North East India tour of rural tribes

This Northeast India tour is all about visiting off-the-beaten track locations and immersing yourself in the lives of local tribal communities in an unforgettable cultural experience
Kolkata Shillong Khasi homestay South Sikkim Bhutia family homestay Yuksom Khecheperi Lake Kanchenjunga Falls Mt. Kanchenjunga Pelling
2800To4500 excluding flights
Convert currency:
16 Days
Tailor made
More info
This price is inclusive of all accommodation in Kolkata, Sikkim & Meghalaya, all meals, local transportation, tribal activities, permits, domestic flights where applicable and taxes for 2-Adults travelling sharing 1-double occupancy throughout.
Make enquiry

Description of North East India tour of rural tribes

This Northeast India tour of rural tribes takes travellers into little-visited regions, through the undulating valleys of Meghalaya to the mountainous sub-Himalayan regions of Sikkim, where you値l spend time with the Limbhu, Bhutia and Khasi tribal communities of these remote areas. These tribes share a rich ancestry from as far off as Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal and even Myanmar, which is mirrored in their religious beliefs, their living habits, their artisanal skills and traditions and most importantly their cuisine. Both the Khasis and the Limbhus of are matrilineal societies, with property and family deities all passing from mother to daughter.

Your journey starts in Meghalaya State, in the city of Shillong, where colonial British settlers left their mark with their churches, the bazaars and the culture of music. Moving on, you値l spend four days with a local Khasi family in their tribal village, immersing yourself in local life. Time can be spent experiencing traditional honey hunting, weaving, extracting silk or other artisanal pursuits.

Next, you値l fly to South Sikkim, where you値l visit the settlements of the Limbhus and Bhutias. Both tribal communities are predominantly farmers and ecologists at the same time. The Limbhus, for example, participate in an annual afforestation program lead by the local Sikkim Government to plant forest tree saplings all over the surrounding mountain slopes. You値l experience life on an organic farm, visit ancient monasteries, a waterfall and a magical lake, and discover a region rich with endemic species found nowhere else on the planet.


Days 1 & 2Kolkata Flying into Kolkata serves as your gateway into the northeast. Leaving the first day to acclimatize to local conditions, we値l take you on a culture-history-street food-walking trail with one of our resident experts on the city.
Days 3 & 4Shillong A short domestic flight will get you into Shillong, the urban capital of Meghalaya. Shillong retains its colonial influences and that痴 visible in its historic Churches, street bazaars and it痴 culture of modern music.
Days 5 - 8A Khasi homestay We spend these days immersed with a local Khasi family in their homestay. We値l take you to discover one of the cleanest, neatest villages throughout Asia and a gateway to the sacred forest groves of the Khasi Tribes, caving for ancient fossil remains and ultimately delving into Khasi traditions of honey hunting, weaving and silk processing. You値l enjoy all this whilst hiking through sleepy tribal villages, living root bridges and dramatic countryside.
Days 9 -11South Sikkim A short domestic flight will help us lead you into South Sikkim where over the course of these three days, you値l experience life with a local Bhutia family in their traditional homestay amidst their traditional hamlet. From the discovery of native tribal herbs, pre-Buddhist Bon faith-monasteries, tribal artisanal craft work, to the rare Red Panda-Fox habitat at Maenam to ultimately a journey through the wonderful cuisine traditions of these tribal communities, your stay in South Sikkim would not only be culturally but ecologically fulfilling.
Day 12Yuksom & Khecheperi Lake Today is spent in the discovery of the local landscape from the mighty Kanchenjunga falls, to the ancient capital of Yuksom we値l ultimately end up at the magical lake of Khecheperi to spend the night, with the lake痴 folklore for company amidst it痴 beautiful environs.
Day 13-14 Pelling, West Sikkim Pelling and the surrounding regions are all about the discovery of the region痴 organic farming practices, be it tea, rice or millet, its ancient Monasteries and Ruins of Rabdentse its former capital, the spectacular views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and the Himalayan peak line. But ultimately it痴 about the discovery of its wonderful traditions surrounding gastronomy from their locally-brewed millet beer Tongba or their authentic Thendruks and Thukpas.
Day 15Return to Kolkata We bring you back to Kolkata to ultimately connect onwards, either back home or on another journey with us in a different part of the sub-continent.


Price information

2800To4500 excluding flights
Convert currency:
This price is inclusive of all accommodation in Kolkata, Sikkim & Meghalaya, all meals, local transportation, tribal activities, permits, domestic flights where applicable and taxes for 2-Adults travelling sharing 1-double occupancy throughout.
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Travel guides

Rural India
One thing you will notice on our rural India holidays and their reviews is the abundance of names. Husna the female driver, Rawla Singh at the castle,...
Some people are overwhelmed the minute they pick up their first India travel guide. But India doesn't need to be seen in one go. Think of it like a bo...

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


Organic farming & Annual Afforestation schemes
As all our trips to these communities ensure that the majority of the cost of the trip is paid back to these tribes, it ensures that these communities continue their traditional organic farming practices. We help with and take part in the annual afforestation drive that is led by the Sikkim Government each year that plants thousands of forest-tree saplings along the mountainsides of these tribal communities.

Eco sustainable accommodation
In the rural countryside of South Sikkim we are partnered with a local family whom we have helped build their traditional stone and wood huts called Khims for travellers to stay in. Equipped with modern plumbing, it痴 the only modern convenience in what is otherwise an entirely sustainable, eco-friendly and traditional accommodation setup. We maintain these traditional huts beside their revered Khecheperi Lake as well to ensure an ecologically sustainable model of tourism without damaging or altering the local ecology.

We provide each and every traveller with a 22oz. LifeStraw water bottle for their time spent with these tribes in the villages. These LifeStraw bottles allow travellers to fill water from any source in the village and along the way whilst in these parts. This ensures that we don稚 use any plastic bottles whatsoever. We致e educated the local communities about the benefits of LifeStraw bottles and that we provide each traveller with them and hence have eliminated the need for plastic bottles in these settlements entirely.

As travellers enter ethnic villages and tribal communities, we ensure that we provide them with a comprehensive packing list of items that they can take and items to avoid. We educate travellers that there is no need to carry plastic bottles of course or packed/ tinned food. All meals are prepared fresh using local ingredients with no processed ingredient required to prepare them. All kitchen and wet waste generated, resulting from traveller stays are recycled and fed to live stock owned by the tribes themselves.

Grey water generated from living spaces is percolated through indigenous plants such as Canna to ultimately filter through as useable water for the village.

Eco friendly National Park safaris only
We ensure that all our safaris through the wildlife sanctuaries in this northeastern region are walking-only safaris. This completely eliminates the use of gasoline-powered vehicles and the noise and particulate pollution they end up causing to the park.
We ensure that we send only village porters with travellers on these walks through Maenam Sanctuary. Our village Guides are both local as well as Naturalists who have expert knowledge on the whereabouts of local wildlife movements. They guide travellers through the Park in a manner that ensures good sighting of endemic wildlife and flora without getting too close or impeding their movement through the Park.

We ensure that our travellers only carry their re-usable water bottles for water with them. The rest of the food carried for the walk is carried by our local Guides and Porters who ensure that all food carried into the park is packed using sustainable, bio degradable packing and all waste generated is carried back from the park and is recycled to live stock back in the village.


Local Families and their homestays
Be it heritage homes that belong to local families, to traditional Khim village huts, we work closely with local accommodations and the families that run and manage them. As these properties employ 100% local staff from the surrounding regions and villages, the revenue that these places make has a knockdown effect on the communities that are supported from these incomes.

We give details to our travellers about the families they will be staying with and we encourage travellers to carry gifts for them if they so desire. With regards gifts to the families, we don't urge travellers. Typically it follows questions that travellers will ask themselves if there's something they can bring for the family. It's then that we tell them to bring something small but always something useful. Like for instance stationery supplies for a local school, or maybe a small souvenir from where they come from.

So far in the year and half that we've been working with these tribes, such small gestures have been accepted with gratitude. We've been monitoring to see if we noticed any sense of expectation for receiving such gifts amongst the children or the families. But the good thing about these tribal communities is the fact that they have a strong sense of pride in their identity. Hence so far it seems like it remains an act of good gesture.

In turn we work with these tribal families, who are typically reticent, to open up to travelers, welcome them warmly, share their meal tables with them and also welcome them into their kitchens to cook meals together.

Support of Artisanal Craft and dance traditions
We encourage local artisanal craft actively and showcase these traditions to our travellers by immersing them in such experiences.

We support the sustained traditional practice of honey hunting amidst the Khasi hills in addition to their artisanal traditions of processing and weaving from raw silk.

In Sikkim, our work, support and revenue to these tribal Bhutia and Lepcha communities ensures that they carry on their traditions of woodcarving and carpet making from the wool of their sheep they shepherd in the mountains.

Support of regional and local Cuisine
We actively support regional cuisines through these mountain tribal regions. Through hands on cooking sessions with rural families in the agrarian countryside, we give travellers a deeper insight into authentic regional cuisine and for them to gain a deeper appreciation for it. This in turn keeps local culinary traditions alive.

Ensuring Local employment
All our Drivers and Guides we employ for our trips through Meghalaya and Sikkim are local and more specifically local to that region. We only use local tribal homestays and live within local communities, thereby ensuring that all money paid goes right back to the locals and local communities.

Popular similar holidays

Golden Triangle with Ranthambore tour, India

Golden Triangle with Ranthambore tour, India

From 」1199 - 」1299 11 days excluding flights

Brilliant experiences including Tigers and Temples

Kerala tailor made holiday, 11 days

Kerala tailor made holiday, 11 days

From 」1349 - 」1779 11 days excluding flights

Revitalize in Kerala - A most wonderful and balanced trip

Tiger tour in India, land of the Tiger tour

Tiger tour in India, land of the Tiger tour

From 」3849 - 」4449 17 days including UK flights

Wildlife tour through India