Bikes, Bonfires & The Hornbill Festival

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In the company of a group of riding aficionados, set off on a signature journey, led by professional biker and travel designer, Candida Louis. Candida has led more than 32 customised biking group tours, biked internationally and once even went on a trip that lasted 7 months. With her, expect challenging terrain, life-changing experiences and a new direction to ride, every day.

Throughout, rack up as many memorable experiences as you do miles. And at the Hornbill Festival, eat lots (and lots) of delicious food, watch Naga tribes showcase their culture, listen to musical performances, take part in chilli-eating contests and more.

Quick Overview

Trip Dates: 02 Dec - 09 Dec
Availability: Yes, 6 spots left
Places Covered: Nagaland
Category: Adventure Trips Mixed Groups Biking

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Our journeys are always built with your safety in mind. We use private cabs for transport & city center hotels for stay. We also collaborate with tourism boards for local support.

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Our groups are deliberately small. We believe such groups make for better shared experiences. Start off as strangers but come back as friends for life.

'Spectacular' is an understatement

Although Kerala claims the title of 'God's Own County', Meghalaya comes a close-second. Every single thing here - living root bridges, immense waterfalls, butterflies, streams - is scenic splendour in HD.

Watch this video by Two Birds Breaking Free to see for yourself.

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Welcome to Guwahati!

You’ll meet other members of your crew as everyone gathers at the airport. Then, we’ll be transferred to the hotel to check-in (the bikes will be at the hotel).

After lunch, we will visit ‘Treasured Wheels’, a vintage car and bike museum on the outskirts of Guwahati. There will be plenty of treasures to gawk at - around 50 cars and 25 bikes in the collection, which ranges from a 1921 Chevrolet to a 1940 Royal Enfield and a US-made Paradrop Scooter from 1933 to a Triumph 350 from 1934.

It’s a beautiful area too, surrounded by litchis, guavas, bay leaves and neem trees, with treehouses built in their midst. If you’d like, you can spend the night here. Sure, the accommodation is basic but the ambiance is superlative. You’ll eat around a bonfire, under a thousand stars, and the only sounds you’ll hear are those of the forest. 
Today, we’ll hit the road running, riding from Guwahati to Mawphlang in Meghalaya.
The ride is a pleasant one, first on the 4 lane highway and then following a road that climbs upwards to the town, with by many hairpin bends through pine forest-covered hills and past waterfalls.

We’ll reach Mawphlang, a village in the East Khasi Hills after 5 hours. Then, stretch out your legs, and enjoy a homecooked meal made by the couple who runs the camp we’ll be staying at.
Onwards to Cherrapunji, one of the wettest places on earth but don’t worry, when we’re there, the weather will be dry although a little cold. 

It’s a short riding day but on very good roads again. Plus, the landscape is straight out of The Lord Of The Rings. 

Time permitting, you can make your way to natural swimming pools where the water is clear, blue and perfect for a cool dip, or visit the Arwah Lawshynna Cave, Nohsngithiang Falls (a waterfall woven in seven strands), and the Nohkalikai Falls (the fourth longest waterfall in the world).
Early birds have the option to visit the caves in the morning (this excursion will take around 3 hours), and then make their way back to camp.

After breakfast, onwards to Mawlynnong village (3 hours). It’s a pleasant ride through wide valleys and deep gorges, but the narrow curved roads may prove a little challenging, especially if it’s a misty morning.
This village is famous for being “the cleanest in Asia” – a title that its villagers take seriously: bamboo baskets for litter hang around the village, the streets are swept daily, and the do’s and don’ts for the visitors are helpfully written on a board.

We’ll walk down to see the living roots bridge. Inventive Khasi elders tended the roots of rubber trees over a hundred years, to intertwine and form sturdy, beautiful pathways over the rivers in the valleys. Now, they are strong enough to hold the weight of an elephant. It’s incredible.

After an early lunch, we’ll ride onwards to Dawki, a town near the Indo-Bangladesh border.

For the night, we’ll be camping by the riverside at Shnonpedang village. The water is incredibly clear here, which makes it perfect for cliff jumping, scuba diving, snorkeling or boating. We’ll eat dinner made by the villagers, around a campfire, on the banks of the river. A perfect ending to the day.
We’ll be riding to Shillong via Jowai today.

Upon arrival, we’ll just take it easy and enjoy the charms of this quintessential hill station. Head over to Café Shillong for a cup of velvety hot chocolate or Dylan’s cafe if you’re a fan of the musician, or ML05 Cafe which pays tribute to the biking culture in Shillong. Also, since Shillong’s known as the ‘rock capital of India’, keep an ear out for live music performances as you explore.
It’s a long day of riding today. Around 90 kms will be on hilly road, and after that we will ride the highway almost all the way to Dimapur, the largest city in Nagaland.

We will be staying on the outskirts of the city and will have to navigate difficult roads to reach there.
It’s an early start this morning, but which means that we should reach Kohima in around 3 hours.

Once we arrive, we’ll head straight for the Hornbill Festival, and revel in the riot of color and festive atmosphere over the next two days.

As the festival begins, watch as all the tribes enter, each performing traditional songs and dances to the low beat of long wooden drums, re-enacting rituals from their earlier days as warriors, slicing the air with ceremonial knives and enacting mock battles and torching enemy villages.

In the evening, browse the food stalls to eat like a local – there’s an exotic menu on offer but it’s not from the fainthearted! Take your pick from dried squirrel soup, the fried silkworm larvae or a freshly cooked frog, accompanied by a refreshing draught of rice beer. Don’t worry, if you’re not in an adventurous mood, there’ll be plenty of momos and pork, bamboo and fish dishes too.

Note: Wear an extra layer of warm clothes and a thick pair of socks when venturing out into the night, as it tends to get quite chilly.
There are plenty of activities throughout the two days, such as car rallies, and demonstrations of wrestling and archery, a literary festival, displays of skills and physical prowess like greased bamboo-pole climbing.

You’ll be able to eat lunch and dinner at the venue.
Don’t forget to attend the hottest event (literally!) at the festival – the chilli eating contest. Face-off against brave old ladies and red-faced men to try to beat the record - 17 Naga King chillies (has often been ranked the world’s hottest chili) devoured in one minute.

Plus, don't miss out on the interesting closing ceremony and toast to the entire festival.

We’ll ride out from Kohima after breakfast, and after 4 hours will reach Doyang Lake. It’s a beautiful route: green hills, the lake ahead, and the sky above, filled with Amur Falcons, who are making their own journey.

The Doyang Lake is actually a reservoir that covers an area of 8,000 hectares and his home to a number of migratory birds. The closer you get, the easier it will be to spot them. We’ll have lunch at the lakeside.

Afterwards, there will be a long offroad section right after we cross the bridge that lies across the lake, until all of a sudden, we’ll emerge from the undergrowth and hit the tarmac. Then its through small, quaint villages and all the way to Mokokchung.

It’s a fairly easy riding day today.

After breakfast, it’s about a 100 kms on hilly roads towards the tea town of Jorhat. You will spend the night in an old colonial-era bungalow inside a tea estate, where you can get some quality, much-deserved R&R.
We will ride for about 100 kms and stop at the outskirts of Kaziranga.

Given its tall, dense grasslands, tropical wet evergreen forests, interconnecting streams and numerous small lakes, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most beautiful World Heritage Sites in the country. The park is also home to two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses and has the highest density of tigers in the world.

We’ll be staying on the banks of the Dhansiri River, which means that you’ll be able to take a boat safari and see river dolphins, apart from elephant and jeep safaris through the park.
The home run.

To reach Guwahati today will take around a 5 hour ride, and we should reach the city be early afternoon if we start early. 

You’ll be free for the rest of the day.
Sadly, it’s the last morning of our bike trip. We’ll head towards the airport to catch our flights home. 

Superb Choice!

Trip Dates:
Trip Price: INR 74000 INR 69000

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