The State of Assam in India is home to five (5) of the National Parks of India namely the the Kaziranga National Park, the Manas National Park, the Nameri National Park, the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and the Orang National Park. There are also a total of fourteen (14) Wildlife Sanctuaries click here to see the list here. Each of these National Parks boasts of wide variety of Flora, Fauna and Avifauna. One horned Rhino of Assam, Royal Bengal Tiger, Hoolock Gibbon, Elephants, Capped Langur, Pig-tailed Macaque, Slow Loris and Rhesus Macaque, Leopard, Clouded leopard, Barking deer, Pygmy hog, Golden langur, etc. have made these National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries their home in the state of Assam. The bird species include the likes of Peafowl, Hornbill, Swamp partridge, Bengal florican, Kingfisher, Woodpecker, White-backed vulture, Slender-billed vulture, Partridge, Pheasant, etc.
Of the five (5) National Parks in Assam, the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is one of the best bio diversity spots of India. Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is known for its population of White winged wood duck in its natural habitat and also for its bright colored wild horses known as Feral Horses that are descendants of the domestic horses that strayed, escaped, or were deliberately released into the wild and remained to survive and reproduce there. Famous across the United States as ‘Mustangs’, Australia as ‘Brumby’, ‘Misaki’ in Japan these horses are a prized breed to watch out for at Dibru-Saikhowa. Best to be spotted during the monsoon season of Assam lasting from July through September, the Dibru Saikhowa National Park becomes a wild haven for all nature enthusiasts during that time. Generally across Assam, most of the other National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries close for public viewing during the monsoon season as these National Parks and Sanctuaries get flood. The Dibru Saikhowa National Park is the only National Park which remains open during the season offering its viewers an Exotic journey across the blooming orchid fields of the National Park. The tour is arranged on House Boats that take you on a journey of a lifetime spotting the varied Flora and Fauna of the Dibru Saikhowa National Park. Onboard kitchen facilities across these Houseboats ensure all your meal needs are taken care of. This experience on cruising across the waters of the Brahmaputra at the Dibru Saikhowa National Park is at par with the experience of cruising on houseboats on the back waters of Kerala.
The Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is situated in the floodplains of the mighty Brahmaputra river. It consists of semi wet evergreen forests, tropical moist deciduous forest, bamboo, cane brakes and grasslands and is just the place for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers with its breathtaking natural beauty and diverse flora and fauna. Although this National Park was primarily meant for the conservation of White winged wood duck in its natural habitat other endangered animals of this park are Hoolock gibbon, Capped langur, Slow loris, Water buffalo, Tiger, Elephant, Gangetic river dolphin, etc.
The Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is a bird watcher’s paradise with over 300 species of birds. Greater Adjutant Stork, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Griffon Vulture, Osprey, Crested Serpent Eagle,Spot Billed Pelican, White Winged Duck, Baer’s Pochard, Greater Spotted Eagle, Bengal Florican, Pale Capped Pigeon, Great Pied Hornbill, March Babbler, Jerdon’s Babbler, Black Breasted Parrotbill and many other birds can be spotted at the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park.
The Om House Boat services at the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is perhaps the only service in India that allows the visitors to admire the grandeur of the flora and fauna of the National Park aboard a river cruise. Visitors can wish to chose to take a day safari (recommended) as well as a night safari on this cruise to sight the exotic Fauna and Avi-Fauna species at Dibru-Saikhowa. In addition to the Om House Boat, there are also other House Boat services at the Dibru Saikhowa National Park. For individuals and families with a small group can also hire smaller boats at Dibru Saikhowa to take a tour of the National Park. For visitors choosing to halt at Dibru Saikhowa National Park there are a few eco resorts at the vicinity of the National Park. The most prominent being the Banashree Eco Resort at Dibru Saikhowa National Park. Among the first Eco resorts of Assam, the Banashree Eco Resort provides its visitors a unique ecotourism experience. The founders of this resort are among the pioneers of tourism in Assam and also have camping properties at Roing in Arunachal Pradesh.
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to witness Wildlife Wilderness aboard a River Cruise – the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Tinsukia, the State of Assam, Incredible India!
Recommended Itinerary for your visit to the Dibru Saikhowa National Park in Assam ~
Day 1: Dibrugarh Airport – Dibru Saikhowa National Park
Arrive at the Mohanbari airport at Dibrugarh and upon arrival you will be greeted by our representative offering you a warm welcome in traditional Assamese style and we will board our comfortable vehicle and begin on our drive from the Dibrugarh airport to Tinsukia. The drive takes about an hour and we will cross across the beautiful tea gardens of Assam and the legacy of the British Empire will remind us across the grand tea garden Bungalows that we sight on our way and we soon arrive at Tinsukia. We will drive to the Bell Temple (Tilinga Mandir) at the Bordubi area near Tinsukia at first and here we will visit one very unique temple shrine in Assam that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Tilinga Mandir or the Bell Temple is the shrine where devotes come and make a wish before Lord Shiva and once their wish is fulfilled they have to come back to the temple shrine and tie a bell around the trees inside the temple shrine and because of this practice over many years, the temple has now been filled with thousands of bells across the area. The legend of this temple has been known to many people across Assam and everyday many devotees come here either to make a visit or tie a bell at the temple shrine after their wish is fulfilled.
We will visit the temple shrine and offer our prayers and later we will board our vehicles to come back to Tinsukia where we will visit the Nau Pukhuri that is another of the historic places in the town. This Nau Pukhuri is a cluster of 9 ponds (hence the name Nau Pukhuri) were dug out during the time of the reign of the Kachari rulers and the King wanted this to be an act of benevolence and provide to the subjects of his kingdom and this was done by the kings of the Kachari kingdom and the ancient ruins of the kingdom can be seen at this place as well. It is now a huge pond area near the town that serves as a centre for the people to come and spend their time in the evenings taking a stroll around the huge area of this pond. We admire the grandeur of the construction of this huge ancient pond that was dug out several hundred years ago and later we start on our drive to Guijan to check into our place of stay near the Dibru Saikhowa National Park. We will reach the Guijan Ghat area and we see the various luxury houseboats that are kept on the banks of the River Dibru that takes visitors on a river cruise along the Dibru Saikhowa National Park. We check into our place of stay at Dibru Saikhowa National Park at the Banashree Eco Resort that is a beautiful place located on the banks of the River Dibru and the wonderful tea gardens behind the place. We freshen up and take a stroll along the Dibru River and later enjoy a sumptuous dinner and prepare for our day of exploration of the Dibru Saikhowa National Park the next day.
Night Halt: Banashree Eco Resort at Dibru Saikhowa National Park
Meals Included: NA
Day 2: Dibru Saikhowa National Park – Maguri Beel – Tinsukia Rail Museum
Today is our day of exploring the forest reserves of Dibru Saikhowa National Park and later in the afternoon we will explore the Maguri Beel area that is a favourite site for bird watching across this area and to end our day we will visit Tinsukia at the Railway Heritage Park and Museum where we will see the remnants of perhaps one of the oldest rail routes across India setup during the British time at the Dibru Sadiya Railway. We start our day after an early breakfast where we will board a motor boat and cross the River Dibru to reach the other side of the banks where we will be going to visit the Laika village, the Mora Beel and the Kekjori tree. The Dibru Saikhowa National Park is known to be the home of a good population of the Feral horses and the same can be seen here at the villages during the time of the monsoons and so we will travel to the village and go on our hike towards the Kekjori tree area in Dibru Saikhowa National Park. Before reaching the tree area we will reach the site of the Mora Beel that is a water body that is filled at the times of the monsoon but gets dried out in the winters and is a site for birds to feed on the fish on the remaining waters of the lake here and we can spot the various birds of the Dibru Saikhowa National Park at this Mora Beel area. We check out the bird species and the later head to the Kekjori tree area that is a huge tree spreading across several acres of land and the branches are unique to this tree. This is a popular tourist attraction in this place as people are left enthralled by the massive growth of a single tree and we admire the Kekjori tree and later head back on our hike to the river banks where the boat ride will now take us to the River Dolphin view point on the River Dibru at the Dibru Saikhowa National Park.
Earlier the rivers of Assam used to have a good population of the river dolphins but across the years excessive and uncontrolled hunting have led to a severe decline in the numbers to an extent that they have been listed as endangered and now their population is limited to the protected water bodies of Assam at Dibru Saikhowa National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kaziranga National Park. We will go to the Dolphin point and wait to see these amazing creatures jumping out of the waters of the Dibru River. We click our pictures and later head back to our resort where we will break for lunch and after a recess for a while we will go to visit the Maguri Beel area that is located a short drive behind our resort. We will board a country boat here and go on a short boat ride across the Maguri Beel where we will get to witness the traditional fishing techniques of Assam and also the various bird species here. In the winter season various migratory birds come to Assam and settle around the protected water bodies and the forest reserves and the Maguri Beel owing to its vast fish life is a stopover favourite for these birds and we can spot the Egrets, Drongos, Ruddy Shelducks, Purple Swamphens, Ospreys, Kingfishers, etc. We will take a tour across the lake accompanied by a birding guide who will help us identify and click pictures of the various bird species.
After our tour of the Maguri Beel area we will travel to Tinsukia to visit the Railway Heritage Park and Museum that is located at the site of the New Tinsukia Junction at Hijuguri area and we soon reach the place and we will witness the various old Steam Locomotives that used to ply on the tracks of the Dibru Sadiya Railway that was setup by the British to build a trade route across Upper Assam to the Dibrugarh port once they discovered coal, oil and tea in this part of Assam. The Dibru Sadiya Railway also played an important role during the Burma Campaign of World War II when the soldiers of the Allied Forces had come over to the parts of Assam to rebuild the supply roads to China once the alternate route was cut off by the soldiers of the Japanese Army. It was then that the historic Stilwell Road was built by the American Army under the able guidance of General Vinegar Joe Stilwell from Ledo (India) to Kunming (China). We will take a tour of the Stilwell Road on the later part of this tour when we visit the Railway’s Last frontier at Lekhapani and further to Tipong Colliery.
The various locomotives kept on display here at the Railway Heritage Park and Museum are vintage ones and they are nicely put up on display. Even though these old locomotives are now retired from their services they are still operational ones and the oldest operating steam locomotive in the World (DAVID 1851 by W G Bagnall) is present at the Tipong Colliery that we will be visiting on our tour a little later. There is also a toy train here that runs across the campus of the Railway Heritage Park and Museum at Tinsukia and we admire these year old memories from the times of the industrial revolution and later we head back to the Guijan Ghat to our resort. Evening there will be a nice bonfire and we will savour some nice ethnic snacks and dinner preparations.
Night Halt: Banashree Eco Resort at Dibru Saikhowa National Park
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 3: Tinsukia – Sadiya – Margherita
Today is our day of travelling to Sadiya via Doomdooma where we will cross over the longest bridge in India – the Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Setu that spans over the Brahmaputra River and is a bridge with strategic military interest and has now also become a place of prime tourist interest in the region. Earlier called as the Dhola Sadiya bridge, this bridge connects Dhola with Sadiya in Assam and spans over a length of 9.15 km over the Brahmaputra River and later we will return on our drive to Margherita along the historic oil town of Assam at Digboi. We start after breakfast and we check out of the Banashree Eco Resort to drive to Tinsukia and further to travel to Doomdooma area crossing Makum and the lush tea gardens of Assam welcome us here. This area of Assam is known for the tea gardens and the tea gardens here produce the finest quality tea that makes the place cash rich. We find these tea gardens all around us and we admire the lush greenery all around us. We reach the Rupai Siding area and head further straight towards the Dhola Sadiya bridge and we soon reach the Dhola area and the bridge gets into our sight. Today will be a historic moment in our life as we pass over the longest bridge in India and the longest river bridge in Asia and the beautiful sight of the waters of the Brahmaputra river gets visible to us.
We drive across the Dhola Sadiya Bridge to reach the Sadiya town that is the last township in this part of Assam and further to this it connects Roing in Arunachal Pradesh further towards Mayodia, Anini and Hunli along the eastern most fronts of India. We stop for tea at Sadiya and after some time we start on our drive back from Sadiya to Margherita via Makum crossing Digboi. We will come to visit Digboi the day after tomorrow to explore the legendary oil town of Assam and we will continue on our drive to Margherita. At Margherita we will visit the Inthong village where we will check into the Singpho Eco Lodge in Margherita. The area of Margherita is inhabited by many of the indigenous tribes of Assam and the Ketetong village that is located a little ahead is known to be the highest concentration of tribes in an area in the World. We will check into the Singpho Eco Lodge that is a traditional architecture of the Singpho people who had first discovered tea in Assam. The entire area is surrounded by the lush tea gardens and we will check into the place.
The entire area of the house is constructed with wood, bamboo and thatch leaves and even the furnitures here are built with bamboo symbolizing the importance of bamboo is the lives of the indigenous people of Assam. The sole idea of building this place was to allow the visitors to understand the Singpho tribe way of life and even the mealsk served here are entirely traditiona that includes the use of the fresh ingredients from the organic gardens of the place along with the locally raised poultry and fish. The rooms are also constructed with bamboo and wooden windows and the place doesn’t have wooden beds and instead it is a mattress on the ground that symbolizes the entire traditional experience of staying here at the Singpho Eco Lodge. We freshen up and later in the day we go to visit the Ketetong village where we will witness the various local tribes and understand the culture of the people here. We spend time at the village and visit the local homestay here that is a very old monastery and we seek solace in the place. We return back to the Singpho Eco Lodge where we will taste the unique tea of the Singpho people of Assam called as the Phalap. This is not the normal tea that you are used to drinking and this way of tea preparations harnesses the various benefits of tea and helps keep the modern day ailments away from the human body.
The Phalap is prepared at first by plucking the young and tender tea leaves from the bush and allowing them to boil in water for a few hours and later the leaves are kept out for drying. Once dried up they are stuffed into bamboo tubes and these tubes are allowed to rest over wood fire and this is later stored for a few days. Once the tea is removed from the bamboo tubes it takes a cylindrical shape and to brew the tea a slice is cut from this and later it is boiled in water and is served with a piece of jiggery instead of sugar and this is one of the unique herbal tea that helps to keep the body at bay from various ailments of diabetes, high blood pressure and even beats cancer as well. We savour the Phalap and take time to relax in our room here and prepare ourselves for an ethnic feast of the Singpho people in the evening. After dinner we spend some time interacting with the owners of the place and learning about the rich culture and heritage of the Singpho people of Assam and tomorrow we will witness the handloom weaving of the local Singpho people here after ending our day of exploration and with this we call it a day and retire to our rooms.
Night Halt: Singpho Eco Lodge at Margherita
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 4: Margherita – Ledo – Tipong
Today in the morning we will visit another Monastery that is located close by the place and the monk at this monastery is a highly educated person who holds masters in various subjects and we take a chance to interact with him. After breakfast we head out on our drive to Namdang from the Singpho Eco Lodge to witness the tea gardens of Namdang and also visit the Namdang Bibi Majhar area here. The tea gardens of Namdang were one among the first to be established across Assam and this was found when the British had accidently discovered coal in the area and they setup few of India’s oldest underground coal mines at the Makum coalfields at Namdang and Baragolai. The Namdang tea estate is one of the best quality tea in Assam and the legacy has been continued since long when it comes to the quality of tea here. We will explore the Namdang tea garden and later visit the Namdang Bibi Majhar that is a holy shrine of the Muslims but people from all faith come here as it is believed that your wishes are granted true here. The Namdang Bibi Majhar is the burial site of two young sisters who started predicting the future of a person’s life accurately from a very early age. The eldest girl named as Bibi Mariam was known to provide very accurate predictions of a person’s life and so the news spread around and people from various places started coming to meet the sisters in order to get the prediction of their lives. But unfortunately the young girls suffered from a rare disease and it was not curable during the earlier days and so they died at an early age and so to honour their memory, this memorial site was built and even today people come here to pay their respects and get their prediction down after they offer a Chador on the tomb of these young girls.
We offer our respects at the Namdang Bibi Majhar and later we continue on our drive to Ledo to be part of history when we visit the site of the Burma Campaign of World War II. We reach Ledo and we will head to the historic Ledo airstrip that is a historic site that was used by the aircrafts of the Allied forces to land at Ledo during the construction of the historic Stilwell Road and today this historic site is well preserved as the remains of the Burma Campaign of World War II. We reach the site of the historic Ledo airstrip and we admire the historic Ledo airstrip then we drive to the site of the International meditation centre at the Mounglang Khamti Buddhist Monastery at Ledo. This is one of the very famous Buddhist Monasteries in Assam renowned for the fame of his holiness Bhante baba who was known to spread the message of peace and represented various international seminars. Bhante baba was known to provide his followers with a unique stone that was ad0orned in gold on the right hand index finger and this stone worked wonders in protecting a person from any mishappenings or injury.
The holy Buddhist monk had amassed a great following across the people of Assam and in 2018 the holy monk passed away leaving his legacy to the other Buddhist Bhante Baba at the Mounglang Khamti Buddhist Monastery. This place is also an International Meditation Centre and visitors from various countries especially the ones in South Asia come here to pay their respects to the Bhante Baba and spend their time in meditation here. We will meet the Bhante Baba in person and seek his blessings and the area around the place is inhabited by the Tai Khamti people of Assam and this is an example of the perfect countryside of Assam. After this we board our vehicles and we drive to the site of the historic Stilwell Road at Lekhapani. On the way we will cross the open cast coal mines of Tirap and get an overview of the various practices of open cast coal mining across the area and how the authorities have balanced to restore the environment around them by adopting sustainable open cast mining practices as well. We soon reach the site of the Stilwell Road at Lekhapani and we walk towards the memorial here that illustrates the great saga of the brave soldiers and the local men who put up a great resistance to some of the harshest environmental conditions to construct the Stilwell Road.
The Stilwell Road aka the Ledo road extends from Ledo (India) to Kunming (China) when the alternate road was cut off by the Japanese forces. The task of constructing the historic road was taken up by the American Army under the able guidance of General Vinegar Joe Stilwell and they took up this mammoth task with the help of the soldiers of the British army, the Chinese army as well as the local people of Assam who were determined to crush the advance of the forces of the Imperial Japanese army. The Stilwell Road crossed across the Pangsau Pass across Arunachal Pradesh that was termed as the Hell’s Pass owing to the difficult terrains and it extended across the Lake of No Return in Myanmar to Kunming in China. A huge signage with the detailed map of the Stilwell Road is present here along with a memorial that depicts the saga of grit and determination at this place as well. We will click our pictures here and later drive along the historic Stilwell Road to travel towards the Indian railways final frontier at the Lekhapani Railway Station and continuing further to the Tipong Colliery area where we will witness the DAVID Steam Locomotive – the Oldest Operational Steam locomotive in the World.
We will soon reach the Tipong Colliery area and we will make the check in formalities at the security check gate and later drive across the beautiful landscapes of Tipong towards the site area of the coal mining operations of Tipong colliery. Underground coal mining as well as opencast coal mining practices were carried out at Tipong until the early 2000s but later had to be abandoned due to rising costs and today a small setup remains here with officials keeping a vigil on the small operations that run here. Tourists come to Tipong to take a look at the DAVID Steam Locomotive that is the oldest operating steam locomotive in the World. The 796 Steam Locomotive present at Tipong is also one among the oldest operating steam locomotives in the World. Though they are both operational but are put to runs only on special occasions and during the visit of dignitaries and otherwise it is just kept on display at the local workshop are here. We will admire these old steam locomotives that played an important role during the coal mining operations of Tipong and later we will go and take a look at the remains of the underground coal mines that are present at Tipong from the cave mouth.
After this we board our vehicles and start on our drive back to Margherita and we will return along the Stilwell road crossing Ledo to reach Baragolai where we will make a stop for lunch at the Singpho Villa Restaurant here that is another one of the Singpho tribe owned restaurants that caters to visitors with a unique Singpho cuisine and we stop for lunch here. There would be various offerings like tupula bhat, boiled country chicken with herbs, vegetables boiled with natural spices, mashed brinjal and potato, chutney, etc. One thing noteworthy about the Singpho cuisine is that most of the preparations are boiled and do not use any oil in the preparations and even the meat that they eat is directly roasted over the fire and the natural oil from the pork is used to roast the meat. After lunch we head to explore the remains of the Grade A hospital of the American army at Margherita – the 20th General Hospital. This place served as a very important hospital centre during the Burma Campaign of World War II and various officials of the American Army as well the British army was treated here including Lord Mountbatten. The doctors and nurses who worked at this hospital had to come in all the way from USA and attend to the injured here.
However the hospital was decommissioned after the war and it has since then fallen into ruins and today only the remains are present here at Margherita and we take a walk across this historic place. Later we go to visit the India’s only Coal Museum at Margherita. As mentioned earlier, the area across Margherita was where coal mines were discovered and hence to preserve the old mining practices, machinery and to demonstrate the underground and open cast coal mining practices this museum was built at Margherita. In addition to the coal mining practices, this museum also illustrates the history of Margherita and the Burma Campaign of World War II. Spread across a nice campus and area once you enter the coal museum at Margherita you are greeted with the sight of the old Steam Locomotives of the likes of John, Shelly and Hassang that are kept on display here followed by the various vintage machinery that were brought in from England, Italy, etc. and all these machinery are still operational. There is a demo of an underground coal mine here as well and you can go inside the place to get the feel of how an underground mine feels like and how the workers excavated coal from deep inside the earth can be seen as well.
We explore the coal museum relating to the various facets of the Burma Campaign of World War II including the pictures from the time of the construction of the Stilwell Road and we come out of the museum to travel back to the Singpho Eco Lodge at Margherita. We take time to freshen up and in the early evening we will come down to witness the weaving of the traditional Singpho looms at the place. The traditional looms are kept at the base of the premises of the Singpho Eco Lodge and we will witness how the local weavers here elaborately weave on this traditional loom and make some of the most exquisite handlooms of Assam. The handlooms of Assam are renowned across the World and the detailed craftsmanship involved in weaving these hand looms in what makes it so much desirable to people. We note how the ladies use brisk hand movements to weave the clothes using special needles are required to do this weaving. The finished products are kept on display at the reception of the Singpho Eco Lodge and in case you are interested you can purchase these handlooms as well and carry them as a memoir of your visit to Assam and the same goes with the Singpho Phalap tea. We will have our dinner and later retire to our rooms after a long day.
Night Halt: Singpho Eco Lodge at Margherita
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 5: Digboi – Margherita
Today we will travel to the legendary oil town of Assam at Digboi and we will explore the history of the oil industry in India as well as Asia because Digboi was where oil was first discovered in India and also Asia’s first oil refinery was setup here at Digboi. Also the ‘Discovery Oil well No. 1” is the oldest operational oil well in the World as even today after more than 120 years, crude oil is still seeping from underground to the surface. We will start our day after breakfast and we will travel to the legendary oil town of Assam at Digboi. We will travel across the roads we had come to Margherita from Digboi that is via Powai and Golai and we will soon reach the town of Digboi where we will at first travel to the Digboi World War II Cemetery. As we have seen the Burma Campaign of World War II was fought with full force with the American Army coming over and taking up the mammoth task of the construction of the historic Stilwell Road and the British army were already present across the various military bases across Assam and North East India.
The Japanese forces were putting in their efforts to crush the Allied Forces and with the attack on Pearl Harbour their motivation increased and they were attacking on all fronts. The battle of Kohima and Imphal were fought in North East India and they Japanese had managed to cut of the supply road to China from India and so the Allied Forces got together and started the construction of the historic Stillwell Road aka Ledo Road to connect China via Myanmar and ensure the quick movement of the troops. The 20th General Hospital was established at Margherita was soon busy treating the wounded soldiers of the Allied Forces and the soldiers who couldn’t make it out alive were laid to rest at the Digboi World War II Cemetery. Later various burials from nearby cemeteries at Panitola, Tinsukia and even Jorhat were brought here at Digboi and the remains of the brave soldiers were laid to rest at the Digboi War Cemetery. The Digboi War Cemetery was built and is maintained by the Common Wealth War Graves mission. We reach the area of the Digboi War Cemetery and we walk across the entrance to travel inside the cemetery.
Among the War Cemeteries across North East India, the one at Digboi is the smallest in area and also has less number of burials (around 200) when compared to the other Cemeteries. The burials are well aligned and placed at equal distances from one another with a rose shrub and other flowers growing alongside each of the burial. The entire lawn area is well kempt and an old care taker ensures to clean the grass the water the field every day. A huge centre cross stands across the Digboi War Cemetery and we pay our respects to these brave soldiers who laid down their lives so that we could have a better tomorrow. After paying our respects at the Digboi War Cemetery we will head back on our drive tot eh area of the Centenary Oil Museum at Digboi. This museum was built to commemorate the centenary celebrations of the Digboi Oil Refinery and it illustrates in detail the history of the oil industry in India and also houses the discovery oil well no 1that was India’s first commercial oil well. And also as entrance inside the oil refinery at Digboi requires a whole lot of permissions we will learn about the details of crude oil refining at the detailed model of the Digboi Oil refinery here at the Oil Museum.
At the entrance of the Digboi Oil Museum there is an Air Raid Shelter that was built in 1942 and at the parking lot a huge signage details the history of the Digboi Oil story. We walk into the museum and we will witness the various vintage machinery that were used in oil excavation and refining and there is also a vintage fuel bunk and a vintage Ford Prefect Car model here. We explore the first commercial Oil well that is well displayed here and we can see that oil is still seeping from underground making this the oldest operational oil well in the World. Next up we visit the display hall at the premises of the Digboi Oil museum. We will need to surrender our mobiles at the reception desk for safe keeping because clicking pictures is not allowed inside the Digboi Oil Museum. We will be greeted with the various models of how the British had accidently discovered oil in Digboi and went ahead by establishing the various stages of oil refining here. Towards the inside there is a huge model of the Digboi Oil refinery with the pictures of the various dignitaries who visited the place including former Presidents and Prime Ministers of India.
We will explore the Digboi Oil Museum and later on we will travel to the Tingrai area near Digboi where we will stop for lunch at the authentic restaurant called as Ngai Lung that offers various traditional foods in the style of the people of Arunachal Pradesh. This place also has a huge signage that welcomes visitors to Digboi and it is beautifully sculpted out and we will take the opportunity to click our pictures here as a memoir of visit to the historic oil town of Assam at Digboi and also the lush tea gardens of Bogapani are all around and we will click our pictures of the tea gardens as well. We savour a sumptuous lunch and later we continue on our drive to the Digboi club that is an old club for the officials of the IOCL and it was built during the time of the British in 1935. The Digboi club has facilities of billiards, swimming pool, lawn tennis, badminton, indoor dance floor, bar and meals and it is a get together place for the official of IOCL. Also the Digboi Golf Course that is one of the prime golf courses in India is located nearby at the Shillong road area of Digboi. We will explore the Digboi club and later head back on our drive to Golai where we will visit another old monastery that has now been renovated recently.
Soon after this we head further back to Margherita and at Margherita we will visit the remains of the Asia’s first plywood factory that was established here during the times of the British Raj. Once the British had discovered tea in these parts of Assam they now had a mammoth task ahead of them for production of tea and also to transport it across the various countries. Also with the discovery of coal and oil reserves made this task of transportation a little easier and hence they established the Dibru Sadiya railway from Ledo to Dibrugarh to transport the coal, oil and tea. The Margherita tea factory was established to start the production of tea from the tea leaves and workers were brought in from parts of Central India to work on these tea fields. To transport the finished tea they realized that he area around had good forest reserves and so they could use plywood boxes to transport the tea and with this idea they established this huge plywood factory at Margherita under the AR&T Company. The entire machinery to be used in this factory was brought in from Italy and Germany and these over 100 year old machinery are still operational.
We will explore this abandoned plywood factory because once the forest laws came in to be applicable across Assam and felling of tress from the protected forests were banned and made a criminal offence the supply of timber to this plywood factory halted and so did its operations and the plywood factory was abandoned in the early 2000s. We will take time admiring the huge machinery here and later return back to the Singpho Eco Lodge at Inthong village. We will spend time in relaxation in the evening and enjoy our last night of stay at the Singpho Eco Lodge before we head out to Naharkatia tomorrow to witness the life and culture of the Tai Phake people of Assam and further travel to Dibrugarh to visit India’s Longest Road cum rail bridge of Bogibeel and later visit the Jagannath temple at Dibrugarh and check into our place of stay.
Night Halt: Singpho Eco Lodge at Margherita
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 6: Margherita – Naharkatia – Dibrugarh
Today after breakfast we check out of the Singpho Eco Lodge to travel to Naharkatia and our drive will take us across the Amazon of the East – the Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary that is home to some of the World’s rare species of flora, fauna and avifauna and this forest reserve spans across Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and is one of the most pristine rain forests in the country. Along the drive the only sounds we will hear are the chirping of birds and insects and the occasional roar of a wild animal as the vehicular movement across this road is not very high and this connects Digboi with Duliajan. Duliajan is another oil township of Assam and under the operation of Oil India Limited. We will soon reach Naharkatia and we will visit the Tai Phake Ecotourism Camp where we will understand the life and culture of the Tai Phake people of Assam. We will take a walk across a nearby village and also visit the beautiful Monastery here. At around 10 AM we will drive to the Bogibeel Bridge and become a part of history during our drive over India’s Lonest Rail cum Road bridge of Bogibeel over the Brahmaputra River. Later we drive to Dibrugarh to have our lunch post that we will go to visit the Lord Jagannath temple at Dibrugarh that is one of the very recently built and very beautiful temple shrines across Assam replicating the original Lord Jagannath temple of Puri in Odisha. Later we will check into our hotel at Dibrugarh for night halt thereby spending our last evening in Assam.
Night Halt: Hotel Natraj at Dibrugarh
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 7: Dibrugarh – Mohanbari airport
Today our onward flight will be scheduled in the afternoon from the Mohanbari airport near Dibrugarh and so we will head to visit one of the very old temple shrine dedicated to Goddess Durga at Bokel just alongside the highway on our drive to Mohanbari airport. We start after breakfast and pack our luggage and we drive to the Bokel Tea Estate area where we will visit this temple that is a very revered temple shrine in this region and every year during Durga Puja great festivities are held here including animal sacrifice of goats. The people believe that Goddess Durga can help to ease them of all sufferings and hence to appease the Goddess they follow strict rituals and we will offer our prayers here at this very old temple shrine and later drive to the Mohanbari Airport at Dibrugarh. We will drop you at the airport for your flight to the onward destinations. Tour Ends. Bid Adieu!
Night Halt: NA
Meals Included: Breakfast
Our visitors at the Dibru Saikhowa National Park ~ Tinsukia ~ Assam ~ India