Brahmaputra River is one of the greatest rivers in India, standing second to the Ganges in popularity as a tourist attraction while the river’s lower areas are especially sacred to Hindus. One of the longest rivers in Asia, Brahmaputra (meaning Brahma’s son) is also referred to as Tsangpo-Brahmaputra and is a trans-boundary waterway, meaning it extends over political borders. Originating in Tibet’s southwest prefecture where it is named the Yarlung Tsangpo River, Brahmaputra River winds through southern parts of Tibet, into the Himalayas where it flows into massive gorges before it enters the Indian state Arunachal Pradesh where it is named the Dihang River. Flowing across the Assam Valley as the river Brahmaputra, it slips south by way of Bangladesh where it is called Jamuna. There, the most impressive of all the river’s aspects—it flows directly into the Ganges River, merging in vast torrents, to form an incredible India delta known as Sunderban.
Brahmaputra River cruises illustrate the waterway’s great importance as a mode of transportation and irrigation source used by thousands of people along the more than 1750-mile-long stretch. The upper river section was only more recently discovered in 1884, a late conquest considering India’s ancient history. From a tourist perspective, Brahmaputra River cruises are undeniably attractive as most of the river’s length is easily navigated. With especially sacred sections in the lower parts of the river, religious Hindu ceremonies are a common sight and major attraction. The exciting river journey is filled with memorable sights and sounds, from river dolphins and Kaziranga National Park wildlife to temples and museums, the diversity of attractions creates one of the most incredible river trips in the world.
Along the Brahmaputra River, scenic country settings bow to the torrent of the mighty river creating a juxtaposition rarely seen. The day trips offered via Brahmaputra River cruises afford visitors a chance to disembark and explore on wildlife safaris, visit mystical Indian tea gardens, traverse the countryside in rickshaws, enjoy rugged river beaches, and enjoy rich culture and heritage in small villages with vibrant markets, elephant treks, and temple visits.
Assam is the essential riverside city. It is to the Brahmaputra River what Varanasi is to the Ganges. Most Assam villagers live within the valley of the Brahmaputra River, where river forests line the banks. This area is known as the land of blue hills and red rivers so expect magnificent scenery. There aren’t many moments that pass on a Brahmaputra River cruise where a magnificent site or old ancient ruin doesn’t come into view. Kamakhya, a temple near Guwahati, is one of those ancient attractions. The river flows through old tribal villages and dense riverbanks where many types of wildlife abounds.
Although Brahamputra River cruises pale in comparison to the availability of Ganges River cruises, the incredible stretch of river offers adventurers the best white water rafting and trekking in India. Rafting expeditions along the river are one of the top things to do for thrill-seekers and especially to those seeking out trips off India’s beaten path. Though politically the region has been less than stable, a new rise in tourist numbers are marking a new beginning for the region and some of the first commercial tourist endeavors.
Although enveloped in an unfavorable opinion for decades, old views have slowly lifted, revealing a reputation altered over the course of many years to include plenty of unique adventures. Cruise enthusiasts will enjoy a noteworthy route along the Brahmaputra that includes a start in Kolkatta where visits to Mother Theresa’s orphanage, the National Museum, and Jain temple are popular. Next is Guwahati where there is some sightseeing before the cruise begins. Along the river route, explore Ganesh Pahar, wilderness regions, trek within Orang National Park via elephants, and uncover the ruins of Tezpur. Tribal villages, jeep safaris, and more can all be part of the Brahmaputra River trips.