The Hornbill motorbike expedition Nagaland officially starts in Dibrugarh, which is known as the tea city of India and is one of the biggest urban areas of Assam. From here, travel to the Along village of Arunachal Pradesh, and spend the evening here to acclimatise and get updated about the future events of this programme. Along village, the headquarters of the West Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, is mainly inhabited by the Adi tribes. While in Along, also pay a visit to Malinithan Temple, where granite sculptures, belonging to the 14th and 15th centuries, were excavated between 1968 and 1971.
The trip next takes you to Ranaghat on a mountainous road along the Siyom and Siang Rivers. On reaching Ranaghat, enjoy barbeque food and an overnight stay in camps. The next destination of this tour is Roing. Pass through the villages of the Adi and Idu Mishmi peoples, and cross the Dibang River on the way. The adventurous ride will also take you through some unpaved tracks, watersheds and riverbeds. Upon arriving in Roing, travel to your lodging and enjoy a peaceful sleep.
On the next morning of this motorbike expedition to Nagaland, ride towards Chowkham – the home of the Khamti people. Here, enjoy the delicious regional cuisine and interact with the locals. As you drive towards the Mon town of Nagaland, stop in Digboi to see the oldest working oil refinery in the world. On reaching Mon, notice the peculiar tattoos on the faces of the local people. Konyak Nagas, also known as the head hunters of Northeast India, make these tattoos as a sign of their hunting achievements.
Next morning, head towards Mokokchung on a dirt road through the lush forests of the region. Mokokchung is the home of Ao Naga tribe and one of the most important urban hubs of Nagaland. The route from here to Kohima passes through the land of the Lotha Naga people. In 1944, Indian and British soldiers fought hard in Kohima to stop the Japanese troops from entering India. The battle, often referred to as the Stalingrad of the East, was voted the Greatest Battle of Britain by the British National Army Museum. On the ninth day of this expedition, stroll in the local market of Kohima, and pay a visit to the War Cemetery, laid in honour of British and Indian soldiers. Stay overnight in the town, and then enjoy the famous Hornbill Festival for the rest of the time on this amazing tour.
Day 01: Arrival in Dibrugarh
The motorbike expedition to Nagaland starts in Dibrugarh, Assam. Also known as the tea city of India, it is also one of the biggest urban centres of the state. The evening is scheduled for you to acclimatise to the local weather conditions. Later, transfer to your lodging for an overnight stay.
Day 02: Dibrugarh to Along
In this leg of the tour, travel from Dibrugarh to Along. Use a ferry to cross the Brahmaputra River, and then travel to Malinithan Temple. Located at the base of the Siang Hills, the site features some old sculptures of Lord Indra, Lord Surya and Nandi. After paying your respect to the deities, drive to Along village through the lush forests of the region.
Sitting on the banks of theSiyom River, Along village is the cultural hub of the Galo tribe. Familiarise with the fascinating culture and traditions of these Tibeto-Burman speaking people of this village. If there is time, a short naturalistic trip may be organised so you can witness the enchanting beauty of the place. Thereafter, return to the hotel and enjoy a rejuvenating sleep.
Day 03: Along to Ranaghat
Drive towards Ranaghat along the Siyomand Siang Riverson a mountainous road. Known as Yarlung in Tibet, the Siang River is one of the major tributaries of the Brahmaputra River. Reach your campsite in Ranaghat by late afternoon and enjoy barbeque food. Thereafter, enjoy a relaxing overnight stay in tents.
Day 04: Ranaghatto Roing
On this day of the journey, drive through the villages, inhabited by the Adi and Idu Mishmi people. Also, cross the Dibang River as you continue towards Roing. This section of the venture will be quite adventurous as the road you are on passes through watershed areas, riverbeds and unpaved tracks. On reaching Roing, transfer to your lodging for a rejuvenating sleep.
Day 05: Roing to Chowkham
Riding mostly on well-maintained roads, cross a few rivers while heading towards Chowkham. On reaching Cholwkham, travel to the farm of a local Khamti family. Enjoy the diverse and delicious local cuisine, and then spend the night in camps.
Day 06: Chowkham to Mon
This is going to be a long day as the ride will now take you from Chowkham to Mon in Nagaland. On the way, visit the town of Digboi in Assam that is quite well-known for begin the site of the oldest working oil refinery in the world. Mon is the home of Konyak Nagas, distinguished by face tattoos and exquisite jewellery that signify the achievements of the warriors. On reaching Mon, transfer to your lodging for an overnight stay.
Day 07: Mon to Mokokchung
Though the distance between Mon and Mokokchung is not too much, the adventurous ride on dirt roads through forests makes it a bit long. Mokokchung town, the home of the Ao Naga tribe, is one of the most important urban hubs of Nagaland. On reaching here, transfer to your lodging for an overnight stay.
Day 08: Mokokchung to Kohima
This is the last day of riding on the Hornbill motorbike expedition Nagaland. In it, travel from Mokokchung to Kohima, passing through the land of the Lotha Naga people. The capital of the state of Nagaland, Kohima is a town, located on a high ridge in the southern part of the eponymous district. On reaching Kohima, transfer to the lodging for an overnight stay.
Day 09 and 10: Hornbill Festival in Kohima
Spend these 2 days enjoying the popular Hornbill Festival. Organised to sustain, protect and promote the rich culture and heritage of the Naga people, the festival is among the biggest such events in Northeast India. The week-long fiesta exhibits traditional dances, sports and songs of various Naga tribes. This festival is a perfect opportunity to experience diversity within diversity as you witness all these different Naga tribes coming together and celebrating their cultures.
Day 11: Kaziranga
Today we bid adieu to Nagaland and leave for Assam. The highlight of the day is UNESCO World Heritage Site – Kaziranga. It boasts the largest population of one horned Rhinoceros and also one of the highest densities of tigers. Our stay is at a peaceful retreat in the wilderness.
Day 12: Kaziranga | Guwahati
This day would start with a lot of excitement and thrill – on Elephant back. We go an elephant safari and get a chance to witness wildlife in close quarters. Then we have breakfast and after that we leave for Guwahati which will take about 6 hours of driving.
Day 13: Departure
Today the trip comes to an end and we leave for our respective destinations.
28th November, 2015
Duration: 12 Nights/13 Days
Places Covered: Dibrugarh, Along, Ranaghat, Roing, Chowkham, Mon, Mokokchung, Kohima, Hornbill Festival
Total Distance: 1600 KM
Best Time to go: November, December
Bike Rental Charges - Rs. 19000
Bike Provided - Royal Enfield Bullet
Extra Fuel Cost - Rs. 500/day (approx.)