Tribal gathering at India’s Hornbill Festival
Be among the first to discover the land of festivals and the colourful cultures of the Nagaland tribes at the sacred Hornbill Festival; a vibrant extravaganza where dancing, eating and tribal performances encourage a deeper understanding of both people and their traditions.
When to go: December
- Head to your remote luxury camp located at the foothills of the huge Japfu Mountain, and soak in the serenity of your surroundings as you are given a traditional welcome from the tribes of Nagaland
- Drive to the Kisama village for the spectacular Hornbill Festival. It is a riot of colour as all 16 tribes of Nagaland show off the rich fare of diverse cultures and traditional arts. You can witness the attire, folk music and dance forms, headgear, cuisines, paintings, handicrafts, and other intricacies of the varied tribes and sub-tribes of the state. The highlight of the festival is not only the music and dance; you will also be enchanted by the display of exquisite handicraft and handloom. Adding to the excitement is a motor rally, traditional sports like wrestling and archery, a literary fest, and fun events like climbing a greased bamboo pole or chilli eating contests
- Venture into Kaziranga National Park, famous as the only natural habitat of the great Indian rhinoceros. You will be joined by a private naturalist for a safari – in addition to the rhino, the Park contains more than 35 major mammals, including elephant, tiger, and leopard
- Board a small private boat and drift down the Brahmaputra River to watch river dolphins. You will also stop at the 10th-century Hatimura temple and visit a private tea estate for lunch
- Explore Bandhavgarh National Park and go in search of tigers with an expert ranger, who has an intricate knowledge of the area and the tiger’s behaviour