Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
The MV Mahabaahu River Cruise cruising on the Brahmaputra at Majuli

The Brahmaputra is among the largest rivers on planet Earth in terms of discharge and sediments and flows across the State of Awesome Assam. It’s the only river in the Indian Subcontinent with a male name, as it means “son of Brahma” in Sanskrit (putra means “son”).

Originating in the Angsi glacier in Tibet, the river flows through Tibet, Arunachal Pradesh, Awesome Assam and finally Bangladesh where it merges with river Ganga and flows into the Bay of Bengal. The river Brahmaputra flowing across Assam and Arunachal Pradesh is considered among the Holiest rivers in India in the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities. Brahmaputra is also the only river in India from where Jungle Safaris (both Jeep and Elephant) are conducted into the National Park of Assam. Cruising along the mighty Brahmaputra allows its visitors to experience the true essence of Awesome Assam viz. the culture and traditions of the heritage tribes of Assam who dwell by the banks of the Brahmaputra.

The Brahmaputra is the life line of Awesome Assam, nurturing its topography, culture, socio-cultural life and sustaining major urban centers. It has also been at the center of Awesome Assam’s folklore inspiring literature, music and art. But one feels the might of this river during the monsoons (July to September) when the river floods and leaves behind a wave of destruction rendering people homeless.

In addition to being the life line of Awesome Assam, the Brahmaputra also serves as a major tourist attraction for the region. The river is used for ferrying tourists and passengers to many historical sites and temples which are not accessible by road. There are many river cruises that ply on this river. From restaurants to discotheques there cruises makes you feel an experience of a lifetime. Luxury cruise liners operate between Guwahati and Kaziranga (the land of the one horned Rhino) during October to April.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
The MV Mahabaahu docked at the Neemati Ghat near Majuli Island

Highlights of the River Cruise in Awesome Assam are ~

  • Arrive at Guwahati and visit the famous Kamakhya temple. Board the River Cruise at Pandu Ghat
  • Cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra and get to witness the amazing Gangetic river dolphins
  • Visit tea estates and witness the process of tea plucking
  • Witness wildlife at the Kaziranga National Park home to the One Horned Rhinoceros and various species of endangered wildlife
  • Visit the village of the famous tribe of Assam, the ‘Mishings’
  • Visit the World’s Largest River Island ‘Majuli’ and get to know about the Neo-Vaishnavite Satras
  • Visit Sivasagar – the land of the mighty kings of the ‘Ahom Dynasty’ and experience their magnificent culture and engineering marvels
  • Journey ends

1| The M.V. Mahabaahu Luxury River Cruise ~  Assam

The M.V. Mahabaahu is a luxurious Cruise liner that operates across the tourist sector of Assam covering the destinations of Guwahati, Kaziranga National Park, Majuli Island and Sivasagar. The M.V. Mahabaahu is among the pioneers of long distance river tourism in Assam and offers experiential cruises on the River Brahmaputra.

The M.V. Mahabaahu can accommodate 46 visitors across 23 superior and luxurious cabins. There are 5 spread out decks in the M.V. Mahabaahu including an open sundeck. The M.V. Mahabaahu has an inhouse restaurant, swimming pool, spa, gym, a bar and a 24×7 open coffee house. Each cabin inside the M.V. Mahabaahu is lined with luxurious interiors and fitted with satellite TVs, personal safe, mini bar, inhouse telephone and attached bathroom. The M.V. Mahabaahu’s kitchen prepares local ethnic Assamese meals along with other varied cuisine served out as Buffet breakfast, Buffet lunch and seated themed dinners.

Ethnic traditional dance performances of the tribes of Assam can be experience onboard the M.V. Mahabaahu luxurious liner. The MV Mahabaahu Brahmaputra River Cruise offers air-conditioning across each of the cabins and the cabins are all having spacious and superior attached bathrooms. Each of the cabins at the MV Mahabaahu have large windows that allows guests to absorb the warmth of morning sun and enjoy the natural light while it also provides the breathtaking views of the setting sun and visitors can admire the waters of one of the mightiest rivers in the World from their cabins and enjoy the sight of the local fishermen who brave the waters of the mighty river every day in their country boats and collect the catch of the day to sell in the markets and to feed their families. The sight of setting sun and the morning sunrise across the Brahmaputra River is a view to watch out for and it is also considered auspicious by the people of the country. Get to view the lush and green countryside of Assam on your river cruise across the mighty Brahmaputra river and this will allow you to see the farmers go out to the agricultural fields, catch a glimpse of the sprawling yellow mustard gardens, the betel nut farms, the bamboo groves and even catch a sight of the rhinoceros, wild water buffaloes, hog deers, wild elephants, the royal Bengal tigers and various other animals and primate species when you are crossing the river at the protected National Park areas of Assam.

The main deck at the MV Mahabaahu Brahmaputra River Cruise comprises of the reception area that offers a warm welcome and reception to their esteemed guests, a Bar and Lounge that is called as the Soma lounge that offers a bar where guests can taste the finest wines and cocktails and there is also a furnished library for visitors to spend time reading when they are not gazing at the beautiful evening sky spanning across the horizon over the Brahmaputra River. A 50 seater restaurant called as the Mungri Mungram is also present at the main deck where visitors can savour some of the best cuisines of Indian, Assamese, Continental, Chinese, etc. There is also an area on the main deck of the MV Mahabaahu River Cruise that is a boat station where the small boats are used for local excursions around the river cruise. The lower deck at the MV Mahabaahu cruise over the mighty Brahmaputra River offers a massage centre that is a single massage room for regular and ancient Ayurveda massage therapies.

A steam and sauna for guests to enjoy a sauna experience is also present as well while cruising over the mighty Brahmaputra River of Assam. The river cruise also offers a Jacuzzi on the lower deck that allows guests to enjoy a Jacuzzi experience and the place even has a shower and changing rooms along with washrooms and there is also a saloon area as well where the esteemed guests can enjoy a hair spa or even various other beauty therapies as well. The Deck 1 on the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise has the luxury cabin for the comfortable stay of guests and there are around 2 suites, 2 luxury cabins, 7 deluxe cabins and 2 superior cabins on Deck 1 and there is also a swimming pool where visitors can relax on the sun beds and enjoy beverages that are served on board. The Deck 2 on the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise over the Brahmaputra river in Assam offers 10 superior cabins that do not have an accompanying balcony and there is also a gym on-board the Deck 2 where guests can even enjoy weight training facilities.

The sun deck on the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra River offers an open bar to its guests where guests can enjoy their favourite drink on a noon to sunset open bar facility. The sun deck also has a place for yoga where guests can enjoy their yoga session in the morning as well. The MV Mahabaahu has a detailed Itinerary that spans across the upstream and downstream journeys on the Brahmaputra River and the journey starts with the arrival of the guests at the Guwahati airport from where they are taken to the Maa Kamakhya temple shrine that is one of the holiest temple shrines dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya who is revered as the Goddess of desire and she is believed to be the granter of desires. A renowned temple shrine for the cult of Shakti and Tantra in India, it is believed that the womb of Goddess Sati fell atop the Nilachal Hills where the temple shrine is built and this temple celebrated the spirit of womanhood and the ability of a woman to give birth to a new life. A detailed session on the Kamakhya temple and the practices of Shakti and Tantra will be briefed to the guests in the later afternoon after a visit to the peacock island on-board the MV Mahabaahu.

On the second day of your Brahmaputra River cruise experience, you will set sail on a full day cruise learning about the land of the Red Rivers and Blue Hills that is the state of Assam and also learn more about the Brahmaputra River along with the life of the indigenous tribal people of Assam who had migrated to the state long back from various countries when they has set out in search of greener pastures and settled themselves along the banks of the Brahmaputra River and now are an integral part of the Assamese community. The MV Mahabaahu River cruise will anchor at an island in the evening and guests can take the opportunity of sitting across a bonfire and enjoy an evening of barbecue. The third day on the upstream cruise of the MV Mahabaahu river cruise on the Brahmaputra River in Assam, it takes visitors to the Koliabor Tea Estate and guests take the opportunity of learning about the tea gardens of Assam that have a global recognition and get to see the hard working tea workers pluck the tender tea leaves. Guests can also get the opportunity to visit a local tea factory and get to witness the final stages of tea production at the factory as well.

Guests on-board the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise gets the opportunity to visit a co-operative jute mill as well and learn about how the jute fibre is weaved into eco-friendly gunny bags. The day ends with a cultural evening and gala dinner and guests can retire to their cabins early as the next day in an eventful one at Kaziranga National Park. On the fourth day of the Brahmaputra River Cruise experience, guests will have the opportunity of going for a wildlife safari experience at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park that is famed for its population and the successful conservation story of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros.

Kaziranga National Park is described as one of the most diverse National Parks in India that hasa varied flora, fauna and avifauna including Rhinos, Royal Bengal Tigers, Wild Water Buffaloes, Hog Deers, Sambar Deers, Swamp Deers, Wild Boars, Leopards, the only Golden Tiger in the World in the wild along with 495 species of birds. The only Ape of India – the Hoolock Gibbons are known to inhabit the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park as well. The safari experience for guests on-board the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise on the Brahmaputra River in Assam starts with guests driving out to the Kohora or the Central Range of the Park where jeep vehicles await to welcome the guests and take them on a once in a lifetime experience of going for an open jeep safari ride inside the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park escorted by forest guards and accompanied by naturalists who will help the guests to identify the various species of mammals and birds inside the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park. Guests have the opportunity to sight the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros in the wild on-board their jeep safari rides and also the other animals like Hog Deers, Wild Elephants, Wild Water Buffaloes, Capped Langurs, Assamese Macaques, wild boars, great Indian Hornbills, Green Parakeets, Black Necked Stork, eagles, Owls, etc. from their jeep safari rides.

After the first round of jeep safari experience, guests will head for their breakfast at a resort in Kaziranga National Park and after a sumptuous breakfast the guests will go for another round of jeep safari experience at the heart of the Rhino land of Kaziranga National Park at the Western range of Bagori. This is the place where guests have the opportunity to have close encounters with the majestic beast of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros of Kaziranga National Park. Up-close views can be seen here of this animal that shows you the grand armour of the beast and this is the territory of the rhinos and visitors can also have the rare opportunity of sighting two adult male rhinos fight for territory and even have an encounter with the wild elephant herds of Kaziranga National Park. After the wildlife safari experience at Kaziranga, guests can have the opportunity to return back to the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise for lunch and later in the afternoon go to visit the Biswanath Ghat where guests will have the opportunity to see the silk weaving of Assam. Assamese women have wonder hands and they are known to weave out some of the most exquisite silk handlooms on traditional looms and these handlooms of Assam are renowned across the World for their detailed craftsmanship.

Silk weaving of Assam has been even recommended by the Father of the Nation (Mahatma Gandhi) when he had visited a silk weaving village at Suwalkuchi in Assam in 1948 and he said that ‘Assamese women weave dreams on their looms’. These handlooms are in great demand across the World especially the hand woven silk mekhela chadors that are woven from the three variants of indigenous silks of Assam viz. Muga, Eri and Paat. Suwalkuchi village near Guwahati is referred to as the ‘Manchester of the East’ and it is the largest silk weaving village in the World. On you MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise on the Brahmaputra River in Assam, guests get the opportunity of witnessing the silk weaving on the traditional looms at the Biswanath village and even at Majuli that is the next scheduled stop. Not only in handlooms, the men folks of the villages are expert craftsmen when it comes to weaving bamboo and cane to produce some of the finest handicrafts to be seen and the various art forms they engage in are basketry, mat making, fishing implements, etc.

Bamboo is often referred to as the poor man’s timber and it is a very versatile grass that provides adequate strength to build homes, fences around the homes or even small bridges over streams for people to walk across. Bamboo grows back very quickly and it can be thought of as an alternate to timber as well. Bamboo is used by the people of villages to make various kinds of flutes to making pyres for the dead, bamboo is an inseparable part of the Assamese society and its usage is best described in a traditional Assamese Bihu song that describes bamboo grove as his sibling from the same womb and the adage says that ‘Jaar nai baah, tar nai saah’ that translates to (a man who doesn’t have skills in bamboo, doesn’t possess courage). The Jaapi of Assam is a traditional bamboo hat that is weaved out of bamboo and a special tokou leaf and this is a unique hat of the Assamese community. While the plain and simple Jaapi is used by the farmers who go out to the agricultural fields to protect them from the sun, the ornate Jaapi is a status symbol that was once used by the Assamese royals and nobles and today these ornate Jaapis are used to welcome various guests and dignitaries and guests on-board the MV Mahabaahu River cruise over Brahmaputra are welcomed with an ornate Jaapi and a traditional Gamusa as well.

On the fifth day of the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise experience on the waters of the Brahmaputra in Assam, guests will have the opportunity to go for a round of boat safari on the eastern range of Kaziranga National Park at Agoratoli and guests will have the opportunity to sight the wild elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, darters, herons, water lizards, otters, hornbills, kingfishers, etc. at this range of Kaziranga National Park. In the afternoon there will be a cooking demonstration of the traditional dishes by the Chef on-board the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise and it will be followed by a talk on the land of Neo Vaishnavism viz. Majuli to be followed by an evening of bonfire on a deserted island and barbecue as well. On the sixth day of the schedule on the river crusie experience, guests will go to visit the local Mishing tribe villages at Majuli – the largest river island in the World. The Mishing people have inhabited Majuli since times immemorial and they are now an integral part of the Assamese society with the people holding several administrative posts in the government of Assam. Visitors will have the opportunity to witness the village life of the Mishing people of Majuli and how they live by the banks of the rivers on stilt homes.

At Majuli, guests on-board the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise will get to witness the various Satras of Majuli and also learn about the Neo-Vaishnavism cult of Assam. Founded and propagated by the holy saint reformer Srimanta Shankardeva and his disciple Sri Madhavadeva, the cult of Neo-Vaishnavism preached the principles of ‘Ek-Sarna’ that all human beings are alike irrespective of caste, creed or religion and should not be discriminated on the basis of the caste system that was very much prevalent across the country. The principles of Neo-Vaishnavism is centred on the teachings of Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna and young boys at a very early age enter the ‘Satras’ of Assam that are the Neo-Vaishnavite Monasteries that groom these young boys into scholars who learn about literature and various art forms. These satras are responsible for giving rise to numerous scholars and authors of Assam who have helped to build the modern Assamese society today and some of these scholars are now well known professors who have spent their time dedicated towards the education of the people of Assam. At Majuli, guests on-board the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra River of Assam will have the opportunity to visit a Satra at the mainland where they will be witnessing a very interesting cultural performance of the Sattriya song and dance and explore few of the very renowned Satras of Assam.

Guests on-board the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise will later head to visit the Uttar Kamalabari Satra in Majuli where they will get to witness the heritage Sattriya Nritya dance performance (that is one among the 8 classical dance forms of India) that will be performed by the Vaishnavite priests of the Satra to the rhythm of the cymbals, drums and chanting of hymns at the Satra premises in the main prayer hall of the Satra that is called as the Namghar. After this performance and spending some time around the largest river island of Majuli located amidst the mighty Brahmaputra River of Assam guests will travel back to the MV Mahabaahu where they will board the river cruise and they will enjoy a traditional Assamese evening followed by dinner. On the seventh day of the river cruise experience, guests will witness a part of history of Assam at the land of the mighty Ahom Kings of Assam who built the Ahom kingdom that is the longest unbroken ruling dynasties of India and this is also the land of the Tai Ahom people of Assam. The Ahom Kingdom was established by the great founder Sukapha who had migrated from the Shan Kingdom of Myanmar and he had established the Ahom Kingdom in 1228 and the king later went on to establish the capital of the Ahom Kingdom at Sivasagar.

Sivasagar, the name literally translates to the ‘Ocean of Lord Shiva’ and the town is built around a huge manmade lake (considered to be the largest in India) called as the Joysagar Lake that was ordered to be built by an Ahom Queen. The huge man dug out lake has a unique feature that the waters of this lake always remains at a constant level be it in the dry winters or the wet monsoon season. Guests on-board the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise will have the opportunity of visiting the Siva Doul temple that is a renowned temple shrine built in 1734 and it is also believed to be the tallest Shiva temple in India and the main temple dome has a golden pillar on top as well at this holy temple shrine. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit the Talatal Ghar fort that served as the station of the Ahom army and as mentioned this fort was constructed with flat red bricks that were bound together with a mortar of duck eggs, lime, sticky rice and sand and this binding was so strong that the monument survived two major earthquakes of Assam and it is standing tall even today.

The Talatal Ghar is known for its network of underground tunnels that were built in the form of a maze to confuse the enemy soldiers in case of an attack and there were two exits to this tunnel – one at the Ahom royal palace of the Kareng Ghar and the other by the banks of the Dikhow river. Later guests will have the opportunity of visiting the Rang Ghar monument that was the House of Entertainment of the Ahom Royals while they enjoyed the performances of the traditional games like wrestling, Bull fighting, cock fights and even the grand performance of the Bihu dance of Assam that was introduced by the Ahom royals. Later guests on the MV Mahabaahu river cruise will travel to a tea estate owned by a family for a relaxed afternoon and enjoy a traditional Assamese lunch and learn about the history of the tea industry of Assam from this family who have been involved in the same for almost a century. Guests enjoy a walk across the lawns and later travel back to the MV Mahabaahu at the Neemati Ghat for a relaxed evening followed by dinner. On the final day, guests will have the opportunity of birding at a nearby marshy swamp area and later drive to the Jorhat airport to finally end their 7 day upstream journey on the MV Mahabaahu luxury river cruise over the Brahmaputra River and bid farewell to the land of the Ahoms.

2| ABN Charaidew I Luxury River Cruise ~  Assam

The ABN Charaidew I is another of the luxury river cruise that operates on the Brahmaputra River and this is a part of the fleet of the Assam Bengal Navigation Company Pvt. Ltd. This is a heritage passenger vessel from the 1970s that has been renovated as a luxury river cruise that is now a part of the fleet of the company and offers a tasteful riverine experience on one of the mightiest rivers in the World. The ABN Charaidew I has 10 AC twin bedded cabins with en-suite bathrooms. The luxury cabins are on the upper deck of the vessel that also hosts a bar and a saloon as well. There is a sun deck on the top while there is a dining room with glass on the lower deck. The décor of the ABN Charaidew I is designed with the local handloom fabrics and the furnishings include comfortable cane sofas and chairs that speak highly of the great handicrafts and handloom work of the local weavers of Assam so that guests can be in touch with the beauty of these products across their cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra.

The ABN Charaidew I has retained its old traditional charm and guests will get to witness this charm as they view the traditional wheel (or helm) and the polished brass engine room that has a telegraph as well as well as an old steering wheel that were untouched during the renovation and even the instructions to the driver of this luxury cruise on the Brahmaputra is sent by the master of the vessel by speaking out on brass speaking tubes that retain the glorious charm of its past. The ABN Charaidew I operated by the Assam Bengal Navigation Company plying over the Brahmaputra river is Assam offers various facilities to its guests when it comes to stay on-board the luxury river cruise and some of these services are naturalist on-board the vessel to help visitors sight the species of fauna and avifauna on their journey and also at Kaziranga National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, welcome drink on arrival and post excursions, shoe cleaning services, complimentary tea, coffee and mineral water, welcome reception and farewell reception, traditional performance of songs and dances on-board, single seating for buffet breakfast and dinner and much more.

Other facilities that are offered to all visitors on-board this luxury river cruise on the Brahmaputra River are spacious cabins with individual climate control to suit the preference of guests who come from various countries and would want to experience the temperatures they are suited to, En-suite bathroom with showers and all toiletries, a good cup board space with luggage storage facility available under the beds, the ABN Charaideo I luxury river cruise on the Brahmaputra River offer high quality linens and hair dryers in each cabin as well. The cabins on-board the ABN Charaideo I are having sliding glass windows that allow a grand view of the waters of the Brahmaputra River and the view of the river can also be enjoyed by the guests on the sundeck that have both open and shaded sun lounges and steamer chairs.

3| ABN Charaidew II Luxury River Cruise ~  Assam

Another feather in the cap of the Assam Bengal Navigation Company Pvt. Ltd. that comes after the successful operation of the ABN Sukapha and the ABN Charaideo I is the ABN Charaideo II that entered the service on the waters of the Brahmaputra River in January 2019. The ABN Charaideo II is a more powerful engine when compared to its predecessor and it is powered by 2 engines along with its lower profile and extra shallow draught that allows it to cruise faster on the waters of the Brahmaputra River at the same time being more energy efficient as well. The ABN Charaideo II offer 18 deluxe cabins to accommodate its esteemed guests and all of these cabins on-board are accompanied with French balconies and are designed with elegance with the touch of the colonial era elegance and the Assamese traditional designs on hand woven fabrics from the local handloom weavers. At the ABN Charaideo II, there is a comfortable bar for guests to unwind after a day of excursion as well as a Saloon to rejuvenate themselves and also a spa treatment facility as well. The dining room is designed with elegant furniture’s and various traditional as well as continental menu are served on-board this luxury river cruise on the Brahmaputra River. A big open sundeck and a gym is also offered to its guests as well.

The ABN Charaidew II offers various luxury facilities to its guests when it comes to comfort while cruising on the mighty Brahmaputra River and this can be seen once you set foot on-board this deluxe river cruise. There are spacious deluxe cabins with individual cottages for the comfortable stay that have en-suite showers with toiletries, mini bar, tea/coffee maker, hair driers and even in-room electronic safes. The deck offers an air conditioned salon, spa, in-house gym, mini library, sun deck, etc. The various luxury services provided on the ABN Charaidew II luxury river cruise on the Brahmaputra River also offers excursion programs when guests go out to the river banks to explore site of historic interest, in house guides and naturalists are also available to help guests identify the various fauna and avifauna species at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kaziranga National Park and the learn more about the tea gardens and Satras of Majuli. The staff also provides various services after the on shore excursion to the esteemed guests on-board the ABN Charaidew II luxury river cruise on the Brahmaputra River and these services include cold towel service, welcome drink, shoe cleaning service, etc.

There is also an option of turndown service across all the cabins on-board the ABN Charaidew II. Meals served on-board the ABN Charaidew II are an acclaimed combination of Indian and Western cuisines and the chef’s team comprise of experienced trained staff members. There are single seating options for buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner on-board the ABN Charaidew II and guests can also enjoy from a wide choice of wine, spirit and beers as well. The river cruise offers 24/7 power backup facility and even Wi-Fi connectivity on the salon, sundeck and dining halls in the day time so that guests have the opportunity to stay connected with the outside World even while floating on one of the mightiest rivers in the World and even stay connected with work as well. The ABN Charaidew II offers tea, coffee and packaged water throughout the sail duration to guests including a welcome and farewell reception. The river cruise also hosts local song and dance performance on-board as well.

The ABN Sukapha was the 2nd cruise vessel that has joined the fleet of the ABN Company on the Brahmaputra River cruise Itinerary in the year 2006 after the ABN Charaidew’ s success plying on the waters of the Brahmaputra River and offering guests a lifetime experience of witnessing the glorious culture, traditions and wildlife of Assam. The ABN Sukapha can accommodate a maximum of 24 guests across the 12 cabins on the Upper Deck and it resembles the ABN Charaidew and the addition was the Spa facility at the ABN Sukapha. The cabins at the ABN Sukapha are located on the Upper deck and are bamboo panelled and are also air conditioned with en-suite bathrooms. Named after the founder of the mighty Ahom kingdom of Assam (Swargadeo Sukapha), who had migrated from the Shan Kingdom and established the Ahom empire in the early 13th century that went on to rule Assam for around 600 years and is the longest unbroken ruling dynasties in India.

Sukapha had based his capital out of Charaideo and based on this the other two luxury vessels of the ABN River cruises are named as well. The ABN Sukapha river cruise plying on the waters of the Brahmaputra River of Assam has a spa and a salon along with a mini library where visitors can spend their time relaxing and rejuvenating. The dining hall is on the main deck and the ABN Sukapha river cruise also has a spacious sun deck on the roof as well. To extend support to the local artisans, the ABN Sukapha has its furniture’s that are handcrafted by the local artisans and also the fabrics as well. The cabins are spacious with individual climate control and en-suite bathrooms and toiletries. High quality linens greet guests when they occupy the cabins and each cabin has a generous cupboard space and under bed storage. The cabins of the ABN Sukapha have large sliding windows to offer panoramic views of the river and the beautiful landscape and countryside of Assam as well. The sun deck on top of the cruise is equipped with sun lounges or steamer chairs and the spa on board have various choices of treatments.

4| MV Rudra Singha River Cruise ~ Assam

In case you are interested in a private river cruise and do not want to explore the bounties of Assam along the Brahmaputra River in a group then the pioneers in the hospitality and river cruise industry in Assam – Jungle Travels India Pvt. Ltd. introduces you to the MV Rudra Singha that is a cruise that is designed to accommodate 1 -2 person or a couple with 2 children and the river cruise on the Brahmaputra River allows guests to enjoy a calm and slow cruise across the river and to absorb in the beauty of Assam when it comes to the landscapes, wildlife, tea, culture, traditions and cuisine. Named after and dedicated to one of the greatest Ahom Kings Rudra Singha (Sukhrungphaa) under whose regime the Ahom kingdom had reached the zenith of power and glory and the king who established and built various historic monuments at the royal capital of Rongpur and known to be the most visionary Ahom king who had an expansive and progressive political vision as well.

The MV Rudra Singha cruises on the Brahmaputra River that is among the mightiest rivers of India and along the river cruise exploring the bounties of the state of Assam, visitors on-board the MV Rudra Singha get to experience a variety of cultural and wildlife delights where they get to sight the rhinos, wild elephants, Asiatic water buffaloes, various birds or even the Bengal Tigers at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park. The MV Rudra Singha also takes guests to the Abode of the Neo Vaishnavism cult at Majuli Island where guests can explore the renowned Satras and discover the dancing monks who perform one among the 8 classical dance forms of India – the Sattriya Nritya. Learn about the legendary Mishing tribes of Majuli and savour their traditional beverage and food and explore the mysteries of the largest River Island in the World. Visit the mask making Satra of Samaguri and learn about the ancient art form that was introduced by the great Saint reformer Srimanta Shankardeva and these masks are adorned by artists who enact the various Hindu mythological plays called as the Bhaonas.

The MV Rudra Singha is a very personalized river cruise and it offers premium accommodation that is present in (double or twin bedded rooms with a private bathroom) and it is air-conditioned as well. The build of the MV Rudra Singha is a wooden houseboat and it is aesthetically designed to make your river cruise experience on the Brahmaputra River one to remember for a lifetime. The MV Rudra Singha offers various facilities to its esteemed guests involving personalized service from the captain, guide and naturalists on board, service of delicious meals and snacks that are prepared by the chef on board and illustrating the vest of the regional cuisine. Guests are served endless cups of tea and coffee and also daily housekeeping is carried out in the rooms and guests also have access to Wi-Fi on board. The interiors of the MV Rudra Singha are decorated with handcrafted furniture from the local artisans and even the exquisite hand woven handlooms of North East India are used to adorn the interiors of the MV Rudra Singha. There are also two cycles on board that can be used by the guests when they go out to the shore for activities.

The MV Rudra Singha is built to cruise on the length and breadth of the mighty Brahmaputra River including its inaccessible reached and the boat offers the opportunity to its guests to have a tailor made holiday as per their interest and choice of pre curated tours as well. When you choose the MV Rudra Singha you can have the option to not only explore the waters of the mighty Brahmaputra River but also enjoy various activities like village walks, wildlife safaris, tea tasting, cultural song and dance performances, local market visit, cooking classes, traditional fishing, weaving of the local handlooms, etc. The MV Rudra Singha provides you ample opportunity to explore the varied local cultures and traditions of Assam and even get to experience the vast biodiversity of the state by a visit to the famed UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park. The stay for guests at Kaziranga National Park is arranged at the Diphlu River Lodge that is one of the finest properties to stay at Kaziranga National Park and is also owned by JTI pvt. Ltd. The guests board the MV Rudra Singha at Silghat and travel to Majuli to witness the serene Vaishnavite Monasteries of Assam as well.

5| Alfresco Grand River Cruise ~ Guwahati

The Alfresco was the first luxury cruise to start on the Brahmaputra River in the year 1998 and it catered to guests who visited Guwahati and the cruise offered evening dinner cruises that catered to many guests who were new to this river cruise experience that started on the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati. Alfresco river cruise started back in 1998 and it was the first floating cum cruise restaurant and the promoters (Brahmaputra Cruise Pvt. Ltd.) have now introduced the Alfresco Grand that offers added comfort and facilities for a better cruise experience on the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati. The Alfresco Grand houses the first floating cum cruise bar on the River Brahmaputra along with a fine dine AC restaurant as well. There are also two large sun decks on the cruise named as Surya and Vayu and also a large hall for conferences and parties as well. The Alfresco Grand river cruise operates regular cruises under the sunset cruise and the dinner cruise and some special charter cruise like the lunch cruise, house boat cruise, overnight cruise, business conferences, private charter, day long picnic and even island parties as well.

But the popular and regular ones still remain the sunset cruise and the dinner cruise on the river Brahmaputra in Guwahati. At the sunset cruise that operates every day from 4.30PM to 5.30PM, guests on-board the Alfresco Grand River cruise can get the option to enjoy a magnificent sunset cruise on the waters of the mighty Brahmaputra River and return back to the city to enjoy their evening. The sunset cruise on the Alfresco Grand river cruise over the Brahmaputra offers visitors a unique opportunity to relax and admire the view of the waters of one of the mightiest rivers in the World and watch the sunset over the horizon and see the twinkling of the stars in the evening sky as well and the option to enjoy a drink at the bar and enjoy the evening on a relaxing and unforgettable river cruise experience. This is followed by the dinner cruise that is scheduled for two hours and guests on-board the Alfresco Grand have the opportunity to cruise on the waters of the Brahmaputra River enjoying the evening breeze and soak in the city atmosphere that gets lighted up and guests also have the opportunity to watch live folk dance performances on the river cruise. The dinner cruise offers guests a welcome drink that is a mock tail that provides guests a relaxing and peaceful evening cruise along the Guwahati’s river line and guests can also enjoy live traditional north east folk dance and music on the sundeck. A buffet dinner is served on the air conditioned lounge deck of the Alfresco Grand river cruise and guests get to savour a three course meal as well. In addition to the above 2 cruise options on the Alfresco Grand there is also an option of lunch cruise as well.

The lunch cruise is offered on a charter basis and it is a two hour long cruise that starts at 12.30PM and extends to 2.30PM and occurs in the months across October to March. On the lunch cruise at the Alfresco Grand, the offerings include traditional welcome drinks, ethnic assamese lunch, folk music and dance performances by local artists and also a very unique narrative of the history and mythology of the Brahmaputra River that flows across Assam and on whose waters these luxury river cruises ply on. The Alfresco Grand also offers day long picnics to its esteemed guests as well and these picnic options are not only offered on the Alfresco Grand and these picnic options are not only offered on the Alfresco Grand cruise vessel but also on two other vessels namely the Alfresco and the SB AGAM with timings from 9AM to 4PM. There is also an option of enjoying island parties on the Brahmaputra River that is a unique offering from the Brahmaputra Cruise Pvt. Ltd. and these parties are ideal for various corporate organizations as well as Govt. PSUs and an island setup is created for such gatherings and visitors can contact the Alfresco Grand office to organize one such island party as well as a cruise on the Brahmaputra River.

6| Umananda Tourist River Cruise & House Boat ~ Guwahati

With River Tourism becoming an important part of the vast untapped potential of the tourism scenario of Assam, the Umananda Tourist River Cruise & House Boat (a unit of Umananda River Cruise, Guwahati) strives to bring forth to you a fun filled river cruise experience across the Brahmaputra in guwahati and surrounding areas.

The Umananda Tourist River Cruise & House Boat River Cruise operates to the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary from the city of Guwahati. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is located around 60 km from Guwahati with a road drive time of around 1 1/2 hours. One can choose to visit Pobitora (Home to the Highest Population Density of Indian One Horned Rhinoceros anywhere in the World) by road or by choosing to cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra onboard the Umananda Tourist River Cruise & House Boat. The River Cruise allows you to experience the beautiful scenario of riverine areas up to the nearby place at Pobitora called Kajalighat. Pobitora can be reached from Kajalighat on a 10 min drive by road. The journey begins at 6 AM from Guwahati and covers a river cruise, arrival at Pobitora, Jeep Safari into the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and cruise back to Guwahati. Meals included onboard Umananda Tourist River Cruise & House Boat are Breakfast and Lunch.

Other Destinations covered by the Umananda Tourist River Cruise & House Boat near Guwahati are ~

  • Aswaklanta Temple
  • Doul Govinda Temple
  • Umananda Temple
  • The Manchester of East ~ ‘SUALKUCHI’
  • The Holy Land of HAJO

The main rivers of Assam are the mighty Brahmaputra and Barak. Further, there is a network of over 100 large and small tributaries and distributaries that criss-cross the State offering avenues for water sports, river safari and leisure activities encompassing canal barges, taxi services between the banks, boating, luxury cruisers, motor boats, dolphin shows, underwater exploration, parasailing, river rafting and other amusements.

The wide expanse of the Brahmaputra, the flora and fauna along; the picturesque snow-clad peaks of the Eastern Himalayas in the backdrop offers an incredible prospect for the cruise industry. Presently, Assam offers several packages of luxurious river cruises along the Brahmaputra with “A” Class facilities for experiencing marine life and wildlife, tradition, adventure tourism on the way.

While in Assam, one can undertake rafting on the Jia Bhoroli river in Nameri National Park where birds and animals are often spotted on the upstream trail. The river tides being docile, they act as boon for families to partake the rafting.

Sadiya, near the longest river bridge in India, is a small town in Tinsukia which is home to the confluence of three rivers – Dihing, Dibang and Lohit. It is also a popular tourist spot witnessing a lot of footfalls.

Exploring the grandeur of Assam on these luxury River Cruises in a once in a lifetime experience and in case you being a tourist would want to explore the beauty of the Land of Red Rivers and Blue Hills that is blessed with the abundance of nature and wildlife on a luxury experience than these river cruises are highly recommended for you. Once you board any of these luxury river cruises that ply over the Brahmaputra River at the Pandu Port in Guwahati after your visit to the Maa Kamakhya temple shrine you will step into a lap of luxury where all your needs are being catered to by an army of service boys who are well trained in hospitality and ensure to make these few days of your stay in Assam on these river Cruises a memorable one for sure. The journey on these river cruises start when you arrive at the LGBI airport at Guwahati and you are welcomed by the representative of these river cruises who help you board your comfortable vehicles and you will soon travel atop the Nilachal Hills in Guwahati where the Holy temple shrine of Maa Kamakhya is located.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
The temple shrine of the Maa Kamakhya Temple on your Brahmaputra River cruise Itinerary

The Kamakhya temple is one among the 51 Shakti Peethas, 18 Maha Shakti Peethas and 4 Adi Shakti Peethas in the Indian Sub-Continent and the most revered temple shrine in North East India. It is believed that Goddess Sati’s womb fell atop the Nilachal Hills when here severed body was being held by Lord Shiva and being carried across the World with Lord Shiva performing the Tandava Nritya and hence this temple shrine celebrate the spirit of womanhood and the ability of a woman to give birth to a child. The Kamakhya temple is also associated with the cult of Shakti and Tantra and was a revered temple shrine where the various black magic sorcerers practiced the art of sorcery. Every year in the month of Asad (June) it is believed that the Goddess menstruates and the waters of the Brahmaputra River turns red and this is celebrated in the form of a festival called as the Ambubachi Mela that sees lakhs of devotees come to the Kamakhya temple shrine from across India and abroad and this festival is often referred to as the Eastern Mahakumbh. During the first three days of the festival the temple doors are closed for devotees and only on the fourth day the temple doors are opened and devotees throng to seek the blessings of the holy Goddess.

The temple shrine of Maa Kamakhya is believed to have been originally built by Lord Kamdeva and later rebuilt by the Koch Kings and finally restored to the present structure by the Ahom Kings of Assam who were so influenced by the practices of Shakti and Tantra at the temple shrine that they decided to convert to Hinduism and they became devout followers of the Goddess. The main temple shrine is located atop a hill and you will need to climb a fleet of stairs to reach the top and you will be welcomed by an astounding architecture carved out of stone with a gold plated dome on the temple top. The inner sanctum or shrine doesn’t have any idol of the Goddess and instead there is a stone that is shaped in the form of a Yoni (Vulva) and has an underground water stream continuously feeding the stone and your Darshan at the Kamakhya temple shrine before your river cruise on the Brahmaputra River is considered to be complete one you touch this holy water and sprinkle it on top of your head.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
Guests at the Maa Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati

The elaborate hand crafted sculptures along the temple walls of the Kamakhya temple is a sight of wonder and you will be surprised with the detailing of these sculptures. Kamakhya temple being a centre of Shakti and Tantra was known for its practices of animal and even human sacrifices in the olden days that were used as a mean by the sorcerers to appease the Goddess and though human sacrifice practice has been abolished, the practice of goat sacrifice continues to be followed at this temple. Once you are done exploring the Kamakhya temple you will be taken to board the luxury River Cruise boat at the Pandu Port near Guwahati and your luxury tour of Assam on-board the river cruise plying on the Brahmaputra River can be commenced. The Brahmaputra River is the soul and lifeline of the people of Assam and this river provided the adequate source of soil replenishment to the various local people who are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. It is said to be the only male river in India and it is known to provide life to the people and also create a havoc in the monsoon season when the river inundates various places including the famed UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park and thereby causing immense loss of human and animal life and damage to infrastructure as well.

At Kaziranga National Park, the annual floods that is caused by the River Brahmaputra and its tributaries causes immense loss of life of the animals at the park including the Rhinoceros, Tigers, Boars, Hog Deers, etc. The animals try to escape the flood waters by migrating to the highlands of the Karbi Anglong Hills but some of these fail to do so and so are washed away by the floods. But this loss of life is an example of a sacrifice that is demanded to allow the Brahmaputra River to bring down the necessary soil that is needed to rejuvenate the ecological balance of the interiors of Kaziranga National Park and the place being a tall expanse of elephant grass requires the nutrient rich soil. Once you reach the Pandu Port you will be welcomed on-board these luxury river cruises that ply on the mighty Brahmaputra river in Assam and take you on a journey that allows you to witness the glorious culture of the people of Assam and the best the place has to offer in terms of wildlife at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park, get to visit the mysteries of the cult of Shakti and Tantra at the Maa Kamakhya temple in Guwahati.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
Our guests on Jeep safari rides into the ranges of Kaziranga National Park in Assam

Go for a round of jungle safari inside the interiors of the Kaziranga National Park, get to taste the finest wines and cuisines on-board the luxury Brahmaputra River Cruise, get the opportunity to go to witness the tea plucking at one of the beautiful tea gardens of Assam, understand the process of tea tasting at Jorhat, savour fine cuisine and understand the heritage of the British Raj at the Burra Sahib Bungalow at the Kaziranga Golf Resort, explore the mysteries of the largest river island in the World that is nestled amidst the mighty Brahmaputra River of Majuli Island, go to visit the numerous Neo-Vaishnavite Satras of Majuli, understand the art of heritage mask making that was introduced by the great Saint Reformer Srimanta Shankardeva, visit the Uttar Kamalabari Satra in Majuli Island where you will witness the performance of one of the 8 classical dance forms of India – the Sattriya Nritya, visit the Salmora village where you will learn about the art of traditional pottery making with hands, witness the performance of a religious play that is called as the Bhaona.

Go to explore the local Mishing tribe villages where you will witness the Mishing men practice the art of bamboo handicrafts and the Mishing women practice the art of weaving exclusive handlooms on the handmade looms and get to savour some of the traditional cuisine of the Mishing people of Majuli Island. The River Cruise on the Brahmaputra River will also take you to Sivasagar – the land of the mighty Ahom Kings of Assam and at Sivasagar you will get to witness the ancient architectures and monuments of the largest unbroken ruling dynasty of India – the Ahom Dynasty. The Ahom Kingdom was established by Swargadeo Sukapha in 1228 and the Kings and Generals of the Ahom Kingdom were very brave and they established some of the remarkable architecture of Assam in the form of palaces, forts, temples, etc. and these monuments stand tall even today. The Ahoms followed a typical burial process that was similar to the Pharaohs of Egypt and once you are at Sivasagar exploring Assam on the river cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra you will go to visit the Charaideo Maidams that are the Pyramids of India. The Brahmaputra River cruise vessel has all the luxury amenities that are provided at a 5 Star Hotel and you will be thrilled once you step foot on the river cruise over the mighty Brahmaputra with host of activities to be done on-board the river cruise itself including swimming on the mini pool on the deck.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
Visit the lush tea gardens of Assam on the Brahmaputra River Cruise

The river cruises have two itineraries when it comes to plying on the waters of the Brahmaputra River in Assam. One Itinerary is downstream when it travels from Guwahati to Neemati Ghat near Majuli and one is upstream when it travels from Neemati to Guwahati. Across each of these itineraries you will get to witness a different experience of Assam as your cruise along the Brahmaputra river because you will get to witness the true essence of the Land of Red Rivers and Blue Hills as you will travel along the countryside and the true essence of a place can be felt when you cruise along the villages of the place because that is where the true essence of the place can be felt. When you travel along the roads you will get to witness some of the authentic experience of the place but it will mostly be driving across a paved highway and the modern part of the place can be seen in terms of shops in the market areas. The River Brahmaputra has lots to offer when it comes to experiencing the true vibrant culture of Assam because most of the indigenous people who had migrated to Assam long back had come in search of land for agriculture and forests for hunting and what would have been better that settling by the banks of one of the greatest rivers in World – the mighty Brahmaputra.

These people of Assam use the fertile lands along the banks of the river to grow their crops and the harvest is generally an abundant one. The river cruises on the Brahmaputra River that operate across Assam are owned and operated by reputed organizations who have been in the hospitality sector since the past many decades and they have been the pioneers of introducing the river cruises on the Brahmaputra River in Assam. Three of the very popular long distance cruises that operate on the Brahmaputra River are the MV Mahabaahu River Cruise, the ABN Charaideo and the ABN Sukapha river cruises. While the MV Mahabaahu is the most prominent and luxurious among all these three and it is owned and operated by the Adventure River Cruises who have their sales office in Haryana, the ABN Charaideo and the ABN Sukapha are operated by the Assam Bengal Navigation Company that is a joint collaboration between a British company and Assam’s very own Jungle Travels India Pvt. Ltd. that is owned by the pioneers of the hospitality industry of Assam – the husband and wife duo of Aashish and Jahnavi Phookan.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
Witness the Bihu dance performance on your Brahmaputra River Cruise

The idea of promoting River tourism came when the owners of these two companies met and discussed the potential to explore the river cruise option on the Brahmaputra River at a time when various river cruises were operating on the River Ganges and the backwaters of Kerela because these rivers are the true identity of the country and getting to explore the place as well during the river cruise is what gives visitors a true identity of the great country of India. They discussed the potential of the idea of promoting the river cruise on the Brahmaputra River and in due time they launched operations of the ABN Charaideo and eventually the ABN Sukapha and gradually expanded their fleet to more number of cruises on the Brahmaputra River in Assam. Jungle Travels India Pvt. Ltd. began operations of providing inbound tours across Assam and North East India way back in 1989 and they started with small setup of flight dossiers and a landline phone and eventually grew to become the top inbound as well as outbound travel companies of Assam. They operate various tours across Assam and North East India and even own and operate the luxurious Diphlu River Lodge at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park that has had the privilege of hoisting top level dignitaries to Kaziranga National Park including Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.

The Bansbari Lodge at Manas National Park is also a part of Jungle Travels India Pvt. Ltd. and this place is one of the best places to stay at the 2nd UNESCO World Heritage Site of Assam – Manas National Park. So when you chose to explore Assam is either of the luxury river cruises viz. ABN Charaideo and ABN Sukapha you can be rest assured that you are being hoisted on two premier river cruises that are operated by the most premier travel company of Assam and North East India. Both these Brahmaputra River cruises along with MV Mahabaahu are rated as excellent among the various river cruises that operate across the Rivers in India and you can be rest assured to have an experience of a lifetime when you board these luxury river cruises and not only get to experience the best of the hospitality with 5 Star category facilities on-board the river cruise but also get to experience a detailed preview of the various tourist interests that Assam and the River Brahmaputra have to offer to its guests. The Seven Days on the cruise is a very finely designed Itinerary that speaks everything about Assam when it comes to its culture, traditions, people, wildlife, Tea, handicrafts and handlooms, etc.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
Savour delightful Assamese cuisine on your Brahmaputra River cruise

These itineraries have been designed from over decades of experience in the hospitality and travel industry across Assam and you will not miss out on any of the most visited sightseeing spectacles of Assam. Assam is a state that is located at the centre of all the states of North East India and the Brahmaputra River flows across the heart of the state that makes this river a major way to access the various tourist destinations of the state and the operators of these luxury river cruises over the Brahmaputra have harvested this accessibility of the river to take their guests across the wonders of the land of Red Rivers and Blue Hills. To any local or even a tourist who has read about the state, the very mention of word Assam means a land of delightful blend of culture, heritage, traditions, beliefs, faith of the various ethnic communities who have resided across Assam since times immemorial. The people of Assam have held strongly their ancient culture and traditions and also their traditional music, dance and literature that have been interwoven across the people from the various ethnic communities residing in the state.

The Brahmaputra River cruise be it the MV Mahabaahu, ABN Charaideo or the ABN Sukapha, takes you across Assam via the Brahmaputra and these cruises makes a stop at the popular tourist spots of the state to show and highlight the culture of the people of Assam. At the Kamakhya Temple you will witness an epitome of faith when you see thousands of devotees who throng the temple shrine every day and get into a queue from as early as 4 PM in the morning just to seek a glimpse of the stone at the inner sanctum of the Kamakhya Temple and to touch the holy water. You will witness the culture, traditions, songs and dances of the tea garden people of Assam when you will be taken to a renowned tea garden of Assam at Kaziranga National Park where you will interact with these people and also take part in the tea plucking process that is later processed to produce the finest tea quality in the World. On-board the River Cruise over the Brahmaputra you will get the opportunity to witness folk dances of certain of the other indigenous tribes of Assam and even get to savour ethnic cuisine of the local people as well.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
Witnessing the folk dances of Assam on your Brahmaputra River Cruise

At Majuli once your River Cruise docks at the Kamalabari Ghat you will get to witness the heritage of the Sattriya cult of Assam that was founded and preached by the holy Saint reformer Srimanta Shankardeva who were against the various forms of discrimination against people in the name of caste and he preached that all human beings are alike and should not be discriminated on the basis of caste, creed of religion. They established the Neo Vaishnavite Monasteries of Assam that preached the principle of ‘Ek Sarna’ and these Satras became a culture of learning and have produced some of the renowned philosophers, scholars and prominent writers of Assam. These Satras also teach the disciples the various art forms of traditional mask making with hands, fan made of cane, boat making, pottery making, the art of Sattriya Nritya – that is one among the 8 classical dance forms of India. At Majuli on your river cruise experience you will get to interact with the local Mishing people of Assam who are one of the prime indigenous people of the state and from agriculturalists they have come a long way today and they hold important positions across the administrative offices of the State.

The Mishing people of Majuli are simple people who are still practicing agriculture as their profession and they also spend time in handicrafts and handlooms and the Mishing bamboo and cane handicrafts are a pride of Assam and so are the exquisite handlooms woven by the local Mishing women. It can be said that Assam has been a highway of migration of various ethnic communities since times immemorial who moved out of their original lands in search of greener pastures that would allow them to sustain themselves and they finally found a home by the banks of the River Brahmaputra that had provided to them the fertile soil and the abundance of forest cover for hunting to feed the local village community. With the earliest human footprints that have been recorded in Assam trace back to the early stone age, the roots of the various indigenous communities now belonging to Assam are linked to Austric aborigines, pre-Dravidians, Eurasians, Austroloids, Alpines, Indo- Aryans, etc.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
Explore the Neo Vaishnavite cult of Majuli Island on your Brahmaputra River Cruise

The history of the State of Assam (on whose journey you will commence across the River Cruises over the Brahmaputra River) goes back to ancient times and the mention of Assam has been found across the various Tantric, Vedic, Buddhist and Puranic literatures and Assam was mentioned prominently in the Mahabharata and Ramayana as well. It is also said that the earliest study of the planets was carried out here in Assam mostly at the Navagraha temple that is located in the heart of the city of Guwahati (ex-Pragjyotishpura – the city of eastern lights). Kamrupa or the land where Lord Kamdeva regained his lost beauty of considered to be the original house of the Devi – the Mother Goddess and as per the Hindu mythology several Gods and Goddess including Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna are said to have frequented this land of Red River and Blue Hills. It is believed that Lord Krishna’s wife Rukmini belonged to the eastern most town of Assam viz. Sadiya and this place is also the birthplace of the legendary singer from Assam Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. The site of the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati is believed to be the place where the womb of Goddess Sati fell and the Kamakhya temple shrine has been built over it.

The River cruise across Assam is one of the very rewarding tourism experience a person can have anywhere in the World because it provides an immense luxury experience and keeps in mind to focus and connect with the ancient culture and traditions of the place as well. Assam can be called as a melting point that has a culture that has been enriched by the contribution of the various races, ethnicity and traditions. It is said that while a major part of the people of Assam are Vaishnavites who revere Lord Vishnu and Krishna in a way that was preached by the holy Saint reformer Srimanta Shankardeva, another section of the people practice Shaktism that is followed at the Kamakhya temple and involves rituals that include animal sacrifice as well. The various tribal communities of the state have their own rituals and practices and they offer different means of worship including animal sacrifice and their festivals and fairs are centres around the various agricultural practices of the state. These practices have in turn shaped various different cultures of Assam.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
The hand made masks of the Sri Sri Samaguri Satra at Majuli Island on your Brahmaputra River Cruise

The Brahmaputra River cruise across Assam allows its esteemed guests to catch a glimpse of the legacy, traditions and cultures of the indigenous people of Assam as the state is home to numerous tribal communities who have inhabited the place since times immemorial. The State of Assam was earlier one and there was no demarcation of the borders of the other states and so the place shared its borders with various countries and hence the people from various other civilizations came and settled in the state thus making the place a land of cultural assimilation. Few of the major tribes of Assam are the Bodos, Rabha, Mishing, Karbi, Deori, Sonowal, Tiwa, Hajong, Tai Phake, Tai Khamyang, etc. These people were the original inhabitants of the state and an opportunity to witness their way of living is of utmost interest to any tourist visiting Assam. On-board your luxury Brahmaputra River cruise you will get ample opportunity to learn about the history and traditions of these people of Assam across various books, live dance performances, food, wine and even the service staff would belong to either of these indigenous communities of Assam.

Listening to these staff converse in the local language of Assamese is indeed a delight to listen to and one thing about the Assamese language is that it is one of the two languages in the entire World that has developed prose literature as early as the 16th century, the only other language being English. Explore the Brahmaputra River on your river cruise and get to admire the various wildlife once you approach the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park as the river bank serves as a major watering hole for the various herbivores of Kaziranga National Park and this in turn attracts the predators to the river banks and allows you to get the opportunity to sight these majestic animal species of Assam. The cruise boat docks at Kaziranga National Park and visitors get the opportunity to halt and go for their safari rides into the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park. Kaziranga National Park is home to various animals and bird species and the flagship animal of this park is the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros and Kaziranga National Park is a unique conservation story of this animal whose population had dwindled to about only a few dozen and with the successful conservation efforts of the government, forest authority and the local people, today Kaziranga National Park boasts of a healthy population of around 3000 rhinos and it is home to these highest population of the Indian One Horned Rhinoceros anywhere in the World.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
Sight the Indian One Horned Rhinoceors at Kaziranga on your Brahmaputra River Cruise

Other animals to be found in the forest reserves of Kaziranga National Park are the Royal Bengal Tigers, Asiatic Wild Water Buffaloes, Asiatic Elephants, Capped Langurs, Assamese macaques, Hoolock Gibbons, Hog Deers, Swamp Deers, Wild Boars, Jungle Fowls, Burmese Pythons, Rock Pythons, King Cobras, etc. Visitors on-board the Brahmaputra River cruise can go for a round of elephant safari and jeep safari at Kaziranga National Park and following which they are to travel to Majuli to visit the Neo Vaishnavite Satras of Assam. These Satras play a very important role in the socio-cultural and literary development of Assam and these Satras were founded and promoted by the Holy Saint reforms of Assam – Srimanta Shankardeva in the 16th century who led the Neo-Vaishnavite movement of Assam. These Satras of Assam in the due course of time not only became popular as the religious centres but also the popular centres for the people to learn about literature, art, music, dance, drama and various talent related activities. Today Majuli Island in Assam has become a renowned tourist destination for visitors from across the World and these Satras play an important role in drawing the tourists to the place.

So when your River Cruise docks at the Kamalabari Ghat on the Brahmaputra River near Majuli Island you will be taken to explore the place of the Neo-Vaishnavite cult of Assam and visit the Samaguri Satra where you can learn about the heritage art of traditional mask making of Assam where the artists prepare these masks with hands and these are used to represent the various mythological characters and the artists adorn these masks to enact out religious plays called as Bhaonas that would be your next schedule of visit. In order to impart religious discourses to the masses, the saint reformer found a way to enact out plays so that people could easily relate with the story of the play. The guru found that is the artists enacting these plays wear a mask that would resemble the respective characters then the people could relate more easily with the mythological character of the play and so he introduced this art of the traditional mask making and this legacy has been kept alive at the Samaguri Satra in Majuli Island in Assam. So on your river cruise experience on the Brahmaputra River you will get to witness this art form where the artists at first use bamboo and cane to create a base and later cover it with a thin cloth and apply a special mud on the surface to create the shape of the mythological characters.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
Witnesss the exclusive handicrafts of Assam on your Brahmaputra River Cruise

Later these masks are allowed to dry in the sun and the finishing touches are applied by using organic colours to paint these masks and this is what creates the final traditional handmade and later you will travel to a Satra to witness the Bhaona performance that is a religious play that narrates the Hindu Epics like the Mahabharata or the Ramayana or even the life of Lord Krishna in an art form. The festival of Raas Leela is celebrated in Majuli in the month of November and this is a time of joy and celebrations across Majuli Island and in case you River cruise docks at the island during this time it will be an experience of a lifetime to witness the Raas Leela festival of Majuli Island. At this time you will get to witness one of these Bhaona performances that will illustrate to you as to how the artists adorn these masks and allow visitors to witness these grand performances. Later you will also visit the Uttar Kamalabari Satra in Majuli Island to witness the grand performance of the Sattriya Nritya that is one among the 8 classical dance forms of India.

The Sattriya Nritya art has been kept alive at the Uttar Kamalabari Satra in Majuli Island and it involves male members of the Satra who practice this dance form that depicts the various times of the life of Lord Krishna. This Sattriya Nritya dance will be a part of your Itinerary on the Brahmaputra river cruise and it is usually performed by the male members on your visit to this Satra but in the modern times even many women have taken up to learn this dance form and are now performing on the World stage. This dance form illustrates the flexibility of the human body as the monks can be seen performing various feats during the performance. These Satras of Assam that you will visit on your Brahmaputra River cruise was founded by the Saint reformed Srimanta Shankardeva and his disciple Sri Madhavadeva and it brought about a new meaning to the life of the people of Assam as the place became without any caste restrictions. These Satras of Assam (on your Brahmaputra River cruise) provided a whole new dimension to various activities like literature, music, dance, drama, cultural artists, etc. and it continues to train young boys who enter at an early age and learn about the various facets of the Neo-Vaishnavism cult of Assam.

Brahmaputra River Cruise, Assam River Cruise, MV Mahabaahu, Kaziranga
Sight the historic Rang Ghar monument at Sivasagar on your Brahmaputra River Cruise

The Satras of Assam gained prominence when the Ahom Kings of Assam patronized these Satras and they went on to build various Satras as well. The people of Assam also associate themselves with the Satras as certain centres of devotional worship like the Namghars that also function as a local village court, meeting place, women’s club, theatre for dance, music and plays, etc. The Namghar is generally a part of the Satra that is the central prayer hall of the place and this Namghar of a Satra is surrounded by the various huts of the monks who reside in these Satras. Across Majuli (on your Brahmaputra River Cruise experience) you will be bound to see many more Satras and later you will be taken to visit the local village around Majuli that is home to the Mishing people of Assam as a part of your itinerary for the river cruise on the Brahmaputra River. These Mishing people are mostly farmers who practice agriculture as their profession along with fishing, dairy, boat making, pottery, poultry, handicrafts and handlooms but most of them work in the agricultural fields to reap a good harvest not just to sell their produce but also to provide for their family as well.

The most important festival that is celebrated by the Mishing people of Majuli Island is that of Ali-Ai-Ligang that is a post-harvest festival usually celebrated during the month of February and the entire island gets to celebrate this festival. Various rice wines and rice dishes are prepared and the community celebrates by feasting that includes meat and fish as well cooked with various leafy and herbal vegetables. Across Assam (during your river cruise itinerary in the months of January or April) you will witness the celebrations of two important festivals of Assam – the Magh Bihu and the Bohag Bihu. The Bihu is the most important festival of Assam and three Bihus are celebrated namely the Rongali Bihu or the Bohag Bihu that is the Assamese New Year and it is celebrated every year in the month of April and it is the time to welcomes the first rains of the season after a long spell of winter that is usually without rain. The trees and orchids start to bloom during this time and people celebrate and rejoice as it is not time to begin the preparation of the new year of sowing and further harvest.

The second Bihu is called as the Kati Bihu or the Kongali Bihu that is celebrated usually in the month of September and is a Bihu where the village folks light the earthen lamps in the agricultural fields after a long spell of floods during the monsoon season and it is called as the Kongali Bihu because the floods destroy the crops and farmlands and people have very little to spare in terms of food grains and after this Bihu they begin sowing the farmlands as the rain water dries up from the agricultural fields. During the Kongali Bihu festival people in the villages offer prayers for a year of good harvest and earthen lamps are lit in the paddy fields and also under a newly placed holy basil plant in the household. The Magh Bihu that is celebrated in the month of January is a festival of feasting because it marks the end of the harvest season after the toiling in the agricultural fields by the farmers and once they have harvested their crops they fill the granaries and they have food for the rest of the year and so they sit down to celebrate and mark a feast where the entire village community gets together and they drink rice beer, wine, meat, fish, vegetables and dance and sing in merriment. On your river cruise experience on the Brahmaputra River you will get to witness the beautiful Bihu dance of Assam at a local village as well.

If you are visiting Majuli during the time of the Raas Mahotsova and the river cruise docks on the Brahmaputra River then it is best to visit and experience this festival of the largest river island in the World as this is where a natural heritage that is going to mesmerize tourists from across the World. The Raas Leela is a three day long festival that is generally celebrated in the month of November and this festival mesmerizes tourists from across the World and the main theme of this festival is centred on the fun, frolic and other activities of Lord Krishna. Across the 22 Satras of Majuli Island (a few that you are sure to visit on your river cruise experience as mentioned are the Auniati Satra, Samaguri Satra and the Uttar Kamalabari Satra, various Bhaonas are enacted out that is participated by many members of the villages of Majuli Island. When you are visiting the island during the festival of Raas Leela, then you can savour various local delicacies of the people of Majuli and you can also buy their traditional handlooms and handicrafts. Generally the Raas Leela performances are held in the evening time and during the day you can explore the various Satras of the place and watch the young monks display the mati-akhara and various other traditional acrobatics to the rhythm of the Khul and Bhor tal.

Also get to witness the mask making art and see the various masks of Krishna, Ravana and other mythological characters that are now known across the globe. Another important festival to witness is the Doul Utsav or the festival of Holi that is also celebrated across the Satras. This is celebrated on a grand scale at the Barpeta Satra but it is also celebrated across the Satras of Majuli as well. Coming back to the Ali Ai Ligang festival this is a spring dance festival that is a vibrant festival of the Mishing people of Majuli and as these people are spread across various other districts of Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Sivasagar and so this festival is observed in these places as well. Ali Ai Ligang is a spring dance festival that marks the sowing of the seeds and this festival is characterized by singing and dancing and various musical instruments are used like drums, flutes, etc. This five day festival of Majuli Island (that you will visit on your Brahmaputra River cruise across Assam ) ends in a community feast.

Your river cruise experience on the mighty Brahmaputra River of Assam is a once in a lifetime experience and if you want to witness an epitome of luxury that too floating on one of the very ancient and mighty Rivers in the World (the Brahmaputra River is considered to be the only male river in India and might is the term that can be used to describe this river). Your visit across the prominent tourist destinations of Assam on your river cruise is sure to leave a long lasting impression on your lifetime as Assam is a land that is blessed with nature, beautiful green hills and rivers and the state has a diverse flora and fauna that makes Assam a top bio-diversity hotspot in the World and once a visitor comes and explores Assam be it on the luxury river cruise experience or even a budget tour, the catch phrase of Assam Tourism always remains in the mind of the visitor viz. ‘Once you visit Assam, it stays with you forever!’. Assam can be described as one of the most tourist friendly states in the country and the people of the state are very hospitable and this you will see from the moment you step foot at the airport and the warm reception you will receive along while boarding your river cruise to the time you will be dropped off at the airport and the people of Assam treat guests as equivalent to God.

Tea tourism is a fast catching up tourism sector of the state and the area is home to numerous lush green tea gardens that have splendid golf courses and private airstrips as well that speaks highly of the colonial era and the tea garden Bungalows have been converted to heritage hotels where visitors can get to experience a glimpse of the glorious past of the British Raj and be treated as a British officer and even take the opportunity to explore the tea gardens of Assam and spend time with the tea workers who get up as early as 4 AM in the morning and get to work to pluck the young tea buds that are later sent to factories for the production of the renowned Assam Tea. On your river cruise experience across Assam you will also get the opportunity of tea tasting that is considered to be a fine art that requires years of expertise to excel in. Assam is home to the World’s largest river island of Majuli that is also the hub of the Neo-Vaishnavite cult of Assam and even the smallest river island of Umananda is present in the midst of the Brahmaputra River in Assam.

The Umananda Island finds mention in the mythological books of the Hindu Epics where it is said that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati used to spend time in this island and Lord Shiva used to meditate on this island. In the course of one such meditation session of Lord Shiva it is believed that Lord Kamdeva had to deliver a very important message to Lord Shiva from the other Gods and he was trying to deliver this message at a time when Lord Shiva was meditating on the Umananda Island and to this act of Lord Kamdeva, Lord Shiva was so angry that he opened his third eye and burnt Lord Kamdeva to ashes and hence the hillock located on this island is called as the Bhasmachal Hills. It was on the Umananda Island that the Ahom Kings had later built a temple shrine of the Umananda temple that was dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Assam is also home to 6 National Parks and 17 Wildlife Sanctuaries that are blessed with abundance of flora, fauna and avifauna and some of the prominent animals to be found are the One Horned Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tigers, Asiatic Elephants, Asiatic Wild Water Buffaloes, Hog Deers, Leopards, Clouded Leopards, Hoolock Gibbons, etc. The recent addition is the Dehing Patkai National Park that is often referred to as the Amazon of the East and this National Park in conjunction with the Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh and the Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary form one of the largest Biosphere reserves in the World.

This combination of the National Parks and the Wildlife Sanctuaries of Assam form one of the highest concentration in India and these places are home to 25% of the floral wealth of the country. After Kaziranga National Park, the 2nd World Heritage Site is that of Manas National Park that is a constituent of the Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity region and is one of the two biodiversity ‘Hot Spots’ in the country. On your river cruise experience across Assam you will get the opportunity to visit the famed UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kaziranga National Park that is home to the One Horned Rhinoceros, Asiatic Elephants, Royal Bengal Tigers, Asiatic Wild Water Buffaloes, Swamp Deers, Sambar Deers, Wild Boars, etc. These National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of Assam are also a haven for birdwatchers and more than 950 species of birds are to be found across the state and this comprises of 50% of the total bird species found in the Indian Sub-Continent. Jatinga is a place near Haflong in Assam and this place is known to record a unique phenomenon of bird suicide and this is a matter of interest for all nature lovers and researchers who say that these birds get disoriented due to light and air conditions and jump to the lights and the fall causes their death.

The other popularly visited National Parks of Assam are the 1. Manas National Park that is located in the Baksa district of lower Assam and is the 2nd World Heritage Site, a Project Tiger Reserve and an Important Bird Area as well. The popular animals to be found inside the forest reserve of Manas National Park are Royal Bengal Tigers, One Horned Rhinoceros, Elephants, Leopards, Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur, Pygmy Hog, Wild Water Buffalo, etc. The Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park is located in the Sonitpur district of Assam and this is famous for being home to the Royal Bengal Tigers, One Horned Rhinoceros, Leopards, Elephants, Barking Deer, Swamp Deer, Hog Deer, Wild Boar, etc. The Nameri National Park is also located in the Sonitpur district of Assam and this is a bird watchers paradise and the very rare White Winged Wood duck is to be found here along with the various animals like Tigers, Elephants, Gaur, Dhole, Himalayan Black Bear, Sloth Bear, Giant Indian Squirrel, etc. The Dibru Saikhowa National Park is located in the Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts of Upper Assam and this park is famous for having numerous house boats that take visitors on a tour of the National Park and this is renowned for being home to the Feral Horses and the various rare orchid species of Assam. Other animals found at the Dibru Saikhowa National Park are elephants, wild water buffaloes, River dolphins, various bird species, etc.

Assam is blesses with the presence and confluence of many rivers that are a lifeline to the state and the main rivers of Assam are the Brahmaputra and the Barack Rivers that form a part of the network of around 100 smaller tributaries and distributaries that finally merge with the Brahmaputra River (on whose waters your river cruise will be plying) and once you are floating on board this mighty river of Assam, you will be able to sight the wide expanse of its waters and the various flora and fauna along its banks with the backdrop view of the snow clad mountains of the Eastern Himalayas. The waters of these various rivers flowing across Assam offer immense opportunities and tourism potential to be harvested across the State. At present, apart from these luxury river cruises that ply across the Brahmaputra in Assam, at Guwahati there are three river cruises that operate on the Brahmaputra and offer sunset and dinner cruises on the river at Guwahati. These are the Alfresco Grand, Kamakazi, Umananda River Cruise, etc. and these are the short haul river cruises that offer dinner and bar options to its guests. Similarly other such river cruises are found at Jorhat and Dibrugarh as well.

Many young generation entrepreneurs have started to build eco camps on the sandy shore of that comes up during the winter season along the Brahmaputra River and these serve to attract guests during the tourist season as well. In addition to this, these rivers provide immense scope for tourism development as various other options like water sports, river safaris and leisure activities including taxi service, boating, dolphin shows, Para sailing, river rafting, etc. can be done on the waters of the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries. Another popular river of Assam that flows in from Arunachal Pradesh as the Kameng River to enter the Nameri National Park are near the Sonitpur district of Assam is the Jia Bhoreli River and this is one perfect place to enjoy river rafting and various birds and animals can be spotted on the upstream and downstream trail as well. Although the Brahmaputra River cruise that you will embark on will not take you across the waters of the Jia Bhoreli river mostly as it is on the Brahmaputra itself but still in case you have time left and can choose to extend your stay in Assam then a visit to Nameri National Park is a must for all bird lovers.

Take the opportunity of exploring the ancient temples of Assam once your river cruise experience on the Brahmaputra River ends and you would have already visited the Kamakhya temple. You can visit the Land of Mayong that was earlier the Black Magic Capital of India and various sorcerers here used to spend years inside the dense jungles around Mayong in ‘Sadhana’ and learn about the various black magic tricks and in time perform various feats with their black magic like taming a wild tiger with chants, converting man to goat, cause immense harm to someone both physically and monetarily by using a single strand of the hair of the person and casting a magic spell on that person. Today these black magic practices have been abolished but the cult of Shakti and Tantra associated with the Maa Kamakhya temple continues to be followed across the country. Remnants of these black magic practices can be seen at the Mayong Museum of black magic that is present near the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary near Guwahati. The other popular temple shrines around Guwahati are the Navagraha temple that is said to be the ancient centre of astrology where the first study of the nine celestial bodies was conducted. The Basistha Ashram was the abode of one of the Saptarishis – the holy sage Basistha. Umananda temple as mentioned earlier was where Lord Shiva meditated and is located amidst the mighty Brahmaputra River. Mahabhairav Mandir that is an ancient temple that was built by Banasura, etc.

The legacy of the Ahom Kingdom at Sivasagar in Assam is one thing that you will get to witness as a part of your river Cruise experience over the Brahmaputra River and Assam is home to numerous monuments that were built by the Ahom Kings of Assam. As a part of your River Cruise Itinerary you will visit Sivasagar and get to witness the various historic monument and forts and temples that were built by the Ahom Kings and these monuments stand even today after bracing two powerful earthquakes and the fury of nature speaking highly of the architectural powers of the Ahoms several hundred years ago. Some of the important monuments that you can visit at Sivasagar on your river cruise experience over the Brahmaputra River are the Rang Ghar, Talatal Ghar, Sivadoul, Joysagar Lake, Kareng Ghar and the Charaideo Maidams. The Ahom Kingdom was established in the year 1228 by the great Ahom King and founded Chaolung Sukapha who had migrated from the Shan Kingdom and was believed to be a descendant of Lord Indra and he built an empire so powerful that lasted for 600 years and is said to be the longest unbroken ruling chain of any kingdom in India.

The generals and soldiers of the Ahom Kingdom were brave enough to face an army much mightier to them of the Mughals and they did not allow the Mughals to conquer Assam and they defeated them at war with very clever war tactics. The Ahom Kings had converted to Hinduism when they were very intrigued by the practices of Shakti and Tantra that were prevalent at the Kamakhya temple of Assam and they became staunch devotees of Goddess Kamakhya and eventually Lord Shiva. The Kamakhya temple’s present structure was restored in the present form by the Ahom Kings and they also went on to build several temples across Assam that are dedicated to Lord Shiva and few of these temple shrines are the Shiva Doul temple, Basistha temple, Sukreshwar temple, Negheriting temple, Navagraha temple, Aswaklanta temple, Ugratara temple, etc. The Rang Ghar monument of Sivasagar that you will visit on your river cruise experience on the Brahmaputra River is the first Amphitheatre of Asia and is often referred to as the Coliseum of the East. It translates to the House of Entertainment and it was at this place that the Ahom Royal family gathered to witness traditional sports like wrestling, Bull fights, cock fights and even witness the grand Bihu performance of Assam.

On your river cruise experience on the Brahmaputra River in Assam, your stop at Sivasagar is to witness the glorious architectures of the Ahom Kings and after visiting the Rang Ghar monument you can visit the Sivadoul temple that is one of the very grand temple shrines across Assam. The Sivadoul temple as the name suggests is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a very revered temple shrine across the area and the top part of the temple has a dome that is made up of pure gold and this remains as a legacy of this temple shrine. There are various other temple shrines in this complex of the Shiva Doul temple and visitors can offer their prayers here and later visit the Joysagar lake that is said to be the largest hand dug out lakes in India and it was commissioned by an Ahom Queen in the memory of her late husband and King. The very interesting thing about the Joysagar lake is that speaks highly of the architectural finesse of the Ahoms hundred years back is the unique construction of the tank wherein the water level of this tank always remains the same be it in the dry winter season of the heavy monsoon season and no wonder this tank is said to be blessed by God himself so that it provides the most necessary resource that is needed for the survival of the humans that is water. Next up you will visit the Talatal Ghar that is the historic fort of the Ahom Kingdom and this fort is characterized by the unique underground maze that is present here and it was designed to confuse the enemy soldiers in case of an attack and while one exit was near the Royal Palace of the Kareng Ghar, another exit was present at the banks of the Dikhow River and this was created so as a group of soldiers could rush to protect the Royal family while another group could rush to the river banks to regroup and plan a counter attack.

The fort is a unique sight to behold and the remarkable architecture was built with flat red bricks that were bound together by a mortar of duck eggs, lime, sand and a sticky rice variety that was so strong that the place is still standing tall bracing all forces of nature and almost 500 years old. The major construction of the Talatal Ghar was underground where the soldiers stayed and there was this secret underground tunnels but owing to reports of people going missing inside these tunnels that local authorities have now sealed the underground floors and only the ground floor and first floor of the Talatal Ghar at Sivasagar can be seen on your river cruise experience on the Brahmaputra River. After this head to explore the grand palace of the Ahom Kingdom at the Kareng Ghar that is said to be one of the finest examples of Ahom architecture. The Kareng Ghar or the Royal palace is where the Ahom royal family stayed and the place is spread across a sprawling green campus with huge water drains dug out across the area so that crossing over to the palace once the palace gates were closed would be a tough job.

This palace was connected to the Talatal Ghar fort by an underground maze of tunnels and so in case there was an enemy attack and by the time the enemy soldiers would cross over these water barriers and reach the palace gate, the reinforcement would have arrived at the palace to guard the royal family from the fort and this speaks highly of the architectural finesse of the Ahoms several hundred years back without technology and machines. This is a seven storied palace and while the ground floor served as stables, servant quarters and the first floor served as the kitchen and the top floors were the residential quarters of the kings and his family. The prayer hall was present at the top floor and a visit to the Kareng Ghar to learn about the life of the Kings and Queens of the longest unbroken ruling dynasties of India – the Ahom Royals. Today this is a monument of heritage and great pride to the people of Assam and is becoming a very important tourist destination at Sivasagar for not only visitors who come on the river cruise experience but also many other visitors as well. After exploring the Kareng Ghar you can head to visit the Charaideo Maidams that are called as the Pyramids of India and this was where the Ahom Royals were earlier buried. These Maidams was the site where the Ahom Kings were buried and along with the Kings all his belongings like ornaments, wives and even the pets and servants were buried.