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India Expedition: Sikkim, Assam & Nagaland

Set off on a 16-day expedition to the unspoiled wildlife reserves, spectacular wetlands and rambling mountain villages that make far-flung northeastern India so spectacular. Learn about the cultures of Sikkim, Assam and Nagaland, search for the iconic one-horned rhinoceros in Kaziranga National Park and take a winding journey on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Explore the floating villages of Majuli Island, visit Gangtok’s controversial Rumtek Monastery and check out a living root bridge – the handiwork of the Khasi people. Be prepared to be wowed by a side of the country few visitors see.

16 days, from


per person


12 people max


Trip code: HHSI
Style: Original
Theme: Expedition


Countries Visited:  India
Accommodation: Hotel (14 nights), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Transportation: Plane , Private vehicle , Heritage train , Overnight sleeper train , Boat , Metro , Taxi
Included Meals:

  • 14 breakfasts
  • 1 lunches
  • 2 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Embark on full day trips to vast national parks, including Kaziranga National Park, home to two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinos, wild boar and incredible birdlife.

  • Wander through thousands of market stalls in Ima Keithel – a female-run bazaar where every vendor is a woman – and discover the local history of feminist activism.

  • Learn about the proud warrior traditions of the Naga people and their resistance against colonial forces, exploring hillside villages like Khonoma and Kigwema.

  • Visit a lush Khasi village dubbed the cleanest in India by the former prime minister, then hike to a living root bridge that looks like something out of a fairy tale.

  • Gaze out at the Himalayas from the Darjeeling Toy Train as it winds its way through the mountains – it doesn’t get much more fun than a steam-powered locomotive ride.


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Kolkata

Namaste! Welcome to Kolkata. Vibrant Kolkata is a hub for Bengali theatre, dance, poetry, art, music and film, and there's usually plenty to choose from at the city's many venues. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting a 6 pm. If you arrive with time to spare, consider visiting the grand Victoria Memorial and spending some time relaxing in the attached park.

Day 2: Imphal

In the morning, fly to Imphal (just over 1 hour). Visit the unique Ima Keithal, a market that is run solely by female traders and has been operating for hundreds of years. The market likely began in the 16th century, when local men left the village en masse due to forced labour policies and women began trading to survive. Female activism has a strong and vibrant history in the region, including anti-colonial protests of the 20th century and, more recently, protests against sexual assault perpetrated by members of the military. Wander around stalls where traders hawk fish, vegetables, crafts made from bamboo and metal, traditional phaneks (sarongs), innephis (stoles/dupattas), indigenous herbs, bangles and more. In your free time, consider visiting the Shri Shri Govindaji Temple.

Day 3: Keibul Lamjao National Park - Imphal

Enjoy a full-day excursion to Keibul Lamjao National Park, home to Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India. Known as the only 'floating park' in the world, Keibul Lamjao is made up of floating plant materials that have decomposed and solidified over time. As the home of 233 different species of aquatic plants, more than 100 species of birds, and 425 species of animals, it's also an incredible place to spend a day exploring. Look out for Indian pythons, sambar, barking deer, civets, monkeys and gibbons.

Day 4: Kigwema Village – Kohima

Depart Imphal in the morning, travelling by road to Kohima (approximately 6 hours). On the way there, stop in at Kigwema Village, a traditional Naga village. The Naga people, who are the Indigenous people of northeastern India and northwest Myanmar, are made up of a variety of tribes that share similar customs and warrior roots. Continue to Kohima, the hilltop capital of Nagaland. 

Day 5: Khonoma Village – Kohima

Set off in the morning on a half-day excursion to Khonoma Village, where the Angami Nagas repeatedly held off British forces who attempted 'punitive expeditions' into their hills. In 1897, after an invading British officer was killed, a bloody war raged for a year before a peace treaty was signed. The resistance of the local Nagas is held in high regard across Nagaland. Today, the inhabitants of Khonoma place a lot of emphasis on wildlife conservation, establishing Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary. In the afternoon, visit Naga Heritage Village for a glimpse of the traditional tribal lifestyle and culture, as well as some historic remnants from the 19th-century British invasion. If time permits, visit the World War II memorial.

Day 6: Kaziranga National Park

In the morning, drive to Kaziranga (approximately 10–12 hours). This is your gateway to Kaziranga National Park, which hosts two-thirds of the world's one-horned rhinos. It's one of the last parts of eastern India that's still largely untouched by a human presence.

Day 7: Kaziranga National Park

Set out on two jeep safaris through Kaziranga National Park today, scheduled for the early morning and the evening to maximise the chances of spotting wildlife. Look out for elephants, deer, wild boar and, of course, the famed one-horned rhino. Local birdlife is also plentiful, so keep an eye on the sky to spot eagles, parakeets, blue-tinged Indian rollers and more.

Day 8: Shillong

After breakfast, make the 7-hour drive to Shillong. You'll arrive in time for an orientation walk with your leader. For dinner, the street food in town is delectable, so perhaps head out tonight for some momos (dumplings) and chutney or local specialty jadoh (spicy and sour rice).

Day 9: Shillong

Make the 3-hour drive from Shillong to Mawlynnong. This tiny village has made a huge commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly living, efforts that saw it crowned ‘Asia’s Cleanest Village’ by India’s former prime minister. Take a walk around the gleaming, litter-free streets – where residents are Khasi – then make a 1.5-hour hike to the nearby living root bridge. It’s an awesome example of the tree sculpting practiced by the Khasi people. Stop at Dawki and admire the crystal-clear waters of the Umngot River, as well as the border with Bangladesh. Return to Shillong. If time (and group energy) permits, it may be possible to walk to Shillong Peak for views over the town.

Day 10: Shillong – Overnight train

Enjoy a morning of leisure to relax and unwind. Depart Shillong and travel to Guwahati (approximately 3 hours). From there, take an overnight train to New Jalpaiguri, departing at around 10 pm.

Day 11: Darjeeling

Rise and shine as the train pulls into New Jalpaiguri at around 6 am. Make tracks for Darjeeling (approximately 3 hours) and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in this lovely Himalayan mountain town. If you have the energy, take a stroll around to check out the colonial-era architecture. If you're feeling the effects of a few long travel days, maybe just find a spot to enjoy a cuppa as you gaze at the spectacular views of the Himalayas (weather-depending, of course).

Day 12: Darjeeling

Shake off the sleep with an early morning walk to Tiger Hill (approximately 1 hour). Catch a glorious sunrise over the snowy peak of Kanchenjunga – the world’s third-highest mountain, then return to Darjeeling for a few hours at your leisure. In the afternoon, transfer to Ghoom and board the Darjeeling Toy Train. Winding your way through the mount this classic steam-powered locomotive is probably the most romantic way to experience the Himalayan landscape.

Day 13: Gangtok

Head to Gangtok in the morning (approximately 4 hours). This is the capital of the northeastern state of Sikkim. Its chaotically laid-out townscape and jovial atmosphere make it a nice place to walk around. Perhaps head to a local viewpoint and, if it's clear, spot the majestic peak of Khangchendzonga in the distance.

Day 14: Gangtok

Sprawling down a mountain ridge, this town is a haven for Tibetan Buddhists. Visit the monastery at Rumtek and perhaps hike to the old Gompa a little further down the road. In your spare time, perhaps pick up some local tea or explore the Tibetology museum. 

Day 15: Kolkata

Drive to the airport in Bagdogra (approximately 3 hours), then fly back to Kolkata (approximately 1 hour). If the hustle and bustle are too much to bear after your mountain getaway, you can explore the vast green fields of the Maidan (also known as ‘the lungs of Kolkata’) or take refuge in the beautiful botanic gardens along the banks of the Hooghly River.

Day 16: Kolkata

With no activities planned for today, your trip comes to an end this morning.