A homestay at the foothills of the Arunachal Pradesh mountains that stands on stilts and proudly represents the culture of the Nyishi tribe while being politically situated in Assam. A busy traditional kitchen, a spacious courtyard and small hills behind make the experience special.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
About the village
The Nyishi village in Sonitpur district lies in the foothills of Eastern Himalayan Range bordered with a graded hill; the Phulaguri Nyshi village consists of merely 52 houses with about 99% of the population following Christianity. Their main occupation is agriculture and rice is their staple food. This is supplemented by fish, the meat of various animals, edible tubers and leafy vegetables.
Distance from the main town
How to reach
Breakfast isn’t a part of Nyishi tradition. Yes, they only have 2 meals a day and that includes heaps of rice and meat. But for the guests, they serve sticky rice with a local chutney and tea to go with it. Bread and butter are also available on request.
For lunch and dinner, the hosts prepare a completely traditional meal with boiled vegetables, pork with herbs and fish(for the non-vegetarians), chutney out of local leaves and chillies, dal, a dry aloo sabji. The preparations are delicious and will be different for lunch and dinner.
Know your host
Menong Weyo doesn’t look like she is a grandmother. She and the ladies in the neighbourhood take turns to work in the kitchen and make some really delicious lunch and dinner for the guests. The energy and enthusiasm that the ladies and even the men show towards hosting people are heartwarming. They are more than happy to let you into their group and do things as a team if you are up for it. Of course, their grasp over Hindi isn’t that strong and English is a complete no-no. However, her son in law jumps in to assist in the process and he is quite fluent in Hindi. If her son Jepot who studies in Itanagar( Arunachal Pradesh) is home then he can converse in English as well.
Apart from speaking their local Nyishi dialect, the hosts are fluent in Assamese.
1. Short hike to visit an actual tree house and have breakfast with the family sitting up!
2. Learn to dance like the Nyishis and dress like the Nyishis
3. Learning to cook a traditional Nyishi recipe
4. A market visit to buy local wild leaves and vegetables.
5. Rafting on the Kameng river
Points of interest: Nameri Tiger Reserve, Tipi orchidarium, Bhalukpong rafting point
Things to keep in mind
Even though people can choose to stay as long as they please in the homestay, for sake of convenience and ease of planning this tour, we are sharing the ideal itinerary while staying at the Nyishi homestay.
The day you begin your journey
Drive from Guwahati or Tezpur or anywhere else which is a 4 to 5-hour drive in a way that you are reaching the starting point of the rafting on Kameng river by 12 pm.
The rafting on the Kameng river will take about 2 and a half hours to complete. The grade of the rapids vary based on the month you are visiting, but it can range anywhere between Grade 2 to 3. Enroute you will cross many virgin beaches and we shall alight on one such beach to have our lunch.
Those who want to jump out and swim in the calmer parts of the river can do the same after consulting with the instructor on board the raft.
At the end of this aqua adventure, we drive to the homestay to relax for the evening. The eager hosts will present a dance for you and you must join in!
Oh, the dinner, the bonfire and perhaps a game of cards?
P.S. The rafting happens in Arunachal Pradesh and hence Inner line permits need to be issued to the travellers. This can be made available by us, as long as the bookings are made a week in advance.
The day you relax
You can wake up early to see how the light, sound and life in the village starts, or else sleep till a little later, but by 9 am breakfast will be served(unless you want it earlier).
Post breakfast we take a short hike over the nearby hills and eventually come to stop at a Garo tree house. It is fascinating. The old couple who live here, moved 15 years go after their daughter’s got married. A conversation atop their elevated home of wild elephants and other perks of living in a tree house ensues over a cup of tea.
We walk back to the homestay and join the ladies as they get busy with the lunch preparations.
Bid goodbye post lunch.
- The rooms have coffee, tea and milk powder sachets in case you want to make your own drink.
- Charging points for devices are also available (yes, it is a village so this needs to be mentioned specifically)
- Toilets are not attached but it is just behind the house and the bathroom is clean with a western toilet.
- Toiletries and towels are also available. However, we request you to carry your own toothbrushes to avoid wastage and be eco-friendly in the simplest way possible.
- Bonfire is a part of the experience.
- Ample space for parking.
- Hot water can be arranged for on request.
- Fields of open space
Rules and restrictions
1. Smoking is allowed in open spaces outside the house
2. Alcohol consumption is strictly prohibited since the village is against it
3. There is no restriction in terms of check in and check out time but it is a homestay so we expect visitors to be considerate