-Redie
Hi Kanishka!!
Nice write up. Although its sad to hear that you faced these problems in the north east. Actually what I've felt personally is that, in comparison to other parts of India, there is very less information available about north east on the web or in general. This makes it really tough to plan perfectly. I would advice you to plan for Arunachal the next time you head for north east (specially in winters).
I am only responsible for what I say, and not what you understand
| Senior Member
you are absolutely correct...... there is very less information abt the north east available on the internet... in fact that is the reason why I tried to put up this write up aligned towards helping people plan the trips rather than full of literature.

I do have a plan to go to the arunachal next time .... and i have already chalked out the route for it.
| Reborn-Travel-Redie

Originally posted by: kanishka_27 View Post

you are absolutely correct...... there is very less information abt the north east available on the internet... in fact that is the reason why I tried to put up this write up aligned towards helping people plan the trips rather than full of literature.

I do have a plan to go to the arunachal next time .... and i have already chalked out the route for it.

Thats great Mate!!

Hope you have a gala time there. The only minus that you need to factor in advance before visiting A.P is the Road conditions. Otherwise its a paradise on earth.
I am only responsible for what I say, and not what you understand
| Maha Guru Member

Originally posted by: style_guru View Post

Thats great Mate!!

Hope you have a gala time there. The only minus that you need to factor in advance before visiting A.P is the Road conditions. Otherwise its a paradise on earth.

@ style_guru, if you have any idea on Eastern Arunachal, request you to have a look into the post here where I have certain doubts specially on Changlang, Anjaw districts of Arunachal. I would be travelling there next month, so any information would be really helpful. You are most welcome to post some comments/share knowledge/facts on these areas in that post.

Thanks again.
| Member

queries regaring north east trip

we are planning to go for shillong cherrapunji and kaziranga this year which month will be the best for that trip and how many days are sufficient for this trip. what are the places there any one can help me . please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
| Member
hi plz share mobile/email ddress.