West Bengal and Meghalaya will entice and surprise you every day with its tribal culture, food, traditions, forests and waterfalls which seem to be straight out of Africa.

 

This tour involves a mix of cultural and activity-based experiences.

 

Your holiday has been designed with the local community so that you can form a deeper connection with the villages and its people.

 

The best time to visit is from September to March, and this tour can be customized according to your preferences and budget by adding other destinations in India.

 

Clean Travel believes that our innovative approach to tourism has the power to revitalise communities and provide financial security for its inhabitants. Find out more about Clean Travel here.

  • Destination

  • Departure

    Kolkata, India
  • Dress Code

    Casual, comfortable athletic clothing, hat and light jacket.
  • Included

    Airport pick up and drop off
    Applicable permits and park fees
    Experienced guide
    Land Transportation
    Meals
    Support staff
  • Not Included

    8 nights accommodation
    Airplane transport
    Personal expenses
    Snorkeling with turtles
    Soft and hard drinks
    Tipping
    Travel insurance

We support you right from your first mail to us, to the planning stage till the time you arrive at the airport in India. Although it’s a custom-designed tour the planning usually does not take more than 2-3 exchange of emails.

 

Be assured that we will take care of you completely so that you can spend time doing what you are really here for – To enjoy your holiday in India.

 

Once you arrive at the airport, we will receive you and be with you at various stages of this tour. It will be not just a guide but a person from the local village who has good knowledge, passionate about his work and is friendly.

We will provide comfortable accommodations which will include hotels or homestays. All the accommodations will have sufficient clean bedding, warm water, and either family or staff to take care of you.

 

The food is vegetarian or non-vegetarian, hygienic and safe.

 

You will have clean western washrooms. WiFi or TV may or may not be available at most of these places are away from city life. However, you can always depend on the 3G connection.

5% of the money is directly given back to the community.

 

Our guides and custodians of knowledge are from the local community, thus we support their families.

 

We are discouraging use of plastic bottles on our trips.

 

We urge you to refrain from giving gifts or money to children or young adults in the village.

 

All the raw material for meals is sourced from local markets and villages thus reducing the carbon emission by transporting it from a distant city.

 

The taxis you use will be BS-IV carbon emission standard.

 

The performing artists and singers are handpicked from the local community rather than being invited from another city.

 

Your trip has been designed as per the international standards of responsible tourism – Cape Town Agreement 2002. Therefore it ensures that the money you pay has a direct social, economic and environmental benefit locally.

Meghalaya primarily consists of three tribes – Khasi, Garo and Jaintia. Out of these Khasi tribes are the largest in population.

 

Meghalaya is considered one of the cleanest states in India with high literacy rate. The locals are also very proud of their culture. Some of the interesting things to look for in Meghalaya are living root bridges, Khasi food, sacred forests, villages, and crafts.

 

Women play a major role in high positions in the government and in the family in decision making.

 

Meghalaya follows the Matrilineal form of society where the lineage is tracked through the female.

This experience is designed to be executed at a leisurely pace so that you can experience the local culture of central India.

 

This is suitable for all age groups including senior citizens. In winters, we will provide you with the necessary heating as it gets quite cold.

 

Most of the tour will involve regular walking or travel by AC Sedan, SUV or minibus.

1

Day 1 - 2: Kolkata

Acclimatize to India and explore the Bengali and British colonial history of Kolkata over the next two days.

Also participate in Bengali family experiences like cooking, dressing in traditional clothes, and music. Explore the various rustic, religious, culinary and colonial stories of Kolkata, and those obscure food joints of old Kolkata which are known only to the locals.

Through our storytelling, you not only see the place and taste the food, but also live its story and history.

Some of the highlights of the tour of Kolkata are – food trail, British colonial trail, and Bengali crafts and temples.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Stay: Homestay/ Hotel
2

Day 3: Guwahati to Meghalaya

Take an early morning flight from Kolkata to Guwahati followed by an overland journey to your homestay with Khasi community.

Meghalaya is one of the cleanest states in North East with high literacy rate, yet its people are very close to their land and culture.

Today as you stay with the Khasi tribe, taste traditional cuisine cooked on woodfire inside bamboo using local herbs, see how local women are involved in weaving, learn to work on a handloom, and weave your own souvenir to take back home.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Stay: Homestay/ Hotel
3

Day 4 - 5: Shillong

Spend next two days in vibrant Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. Try out the quaint cafes and stroll into the street markets of fruits, vegetables and meat.

Over these two days, we will take you to the areas and markets of Shillong where you can get a sense of the daily life. Shillong is the only big city in Meghalaya, and many people from nearby villages come in their traditional attire to trade their goods daily.

It is worth spending some time to do the photography after taking permission and interact with them.

Even though it is a busy city, but we urge you to take it slow here.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Stay: Homestay/ Hotel -
4

Day 6 - 9: Villages and Living Root Bridges

Drive further into central Meghalaya to another Khasi village to spend a day learning how tea is grown, plucked, processed and packed. Try your hands at it with the locals.

We then move deep into Meghalaya towards the grasslands of Mawphlang. This will be our base for the next few days.

Participate in hands of cooking experience, go for the David Scott trail, explore Mawlynnong (the cleanest village in Asia), living root bridges that get stronger with time and visit Dawki river on the Bangladesh border.

Learn how the local community around Mawphlang is involved in the conservation of their villages. Visit the Khasi sacred forests. We will be sharing stories with you from Khasi tribes.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Stay: Homestay
5

Day 10 - 11: Indigenous Tribes of Meghalaya

Spend the next two days away from the main civilization with the indigenous animist people of Meghalaya who follow the native tradition which was prevalent before Christianity.

Some of the experiences you can expect are – live with the indigenous tribes away from the city, see how they practice honey making, get to know the stories on native traditions and festivals, know the stories of their tribal clans, how they migrated and mixed with people from other clans.

Know about their legends that are still passed on from generations without a written script.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Stay: Homestay
6

Day 12: Departure

Say goodbye to beautiful Meghalaya, and start return journey to Shillong for onward journey to Kolkata or another destination in India.

Meals: Breakfast

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The Folk Tales

The Folk Tales India's travel experiences in rural India are handcrafted with special emphasis on making a positive social, environmental and economic impact.

 

When you take one of our travel experiences, you contribute to local communities in preserving their cultural and environmental heritage, and in living a better life.

 

Through our storytelling, you experience a deep connection with the place and its people. We do not provide a sightseeing tour, but a culturally immersive experience through the hands-on activities and meaningful conversations.

Their Social Focus

We design all of their tours with the local community in mind. They ensure that they are directly benefiting, economically, socially and environmentally. All of our tours adhere to the guidelines of United Nation's Cape Town Agreement 2002 for Responsible Tourism.

Certifications

Finalist in the Indian Responsible Tourism Awards for 2016 and affiliated with the WTM Responsible Tourism network.

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