Nagaland and the Hornbill Festival

14 days from £3780 per person

One of India's last remaining frontiers, travel to the eastern tribal state of Nagaland is challenging but hugely rewarding. A land of spectacular beauty and timeless history indelibly linked to the colourful indigenous tribal groups which form such an important part of the region, this itinerary visits Tuophema, Mokokchung and Mon stopping in many fascinating villages on the way. The highlight of this journey however is a two day visit to the Hornbill Festival - a grand celebration, held annually in December and attended by the sixteen tribes of Nagaland.

Journey Highlights

Kohima, the hilly capital of Nagaland, snakes along a high ridge, typical of Naga settlements. In 1944 the Battle of Kohima turned the tide of the Burma Campaign in favour of the British.

Mokokchung is the cultural hub for the Ao people and an important town in northern Nagaland. In the 19th century, the British built a stockade here, then expanded into remoter areas.

The town and district of Mon was once famous for headhunting. Peopled by ethnic Konyak and Ao tribes, these communities now inhabit land in both India and Burma.

Day 1 Depart the UK

Today depart the UK on the Emirates flight to Dubai. (N)

Day 2 Arrive Kolkata

Arrive into Dubai and connect onto the Emirates flight to Kolkata. Once in Kolkata you will be met and transferred to the Oberoi Grand Hotel where you will stay overnight. Kolkata is the heart of Eastern India. One of the forward-thinking intellectual capitals of India, the city has long been noted for its wonderful architectural landmarks—many of which date from the period of the British Raj. Kolkata is also known as the 'soul of India', one of the most populous urban areas on earth and an intensely human city. (N)

Day 3 Kolkata to Dimapur – by air
Dimapur to Kohima

Today fly to Dimapur. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Kohima and the Vivor Hotel for a four night stay. The state capital of Nagaland, Kohima is a beautiful town with wide panoramic views of the surrounding region. Later visit the village of Kohima with its large traditional gate decorated with horns of buffalo which represents the bravery and valour of the local Angami Tribe. (B/D)

Day 4 Kohima – Hornbill Festival

Located in the North Eastern corner of India, Nagaland is made up of sixteen major tribes each with its own language, cultures and traditions. All Naga tribes celebrate their distinct festivals which are seasonal in nature and characterised by grand displays of colour, music and dance. During December the annual Hornbill Festival takes place in the village of Kisema—a grand celebration attended by all of the tribes of Nagaland. Later continue to the festival to soak up the atmosphere of this great event. (B/L/D)

Day 5 Kohima – Hornbill Festival

Today return again to the festival. By visiting on different days you get to see a good cross-section of the various tribes and their cultures. (B/L/D)

Day 6 Kohima

This morning visit the villages of Jakhama and Kigwema which are inhabited by the Angami tribe. Located south of Kohima, both villages are encircled by terraced paddy fields each with a traditional entrance gate and the customary Angami houses. Afterwards, continue onto the village of Khonoma. It was here that the Naga warriors made their last stand against the British in 1879. (B/L/D)

Day 7 Kohima to Touphema – 40kms

Today drive to Tuophema and stay overnight at the basic Tuophema Tourist Cottage. Home of the northern Angami tribe, Tuophema is situated deep in the central Naga Hills. Later visit the village inhabited by the Angami tribe and nearby Tsiminyu Village which is home to the Regma Tribe. (B/L/D)

Day 8 Touphema to Mokokchung – 120kms

After breakfast leave Tuophema and drive to Mokokchung. This picturesque town is the cultural centre of the Ao tribes who are famous for their colourful dances. In the evening visit Ungma village, the largest of the Ao villages and, according to legend, where the early Ao's first settled. The village is many centuries old and has much folklore, ancient customs and unique traditions. Stay for two nights at the Metsuben Hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 9 Mokokchung

This morning visit the tribal villages of Mopungchukit and Chuchuyimlang—both of which are inhabited by the Ao Nagas and are known for their festivals which take place at the start of May. After lunch, end the day at Longkhum. A vanguard village of the Ao's in the days of head hunting, Longkhum is today best known for the exquisite handcraft and handloom items that the villagers produce. The Ao's have a belief that Longkhum is the resting place of the spirits of the dead on their onward journey to paradise. (B/L/D)

Day 10 Mokokchung to Mon – 180kms

After breakfast drive to Mon the headquarters of the Konyak tribe who wear traditional dresses with feathered headgear and have tattooed faces. En-route visit Wakching, a typical Konyak tribal village. Stay for two nights at the basic Helsa Cottage or Paramount Guesthouse. (B/L/D)

Day 11 Mon

This morning drive to Longwa village. One of the largest villages in Mon district, Longwa straddles the international boundary between India and Myanmar with half of the Angh's houses falling within India and the remainder in Burma. Later in the afternoon return to Mon. (B/L/D)

Day 12 Mon to Dibrugarh – 130kms

Today leave Mon and drive to Dibrugarh stopping en-route to visit the village of Chui. Once in Dibrugarh continue to the Heritage Chang Bungalow. Dibrugarh is the starting point for all visits to the 'hidden land' of Arunachal Pradesh. (B/L/D)

Day 13 Dibrugarh to Kolkata – by air

After lunch you will be met and transferred to Dibrugarh Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Kolkata. On your arrival you will be met and transferred to the Swissôtel Kolkata which is ideally located close to the international airport and where you will stay overnight. (B)

Day 14 Kolkata to the UK

Today transfer back to Kolkata Airport to catch the Emirates flight to Dubai. On your arrival connect onto the onwards Emirates flight to the UK. (B)

KEY: N = No meals B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner

Kolkata

Superbly located in the centre of Kolkata, this luxurious Oberoi hotel enjoys an idyllic setting within easy reach of the cultural landmarks, bustlin...

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car with English speaking driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Accompanying tour escort
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The price above is a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season. If you wish to travel alone we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements and will provide a proposal on request

What To Do Next?

We can design a unique journey to suit you as our tours are totally tailor made. By combining your own ideas with our knowledge and experience we can help you to create your own unique journey tailored exactly to your requirements Once you have formulated your ideas, or if you require some advice, please call us or simply request a quotation

Suggested Journeys

We are pleased to offer the following selection of suggested itineraries based on our personal experiences. By combing these itineraries with your thoughts and ideas we can tailor any journey to make it special, unique and designed around you.

Beautiful Kerala

16 days starting from £3790 per person

Kerala is rightly one of India's most popular destinations. A region of staggering scenic beauty encompassing jungle and beach, tea hills and historic towns, this journey encapsulates the best of Kerala using small and unique hotels. Commencing in the coffee plantation retreat of Tranquil, travel...

Classical India - A Journey from Mumbai to Agra

18 days starting from £3980 per person

As one of the world's great nations, India has an unrivalled historic tradition with this itinerary exploring the ages of Indian history through religion, architecture and people. Leaving the Victorian grandeur of Mumbai, journey to central India, home to the cave temples of Ajanta and Ellora,...

The Golden Triangle and Beyond

15 days starting from £2620 per person

Home to some of India's most recognisable sights, northern India is a region defined by splendid architecture, pulsating cities, grand scenery and traditional rural life. Start your journey in Delhi, where there will be ample time to explore the city. From Delhi, travel by rail south to Agra,...

From the magnificent Golden Temple of Amritsar, heart of the Sikh religion, to the quintessentially British hill station of Shimla, this tour incorporates the best of India's beautiful and the evocative Himalayan foothills. Stop en-route in the colourful Tibetan enclave of Dharamsala, home of the...

The Vale of Kashmir

10 days starting from £2480 per person

The enchanting Kashmir valley is the perfect summer retreat. Soft mountain air, pine forest, serene lakes and spectacular Himalayan mountain scenery offer a direct contrast to the sapping heat of the north Indian plains. Dividing the visit into two parts, this itinerary begins with three nights...

One of the great journeys of the subcontinent, this tour is centred on the spectacular Manali to Leh road - one of the highest in the world and a route only briefly open for travel from July to September each year. Starting with three nights in the charming British hill station of Shimla, travel...

Images of India - From the Himalayas to the Taj Mahal

16 days starting from £3395 per person

Squeezed between Tibet, Nepal and the lowland plains of India the state of Uttarakhand sits in the shadow of the mighty Himalayas. Travelling by train to Haridwar, time is spent in this holy pilgrimage city and neighbouring Rishikesh before continuing to fabulous Corbett National Park, India's...

Land of Discovery - Ladakh and Kashmir

14 days starting from £3430 per person

Jammu and Kashmir is India's most northerly state. It is also a region characterised by its strong diversity - geological, cultural and religious. This itinerary joins Ladakh with the Kashmir valley and, in doing so, creates one of the finest journeys of the Indian subcontinent. Starting in...

The Indian Mutiny

12 days starting from £3200 per person

The Indian Mutiny of 1857 was the bloodiest insurrection in the history of the British Empire when, for a time, the very fate of British India hung in the balance. This unique journey covers the three main centres of resistance - Old Delhi, Lucknow and Kanpur as well as Agra where the British...

Himalayan Kingdoms

16 days starting from £4820 per person

The Himalayan landscape becomes more exotic the further east you travel and this unusual tour provides the opportunity to explore this rich diversity. Journey through jungle-covered foothills up into rhododendron forest and within sight of some of the world's highest peaks. Himalayan cultures...

Highlights of Gujarat

18 days starting from £3495 per person

India's westernmost state, Gujarat is a time-honoured desert land of historic cities and indigenous cultures with a fauna unique to the region. Starting in Ahmedabad, drive to Dasada, via the magnificent sun-temple of Modhera, then bird-watch in the Little Rann of Kutch. Travel on to Bhuj and...

Historic Rajasthan

20 days starting from £3920 per person

Exploring the diversity and heritage of India's most iconic state, this itinerary is a comprehensive journey covering the region's key cities. A land of immense forts and breathtaking palaces, begin in Delhi before heading to Nagaur and the remote desert cities of Bikaner and Jaisalmer. Discover...

Rajasthan - Land of Kings

19 days starting from £4980 per person

Covering some of the most significant sites of northern India, this itinerary encompasses the main highlights of this colourful and historic region. Based, where possible, around luxurious heritage hotels, begin your journey in the historic city of Delhi before travelling south to Agra, home of...

North India - A Journey to the River Ganges

18 days starting from £3970 per person

No journey to northern India is complete without a visit to Varanasi – India's holiest city. An itinerary offering a cross–section of Indian society, the first half of this journey starts in Delhi, visits elegant Udaipur and Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur. Watch sunrise over the Taj Mahal...

Rural Rajasthan

18 days starting from £3940 per person

A unique opportunity to experience the rural towns and villages of princely Rajasthan, this itinerary focuses on the many ancestral homes for which this state is famous. From palaces to colonial bungalows, forts to hunting lodges, this is a leisurely journey through traditional India. From Delhi...

A Trek through the Aravalli Hills in Rajasthan

14 days starting from £2480 per person

Stretching over 350 miles from Gujarat to Delhi, in southern Rajasthan the beautiful Aravalli Range is heavily forested and is the source of several important rivers. This journey, perfect for keen walkers, explores the region around the Aravalli Hills and includes a unique three day trek from...

Spices and Sandalwood - A Journey from Mysore to Kochi

17 days starting from £3990 per person

Traversing arguably one of the most beautiful and historic regions of India, this itinerary is a memorable journey from princely Mysore, home to a grand City Palace and monumental Nandi Bull, to the fascinating spice town of Kochi. Time is spent in Nagarhole National Park - arguably the finest in...

Hidden Treasures of the Deccan Plateau

16 days starting from £3340 per person

Standing separate from the regular tourist-trail, the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are at the centre of a staggeringly diverse region few visit. A heady mix of culture and history, this novel itinerary represents a journey of rediscovery with visits to Mysore, spectacular Hampi and the...

Karnataka's Hidden Treasures

16 days starting from £3265 per person

Karnataka is India for the aficionado - a land of endless tree-lined roads leading to spectacular historical remains. A microcosm of Indian history, the state is blessed with a mix of influences which this journey aims to capture. Starting in Mysore undertake a specialist heritage walk in the...

Undiscovered Karnataka and Kerala

14 days starting from £2965 per person

Despite the region's popularity, certain parts of both Karnataka and Kerala remain relatively underexplored. This journey combines culture, scenery and relaxation to highlight the best of southern Karnataka and northern Kerala. Starting in Mysore visit the city, nearby Somnathpur and...

A Journey through South India

23 days starting from £3985 per person

Distinct to the north, exotic South India is a melting pot of cultures and religion. Starting in historic Kochi, join the Nilgiri Mountain Railway to Ooty then on to the wonderful coffee plantation retreat of Tranquil. Visit the sandalwood city of Mysore then fly to Tamil Nadu - a land of dusty...

Rural Images of Kerala

15 days starting from £2590 per person

This tropical state is, for many, the essence of south India. A land of swaying palms and rustic wooden villages, famous trading cities and the idyllic backwaters, this is a relaxed itinerary exploring the rural heart of Kerala. Begin your journey in two homestays, the first at Olavipe, a century...

Sacred Places and Natural Beauty of Madhya Pradesh

15 days starting from £3695 per person

Despite being one of India's most rural states, Madhya Pradesh is the cradle of Indian civilisation with a strong Hindu-Buddhist culture, abundance of historical sites and plethora of wildlife unrivalled throughout the subcontinent. After an exploration of Delhi, fly to Bhopal and visit the...

Tigers, Temples and Distant Palaces of Central India

20 days starting from £4680 per person

Visiting India's central states is a hugely rewarding experience. Rich culture, spectacular scenery, exceptional wildlife and a strong tribal heritage combine to make travel worthwhile to parts of an India few ever get to see. After admiring Kolkata's architecture, travel by air to Raipur in the...

Return to Darjeeling and Sikkim

18 days starting from £3440 per person

A relaxed and scenic journey, this itinerary represents an excellent introduction to the eastern Himalayan region. Starting in Kolkata, the cultural heart of India, continue on to the old Raj hill station of Darjeeling before travelling further north to explore some of the many monasteries of...

Land of the Buddha

17 days starting from £3135 per person

The Buddha's life and history play an important role in Indian society and form an integral part of the country's religious tapestry. This itinerary covers some of the Indian subcontinent's key Buddhist centres and incorporates the four places pivotal to the life of the Buddha - Lumbini in Nepal,...

Journey through Assam

18 days starting from £4690 per person

Assam is defined by the mighty Brahmaputra River, boasts two out of India’s five UNESCO environmental World Heritage sites and remains one of India’s main tea producing regions. Combining these strands, this itinerary includes visits to both Manas and Kaziranga National Park, a short Assam...

The Enchanted Frontiers - India and Bangladesh

18 days starting from £4760 per person

The neighbouring countries of India and Bangladesh have a shared history and many similar cultural traditions and this itinerary combines both with a unique journey through North East India and rural Bangladesh. Flying to Dibrugarh, visits are made to Dibru Saikhowa and Kaziranga National Parks...

Arunachal Pradesh and the Reh Festival

16 days starting from £3995 per person

Arunachal Pradesh is not only North East India's largest and most remote state but is also one of the least densely populated. Stretching from the foothills of the eastern Himalayas to the mountainous peaks of the north, the state has a truly rich tribal heritage with strong links to neighbouring...

Nagaland and the Hornbill Festival

14 days starting from £3780 per person

One of India's last remaining frontiers, travel to the eastern tribal state of Nagaland is challenging but hugely rewarding. A land of spectacular beauty and timeless history indelibly linked to the colourful indigenous tribal groups which form such an important part of the region, this itinerary...

The Defence of Kohima and Imphal

16 days starting from £3970 per person

For many the North East of India is synonymous with World War II and the battles of Kohima and Imphal which turned the tide of war in Asia. Combining both locations this itinerary begin in Kolkata, former capital of the Raj, before flying to Kohima where visits will be made to the Kohima War...

A Journey through Bhutan

22 days starting from £4970 per person

This itinerary offers a once in a lifetime opportunity not only to spend time in one of the world’s least visited countries but to also explore parts of Bhutan that continue to remain virtually closed to the outside world. A tiny land–locked state in the high Himalayas, the one airport in the...

Bhutan - Land of the Thunder Dragon

11 days starting from £3560 per person

Bhutan remains one of the least visited countries in the world, a place unchanged for centuries with proud ancient traditions. A land of staggering friendliness and beauty, just being in Bhutan, the roof of the world, is to experience something unlike anywhere else. Starting in Kolkata, fly to...

Nepal and Sikkim

15 days starting from £3350 per person

Bordering Nepal to the east, the small Indian state of Sikkim has much in common with its near neighbour. With a common heritage and similar Buddhist cultural traditions, this journey follows the eastern ranges of the Himalayas to uncover the region's most compelling sights. Starting in...

'India's Orient' - A Journey Across India with John Keay

16 days starting from £4390 per person

To the Mughals as to the British, India’s greatest prize lay in its eastern provinces of Bengal and Awadh. For ‘fertility, wealth and beauty’ they were described as ‘unrivalled anywhere in the world’.  Today’s hi-tech India may have passed them by, but the massive monuments and...

India is renowned throughout the world for its exceptional wildlife and this itinerary covers four of the country’s finest nature reserves. The national parks of Pench, Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Panna are home to a staggering and diverse array of animal and birdlife including leopard, jackal,...

Call of the Jungle - The Wildlife of Northern India

16 days starting from £3810 per person

India is synonymous with wildlife and the country is blessed with numerous excellent reserves. This itinerary combines three of the best with a break en-route in Agra to visit the wonderful Taj Mahal. Starting in Delhi, travel by road to Corbett National Park which is named after the legendary...

Taj and Tigers - From Ranthambore to Corbett

14 days starting from £3435 per person

The Indian subcontinent is home to a number of excellent wildlife reserves but the national parks of Corbett and Ranthambore remain two of the best and most popular. This itinerary combines both, whilst also incorporating comprehensive visits to Old and New Delhi, Agra for the Taj Mahal and two...

The Wildlife of Southern India

14 days starting from £2990 per person

Southern Karnataka and northern Kerala form part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest protected area in southern India. Within this reserve are Nagarhole and Bandipur national parks – arguably the region’s finest reserves which support a range...

The National Parks of North East India

16 days starting from £3985 per person

Wild and remote, India’s north east is a wildlife lover’s paradise. From the spectacular Dibru-Saikhowa National Park close to Arunachal Pradesh and isolated Nameri National Park to world-famous Kaziranga National Park, home of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros, this journey highlights the...

Inspired by the film Viceroy’s House, this special historical journey links the key locations that played such an important role in the latter days of British rule in India, the events surrounding partition and evolution of a modern India in the post-independence period. Combining regal New...

Experts in Private Guided Journeys

For over 27 years Pettitts has led the field in arranging unique tailor-made journeys. Our expert well-travelled team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same. Please call us for more information or complete our enquiry form to request a quotation.

01892 515 966 Request a Quote