To Book your Taxi for Kaziranga National Park and other destinations in North East India please call us on: +91 7086873676
We offer a wide range of Vehicles as Taxis starting from Tempo Traveller, Toyota Innovas, Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, Maruti Wagon R, Maruti Alto, Hyundai Xcents on hire to Kaziranga National Park. Our drivers are best in class people from Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland who are very well accustomed to the driving conditions and the tourist destinations across North East India and take you on a remarkable journey to Kaziranga National Park with utmost safety. We undertake groups to Kaziranga National Park as well as individual families. Our Taxi hire rates from Guwahati to Kaziranga are among the most affordable in the class and services are also superior.
Please find below details of our Fleet and Fares –
|Vehicle Type||Tariff Starting from||Services||Inclusions|
|Toyota Innova||INR 3800 per day||Driver cum Guide||Vehicle Fuel, Driver Allowance, Parkings|
|Tempo Traveller||INR 5800 per day||Driver cum Guide||Vehicle Fuel, Driver Allowance, Parkings|
|Maruti Ertiga||INR 3700 per day||Driver cum Guide||Vehicle Fuel, Driver Allowance, Parkings|
|Hyundai Verna||INR 3500 per day||Driver cum Guide||Vehicle Fuel, Driver Allowance, Parkings|
|Tata Sumo Gold||INR 3700 per day||Driver cum Guide||Vehicle Fuel, Driver Allowance, Parkings|
|Swift Dzire||INR 3500 per day||Driver cum Guide||Vehicle Fuel, Driver Allowance, Parkings|
|Hyundai Xcent||INR 3500 per day||Driver cum Guide||Vehicle Fuel, Driver Allowance, Parkings|
|Maruti Alto||INR 3000 per day||Driver cum Guide||Vehicle Fuel, Driver Allowance, Parkings|
|Maruti WagonR||INR 3200 per day||Driver cum Guide||Vehicle Fuel, Driver Allowance, Parkings|
To Book Taxi Service to Kaziranga National Park please find the form below –
Kaziranga National Park is located at a distance of 225 km from the city of Guwahati in Assam. The Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport at Guwahati is well connected to various destinations in India and has direct flights flying in from the major metro cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. Although the nearest Airport to Kaziranga National Park is at Jorhat (95 km), the schedule of flights to this airport is not very frequent so the best mode to reach Kaziranga National Park is to arrive at Guwahati and drive to Kaziranga by road which is around a 4 hour drive. The roads are pretty good on this drive and the lush tea gardens and paddy fields of Assam are along the entire way to bring a soothing feel of nature at calm during the drive. The nearest well connected and accessible railway station is also at Guwahati so without doubt the best way to reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park is to get down at the Airport/Railway Station and hire a cab to reach Kaziranga. This Taxi Route from Guwahati to Kaziranga road stretch extends across Guwahati, Sonapur, Jagiroad, Nagaon, Amoni, Kaliabor, Jakhalabandha and finally to reach Kaziranga National Park. The road is a four lane highway from Guwahati to Nagaon following which at present it is a two lane highway to Kaziranga National Park. The four way lane route is under construction at present and will be completed in a short time. Even though the road stretch is a two lane highway the taxis from Guwahati to Kaziranga ply comfortably as the road condition is good. Our Taxis from Guwahati to Kaziranga are all is new condition and with the best possible suspension systems so that you do not feel the minor bumps on the road and your journey is of utmost comfort from Guwahati to Kaziranga National Park. Our drivers understand the needs of the customer and will always ensure to go the additional mile to keep you and your family the most comfortable. If you do not feel comfortable along your journey due to motion sickness feel free to ask our driver to halt for a short while and you get a chance to catch a breath of air across the sprawling paddy fields of Assam. There are food courts and restaurants at regular intervals with the most neat, clean, comfortable and delicious ones being at Sonapur, Jagiroad, Nagaon Bypass route and Amoni. So whenever you feel hungry ask the driver for good eateries at these locations and adequate stops will be made for you and your family. Our main motto is to make your journey comfortable because we believe in Lord Buddha’s words that “IT IS BETTER TO TRAVEL WELL THAN TO ARRIVE”! With these magical words we welcome you to Kaziranga National Park on an exciting Taxi Journey from Guwahati to Kaziranga!
We will work with our customers directly and assist them in designing a best circuit for their travel from Guwahati to Kaziranga. We handle customers travelling not only from Guwahati to Kaziranga but also from Shillong to Kaziranga by Taxi, Cherrapunji to Kaziranga by Taxi, Mawlynnong to Kaziranga by Taxi, Mawsynram to Kaziranga by Taxi, Nameri to Kaziranga by Taxi, Manas to Kaziranga by Taxi, Pobitora to Kaziranga by Taxi, Dirang to Kaziranga by Taxi, Bomdila to Kaziranga by Taxi, Itanagar to Kaziranga by Taxi, Ziro to Kaziranga by Taxi, Dimapur to Kaziranga by Taxi, Kohima to Kaziranga by Taxi, Mon to Kaziranga by Taxi, Jorhat to Kaziranga by Taxi, Majuli Island to Kaziranga by Taxi, Imphal to Kaziranga by Taxi, Kaziranga to Sibsagar by Taxi, Kaziranga to Dibrugarh by Taxi, Kaziranga to Tinsukia by Taxi, Kaziranga to Tezu by Taxi, Kaziranga to Roing by Taxi, Kaziranga to Dibru Saikhowa by Taxi, Kaziranga to Namdapha National Park by Taxi, Assam Taxi, Meghalaya Taxi, Nagaland Taxi, Arunachal Pradesh Taxi, etc.
We offer Taxi Services along the following standard circuits and also beyond:
- Guwahati – Kaziranga – Guwahati
- Guwahati – Shillong – Cherrapunji – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Kaziranga – Guwahati
- Guwahati – Kaziranga – Majuli – Jorhat – Sivasagar – Jorhat
- Guwahati – Kaziranga – Nameri – Dirang – Tawang – Bomdila – Guwahati
- Guwahati – Kaziranga – Itanagar – Ziro Valley – Guwahati
- Dimapur – Kohima – Kaziranga – Guwahati
- Dibrugarh – Tinsukia – Roing – Tezu – Kaziranga – Guwahati
- Dibrugarh – Miao – Namdapha – Margherita – Digboi – Kaziranga – Guwahati
- Guwahati – Shillong – Kaziranga – Guwahati
- Dibrugarh – Pasighat – Aalo – Daporijo – Ziro – Itanagar – Kaziranga – Guwahati
Our Vehicle Fleet from Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi –
Terms and Conditions Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi –
- Taxi Bookings needs to be confirmed 2 weeks prior to arrival at Guwahati Airport/Guwahati Railway Station
- From other destinations Taxi Bookings need to be confirmed 3 weeks prior to departure
- Taxi Booking will be considered final upon our confirmation Email based on subject to availability of Cabs
- Travel will be based upon existing Itinerary Confirmation. Last minute changes in Itinerary is not applicable to avoid inconvenience to guests
- Air Conditioning will not work on Hilly terrains
- As per Government Rules and Regulations Carrier is not allowed
- Our Costs include Fuel Expenses, Driver Allowances, Vehicle Fare and Parkings
- Taxi will be available for your service from morning 6 AM and last time for Taxi run will be 8 PM (Maximum). In Hilly areas services will be available until 7 PM only
- Alcohol Consumption and Smoking is strictly prohibited inside the Taxi premises
- Driver Tips is solely at the customer’s discretion
Payments Terms and Cancellations Kaziranga to Guwahati Taxi –
- Upon confirmation an advance amount of 20% of total trip amount has be paid to confirm the availability of your Taxi (Non-refundable)
- Balance 80% of trip amount has to be cleared upon arrival at Guwahati Airport/Railway Station or start of journey from Other destination
Sample Itinerary for Travel to Kaziranga from Guwahati –
Day 1 ~ Guwahati – Cherrapunji
Arrive at Guwahati Airport and depart to Cherrapunji. On the way sight the Umiam Lake. At Cherrapunji, visit the Majestic Nohkalikai Falls (India’s tallest plunge waterfall) and spot the exotic view here. Also visit the Seven Sisters Falls and the Mawsmai Caves at Cherrapunji.
Night Stay: Resorts/Cottages at Cherrapunji
Meals Included: NA
Day 2 ~ Cherrapunji – Mawlynnong – Dawki – Shillong
After breakfast enroute to Dawki (Indo-Bangladesh) border and enjoy boating on the clear waters of the Umngot River at Dawki. Later visit to Mawlynnong (Asia’s cleanest Village). At Mawlynnong visit the Living Root Bridges, sight the balancing rocks and take a walk along the Cleanest Village of Asia. Experience the rich culture of the Khasi Tribes of Meghalaya at Mawlynnong. Later depart to Shillong for night halt. At Shillong, visit the Madina Masjid (India’s only Glass Mosque).
Night Stay: Comfortable Hotel/Guest House at Shillong
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 3 ~ Shillong – Kaziranga National Park
After Breakfast, do local sight seeing at Shillong City. Visit the Ward’s Lake and the Don-Bosco Museum at Shillong. Later depart to the Kaziranga National Park. On the way spot the majestic Tea Gardens of Assam.
Night Stay: Comfortable Hotel at the Kaziranga National Park
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 4 ~ Kaziranga National Park – Kaziranga Orchid Park – Guwahati
Early morning go for a Jeep Safari into the Kaziranga National Park from the Bagodi/Kohora Safari Range at the National Park. Later in the day visit the Kaziranga Orchid and Bio-Diversity Park at Kaziranga National Park. The Kaziranga Orchid and Bio-Diveristy Park is the Largest Orchid Park in India. Depart to Guwahati.
Night Stay: Comfortable Hotel at Guwahati
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 5 ~ Kamakhya Temple – Depart
Early morning visit the holy Kamakhya Temple at Guwahati. After breakfast you will depart to Guwahati Airport for your onward destination. Trip Ends. Bid Adieu!
Meals Included: Breakfast
Sample Itinerary (Option 2) for travel to Kaziranga National Park –
Day 1 ~ Guwahati
Arrive at Guwahati Airport. On arrival you will be received by our representative at the airport offering a warm welcome in traditional Assamese style. From the Airport drive to the Holy Kamakhya Temple. Dedicated to the revered Goddess of Maa Kamkhya, the Kamakhya Temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas in India and the most revered shrine in North East India famous for its cult of Tantric practices in the early era. Check in to your Hotel in Guwahati city. In the evening we will visit the Srimanta Kalakhetra at Guwahati city which details the History and Culture of the State of Assam.
Night Stay: Comfortable Hotel at Guwahati
Meals Included: NA
Day 2 ~ Guwahati – Sonapur – Kaziranga National Park
After Breakfast we will proceed to Sonapur to visit the Treasured Wheels Museumthat has on display vintage Cars and Motor Bikes from the Era of World War II. Later we will depart to the Kaziranga National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kaziranga National Park is home to the highest population of the Endangered One Horned Rhinoceros species anywhere in the world. On arrival check into a Comfortable hotel/Guest House. Visit the nearby tea gardens in the late afternoon. Evening Bon fire and cultural performances (Bihu Dance of Assam) on request.
Night Stay: Comfortable Hotel at the Kaziranga National Park
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 3 ~ Kaziranga National Park – Kaziranga Orchid Park ~ Majuli Island
Early morning go for a Jeep Safari into the Kaziranga National Park from the Bagodi/Kohora Safari Range at the National Park. Later in the day visit the Kaziranga Orchid and Bio-Diversity Park at Kaziranga National Park. The Kaziranga Orchid and Bio-Diveristy Park is the Largest Orchid Park in India. Later depart to Majuli Island. Night halt at a comfortable Resort/Homestay at Majuli Island.
Night Stay: Resort/Homestay at Majuli Island
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 4 ~ Majuli Island
Today we visit the Satras (Assamese Monasteries) and learn about the Neo Vaisnavite culture that is practiced by the monks. Explore the mysteries of the Largest River Island in the World also learn about the lost art of Mask making. Spend time spotting rare birds and fishing. Spend the later part of the day at Majuli with the local people learning about their traditional arts & crafts. Spend time Bird-watching and at leisure. Evening, spend time savoring the locally brewed ‘Apong’ and other servings prepared by the locally by the Bon fire.
Night Stay: Resort/Homestay at Majuli Island
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 5 ~ Majuli Island – Jorhat
After Breakfast depart to Jorhat. Visit the ‘Dhekiakhua Bor Namghor – home to the oldest burning oil lamp in the world’ and the Lachit Maidam. Lachit Borphukan was the bravest General of the Ahom Army. The best cadre from NDA gets awarded with the Lachit Borphukan title honor. In the evening visit the Silk Showroom at Jorhat to buy a memoir of the Grandeur of the Silks of Assam. Night halt at Jorhat.
Night Stay: Hotel MDs Continental at Jorhat
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 6 ~ Sivasagar and Depart from Dibrugarh Airport
After breakfast depart to Sivasagar – the land of the Mighty Ahom Kings. Admire the Engineering marvels of the ‘Talatal Ghar’ and the ‘Rang Ghar’ at Sibasagar. We will drop you at the Dibrugarh Airport for your onward destination. Trip Ends. Bid Adieu!
Meals Included: Breakfast
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How to Reach Kaziranga National Park
By Airways to Kaziranga – Nearest airport to Kaziranga National Park is the Jorhat airport located at around at distance of about 97 Km. Guwahati Airport being located at about 217 km from the Kaziranga National Park. These airports are well connected by road to Kaziranga National Park and we at Kaziranga Taxi provide you best Taxi options from Guwahati to Kaziranga National Park.
By Rail Network to Kaziranga – The nearest railway station from Kaziranga National Park is at Furkating that is located at a distance of around 75 Km from the Park. Trains to Furkating are available via Guwahati which is well connected with the rest of India by rail. Guwahati railway station is best option to get down and the option is to Hire Kaziranga Taxi from Guwahati Railway Station to Kaziranga National Park.
By Road Network to Kaziranga – Kaziranga National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Kaziranga National Park at frequent intervals. Kaziranga Taxi offers you best in class Taxi Services from Guwahati to Kaziranga National Park.
Approximate Distances from Major Cities to Kaziranga National Park
Guwahati – Around 194 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Jorhat – Around 112 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Tezpur – Around 51 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Shillong – Around 254 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Delhi – Around 2095 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Kolkata – Around 1127 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Mumbai – Around 2766 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Bangalore – Around 2982 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Ahmedabad – Around 2678 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Lucknow – Around 1460 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Hyderabad – Around 2065 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Jaipur – Around 2119 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Chandigarh – Around 2138 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Chennai – Around 2777 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Allahabad – Around 1400 kilometers. Hire Guwahati to Kaziranga Taxi from Airport.
Our Fleet of Vehicles offering Taxi Services in Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram and Agartala ~
1| Force Tempo Traveller
Kaziranga Taxi presents to you its fleet of Tempo Travellers for group Tours across North East India in Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. We have a dedicated fleet of Tempo Travellers originating from Guwahati that ply across the States of Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. All of our Tempo Travellers are new in condition and have well trained Drivers and Conductors. We have various series of Tempo Travellers from 13 seater, 17 seater and 26 seater based upon your group size. We can cater to individual families as well as large corporate groups to conduct tours to various destinations in North East India.
The Tempo Travellers of Kaziranga Taxi are all luxury cabs with a host of features like 2650CC/3200CC Powerful engines, Dual air-conditioning, Reclining and Pushback seats, GPS trackers, Arm wrests, Mobile charging points, Seat belts, Music player, etc. These Tempo Travellers of Guwahati Taxi come with Anti lock Braking Systems (ABS) with Electronic Brake Force distribution (EBD) for best in class safety during your journey. The ABS in the Tempo Travellers of Kaziranga Taxi prevent the wheels from locking when braking on slippery or winding roads. Also, the EBD ensures brake force distribution taking into account the load on each of the wheels and helping to shorten the stopping distance of the Tempo Traveller. Ideally suited for Inter and Intra city travel, these Tempo Travellers of Guwahati Taxi have a Monocoque body structure that provides total safety and better ride quality. The Tempo Travellers of Kaziranga Taxi have roomy and elegant interiors and have a high roof structure that offers clear standing height enabling easy internal movements. The Tempo Travellers of Kaziranga Taxi also offer better safety on account of four piston front disc brakes and larger dia drum brakes in the rear. Tempo Travellers of Kaziranga Taxi are also engineered to deliver significant reduction in noise, vibrations and harshness in the passenger area. All in all, these Tempo Travellers have all the requisite features to make your journey across North East India a most comfortable and memorable one to be cherished forever along with all beautiful destinations you will cover in your Itinerary.
2| Toyota Innova Mini Van
Kaziranga Taxi fleet comprises of ultra modern Toyota Innovas for family and group tours. We have a dedicated fleet of Toyota Innovas in Guwahati, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland. Kaziranga Taxi will be available across all the transit Airports of each State to pick you up on luxury Toyota Innovas and conduct you memorable tour smoothly without any hassle and delay. Kaziranga Taxi well trained Drivers who also act as your guide shall act as your perfect host in India’s Paradise Unexplored – North East India.
Toyota Innovas of Kaziranga Taxi vary from 7 seater/8 seater models based upon the requirement of the customers and are equipped with all modern amenities like air conditioning, power windows, reclining seats, seat belts, music systems, heater, airbags for safety, improved suspension for a comfortable journey, ABS for safety during ride, room lamps, etc. However, we believe that without a good driver even though a vehicle might have all the modern features, the journey is not yet interesting and exciting! We at Kaziranga Taxi ensure that our drivers are polite to our esteemed customers and do not indulge in any activity to make your journey unpleasant. Our trained drivers accompany you along on your journey as a guide and ensure to make your visit to North East India along with Guwahati Taxi one to cherish for a lifetime.
3| Maruti Suzuki Ertiga MUV
A recent addition to our fleet, the MUV series of vehicles comprise of the luxury Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. With similar seating capacity as the Toyota Innova, the Suzuki Ertiga of Guwahati Taxi takes you on an unmatched ride across the toughest terrains of North East India viz. from the border of India and Bangladesh at Dawki, upto the snowy mountains of Tawang to the slow paced roads of Mon in Nagaland. The Maruti Suzuki Ertiga enables you on your journey to enjoy your moments with your family and loved ones while adding a touch of style to your journey too. With 5+2 seating options, the Suzuki Ertiga is one of the most preferred vehicles for an average family count. With spacious interiors, the Suzuki Ertiga is the exact mode of transport necessary in the North East Region of India where each of the beautiful locations are located at a certain distance from each other and requires an adequate travel time to reach.
Suzuki Ertigas of Kaziranga Taxi vary from 6 seater/7 seater models based upon the requirement of the customers and are equipped with all modern amenities like air conditioning, power windows, reclining seats, seat belts, music systems, heater, airbags for safety, improved suspension for a comfortable journey, ABS for safety during ride, room lamps, etc. However, we believe that without a good driver even though a vehicle might have all the modern features, the journey is not yet interesting and exciting! We at Kaziranga Taxi ensure that our drivers are polite to our esteemed customers and do not indulge in any activity to make your journey unpleasant. Our trained drivers accompany you along on your journey as a guide and ensure to make your visit to North East India along with Kaziranga Taxi one to cherish for a lifetime.
4| Mahindra Scorpio SUV
When it comes to certain destinations in North East India, the best mode of transport to reach these magical places where not many tourists go to, the best mode of transport are SUV vehicles like the Tata Sumo and Mahindra Scorpio. As it is aptly said, ‘To see something spectacular you have to go through a challenging path (in this case the roads)’. Be it the wilderness of Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh, the fearsome tattooed Konyak headhunters of Mon in Nagaland, the besit biodiversity hotspot in India at Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh, the hilly terrains of Mizoram, the easternmost frontiers of India at Walong, Dong and Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh, the tribal frontiers of Arunachal Pradesh at Aloo, Pasighat and Daporijo, the most recommended vehicles for your tour are these SUVs of Guwahati Taxi. Equipped with state of the art suspension systems, these SUVs minimize the bump of the roads ensuring that you reach your favored destination with ease. The unmatched power and torque, wide wheels, superior braking systems, anti lock braking systems (ABS), 4 Wheel drives, cushion suspension systems, quick airconditioning of these SUVs of Kaziranga Taxi makes sure that you leave North East India with memories of the most comfortable drives across the most tough terrains.
The SUVs of Kaziranga Taxi vary from 5 seater/6 seater models based upon the requirement of the customers and are equipped with all modern amenities like air conditioning, power windows, reclining seats, seat belts, music systems, heater, airbags for safety, improved suspension for a comfortable journey, ABS for safety during ride, room lamps, etc. However, we believe that without a good driver even though a vehicle might have all the modern features, the journey is not yet interesting and exciting! We at Kaziranga Taxi ensure that our drivers are polite to our esteemed customers and do not indulge in any activity to make your journey unpleasant. Our trained drivers accompany you along on your journey as a guide and ensure to make your visit to North East India along with Kaziranga Taxi one to cherish for a lifetime.
5| Hyundai Verna and Swift Dzire Sedans
Kaziranga Taxi offers a wide range of Sedan Taxis that are comfortable for a small family tour. These sedans of Kaziranga Taxi are comfortable to ply on good roads and are suitable to explore Assam, Meghalaya and parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland where roads are good and drives are shorter. Kaziranga Taxi offers very new Sedan vehicles as Taxi service for your tours across North East India. All these sedans come with a dedicated boot space that can comfortably accommodate your luggage behind while you enjoy a comfortable drive on your journey across India’s Paradise Unexplored. The well trained drivers of Kaziranga Taxi make sure that your journey is filled with utmost comfort.
The Sedans of Kaziranga Taxi vary from 3 seater/4 seater models based upon the requirement of the customers and are equipped with all modern amenities like air conditioning, power windows, reclining seats, seat belts, music systems, heater, airbags for safety, improved suspension for a comfortable journey, ABS for safety during ride, room lamps, etc. However, we believe that without a good driver even though a vehicle might have all the modern features, the journey is not yet interesting and exciting! We at Kaziranga Taxi ensure that our drivers are polite to our esteemed customers and do not indulge in any activity to make your journey unpleasant. Our trained drivers accompany you along on your journey as a guide and ensure to make your visit to North East India along with Kaziranga Taxi one to cherish for a lifetime.
6| Hyundai Eon and Maruti Wagon R Hatchbacks
These Hatchbacks are smaller vehicle offerings of Kaziranga Taxi and are prefect for a group of 2 or 3 travellers to Kaziranga National Park. Often there are individual travellers who come on their journey to Kaziranga national Park and they prefer these hatchbacks for their travel as the costs of hiring these vehicles are less than the earlier vehicles. These hatchbacks even though are small in size do not compromise on your comfort and safety. Kaziranga Taxi deploys a fleet of air conditioned hatchbacks vehicles equipped with seat belts, ABS, music system and other luxuries.
The Hatchbacks of Kaziranga Taxi vary from 3 seater/4 seater models based upon the requirement of the customers and are equipped with all modern amenities like air conditioning, power windows, reclining seats, seat belts, music systems, heater, airbags for safety, improved suspension for a comfortable journey, ABS for safety during ride, room lamps, etc. However, we believe that without a good driver even though a vehicle might have all the modern features, the journey is not yet interesting and exciting! We at Kaziranga Taxi ensure that our drivers are polite to our esteemed customers and do not indulge in any activity to make your journey unpleasant. Our trained drivers accompany you along on your journey as a guide and ensure to make your visit to North East India along with Kaziranga Taxi one to cherish for a lifetime.
7| Camper Vans – Jeep Thar and Tempo Traveler
If you are an adventure seeker and love to explore on your own discovering new places that are not followed by the normal tourists then we have special caravan vehicles for you that you can take along on your tour across North East India. We associate ourselves with esteemed people who rent them out to visitors. We have two forms of such caravan vehicles with us (i) Mahindra Thar (ii) Modified Tempo Traveler. The Mahindra Thar vehicle is owned by a young and dynamic person who is based out of Shillong and this vehicle has tents for you stay along with barbecue options in the open meadows of North East India. The Tempo traveler caravan van is owned by one of the prominent restaurateurs of Guwahati.
8| Drive your own Vehicle
Instead of hiring a taxi if you would like to drive on your own we have smaller cars at our disposal which we can provide to you if you would love to drive on your own across North East India at Assam and Meghalaya. Our vehicles are four seater vehicles so if you are travelling in a smaller group you can hire our vehicle to drive across the prominent tourist places. Do let us know if you would like to avail this option for hiring your own vehicle instead of a taxi and we will check for the availability of the vehicle and respond to you as soon as possible.
Guwahati to Shillong – Taxi experience
For my numerous visits to Shillong during my times of working as a Sales Manager with a reputed IT hardware company of India and handling operations across North East India I had to avail the services of a taxi both private as well as shared to travel to Shillong from Guwahati. The availing of taxi service from Guwahati to Shillong and Shillong back to Guwahati would be dependent on the number of people from the company travelling from and if I was alone I would hire the services of a shared taxi while if three of us were travelling together we would hire the services of a private taxi to go to Shillong from Guwahati. I will narrate my experience of hiring both these taxi services and how to go about hiring a taxi.
To initiate new business and further to propagate more sales we used to travel as a team from Guwahati to Shillong wherein sales personnel from 3 different verticals would travel together in a taxi to Shillong and we would pick up certain organizations and smaller sales companies whom we referred to as partners. While two of us would visit different organizations another one person would visit the market area and hold business meetings with the partners. The taxi ride from Guwahati to Shillong takes around 3 hours because once we enter Shillong the chaos of traffic is too bad especially from the stretch of Mawiong to the NEHU junction and continuing further up to the bara bazaar, rhino point and police bazaar area.
Because we cannot go very early in the morning as the business establishments begin their operations at around 11 AM so we leave Guwahati to Shillong by taxi around 7.30 AM having our breakfast on the way at Nongpoh and further up to Shillong to continue on our business activity and later return back to Guwahati by the same taxi. In one of the taxi journeys from Guwahati to Shillong we hired the services of a taxi by a local cab company and the hire services were based on a per day cost and for the local conveyance in Shillong we would be charged per km and based on the km the taxi would run we would be charged a fixed amount multiplied by the no of km we had covered. It was a fair deal as the taxi hire services would cost us INR 3000 for a sedan and as the three of us would have a fixed daily allowance of INR 1500 per head (for outstation travel) we could manage to share the costs of travel and the local conveyance along with our food expense as well. It was decided that the other two people would use their own vehicle to come to my house at Lokhra in Guwahati and from here the taxi would pick us up and we would continue on our drive to Shillong via the various places in Assam and Meghalaya and reach Shillong where we would conduct our business activities and by evening return to Guwahati.
It was a Tuesday when we had planned to travel to Shillong from Guwahati via taxi and at morning around 7.15 AM the other two members had come to my house and we had a cup of tea and started on our travel to Shillong and the taxi arrived at my home at 7.30 AM. The driver was one of the guys who had driven us once to Shillong earlier and we were happy to find him again because the last time he drove us safely and he was also very cheerful and not grumpy like some taxi drivers who refuse to ply to certain areas just because traffic would be a little more at those places and also the roads used to be a but narrow. As Shillong is a city built on a valley so roads at certain parts of the city are narrow and one has to wait for the cars to pass through one direction and then only cross with the vehicle. Also we bring intercity driver cars it is always better to make way for the locals at first to avoid landing into argument with them. We cannot blame the drivers as well as they do not want to jump into altercations with the locals. Anyways with a smile on our faces and our office bags on our backs we started on our drive to Shillong from Guwahati.
The driver took us via the Lokhra Charali area to go to the Khanapara area in Guwahati that serves as a state border of Assam and Meghalaya. The left side of the road is the side in Assam and the right side of the road is in Meghalaya. This junction serves as an important point in the interstate bus movement and taxi routes as many people who live in Guwahati (belonging to other states as well) also come here to catch the busses to various destinations in Upper Assam and other states as well like Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh. The road connectivity is present via Assam to all these states and hence busses and shared taxis halt here to pick up passengers and continue on their journeys to respective destinations. One unique part of this place is the shared taxis that ply from Guwahati to Shillong continuing further up to Silchar, Aizwal and Agartala. The shared taxis to Shillong from Guwahati come in various forms like Tata Sumo, Swift Dzire vehicles, etc. while the long distance vehicles to Mizoram is mostly the Tata Sumo vehicles as the passenger carrying capacity is more along with the carrier to load goods as well. And to tackle the roads that lead from Jowai in Meghalaya to Silchar further up to Aizwal in Mizoram the Tata Sumo is by far the most powerful taxi vehicle to encounter the roads as well. Our drive did not have tea in the morning and so we stopped for a while at Khanapara before starting on our journey again.
It is a very interesting scene here to see at Khanapara with busses plying in both directions of the road making a stop here either to pick up or drop travellers. The night busses that cross from all across North East India to Guwahati make a stop here for the travellers going towards the city to get down here as these night buss3es are not allowed inside the city and they have to head straight to the ISBT at Betkuchi area in Guwahati. So the travellers need to hire the services of Uber taxi or autos to go to their respected homes or hostels in the city. Even though we had tea once but we decided to try another cup with the taxi driver as the drive to Nongpoh would take us another hour and our breakfast had to wait until then. We ordered for some bakery items to be had with our tea and next we headed on our taxi drive to Shillong from Guwahati. The retail prices in Meghalaya are marginally lower than Assam and so it is a practice of most of the taxi, bus and truck drivers to fill fuel at one of the fuel bunks at Jorabat before starting on their journey and these petrol pumps are all along the right side of the road and so we had to take a right to cross the road and then head to the NRL petrol bunk at Jorabat. There were lots of night busses waiting at the diesel counter and this is the practice followed by the busses that come in from all the directions towards Guwahati and they stop at one of the numerous fuel bunks at Jorabat like NES, NRL, etc. and fill their tank and this helps them to save quite some money for each of their trips to and from Guwahati to the respective locations that they ply to and the same was the case with our taxi driver as he too would save around INR 150 by fuelling up his tank at the fuel bunk under the tax regime of Meghalaya against the ones in Assam.
It was a quick stop and then we started on our taxi drive to Shillong from Jorabat crossing the Army Base Hospital and the North East Cancer Institute at Jorabat to head straight and take a right diversion from Assam to cross over to Meghalaya. At this junction all taxis plying from Guwahati in Assam officially enter the state of Meghalaya. This place at the border is called as Burnihat and is a place very famous for the numerous cement industries of Meghalaya as limestone is available in plenty across Meghalaya and so its best use is to turn it into cement and many big names from the cement industry have their operations here at Burnihat in Meghalaya. This place is also famous for its bazaar that is held here and local villagers staying around the area come here with their produce and sell it. The market is filled with organic produce and the fruits that are available at the market in Burnihat are some of the most fresh and tastiest fruits I had ever had. The local people are also experts in making various pickles from fish, chillies and the famed pepper of North East India – the Bhut Jolokia and they get these pickles in glass bottles and people can buy an entire bottle to take home with them. As it was a Tuesday the market was scheduled to open today and already the traders and villagers had arrived and were about to begin the business for the day.
Our taxi driver told us that we would stop on our way back here and if the market would still be open we would pick up some produce to take back home to which we agreed. The numerous taxis ferrying tourists from Guwahati to Shillong and Shillong to Guwahati airport were plying on the road and as it was a tourist season in Meghalaya and thousands of visitors from across India and abroad come to visit this beautiful lad of waterfalls and the most coveted Living Root Bridges. The roads from here start to get windy and uphill and it is problematic for people with motion sickness but not for us as all of us were used to travelling in such roads and the best way to tackle these roads I believe is not to travel with a full stomach. Whenever I travel on such roads I prefer to keep my stomach empty and get used to the climb for a while and about an hour driving through these roads I ensure to eat something light and not to completely fill my stomach. This is how I manage to conduct many tours across the mountain terrains of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh and so not fall sick due to the travelling. This is for me but others have a different approach while encountering the windy roads of their journey. My family members rely on medicines and keeping the AC on so that the pressure remains constant inside the cat and they can adjust to the drive.
We crossed a few more small townships and villages and finally reached the toll gate under NHAI and the toll collected here is used in the maintenance of the roads. The to and fro ticket cost us INR 90 and we paid and drove again towards Nongpoh in Meghalaya. The various small stores that are alongside this highway were starting to open and the local Khasi people in these shops selling various produce from vegetables, fruits, homemade pickles, cigarettes, betel nut and leaf (a very popular addiction across Meghalaya wherein a slice of ginger and some lime is added on each of the leaf and a pack costs INR 10). Most of the Khasi men and women are addicted to chewing this and this aids in digestion and is addictive. It has a serious side effect because your teeth and mouth turn completely red and your teeth decay as well. Yet people love to chew it across their day of work. The Khasi people of Meghalaya especially the ones in villages are very hard working people and they have a unique way of eating their meals. They spread the meal across the day wherein they eat rice, dal, a tomato chutney, potato fry, some curry, two pieces of pork or fish or chicken and pickle. They continue to eat this food in small portions across the day and I would be trying this food soon at a famous local stall at Nongpoh in Meghalaya on my taxi ride to Shillong.
Nongpoh is a famous halt over destination for the taxis plying between Guwahati, Shillong and further up to Cherrapunji. There are many restaurants at this place that serves food from different cuisine like the Punjabi dhaba serves Punjabi cuisine, the Jivas veg that happens to be the most popular restaurant here serves veg food from various cuisines. There is also a Café Coffee Day along with some other restaurants and dhabas. Our plan was slightly different as we were to have local Khasi cuisine of Meghalaya that is favoured by the locals and our taxi driver took us to this small restaurant at the Nongpoh market area near the Nongpoh civil hospital area. Nongpoh in Meghalaya is a small township and has various shops including ATMs for the convenience of locals and travellers alike. It was a very old and famous restaurant that served some local Khasi delicacies like Jadoh and various pork recipes along with the staple of the Khasi thali of rice, dal, potato sabji, tomato chutney, dried fish pickle, etc. The taxi driver told us about the Jadoh that is a signature dish which is basically rice cooked in pig blood and a local favourite that is accompanied with pork curry as well. Two of us ordered for the Khasi thali while the taxi driver and the other colleague ordered for Jadoh along with pork curry and the food arrived just as immediately as we had placed the order because the food is kept ready and once the order is places the owner dishes the food into a plate and serves it to their customers. The food was piping hot as it was the early hours of the morning and already the second batch of Jadoh was being prepared as the first batch was already picked up by the locals to take home and the army of taxi drivers who came here to eat the food. The unique thing about hiring a private taxi from Guwahati to Shillong is that you can make the desired stops and the desired places by requesting your taxi driver. The shared taxis going from Guwahati to Shillong make only designated stops and that too mostly to pick up and drop customers and no halt for food.
The food was amazing and it had a balance of spice blended with natural herbs. The food I ordered had a fresh leafy herb mostly spinach that was cooked with pork and the flavours of the herb blended very well with the meat. I tried a little of the Jadoh from my colleague’s plate and no wonder this food is simple amazing. It may not sound appealing to the people who do not eat pork let alone its blood but if you are an admirer of pork then a stop at this stall at Nongpoh on your taxi ride from Guwahati to Shillong is a must. We finished our food and the price for all the food came to just INR 200 and we were left surprised with this and after paying our bill we started on our drive to Shillong from Nongpoh in our taxi. The taxi driver was driving carefully and the fact that we paid for the bill for his breakfast made him feel a sense of gratitude towards us and he thanked us for it. In sometime we reached the town of Umshling that is another small township and during our time of visit a construction work was going on for a bypass road across this town to connect to Shillong. We had to take the taxi on the narrow road via the Umshling township and there was a huge school area here. The young children had come to school and the proceedings of the day had begun with everyone assembling for prayers and later to start the school for the day. Meghalaya is mostly a Christian state and almost 90% of the state population practice Christianity as their faith.
The missionaries had come here long back to spread the message of God and helped the people of Meghalaya with a proper education system and this could be evidently seen across the State with the children all going to school and basic education is being imparted to everyone. No wonder the places in Meghalaya are very clean and even villages are kept quite neat and clean and Mawlynnong in Meghalaya has earned the distinction of being the cleanest village in Asia. The drive became more uphill not and gradually we were approaching the beautiful Umiam lake near Shillong in Meghalaya. Located at Barapani, Umiam is the largest man made water reservoir in North East India and its hydro energy is used in power generation. The beautiful crystal blue watered lake has now become a popular tourist attraction in Meghalaya and tourist taxis ferrying tourists across Guwahati to Shillong make a halt here to view the beautiful lake and as well make a break in the journey before the taxis enter the traffic in Shillong and the tourists get a chance to stretch themselves here and perhaps have some tea and refreshments at the ay local stalls that are setup here every day by the locals. We too made a stop here on the advice of the taxi driver who told us that the traffic up ahead would be bad as it was the office time and we looked at our watch that was showing 9.45 AM and as the offices start at 10 AM so it meant hundreds of people would be heading towards the police bazar area where most of the government offices is Shillong are located in and around and once we had entered the traffic we couldn’t step out of our taxi and have to stay put these or else we could result in even bigger traffic chaos.
So we got down from the vehicle and took time to have a cup of black tea and also admire the beauty of the water here at Umiam. The clear sky horizon of the winter sky made the view even better and these was also a water sports complex from where we could see tourists going for a boat ride on the waters. One of the most luxurious resorts in Meghalaya – Ri Kynjai Serenity by the lake is situated at Barapani overlooking the waters of the Umiam lake and the taxi driver told us of his various trips to place ferrying tourists and the room tariffs were around INR 10,000 per night plus taxes it seemed. We enjoyed our black tea and at 10 AM started on our taxi ride again to Shillong. Just after crossing the Umiam lake view point the Ford showroom at Shillong greets you and this stretch of road on the outskirts of Shillong city has numerous car showrooms and service centres. The people of Shillong love their cars and immediately on getting a new car from the showroom they send it to a car studio to get new alloy wheels and stickers and various other modifications done on their cars. The local taxis in Shillong too are modified and the taxi is a very popular mode of transport in Shillong.
These shared taxis that ply along in Shillong city are mostly Maruti 800 and Alto vehicles and it serves a very good mode of travel across the city and the outskirts at nominal prices and most of the locals use this mode of transport. The roads in Shillong city are narrow and so these taxis that are small sized vehicles serve as a very good transport method otherwise if too many busses are let out on the roads it would create more traffic snarls for sure. We reached Mawiong and I had to stop here as I had to collect a payment cheque of IT materials we had supplied here to a reputed National bank and I asked the others to wait for 10 minutes and I went in to meet the branch Manager who had asked me to come and collect the cheque. He handed me over the cheque and I thanked him and continued on our taxi ride further to Shillong. The traffic welcomed us to Shillong city and we were almost stuck here inching slowly towards the NEHU signal from where we would head straight. Two of us had to visit NEHU as well as there was a requirement of IT products and the institute would be releasing a tender soon for the procurement of devices and we had to meet the IT in charge along with our partner here. The beautiful city of Shillong is often referred to as the Scotland of the East because the Britishers when they came here found the place to resemble like in Scotland due to its landscape.
A paradise to experience, Shillong is one of the most popular tourist destinations in North East India. A city with a rustic colonial charm Shillong is a perfect blend of the ancient and the modern Worlds. With a majority of the population being Christians, Shillong is home to numerous Cathedrals and Churches and has a unique modern charm to its lifestyle among the youth. The music scenario in Shillong is good and it is said that in one in three households one can find a talented musician here in Shillong. Our taxi was moving forward slowly and in about 20 minutes we finally managed to cross the NEHU junction to reach the Bara bazar signal that is another bottleneck for the drive. Bara bazar is the local market of daily needs in Shillong and it is the largest traditional market in North East India. Hundreds of traders come here every day with their fresh produce of vegetables, fruits, meat, groceries and setup stalls to sell their produce and all this in the heart of the city that brings the traffic to a standstill here. One interesting thing I observed from my taxi is that most of the shops and business establishments here are being run by women and this is because the Khasi people of Meghalaya follow a matrilineal society where the women folks are the head of the households and the responsibility of running the operations of a household rests on their shoulders. Even the ancestral property of a family is passed on to the youngest daughter of the family and she is supposed to take care of her aged parents and unmarried siblings.
Interestingly after marriage the groom goes to stay with the bride in the Khasi society and more other facts of the Khasi society was told to us by the taxi driver. It is so nice to witness such a drastic change in culture from Assam to Meghalaya and such unique experiences can be seen only across North East India. The taxi crossed the Bara bazar traffic point and we headed towards the Rhino point where my colleague and I would get down and catch a shared taxi to Upper Shillong while this taxi and the other colleague would head to Police Bazar where he would start meetings with the partners and we would join him after completing our meeting at the headquarters of the EAC in Upper Shillong. Both of us got down from our taxi at the Rhino point and we waited for the shared taxis to arrive to pick us up. As it was the rush hour so most of the shared taxis were coming already full with passengers and we had to wait until we finally found a taxi that had seat for the two of us and we boarded the taxi to start on our drive to EAC in Upper Shillong. The Upper Shillong area is one of the highest elevations across Meghalaya and the Shillong peak that is present here serves as a highest point in the East Khasi hills area. We were heading for a requirement of software licenses at a premier defence organization of the Indian Air Force and also to look for the servicing requirements of the computer supplied to their organization as per previous purchase orders.
The taxi driver who was a local Khasi person took us in his taxi and in some time we reached Upper Shillong. The taxi driver dropped us here and the fare per head was only INR 20 and we paid it happily and went in to the huge campus of the EAC. At the EAC we conducted our meetings with the officials who put forward various questions to us regarding the spares and service and also on the requirements of the products and licenses and after a round of coffee and snacks and gathering all the requisite information we left the EAC to continue on our taxi ride back to Shilling. As the rush was now over and people were in their offices now the traffic and eased and we reached the Police Bazar that is the main market area of Shillong and the shared taxi driver took us to the taxi stand where we found the other taxi that we had brought along with us from Guwahati parked and the driver was speaking with the other taxi drivers and the local people of Shillong. We asked him to wait for another hour or two and I paid the taxi driver INR 100 to have his lunch by the time we came back. My friend and I next went to the Shillong Post Office to enquire about the IT requirements and some other offices as well to discuss the prospects of business in the IT related fields. On our way back to Guwahati we planned on making a visit at NEHU with the partner Spectrum technologies and later we would head back to Guwahati.
My colleague continued with the meetings at the other organizations including visit to a Government back at Dhankheti area in Shillong along with a very famous and renowned IT partner at Malki area in Shillong and he took the services of our own taxi to engage in this travel and the taxi driver too was happy that he could go around and not just wait at a single place. They both would have lunch outside and return to Police Bazar by 2 PM when both of us would have finished our business activity and take the taxi to NEHU and later depart to Guwahati by early evening. I went into the Police Bazar area to meet our partners here at Spectrum technologies. Spectrum technologies has been partners with our company since a long time when we were OEMs manufacturing our own range of desktops, laptops, servers, tablets and other IT related products before this business was shut down and we migrated to IT distribution. The twin owners of Spectrum greeted and welcomed me and we took our seats discussing about the various facets of how to go about our business further. One of the owners was supposed to travel with us to the NEHU campus and for this account Spectrum was our IT partner working there. The other colleague was with another partner at their office just a little ahead from where I was waiting and he would join us in sometime.
After holding our business discussion for a while we went out to have our lunch at the famous Bengali restaurant at Police Bazar called as Suruchi. As the owners were Bengali people so they had a craving for Bengali food especially fish and Suruchi restaurant at Police Bazar in Shillong is known to churn out some very delicious fish recipes. It was a walking distance to the place from their shop and one of the owners went there as the other had to wait at the shop. Police Bazar area in Shillong is a busy place and various vendors have their stalls here that sell variety of local produce along with modern day consumer goods as well. The Police Bazar area is also known for the numerous betting stalls that allow the local people to bet on a certain gambling game called as ‘Shillong Teer’. It is a very old archery game where people bet on certain numbers and the archers shoot their arrows on a board marked with numbers and the number with the most number of hits becomes the winning number of the day and the winners earn almost 80 times their bet amount. Police Bazar is also a taxi point of Shillong and all the cabs that come from Guwahati ferrying passengers halt here and on their return journey they pick up passengers to go back to Guwahati in their shared taxis. There is a big mall here as well and I could see various college students hang here to spend their day either shopping or hanging at a fast food joint eating the fast food options served here.
We took our seats at the Suruchi restaurant and the waiter came over to the table to take our order. Shillong gets a lot of tourists from West Bengal who come for their vacations to Meghalaya and Assam and stays in and around the locality of the Police Bazar and so the owners of this place came up with the idea to open an authentic restaurant that would cater to the food habits of these tourists. The people from West Bengal are very concerned about the taste of the food they eat and they prefer a Bengali cuisine that is loaded with oil and spices and comprises of a non-vegetarian diet mostly. Not only this many taxi drivers from Assam who come to Shillong everyday also prefer this cuisine that is similar to the Assamese cuisine but with less oil and spices. At least the rice, dal, aalo bhaja recipes taste pretty much the same. A huge menu is put up on the wall and I could figure out that at least 40 items were available starting from rice, dal, sabji, fish fry, fish curry, fish head, mutton curry, chicken curry, etc. The thali system was not available here based on the requirements of the customer and every order had to be placed separately and charged separately as well. Joy ordered rice, dal, aalo bhaja, green sabji, fish head murighonto and the much desired Bengali food of Hilsa fish cooked in mustard sauce. The meal arrived soon and the rice was served on a big steel plate and the accompaniments came in small bowls that were places around the Thali and the fish was served in medium sized bowls.
The food quality and taste was amazing I must admit it but such food is not meant to be had every day because it was loaded with oil and spices. Literally I could see oil floating in the Hilsa curry and the only soothing effect it would have to the body is that the mustard would boost the immune system. Various taxi drivers from Guwahati who had come to Shillong ferrying passengers in their taxis were also at the place and enjoying their meal as well along with the army of tourists who visit Shillong every day in the taxis they hire from Guwahati. Some guests in even hire their taxi to come to Shillong all the way from Kaziranga National Park as well. By the time we finished our lunch my other colleagues too had come to visit this place along with our taxi driver for lunch as well. The place was filled with people and so they went to a nearby Bengali restaurant called as the Arun hotel along with the taxi driver that served a similar cuisine. This place too was filled with the many tourists and taxi drivers but there was seat available for the four of them and they took their seats and placed their order. Joy and I went back to the shop to prepare the documents for our visit to NEHU while the two colleagues, one partner and the taxi driver started to have their food. By the time we went to the shop Joy’s brother Bijoy went to have his lunch.
At around 2 PM we started on our taxi ride towards the NEHU campus from Police Bazar. The roads in Shillong are quite confusing because to control the traffic on the narrow roads across the city that has the most concentration of traffic in particular areas it is necessary to make the roads in one direction and in Shillong you cannot come back by one road that you take to visit a place. So driving a taxi in Shillong traffic is a tough challenge and one has to know the roads well to navigate around because sometimes the google maps is not able to identify the roads properly and you land up circling about the same place or even enter into a no entry zone to be fined by the police. Luckily our taxi driver knew the roads quite well and be by passed Police Bazar by taking a circular route and took us to the NEHU signal to take a right and travel to the NEHU campus at Mawlai in Shillong. Various taxis were plying on this route as this road even led to the Don Bosco Museum in Shillong which is a very famous tourist place in Shillong. Our partner Joy travelled with us in our taxi and after our meeting would be over he would take a shared taxi back to the Police Bazar to go to his shop., We reached the NEHU campus at 2.45 PM and the lunch time was over there and the people had come back to their offices to continue the proceedings for the day. We had a practice to visit the offices in the afternoon because that is the time the people had some leisure time from their work to discuss their IT requirements that would come up in the near future and discuss with the various vendors to get a good pricing for the bulk orders they purchase.
We asked the taxi driver to wait at the parking and we went ahead to visit the procurement office at NEHU in Shillong. The beautiful campus is located atop a hill and the North Eastern Hill University offers various under graduate and post graduate courses and thousands of students from across North East India study and live here at the NEHU campus in Shillong. Joy took us to one of the procurement officers who would detail about the requirements of IT hardware for their new campus building setup with classrooms and this would enable us to compete in the tendering process with our competitors. The meeting lasted for an hour and after this we visited the canteen at the NEHU campus to have tea and coffee before we started on our taxi ride back to Guwahati from Shillong. Joy assured to make note of all the requirements at NEHU and his firm would compete in the tendering process and we would work towards providing him a competitive price and support to win the tender and get the purchase order in the favour of his firm and in turn he would place the purchase order to us and it would be a win-win situation for everyone.
It was a fruitful visit to Shillong as we were able to pick up good upcoming requirements in the IT field, collect a good amount if the form of a cheque, get requirements and my colleague also picked up a purchase order from the back that he had visited. With this it was our end of visit at Shillong and Joy bid us farewell and we went to the parking area to board our taxi to begin our taxi ride to Guwahati from Shillong. The taxi driver started his taxi and we started going back to the NEHU junction and proceed further towards Barapani. It was a little before the office closing time and so the roads were not crowded at present and we briskly moved out of Shillong city in our taxi towards Guwahati. We crossed Barapani to head towards Umshling and further towards the Nongpoh area on our taxi to arrive at the Nongpoh toll gate. Here the taxi driver showed the attendant the pass we had purchased in the morning for the two way crossing and we were allowed to pass continuing our taxi ride from Shillong to Guwahati. We reached Burnihat and some of the shops at the market were still open and we picked up fresh vegetables and fruits to take home. We were still early as we had reached Jorabat by 6 PM so we decided to halt at a dhaba for a while to speak and discuss over a few drinks. The taxi driver dropped us home safely thereby ending our taxi ride from Guwahati to Shillong and from Shillong back to Guwahati.
Guwahati to Kaziranga – Taxi Experience & Kaziranga to Guwahati – Taxi Experience
Across the many years I had stayed in Assam I never had the opportunity to visit the famed UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park and neither did my family because we used to stay in Upper Assam at Margherita and often used to travel across the areas of Assam during our summer and winter breaks from school and along the way we would cross Kaziranga on our journey to my mother’s ancestral home at Golaghat but never once did we take the opportunity of going for a safari ride into the interiors of Kaziranga National Park. So in 2014 my father had made a plan to visit Kaziranga from Guwahati and he asked me to help him with the travel arrangements. I knew a colleague by the name Krishna who was a partner with Seven Sister Tours and Travels based out of Guwahati and I seeked his help to arrange for a taxi with a good driver to drive us from Guwahati to Kaziranga and after two days halt at Kaziranga return to Guwahati with the same taxi. Krishna would help me with the safari arrangements at Kaziranga both Jeep and Elephant and for our stay my father knew the owner of the Namdang Guest House at Kaziranga as the same person also owned the Namdang Guest House at Digboi as well. So the arrangements were in place and our taxi driver happened to be one Mr Ranjit who drove a Toyota Innova taxi and he agreed to be with us during the duration of the trip and he was fixed with a per day fare of INR 4000 that was prevalent during that time and now has gone up by INR 500 per day for the hire charges of the Innova taxi vehicles.
We planned on travelling to Kaziranga via Nagaon by taxi as this place was the ancestral home of my father and after our lunch at Nagaon we would travel to Kaziranga. On our taxi that would be another 2 hours’ drive and we would halt at the Namdang Guest House and the owner would even arrange for the stay of our taxi driver and the next day we would do our safaris at Kaziranga and halt for the another night and return to Guwahati the next day after visiting the Kaziranga Orchid and Biodiversity park. It meant that we would be hiring the services of the taxi from Guwahati to Kaziranga for 3 complete days and later return from Kaziranga to Guwahati. We had planned on our taxi journey to Kaziranga on a Friday so that we could return back to Guwahati by Sunday on our same taxi. Our taxi driver Mr Ranjit arrived with his Toyota Innova taxi at our home in Guwahati at 7.30 AM and we were scheduled to travel to Nagaon at first at 8 AM. We had a light breakfast and the driver told us that we would make a stop on our way at Jagiroad for breakfast to take some rest as well. We started on our taxi ride at 8 AM from Guwahati to travel towards Khanapara, Jorabat and at Jorabat we made a stop to fill fuel in the taxi and as the rates are cheaper here the taxi driver took 10 minutes of our time to refuel his taxi and in turn save some money on this fuel costs.
Diesel prices at Meghalaya (because the other side of the road falls in the territory of Meghalaya) is around INR 5 cheap per litre as compared to Assam and so most of the taxis, busses and trucks halt here to refuel and later continue on their journey. The fuel bunk had a decent arrival of vehicles and we successfully refuelled our taxi and started on our taxi ride to Kaziranga via Nagaon. We crossed over to Assam again after refuelling and drove towards the Sonapur area after crossing the hilly terrain and the windy roads of Jorabat. From Sonapur our taxi ride was on a plain surface and the nice four lane roads of Assam that continued up to the Nagaon bypass. We crossed the area of the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary to reach Khetri and continued further towards Jagiroad on our taxi. The taxi driver was a fun loving person and jolly and he put on some nice Assamese songs on the taxi stereo and sang along with it as well. This he said helps him to stay awake and focus on his taxi driving on the roads. In sometime we reached Jagiroad town and here we stopped at the Jain hotel to have our breakfast. The taxi drive from Guwahati to Jagiroad takes around 45 minutes and by the time we reached we were feeling hungry. We parked our taxi near the Hotel and went in to have our breakfast. The Jain hotel is a very old restaurant almost around 60 years and this place serves breakfast, lunch and sweets to its customers.
In the mornings they start serving their customers from as early as 6.30 AM and they have puri sabji, chole bhature and tea on their menu for breakfast along with sweets that are on display at the counter and customers can make their choice and place their order here. Many of the taxis ferrying passengers to Kaziranga were also waiting here and the customers sat at their seats to have breakfast. We ordered for puri sabji and tea for us and the taxi driver as well and this place follows a strict vegetarian diet because the owners belong to the Jain community. The breakfast was very delicious especially the sabji that was cooked with potatoes, chana and soya bean chunks and the local pickle they served along with the puri sabji was equally tasty. After breakfast we started on our taxi ride again to go towards Nagaon and further to Kaziranga. We crossed the places like Nellie, Sitajakhala and reached Raha. Raha is a place that is famous for tender coconut and bamboo crafts and many of the taxi drivers stop their vehicles here for visitors to taste some tender coconut and also get a glimpse of the bamboo handicrafts of Assam here. We however continued on our taxi ride and travelled further to Nagaon. Before reaching Nagaon area there is a road diversion and our taxi took a left as this road leads to Nagaon town and the right is the bypass that connects to Kaziranga.
Now the roads were narrow and vehicle movement was happening on both sides of the road and so our taxi driver drove carefully and we crossed Haibhorgaon to finally arrive at Nagaon town. My memories of Nagaon town was mostly during my journey on the night busses where I would be travelling from Guwahati to Margherita and these busses used to make a stop here for dinner and also load the busses with produce that is transferred to various destinations in Assam. The taxi driver didn’t know much of the place and my father guided him to take us to his ancestral home at Christianpatty area in Nagaon. We reached the ancestral home and we asked the taxi driver to park his taxi at the house and roam for a while across Nagaon town and come back by 12 noon as we would have our lunch and start to Kaziranga on our taxi at 1 PM to reach by 3 PM. He obliged and we went to visit my father’s elder sister and younger brother at their home. We spent time discussing about personal things and I got a chance to play with my young nephew and my cousin’s wife was busy with our lunch preparations. As my father was the eldest son in the house so the family members treated him with respect and an elaborate lunch preparation was on. At 12 our taxi driver came back and we were all having our lunch of rice, dal, chicken curry, duck fry, fish fry, salad, vegetable curry and much more. From Nagaon we started on our taxi ride to Kaziranga again at 1 PM.
We crossed Nagaon town to connect at the Bypass circle and this place has some of the most popular Dhabas that cater to the food needs of various travellers, tourists and taxi drivers. The Anurag dhaba at Nagaon bypass in by far the most popular dhaba that serves hundreds of visitors and tourists every day serving the delights like an elaborate Assamese thali along with various non-veg recipes as well. The taxi drivers ferrying tourists to Kaziranga ensure to halt at this dhaba because the food they get is free as a courtesy towards halting at the Dhaba and bringing in business to the place and at times from 11 AM to 3 PM once can find many tourists taxis parked here. We had our lunch and so did not plan on visiting this place and continued on our taxi ride to Kaziranga. We crossed the places like Puronigudam, Samaguri, Amoni and Missa to reach Koliabor junction and from Nagaon the four way lane ends and it is a two way road and so the speed of the taxi reduces and as the taxi driver has to take into account the vehicles coming from the other side of the roads as well. At Koliabor the construction of the four way lane was going on and this infrastructure would come as a boon for the travel industry of Assam and the taxi driver would be able to breeze past Guwahati to Kaziranga. This would also prove good for the various busses ferrying passengers, shared taxis and loaded trucks to ply on the roads to Kaziranga.
From Koliabor our taxi headed straight towards Kaziranga via Jakhlabandha and the road on the left leads to the pristine destinations of Arunachal Pradesh viz. Tawang, Bomdila, Bumla Pass, Itanagar, Ziro via Tezpur in Assam. The road further connects Lakhimpur and again back to Dibrugarh via the Bogibeel Bridge. Transportation infrastructure in Assam has come a long way and with the building of India’s longest bridges over the river Brahmaputra various places have been interconnected thereby providing a boost to the taxis and busses plying on these roads. We reached Jakhlabandha shortly and this place is also a famous tea drinking, lunch and dinner spot for the taxis and busses. There are numerous small hotels and restaurants here that serve hot and delicious food to the various customers coming here in their taxis, shared taxis and busses. We were still heavy with our lunch and my parents fell asleep behind the car so the driver and myself were at the front discussing various facets about the tourism industry of Assam and how it acts as the only industry that provides employment to so many people – from Hotel owners, staff, restaurant owners, taxi drivers, taxi operators, tour operators, jungle safari operators, homestays, airlines, artworks, weavers, etc. so many people are dependent on the tourism business and especially these luxury taxi drivers who are solely dependent on tourists as their way of living. The taxi driver was telling me as to how he was able to build his house with the money he had earned from his business and also were his other colleagues who too were tourist taxi drivers in Assam.
We crossed Jakhlabandha and from here onwards we were welcomed to Kaziranga National Park with huge signage’s welcoming tourists to the famed UNESCO World Heritage site of Assam. The taxi driver had made numerous taxi rides from Guwahati to Kaziranga and back and he was well aware of the roads and the terrain of the place. It is necessary because to protect the movement of animals along the highway especially during the monsoon season of Assam when flood waters inundate the park the animals of Kaziranga try to head towards highlands in the nearby Karbi Anglong hills and for this they need to cross the road. As this is a National Highway so numerous vehicles including heavy busses and trucks ply on these roads and often have the tendency to cross speed barriers especially during night time so the authorities of Kaziranga have ensured to put speed breakers all along the wildlife corridor and this helps to restrict the speed of the vehicles who now become more conscious while driving thereby avoiding accident situations that saves the life of many animals. During the monsoon season strict speed limitations are put and time cards are provided to taxis, busses and trucks plying on these roads at Kaziranga and if any taxi or other vehicle do not adhere to time slots they are fined INR 500.
The rains however take a toll on the paint put on the speed breakers and in time the paint wears out and one cannot identify the speed breakers and often jump over it causing damage to the vehicle suspension and experience is the only way to avoid such situations. Therefore an experienced taxi driver is necessary to drive on these roads and Mr Ranjit knew when to slow down to encounter a speed bump and this definitely helped my parents who were sitting behind and they did not feel the jump. The lush tea gardens of Kaziranga welcomed us and along the tea plantations there were various trees planted as well and it had pepper vines growing along them. It was so nice to witness the natural beauty of Kaziranga and no wonder every year thousands of tourists come here on their taxis to visit this place and catch a glimpse of the varied wildlife here at Kaziranga. We reached the Burapahar range of Kaziranga that is a huge range and conducts jeep safaris for the visitors here. The famed GL Resort that was once one of the prime properties to halt at Kaziranga is located here but of late the place is not well maintained and this is due to the lack of tourists in this area as many new luxury hotels have come up in the Kohora and Bagori areas of Kaziranga.
We reached the Buri Aai Than that is a very revered temple shrine in the area and most of the trucks, busses and taxis stop here to seek blessings of the Goddess and then the drivers continue on their journey for a safe ride. We prayed to the Goddess from the taxi itself and continued towards Kohora for our stay at the Namdang Guest House. On the way before the temple we crossed the Bagori range of Kaziranga and we would be coming here tomorrow morning to enjoy our Elephant safari ride. We reached Kohora area of Kaziranga at 3 PM and headed to the Namdang Guest House that is located a little ahead of the main entrance of Kohora where we would be going for our jeep safari ride the next day. The caretaker of the guest house welcomed us in and we were allotted our rooms. We had booked two rooms at the place and even the owner of the place who generally stays at Digboi happened to stay here at Kaziranga as well. Mr Barua welcomed us to his property as well. We took our rooms and the rooms at the Namdang Guest house are huge and fitted with air conditioning as well. The taxi driver was allotted a room at the dormitory and there were few other guests staying as well here. The budget is around INR 2500 per room per night and looking at the room size it is a very good rate to spend at Kaziranga.
The caretaker prepared tea for us and it was served with nice hot onion pakoras for the evening snacks. I had to collect the safari passes and so I went to meet the associate of Seven Sister Tours and Travels near the Kohora model hospital and the taxi driver accompanied me there. Anshuman was present at his shop that is mostly a DTP offset shop and also a furniture store alongside that belonged to his uncle. The taxi driver dropped me there and he went to the Kohora market to pick up some whiskey for himself and he also insisted that I have a drink with him as well and I asked him to get a small bottle of vodka for me as well. I met Anshuman and he welcomed me and handed me the passes for the Elephant safari ride for the three of us and for the Jeep safari his jeep would take us to the safari range. The elephant safari was scheduled at 6.30 AM at the western range of Kaziranga and the Jeep a little later at 9 AM so that we could have our breakfast at the guest house and go directly to the safari. The taxi driver came to pick me up after he bought his stock and we went back to the guest house. I visited the kitchen to see what Deka Da was preparing for dinner and he had asked the driver to get a nice whole fish from the Kohora market that he would be preparing with tomatoes and a green herb that imparts a sour taste to the fish curry.
Also there was chicken curry with potatoes and turnip as well for the people who didn’t eat fish. The taxi driver called me to the dormitory and he prepared a drink for me. Dinner for others would be served at 8.30 PM which meant we had time for 2 drinks and I had to be careful because I did not want my parents to find out. I informed the taxi driver to get up at 5.30 AM to be ready before 6 AM because the drive to Bagori range would take us around 15 minutes time and we couldn’t be late as the safari starts sharp on time. The taxi driver obliged and I too had to sleep early to get up at 5 AM and both of us went to have our dinner at 9 PM after everyone else had finished and retired to their rooms to watch television. The caretaker prepared an amazing dinner and the foods were infused with the flavour of fresh leafy herbs and vegetables that is very much needed to boost the immunity of a person. I thanked the caretaker for the wonderful dinner and later retired to my room and so did the taxi driver. The next morning I was up at 5 AM and I got ready to go for the elephant safari ride. The taxi driver was still asleep so I went to wake him up and by the time he got ready I started the Innova taxi and turned it around so that we did not spend time trying to start the taxi.
We started at 5.50 AM and two other guests who had called their taxi but unfortunately the taxi driver did not come on time and so we picked them on our taxi seats and we started to the Bagori range and we reached at 6.15 AM. I showed the passes at the Elephant safari counter and we were led to the Elephant ride boarding point. The taxi driver parked his vehicle in the meantime and he was happy to find some of the other taxi drivers who too had come all the way from Guwahati to Kaziranga ferrying tourists on their taxis. The elephant mahout greeted us and we climbed on the elephant back to for our safari ride and a little into our safari we spotted many rhinos from very close distance. These rhinos are now used to the tourists visiting the park every day and they even look like they pose for pictures to the tourists. Our safari ride lasted for 45 minutes and we came back to the starting point at 7.30 AM and boarded our taxi to go back to the guest house to have our breakfast and the taxi driver had bought some cakes for us and we had them and reached the guest house. We went to freshen up as the jeep would be arriving soon and also to have our breakfast. Deka Da had prepared puri sabji, bread toast, egg omelettes and tea for us and we enjoyed our breakfast by the time the jeep driver came along with the vehicle.
The taxi driver would be free now as the jeep would pick us up and conduct the safari and later drop us back to the guest house as well and the taxi driver decided to catch some more sleep and we planned on visiting the Orchid park in the later afternoon to witness the closing performance of the day. The jeep driver took us to the safari range at Kohora and after verification we went in for the ride to spot more of animals at Kaziranga. The jeep safari helps to cover more distance deep into the forest reserves so the chances of sighting wildlife is more in this safari. The ride lasted for an hour and half and we came back to the guest house at 11 AM and went to have bath as a lot of dust we had encountered in the open gypsy. The taxi driver had gone out and would come in time for lunch. At 1 PM we had our lunch and took rest for a while and started on the taxi drive to the Kaziranga Orchid park at 3 PM to witness the various species of orchids at this place. The Kaziranga Orchid Park is located a little ahead of the Kohora range on the road leading to Jorhat and from the main road our taxi took a right diversion to go to the park. Our taxi driver parked the taxi and we went to purchase our tickets to enter the place. The beautiful collection of the various indigenous orchid species of Assam could be seen here along with a rice museum as well that details the various grown across Assam.
A handloom section depicting the various handlooms and handicrafts of the Mishing people of Assam could also be seen here. We wound up our visit at the Kaziranga Orchid Park after watching the cultural dance performances here at the amphitheatre and it was beautiful to witness the colourful performances here and we came outside the park. Here there were several small shops selling condiments like pepper, tea and eatables. I called the taxi driver to have tea with us with some hot pakoras and I bought pepper, tea and cinnamon to carry back home. We reached the guest house at 6 PM and as we planned on visiting the orchid park tomorrow we were free the next day so we thought of driving to Jorhat on our taxi to meet my mother’s brother’s family and later return to Guwahati the next day. The taxi driver agreed and asked us to give him INR 1000 for fuel as the drive to Jorhat was not planned on our Itinerary earlier and we agreed with him. We had our dinner at 8.30 PM and retired ending our visit to Kaziranaga.
In the evening we cleared our bill at the Namdang Guest House at Kaziranga and also we made the payment to the taxi driver as he had to fill fuel in his car and to keep his morale boosted on our taxi ride from Kaziranga to Jorhat and from Jorhat to Guwahati. The next morning we started early on our drive to Jorhat as it meant we had to return to Guwahati by evening so it made sense to leave Jorhat by taxi to Guwahati by 12.30 PM to reach Guwahati by 7 PM. The taxi drive from Kaziranga to Jorhat would take about 2 hours and we started at 6.30 AM itself because we had to stop for breakfast as well. The taxi driver told us that it might be a problem to find shops ahead and he knew a small hotel near the Kohora market that serves breakfast from 6 AM itself and as the place was close so we went there. We had hot rotis, sabji and black tea here and at 7 AM we started on our drive to Jorhat. We reached Bokakhat and Numaligarh – the Oil town of Assam and continued further to Dergaon and we were almost nearing Jorhat. Dergaon is a place that is famous for being home to the Assam Police training academy and so we saw various cadets practicing their daily routine of exercises at the campus. A market was scheduled to be held today and the taxi driver told us that this is a very famous market and traders from far and near come here to sell their local produce here at the Dergaon market. We kept riding on our taxi towards Jorhat and the road construction was going on for the four laning of roads and in a few years this would be completed and the drive would be much faster.
We reached the area of the Kaziranga University in sometime and just ahead of it on the right hand side is the famous Swargadeo Sukapha Samanway Kshetra – that is a monument dedicated to the great Ahom king and founder of the Ahom Kingdom of Assam ‘Suikapha’. We did not have time to visit the place and also it was in the early hours of the morning and so we continued on our taxi ride towards Jorhat town. As the traffic was less due to the morning hours so we covered the distance in just around an hour and half and at 8.30 AM we reached the Jorhat town at ISBT at Jorhat and from here the left diversion goes to Upper Assam areas. We have had numerous drives across these roads during our school holidays when we used to drive across Assam visiting the homes of our relatives. We reached the JB college campus and our taxi continued on the taxi ride towards the Jorhat Civil Hospital and Medical College as my uncle is a doctor and he served as the Joint Director of Health of Jorhat district for many years before his retirement and so he build his house near the Civil Hospital area itself. We reached their house and my uncle and aunt come to welcome us to their house and we asked the taxi driver to go for a walk around the area and come back by 11.30 AM as we planned on an early lunch and return to Guwahati on our taxi.
We went inside and we started taking about our lives and how our experience at Kaziranga had been. Surprisingly my aunt and uncle who stayed so close to Kaziranga and had travelled almost the entire country had never take the opportunity to go for a safari ride into Kaziranga and hearing our experience they too planned on visiting Kaziranga soon. My aunt had made elaborate preparations for our lunch as we were visiting their home after a long time and ever since we had moved to Guwahati it was mostly them visiting our house on their journey to various parts of the country as the Guwahati airport has connectivity to various airports in the country. Preparations for lunch were going on and I took a walk to visit the area around the house. The Jorhat Civil Hospital was expanded a few years back and now it is upgraded to a Medical College as well and it was very different from the times we had visited earlier when the campus was small and it was like an Assam type building and now it’s become a large building. My uncle used to stay at his residential quarters here when he was a doctor and we used to visit their house during our school breaks. Now the entire campus is huge and the Medical College offers the undergraduate MBBS course educating students of Assam to be future doctors of the society.
I met our taxi driver who was coming back from his stroll and we had a cup of tea at one of the various make shift tea stalls outside the Jorhat Civil Hospital and later returned to uncle’s home for lunch. Lunch was served at 11.30 AM and it had duck with gourd, fish curry with tomato, various vegetable curry, rice, salad, papad and pickle. My aunt took a lot of trouble to prepare the meal and it turned out to be very delicious. After lunch we sat for some time and at 12.30 PM we started on our taxi ride to Guwahati from Jorhat. The taxi driver picked up slowly and we started to drive out of Jorhat to go to Dergaon, Numaligarh, and Bokakhat to reach back at Kaziranga. At Kaziranga we made a stop to drink tea as after the heavy lunch all of us were feeling sleepy. My parents fell asleep at the back of the taxi but the taxi driver and I had to stay awake and it was about time we needed refreshment cum break to continue on our four hour drive that was left. We stopped at the same place where we had our breakfast in the morning to have tea. Also there was a showroom of the Amalgamated Tea plantations a little ahead where factory fresh tea was sold along with various other varieties of organic and herbal tea as well. We had tea and started the taxi to move a little ahead at this store.
We purchased CTC tea to take home and also the various tea packages looked so alluring at the store. Mind you the tea here is expensive and the price per kg started at INR 350 during our time of visit. Anyways it was a once purchase and so we didn’t mind paying premium for factory fresh tea. The taxi driver looked fresh now and we started on our taxi drive to Guwahati again from Kaziranga. We crossed the Bagori and Burapahar range to reach Jakhlabandha. Again on the way we offered our prayers at the Buri Aai Than from the taxi itself and seeked blessings of the Goddess for our safe taxi journey to Guwahati from Kaziranga. We crossed Jakhlabandha to reach Koliabor and drove towards Nagaon crossing Missa, Amoni and Samaguri and Puronigodam. At Nagaon we finally hit the hour way lane again and the taxi driver eased a bit of comfort as he did not have to watch for cars coming from the other direction from now. We crossed the Nagaon Bypass and reached Raha in sometime where we stopped our taxi for tea again while my parents tried the tender coconut and picked up some bamboo handicrafts as well. The taxi ride started again and we crossed Raha, Nellie, Sitajakhala to reach Jagiroad and further towards Khetri and Sonapur. The windy roads of Jorabat started and the taxi driver reached us safely to our home in Guwahati at 6.30 PM. We thanked him and I assured to hire the services of his taxi for my future tours again thereby ending our taxi ride from Guwahati to Kaziranga and Jorhat and back.
Taxi Experience – Shillong, Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong, Dawki and Shillong
In this experience I write about my taxi ride from Shillong to Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong and Dawki and later driving back to Shillong. This was in the year 2015 when I had planned on starting my travel company and my uncle and aunt from Jorhat had spoken to me about this plan to visit Meghalaya in April 2015. I was exploring the various places in North East India and I knew the roads up to Shillong and Cherrapunji but I had never travelled to Mawlynnong and Dawki and during that time internet penetration was not much across the interiors of India and relying on google maps to show us the way (even still one doesn’t find proper network connectivity at Mawlynnong and Dawki) and so it was decided that I will drive my uncle’s car up to Shillong and from Shillong we would travel to go to Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong and Dawki. I had called my friend Mr Joy from Spectrum who would assist me to arrange a taxi and my uncle had spoken to his brother (another uncle of mine working with Assam government) to arrange for two rooms for us at the Assam House in Shillong. Everything was arranged and we started on our drive from Guwahati to go to Shillong in the morning after having breakfast at my house. We just went for two nights and so we did not vary much of luggage with us. We crossed Nongpoh and arrive at Shillong at around 12 PM. Whatever part of Shillong I knew I thought I would help them explore and the best was to head to Police Bazar area to show them the market and make them have lunch at the City Hut Dhaba that is a very premier restaurant in that area.
My uncle and aunt were quite excited to visit Shillong as it was their first time here and they got down from the car and went to explore the Police Bazar area. I went to meet the owners of Spectrum technologies at their firm here in Shillong and to get the details of the taxi that would take us to Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong and Dawki the next day. We came back to the City Hut Dhaba at 1 PM and we entered this beautiful place that is located at the prime area of Shillong across a sprawling campus from where one can get a nice aerial view of Shillong city. The menu was very elaborate and the waiter who was serving us knew Assamese as well. He asked us to try the non-vegetarian thali that has various accompaniments and we listened to him and ordered it. The lunch was very delicious sand after lunch we went to check into the Assam House at the Dhankheti area in Shillong. The Assam House is a very nice place to stay in Shillong and the place has big huge bungalow like rooms and a new campus was also built behind the old campus to host various dignitaries who come to Shillong. Generally this place is available only to authorities belonging to various offices of the government and we were able to get the place only on the recommendation of my uncle who happened to be an official with the Government of Assam.
The caretaker assigned us our rooms and the taxi driver called me and he told me that he would come to visit us in the evening along with his taxi. We took rest for some time and in the evening we had to place our order for dinner as the caretaker had to visit the market nearby and get the raw materials to hand over to the cook to prepare the dinner. The taxi driver came to visit us at 6 PM in the cold weather along with my friends who helped me to book the taxi service. The taxi was a nice Innova vehicle and as there was ample parking space at the Assam House the taxi driver did not have a problem parking as Shillong is a very congested city and finding a place to park the vehicle in the heart of the city is a challenge. We spoke of our plan tomorrow and the taxi driver informed us to start early because the drive would be across a hilly terrain and to cover these three places of Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong and Dawki we would need quite some time and the roads were narrow especially on the drive to Mawlynnong. So we agreed to leave early at 7 AM and we would have breakfast at the Mawkdok view point and travel on our taxi to Cherrapunji. At 8 PM we were served dinner of rice, dal, aalo sabji, fish curry, bhendi, salad and pickle and even though it was like home cooked food without much spices the food was absolutely delicious.
The next morning the taxi driver arrived at 6.45 AM as he was staying close at the Laban area in Shillong and at 7 AM we started on our taxi drive to Cherrapunji from Shillong. We reached Upper Shillong and drove towards Cherrapunji on our taxi to reach the crossing where left road leads to Mawlynnong and Dawki and straight heads to Cherrapunji. Our taxi driver was a Bengali person and he was born and brought up in Shillong and so he knew the areas of Meghalaya quite well and he had been driving taxi for the last 15 years of his life. He was narrating various incidents of his taxi driving experience across Meghalaya, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh as he had permit to drive his taxi across these state of North East India but mostly he found taxi rides in Meghalaya and Assam itself. In sometime we reached the Mawkdok view point that is a favourite halt for tourist and taxi drivers travelling to Cherrapunji from either Shillong or Guwahati and no wonder there were several tourists already at the place. Lots of small vendors setup their stalls and were catering to the food needs of the locals and the taxi drivers as well. We got down from the taxi to get a glimpse of the beautiful valley of Mawkdok in Meghalaya. The beautiful mountains looked green and the unending stretch of mountains made me feel in awe of Mother Nature. After clicking our pictures the taxi driver took us to a nearby restaurant to have our breakfast and it was around 7.45 AM a good time for breakfast as well.
We ordered ourselves roti sabji and it was surprising to find this meal here as in general the people of Meghalaya are mostly having a rice diet and roti sabji is not a part of their meals. It was because this being a tourist spot sees people from across the country and hence the motive is to cater to the food tastes of the tourists and the taxi drivers and not for the locals here. We finished our breakfast and continued on our taxi drive to Cherrapunji from here. It was another 45 minutes taxi ride to Cherrapunji and the taxi driver put on some nice classical songs and we enjoyed the beautiful and scenic drive to Cherrapunji in Meghalaya. We reached Cherrapunji at 8.45 AM and at first we went to visit the beautiful Nohkalikai Falls on our taxi. It is located on an elevation and our taxi crossed the Cherrapunji market driving towards the Ramakrishna Mission and AIR station at Cherrapunji and we reached the majestic Nohkalikai Falls. The taxi driver parked his taxi at the parking spot and asked us to visit the falls and come back and we would find him waiting at the spot. We went ahead to admire the beauty of the tallest plunge waterfall and the third tallest waterfall in India of Nohkalikai at Cherrapunji in Meghalaya.
The beauty of the Nohkalikai falls was indeed mesmerizing and the sound of the falling water from top was so soothing to the ears. We watched the waterfall from the viewpoint and even though it was winter time there was fog to be seen here because of the elevation I guessed. We walked across the area of the viewpoint of the Nohkalikai falls at Cherrapunji in Meghalaya and there are numerous small stalls here that sell fresh pineapple, cucumbers, pickles, cinnamon, pepper and other condiments. As we were in the wee hours of the morning so the shops were just opening up and next up we headed back to the taxi parking to board our taxi to drive to the next destination at the Mawsmai caves. We were short in time and so we had to miss out on certain spots in the interest of time to cover everything we had planned on our taxi drive and I would have loved to visit the Double Decker Living Root Bridge at the Nongriat village near Cherrapunji but the taxi driver informed me that it is almost a day’s plan to visit there as it requires a long hike across a flight of steep stairs. Anyways I planned to visit the Nongriat Root Bridge sometime later on my tours and we started on our taxi ride to the Mawsmai caves. Meghalaya is a land famous for its caves and more than three thousand caves are present across the state and here in Cherrapunji there are two very popular caves that are open to the tourists and everyday hundreds of tourists in their taxis come here to witness these caves.
We had planned visiting just the Mawsmai caves as this was easily accessible and a shorter one as well compared to the Arwah caves. We drove on our taxi crossing the Cherrapunji local market to reach the second market area and further headed straight to reach the Mawsmai caves after taking a right diversion from the main road. At the parking spot where the taxi stopped we could see many vehicles parked and it seemed that a shooting of a South Indian movie was going on here and to cover the shooting much prior to the arrival of the other tourists in their taxis so they planned to shoot in the morning hours itself because once the tourists and the taxis start coming the place would get quite crowded. The taxi driver parked his taxi and we headed to purchase our tickets and explore the Mawsmai caves at Cherrapunji. The actual cave is quite huge in area but only a part of it is open to tourist for exploration. The open part of the cave is well lighted and one has to climb few stairs to reach the entrance of the Mawsmai cave. It is a beautiful cave that has various limestone formations in the form of stalactites and stalagmites and the main passage is wide but at certain parts it is narrow and one has to squeeze their body in to get past certain areas.
After exploring we came out of the Mawsmai caves in Cherrapunji and headed back to our taxi as we still had a long taxi drive ahead of us to go further to Mawlynnong and Dawki. We left Cherrapunji on our taxi to go back towards the road diversion but our driver took a shorter route and took us that way towards Pynursla on our taxi. We reached Pynursla and the taxi driver halted here to have tea and we joined him as well. Earlier we planned on visiting Mawlynnong and later to Dawki and return to Shillong on our taxi but the taxi driver suggested that we at first visit Dawki and later come back to Mawlynnong because this way we will be on time for lunch at Mawlynnong and after exploring the cleanest village in Asia we could head back to Shillong on our taxi to arrive by evening and so after tea we started on our taxi to travel to Dawki. At the next road diversion the taxi driver took a left to travel to Dawki and from here onwards the roads were not in the best of condition and as were nearing the plains of Bangladesh the temperature started rising as well and we could feel a little hot. The road is quite narrow and a downward drive so one has to be careful while driving as vehicles suddenly approach from the other side and as our taxi driver was very much experienced driving on these roads we didn’t have much of difficulties.
We reached Dawki and headed towards the India and Bangladesh border. Dawki is known for the clean waters of the Umngot river and the boating experience here and we could see many taxis parked along the roads and visitors getting down to go for a round of boating here. We admired the beautiful waters of the Umngot river from our taxi itself and headed to cross the very old suspension bridge here at Dawki to cross the Tamabil market and travel to the border. The taxi driver parked his tax at a point crossing the customs check gate and we walked towards the border that was heavily patrolled by the soldiers of the BSF. Our taxi driver seemed to know many of the soldiers here and he seeked their permission and took us to the border where we crossed the Indian Territory to go to the no man’s land between India and Bangladesh. The border check gate is called as Tamabil and we could see various trucks transporting stones to the other side as cross border trade is an important source of revenue here. We spent some time here and later boarded our taxi back to go to Mawlynnong. This time the taxi driver took a different route to go to Mawlynnong and it was along the border where we could easily see the Bangladesh area from the border.
It took us about 45 minutes to reach Mawlynnong village on our taxi. The taxi driver took us to the parking spot at first as it was about 3 PM and we didn’t yet have our lunch. He took us to a restaurant that he knew and often had lunch here and we took our seat to have our meal of rice, dal, potato fry, salad, bhendi and chicken curry. As many of the tourists who come here are from West Bengal and their taxi drivers prefer to have a Bengali cuisine and this place specialized in that food and so we enjoyed a Bengali meal and later explored the cleanest village in Asia. After this we took our taxi to the area of the Riwai Living Root Bridge near Mawlynnong. The taxi driver parked the taxi and asked us to witness this man grown Bioengineering marvel and the living root bridge here is the most easily accessible one and hence sees hundreds of visitor’s every day. It was a short walk from the parking spot and we went to admire the beauty of the Riwai Living Root Bridge. We clicked our pictures and later returned ti the parking spot to take our taxi and return to Shillong. By the time we reached Shillong it was 6.30 PM and the taxi driver dropped us at the Assam house and we paid him the fare for the day. The taxi driver thanked us and told me to contact him in case I needed a taxi service again from Shillong to Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong, Dawki and back or rather for any tours across Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. We had our dinner at the Assam House and the next morning we drove back to Guwahati from Shillong.
Taxi Experience – Guwahati to Tawang via Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Tezpur, Bomdila and Dirang
My cousin who stayed in Bangalore was since long planning to visit Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh to witness the snowfall there and on learning that I had started my travel company he had contacted me to travel with his group of friends to Tawang from Guwahati. He had just quit his job after working for a few years with a renowned IT consulting company as a software architect and appeared for his MBA entrance examinations where he had secured a seat at a top Business School in India and with the classes due to start in a month’s time he wanted to come home to Guwahati and explore a few places before we he spent the next two years pursuing he MBA degree. He was about a year older to me and he had quite some experience in the industry but owing to the slow growth in this career graph he decided to pursue his higher studies. He was coming to Assam with three of his friends and they would explore the famous tourists destinations and later I would join them after travelling from Margherita to Guwahati and explore the beautiful area of Tawang in our taxi and back. I contacted the same taxi driver who took us to Kaziranga National Park and Jorhat from Guwahati on his taxi (Mr Ranjit) and he was available to take us to Tawang from Guwahati and back. I negotiated the Innova taxi fare with him and as we had already hired him to take us to Kaziranga from Guwahati and back and also knowing the future prospects he had with his taxi once I my company established itself he agreed to drive us at INR 4000 per day on the plains and INR 4500 on the mountain terrain towards Tawang (against the general fare of INR 4500 and INR 5000 respectively) and it would be a 5D/4N taxi trip.
My cousin wanted to halt at Tezpur for an evening because he had stayed many of his early years at Tezpur as my uncle was posted there and even now another of our uncle who happened to be an official at the Govt. of Assam had his quarters here where he sometimes came to stay and my cousin planned on staying here for a night on our taxi ride from Guwahati to Tawang. We were scheduled to leave in our taxi drive from Guwahati to Tawang via Tezpur and Bomdila on a Saturday and I checked with the taxi driver again on Friday evening and he confirmed his arrival on Saturday morning when he would pick me up from my house at 6 AM and we would head on our taxi to zoo road tinali area in Guwahati where we will pick up my cousin and his friends from his house. My cousin had heard of the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary near Guwahati and also that this park is home to the highest population of One Horned Rhinoceros anywhere in the World and so he wanted to do a round of Jeep Safari here to show the rhinoceros to his friends that they would still be doing at Kaziranga National Park but still owing to the fact that we already hired a taxi and this place is on our way to Tezpur (we took the Noonmati route to go to Pobitora to reach neat Khetri instead of going via Khanapara) and as we didn’t have much to do in Tezpur just the night halt and the taxi drive from Guwahati to Tezpur would take us a maximum of three hours only.
The taxi driver too wanted to visit the interiors of the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary since he had never been there earlier and so he agreed to drive us to this place at no extra cost on a condition that he too would join us on the jeep safari ride at Pobitora and as a maximum of six persons are allowed to go in a jeep I didn’t see a point on not taking him along with us. So on Saturday morning the taxi driver came with his Innova vehicle to my house and I had walked a little towards the Lokhra Charali area so that he did not have to come inside the narrow lanes leading to my house and we could save sometime as well. At 6 AM he picked me up and we drove towards Zoo road tinali in Guwahati on our taxi and my cousin and his friends were ready to be picked up at 6.20 AM and we headed on our taxi ride to Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary via Narengi. The roads were under construction and apart from a stretch of bad road at Panikheti the roads were nice and we drove towards Pobitora. I had visited Pobitora earlier and in the year that I had started my travel company I had sent visitors from the Czech Republic, USA and Australia to Pobitora who stayed at the Maibong Eco Resort at Pobitora and so the owner of the place knew me well. I had called him to arrange for our breakfast at his resort and also hired the services of his jeep to take us for a safari ride into the interiors of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary. Our taxi ride would take us about an hour and fifteen minutes to Pobitora from Guwahati and we were scheduled to reach at 7.30 AM and quickly have our breakfast and head for our safari ride into the interiors and spot the pride of Assam – the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros along with the varied flora and fauna of Pobitora.
My cousin also wanted to visit the Mayong museum of Black Magic as I had spoken to him about it when I had visited Bangalore and the practices of black magic and tantra that were very prevalent in Assam in the olden times. The Kamakhya temple at Guwahati in Assam is renowned as a shrine where tantric practices prevailed earlier and Mayong in Assam was the Black Magic capital of the World. Although the practice of black magic has now been abolished the relics used in these practices are preserved at a small hall like structure that serves as the Mayong museum of black magic. We crossed small townships and reached the Burha Mayong area on our taxi ride and at sharp 7.30 AM we reached the Maibong Eco resort at Pobitora and the owner of the place welcomed us to his restaurant. It was a weekend and visitors were coming in for their safari rides and the tourist season was about to close in a few days as we had planned our visit on our taxi ride from Guwahati to Tawang in April end. I called in the taxi driver to join us for breakfast as well and the meal had roti, aalo matar sabji, bread toast, butter, bananas, scrambled eggs and tea. In the meantime the jeep arrived as well and I knew the jeep driver as well as we both had been across few jeep rides with our guests who had toured Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary with us earlier.
After our breakfast we boarded the jeep before the taxi driver parked his taxi properly alongside the road to ensure that traffic was not blocked and we headed on the jeep to the office of the Forest Range Officer at Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary where we had to pay our entry fees before heading in for our jeep safari. In is compulsory here at Pobitora that a forest guard accompanies the guests on their jeep safari ride and we took the forest guar who sat in front and the five of us sat behind on the open jeep and our safari ride started. More than us the taxi driver was more excited to enjoy the ride as he told me that he had been driving his taxi across so many of the National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of Assam but never had the opportunity to go inside one of them on a safari ride and he couldn’t thank me enough for this opportunity. A short while into the ride we spotted our first rhinoceros grazing in the open fields of Pobitora and the taxi driver was super excited to see the rhino and he kept on clicking pictures from all possible angles of the animal. The jeep driver told him that this sight was nothing and we would spot many more from up close as well to which the taxi driver calmed and we continued sighting many birds, wild water buffaloes, wild boars and obviously the rhinos. At 10 AM we headed on our taxi drive to the Mayong museum of magic at Pobitora.
We stopped our taxi at the Mayong museum of black magic and went to visit the place that is kept under lock and key and an old caretaker is in charge of the place and he guides visitors here. I had been here earlier and I called the old man who owns a shop nearby and he greeted me (mostly because he knows me as a person who provides him generous tips) and he opened the door of this museum to us. My cousin was thrilled to be at this place where various remnants of the practices of black magic prevalent at Mayong were displayed. The taxi driver visited the place with us as well and he started to narrate of practices at his village when the old sorcerers could cause immense damage to a person’s life just by having s strand of hair of the person. With all the years of education in science behind me I never believed such practices existed and only it was in the minds of the people but with the relics present in this museum there is some thought that comes to a person’s mind that yes indeed black magic powers could indeed prove to be either beneficial of fatal. I did read about these practices when it is said that sorcerers had the powers to tame a tiger, convert a man into a goat, treat various ailments and even to an extent to make an entire army of men disappear and all these practices were preserved in the scriptures that were kept at this museum. We explored the museum for about twenty minutes and later started on our taxi drive to head to Tezpur.
The road on this stretch is narrow but the surrounding is very beautiful filled with paddy fields all around the area and the area of Pobitora on the left. There is a viewpoint here as well and one can even sight the rhinoceros from here. We crossed the small villages and later joined the highway near Sonapur and Khetri and continued on our taxi drive to Tezpur. We planned on having our lunch at Dhaba Samaroh near Koliabor on our way to Tezpur because this place was recommended by the NDTV Good times food show Highway on My Plate where Rocky and Mayur the charming hosts of this TV series visited Assam and had food here. Personally I would have preferred to have lunch at the Seven Sisters Dhaba at the Nagaon Bypass because I once tried the food at Dhaba Samaroh and personally I feel that the Seven Sisters Dhaba food is better at the prices. But these were people from big metros who believed in TV recommendations and Google reviews and so I did not bother to tell them not to eat at that place and it was just one lunch and so I agreed to have it at Dhaba Samaroh itself. We crossed Jagiroad, Raha, Nagaon Bypass, Puronigodam, Samaguri, Amoni, Missa to finally reach at Koliabor on our taxi drive and the straight road leads to Kaziranga National Park and to travel to Tezpur and further to Tawang we had to turn the taxi towards the left and continued on our drive. The four way laning of the roads was going on and so occasionally we had to encounter a bad patch of roads. After driving the taxi for a while the taxi driver took a break and we got down to stretch our legs and admire the beautiful nature around us. At one side of the road few fishermen who were fishing and we decided to catch a glimpse of what they were catching and they had a good catch of small fishes and some big ones as well. One of the fishermen told us that the better quality fish they would take to sell in the local market while the smaller ones they would take home for lunch and dinner. After half an hour we started on our taxi ride again to reach the Dhaba Samroh where we made our halt for lunch.
A popular dhaba on this road stretch the place was built with bamboo and had small cabins where people could sit and eat. We ordered rice, dal fry, vegetable fry and pork curry to eat and as I mentioned earlier the food is of average quality here. The food bill is not very cheap as well and my cousin told me that it was not a good choice and he should have paid heed to my advice and had our lunch at the Nagaon Bypass itself. The taxi driver did not have his lunch with us and he told us that he knew of a place near the Agnigarh Fort at Tezpur where we were heading and he would be having his lunch there. I guess it was a good choice he had made and we started on our taxi drive again this time to cross the famous bridge over the river Brahmaputra – the Kolia Bhumura bridge. This is one of the very old bridges spanning across the Brahmaputra river and our taxi drove past it to reach the town of Tezpur in Assam. This is one of the cleanest towns in Assam and Tezpur is often referred to as the knowledge town of Assam. We entered Tezpur and the taxi driver drove towards the Agnigarh fort that is often referred to as the Fortress of Fire. Our Uncle’s quarters was near the place and once we finished exploring the Agnigarh fort we would drive the taxi to his home and relax for a while and then spend the evening at the Cole’s park and send some time at a bar over drinks to end our day. There was a small quarter for drivers and help staff and our taxi driver could halt the night here with us.
We reached the Agnigarh fort and this is a famous fort from the times of the mythological era that spoke about a great battle being fought between the army of two Gods that led to the name ‘Tezpur’ – meaning the city of blood. Our taxi driver went to have his lunch and we stepped into the fortress that is built with red bricks and also is red in colour. A flight of stairs leads to the fort top and along the way there are many statues of Gods and Goddesses. This fortress was used by a King to keep his daughter (Usha) in exile when he found out that she was in love with a man not of the King’s choice (Aniruddha) and the fortress used to be surrounded by fire to stop the girl from escaping or others coming to the fort to rescue the girl. On the top where the viewpoint from where one gets to see an aerial view of the Brahmaputra river and the town of Tezpur a sculptured figure demonstrates the famous war that was fought between the followers of Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva. From the view point we for the beautiful view of the town and after spending sometime here we came down to meet our taxi driver who drove us in his taxi to our uncle’s house nearby. The caretaker of the place welcomed us in and we called our uncle and informed him of our arrival and he told us to make ourselves comfortable and in case we needed anything to tell the caretaker who would attend to our needs.
So we checked in and made ourselves comfortable at the house. We freshened up as the jeep safari at Pobitora had allowed enough dust to settle in our head and it was better to clean up now and not wait until the next day. The taxi driver checked into the driver quarter and he was pleased to find a nice place to stay because he had planned on sleeping in the taxi itself. What happens is that when we hire a taxi service in Assam the drivers charges us a fixed amount every day that includes a reasonable distance of travel and also covers the taxi fuel charges and the stay and fooding of the taxi driver. The taxi driver has to pay a fixed amount per day to the taxi owner and keep the rest to himself to put fuel and for his stay and fooding. Some of the hotels and resorts have options for the drivers to stay but often they come across situations when they try to save some money by spending the night in the taxi itself as the accommodation options they have to spend money. It is a hard life of them and so whenever I take them out on tours I ensure to make their arrangements to sleep be it just he puts a mattress in a dining hall or I offer the tents and tell the hotel owners to provide the mattress and pillow to sleep in the tent itself.
At Tezpur it was not a problem as my uncle had a quarter and also in Arunachal Pradesh because most of the hotels have a dormitory for the taxi drivers and they allow them to stay free of cost and offer free fooding to the taxi drivers who bring their guests to the respective hotels. At 5 OM we went out to explore he Cole’s Park in Tezpur that is famous tourist point in Tezpur town and visitors come here along with local residents to send their evening in calm and there are amusement rides and games available at this park for the entertainment of children. This is a very picturesque park in the heart of Tezpur town and is often referred to as the Chitrakala Udyan. At this park various drawing and painting competitions are held for children of Tezpur and the taxi driver told us about the story of Chitralekha after whom the park is around and how she helped to free the princess kept in exile at the Agnigarh with her lover Aniruddha. A unique feature of this park are an inscription of Bhomoguri that were ancient plans to build a bridge over the Brahmaputra river and today the Kolia Bhumura bridge exists there. Another unique attraction of this park is the MIG 21 aircraft kept on display and my uncle at whose place we were staying was the pioneer n planning to renovate this park during his tenure here at Tezpur as an officer of the administrative services. After this we took our taxi to go to a bar nearby to our place of stay.
The Magnolia bar and restaurant is a famous restaurant and bar in Tezpur and offers various cuisine and array of alcoholic beverages on the menu. We ordered for a bottle of whiskey and half a bottle of vodka for two members and I asked the driver to join us as well as it was long day for him as well. He was very pleased with the offering and I did this because in our tour of Kaziranga he had offered me to drink when we staying at the Namdang Guest House there. We ordered for grilled chicken, fish fry and roast pork for our starters as our dinner would be prepared and kept ready at the home and by the time we reached the caretaker would hand us the key and he would leave to his house. We were staying just the night at Tezpur and the next day the taxi driver would drive us to Bomdila where we would halt for the night and travel to Tawang the next day. My cousin was very happy with the places we had visited today and being a part of the rich history and culture of Assam and he congratulated me on planning to start my own travel company and encouraged me to help people see more of Assam and not just limit their visit to Kaziranga National Park and Kamakhya temple. There was so much to be seen across the area of Assam and this would be a boon for me to help people from other countries explore my state with me and perhaps this taxi driver as well.
Our food and starters arrived and I must admit the food was delicious and much better than what we had in the afternoon. The meat was cooked to perfection and the fish fry was quite crispy must be due to addition of some rice flour to the batter that coated the fish. We finished our food and drinks and headed back on our taxi drive that was a short drive to the house. We moved in and the caretaker handed us the keys and told us what he had prepared and for the taxi driver he had kept the dinner separately in his room. We thanked him and I paid him some money as a token of gratitude because I was well aware that they did not get paid good salary and them money I gave him as a token of appreciation. He refused at first but on my further perusal he accepted it and told us that he would come by 7 AM tomorrow and prepare breakfast for us and he told us not to leave without having breakfast. The taxi driver retired to his room to have dinner and go to bed and we sat down for dinner and watched television for a while before retiring to our rooms. Next morning the caretaker came by 7 AM and he prepared us some hot roti sabji, boiled eggs and tea for breakfast and we started on our taxi drive to Bomdila from Tezpur.
For our travel to Arunachal Pradesh I had asked one of my friend staying at Itanagar to arrange for a group ILP for the four of us as the taxi driver already had a permit to drive his taxi in Arunachal Pradesh and I had the pass in my hands because an ILP is a must requisite for Indian Nationals to visit Arunachal Pradesh as this is a protected state. We crossed Tezpur on our taxi to drive towards Balipara area and at Balipara we took the straight road from the signal crossing to travel towards the Nameri National Park in Assam and further towards Bhalukpong in Arunachal Pradesh on our taxi. The roads here were so nice and even though it is a narrow two way road but the surrounding is so lush green filled with the tall canopy of trees that our taxi drive was indeed heavenly. The taxi crossed the area of the Nameri National Park and we reached the border check gate near Bhalukpong in Arunachal Pradesh and the taxi driver and myself went to the office to show our ILPs and one of the guards came to the taxi vehicle and verified the members as per the ILP and allowed us to pass through the gate and our taxi reached the area of Arunachal Pradesh and we drove towards Bhalukpong to halt at the market there. The Bhalukpong market is a traditional market that sees various local traders come in and display and sell their traditional produce and goods. The tribal attires, wall hangings and daggers are a work of craftsmanship to be found here at the Bhalukpong market. Our taxi driver stopped at the Bhalukpong market and he knew the owner of a restaurant here and the taxi driver took us to have coffee and this time he would be paying.
It was so nice to see gratitude in his eyes and we agreed that our taxi driver would be paying for the coffee. After coffee we spent some time at the market admiring the various traditional attires, footwear’s and the weapons that were on sale. Arunachal Pradesh is mostly a state inhabited by the indigenous tribal communities and so these people have since long preserved their ancient cultures and traditions and passed on their legacy to the future generations who have kept alive the practice of weaving and handicrafts. After spending about 30 minutes at the Bhalukpong market we started on our taxi ride to Bomdila after we made a stop at the Tippi Orchard crossing Bhalukpong. The mountain road started and the taxi driver turned off the air-conditioning to bring the adequate power to drive on this terrain. This is a prerequisite condition in hiring taxi service to Arunachal Pradesh when the taxi drivers inform priorly that once we start on the mountain terrain the air-condition in the taxi would be turned off as it takes a toll on the taxi engine because AC draws a lot of power to run on this mountain terrain and feeling the weather and the pollution free environment around one doesn’t need air-conditioning while traveling in their taxi. The beautiful valleys welcomed us to Arunachal Pradesh and the taxi driver put on some old Bollywood classics that added to the charm of the drive.
We reached the Tippi Orchard centre in sometime and the taxi driver stopped his vehicle at the parking lot that already had few other taxis waiting for visitors who too were on their way to either Bomdila or Dirang. The taxi driver was happy to meet up with his friends and we went in to explore the Tippi Orchard centre at Tippi. A beautiful glass building welcomed us and this place is a complete office setup as there is a display green house, a museum, administrative office, a huge lawn, etc. North East India is home to over 800 species of orchids and Arunachal Pradesh accounts for a vast number of these species and as orchids speak a lot about the biodiversity of a region it was decided to showcase these orchid species under one roof to all visitors and hence they built this place as a one stop destination for the various orchids. There is another orchid park at Kaziranga as well where I had visited sometime back and that place is the largest orchid park in India. We explored the Tippi orchard and admired the various species of orchids here and later headed on our taxi drive to travel to Bomdila. The taxi drive was much steeper now and the taxi continued on its course easily because the Toyota Innova is a powerful vehicle and it can breeze across these terrain with the AC off and seven passengers sitting on the car.
The river Kameng greeted us and it flows along the way of the drive to Bomdila. The taxi drive was one of the very beautiful ones we have across North East India and so a visit to Arunachal Pradesh is a must for any tourist coming to visit North East India. After driving for another hour we reached the Tenga valley area that is a small township and it was good to see human habitation after driving across the forests for a while. There were small houses along the way but we did not see much of human habitation and so it was a pleasure to finally see the human settlements. The taxi driver halted here to check the air pressure on the tyres of the taxi and to take a smoke break as well and we took the opportunity to stretch our legs and explore the market here at Tenga valley. It was about time for lunch and so we walked to a stall that was preparing some authentic Monpa dishes. The Monpa people of Arunachal Pradesh are an ethnic group who migrated to Arunachal Pradesh from Tibet and Bhutan and since then have inhabited the West Kameng and Tawang districts. They are followers of the Mahayana sect of Tibetan Buddhism and revere the nature around the, and along with them they brought the culture and cuisine of Tibet. The taxi driver recommended we have our lunch here because by the time we reached Bomdila it would be late afternoon and so it was better to have lunch here itseIf.
I was eager to try the Thupkas and my cousin and his friends are diehard fans of the momos and so without a second though we headed to the small restaurant at Tenga valley to try our hands at the Monpa cuisine. The taxi driver went to a separate place because he is a true Assamese and he can’t have a meal that doesn’t have rice in it. So he went to eat rice and pork while we settled for the pork Thupkas and chicken momos. The soup that was served along with the moms was one of the best clear soups I ever had and it was loaded with flavours with natural herbs and the meat and a famous herb of the region – the Naga Dhania. After the sumptuous meal we started on our taxi drive to Bomdila crossing the beautiful and picturesque valleys of Arunachal Pradesh and we reached Bomdila at 3 PM and the taxi driver took us to check into a hotel. We had not made reservations for our stay as we relied on our taxi driver who told us that he would make arrangements for out stay at a decent place as this way he could earn a commission from the hotel be it in the form of money or complimentary meals and booze. He took us to the Hotel Zambala at the market area of Bomdila and it was a nice place to halt for a night with basic amenities.
We had two rooms for ourselves at the hotel Zambala and the room had two beds, a mirror, a bathroom and a wardrobe to keep our clothes. It was just the night to get accustomed to the high elevation before we proceed to even further elevation at Sela Pass and Tawang on our taxi drive tomorrow. The taxi driver found himself a dorm to halt along with two other taxi drivers who were his friends and it seemed to me that it is a pact that these taxi drivers have with certain hotels wherein they bring in guests and allow them to check in to these hotels and in turn these taxi drivers get a free place to stay and get to eat free meals and are served booze saving their travel costs by at least INR 400 per night and if it is a long trip that visitors hire their taxis then they are able to save up to INR 2000 per trip so in case they have 3 such trips in a month they make an additional INR 6000 per month that is not a bad deal at all as many families in India survive an entire month with that amount. Anyways we freshened up and in the late afternoon we went to visit the Bomdila Monastery on our taxi that is a prime tourist attraction here. A beautiful and calm place, the Monastery at Bomdila has a bug courtyard area and at the centre there is a prayer hall that has a huge statue of Lord Buddha inside and the whole place fells calm with butter lamps lit inside the altar premises and the customary flags all around.
We didn’t have much time and my cousin wanted to explore the market as well because the shops shut early here and so we went back to the taxi to go to the hotel and the taxi driver would drop us at the market that was a walk away from the Hotel and he would park the taxi at the hotel. It is a small town and if we had time in our hands then exploring the town on foot would have been more interesting than just travelling by the taxi vehicle and the beautiful valleys would have been a treat to the eyes. The Bomdila market is another traditional Monpa market that is filled with various traditional attires and mostly the attires and decorative items made with wool. The climate at Bomdila is cold across the year mostly due to the elevation and the attires of the local people needs to be warm and so wool is an important fabric to weave clothes. These Monpa people mostly prefer to weave their own clothing and here weaving is an important industry and it is said that most of the influential people have a loom setting at their home and they hire the services of people to weave the clothing for them. We spent about thirty minutes at the local market at Bomdila and had some tea with Yak milk and later walked back to our hotel.
The taxi driver was spending time with his other taxi friends and he came to us to ask if we needed anything to drink and he would arrange it for us. The weather was starting to get cold and my cousin asked him to arrange for a bottle of rum and he would get it for us and we went to our room to spend time relaxing as we had another day of long drive ahead of us across the mountain terrain to reach Tawang tomorrow. The taxi driver came back and he was a man of his words and he assured to bring us the desired brand as well and he told us that we had to leave early tomorrow morning because he got the news that the weather was not favourable and we had to cross Sela pass before noon to ensure a smooth taxi journey to Tawang and we agreed to leave at 6.30 AM in the morning and we would stop for breakfast at Dirang at small shops and continue on our taxi drive to Sela Pass and further to Tawang. We ordered our dinner at our room as the hotel had a functional restaurant in the premises as well it churned some delightful food on the menu. We ordered for fried rice, a paneer curry along with a pork recipe to be shared amongst the four of us and for starters the taxi driver brought us some fried chicken from the market. After our early dinner we returned to bed to wake up early the next morning.
We started on taxi ride to Tawang the next morning from Bomdila and I cleared the bill at the hotel and the people in these parts of the country get up very early and the market was already bustling with activity at 6.30 AM itself. We crossed Bomdila to head on our taxi drive towards Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh and further to Sela Pass. The scenic and picturesque landscapes welcomed us again and Arunachal Pradesh is gradually becoming a hotspot for ecotourism and the lovely villages here enthral an eco-tourist who comes here to witness the rich culture and heritage of the local people. The taxi driver told us about his various trips to Tawang in his taxi and the extreme scenarios when the taxi would get stuck on the heavy snow and how he uses chains on his tyres to get a better grip on the slippery roads. At one instance he had got stuck in his taxi along with tourists and they had to spend 48 hours at the Sela Pass for the snow to be cleared until they could leave back to Guwahati. This was his way of life and je enjoyed his work he said. We reached the beautiful town of Dirang that is located on a valley and the views were spectacular here. The taxi driver took us to a shop where we would have our breakfast and the shop offered freshly cooked maggi noodles, eggs and tea and the taxi driver as usual sat down with his meal of rice. No wonder he had a protruding belly and it is the case with most of the taxi drivers in the region who stuff their stomach with rice because they do not know when they would stop for their next meal and it would depend on the choice of the passengers in the vehicle.
Thankfully they are used to the rice and do not fall asleep while driving the taxi. We ordered freshly cooked maggi noodles with vegetables and scrambled eggs and tea and thankfully we found something to eat in these remote areas. Dirang is another halt over destination apart from Bomdila towards Tawang and it is midway so people halt here otherwise the journey to Tawang gets quite long and a break is necessary for both the taxi driver and the tourists. And a stay here helps people from outside to get acclimatized with the elevation before they head further to more elevations at Sela Pass and Tawang. This way they do not feel altitude sickness as the body gets used to the low oxygen and this atmosphere. After our breakfast we walked for some time and again sat on the taxi to drive further to the famed Sela Pass. The altitude was getting to our brains and one of our friends felt sick and we had to stop the taxi for him to relax and get better and we started again. The beautiful snow covered mountains welcomed us at the Sela Pass and it looked like a white carpet spread on the mountain with the black road visible.
The most beautiful sight is the towering eastern Himalayas that are completely filled with snow here. We kept driving admiring the snow cover and the beautiful sky and the taxi driver stopped near the Sela Lake for a while for us to admire this frozen lake. He kept the taxi engine running because if the diesel freezes then we would have a tough time to start the taxi back again so it was necessary to keep the taxi engine warm and he asked us to quickly check the Sela lake and come back to the taxi. The area around Sela Pass has around 101 lakes and these lakes are considered to be sacred by the Monpa people of Arunachal Pradesh. The Sela Lake is the largest among these lakes and the lake remains frozen most parts of the year owing to the cold temperatures. It was a beautiful sight to behold here and this lake is named after a Monpa girl ‘Sela’ who is believed to have helped the brave Indian soldier Jaswanth Singh who single handily provided a stiff resistance to the Chinese army during the war of 1962 and Sela provided him with food and supplies during this period. Jaswanth Singh was however captured and Sela gave up her life as she thought death to be better than to be captured by the enemy. Today this place is a prime tourist attraction attracting thousands of visitors every year who travel to Tawang on their taxis.
We spent some time here and later headed back to our taxi to travel to Jaswantgarh and further to Tawang. The weather get quite dark as we were at a good elevation and the taxi driver told us that he makes it a practice for tourists in his taxi to cross Sela Pass before 12 noon as the weather remains favourable during the morning time when the sun shines and the snowfall is less because once the cloud cover comes in the heavy snowfall often blocks the roads here at Sela Pass and the brave soldiers of the Indian Army have to be called in along with the state officials who have to get to clearing the snow. The taxi driver told us about the huge army cantonment in these areas as Arunachal Pradesh shares a border with China and China has always considered Arunachal to be a part of its territory and due to this the battle of 1962 was fought but however the Chinese forces retreated. So to prevent any further advances the India Army is quite vigilant across the state of Arunachal Pradesh and along the way we would be seeing many army outposts and trucks from our taxi. It was quite hard for me to even imagine the cold weather of Sela Pass again and I could only imagine as to how these brave soldiers spend their day and night in this cold weather. A sense of respect and gratitude dawned in me and we continued on our taxi drive further to Tawang.
Shortly our taxi arrived at Jaswantgarh and we got down at this army base to have some tea and snacks that are served at the army canteen here. Indian army is at constant vigil across this area and not only for any intrusion but also the ensure that they could be of help to the tourists who often get sick due to the altitude and also help in the clearance of the road when there is heavy snowfall in the area. The taxi driver took us to the army canteen to have some tea and samosas and quickly we explored the Jaswantgarh war memorial that was built to commemorate the sacrifice of Jaswanth Singh and the other brave soldiers. My cousin came up with a sudden plan to visit Kaziranga National Park on our return trip which we had not planned earlier because he heard that Kaziranga National park would close for the monsoon season especially the elephant safari from April end and he had planned to visit the place on May first week after our journey from Tawang by taxi. He did not want to miss the Elephant safari experience at Kaziranga and so I enquired with the taxi driver whether it would be possible or not and the taxi driver said that since we would be reaching Tawang by our taxi at around 1.30 PM we could go to the old market area for our quick lunch and explore the other market here at Tawang and later check in to our hotel.
The taxi drive from Tawang to Kaziranga would take about 11 hours if everything especially the weather was favourable and driving such long distance would be very hectic for all of us. So it would be better that we explored the Tawang monastery in the morning and then start on our taxi drive back to Dirang where we could halt the evening and the next day we travel to Kaziranga National Park from Dirang and this way we would be able to stick to our schedule extending our stay for one night at Kaziranga National Park and since the taxi driver didn’t have any immediate booking he could extend his stay for another day with us and so it was agreed upon. I had to make a few calls to book the elephant safari at Kaziranga and for our stay again we did it at the Namdang Guest House at Kaziranga National Park. After having tea and snacks we started on our taxi drive to Tawang again and we did not plan on further stops as per the instruction of the taxi driver and we would halt directly at the Tawang market on our taxi in the interest of time. We were another two hours away from Tawang and we admired the beautiful view around us on the downhill drive now. In sometime we came across the Nuranang falls before Tawang that is one of the most beautiful waterfalls across Arunachal Pradesh and is a prime tourist attraction. Also called as the Jung falls this waterfall is named after another lady Nuranang who had helped Jaswanth Singh during the war of 1962.
We admired the beauty of the waterfall from the taxi itself and continued to drive towards Tawang. The snow did not recede and we spotted snow all across the journey. At 1.30 PM we finally arrived at the old market in Tawang and our taxi came to a halt here. One of the most beautiful destinations to explore in North East India, Tawang is the district headquarters of the Tawang district and home to the Monpa people of Arunachal Pradesh. The roads are narrow across the town and the taxi driver headed to a parking area to halt the taxi. We came to the old market and started exploring the place because the samosas we had at Jaswantgarh was still full in our stomach and we needed some exercise before we felt hungry for lunch. Another beautiful Monpa market, the old market is one of the most visited places in Tawang for the tourists who come here.
The beautiful and colourful Monpa attires could be seen all across the old market in Tawang and the taxi driver told us that he would take us to the handicrafts and handloom emporium next as this was a government emporium in Tawang and the prices were regulated by the Gov. itself. Next my cousin and his friends picked up some small decorative items to take back home as a memoir of their visit to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on our taxi ride. We felt hungry and it was time for lunch and we went for a general cuisine this time of fried rice, momos and noodles while the taxi driver his usual of rice and meat. After our lunch we boarded the taxi to travel to the Handicraft and Handloom museum towards the new market area of Tawang and this place was like an emporium itself. The taxi driver took us in and he knew the artistes at this place and he showed us the various art forms of the Monpa people. At this emporium not only sale but also manufacture of handicrafts and handloom are done. Beautiful carpets are woven here as the Monpa influence us from Tibet and the artisans of Tibet are renowned across the World for their exquisite carpet weavings. The taxi driver told us that the prices here were fixed by the government but I must admit the costs were quite high and it must be due to the extreme craftsmanship involved in the making of these things.
We decided to leave and check into our hotel and the taxi driver took us to the Hotel Snowland in Tawang and it was near the new market area itself in Tawang and we would quickly check-in to the hotel and freshen up and later explore the new market area and call it a day because the next day we had to travel back on our taxi to Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh. Aptly name after the area that receives so much of snowfall, Hotel Snowland is a nice budget hotel in the heart of Tawang with clean and modest facilities. The rooms are adequately sized to fit in 3 people but with two twin beds only and the bathroom have a western toilet and were very neat and clean. One interesting thing I learnt here in Tawang is that it is better to choose a bathroom with an Indian style rather that the Western style because it is very cold out here and so the toilet seat gets quite cold especially at nights and so it is better to get a squat style toilet rather that a western one. We took little time to freshen up and went out again with our taxi driver for a short walk to the new market are of Tawang and we explored the market looking for small souvenirs to carry back home and my cousin and friends almost shopped like girls and they picked up quite some stuff from the market. The taxi driver arranged for our stock of rum to be had with hot water later and we headed to a small shop to pick up some authentic Monpa cuisine for our starters.
The Monpa cuisine is very different from what we have across other parts of North East India because the food here is cooked with intent to bring heat inside the body of a person in order to suit the cold climate. The taxi driver warned us to order things that we were not acclimatized with because the food would be very spicy and hot and it could cause a stomach upset and thereby hamper our travel plans in case someone felt sick and it was indeed a clever piece of advice coming from our taxi driver and we obliged and picked up the food that was less in chillies. We reached abck to our hotel and the taxi driver got us the bottle of rum and we prepared the boiling water in our room in the hot water kettle that was provided. The started had some packed fritters and momos with chutney that were not very spicy. We had our dinner of rice, dal, paneer matar and chicken curry and retired to be to get up the next morning. The Tawang Monastery was scheduled to open to visitors at 8 AM and so we headed to the Monastery to admire the beauty of the architecture here. We left the hotel at 7.30 AM after a quick breakfast of maggi noodles and tea and headed on our taxi drive to the Tawang Monastery – the Largest Buddhist Monastery in India and the second largest in the World after the Potala Palace in Tibet.
The taxi driver dropped us at the Monastery and he went to fill diesel in his taxi and by the time we finished exploring the Monastery he could refuel and later pcik us up and we could travel to Dirang. A grand architecture the Tawang Monastery has a huge courtyard at the entrance that is used for traditional dance performances at the Monastery especially during the Monpa New Year of Losar that is celebrated every year in the month of February. The main premise is at the centre area that houses the prayer hall and on the second floor there is a huge library that has ancient Buddhist scriptures that are imparted as learning to the monks who stay and study Buddhist literature at the Tawang Monastery. The Monastery has various quarters for the monks and at one point of time there is space for 800 monks to stay here. One interesting fact about these quarters is that these have been built by the local villagers who stay around the Monastery and they have collected the resources to build these quarters and they also look after the repairs and maintenance of these quarters that speaks highly as to how much the local Monpa people revere these Buddhist monks.
We finished admiring the grandeur of the Tawang Monastery and in the meantime the taxi driver arrived as well and we started on our drive to Dirang after bidding farewell to the beautiful town of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. We were to reach the Sela Pass as soon as possible during the daytime before noon or else it would be a problem and so we ensured not to make any further stops until we crossed Sela Pass on our taxi drive. Soon we crossed Jaswantgarh and the snow covered mountains of the Sela Pass with the beauty of the place coming back to our sight once again and this time the snowfall was much less and we enjoyed the taxi drive. From Sela Pass the downhill drive started and the taxi driver put on some good music for us to enjoy our drive. We reached Dirang at around 2 PM and the taxi drive took us to the Aao resort at Dirang as he thought this would be a better property to halt here as the others were very basic and this place was moderately priced and it had a perfect location to admire the vast pristine beauty of the Eastern Himalayas here in Arunachal Pradesh. My cousin was famished and so we asked the taxi driver to drop us at the market where we would eat something at first and he would go to the Aao resort and help us check-in with the luggage and his food would be ready there itself.
After the long drive our limbs felt almost numb and we were thankful that we got a chance to stretch our legs finally. We went to the same shop where we had our lunch the day earlier and this time we tried our taxi driver’s favourite food of rice and meat and off course a place of the juicy momos. All of us were very hungry and we almost gobbled up the food once it arrived and the way we had our food brought a smile on the face of the owner of the shop who served us some extra food at no additional cost that in turn brought a smile to our faces. We finished our food and walked to the hotel at Dirang and on the way we spotted a Monastery that was just newly built. The Dirang Monastery is a newly constructed huge Monastery that is located on a hill top and a flight of stairs leads to the top where the Monastery is located. As the place was newly built the colours of the Monastery walls looked very vibrant and the monastery was huge in structure. The view of the Eastern Himalayas looked absolutely magical from this Monastery and there is a huge lawn as well here that has plantations of lovely flowers as well. We spent some time here and walked back to the Aao resort where the taxi driver had arranged for our luggage to be taken out of the taxi and kept in the rooms.
We spent the evening at the backyard of the resort itself where a bonfire was lit and we spend our time here and had our dinner later of rice, dal, vegetable and pork curry and retired to our rooms. The next morning we started on our taxi drive to Kaziranga National Park from Dirang. The taxi driver got up a little late and by the time we were out it took him another 30 minutes to get ready but we did not have much to do at Kaziranga and so we were alright with it enjoying the view of the lovely landscapes as today was our final day at Arunachal Pradesh. We started on our taxi drive and reached Bomdila in sometime and further to Bhalukpong where we got down from our taxi and went to the border checkpost to show our ILP and bid goodbye to Arunachal Pradesh. Our taxi entered Assam again and we drove towards Balipara area and finally arrived at Tezpur by noon. Our taxi crossed Tezpur town and we planned on having our lunch at Jakhlanbandha town that is located ahead of our reaching to Kaziranga National Park. The taxi driver stopped at Jakhlabandha and this is the place where most of the busses plying across Guwahati and Jorhat stop for the passengers to get down having their lunch and the night busses for their dinner. The taxis too stop here who reach Nagaon early with the visitors and so the next place to have a decent lunch is here at Jakhlabandha.
We were planning to visit the Kaziranga Orchid Park on our taxi and return to our hotel as the drive all these days to Tawang from Guwahati and from Tawang to Kaziranga was getting hectic and so we needed to sleep early today and also allow the taxi driver to take adequate rest because we would be having another early morning tomorrow and later head back to Guwahati after our elephant and jeep safari rides. After lunch the taxi took us to the Kaziranga Orchid Park directly and we went in to admire the beauty of the orchid species of Assam and North East India. I had visited the place sometime back so I did not have much to see so I spent time speaking to the taxi driver and calculating our final balance we had to pay our taxi driver. My cousin and his friends came back after exploring the Kaziranga Orchid Park and we boarded the taxi to go to the Namdang Guest House before stopping at Jadu’s shop to pick up our passes for the elephant safari and the jeep would pick us up and take us to the safari ride at the western range of the park. Jadu somehow managed to book our elephant safari ride at the central range of the park itself because it was the end of season and the foreign tourists arrival had decreased now and Indian nationals were being allowed to go for the Elephant safari ride at the central range itself.
Our taxi reached the Namdang Guest house and Deka da had arranged for 2 rooms for us and he welcomed us in. The taxi driver went to the market to bring his stock of booze and also to get some fresh fish that we would be having for dinner. We were the only ones staying at the place today and so the caretaker ensured to cook a wonderful dinner for us and the taxi driver sat with us and we finished our drinks and had our dinner to retire to bed to get up early for the morning elephant safari at Kaziranga at 6.30 AM. The next morning our taxi driver took us to the elephant safari riding point and we enjoyed our hour long safari and later returned to the guest house to have our breakfast. After breakfast the jeep arrived at the hotel and we wanted to enjoy an open jeep ride and so we asked the taxi driver to come a little later to the Bagori range with our luggage and we would finish our safari ride and we he could pick us up and we will end our trip and travel to Guwahati on our taxi. The jeep ride was quite bumpy but we enjoyed it and our safari started and we spotted many rhinoceros on our way. Our ride lasted for about an hour as the early rains had cut short the route inside the park otherwise the ride would continue for another 30 minutes yet it was an amazing experience and we came out and boarded our taxi to drive back to Guwahati from Kaziranga thereby ending our hectic yet fruitful taxi tour of Guwahati – Pobitora – Tezpur – Bomdila – Sela Pass – Tawang – Dirang – Kaziranga – Guwahati.