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Tea Holidays- Assam

Tea Holidays- Assam

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Best Time to go: April – May

During this tour we will be visiting to a tea easte and factory both to know more about TEA production and processing. Along with this we will also enjoy the visit to local Assami village and their dance performance. Also visiting to few island on mighty river Brahmaputra and Dibru Saikhowa National park. Following are few highlights of this tour

  • Live in colonial splendor
  • Visit to a Tea Plantation. Experience how different varieties of tea are processed in surrounding plantations.
  • Experience of a Tea Tasting session
  • Explore local villages and sights.
  • Enjoy a local dance performance.
  • Spend a day out on one of the numerous islands of River Brahmaputra, the 2nd longest and one of the least polluted rivers in the world.
  • Visit Dibru-Saikhowa National Park
05 nights / 06 Days

Tour Plan

1

Day 01- Arrive Dibrugarh

Received at Dibrugarh airport and transferred to Mancotta/Chowkidinghee Heritage Chang Bungalow. Afternoon option to take a tea walk in Mancotta Tea Estate. Evening enjoy a dance performance by an ethnic dance group on the bungalow lawns. Overnight at Mancotta/Chowkidinghee Heritage Chang Bungalow.

Dibrugarh is the gateway to the “Hidden Land” of Eastern Arunachal Pradesh and Northern Myanmar. The Ahoms from Thailand came through Northern Myanmar to this area in the 13th century to establish their Empire which thrived in the ancient land of Assam. It is the “Camellia” town of Upper Assam, an undisturbed haven, with its rich tea gardens resembling a lush green carpet. Experience and enjoy the richness of these tea gardens while staying at the Heritage Chang Bungalows. These are constructed on stilts and are situated in a serene atmosphere free from pollution.

When the British established their tea plantations in the mid-19th century they quickly built comfortable bungalows designed to make life as pleasant as possible in what, was to them, a hostile and strange land. One of the main features of these buildings has given rise to their name – Chang bungalows. Chang in the local language means “raised on stilts” and the design served multi purposes- to keep the house cool by allowing the breeze to blow underneath and to keep both water and animals out!

Bihu is the most popular folk dance of Assam. The people of Assam are very proud of its unique position among all other such dances of India. Except Bhangra (the popular folk dance of Punjab), no other folk dance in India can compete with the rhythmic exuberance of the Bihu dance. ‘Bihu’ performed by young men and women reflects youthful passion and joy rejuvenating life during the spring season, accompanied by songs woven around the theme of love and physical yearning. The dance is performed by all irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
2

Day 02: Tea Tour & Boat Cruise on mighty Brahmaputra.

Post breakfast, take a tea tour around a tea estate known for producing high quality CTC teas . i.e Ethelwold Tea Estate. Also experience of a Tea tasting session of different types of tea with one of the knowledgeable person in the field of tea / practicing Estate Manager.

Later we drive on to the river front and take a boat cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra river in a country boat (Subject to weather conditions). Cruise upto a beach island in the midst of the river. Enroute there is a possibility of your sighting flocks of migratory water birds and the elusive Gangetic River Dolphin. Enjoy the view of the Eastern Himalayas and take a nature walk in the vast expanse of grasslands surrounding the island. Enjoy your picnic lunch and the view of the Eastern Himalayas. Option to take a nature walk in the vast expanse of grasslands surrounding the island or go for Kayaking. Return to the mainland. Overnight at Mancotta/Chowkidinghee Heritage Chang Bungalow.

A tea tour through a 157 years old heritage tea garden gives an insight into the different activities that vary from season to season. It teaches us all about tea- its origin, how it is grown, tea tasting and its quality. During the winter months the dormant bushes are pruned to ensure vigorous growth during the warmer months. Once the rains begin, and the temperature rises, the gardens come alive with teams of colourfully dressed tea pluckers, predominantly ladies as they are said to be better able to pluck the delicate buds and leaves. The harvest, which goes on continuously from March to November, is taken everyday to the factory where it undergoes an age old process of being turned into the finished product. All stages of the process are carefully controlled to ensure that the tea that leaves the factory is only of the highest quality, a quality that has made Assam tea world famous.

CTC (Crush, Tear and Curl) tea is a method of processing tea. In this process the leaves instead of being rolled, are passed through a series of cylindrical rollers with hundreds of small sharp "teeth" that Crush, Tear, and Curl.

This style of manufacture has the advantage that the finished product brews quickly, gives a dark infusion rapidly, is well suited for tea bags, and yields more cups per kg. In the Indian domestic market, this type of manufacture has virtually taken over - over 80% of tea production is of the CTC type.

CTC teas produce a rich red-brown color when they are boiled, which adds a beautiful color to tea made in the Indian style. This is done by boiling leaves in a mixture of milk, water and sugar and some spices (producing Masala Chai). With this production method, the tea does not get bitter, and its red colour comes through the white of the milk.
3

Day 03: Tea Tour & Tea Tasting Session.

Today post breakfast we visit Mancotta Tea Estate known for its Orthodox type of tea.  Take a tea walk around the plantation and later visit the tea factory followed by tea tasting session.

Afternoon visit a weaving centre, local village and local market. Overnight at Mancotta / Chowkidinghee Heritage Chang Bungalow.

Orthodox tea : The manufacturing process of orthodox tea is quite different from CTC. Instead of the tea leaf been crushed, the leaves are rolled in a machine that twist and break the leaves to release the natural chemicals that later react with oxygen in the air and give the tea its characteristic aroma and taste. It is the leafy variety of tea.
4

Day 04: Dibrugarh –Tinsukia, Assam

Post breakfast drive to Margherita (100 kms / 2 ½ hrs) and visit the Inthem village inhabited by Singpho tribe producing traditional Organic Tea. Later drive to Tinsukia and check in at Wathai Heritage Bungalow, Limbuguri Tea Estate for 02 nights. Overnight at the Bungalow.

Singpho people are Theravada Buddhists by religion. The Singphos are divided into a number of clans, each under a Chief known as “Gam”. They were the first to introduce the tea culture in Assam. Producers of Organic Tea coins, packed in silver foils and ready to use-dip the coin into a pot of hot water and it is ready to drink is gaining emense popularity in Europe and Southeast Asian countries. The entire process of manufacturing the tea is done in a traditional manner without the use of any machines or gadgets. The tea is sold under the brand name Phalap (meaning tea in the Singpho language). The loose tea is packed in bamboo containers so that the traditional properties are maintained and it is free from any preservatives or chemicals.

Steal yourself away to a ‘Wathai Heritage Bunglow,  Limbuguri Tea estate- this plinth  bungalow will allow you to rejuvenate your senses. Located just 5km from Dibru Saikhowa National Park, it is the ideal retreat for a birding break. This  ‘Managers Bungalow’,  defines serenity and you will most certainly leave revitalized. It has been recently renovated and is the ideal base whether on a quest for quietude or seeking refuge whilst on an explorative ornithological voyage at the neighboring Dibru Saikhowa National park . Although reverine in nature, this park remains open most of the year with innumerable varieties of colourful birds chirping at various pitches and hopping from branch to branch. It is indeed an orinthologist’s delight. Endangered species like Gangetic Dolphin and Feral Horses are common sights in Dibru- Saikhowa.

Fresh tea can be enjoyed in the ‘jali room” to the front of the bungalow in a peaceful atmosphere overlooking the manicured gardens, while meals are served in the spacious dining room complete with an original fireplace. The family room and two large bedrooms complete with ensuite enables eight people to sleep here very comfortably.
5

Day 05: At Tinsukia, Assam

Today early morning we visit Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Magori Bheel for a full day birding programme. We take several boat rides on the Dibru River, go for jungle walk, bird and Gangetic Dolphin sighting. Overnight at the Bungalow.

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park has the most distinct and vibrant wilderness on earth and is known for its pristine scenic beauty. The forest in this park ranges from semi-evergreen to deciduous to littoral to swampy marshes with patches of wet evergreen jungles Dibru-Saikhowa is a safe haven to many rare and endangered species of over 350 birds and is a must visit site for target-list birders. The big four here are Jerdon's Bushchath Black-breasted Parrotbill Marsh babbler and Jerdon’s bushchat.  Several other rarely observed species can be found in the extensive grasslands, wetlands, and riverine forests. These include Baer's Pochard, Bengal Florican, Pale-capped Pigeon, Falcated duck, Baikal teal, Chinese spotbilled duck and Rufous vented prinia etc. Dibru-Saikhowa is a haven for an incredible no of Waders ,Ducks , Raptors and its specialty grassland birds.

6

Day 06: Tinsukia -Dibrugarh-Fly out

Today morning we visit Limbuguri Tea factory / plantation. Later in time transfer to Dibrugarh airport (45 kms / 01 hr) to board flight for onward destination.

Note: Visit to tea factory is subject to being operational on the day of the visit. There is no tea plucking between December till mid March and hence the actual manufacturing process of tea cannot be demonstrated when one visits the factory during this period. Factory also remains closed on Monday’s of the week.

Tour ends…
Includes:
  • Accommodation on twin Sharing Basis.
  • Complimentary Breakfast.
  • Exclusive A/c vehicle for transfers & sightseeing.
  • All permit fees & hotel taxes (as per itinerary).
  • Bumla Pass
  • Rates are valid for INDIAN NATIONALS only.
Excludes:
  • GST.
  • Insurance
  • Air Fare / Train fare.
  • Personal Expenses such as Laundry, telephone calls, tips & gratuity, mineral water, soft & hard drinks, rafting, rock climbing, paragliding, porterage.
  • Additional sightseeing or extra usage of vehicle, other than mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Entrance Fees & Guide charges.
  • Any cost arising due to natural calamities like, landslides, road blockage, political disturbances (strikes), etc (to be borne by the client, which is directly payable on the spot).
  • Any increase in taxes or fuel price, leading to increase in cost on surface transportation & land arrangements, which may come into effect prior to departure.
  • Room Heater Charges
  • Anything which is not included in the inclusion


BOOKING CONDITIONS

All holidays advertised in our brochures and our website are operated by LiFEKINE Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd.  (hereinafter called ‘the company’, ‘LiFELINE’ or ‘we’) and are sold subject to the following conditions:

Bookings Deposits
  • The person making the booking (the ‘lead name’) must be 18 years old or over and possess the legal capacity and authority to make the bookings and accept the Booking Conditions and General Information on behalf of everyone in their group.
  • The tour booking will be confirmed only upon receipt of advance of 25% of the tour cost, along with completed Personal Information Form along with PAN CARD COPY.
  • 25% of the tour price to be paid 45 days prior to the date of departure
  • Balance 50% of the tour price to be paid 30 days prior to the date of departure
  • Late Bookings: Bookings made within 30 days of the departure date will be processed only on receipt of 100% payment.
  • All extra services and charges such as rail and air fares, transfers and transport, hotel and any other similar services which are not included in the tour cost will be confirmed only on receipt of 100% advance.
  • Your booking will be considered as confirmed only if there is no default in the above payment procedure.


Please Note:
For tours operated outside India, US Dollar or Euro price will be valid for Indian & Foreign Nationals. A contract will exist between “lIfeline Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd.” and the client only after we have received the payment in full and in accordance with the terms and conditions along with a completed Personal Information Form.

Remittance & Payments:
The payment can be made either by Online transfer through NEFT, IMPS or cash, cheque , Demand Draft in favour of ‘LiFE LINE TOURS AND TRAVELS PVT. LTD..’ payable at Pune.

Payment can be made directly to our following bank accounts:
Transfer of Funds from within India and Abroad

 
  • Bank Name:
  • Account Name:
  • Rupee (INR) Current Account No:
  • IFSC Code:
  • SWIFT Code:
  • MICR:
  • Bank Address:


*In case of remittance made directly please intimate us the payment details via email to accounts@lifelinetravels.in

Changes and cancellations

Cancellation or change on flight booking
In relation to flight bookings, please note that if the cancellation means that the airline charges a cancellation fee or if the change means that the cost of your booking has increased, you will need to pay such extra charges or costs in addition to our charges outlined on your receipt or booking confirmation.

The cancellation and amendment terms of flights are the applicable terms of the airline. You should contact the airline directly to cancel or make amendments to flights. Usually fares for low cost flights are non-refundable. In the event that you decide to cancel your low cost flight, our service fee and any amendment charges are non-refundable. If the reason for your cancellation is covered by the terms of any insurance policy you have purchased, you may be able to reclaim any applicable non-refunded fares or cancellation charges from the insurers.

Please note that flights must be taken in the sequence they appear on your booking confirmation or e-ticket. If you plan not to take a flight as booked, please contact the airline as far in advance as possible to discuss your options. If you do not check in on time for a confirmed reservation, the airline may register you as a ‘no-show’, which could result in extra charges and/or your whole flight itinerary being cancelled and/or render your ticket void.

If you wish to cancel your booking because you are unable to comply with the passport, visa and other immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary, the terms and conditions of the airline will apply and we accept no responsibility for any charges incurred.

Standard Cancellation Policy for Fixed Departure Tours
In the event of any cancellation by you, we would need a notification from you in writing. If we receive the cancellation notification from you before 45 days prior to the date of departure the 80% advance amount shall be refunded without cancellation charge for the tour. If we receive the notification in 0-45 days prior to the date of reporting, cancellation charges shall be levied as per the following terms:
  • Cancellation between 45 to 31 days before date of departure: 25% of tour price + cancellation charges for other services.
  • Cancellation between 30 to 16 days before date of departure: 50% of tour price + cancellation charges for other services.
  • Cancellation between 15 to 10 days before date of departure: 80% of tour cost + cancellation charges for other services.
  • Cancellation between 9 to the day of departure: 100% of tour cost + cancellation charges for other services.


Cancellation Policy for Package & Customized Tour:
In case of change in the group size (partial cancellation) our standard cancellation policy will not be applicable. Due to cancellations revised cost will be quoted for the revised group size and the cancellation charges if any for any confirmed arrangements and services will also be charged. But if the entire group cancels the tour, the standard cancellation policy of Fixed Departure Tour will be applicable.

Alteration by You
  • If you wish to alter your tour booking and/or other accommodation and travel arrangements, you need to inform us in writing via email / letter. We will try our best to make the changes subject to feasibility and availability. However there will be an additional charge incurred as a result of cancellation of accommodation, transport arrangement and other services. We may charge at our discretion a service charge for changes made, to cover our administration cost.
  • If you wish to alter your booking after commencement of your tour, we accept no liability for any loss, damage or additional expense and cannot guarantee any refund or reimbursement of any expenses paid by you.


Refund
If you cancel your booking, you may be entitled to a partial refund. In addition to the cancellation terms and conditions of your Supplier(s), our standard fees will apply as may be outlined on your receipt or booking confirmation.

The refundable portion of your purchase price (if any) will be refunded to you once we have received the funds back from the Supplier(s). To the extent we are refunded by the Supplier, we shall pass this refund onto you. We are not responsible for a Supplier’s failure to pay a refund.

Alteration by ‘LIFELINE’: 
  • It is unlikely that LiFELINE will make alterations in the tour. We plan the arrangements many months in advance and may have to occasionally make alterations. If we need to make any major alterations in the scheduled itinerary before reporting date due to unavoidable circumstances, we will try and notify you as soon as possible. You will have a choice of either accepting or cancelling your booking in which case we shall refund you the advance received after deducting an administration fee of INR 5000/- per person for international tours and INR 3500/ - per person for domestic tours
  • In case of any extensions / changes in tour itinerary, after commencement of your tour, due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, extra expenses at actual will be payable to “LiFELINE TOURS AND TRAVELS PVT.LTD.”


Cancellation by ‘LiFELINE’ & Refunds
  • “LiFELINE TOURS AND TAVELS PVT. LTD.” reserves the right to cancel a Fixed Departure Tour if the minimum numbers of persons as specified, do not book on that tour. We strongly suggest you not to make any non-refundable air bookings and other travel arrangements, till you receive a final confirmation from us minimum 30 days in advance.
  • “LiFELINE TOURS AND TAVELS PVT. LTD.” reserves the right to refuse or cancel any booking if we consider it necessary. In such cases, we shall refund all the money that you have paid.
  • Upon commencement of your tour, “LiFELINE TOURS AND TAVELS PVT. LTD.” reserves the right to refuse a member to continue the tour in case of misconduct or bad health or unfit to travel. In such cases, we shall not refund any money that you have paid.
  • Refunds will not be given for unused services on the tour.


If cancellation or alteration by “LiFELINE TOURS AND TAVELS PVT. LTD.”  is caused by events including war or threat of war, strikes, civil strife, riots, terrorist activities, natural disaster, technical or political difficulties affecting air or ground transport, or events amounting to force majeure, this will naturally limit our liability. If such events occur before the date of departure, we will do our best to make alternative arrangements. If these arrangements are not acceptable, then we will make a refund, after deducting any cancellation charges imposed by any other suppliers providing the service component of the tour, plus an administration fee of INR 5000/- per person.

Special Request:
We will try and fulfil your special requests, if any and will pass on the information to our associates and other service providers but do not guarantee that the requests will be carried out.

Price and Service Variation:
“LiFELINE TOURS AND TAVELS PVT. LTD.” does not accept responsibility for any change in prices or variation of services as stated. All services and prices are subject to change without notice.

Independent Arrangements & Claims against Third Parties
  • Any arrangements you make independently which do not form part of the tour are entirely at your own risk. Where you book any excursions or additional travel arrangements while on your holiday, we act only as your booking agent.
  • In case you are delayed in joining the group at Ex. Destination before the time specified, the group would continue as per the schedule. We will make our best efforts to make alternative travel arrangements so you can join the group as early as possible, but all the additional expenses for these arrangements will be charged additional and the payment needs to be done in our office or to the tour leader in cash on the tour.
  • If you, or any member of your party, suffer death, illness or injury while on holiday arising out of an activity which does not form part of your tour arrangements, we shall at our discretion, offer advice, guidance and assistance to help you in resolving any dispute or claim or grievance you may have against a third party.


Authority on the Tour:
By accepting the terms and conditions, you agree to accept the authority and decisions made by employees, group leaders, agents, suppliers while on tour. If in the opinion of any of these, your health or conduct appears likely to endanger the progress of a tour you may be excluded from the whole of, or a part of, the tour. In the case of ill-health we may make such arrangements as we deem necessary and recover the costs thereof from you. If you commit an illegal act we shall cease to have responsibility to or for you.

GENERAL INFORMATION

All holidays advertised in our brochure and our website are operated by “LiFELINE TOURS AND TRAVELS PVT. LTD.”   (Hereinafter called ‘the company’, ‘LIFELINE’ or ‘we’ or “LIFELINE TOURS”).
LIFELINE TOURS:
‘LIFELINE’ is one of the leading organiser of Holidays offering a wide choice of destinations, a variety of activities and of flexible duration. Our tours are designed for people who like holidays which are Leisure, offbeat, educational, special interest, agricultural and many different and interspersed by activities such as biking, photography, cycling, walking,  trekking , self drive or camping and for the past 14 years it has been our endeavor to surpass these expectations.

Our emphasis is on enjoyable, safety, comfort and a life full local experience. Our tours are designed to be accessible to all who are in good health and enjoy the outdoors. Of course we include the better known sights but we understand that you should have the flexibility to do your own thing. We therefore build in free time for you to either take part in optional excursions or to explore independently - an important part of any trip. We operate tours in small group sizes so that, we can give personalized attention, be flexible and have a lesser impact on local culture and environment.

You have a choice of joining our Group Departure Tour, choosing a Package Tour or customizing a tour as per your requirements.

GROUP DEPARTURE TOUR:
These tours are for people who would like to travel with likeminded people. On these tours, comforts are ensured wherever possible and travel experience is the prime objective. These tours are scheduled and announced on specific dates for fixed durations and prices through our brochure and/or on our website. The tour would operate only if the requisite number of people book on that particular tour. If a lesser number of people sign up for a particular tour, we may cancel the tour. The cancellation of such a tour will be announced at least 30 days prior to its departure date.

Reporting time & venue are specified in the Itinerary wherein the time limit for reporting at a particular venue is stated. The reporting venue can be at Hotel or at the Airport/Railway Station. In case of Hotels the reporting will be anytime on or after the time specified in the itinerary.

In case of the reporting venue being Airport/Railway Station the reporting time will be as specified in the itinerary as the entire group will assemble at the given time for further travel to your destination.

Dispersal time & venue are specified in the Itinerary wherein the time of dispersal at a particular venue is stated. Dispersal time in the itinerary should be considered as an expected time of dispersal and you should take into consideration delays due to traffic, breakdowns, etc. Further your return travel arrangements should take into account the flight reporting time.

PACKAGED TOUR:
These are tours designed by us, which you can choose as per your dates, but the itineraries are fixed. The prices are quoted depending upon the group size. In a few regions, the choice of accommodation may be limited. We prefer accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis wherever possible, but at a few remote destinations accommodation is offered only on a half or full board meal plan, giving us no other option. Please check the meal plan specified for the tour. These tours are not escorted by LIFELINE ‘Tour Leaders’.

Please Note:
The nature of our tours takes us to far and remote areas, where at times the choice of accommodation is limited. A few hotels / Inns / resorts in such remote places may not be up to the standards and expectations that you have. These accommodations may not have room service, any television or intercom facilities, may have fixed timings for meals, no backup for electricity failures and the staff may not be trained and may lack communication skills. The above classification is just a guideline of what one should expect. In many package tours there could be a mix of accommodation due to limitations of availability. In case of any doubts please feel free to ask us for more clarification.

CUSTOMIZED TOURS: These tours are customized or designed for a particular group or individuals as per their dates and for the duration they want. The price would be quoted depending on the group size and the specified requirements. For such tours, we advise and make suggestions on accommodation, transport, itinerary, duration, various activities and many more details to add value to the experience. Such tours are not escorted by our Tour Leaders, unless specified. As a valued customer we will be sharing the first two itineraries free of charge. However, we would be charging a non-refundable fee [Tour Customization Fee] of INR 5,000/- for every two Itineraries that would be made henceforth. This amount will be adjusted against the final tour payment.

Conditions of Carriage and Limitations:
  • Before booking with us, we would advise you to consider the challenging nature of the tour. Our tours often require a substantial amount of flexibility from you during the journey. The itineraries outlined in the brochure and on our website must be seen as an indication of our intention, rather than a contractual obligation on our part. Unforeseen local conditions or events may sometimes necessitate changes to the itinerary, accommodation or means of transport. We accept your booking, on the understanding that you realize the potential hazards involved in this kind of tour, including injury, disease or loss/damage to personal property, inconvenience and discomfort.
  • Where “LiFELINE TOURS AND TRAVELS PVT. LTD.” provides services it will do so with due care and skill. “LiFELINE TOURS AND TRAVELS PVT. LTD.” is not responsible for the acts and omissions of others, including guides, transport and accommodation providers or for any loss, damage or expense (including loss of money paid in advance) which you may incur as a consequence of the acts and omissions of others.


Photography and Feedbacks:
Any images of you taken on any of our tours may be used by LIFELINE without charge in all media for marketing and promotional purpose, including without limitation promotional materials of any kind such as brochures, slides, video shows or the internet and without obtaining further consent. Any written feedback or testimonial or comments may also be used by the company for promotional purposes as detailed above. In case, if you have any reservations on the same, you must intimate the tour leader in advance.

Health Requirements:
We will be able to advise on mandatory health requirements [(by way of example and not by way of limitation) yellow fever vaccine is required by Indian Authorities on your return after travel to any African country, etc.]; however we are not medical experts. It would be your responsibility to obtain proper and detailed medical advice prior to travel for the latest health requirements, recommendations for your destination and any costs. Where you do not do so, and either, are not allowed to enter any country, or suffer personal injury or death as a result, we have no liability to you for any cost, loss or damage which you suffer nor will we refund you the cost of any unused portion of your travel arrangements. If you are suffering from any health issues or if you are on any medication or have any allergies you need to keep us informed via written communication and also need to specify on the personal information form. The tour leader also needs to be informed before the start of the tour.

Complaints In the unlikely event of you being dissatisfied with your tour, you must inform both your tour leader and the relevant LIFELINE associate of the shortfall in service immediately. In case of any grievance not being equably settled during your tour, complaints must be made in writing within 15 days of the end of your holiday to our office. Disputes or claims, if any, will be settled only under the jurisdiction of PUNE in the state of Maharashtra - India.
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