Karbi Anglong, near Kaziranga National Park

When you next visit Kaziranga National Park, try to manage the length of your stay for a trip to the Karbi villages close-by. A friendly and one of the oldest tribes of Assam, the Karbis have been residing nearby the Park for ages apart from the sprawling Karbi-Anglong district in the centre of Assam. Their villages are repositories of a unique culture with roots in animism.

Today, new forms of religious traditions have emerged, which you will come across in Dolamara for example. Twenty kilometer from Kohora, many villagers here are now attached to the Guru Lokhimon Ashram, where a form of Vaishnavism, with vegetarianism as the core, is practiced. Close by Kaziranga is Chandrasingh Rongpi Gaon, a small picturesque village where residents—although Christians—still perform rituals like San-ki-mi-kechu before eating the first bamboo shoots of the season.

Another interesting village is Silim Khuwa, 25 kms from Kohora. You can walk through this hamlet —witnessing the carefree life of its folk, away from the humdrum of city life. Opt for a three-hour trek & birding in the hills through tea and rubber plantations, seeing locals going about their daily chores.

With the trek tiring you out, you simply cannot miss out on a nutritious Karbi lunch at Kramsa Rock Garden—boiled colocasia with sesame seeds, steamed mustard green, mashed bitter gourd and potato mixed with sesame, bamboo shoot with bhoot jolokia, turmeric chutney, dry fish chutney preserved in bamboo containers, boiled pork seasoned with sesame, pork and chicken cooked in bamboo cylinders.

Gone are the days when tourists only rode on elephants or jeeps inside the National Park. Now, an excellent seven-km cycling path has been developed outside the Park from No. 1 Kohora via Inglepathar, for tourists to explore the countryside with its sleepy villages and lush green tea gardens.

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