A Cruise in the Brahmaputra River of Assam

The cruise in its lower course near Guwahati.
The cruise in its lower course near Guwahati.

A splendid and candid beauty exists in the Brahmaputra River of Assam in India. There is no doubt that this braided river is considered one of the many unexplored treasures of the world. A cruise in the Brahmaputra river of Assam is not just a mere travel escapade, rather, it is a true lifetime experience. Sailing the fascinating river makes time move fast. You can never tell that the journey has ended, as there are so many wonderful experiences in store for those who wander in this river of life and nature.

The river, in its course through Assam, is undeniably filled with many treasures – treasures that are well preserved, since it is a very sacred river of the Hindus. There are support systems in the country of India that fulfill this sacredness. These systems make sure that they protect the river and maintain its marveling treasure. Most of the Indian rivers and tributaries have female names. But the Brahmaputra is a male river. In Sanskrit, the river has a rare male name, “son of Brahma” and “putra” for son. It is probably because of the river’s vastness and mightiness that it is a male among most other female rivers.

The river is an open river braided and connected to other major rivers of Asia as it sources from the Himalayas and then empties into the Bay of Bengal. The blissful and plain flowing water of the river covers 1,800 miles, and the level of water increases as the spring season starts; melted snow from the Himalayan glaciers and peaks. The large area of the river has also made it an important source of local transportation. The river has a lot of unrecorded and undiscovered beauty. But despite its quite appeal to the public, it is considered unique as it exhibits tidal bore or bore (only few of the rivers of the world has this fascinating and magical beauty); Bore phenomenon is an interesting flowing of the river’s waters against the direction of the bay’s current. Interesting, right? Tip: As you cruise into this river, never forget to capture these spectacular moments – bring on a camera.

The plains and soils of Brahmaputra are so fertile that it covers vast acres of land ranging 300 to 600 meters of elevations. The fertile lands of Brahmaputra Valley are planted with different vegetation and tea estates, and are considered to the one of the most productive in all of India and the world.

The lobby is a great place to hangout, relax or to make new friends.
The lobby is a great place to hangout, relax or to make new friends.

Many enthusiastic travelers and tourists come to experience a cruise in the Brahmaputra each year. They come to see the river of “Green Gold”. The most popular, is the 10 day cruise which starts form the town of Dibrugarh in eastern Assam, and sails downstream along the Brahmaputra through one of the most fascinating landscapes of India and everywhere, to Guwahati City in the very west where northeastern India ends and the river enters Bangladesh. The most interesting sight of such a cruise is the river itself. Huge and unprecedented, the river eats almost everything that comes in its path and is home to thousands of desolated islands of brown sand. One of my personal most unforgettable experiences of my life has been to camp the nights in these islands, far away from the world. Especially in moonless and full moon nights, it is quite an experience to sleep under the stars or to be startled by the magnificence of the moonshine.  The remote underpopulated vastness is at times interfered with beautiful villages of the Assamese countryside, where life seems to move as slowly and ambiguously as the pace of the river. At times, the scenery also changes to a pleasant sight of tea plantations that seem to roll on in a carpet of greenery for endless miles. Along the way, one also gets to visit the island of Majuli, which is the largest inhabited river island of the world. Here, Assamese monastic culture thrives in all their simplicity and glory. Monks and villages cooperate and live a life devoted to spreading love, music, arts, drama and a religion based on spirituality and peace. As soon as one crosses the island and sails further downstream, one arrives at the world famous Kaziranga National Park, India’s own little Africa. The grasslands of the national park grow tall and vibrant, and apart from bring home to two-third of the world’s one horned rhinoceros population, they are also home to many other incredible species of mammals, birds and reptiles. Further downstream from Kaziranga, few other wildlife habitats follow which are also quite incredible and abundant with wildlife. At the end, one reaches Manas National Park at the foothills of the Bhutanese Himalayas. Abundant with mountain and forest infected scenery, the national park provides a last beautiful farewell before one departs from the Guwahati Airport.

Since every summer, the river swells and brings about widespread destruction of wildlife, the cruises are all scheduled for the winter months (November – April) when the river is dry and calm.

Sustainable houses at Majuli Island. The residents here are as much lovely.
Sustainable houses at Majuli Island. The residents here are as much lovely.
A fisherman tries his luck on the banks of the Brahmaputra River.
A fisherman tries his luck on the banks of the Brahmaputra River.

Experience Assam in a Brahmaputra River Cruise” is a 10 days itinerary we offer for those interested in this once-a-lifetime journey.

*Cruise Kings: They have good offers in 2013 & 2014 for ocean cruises. 

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