Chapter III – Bangladesh & the Easternmost extremity of India
DAY 23- 03rd November, 2015, Tuesday- Thursday – A Day in Dhaka
You will be delighted to have an entire day in Dhaka city. The city has a charm like no other- from speeding autorickshaws that make traffic lights redundant, to small boat and ferry rides at the Sadarghat, to the colourful rickshaw art in the busy streets of the old city. You are bound to fall in love with the hustle and bustle of Sadar Bazaar in the old Dhaka city. In the afternoon, you will be served the famous Dhakai cuisine for lunch.
For the remaining part of the day you will visit the Lalbagh fort, the Dhaka University and drive past the National Parliament building. You will be in Dhaka on the eve of Kali Puja and this might just be the opportunity for you to join in the celebrations with the locals. Dinner will be served at the hotel.
DAY 24- 04th November, 2015, Wednesday – Waterways, Weavers and Sonargaon
Not very far from the city of Dhaka, is located a historic and once a busy maritime centre called Sonargaon. You will be driven to this old city but not before you have seen the Jamdani weavers and had a cruise along the Shitalakkha river. Jamdani sarees are the most exquisite pieces of sarees and have been much sought after all around the world.
In the afternoon your visit to Sonargaon- the old capital city of Bengal would follow and subsequently, you will also visit the Panam village, the Goaldi mosque and the Bara Sarder Bari. Later in the evening, you will be driven to Comilla. Dinner will be at the hotel.
DAY 25- 05th November, 2015, Thursday – Hitching a Local Eco-friendly Ride Back to India
After your breakfast at the hotel, you will board battery rickshaws and take a scenic tour of the border villages around Comilla before you reach the border for your visa formalities.
Once you have crossed the border to the Indian side into the eastern state of Tripura, you will board your vehicles and head to the lake palace in Udaipur- the Neer Mahal. The palace lies right in the middle of the Rudra Sagar lake. After lunch you will then take a two hour road journey to the city of Agartala where you will be staying for the night.
DAY 26- 06th November, 2015, Friday – Gods in Stone- Unakoti
Your road journey to Unakoti will begin early. Unakoti is bound to be one of the most interesting places in this phase of your journey. If you have ever heard stories of Gods turning into stone, this would be one opportunity to see it. An ancient myth has been handed down in these parts. It is said that Lord Shiva was once on his way to the holy city of Benares (Varanasi) along with 10 million(1 crore= 10,000,000) other gods and goddesses including him. While taking rest on the hill for the night, He warned them(His divine mates) to wake up before sun-rise. The following morning only Shiva got up, so in his anger he cursed the other gods and goddesses and turned them into stone. Since it was only Lord Shiva, who walked away from the place, the hill was called Unakoti( one less than a crore).
After the hike, you will check in at the hotel and later in the evening proceed for dinner.
DAY 27- 07th November, 2015, Saturday – To the Hills of Jampui
After the hike and the sweat at Unakoti, not forgetting the long hours on the road, you now head for a peaceful and quiet retreat to the hills of Jampui. You have an entire day to yourself and you might want to give your weary bones some rest and enjoy the beautiful views of both the setting and rising sun from various view points on the hill.
DAY 28- 08th November, 2015, Sunday – Aizawl
You will not want to miss the breathtaking sunrise at Jampui. Once you have that covered, you travel for another six hours along narrow winding roads, driving past little huts and hamlets into the state of Mizoram. The ride will be bumpy but interesting. Since you will be staying on the road for a while, you will be treated to a packed lunch en route. You will arrive at Aizawl late in the afternoon after which you will check into your hotel room.
In the evening you may take a walk down to the popular and busy Bara Bazaar (market). The people in Mizoram are shy but very friendly. So, this will be your opportunity to engage with the locals.
DAY 29- 09th November, 2015, Monday – Meeting a Very Special Family
You will be heading out to the village of Thenzawl. However, you make a short stop at the village of Baktawng to meet Mr. Ziona Chana and his family. Mr. Chana shares the rare distinction of having the world’s largest family and his name is registered in the Guinness Book of World Records.
After having lunch with the family members in Baktawng, you will continue your drive to Thenzawl. The Tropic of Cancer runs through this little village which is also famous for its traditional Mizo hand-loom weaving.
DAY 30- 10th November, 2015, Tuesday – The Looms of ‘Mizo’ Land
In the morning, you can learn about indigenous weaving techniques used by the residents of Thenzawl village. You will then travel further east towards the Indian border with Myanmar, to a small town by the name of Champai. This region is the rice bowl of Mizoram. The drive to Champhai will last for approximately six hours. Since, most of the day will be spent travelling, you will have the rest of the day at your disposal.
DAY 31- 11th November, 2015, Wednesday – A Day For Stories and Wine Making
Many folk tales exist in this part of the country. Not more than 12 kms from the town of Champai, lies a sleepy old village by the name of Zote. On your visit to this village, you are likely to hear stories of gigantic eagles that often attacked villagers. If you are not inclined to believe them, then let them show you the caves where the villagers took refuge from these eagles.
Mizoram is an alcohol free state but the Mizos love their grape wine. So, after your visit to the Zote village, you head to Hnahlan, where you will be able to see some wine making.
DAY 32- 12th November, 2015, Thursday – Saturday- End of the Line
After a hearty breakfast and a cup of tea, you will get on to your respective vehicles and make your way back to Aizawl. Since, this journey will be a bit longer, we will ensure that we hand you those little lunch boxes somewhere along the way. You will be reaching Aizawl in the evening and after checking into your respective rooms, you will proceed for dinner at a local restaurant.
From here on wards we bid adieu to the northern tropics and head up to the Khasi hills in the state of Meghalaya. This would be our last night in the state of Mizoram.
DAY 33- 13th November, 2015, Sunday – In the Land of the Khasis
After your breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to the domestic airport in Aizawl in order to board the flight to Guwahati. On your arrival at the Guwahati airport, you will be driven to Cherrapunji. It should be a wonderful drive as you drive along the rolling meadows under the blue skies. At Cherrapunji, you will be checked in at the local resort and later proceed for dinner.
DAY 34- 14th November, 2015, Saturday – A Day to Unwind
Well…Cherrapunji should be fun and what you do here is entirely your call. So be it taking a day’s hike to the living root bridge, or even cycling alongside the beautiful meadows of the lower Himalayas, you would have a good number of ways to wile your time away.
At the end of the day you will return to the resort in Cherrapunji and meet your friends for dinner.
DAY 35- 15th November, 2015, Sunday- The Last Day of the Journey
On this day we drive you right to the border village of Dawki, show you what the plains of Bangladesh look like from the Indian side and then head onwards to supposedly the world’s cleanest village- Mawlynnong. You can met and interact with the people of the village here and share a local meal with them. You can also take a walk down to one of nature’s most curious inventions- the living root bridge.
On the last night of this long journey, we get together to celebrate this long, thrilling and inspirational journey and share some of the most interesting experiences… and laugh away a few funny ones.
DAY 36- 16th November, 2015, Monday- La Despedida
Breakfast will be served at the hotel and later you will be transferred to the Guwahati airport to board your flight to Delhi later in the afternoon.
DAY 37- 17th November, 2015, Tuesday – Departure from Delhi
You will be provided transfers in accordance with your flight timings.