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.