Textile Tour of Manipur and Assam
25 Nov - 7 Dec '22
12 Nights / 13 Days
The northeast of India! There’s no better way to get acquainted with this little-known geographical and historical region than it’s textile and people. Drive through ‘Instagramable’ scenic countryside to visit weavers of ethnic tribes and communities.
To gather deeper insight into the lives and traditions of each community, we have arranged for locals to take you around their villages, organised demonstrations in the courtyards of the artisan’s homes and a chance to explore their specific traditional dresses and jewellery.
After all, it is the human connect behind every craft that makes it special.
Day 01 - Delhi international airport
Arrive at Delhi Airport.
Our representative will meet you outside arrival, transfer you to your hotel and assist with check in.
Rest for couple of hours and after a late breakfast visit a few of the interesting places in the capital which have a rich history and is a thriving metropolitan. Evening at leisure in the hotel.
Day 02 - Delhi - Imphal
Morning check out and our representative will assist in transferring you to the domestic airport for your ongoing flight to Imphal. Arrive via a midday flight at Imphal Airport where your tour guide will meet you and transfer you to the hotel.
Late afternoon visit the RKCS ART Gallery. A family run private museum which through beautifully composed oil canvas painted by the late Rajkumar Chandrajitsana Singh portrays the history of Manipur.
A wonderful introduction to their traditional customs, costumes apart and history. We have requested the Artist’s son or grandson to walk you through the museum.
After that return to the hotel for an informal discussion on textiles of the region, the importance of certain motifs and a briefing on the trip. Dinner will be arranged at the hotel.
Day 03 - Imphal
This morning by 9 am head out to Canchipur village to meet weavers of the Meitei community. Drive duration 30 – 40 mins.
Understand how they weave their product line and you will be introduced you to some of the basic clothing that the women of the Meitei community weave and wear. One of the products is a thin, large, gauzelike stole called Rani phi. Similar to the Jamdani, this delicate fabric is painstakingly woven and is an essential part of a Meitei woman’s traditional attire. There will a demonstration and we can try your hand at weaving too.
Return to Imphal and visit the historic Kangla fort. This fort is considered sacred to the local people and once was home to the kings of Manipur and the birthplace of modern polo, now a popular sport the world over.
Afternoon have lunch at a local restaurant and visit the famed Ima keithel, a 300 year old market that sells everything from textiles to local produce. You can visit a few shops too.
Dinner will be at the hotel or at a restaurant where a few locals have been invited to join you for a meal. A great way to gain an insight into local culture through light hearted impromptu conversations.
Day 04 - Imphal to Loktak Lake, Moirang
Morning check out and leave for Moirang, an hour drive, with two stops en route.
The beautifully curated peace museum set up by the Japanese Government as a homage to the soldiers who lost their lives during The Second World War.
Explore a weaving cluster in Bishnupur, known for their skillful weaving. The weavers in their serene, rustic homesteads mainly work with unbleached silk yarns and cotton. One of the products is a thin, large, gauzelike stole called Rani phi. Similar to the Jamdani, this delicate fabric is painstakingly woven and is an essential part of a Meitei woman’s traditional attire. You can watch them work and buy directly from them.
Lunch will be on the way to the next destination.
Check into the hotel which overlooks the scenic Loktak lake by late afternoon. It is the largest fresh water lake in the northeast. Great spot to take in the sunset views and to catch up on sketching, photography, meditation or selfies.
Evening at leisure.
Day 05 - Loktak Lake, Moirang
In the morning explore the lake via a local boat ride to floating phumdis where a small homestay is located to experience life on one. Phumdis are unique to this lake and are made up of plant matter and resemble huge floats.
Later visit the home of a local family. A demonstration on how the potloi ( the famous Manipuri stiff traditional skirt worn during dances and ceremonies of the Meitei community) is embroidered. You can try on the costume. There will be a demonstration on how the traditional sarong known as phanek is worn. They live in a fishing village by the lake and you will get to taste a home cooked meal here.
In the afternoon visit Keibul Lamjao National Park, the only floating wildlife park in the world and go for a canoe ride to spot the Sangai (brow-antlered deer ) unique to the area. This will be your last night at Manipur and to enjoy it we will arrange a local dance performance for you.
Dinner at the hotel.
Day 06 - Moirang - Imphal Airport - Guwahati
Check out after breakfast and transfer to the Imphal airport for your ongoing flight to Guwahati, Assam. Arrive at Guwahati Airport via an afternoon flight. Be greeted by your driver and transfer to your hotel.
Evening visit a retail store cum studio of a textile designer who will introduce you to Muga yarn. A special type of indigenous silk yarn that is cultivated only in Assam. Explore Fabrics and designs created using this yarn known for its natural dull gold finish and currently is the most expensive silk yarn in the world. Dinner will be in a private residence where you will get to interact with your charming hostess.
Day 07 - Around Guwahati
Morning take an hour’s drive to the village of Bijoynagar for a workshop with a master natural dyer and create your own tie dyed eri silk stole which you can take back with you. This activity will take 3 hours. In between the workshop enjoy a walk through this lovely Assamese village, visit the home of one or two eri yarn hand spinners for a demonstration. Eri again is a wild silk indigenous to the region and known for its thermal qualities. It is also known as the ahimsa silk as the yarn is spun only after the butterfly leaves the cocoon.
At one time it was a common sight to see women hand spin the indigenous yarns for weaving but now the practice is dying out.
On the way back to the hotel go for a short sunset cruise on the river Brahmaputra. Evening at leisure in the hotel.
Hand spinning a cocoon to make Eri yarn
Day 08 - Guwahati - Kaziranga
After an early breakfast check out and drive for 4 hours to Kaziranga.
En route there will be one or two stops for tea and to take in the view. Check into your hotel in time for a late lunch.
Evening a cultural performance will be arranged either in the hotel premises or at the forest department enclosure.
Day 09 - Kaziranga
Morning 7 AM jeep safari to the eastern part of the sanctuary. The dress code is outdoor clothing, sun cap and walking shoes in neutral colours.
Return to the hotel for breakfast. Midday relax in the hotel.
The afternoon jeep safari will be inside the central range for which the dress code is outdoor clothing, sun cap and walking shoes in neutral colours.
Report to the hotel lobby by 2 pm.
Evening catch up on your souvenir shopping and dinner will be either in a traditional Assamese restaurant.
Day 10 - Kaziranga - Balipara
Check out after breakfast and visit the orchid park situated nearby which houses about 200 different types of orchids that grow in the region. It has a small textile and craft museum attached to it.
Proceed to Tezpur which situated near the north bank of the Brahmaputra river and is 2 hours away.
Enjoy lunch at an old colonial club built during the hey days of the British rule in India en route. A visit has been planned to a village situated near the river banks to interact with the weavers over chai and to explore life in a typical Assamese village. Check into the heritage tea stay bungalow located in a tea estate.
Evening there will demonstration on how to wear the mekhela chador, the traditional Assamese outfit.
Day 11 - Around Balipara
Morning set out for Nameri and enjoy a rafting session in the gentle rapids of the Nameri river with the views of the eastern Himalayan range as a backdrop.
Have lunch at a nearby campsite.
Visit Potashali, a Mishing tribe village located nearby. Here a local guide will walk you through the village and introduce you to weavers who weave at home. The Mishing women are skilled weavers and use both the back strap and frame looms. There will be a demonstration on how the traditional outfit is worn and a few products for sale. Evening there will a tea tasting session and high tea at the bungalow.
Day 12 - Balipara - Tezpur - Balipara
Morning visit the Tezpur Mahila Samiti, one of the oldest women's co-operative in the country. One of the committee member will take you around and provide you anecdotes from its 100 year old history including how clothes for the Dalai Lama were made.
Watch a weavers training session in progress.
Lunch will be at a private residence or a popular restaurant.
Afternoon visit a cane/ bamboo furniture unit. Then visit the local market to see the variety of indigenous produce and a few traditional textile store.
Return to the bungalow by tea time. Evening enjoy a drink by a bonfire recapping your trip as it will your last night in Assam.
Day 13 - Balipara - Guwahati Airport - Delhi Airport
Morning enjoy a walk through the tea estate with a tea expert before check out.
Drive to Guwahati airport , 4 hours 30 minutes driving time. Enjoy a light lunch before transferring to the airport. Your tour guide will bid you farewell after arranging porters to assist you.
Our representative in Delhi will meet and help you transfer from the domestic to the international airport for your ongoing flights.
End of Tour
Imphal - Classic Grande
Room category - Executive deluxe
Moirang - Sendra Park and Resort
Room category - Deluxe lake facing
Guwahati - The Guwahati Address
Room category - Executive Classic
Kaziranga - Iora Resort or Infinity Resorts
Room category - Luxury or Executive cottage
Calipara - The Wild Mahseer
Room category - Heritage Bungalow Room
Cost of Tour
Min 2 persons sharing:
50% of cost upon booking
50% 45 days prior to arrival in India
45 days prior to arrival in India: Nil, after deducting charges
30 days prior to arrival in India: 50% of total billing
20 days or less prior to arrival in India: No refund
Flight Ticket Cancellation:
30 days prior to arrival in India: internal flights (if issued non-refundable ticket), will refund as per airline policy after deducting our handling charges.
Inclusions and Exclusions
All accommodation and daily 3 major meals
All transportation by SUV Ertiga Suzuki or Innova
Local guides where mentioned in the itinerary and tour guide
All jungle safaris with Naturalist in Kaziranga
Safe drinking water & dry snacks & juice during transfer
Entry fees and activity charges as mentioned in the itinerary
Textile demonstrations, raw materials and workshops
All applicable government taxes & levies, as on date
Travel and Medical Insurance
Domestic airfares will be charged based on airline rates at the time of travel - estimated at $206
Personal expenses for beverages, snacks, telephone calls, laundry, internet, alcohol
All expenses arising out of voluntary or involuntary rerouting of the itinerary
Tips and gratuities
Video camera fees at monuments