Honda Cars India flagged of its 2019 Drive to Discover' yesterday. With each new year comes a new destination to be explored. And this year it's Assam, the gateway to north-east of India. This region is without an iota of doubt, the best the country offers. Since most tourists in the region are from West Bengal or neighbouring north-eastern states, Assam has luckily not yet been exploited by the advent of mass tourism.
2019 Drive to Discover this year employs a Civic and CR-V fleet. The 9th Edition of its popular drive series, 'Drive to Discover' got underway from Guwahati, Assam, and will explore interesting bits along the way. Day 1 was spent in exploring local food and a musical evening welcome. You could move your two left feet or retire well in time considering mornings in the region light up much earlier than the rest of the country.
Day 2 (today) saw us heading to Kaziranga for lunch and driving along bits of the mighty Brahmaputra river. No animals in sight yet, but to be fair, we took the popular path to lunch, and as luck would have it, barring a herd of young cows enjoying a lazy mid-morn nap on the access road, no other animals came buy. At lunch, a mewing cat came around for its fair share of fish, and a goat stopped by to chase the cat away.
The drive after lunch saw us head to Nimati ghat on Jorhat (Assam) side. From here you need to get on a boat or barge to get to the other side. Mostly, Kamalabari Ghat or a number of other smaller ghats on the Majuli side. With the entire fleet and its folks safely on board, the river ride feels purposeful.
You can almost feel you're headed to a place of calm and quiet. Of course, the weather has been favourable or else heading to Majuli would have been a distant dream. It's reputation as the largest river island is at risk during monsoon when flooding and erosion become a daily reality. Tonight we sit back at Dekasang resort, and enjoy an evening of local music, and dance.
Tomorrow, we drive to Pasighat, recognised as the headquarters of East Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh. Our trip will not take us into the beauty that is Arunachal Pradesh as that would span a few good days. 2019 Drive to Discover spans 4 days and a distance 1300+ kms, and culminates on June 25, 2019.
In the evening tomorrow, the fleet will arrive at Dibrugarh, a city resplendent in its tea estates following a sunset session at Bogibeel bridge. The bridge was inaugurated last year after years of non-completion and reduces daily commute woes in a region where road and river connections aren't always the shortest route. Assam in fact has three airports, and you could fly out of Dibrugarh (Mohanbari) airport.
We however will not be doing that, and will drive to Kaziranga, and then towards Guwahati. 2019 Drive to Discover convoy will also halt at the Honda dealership at Tezpur, one of the first few to have adopted the brand's new corporate identity as part of the company's plan to revamp its dealership network.
Disclaimer - For Drive to Discover, Honda Cars India invited and hosted us. And they paid for our travel, stay, and food.