The last surviving face tattooed Konyak King (Angh).
The view Longwa holds for us.
Konyak Headhunters performing the traditional Welcome Dance.
Your homestay in Longwa.
The huts of Longwa.
Monastic island Majuli - 3
Monastic island Majuli - 2

ChaloHoppo to meet the headhunters of Nagaland and find peace in Majuli – Post ZFM Special

from 29,000

It is a rare occasion when, in a span of a week, one gets to explore places and cultures which are so fragile and their existence is a race against time. The journey to the world’s largest river island and then exploring the remote world of the erstwhile headhunters of Nagaland will be an experience to remember.

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All about ChaloHoppo to meet the headhunters of Nagaland and find peace in Majuli – Post ZFM Special.

Majuli island in Assam, the largest river island in the world may get submerged forever due to the rapid erosion happening on the island, and then you visit the villages of the Konyak tribe in Nagaland, the last of the feared tattooed headhunters who are octogenarians. The practice of headhunting and tattooing the victorious headhunters was abolished in the 1960s but you can see glimpses of their bloody past when you meet them in their backyard.

It so happens that these two cultures thrive in places of immense natural beauty and you get to see different terrains, different flora, while you are welcomed by the naturally hospitable Missing tribe and the Nagas!

To get some international perspective, here’s how The Lonely planet exudes Majuli’s charm, “The island is a relaxed, shimmering mat of glowing rice fields and water meadows bursting with hyacinth blossoms.” On the other hand, this is what famous historian William Dalrymple writes about his visit to Mon,” By the time we had risen into the heights of the easternmost ranges of the Himalayas, the old men all wore elaborate body tattoos, while many had inserted antlers and tusks into their ears and noses. The young men carried shotguns slung over their backs as they rode around scowling on Enfield Bullet motorcycles. It felt properly wild, a real borderland…”

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Breakfast and dinner on day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5,
  • Lunch on day 2,  day 4, day 5, day 6
  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis in village stays, homestays and farm stays.
  • ChaloHoppo Guy as the tour leader
  • Transport from Ziro campsite to Majuli and back to Guwahati in a train
  • Parking, tolls, driver allowance, driver accommodation and driver food
  • All necessary permits to enter Nagaland
Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Airfare charges
  • All food & beverages cost apart from the ones mentioned above
  • Trekking shoes and clothing (Any personal equipment)
  • Any camera fees 
  • Hotel & driver tips if any, since the locals earn low wages, your tips can show your appreciation)
  • Any personal expenditure (Toiletries, medicines, etc.)
  • Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under the head “Inclusions”.
  1. Day 1 Beginning the journey to Majuli

    A long road journey awaits. Good old Potin junction will be back (refer to the Ziro itinerary to know this) till we finally reach Dhunaguri ghat where we board the ferry to Majuli.

    The ferry ride is fascinating. Cars, motorbikes, cycles, people, everyone on board one vessel. This one hour ride will give you an idea of the vastness of the Brahmaputra and if you are observant you will see the erosion, the infamous erosion of Majuli in action, slowly and gradually, bits of sandy banks drowning in the river.

     

    Upon reaching the Kamlabari ghat in Majuli, patiently, let people get off and rush to their rides since your transport is waiting for you. The drive from the ghat to your stay for the night will take about 30 minutes. Tonight is about meeting and greeting your host and enjoying some lovely “Porro apong” or “chai mod” as is locally known as. Conversations in the kitchen with fellow travellers as the host’s family prepares your meal is the quintessential Majuli experience.

    Head to your room which is also set up for conversations. If you aren’t a gregarious person then get a novel and read yourself to sleep. If you feel energetic then go for a stroll around the village, of course, it is night time so you won’t see anything but you need to give the environs some time to sink in and this might help.

    Overnight in a boutique stay in Majuli.

  2. Day 2 Explore Majuli on two wheelers

    Today is quite a packed day and we can only give a rough idea of what you can expect. The actual experiences and places to visit can be altered based on how you and your fellow travellers feel on that day.

    Your guide, a monk will arrive by 9 am. You are expected to have had your breakfast and taken a shower. Yes, the shower is important because you will be visiting Vaishnavite monasteries. Your two-wheelers will be waiting for you as you begin the journey. The wind in your hair and the avenues of Majuli makes the ride a great part of the experience. Every now and then the guide will give you insights about Majuli that he will also quiz you about it. If you get all the answers right, then a special prize awaits you!

    The ride route will cover the Uttar Kamalabari Satra where the monks aren’t allowed to touch anyone and keep their hair long, the Aouniati Satra where you will be having a ‘satvik’ meal prepared by the monks, Samuguri village where you meet the mask makers and see a brief demonstration of the kshatriya drama, the pottery village where bare hands are used to create pots (you can try your hand as well) and eventually stop at one of the riversides where you can ask the local fisherman to give you a ride in his canoe, into the sunset.

    In between all this, the beautiful wetlands of Majuli make the place favourable for birds to thrive and for you to act like an ornithologist for a day.

    Once you are back home (your stay), it’s time to line up the stomach with some freshly brewed “Porro apong” (again, yes!) as a precursor to your lavish Mising thali!

    Overnight in a boutique stay in Majuli.

  3. Day 3 Enter the wild east

    Drive past the Assam border to enter the land of the Nagas, and not any Nagas, the Konyaks, also known as the last of the tattooed headhunters. You will slowly leave the plains and tea gardens of Assam and head towards higher elevation on bumpy roads. The drive slowly starts to give you the feeling that you are entering a different zone, something unknown. Thatched huts and flowering plants serving as boundaries of homes will welcome you into Nagaland. The clouds should be right up there with you. But you have to understand that this will be one of the bumpiest rides of your life and hence prepare accordingly. Check into your comfortable stay for the night after trying some local food. For non-vegetarians, this will be the beginning of a different trip, a food trip.

    Total drive time from Majuli to Mon town will be 7 hours.

    Overnight in cottages overlooking Mon town.

  4. Day 4 Meet the last face tattooed king and more

    Today we hope to meet the last surviving face tattooed headhunter Angh, i.e. the chief or the king of a Konyak village. Usually, he is found sitting in his kitchen drinking dearly bitter black tea with other old men, all of whom wear tattoos on their wrinkled skin. The king or his men don’t really speak English but a conversation can be facilitated with the help of the local guide cum translator. Don’t forget to ’pay’ your regards to the Angh. We will spend some time picking up handloom and handicraft products from the local market. The Konyaks make some amazing products and this is a great way of supporting the local community as well as have a fascinating shopping experience.

    A further drive of 3 hours with a lunch break takes you to the village of Longwa known for the unique geographical location of the village chief’s house. The house is split exactly in half between India and Burma.

    Take a walk through the King’s house, shedding your usual understanding of kings, queens and palaces. The village gets more fascinating as you visit the gun maker’s house and understand the nuances of the gun culture in Nagaland. It doesn’t end here as now you have the option of buying some really rare craftwork from the blacksmith’s house (if he’s home). It’s a very special experience to buy an artist’s work from his workshop and that’s what Longwa offers.

    Overnight in a homestay overlooking the hills of Longwa village.

  5. Day 5 A night at the opiated border town of Longwa

    You can experience a beautiful sunrise in the village and if you are an early riser, a hike up to the India Burma border pillar no 155 will give you a bird’s eye view of the village. Ignore the men with rifles patrolling the pillar and the border and focus on the clouds below you. Rest of the day you can spend as you like, walking and hiking.

    This day has been added on request and feedback from travellers who wished they had an extra day in this border village doing nothing but just soak in the beauty of the place.

    Overnight in a homestay overlooking the hills of Longwa village.

  6. Day 6 A night in the train reflecting on the trip

    Today it is time to bid goodbye to your hosts and to Nagaland. We drive out by 10 am. This train ride will be an equally exciting and important part of the trip. Let’s just leave it to the day when you board the train.

    Total drive time from Longwa to Simalguri (railway station) will be 5.5 hours.

  7. Day 7 Fly out of Northeast India

    The train chugs into Guwahati early in the morning. Board your flight with memories for a lifetime.

    Any flight after 12 pm can be booked.

Properties/ homestay/ camping

Dhungkar homestay

Munlom Nature resort

Mazong hotel/ Traditional homestay

30 Days prior to arrival: 50% refund
15 Days prior to arrival: 25% refund
Less than 15 Days prior to arrival : 0% refund

What type of bag to carry?
Carry a small bag(10 to 15 litres) for your trek down to Nongriat village that can fit essential toiletries and change of clothes for 1 night to reduce the weight on your shoulders and make the trek easier.
Basic toiletries and allergy medications and tissue rolls (if you need)
head lamps/ Torches with batteries
quick dry towels
band aids
ID Proof – Voters card/ Pan Card/ Passport/ Drivers license/ Aadhar card (to be sent on mail upon confirming the trip to [email protected])

Other things that you may bring along :
Sun tan lotion
Playing cards and small board games,in case you don’t feel sleepy at night
Any sort of alcoholic beverages
Go pro for under water shots

We will have pick up and drop facility to and from the Guwahati airport once you share the arrival time of your flight.

Campsite: Please avoid carrying plastic bottles or even buying sealed bottles while at the venue as want to have a litter free zone as much as possible.

Swimming: You have to be careful as it’s deep and sometimes the current could pull you in. If you aren’t a swimmer, please mention that specifically and put a request for renting a life jacket on email.

Avoid plastic: Please avoid buying mineral water, specifically while in Nongriat(Double decker living root bridges village) since it is a major cause of pollution in the delicate eco system of Nongriat. Remember to take up whatever you bring down.

Service: Though we will try our best to give you great service, please understand we won’t be able to give you hot towels, bed tea and the like.

Entry to the states of Meghalaya does not require a permit.

A most definite yes, as long as you are okay travelling in a mixed group of other solo travellers or small group of friends.

Not all travellers who sign up for a tour with ChaloHoppo are swimmers so the experience doesn’t get hampered due to lack of that skill. It is certainly an advantage for those can swim but life jackets can be rented along with a guide to ensure safety of the travellers.

  • Winter jacket
  • balaclava/ beanie (something that covers your ears and your head)
  • Sports socks and Swimwear for the Nongriat trek, you can also get swimming goggles or snorkelling masks, and swimming cap
  • Raincoat (just in case, since you are travelling in ‘abode of clouds’)
  • Trekking shoes (basic ones will do)
  • quick dry towels (plastic bag/ ziplock to carry your wet clothes)
  • Allergy medications and other medicines, since these are very remote places with very little access to most basic things.
  • A non-disposable water bottle to fill water and AVOID BUYING MINERAL WATER
  • ID Proof – Voters card/ Pan Card/ Passport/ Drivers license/ Aadhar cardYou can always buy these things from the Decathlon (1 km away from the airport) in Guwahati, if you wish.

Other things that you may bring along :
Tissue rolls
headlamps/ Torches with batteries
Playing cards and small board games, in case you don’t feel sleepy at night
Bottle openers
Go pro for underwater shots

Ideally a 60-litre backpack should be convenient, however, there is no real hiking or trekking with the bags, so a suitcase or trolley is also fine.
Do carry a separate smaller bag(10 to 15 litres) for your trek down to Nongriat village that can fit essential toiletries and change of clothes for 1 night only to reduce the weight on your shoulders and make the trek easier.

The cultural diversity of northeast India is so vast that we can’t blame outsiders for not being aware of communities in the region who are purely vegetarians, so much so that they avoid eating onions( they are indigenous to the region, in case you are thinking about communities from mainland India who have settled here). Having said that, we must admit that the region’s food habits especially in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya are predominantly non vegetarian with a whole lot of red meat based preparations. But the states have warmed up to tourists recently and almost every place you visit will provide the Indian staple diet of rice, dal and sabji, even chapatis if you are lucky. As far as Tripura, Assam, Manipur and Sikkim are concerned vegetarians have decent number of options. Your craving for butter paneer may not be satisfied, but you will do just fine as far as maintaining your health and strength is concerned.

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Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights  
September 30, 2019 - October 6, 2019
Available
29,000
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