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The Enchanted Frontiers - India and Bangladesh

18 days 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 before continuing to Meghalaya, its capital Shillong and beautiful Cherrapunjee. Crossing overland into Bangladesh, time is spent around Sylhet, Bangladesh's very own 'tea country', and in the charming textile village of Tangail before ending in Bangladesh's bustling capital Dhaka.

Route: Kolkata – Dibrugarh – Tinsukia – Kaziranga National Park – Shillong – Cherrapunjee – Sylhet – Tangail – Dhaka – Banderban – Dhaka

Itinerary Highlights

Originally settled by the East India Company in 1690, Kolkata grew to become capital of British India and one of the most important, wealthy and influential cities in the world.

Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya. Popular with the British due to its clement climate, it has a spectacular location and is morning’s drive from Mawphlang Sacred Forest and Cherrapunjee.

On the banks of the Surma River in Bangladesh close to the Indian border, Sylhet is an important town surrounded by beautiful tea plantations, vibrant green rice paddies and river valleys.

Itinerary: The Enchanted Frontiers - India and Bangladesh

Today depart the UK on the Emirates flight to Dubai. (N)
Arrive into Dubai and connect onto the Emirates flight to Kolkata, 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)
Accommodation in Kolkata: Oberoi Grand Hotel (or similar)
Today explore Kolkata with your guide. Places of interest include St John's Church which has a memorial to the city's founder Job Charnock, the Writers Building which is now the seat of government and the silver-domed General Post Office. Also visit the imposing white marble Victoria Memorial, built in 1921 and today a treasure trove of Raj relics. End the day at the excellent Indian Museum, the largest museum in the country which was established in 1814. (B)
Accommodation in Kolkata: Oberoi Grand Hotel (or similar)
This morning you will be met and transferred back to Kolkata Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Dibrugarh. Later visit the Mancotta Tea Estate to learn all about tea—from its origin to how it is grown to its processing and tasting. This area of India is one of the oldest tea producing regions in the country and plenty of time will be spent enjoying the estate's 157 year old tea gardens. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Dibrugarh: Heritage Chang Bungalow (or similar)
After breakfast leave Dibrugarh and drive to Digboi, South Asia's first oil town and location of a World War II Allied Forces Cemetery. Leaving Digboi, visit the Ahom tribal village of Tai Phakial and the nearby fascinating Bell Temple before travelling the short distance to Tinsukia where you will stay for two nights at the charming Wathai Heritage Bungalow which is set on the Limbuguri Tea Estate close to Dibru Saikhowa National Park. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Tinsukia: Wathai Heritage Bungalow (or similar)
This morning it is an early start for a full day visit to Dibru Saikhowa National Park. Dibru Saikhowa is a bird watchers paradise with over 350 species calling it home, however, this pristine and little visited national park also provides the perfect habitat for tiger, leopard, sloth bear, slow loris and, along the river, Gangetic dolphin. Ranging from semi-evergreen jungle to swampy marshland, the park will be explored on foot and by small country boat. In the late afternoon return to your hotel in Tinsukia. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Tinsukia: Wathai Heritage Bungalow (or similar)
After breakfast leave Tinsukia and drive to Sivasagar where a series of Ahom monuments, tanks and temples encompass the 600 year old history of the Ahom dynasty. Later continue by road to Kaziranga National Park where you will stay for two nights. A World Heritage Site, Kaziranga National Park is located in a beautiful setting on the banks of the Brahmaputra River and covers a vast area. Predominately swamp with tall thickets of elephant grass, Kaziranga provides the ideal habitat for the Indian one-horned rhinoceros. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Kaziranga National Park: ABN Diphlu River Lodge (or similar)
Today enjoy early morning and evening game safaris by jeep and on elephant back. Aside from the one-horned rhinos, Kaziranga is also home to over 1,000 wild buffalo, sambar, swamp deer, elephant, python and tiger. There is also a wide variety of birdlife as well as river otters and dolphins which are regularly seen. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Kaziranga National Park: ABN Diphlu River Lodge (or similar)
This morning leave Kaziranga National Park for the drive south to the capital of Meghalaya, Shillong. One of India's prettiest regions, the area around Shillong was known as the ‘Scotland of the East’ and quickly became a popular British hill station. Later you will visit the pretty Ward Lake and colourful local bazaar. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Shillong: Royal Heritage Tripura Castle (or similar)
Today take a day trip to the village of Mawlynnong whose inhabitants belong to the Wars, a sub-tribe of the Khasi people. The drive to reach Mawlynnong is spectacular, crossing rivers and passing waterfalls and there are far reaching views from the village over to the plains of Bangladesh. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Shillong: Royal Heritage Tripura Castle (or similar)
After breakfast explore Shillong and the surrounding area including the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture, Mawphlang Sacred Forest, Elephant Falls and Shillong Peak with its magnificent views. Later continue to Cherrapunjee, a truly beautiful corner of North East India and a place famous for its heavy monsoon rains which has helped to create one of the rarest bio-diverse regions in the world. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Cherrapunjee: Polo Orchid Resort (or similar)
This morning leave Cherrapunjee and drive towards the Indo-Bangladesh border at Dawki stopping en-route at Mawsmai cave and the waterfalls at Nohkalikai and Nohsngithiang. Later, leaving India at Dawki, enter Bangladesh and continue by road to Sylhet. Bangladesh's very own ‘tea country’, the area surrounding Sylhet is one of rolling green hills, colourful pickers, golden rice paddies and superb scenery. (B/L)
Accommodation in Sylhet: Nazimgarh Resort (or similar)
After breakfast leave Sylhet and visit the beautiful hamlet of Lalakhal which is located on the Shari River. Framed by the mountains of Meghalaya, Lalakhal is a wonderful spot to enjoy the scenery and the picturesque tea gardens. On your return to Sylhet stop en-route to try the famous ‘seven layers tea’ and, when back in the town, visit Shah Jalal Mausoleum built in honour of a celebrated Sufi Muslim figure. (B/L)
Accommodation in Sylhet: Nazimgarh Resort (or similar)
Today leave Sylhet and drive to Tangail. This is the centre of Bangladesh's textile trade and Tangail is a charming, industrious village of pit and handlooms weaving wonderful cotton saris of the brightest colours and combinations. Later walk through the village and meet the weavers. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Tangail: UBINIG Guesthouse (or similar)
This morning further explore Tangail and the surrounding area. Visit the local village school and a traditional seed bank. Bicycles are also available to enjoy the village and the beautiful surrounding Bangladeshi countryside, later you will drive to Dhaka. Heartbeat of the nation, over the centuries Dhaka has been influenced by the Mughals and the French, the British and the Nawabs of Bengal and has an energy that is palpable. (B/L)
Accommodation in Dhaka: Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast transfer to Dhaka Airport for your onward flight to Chittagong. On your arrival you will be met and transferred to Banderban. Banderban is surrounded by lush forest and the region is home to 11 indigenous tribes who still maintain their traditional lifestyles. After lunch visit the peaceful Golden Temple, built in traditional Arakanese style, before exploring a colourful tribal market. End the day atop Tiger Hill for spectacular sunset views. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Banderban: Parjatan Hotel (or similar)
This morning pass isolated tribal villages on the way to Chimbuk Peak where, on a clear day, it is possible to see the Bay of Bengal. Upon leaving Chimbuk, visit some of the local tribal villages. Of the 11 tribes, just over half welcome interaction while the rest choose to remain isolated. Each of these communities has a distinct way of life and unique dress. Later return to Chittagong Airport and fly to Dhaka where you will stay overnight. (B/L)
Accommodation in Dhaka: Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel (or similar)
Today transfer back to Dhaka 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

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car with English speaking driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Sightseeing with an accompanying English speaking guide
  • Wildlife viewing with local naturalist
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

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

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Experts in Tailor-Made Holidays

For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable 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 the online enquiry form to request a quotation.

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