Trips and Itineraries for Laitlum
5 Family Trips In India That Will Make It Straight To Your Wishlist This Summer
Heritage monument, known for its beautiful architecture, is a worship place of over 3,00,000 strong catholic in the region. 6- Laitlum Canyons is an upcoming tourist destination at Shillong in Meghalaya....
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Umiam Lake is a reservoir situated in the slopes 15 km toward the North of Shillong in the state of Meghalaya, India. It was made by damming the Umiam waterway in the mid 1960s. The chief catchment range of the lake and dam is spread more than 220 square km. The lake was framed as a major aspect of building a Dam. The dam began development in 1965. The dam has the qualification of being the first Hydel force venture in the North-east locale of India. The lake serves as a noteworthy vacation spot for the state of Meghalaya. Aside from putting away water for power era, the lake additionally gives home to various biological species at smaller scale, meso and full scale levels. Downstream watering system, fisheries and drinking water take into account nearby anthropogenic needs. It is likewise a well known destination for water game and adventure trips. Sightseers visit this spot for Scooting, kayaking, water cycling, and drifting.
The beautiful lake has water in abundance. We encountered a big downpour, but it was amazing. We enjoyed the rain. After all, it's Meghalaya. There are a few water activities that can be done in Umiam Lake such as boating, speed-boating and jet-skiing. Being a non-swimmer, my gut instinct warned me not to try jet-skiing, so I didn't. Unfortunately, speed-boating and regular boating services had temporarily been suspended due to heavy rain. My friend, though, went on the jet-ski and he loved the experience.
Watch the sun go down behind the calm horizon of Umiam Lake.
We bid adieu to Shillong with a heavy heart and left to Guwahati. On the way you find this beautiful lake called Umiam Lake or Bara Pani. It is huge and the highway skirts its perimeter for quite some time and hence very hard to miss. It is beautiful beyond words. The breeze making your hair fly, the smell of corn roasting in the corner and the view of crystal blue water stretching as far as you can see. Ideal! We just stood there staring at this beauty and reminiscing on what a wonderful trip we have had. I felt truly blessed.!
We should have planned according to early sunset... because by 6 it was all dark. We decided not to hurry to shillong and camp somewhere on the way. Yes, i carried a Tent along with me. We saw Umiam lake on the way and stopped around to check if we can halt there for the night. It was very calm and there was some construction going little away from lake. We parked beside the lake and reached out to a person cooking for the crowd. With a warm conversation we asked him if he can cook for us too. And yeah, he added more potatoes, rice and made a very delicious dinner for us. We were more than happy for it. Later we discovered it was SUNBURN that's being planned the next day. After roaming around for a while we put our tent on a plain land. We could see few people fishing at that time too. Slowly we dozed off later.It's early in the morning at 4:00 after the sunrise we realised the view from our tent. It was breath taking. The lake was huge with an island in middle. There are boats to go the island. BagWan was the happiest person. All the drowsiness faded away in a second. It was damn cold, but we were awestruck.
They agreed to join and we went to Umiam Lake - Bara Paani. Beautiful! Not exactly in Shillong but on the way to Shillong from Guwahati.From Police Bazaar to Bara Paani - 300/- for private and if sharing 20-40 bucks per head.Boating in the lake - 100/- per head.I thought of spending only two days, so thought of getting a Hotel and with the experience I had with people and 3-4 degree temperature , I kept my backpacking spirit a little low.Hotels near Polica Bazaar are expensive but keep searching and bargaining - you might be lucky to find one at 500-700/- - Single bed.Lesson 2: Do Not tag along with people for long. Accompanying them for commuting and getting some information from locals is fine, but advisable to get back to your solo travelling, even if they are from other states working or studying there.I decided to start Day 2 with Mom's blessings hoping to be better. I knew local places and hiring taxis can be a tedious job for me, specially when I had just two days.I decided to search for sharing sumos going to Cherrapunji, 2 Hours from Shillong or Khasi Hills - 2.5 hours from Shillong.I took local public bus from police bazaar to Bada bazaar which is hardly 700m.
Start the journey with your arrival at the Guwahati station/airport, get greeted and straight away get transferred to Shillong. It takes around 3 hours to reach this gorgeous hill station of Shillong. On the way, drop by the Borapani Lake in the state of Meghalaya, also known as the Umiam lake, it is beautifully surrounded by Sylvan hills. On reaching Shillong, check in at the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure and later retire for the night.Attractions: Umiam LakeDay 2:
20 kms out of the city, on the way to the airport, you can stop by Umiam Lake at Barapani. The incredible Umiam Lake is simply a sight not to be missed. For the travellers who spent the last few days taking in the best of music from the city of rock, the magical sight of the Umiam Lake would be the best final memory of this trip.
Located 15 km from Shillong, Lake Umiam, also known as Barapani, is known for its legendary sunset views. It is a popular spot among day-trippers from neighbouring Guwahati and Shillong, with popular activities like boating, water scooter and other water sports. The best way to enjoy the lake, however, is to find yourself a nice spot overlooking the lake and soak in its beauty—crystal-clear waters flanked on every side by lush-green peaks playing peek-a-boo with grey and white clouds swirling about. Without a doubt, this is the best lakeside view I have ever laid my eyes on.
On the way to Shillong, just 20 odd kilometers short of it, is a place called Barapani. Barapani or Umiam Lake as it is officially called is a destination that one really shouldn’t miss out on, one for the fact that it is right on the way and second because it is really quite beautiful. A large blue lake, dotted with small islands in the middle, framed by pine covered hillocks on its banks, with numerous walks and points from which to admire the calm lake. The place is an idyllic picnic spot, and that’s just what we did there. Being a tourist attraction, there are numerous resorts from where we got a meal packed and then headed out to the bank of the lake, where we sat and enjoyed our meal in the cool breeze. Though there were options to take a boat ride on the lake, my friends were a bit chary of getting on to a boat post our feast. So we instead headed out into the Nehru Park for a stroll through one of its trails, seeing glimpses of the lake, as it peaked at us here and there between the leaves. Though the best view of the lake was from atop the United Christian College hill.
Located a little outside the main city of Shillong in Meghalaya, this is a beautiful two tiered waterfall. The two parts are named as the Wir Phang falls and the Wei Laplam Falls. These two flow along dingles of rock and then blend together to justify its name which is the Elephant Falls. This is no doubt a must see in the state and people not only from other places but also from the same state cannot resist repeated trips to this tranquil destination. The place is much away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets and thus very peaceful and refreshing too. The monsoons are the time when you find the Elephant Falls in its full vigor with snow white, foamy water gushing down the falls. This ckear color makes the perfect combination with the shades of greenery around. There are also a number of medicial plants and shrubs whose goodness get infused in this therapeutic waters of the Falls.
Elephant FallsThe three step waterfall is the last point in this journey. It is located in Shillong and can be easily accessible on your way back from any of the above mentioned view points. Since a rock (destroyed in a earthquake) resembled an elephant, the falls has been named after it.
Day 4: Elephant FallsBy that evening, we decided to visit Elephant Falls. I'm not a big fan of touristy places. I'm kind of an off-beat person. However, we enjoyed the waterfalls. We climbed all the way down to catch a glimpse of all the three falls.
The Elephant falls were nice to see. We enjoyed listening pleasant sound of falls. But people were not allowed enter the water falls. After some time, we went to next place which was Shillong peak. Shillong peak is under the Airforce premises. So our driver took permission token from the Airforce staff and we went towards Shillong peak enjoying the beautiful views all around. Entire Shillong was visible from the peak and it was very nice to watch.
The original Khasi name for the falls was ‘Ka kshaid lai pateng khohsiew’ (three steps waterfalls), because the falls actually consisted of three sections in succession.Elephant Falls in Meghalaya solely holds the attraction of Upper Shillong. Especially in the rainy season. Elephant Falls is located about 12km from the busy city of Shillong.
Shillong is full of waterfalls and water-bodies. From the Wards lake, to the Sweet Falls and the Bishop-Beacon Falls, these water bodies make up a large part of Shillong’s tourist attraction. Since, our trip was more about journeying rather than nestling into one place, we had to make a choice as to the place we would visit, so we decided to go to Elephant Falls. The name might suggest a water-body of elephantine proportions, but that really isn’t the case. The name came up due to a rock that shared a likeness with the animal, a rock that incidentally isn’t there anymore. Elephant Falls is more a collection of numerous falls that finally flow into a small lake, a series that you can walk along as you trace the flow of the water. Aided and abetted by the greenery of the Khasi Hills, where it is located, the Falls make for a lovely walk while being serenaded by the sound of the gushing and falling water.
1st day we are planning to cover enroute Umiam Lake only, ending the day trolling at police bazar in Shillong.
Bread Cafe-Among the numerous bakeries and cafes in Shillong,what was it in Bread Cafe that caught my eye? Well,the banner on the entrance said "Bread Cafe-The Baker's Coffee Shop". And that itself dragged me to it,like a duck to water. Quite,cozy and humble is what can be said about the setting and seating. Ambience is fair as well. Can't say the same about the music,though. But what steals the show is the amazing range and quality of the food they offer. The pies always freshly baked and the coffees always delightful. It is indeed a delectable affair!You can have your breakfast from here,although I prefer to follow it with second and a third breakfast as well. Well,it's sort of tough to eat everything that is on offer just in one shift,right? The Cafe also offers coffees (both hot and cold) that,though congenial in themselves,go perfectly well with the baked goods.Coming to the pocket pinch,looking at my platter one is likely to think that I must've fished out quite a sum for a breakfast that looks so lavish and neat. Well,that's not quite the case. With qualities that can give the costliest and most famous bakeries in my city a run for their money, I would say it's fairly reasonable and absolutely worth the money. No surprise I spent most of my mornings there.
Trattoria-Located right at the heart of Centre-point,Shillong, it is almost never that one finds this place empty. Always bustling with customers who are mostly locals,Trattoria offers an insight to what traditional Khasi food is like. They offer a host of dishes ranging from pork,beef,fish and chicken. Along with every meat dish you order,comes a generous serving of the famous Jadoh which is a staple in the Khasi Hills. Humble ambience,modest setting and the smell of food in the air characterize Trattoria. Be assured of freshly-cooked food,AMAZING service and a very memorable culinary experience,all-in-all. One of the very amazing things about Trattoria is that if you're not aware of the dishes and have no clue what to order,you can get yourself the try-all-plate,as I call it. What is the try-all-plate? Well,its simply the total amalgamation of all the dishes in a particular meat category along with some condiments. So you don't regret not having everything and don't end up having a lot of something you ordered that you had no clue about. The food,as delectable as it is,is always served with a warm smile. Such food in such ambience,what else does a foodie's heart long for? By the way, if you're a vegan,stand aside and watch your friends devour the food and console yourself.On My Plate- So I opted for pork and this is what my plate looked like. 10 different items with condiments like fermented bean sauce,vegetables,raddish chutney and other delectable chutneys. The star of the show,however,was the Jadoh (rice cooked in pork fat or pork blood) and the pork intestine having dense and smoky flavors.No wonder I came out dancing and jumping!
2. Indulge in the city's buzzing nightlife in the bars and venues in Police Bazaar and Laithumkra.
The Police Bazaar, a ride down the memory lane for my dad!The essential vibe of this city can be captured at the Police Bazaar/ Square. That's where we started. It was here that I began to see the city through the glasses my dad wore 40 years back. As a fresh graduate from a medical school, my dad stayed in the unexplored North Eastern region as a volunteer in a UNO mission in 1972 (anti-malaria program).
Shillong View Point
Upper Shillong is an area in Shillong, famous for sight seeing and luxury hotels.
Shillong Viewpoint: 10 kms away from Shillong lies the highest point in the state of Meghalaya, which offers stunning panoramic views of the city, on one side, and lush greenery and cascading waterfalls, on the other. So if you're here for a day with no clouds playing their spoil sport, take a taxi straight to the Shillong viewpoint and enjoy the majestic Himalayan peaks, and the glimpses of Bangladesh plains and the city of Shillong.
Arranged 10 kms from the city, Shillong Peak offers awesome perspectives of the city from a noteworthy height of 1965 m above ocean level. Shillong Peak, the most elevated point of Shillong, is found 5 km toward the south of the city and is 1961 meters which is 6,433 feet in height. Being the most astounding crest in the locale, it is frequently encompassed with mist. The top itself is not steep, but instead semi-round like that of a crown set on the level and broad top of the Shillong Hill. The crest is open by means of the Upper Shillong or Jowai Road. If you arrive on a day when mists don't play ruin sport, you will have the capacity to see the lofty Himalayan tops and the Bangladesh fields from here. Indian Air Force has its radar station here. This spot is a standout among the most well known tourist center in Shillong as a result of the breathtaking perspectives it offers.
From a higher perspective : Mesmerizing view from the Shillong Peak, U Lum ShyllongThe next place in the itinerary was the Shillong Peak. Called "U lum Shyllong"in the colloquial language, the peak offers a bird's-eye view of the picturesque valley. At a distance of 10 kms from the main city, this is the very spot where I fell in love with the city. They've installed big telescopes here to view the valley through different angles.
Reach the highest peak in Shillong to witness the sunrise.While you'll be spending the rest of your day witnessing the best artists perform, at the same time it's essential know where you've travelled to. The best way to do it in Shillong is to walk up to the highest peak, enjoy the 360° panoramic view of the city from the Shillong Peak. This short walk will surely prep you for the rest of the day.
Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures
A museum where you find all details and information not only about Meghalaya but all the Sister States which include Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Assam, Sikkim and Nagaland and Manipur. This is a museum for indigeneous exhibits which are directly related to everything about the culture and lifestyles of North- East India. This includes galleries of costumes, food, occuopation, musical instruments and art and crafts. Here you also get to know all about the tribes now and then of this whole region. All this have made this a prime attraction for tourists.
Hotels and Homestays in Laitlum 95 Hotels
Weekend Getaways from Laitlum
268 Kms from Laitlum
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
The largest and the busiest city in Bangladesh, Dhaka may seem like a regular, commercial city to you in the first glance but it's much more. It's a place that grows on you with time, and when it does, it's difficult to forget its many experiences. If this is your first visit here, you can choose among the many Dhaka day tours. The tours will help you see the city in its entirety and one can also choose customised tours according to individual preferences. Lal Bagh Fort, Liberation War Museum and Ahsan Manzil are some of the must-visit spots in Dhaka. Do include Baitul Mukarram Mosque in your itinerary. It is the 10th largest mosque in the world and is a sight to behold. Sonargaon is another wonderful place to include in your itinerary. An erstwhile administrative centre of Bengal, the site makes for an interesting visit outside Dhaka. Sitara Mosque is named so because it is decorated with a million stars and is a delight to explore. There are a number of options to stay in Dhaka and you can choose one according to your budget or preference. Read More
After a quick and uneventful flight we began our descent to Dhaka. The views as we flew in were pretty cool, it's an island framed by rivers and agricultural land. From the air it looked to be currently pretty waterlogged. We disembarked the plane into the sun, the weather was hot and humid again, like India. We squeezed onto a rickety airport bus to take us to the terminal. En-route I noticed one of the ground staff had also dyed his beard the same bright orange as the man on our flight. Curiouser and curiouser, what was this orange beard thing I thought. Some strange fashion statement maybe, the latest fad? Immigration which was a pretty straightforward process due to us being able to get Visas on arrival. There was just a little hassle as we didn't have any accommodation pre-booked. Bangladesh immigration requires hotel contact details before you granting a visa. A quick google search to find a hotel name and phone number though and we on our way. Airport Entertainment A little girl of about three years old entertained us in departures whilst we waited for our next flight. She seemed fascinated by us and wouldn't leave us alone, laughing and chattering away. After we'd walked to our gate, we suddenly realised the little girl had followed us all way across departure lounge. Her dad grabbed her and told her to say bye bye, which she did with a little wave and blew us kisses...cute! We boarded a little turbo prop plane with about sixty people on it. Across the aisle from us was another man with a flaming orange beard. I was now wondering if it was something cultural and made it my mission to find out what was behind it. I later discovered that around one in five older Muslim men in Bangladesh dye their beards and/ or hair orange with henna. It's to show their devotion to the prophet Mohammed who dyed his beard. Bags collected, security waved us straight though. In fact security seemed pretty lax, they also waved through the chap in front of us who was holding a 9mm pistol. A little concerning to say the least. We found domestic departures and Andy went to buy tickets for the next flights to Cox's Bazar in South Bangladesh. I waited with the luggage, swatting at the cloud of mozzies that tormented me. It was Andy's turn to do the planning for Bangladesh. He'd decided we'd fly straight to Cox's Bazar for five nights, saving Dhaka for the last two. With only a week to spend in Bangladesh, Andy was keen to not do a typical Tanya whistle-stop tour, visiting lots of places with only a night or two in each. We had no idea what to expect of Cox's Bazar, but thought we should give it a look as it has the longest unbroken beach (about 174km) in the world. Andy returned with a ticket for the wrong return date giving us only three full days there. Well that wouldn't work especially if we were going to have a trip to Saint Martins island too as I hoped. I was most perturbed and may have put my parts on a bit (I blame it on tiredness and hunger). After returning my grumpiness (being together 24/7 was taking it's toll a bit I think), he changed the flights for right date. Arrival in Cox's Bazar
The last couple of days we found ourselves back in Dhaka, which we pretty much spent holed up in hotels as we felt really unsafe, something I’d never experienced anywhere before even when travelling as a solo female. We treated ourselves to a bit of luxury the last night in The Westin.
209 Kms from Laitlum
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
The capital of Tripura doesn't serve much more than an en-route destination for those travelling to Bangladesh. But even in those few hours, one can explore small wonders that go with every traveller's 'Indiana instinct'. On that note, Unakoti's rock-cut relief sculptures remain a popular site to visit along with the Heritage Park and the majestic marble-made Ujjayanta Palace, now the the Government Museum. Both provide interesting insights into the royal and historical heritage and cultural background of the state of Tripura. Nature lovers can wander into the rich biodiversity of the Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary, kingdom of the Clouded Leopard and home to a variety of birds, primates and other animals. It also houses various jungle resorts for those who want to rest, stay or eat. Some more interesting sights such as Dumboor Lake and the floating Neer Mahal (palace) atop lake Rudrasagar are pleasant to visit too. The sleepy city usually comes alive during Durga Puja (October) and the Saraswati Puja, both celebrated with grandeur and religious ecstasy, reflecting the significant and vibrant influence of Bengalis on Tripura. Restaurants such as Shankar Restaurant, Restaurant Kurry Klub and The Manikya Court are well known for vegetarian, non-vegetarian and local Tripuri dishes. Read More
243 Kms from Laitlum
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
The capital of Manipur, Imphal, is a politically and economically important city in the North East. If you are visiting Imphal, the Loktak lake should definitely be on your bucket list. Located about 38 km from Imphal, this lake with a cluster of small islands makes for a breathtaking sight. If you are lucky, you may be able to capture the sunset, which looks magical from there! The Red Hill Lokpaching is a hillock located around 16 km from Imphal. It is a sight of historic significance, where the British and the Japanese fought a fierce battle during WWII. It also houses the India Peace Memorial, a monument dedicated to the Japanese soldiers who lost their lives in battle. If you are not short on time, you could also visit the Sadu Chiru Falls or Leimaram Waterfall, located about 25 km from Imphal. It is located in the midst of the valley and is a beautiful testimony to the country's natural beauty. Read More
Rita Café: A perfect place to lounge in the evening with live Manipuri music being played by a local band. Good options for coffee and mocktail. The chilly cheese toast is a must try here.
Before I left for Manipur, I did my research and wanted to do Dzuko valley trek which can be done from Viswema or zhakama in Nagaland. I tried my best to get ILP by applying couple of weeks earlier to my departure but the same has been sitting "In Progess" State even now. I read few posts saying there is a route from Manipur side opened by MMTA which takes just 5hours which turned to be HOAX.First things first, people who want to enter nagaland from manipur side can do it even without ILP. As I heard from locals, there is no place to get and there is no one to check if you have ILP.I landed in Imphal airport expecting a taxi stand who can help me reach the base camp and as its just 110km, I was not expecting the taxi cost to be more than 1650(110*15rupees). When I reached the airport, I was surprised to see that there were hardly 3-4 taxis and no one even ready to take me. Finally I found a guy who asked 10000/-. I heard its 7000 from Kohima side for pickup or pickup and drop as everyone wants to charge you for both sides/Even the autovala asked for 350/- for 7-8km. So, I took a service auto right outside the airport and headed to ISBT looking at some big hoardings projecting Revival of Manipur transport blah blah blah, but I was surprised to see a very Big Bus stand but no Government buses.
Two days out in the open had tired us out, so we spent the next day resting for sometime in our hotel room. Late in the afternoon we left to explore the city of Imphal, for there were quite a few promising locations here as the map told. Manipur was one of the places where battles of World War II were fought between the British and the Japanese forces, with Indian soldiers feeding the British manpower. Needless to say, Imphal stands testimony to many tales of wartime courage and resilience and pays homage to its martyrs. We visited a couple of these monuments - The Red Hill and Shaheed Minar, while exploring the the streets and markets of this lovely city. One of the interesting markets we came across was the Ima market, where all the vendors are called Ima, or Mother. Manipur is famous for its handlooms, and we made quite a few exquisite purchases to make the folks back home happy.The week had passed so soon that we did not even notice. Soon it was time to say goodbye to this lovely little town and head back to our busy city lives. When we boarded our flight for return, it was with a rejuvenated mind, a spent but fresh body and a contented and happy heart.
Our flight landed in Imphal amidst mild fog. Since it was August the summer was already past and winter was looking to creep in. The monsoons were meanwhile blessing the state amply, and we almost feared our trip would be all but washed out. However, right from the time we landed, the Sun God kept us good company, making the weather remarkably pleasant for outdoor activities. A quick shower and a sumptous breakfast at the Classic Hotel where we had checked in, we were ready to make most of our five day trip. We were very sure that we did not want to visit the usual places that people went sightseeing - monuments, parks and the like. So we directly headed to those places that makes Manipur befit its name.
With two states left in my “to-wander” list of seven sisters, I chose Manipur over Mizoram because of its accessibility from Dibrugarh. Roaming nearby Imphal made me realise that all the states I travelled in NE were far behind in terms of beauty in-front of Manipur. The extraordinary beauty of this place justifies its name – Mani-pur.Traveling here was a completely different experience than other states in NE. Manipuri’s don’t bother about Hindi or English much. They are happy with Manipuri. They have so difficult names of everything. Be it a place, person or something to eat. Girls here are gorgeous and open minded than any other state. Almost 90% of its land is covered with hills. Their local food is so different, tasty and easily available. They take sprouted beans and black tea as evening snacks. Almost all the traffic signals in Imphal had a lady inspector. The local museum will fill you with lot of information about Manipur. There is a market in Imphal called Ima market. Ima means mother in Manipuri. This huge market is run by mothers. Mothers sell vegetables, flowers, dried fishes, groceries, local handloom and a lot more here. A few of the Ima’s here understood and spoke Hindi and English. And interacting with them was a homely feeling.
221 Kms from Laitlum
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October
Tawang has always been in the midst of conflict and controversy. But if you look beyond the controversy, you'll discover beauty incomparable to any other. Tawang is well connected from Tezpur by air and rail and summer is the best time to visit and plan a holiday. The major tourist attraction here is the Twang Monastery, which is celebrated as the birth place of the 6th Dala Lama. Besides the monastery, the Sela Pass and Jang Waterfalls are also touristy places and should definitely be a part of your itinerary. The Penga Teng Tso Lake is frozen for 5 months in a year, but makes for a wonderful sight all through. Do book a cab to visit the lake since the roads are a little tricky and are best managed by a local. Tawang is especially colourful in February when the Monpas, the native tribe, celebrate the Losar Festival (Tibetan New Year) and it really is a great time to be here. For foreign nationals, special permission is required to visit Tawang so do have all your papers in order. Before planning a holiday to Tawang, it's wise to research and also build contacts with the locals there to discover all the wonderful secrets of this splendid district!Read More
I spent a day in Tawang exploring its famous monastery. It's massive, to say the least. The Tawang Monastery is said to be the largest in India and the 2nd largest in the world.
The picturesque town of Tawang. It is known for its tranquil beauty and vibrant soothing energy. Talk of the hospitality or the amiable nature of the residents, the towering mountains overhead or the speeding thundering valleys. Tawang touches your soul in every amazing way.Rediscovering Northeast. 'Tawang', A MUST visit.
I somehow knew that my scars would continue to fester until I embraced a geographical change. Well, recruiting friends for company is difficult with most of them busy with their jobs, some were broke and a few simply not the game for it. I faced with the dilemma of whether to sulk in unhealthy dose of self pity or travel without a company. It didn't took me long to recognise that travelling made room for much needed self-reflection and a decluttering of the mind. I was pretty much impressed by Buddhism on my earlier trips to Ladakh. My Boss was kind enough to give me a 7 day break to reboot and refresh my mind for I had not taken a vacation in the past 6 months. Tawang was a natural choice for me, though the region is prone to heavy rains and landslides during May-June. I was skeptic about the whole idea initially, but the vision of beautiful valleys and lakes for photography was too exciting. How to reach Tawang?The nearest airport is Tezpur which is about 300 km away. In addition, there are a very few flights to Tezpur from rest of India. The best option, therefore is Guwahati which has one of the busiest airports in the entire northeast. Guwahati is located 480 km from Tawang and is connected to all the major cities in India. One can drive down to Tezpur from Guwahati Airport, which is about 4 hours away. Tata Sumo, Mahindra Bolero or Maruti Eeco are easily available for hire from Tezpur to Tawang. Taxis charge approximately ₹ 7k-8k. It's a 16 hours long journey from Tezpur to Tawang which holds you tight with its unparalleled beauty and the gift of nature displayed in every inch of the land. On the way, you would be able to see the beautiful Tenga Valley, Bomdila, the spectacular Sela Pass and lake, the Jaswantgarh Memorial and the famous Nuranang or Jang falls. While at Tawang A lot of good hotels are available in Tawang which provide comfortable stay and great food as well with charges ranging from ₹ 1000- 3000 per night. It gets extremely cold at night so carrying woollens and warm clothes is a must. The hotels generally have tie ups with local travel agents to provide vehicles to visit in and around Tawang. They charge around ₹4000-5000 to take you to all the places around Tawang which includes the Tawang Monastery, Tawang War Memorial, Bum La, Taktsang Gompa, Shongatser Lake and Pankang Teng Tso. The journey from Tawang to Shongatser lake is a mesmerising one with a number of isolated lakes and beautiful valleys. The best time to visit Tawang is Feb-Mar, Oct-Nov and Apr-July. You got to watch out for extreme cold and unhygienic roadside food. And hey, the civilians require something known as the Inner Line Permit (ILP), as Tawang is located near the international border with China. ILP can be easily obtained from Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Tezpur and the Tawang district headquarters It takes approximately 10-12 hours for the process. It's the best to apply for it at Tawang itself as you can plan a day out there itself. For more details you can visit the Arunachal Pradesh tourism website. Tawang is a heaven for photographers and nature lovers out there. Don't forget to carry your medicines for motion sickness, sun-tan lotion, sun hat, goggles, raincoat and an umbrella. For all you hesitant solo travellers, don't let your fear stop you. Travelling solo allows us to know ourselves a little better. And, remember you hold the power to your feelings and being your own doesn't equate with loneliness. So, chuck that damn phone away and strike a conversation with yourself. Bon Voyage!
Since I had to return the next day, I got in touch with the one of the local tour operators for my return to Tezpur. Next day morning I boarded the cab from the guest house and said good bye to our beautiful host Dehra Lama and he wished me all the best in his own unique gesture of folding the hand. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture with him (forgot to take one).Being a curious guy myself to know more about the places and people. I had good interaction with the migrants here (mainly Bengalis and Biharis) and how they have come to be here and doing business. Also, interacted with ITBP personnel and his experience. All these talks gives us a fresh perspective into a life outside ours and changes our thinking in some way or the other.I stayed overnight in Tezpur at one of the guest house nearby the bus stand. Next morning, I took the Volvo to Guwahati and then reached airport in a cab to board my flight in the afternoon.My journey ended with lots of beautiful memories which I have tried to put above. I would suggest to go out and explore. Life is meant to be enjoyed and experienced and what better way than travelling and meeting people.I am now locating a new place to visit. Signing off. Inbox me for contacts and any suggestions if you want visiting these places.
TawangAfter 5 long hours of driving through the hilly terrain we reached our elusive destination Tawang. Tawang is synonymous with the Tawang Monastery, the mammoth structure very easily visible from far away in the hills. It is the soul of the Tawang hill people. Spirituality flows from here. The monastery is the 2nd largest in the world after the Potala palace in Lhasa.
After Sela you will pass the Jaswant Singh War Memorial. He fought the Chinese in the Sino-Indian war of 1962. You can google more on this place. Jaswant Singh has been elevated to the position of a saint and the local believe that he protects the valley from disaster. This war memorial has on the outside beautiful quotes engraved on the walls and the stones. One thing in Buddhism is that they have heart touching quotes.
This picturesque town in Arunachal Pradesh is located at an elevation of 2,669 meters and is cradled in the Himalayas. Covered in glistening snow for most parts of the year, Tawang has an exotic elegance, with its pristine wildness, criss-crossed by gushing streams, surrounded by deep valleys and glassy lakes in a mountainous backdrop, making it one of the perfect places to visit in May in India. The streets are dotted with monasteries, as most of the people residing here are Buddhists. The whisper of the Tashi Delek can be heard all along the valleys as one treks along the region, seeking pleasure in adventure!How to get there: Tezpur in Assam is the nearest major transit point to Tawang and is well-connected by rail, air and road. From Tezpur, government and private buses ply at regular intervals, SUV s could be hired as well.
Why go? The geographical position of Tawang at the northeastern edge of the country makes it a truly offbeat travel destination. This picturesque town lies 10,000ft above sea level, bound by Tibet on the north, Bhutan on the south-west and the cultural uniqueness sets it apart from any other destination in India.Things to do: Tawang Monastery, Taktshang Gompa and Urgeling Gompa are the chief religious attractions in Tawang. Beautiful lakes surrounding Tawang include Shonga-tser, Pangateng Tso and Nagula Lake. Gorichen Peak and Nuranang Falls are other great attractions in the vicinity.Budget tip for Tawang: Stay at Radiance International and earn up to 1000 JPMiles on booking with JetPrivilege hotel partners.
Tawang's Buddhist community is deeply rooted in the political history of the place, as until early 20th century it was a part of Tibet. This hill town in Arunachal Pradesh is home to the Tawang Monastery, which is largest monastery in India and the second largest in the world. In Tibetan, the monastery is called Galden Namgey Lhatse, which translates to "celestial paradise on a clear night". The city preserves the culture and traditions of Tibetan Buddhism in the magnificent Himalayas.Where to eat: During your stay at Tawang, definitely check out the small street vendors in the main market that sell the most delicious momos and other snacks. The Woodland Restaurant is known for its salt tea and Dragon Restaurant for chopsuey.Where to stay: There are several stay options in Tawang, and most are widely available on the internet. Check out this page to get exact details, names and contact numbers of available hotels. Radiance International is one of the most popular hotels in Tawang.How to reach: The nearest airport is in Tezpur (143km). From there you will have to either take a local bus or taxi to the Tawang Monastery, which will take up to 8 hours.
245 Kms from Laitlum
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,October,November,December
The recently 'smoke-free' declared city has a lot to offer in terms of its rich history and culture. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas and bordering Burma, Kohima boasts of lush green hills and forests amidst which treks and morning walks are a pleasure. Locations such as Dzükou Valley and Japfu Peak should be at the top of the to-do list for nature lovers. Ever seen a flying squirrel? The Itanki Wildlife Sanctuary houses a plethora of rare species of plants, animals and birds that can easily capture the hearts of wildlife and nature photographers around the world. Nagaland has been conspicuous in history with the Battle of Imphal and Kohima deemed as "Britain's Greatest Battle" by the British National Army Museum. Its 1,420 heroes can be seen commemorated at the War Cemetery, earning the respect of travellers across the world. Being a land of the Angami Tribe, the village Khonoma offers a rare chance of witnessing a civilisation untouched by commercialisation and modernisation, wherein one can learn about their philosophy, diverse art, history, food, dialect and music. The Nagaland Tourism department also organises various tribal tours such as that of the Konyaks, the fearless tattoo faced legendary headhunters, who have been known to sleep over a bed of human skulls. For travellers always yearning to take a part of the destination back home with them, The Hornbill Festival, hosted in the first week of December, remains at the kernel of Nagaland's cultural heritage, organising various activities, sports, competitions, music and dance performances and shops housing brilliant and unique souvenirs. Read More
a) De Oriental Grand: It is the most luxurious option available in this rustic hill townwww.deorientalgrand.comb) Hotel Vivor: It is another fine hotel replete with all basic amenities. It is known for its impeccable hospitalitywww.niathugroup.com/hotel-vivor-home
I was in Tawang, in deep dilemma. I didn't want to leave there and did not want to miss Nagaland either. But then again you have to leave one place to reach another. I left there on 25th and after long, restless, sleepless, and leg breaking journey of 27 hours straight, including a sumo ride, bus ride, and an alto ride, I reached Kohima. I did not have an ILP that is required to enter Nagaland, but somehow managed to get in with the help of some guys I met in alto. I stayed in dorm in The Blue Bayou, though it was costly (500 rs. per night), it was the best dorm I have stayed by far on my trip. From my dorm balcony I could get the panoramic view of Kohima, also there was some band downstairs, practicing for some gig and their music was beautiful. I roamed around the city, and it was such an experience with music and graffiti everywhere, street vendors selling all sort of crazy food (frogs, insects, and what not), and the best part was the coffee cafes with live music. Being a digital nomad it is important for me to get good wifi, and all the cafes there has good wi-fi. Do visit Dream Cafe, food there is ok but coffee was really good, and it has very good working environment with a panoramic view of Kohima.
Although, the road from Dimapur to Kohima was rocky and tiresome, yet the excitement of being at the coveted festival eliminated all the exhaustion. Moreover, the picturesque surrounding and the affable behaviour of the people of Kohima gave me an inexplicable feeling. Organised by the State Directorate of Tourism of Nagaland, the festival greets and embraces everyone to this beautiful place called Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. I was shocked to see that despite the rumors of being a disturbed state, people from all around the country flock to this city to get an overwhelming experience. Adorned with lights and several events happening simultaneously, the city becomes nothing lesser than a paradise on earth during the festival. You cannot deny the fact that December is considered to be the most happening month of the year and if you are in Kohima during this time, you are at the right place to have some wonderful moments to cherish.Regarded as the biggest festival in the North Eastern part of the country, it stood upright to prove its significance ever since its inception and has always been a pride for the people of the region. Though, our motive was to shoot the Rock Concert, which is a part of the festival, but could not restrain ourselves to indulge in the Naga way of blissful and happy life. It was a proud moment for the people of the region as the state of Nagaland was celebrating its fifty years of statehood and thus the festival was celebrated for ten days instead of the normal seven day schedule.Kisama, the Naga Heritage Village, which hosts the main festival, is well maintained and the scenic beauty around the area is breathtaking. With different stalls offering "Zothu” and "Thutse" (local alcoholic beverages made of rice) and the authentic food of the all the sixteen major tribes of Nagaland, Kisama offers a plethora of options for foodies and of course to bibulous like us. I visited all the stalls in Kisama to pleasure my taste buds with various delectable authentic food items and also to keep my spirits high, “Zothu” was always there. The stalls in Kisama closed their affair by 6 in the evening; however the night did not get over so soon. The Rock Contest, the Music Festival, the Hornbill Night Bazaar and many other activities kept the nights alive and young.The last day of the festival was more eventful as we all participated in the community dance where all the different tribes of the state unite and dance together. Since, we were there for the documentary shoot, after the celebration at Kisama, we had to rush to the Rock Contest Finale where ten bands got shortlisted from numerous bands, which came for audition from all across the country. That was the only time we were actually working apart from our extracurricular activities. It was fun, but to be frank, the result of the contest was unsatisfactory (*at least for me). Though the Rock Contest got over by 10 P.M., yet the night was still young and rocking. It was our last day in Kohima and we didn’t want to waste it at all. During our stay, we met some local guys and became friends, who took us to a party after the rock show. That place was meant for party freaks like us and we had the best of times, enjoying the party till the wee hours of the night. Dance to the tunes of the DJ or sit by the fire and enjoy some “Zothu”, it’s up to you. But I’m sure that if you were there, you would have had some amazing moments.With so many events and activities, I was gearing myself up for the festive season to follow. It was my first experience and with my fingers crossed, I am looking forward to have some more enthralling moments in the years to come at the Hornbill Festival.
11. Experience the thrill of mountain biking in KohimaA biking group called Native Station has pioneered the trend of mountain biking in Nagaland. The group has already organised several mountain biking events such as the Kohima Downhill and Thuwu-ni Enduro for professional riders. These biking trails present an adrenaline-filled experience that will take you through Naga villages such as Sangtam, Angami and the border villages of Assam.Visit Native Station for more information.
These guys (explorenagaland.com) run a guest house, and was it a great relief. We got a dorm with bunker beds, and 1 more room, and they were clean, well kept, and felt like home. Our ILP's were ready, food was served hot, and they organised a taxi for tomorrow's sight seeing.
KohimaWe took the route back to Guwahati, and had amazing fun on the roads, and reached Guwahati - Tezpur highway again in no time. Then we headed to Nagaon, and took a right after Nagaon towards kacharipara, and then followed directions on the road to dimapur. The roads were wide, and good with little traffic, and the light drizzle all along the way helped. There were dark clouds threatening in our rear view mirrors, so we pushed as much as possible. We reached Dimapur for lunch.
Visit Kohima, just in time for the Hornbill festival. In December, the local tribes of the region come together to celebrate and showcase their culture, and people from all over India travel to Nagaland to see this festival. Though a major chunk of your holiday should revolve around the Hornbill Festival, which begins on the 1st of December, Kohima has a lot of other beautiful places to see, such as the natural caves and the Dzuko Valley. Make sure to chart out a well-planned itinerary because you would not want to miss out on anything. After your holiday, you will agree that Kohima is one of the best holiday destinations in India to visit in December.How to reach Kohima: The nearest airport is in Dimapur, and you can hire a taxi from there to Kohima. It is a 5-hour journey from Dimapur to Kohima by road.
1. Hornbill Festival (Dec 1-10)
Kohima, NagalandKohima is your off-beat choice for the summer. It is urban but picturesque. It is forested but beware of the traffic jams. It has sprawling cafes and hole-in-the-wall retreats. Kohima, therefore, mixes many worlds. Explore the markets and museums, the Catholic Cathedral and the War Cemetery and come back enriched. Don’t forget to pick up a story or two from the folks down at Bara Basti, though, which should not be missed at any cost!
77 Kms from Laitlum
Best time to visit - June,July,August,September
Sylhet, lying on the banks Surma River, is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Bangladesh. With lush, refreshing greenery, it is known as the Land of Fairies! Keane Bridge is the gateway to Sylhet and also a prominent landmark. Ratargul is another lovely spot to visit when you are in Sylhet. This swamp forest is one-of-its-kind and the views here are absolutely stunning! One of the few freshwater swamp forests in Bangladesh, it's a must visit. Visit the forest during winter to enjoy the beauty at its peak. Tambil-Jaflong is where you'll witness inspiring views of the surrounding greenery and also get a chance to visit the waterfalls. Do also visit Sree Mangal, considered to be the largest tea gardens in the world. Pangthumai Waterfall and Satchari National Park are some of the other places you can visit when you are around Sylhet. If Sylhet is the only place on your itinerary, be aware that only a few hours are sufficient to explore and learn about the place. Read More
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