Adrift on the Brahmaputra

Adrift on the Brahmaputra

by Maria Visconti

Meandering down this mystical river delivers a treasure trove of history, culture and wildlife.

As the river gurgles past below my balcony, a spectacular lightning storm brews on the horizon. The water is so close I can almost let it flow through my fingers as I lay in bed. It is midnight and we are anchored in the middle of the Brahmaputra River in Assam, India. Halfdreaming, I re-live my first encounter with this body of water in Tibet, some 2,000 kilometres north of where we are now. Originating in the Himalayas and finally plunging into the Bay of Bengal, the Brahmaputra River courses through the length of Assam bringing with its waters all the blessings of good soil, easy irrigation and good fishing together with the perils of floods, which often decimate the area.

VacationsMag.com

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Cruising down the untameable Brahmaputra

Cruising down the untameable Brahmaputra

A 384km boat trip down Asia’s mightiest yet most enigmatic waterway offers a glimpse of a different India

I’d been cruising on the Brahmaputra river for 48 hours when it finally hit me: it was really quiet out here. My floating home for a week, the comfortable luxury-liner MV Mahabaahu, had anchored for the night when I wandered to the top deck and noticed: silence! No people walking along the riverbank. No lights winking from a distant village. No other boats were tied up nearby or returning home from fishing. For that matter, over the last two days, I spotted more Gangetic freshwater dolphins than boats. This was India… right?

I thought I knew this place, the second most populous country in the world. So it seemed unthinkable to be standing in Assam in northeast India, looking out over swathes of land where people weren’t jockeying for space. I’m a foreigner, but no newbie—two years ago, I spent almost five weeks travelling from Kerala to Sikkim, discovering an India of spices, colours, temples, packed trains and people. So many people, everywhere. But Assam was a whole new world...

Condé Nast Traveller India

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Adventure Assam

Adventure Assam

For a long time, there was no big boat traveling on the Brahmaputra- now travels the MV Mahabaahu on the wildest rivers of India.

Sometimes the bamboo stick decides the course. If the Brahmaputra carries little water and the alluvial sand fairway has changed, the men from the Marker boat crafts the shallows and points the way to the Captain. With practiced hands, they let the Bamboo pole into the waves to measure the water level of the river by its mark.

Pankaj Kumar Das needs at least Eight feet - about 2.50 meters’ depth of water for his " MV Mahabaahu" for him to control on the Brahmaputra. For the 42 - year-old who on the River Cruise ship is called the Master and not the Captain, occasionally determines the depth with the bamboo stick is not an alarm. Quite the contrary, "I love this alternation" says the big, burly Man who prefers the casual Coveralls and stands on the bridge...

Reise URlaUb, Germany

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Adventure Assam

Adventure Assam

For a long time, there was no big boat traveling on the Brahmaputra- now travels the MV Mahabaahu on the wildest rivers of India.

Sometimes the bamboo stick decides the course. If the Brahmaputra carries little water and the alluvial sand fairway has changed, the men from the Marker boat crafts the shallows and points the way to the Captain. With practiced hands, they let the Bamboo pole into the waves to measure the water level of the river by its mark.

Pankaj Kumar Das needs at least Eight feet - about 2.50 meters’ depth of water for his " MV Mahabaahu" for him to control on the Brahmaputra. For the 42 - year-old who on the River Cruise ship is called the Master and not the Captain, occasionally determines the depth with the bamboo stick is not an alarm. Quite the contrary, "I love this alternation" says the big, burly Man who prefers the casual Coveralls and stands on the bridge.

Reise URlaUb, Germany

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From Jorhat to Guwahati, visual treats by the Brahmaputra

From Jorhat to Guwahati, visual treats by the Brahmaputra

The river cruise sails through the wild, from Jorhat to Guwahati, downstream on the Brahmaputra River. The major attraction being Kaziranga National Park, a world heritage site, home to one-horned rhinoceros, majestic wild buffalos, gorgeous swamp deer and tiger. 

It is also a bird-lover's paradise with hundreds of bird species. You get to go on an elephant safari, jeep safari and boat safari, so you don't miss out on the variety of wildlife here. The cruise vessel is designed as a luxury floating hotel that offers comfortable rooms with attached bathrooms, restaurant and spa besides a well-stocked bar and library, and a swimming pool...

Economic Times, India

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Die Götter reisen mit

Die Götter reisen mit

Travel with Gods

JUTTA LEMCKE

The Brahmaputra is as wide as a lake - and sometimes flat like a pond. But captain Pankaj knows every sandbank and maneuver his guests safely through the Northeast India.

Sometimes Pankaj Kumar dreams badly that his ship has torn and drives leaderless through the muddy waters, rotates lazily in treacherous swirls and finally remains in dense fog at an abandoned Sandbar. "In reality, we have in the past five years, only once got caught in a sand bar" says the captain, laughing with his pearly white teeth and wobbling his head in Indian style which means its "all clear" or at least it’s an expression of good mood. As a matter of fact, there is hardly any ship as the "Mahabaahu" that is taken good care of, sailing on a Distance of approximately 300 kilometers on the mighty Brahmaputra by the state of Assam in Northeast India that can accommodate a maximum of 46 guests from various places, mainly foreigners. Pankaj is the captain – He calls himself "master" – to the 55 meters long and ten meters wide "Mahabaahu" with Swimming pool and sundeck demanding to the wishes of the guests...

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Cruise to Kaziranga

Cruise to Kaziranga

Follow Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Kaziranga - by expedition style boat - with 40% discount available

The Quality PUG rated expeditionary style river cruise ship, the MV Mahabaahu sails on a living nature and history voyage of the Brahmaputra river up to Kaziranga Tiger Reserve, in Assam, the North East part of the Indian mainland. They are offering for departures in October to December a 40% discount on selected departures to tour operators.

TOFT

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Grey and Gorgeous

Grey and Gorgeous

1st May 2016- The Speaking Tree Sunday Newspaper: "A River Cruise on the Brahmaputra is more than just a wet and wild experience", writes Narayani Ganesh

What was the lady doing? I can see her bending low on the embankment, carefully spooning the rich alluvial sand into a Ziploc bag.The tourist from Canada, here on a river cruise aboard the M V Mahabaahu on the Brahmaputra,had seen me do this the previous evening,spooning sand into a bag,and asked me what I would do with it.I had told her I would place it in the tulsi pot at home, the Holy Basil.And now she is going to carry a part of the Brahmaputra all the way back to Canada, perhaps add it to her garden soil.

Times Of India

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It's Wild and Wonderful Without Humans

It's Wild and Wonderful Without Humans

27th April 2016- The Speaking Tree Column: "It's Wild and Wonderful Without Humans", writes Narayani Ganesh

They are beautiful, the three leopard cubs. But they are being raised in captivity in the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), close to the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Their mother was beaten to death by tea plantation staff when she strayed into the tea garden, leaving behind three newborn cubs, yet to open their eyes to the world around them. Rescued by CWRC staff some 18 months ago, the cubs know of no other home than the enclosure they now live in.

What will become of them? Says veterinarian Panjit Basumatary, “The cubs don’t know how to survive in the wild. They don’t know how to hunt. Perhaps one day they’ll get sent to a zoo.” The other animals brought in due to injury or floods would be ministered to before being released again into the wild. But no such luck for the beautiful leopard cubs that were now baring their teeth and growling at me, obviously scared of strangers. Which is why visitors are normally not encouraged, unless it’s a special request, like when British Royals Kate and William visited here recently.

One leopard hid herself in a large pipe, her amber eyes flashing in the dark as she let out a low growl. The other two siblings raced up and down, and soon disappeared from sight, finding refuge in leafy corners, in what was now their haven...

Times Of India

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Indien beschaulich

Indien beschaulich

India Introspective

A river cruise on the Brahmaputra conveys the Northeastern tip of India with exciting insights into the nature and culture, away from mass tourism.
Writes: Christa Arnet

Eine Flusskreuzfahrt auf dem Brahmaputra im nordöstlichsten Zipfel von Indien vermittelt spannende Einblicke in die Natur und Kultur abseits des Massentourismus.

Frühmorgens hüllt sich die Landschaft in grauen Nebel. Ein kühler Wind pfeift um die Ohren. Noch scheint die Natur zu schlafen, ausser einem dumpfen Stampfen und Schnaufen ist nichts zu hören. Es sind die Geräusche von domestizierten Elefanten, auf deren Rücken wir durchs dichte Gras des Kaziranga Nationalparks schaukeln.

Cruisetip, Switzerland

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Best Cruises: The East

Best Cruises: The East

The best cruises of the year explore far-flung destinations, from Vietnam and Thailand to the Holy Land.

By Jane Wooldridge

Rivers of India

This winter, India emerges as a river-cruising destination, with sailings from Uniworld and Vantage Deluxe World Travel on the eastern Ganges River as part of longer India trips. For India devotees seeking a singular experience in one region, Pandaw River Expeditions offers a seven-night Brahmaputra River 46-passenger voyage combining a wildlife safari, traditional culture, and temples. Ratest start at $2,640;

Coastalliving.com

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Amazon adventures

Amazon adventures

Haimark Amazon Adventures

...There are also adventurous itineraries on the Mekong and Ganges, which are often regarded as a passive cruising option.

For something very different, Prestige Specialist Sales offers a seven-night cruise on the Brahmaputra River in India. Departing on November 5, 2015, it includes an elephant-backed safari and visits Hindu monasteries, tea plantation and remore villages.

haimarktravel.com;
perrivercruises.com;
prestigegrouptravel.co.uk

by Jane Archer

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