The house was full of memorabilia, books, curios that spoke of a life dedicated to understanding and finding out about little known people that had hitherto been ignored. A peek into the life of an anthropologist was what ignited the initial spark. And it was Ashok who then fanned the spark as it was he who told me that I would find the Apatanis interesting. And interested I was.Read More
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Ziro is from December to July
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
292 Kms from Ziro
Best time to visit - March,April,May,June,July,August,September
The land of waterfalls, the Scotland of the East - Shillong needs no introduction and yet deserves so many. A must-visit if you are visiting the North-East, this lovely town offers you an experience that is unmatched. There is tons to see and do in Shillong and if you are a traveller who enjoys packing a lot of things in your vacation, you'll love Shillong. From numerous waterfalls to lakes to historical sites, you'll be spoilt for choice. Umiam Lake is a manmade lake that resembles the lakes of Scotland and is a wonderful way to spend your afternoon, but be prepared to walk a lot. The boating activity take place a little further from where you park your car and it's quite a long, long walk. Do check the weather before you step out since the weather here can be a little unpredictable. The Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures is another enlightening spot where you learn about the various cultures and tribes of Assam. The centre may get a little boring if you are not into history and it's best to head here if you are a history buff. Otherwise, you can spend your day at Elephant Falls, which are divine! The sight is incredible and the whole experience brings one much closer to nature. The beauty is mesmerising and the locals there are a treat to interact with. Do take back some bamboo goods when you are here and don't forget to bargain! Mawjymbuin Caves is another great touristy spot here and a treat to explore. The caves are well lit and not dangerous at all albeit a few tricky curves so if you are travelling with children, you can definitely bring them along. Do wear proper shoes when you are out on your expedition to avoid a fall. Reaching Shillong is hassle free and doesn't take too long from the urban city of Assam. Taxis ply at all times of the day and it's almost a 5 hour stunning drive. Do choose your hotels carefully in Shillong since the hotels here are absolutely splendid and you shouldn't miss a chance to enjoy the warm hospitality of this lovely town. Read More
The land of waterfalls, the Scotland of the East - Shillong needs no introduction and yet deserves so many. A must-visit if you are visiting the North-East, this lovely town offers you an experience that is unmatched. There is tons to see and do in Shillong and if you are a traveller who enjoys packing a lot of things in your vacation, you'll love Shillong. From numerous waterfalls to lakes to historical sites, you'll be spoilt for choice. Umiam Lake is a manmade lake that resembles the lakes of Scotland and is a wonderful way to spend your afternoon, but be prepared to walk a lot. The boating activity take place a little further from where you park your car and it's quite a long, long walk. Do check the weather before you step out since the weather here can be a little unpredictable. The Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures is another enlightening spot where you learn about the various cultures and tribes of Assam. The centre may get a little boring if you are not into history and it's best to head here if you are a history buff. Otherwise, you can spend your day at Elephant Falls, which are divine! The sight is incredible and the whole experience brings one much closer to nature. The beauty is mesmerising and the locals there are a treat to interact with. Do take back some bamboo goods when you are here and don't forget to bargain! Mawjymbuin Caves is another great touristy spot here and a treat to explore. The caves are well lit and not dangerous at all albeit a few tricky curves so if you are travelling with children, you can definitely bring them along. Do wear proper shoes when you are out on your expedition to avoid a fall. Reaching Shillong is hassle free and doesn't take too long from the urban city of Assam. Taxis ply at all times of the day and it's almost a 5 hour stunning drive. Do choose your hotels carefully in Shillong since the hotels here are absolutely splendid and you shouldn't miss a chance to enjoy the warm hospitality of this lovely town.
If you want to enjoy the spirit of Christmas in a quaint far away town, then you should definitely go to Shillong this December. Shillong is popularly known as the 'Abode of Clouds' and we could not agree more! While in Shillong, do not forget to go to the Umiam Lake and the Elephant Falls. In December, the entire town will be christmasy!How to reach Shillong:Guwahati is the nearest railway station, which is 100km away, and the nearest airport is in Umroi, which is only connected to Kolkata.
#TripototakeMeToSandakphuShillong happened just like any other trip, with a purpose awaiting an experience.Till now I've had experienced the New Year's eve in every cosy way that my parents could make possible for me, but this time it was my demand to make it different, like our generation says, "My plans, my rules." So anyway I tagged along with a friend of mine, both with literally very limited cash to spend but in sheer need of escape from the city and on those accounts Shillong proved to be a great host.We reached Shillong at around 7 in the evening of 30 th December after missing a train at Howrah, travelling in General for about 20 hours and not being able to reach the phone of the friend who was supposed to take us to a budget hotel, but all that exhaustion was soon going to be relieved; as it happened after shivering in the bone chilling breeze, gulping down litres of steaming hot tea that we finally could make a contact with that angel of a friend. He took us to the hotel; it was small but a very nice one. At the reception we were greeted by a happy to serve bell boy who would later become our man friday; he took us to our room which was again a very cosy one and welcomed us with a heater and a bathroom fitted with geyser, seriously that was indeed a bonus considering the very moderate tariff we were paying. A hot water bath and a joint got our tired and cramped asses on power mode again and we were ready to explore the capital city of Meghalaya, which the friend said will already be half asleep; wait, it was only 08:30 in the evening but the friend who was a resident of that place knew his home well, and surely we didn't get booze or anything much except some mind bogglingly delicious pork momos and a Vodafone recharge card.While returning to our hotel in the deep night chill, with our hoodies on, our mouth shut and our eyes open, I saw something which would accompany me for a very long time to come. The streets of shillong are exactly like the ones we would imagine while reading Enid Blyton's The Mystery Series again or the Famous Five, whirling and twirling in all its delight, at times it's just some bleak and old stone stairs that would take you to the other end of the town, that night I was walking the one that leads up to Rilbong, after walking all the way up to the junction I once turned back and instantly fell in love with the far away lights of the peak in front in the cold dark; it enunciated a romanticism of its own. I knew it was just the beginning of the strong concord I was about to develop with this place in these 2 nights and 1 day that I had planned my stay to be; yes, just planned. I was yet to witness Shillong in the day light. With that suspense and what already had unmasked, I must say I had the deepest sleep after a long time.I am not usually an early riser but the next morning I woke up, very fresh and energised, at 5:30 sharp. The sun hadn't risen yet but was about to in very less time. I could see fresh, virgin streaks of mildew sun light playing across the curtains, making patters on the bed. It was a 31 st December morning; winter was at its merciless best. It was an ordeal indeed to pull down the blanket and get out of the warmth, but the anticipation of what was outside was more than tempting. I saw Shoumik, my trip companion, sleeping soundly. I removed the curtains and was a little disappointed as the window offered no view; I cursed my budget for that. View or no view, what I could see from the window was enough for me to understand that I still had almost 15 minutes in my hand to prepare myself for the sunrise. I made tea in the electric kettle; the sound it made almost woke Shoumik up. Even before the tea was made, I had a perfectly rolled joint and more 7-8 minutes in hand. I decided to do something against my usual nature as I thought, it was, anyway going to be a day of firsts. I went to the washroom and took a cold water bath, the water almost went down freezing every cell and bone of my body but I was prepared, with a towel wrapped around by waist, bare-bodied with a cup of tea and a joint to welcome with open and shivering arms, The Sun. I walked all across the balcony until I found a suitable position to place my cup, light the joint and witness the sunrise from the back of the total panoramic East Khasi hills. The sun came out beaming bright and gold, its strong but warm rays touching and kissing all my body, the cold water was just a bye gone, the chill only a boon. Such mornings are one of the many reasons for my mountain cravings. I stood there still admiring every bit of everything within my range of sight. The bright flares played boyishly between the tree branches, the tinted tombs of a far away sanctum gleaming gold, the birds chirping, the smell of the wind, the people getting ready for their daily chores, our man friday washing his clothes downstairs in the open, the sound of maruti 800's, the smoke of the little chimneys, everything about that morning was so abundantly country-side'ish, so immensely John Denver'ish.With the sun completely out, the tea finished, the joint stubbed, I was hungry.Shillong is swag in its own sense; I almost envied everyone for their boots and jackets. The cars? Well they would put the most expensive Indian DC Avanti to shame; simple Maruti 800's customised with rugged tires that outsized the provided wheelbase, headlights replaced by miniature flood lights and what colours, reds, greens, yellows, and blues. Everyone had a sense of self-respect and an aura of authenticity about themselves, their love for mountains shone bright in their eyes, their voice, a genuine blend of polite and pride. If you are a non-vegetarian, Shillong has absolutely every reason to be on your wish list, from chicken stews to grilled pork, mutton kebabs to beef bhuna, you get all. Though, as tourism does everywhere, you even get specific thalis, but would help if you ask the locales than go hunting on your own.The nearest places to go sightseeing would be cherrapunjee, Mawlynlong, Umiam and the Daiko Lake, but our budget was shorter than our duration of stay so we instead went for walks. We took a silent stroll down the Cantonment Area, trekked up a different way to the point we started from, had tea and samosas and Temul here and there; the chun (lime powder) of the temul almost burned my tongue. After the lunch, we took a cab (again some less customised Maruti 800's) to the Golf Course, which I still talk about to everyone referring to as the open green eternity.In cities, these days the number of children playing in the park has reduced, as tuition attendance has increased. Here, under such vast open blue, with the vast open green at their disposal, kids were playing, rolling, running while elders without any apparent worries rejoiced an evening of freedom. I really wished I could be a kid again, run to the far end of the field, lie down, curl up and roll down as and along the slopes and curves of the Golf course. I remember, even buying a gas balloon for myself while coming out, I have always loved letting them go and watch till they go out of sight.Police Bazaar, the Amsterdam of ShillongIt was 6:30 P.M. by the time we reached Police Bazaar, which is the capital of the capital. We had no happening plans such as a terrace barbeque or a house party but something better than these. We had a few friends coming over from Guwahati, so to kill the wait while they come, Dragon bar became our rendezvous. The small and stone walled bar attracted me at the very first sight of it. It was run by a sturdy Tibetan lady, or I think she's Tibetan as the bar had posters all over that read - Save Tibet. The expressionless (but very beautiful, I noticed) lady came up to us and said, "Only rum and pork." We were extremely content at the offering and settled on a bottle of rum and Chilli Pork. The bottle was down and the alcohol lover in me pushed me for another bottle but Shoumik suggested otherwise, saying "Puri sham baki hai bhai, we'll drink more. Let them come." I [of course] didn't tell him that I was so engrossed in the ambience and the drink that I almost forgot about the friends we had to receive. For a guy like me, it's a New Year's gift to know that booze is so inexpensive; hence, I bought more than I could drink. Our party started at 9, in our hotel rooms with every sort of unexplainable substance we would need. We were 5 people by then; the night was cold beyond thoughts. I suddenly got up and declared that I wanted to take a walk, if someone wanted they could come but everyone was beyond comfortable in the room so I thanked them, put on my jacket and went out. I checked the time; it was just some minutes to 12. I called up home, wished my parents and my sister, switched the phone off and lit the only cigarette I had brought along. I had four ways to go, I took the one that looked darker and narrower. The cold breeze stung me right in the face; the chill burnt my eyes that felt good. I am very bad at remembering ways so I was very conscious at every left and right I was taking, I suddenly found myself on a road that overlooked a pitch dark cliff, and just as I stubbed my cigarette and tilted my head up, I knew it was already a new year. The brilliant fireworks went up one by one, I knew they were shot very far away but the gorgeous explosions and my sight shared the same dark, oblivious sky. I suddenly heard a fading Rabindra Sangeet coming from somewhere, laughs of people, merry was in the very smell and void of the place. I stood unnerved, alone, totally content and silent, being a part of the same merry in my own little, futile world. I missed so many people I have never had the time to remember, suddenly all my hate list was replaced by the good memories I've ever had. I was happy at my very existence, I was suddenly so important to me. Standing there, overlooking a cliff totally invisible in the dark, being a guest to such majestic display of welcoming the new, sounds of celebrations, I cried like a kid, not out of pain or loss but an unexplainable joy. I made a resolution, not one that would guide me through the entire 2016 but the resolution was today, the present, the moment I am in because in all the past, the present and future, now is the only time I realised I am fully, completely a live part of, an active member of. With a very light head, a feather heart I decided to forget the way I had consciously remembered and find a new way home. This world, isn't too large to be lost, neither is too small to not try to get lost. After a half an hour walk I did find my way. I suddenly heard someone calling me from behind, I turned, it was a group of 4 guys, and they had a bike and a car, and clear marks on their body to prove they were hooligans. I decided not to stop, but was there any point in running away? No. I went up to them, they wanted a lighter, and I had a matchbox with just one stick left. Knowing that I myself had no smokes on me, they rummaged through their pockets and found me the last biri they had, we all shared the flame.The sturdiest guy among them started the talk, 'Hey man! Are you alone? Let's go for a drive, its new year's man.""No, I got my friends up at the hotel; I was feeling a little tipsy so came out for a walk.""That's real cool bro, then let's go to your hotel and party, we got a car and booze."I suspected, they were shit drunk and it was 4 to one, it was clearly now way for me.I pressed, "Actually it's a small guest house and outsiders are not allowed so...""What about tomorrow morning?""No I am leaving tomorrow." I don't know why I acted such scared, or maybe I had every reason to be, or maybe none. They were equally perplexed at my withdrawal. I bid them a hurried goodbye, thanked them for the smoke [I genuinely needed one] and started walking a hurried pace. After I was clearly off, I stopped for a breath, the biri had gone off-flame midway, I had no light. I found a place to sit and spend some minutes there; when I got off I had already made 2 decisions. One - my parents always taught me to be careful of bad people whenever going out alone but I realised it's even more difficult to trust people than to suspect them and since suspicion comes naturally I must learn to trust people, believe them. The second? Well, I checked on my accounts, decided to stretch them a little as I wanted to stay there for a couple of days more.My roomies asked me when I was back, "Where did you get that biri from?" I noticed I was still holding it between my teeth. I gave it light, puffed deep and said, "Just made some new friends."-Happy New Year-Important InformationReach - The nearest railhead is Guwahati. The nearest airport is the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati.From Guwahati Reserved and Shared Sumos and Cars are readily available.Shared - INR 180, Reserved - INR 2200 (approx).Stay - Accomodation isn't a trouble, from luxurious tri-star hotels to budget guest houses are available. Tariffs vary from INR 8500 to INR 700.Contacts - Meghalaya Tourism : http://www.megtourism.gov.in | (0364)2502166, 2500736Note - All tariffs and rates are approximations and information collected during the period of December - January (2015-2016) and are subject to change anytime. Do confirm with the desired departments before booking.None of the places mentioned or suggested have been advertised.This blog was originally published on 'Soham Biswas Project'
Shillong, MeghalayaNestled away in the hills of Meghalaya, Shillong is quite a town. It offers a break from the heat wave, of course, but what makes it an incredible getaway is how it has retained its wilderness despite becoming increasingly urban every day. Shillong boasts of so, so many water bodies worth your interest, and boy, are they worth it. Be it Ward Lake, Elephant Falls or Umiam Lake – each deserves its own day and its own pan shot. The many museums and galleries (Butterfly Museum, anthropological Museum, Zoological Museum etc) will make your stay an enriching one too!
Day 2 Early head start to Shillong, took a cab from Guwahati costs around Rs.1500 for dropping to Shillong.Stopover @ Umiam or Barapani lake (Airtel 4G lake with the highest network!),mesmerizing views, boating , jetski & fun! Lunch @ Lamee restaurant in Police bazaar - good food, service & ambiance. Boating @ Ward's lake, Shillong Enjoy local fruits & jute,cane & bamboo shopping in Police Bazaar Stay@ Best Holiday Inn, Upper Lauchumiere - really new & reasonable hotel, 2kms from police bazaar, good location & view, food - limited options for vegetarians.
So, we without getting too much attached to it we started to shillong. Waited for police bazaar to start and took little time roaming around shopping. We unfortunately reached to shillong peak at 3:05. But the entrance was only open till 3:00 PM. Security was very particular of not allowing anyone through the gates after 3:00. So we had to adjust with few view points around, visited elephant falls and started to cherrapunji.
There are three main points in Shillong: Shillong Peak, Golf course and waterfalls. If you are travelling in group you can vsery well hire a taxi which will ask you to pay 1500-2000. But do not pay them more than 600-700.Well I observed few college guys looking to hire a taxi to some location. It was already 3PM. Sun sets by 4:45PM in East. I thought let me go to some place at least today.
In the morning after the breakfast we will take a day trip of Shillong. We will be visiting the Shillong peak, located in the upper Shillong from where one can see the beauty of Shillong city under the clouds giving a perfect picturesque view of the city. After a while we head to the Elephanta falls, the water of this three steps falls comes down in flows from different levels over the fern-covered rocks and falls into the canyon down below. After that our journey comes to one of the most romantic place in Shilong, the Ward’s Lake, located in the heart of the city which was build by the British councils and is a prominent hang-out place in Meghalaya. Then we visit the Cathedral Catholic Church which attracts thousands of devotees and after that you will be transferred in the hotel. Attractions: Shillong peak, Elephanta falls, Ward’s lake, Church.Part 3:
Shillong: Walk up to the top of the Shillong Peak and enjoy the 360° panoramic view of the city. Photographers will have the time of their lives witnessing the incredible 18-hole golf course in Shillong. It take almost two hours to reach Mawlynnong from Shillong and this trip could be your chance to explore the quaint village, also known as the cleanest village in Asia. Around 20 kms out of the city, on the way to the airport, you can stop by Umiam Lake at Barapani.The nearest airport to Shillong is Umroi Airport at a distance of 25km from the city. The nearest railway station is Guwahati. You can take a bus or hire a taxi to Shillong from there. It takes almost three hours to reach Shillong from Guwahati by bus or a shared taxi.Read More: Experience eco-tourism in the abode of clouds and sound of waterfalls in Shillong
Shillong, the capital city of the Indian State of Meghalaya is a small hill station and was called The Scotland of the East by the erstwhile British settlers with its magnificent Scotland like views. We wanted to check out the historical city. We roamed around the streets and visited the beautiful Ward’s Lake at sunset. From there we went to the bustling Police Bazaar where we did some quick shopping. Once that was done we sat down for dinner at a good local restaurant and talked about our travel tales. Food was tasty and lavish too. It was a long day and all we needed was a good night’s rest and sleep. We had come a long way since starting the journey. Back at the lodge we hit the bed straight and crashed for night.
The biggest town in Meghalaya, Shillong, is also the most underwhelming in my opinion. It is like any other run-of-the-mill commercialised hill stations, with tiny shops and fancy hotels jostling for street-side space. But it would be remiss of me not to talk about Shillong Peak, the highest point in Shillong, that offers magnificent views of the sprawling city. During the monsoons, a clear view is hard to come by, but I found this cloud-shaded one equally, if not more, mesmerising. Once you’ve had your fill of the view, stop for a bowl of hot, soupy noodles and tea—quintessential hill-station food—to rejuvenate yourself.
191 Kms from Ziro
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
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!
We dedicated this day for local sightseeing. In the morning we walked to the nearby market. The roads of Tawang are very deserted as there is very less population in this area. There are wild flowers on both sides of the road. We visited the Tawang Monastery which is 400 years old and is the second largest monastery in Asia.It was founded near the small town of the same name in the northwestern part of Arunachal Pradesh, by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso in 1680-1681 in accordance with the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso.Situated at the top of a mountain,this is a very important place of worship for the Buddhists.According to the legend, a white horse of the Prince of Lhasa had wandered into Monpa region. People, who went in search of the horse, found the horse grazing at the present location of the monastery. The people of the area then worshiped the horse and the location where it was found and venerated it every year. Eventually to honour the sacred site the Tawang Monastery was built at the site. The Monastery also has a huge library and museum.China had invaded India on 20 October 1962 from the northeastern border forcing the Indian army to retreat. They had occupied Tawang, including the monastery, for six months; they did not desecrate the monastery. China claimed that Tawang belonged to be their territory.In 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama had fled from Tibet, and after a tough journey, crossed into India on 30 March 1959, and had reached Tawang and taken shelter in the monastery for a few days before moving to Tezpur on 18 April 1959 seeking asylum in India.(Source:Wikipedia)For more trivia about this place,look here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawang_MonasteryWe then visited the Urgelling Monastery which happens to be the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama. Next we went to the Tawang War Memorial. It was built to pay homage to the soldiers who had sacrified their lives in the Indo-Sino war in 1962. It has blessing of the Dalai Lama.It also has to memorial halls having artifacts and information of these brave men.A light and sound show is also organised here every evening which depicts the story behind Tawang and the Chinese war.In the evening you can go for shopping,however the shops mostly close by 7pm and being remote the things are bit overpriced. Day 5We were supposed to see the three destinations namely Shungester Lake,PTSO Lake and Y Junction. Amongst these the Y Junction is 13937 feet high. Shungester Lake is situated 33kms off Tawang at a height of about 12000 feet. It was actually a village but in 1950s an earthquake followed by a flash flood destroyed the village and it was were the lake got formed. The place is heavenly and has rhododendrons everywhere with the snow capped mountains in the background. Migratory birds like the Ruddy Shell duck can also be spotted. This place gained prominence when a song from the movie Koyla having Madhuri Dixit and Shah Rukh Khan in the lead was shot here.That is why it is also fondly called Madhuri Lake. The Y Junction is mostly covered with snow and has many lakes. The PTSO lake is beautiful too. The Tawang Visit is never be complete without visiting these places. Another place Bum La Pass can be visited too situated at a height of 16500 feet but needs another permit. These three points can be visited only by local cars from Tawang. There are specific cars available at the starting point for visiting these three points. The road is bit bumpy. You should carry some camphor with you,just incase you suffer from breathlessness at such heights as oxygen levels are low here. You should also carry some amount of light food and water along with you. Day 6We had to leave Tawang with a heavy heart and started our journey towards Bomdila where we would stay for the night. On our way we stopped at the Nuranang or Jang Falls which is mighty and huge. Never had I seen such a beautiful waterfalls ever in my life. The water falls on the river Tawang Chu which flows downstream. We reached Bomdila in the evening. Since we had already seen the Bomdila Monastery on the way,we didnt have any other things to see there and therefore rested for the day.We stayed at the hotel Siphiyang Phong which was just okay.Day 7Our final destination was the Nameri Tiger Reserve which is around 120 kilometres from Bomdila.On our way we stopped at the Tippi Orchidarium which was a visual treat. Never had a seen so many orchids growing wildly and also in greenhouses at the same place.This place should not be missed. We reached the Nameri Tiger Reserve and checked into the Nameri Eco Camp which was simply the best accommodation in this entire trip.We stayed at the tent cottages. The feeling living inside a jungle has always excited me and that is why forests are my first love.We also went for river rafting in the Jia Bharali river and it was by far the best adventure I had done.It was thrilling! The forest is closed during this time of the year that is why unfortunately we could not avail a safari trip.However he saw many birds like Hornbills etc. The forest arranges a walk inside the main forest when the forest is open which is something you dont find anywhere else. This place is a must visit. You can also try activities like Angling here.The Eco Camp has every cuisine in its menu and it is amazing how they get you everything inside a forest too. The best place was seriously reserved for the last. Day 8We reached Guwahati and stayed there for the night,did some shopping. We took the flight next day early morning.however you can start early and take the flight the day you reach Guwahati itself. Guwahati is 220 kilometres from Nameri.P.S- You should carry mineral water and light food with you all the time.The journeys are time taking and strenuous.Be prepared for it. Take some breaks in between the journey. Try reaching the places before the sunset as roads are situated at high altitudes. This trip will surely be one of your best trips till date I can guarantee.
1. Tawang Monastery : Many might not know, but this is the largest monastery in India, founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso in 1681. It encompasses a very big area, divided in many parts dedicated to different sections. There is the Monastry, a library, a museum, house for the monks. The day we visited the Gompa, it was raining heavily, so I could not explore the area much. But, got to visit the museum & the monastery.There were different varieties of artifacts, costumes, old manuscripts, crockery in the museum, which dates backs to the days of Buddha. Its really an amazing experience to view all such rare things. A few feet away lies the temple, which houses the 8.3m high Golden Buddha statue. The walls of the monastery are very colorful, with intricate designs, depicting some stories of the old era. The moment you enter the hall, there is a soothing silence. It feels so good to be at peace with yourself.
Tawang….a heavenly paradise in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, located in north eastern part of India. This place is very sparsely populated, may be because of its altitude. The locals are the Monpa tribe, who inhabit the entire region. The trip was on my mind since a long time, but finally everything matched and I visited Tawang in the month of April, 2013. I started from Tezpur in Assam through the help of a travel operator. The fare is around Rs.700-800 per person in a sumo. They managed with the Inner Line Permit, which is required for every visitor to Tawang, since it is a restricted area.
4 day trip starting from Tezpur to Bomdila. Duration 6 hours approx Mode of transport: TaTa Sumo for 9 people from Tezpur(available at anytime). If you wish to travel solo you can share a sumo it is INR280 for one person from Tezpur to Bomdila available at Tezpur ASTC bus stand. Traveling requirements: ILP to travel into Arunachal Pradesh-Details available on the website (http://www.arunachalilp.com) Day1: Bhalukpong- Sessa Orchid Sanctuary(Largest in Asia), Bhoroli river, Waterfalls Tenga Valley-Rest stop for lunch, Suspension Bridge, Kameng River. Bomdila-Reach Bomdila, Check into hotel Lungta Residency Day2: Bomdila- Nature trail, Bomdila Monastery, Visit apple orchards. Day3: Bomdila to Dirang(3hours)- Explore dirang on foot, Go to Sangti Valley and hike reach the Dirang river, visit Nearby Villages, Spend Day exploring the valley, Return to Bomdila in the evening Day4: Return trip: Start early visit Rupa Valley on the way back, Visit the Chilipom Monastery at about 3000m above sea level, return to Tezpur.
We headed back to Tawang from Madhuri Lake and reached Tawang by late afternoon. We did some local sight seeing, visited tawang Monastery and Buddha Statue and War Memorial. We headed back to our hotel and rested for the rest of the day.
The road up to the border was worse than what we had experienced in the two-day drive to Tawang, though the scenery more than makes up for it. At times it feels as though you are driving into nothing, and the road looks like it is about to fall off the mountain, when you suddenly turn and are greeted by yet another breathtaking sight.The beautiful drive up to Bumla.Every few kilometers you encounter a crystal clear lake, each one more beautiful than the previous. Tawang district, we were told, is home to 108 known lakes. At times the water in the smaller lakes was so still and clear, it took us a moment to realise that we were staring at a perfect reflection, and not the grass and flowers itself. Travelling with two photographers and the beauty that surrounded us ensured that each section of our drive took just a little longer.
Start your Journey in the morning from tenga/bomdilla and reach tawang in 8-10 hours. In between you will go through a place called Sela pass/ sela lake. and of course snowfall, and frozen lakes[ extreme cold seasson : december to april. Places to visit in tawang: Tawang monestry which is asia's largest.lots of gumpa[local name for temples]., stylish women and girls digging mountains :-): now here is a sad thing, only women and girls work here, their husband sit at home drinking..doing nothing :-( thats the culture there.Women work there along with their 1 month babies tied at there back.so pathetic. SUN SETS AT 4 PM so days are short here.
Tawang derives its name, he explained, from Ta, meaning horse and Wang, meaning chosen. Merak Lama, who had received the mandate to construct a monastery from the 5th Dalai Lama, had failed to find a suitable place. He decided to pray and on opening his eyes, he found his steed standing quietly on a hill-top. Considering this as divine intervention, he decided to construct the monastery there. It was founded in late 1681 with the help of volunteers from neighbouring villages.Several stories later, Lobsang Lama took us on a tour around the monastery complex. He lollopped along leading us first into the community kitchen. It was a whopping rectangular space housing behemoth cooking paraphernalia, churning out the daily fare for 400 monks since time immemorial. We then visited the library. Established in 1681, it houses an eclectic collection of priceless documents and religious texts.We ambled around the courtyard, soaking in the warmth of the simple, unpretentious people. Surrounded by misty mountains, the place seemed to have an eerie, ethereal quality. The senior monks diligently went about with the day’s work. The boy monks, clothed in their maroon robes, were a delight to watch. They were ever so slightly tempted to break into a run or leap in the air but seemed to be bound by a subdued restraint. The two of us made an amusing spectacle, one making copious notes, the other clicking incessantly. The history of the place was almost palpable; every stone seemed to have a story of its own.We strolled around before arriving at the most intriguing and gorgeous main temple called Dukhang. A delightful fragrance filled our nostrils, warm and fresh and flowery all at once. A soft glow from the butter lamps illuminated the interiors in a mellow light. In this half-light came alive a plethora of deities, elaborate mural paintings and thangkas (scroll paintings of Buddhist deities), all steeped in antiquity. And presiding over the pantheon of deities was a colossal, richly gilded statue of the Lord Buddha in a striking yellow robe. As we stood transfixed drinking in the celestial splendour, Lobsang Lama, in his cherubic smile, beckoned us inside.The interior of the Dukhang was a visual treat to savour; the colour story was a rich mélange of red, gold and bronze all glamorously woven into a rich palette of objects. We came across a group of young monks poring over a rectangular board with intricate motifs in vibrant colours. We learned that they were designing mandalas to decorate the seat of the Lord. An ardent attempt at dredging out their modus operandi soon revealed how pebbles were broken to dust and colours added to prepare the paint. It was then painstakingly blown through a pipe called ‘chap’ to carve out intricate designs. It was a unique affair in concentric circles – an avant-garde piece of art sure to appease the gods.Lobsang Lama in the meanwhile was all set to embark upon an ecclesiastical elocution. To the left of the altar he pointed out the thangkas of Goddess Dri Devi, the principle deity of the monastery given by the 5th Dalai Lama. To its right he led us to the mural of the Maitreya, the future of the Buddha. We luxuriated in this convivial religious discourse until we almost stopped in our tracks-seeing the mural of Tara Devi and her uncanny resemblance to the many armed Kali. Within Tibetan Buddhism Tara is regarded as a Bodhisattva of compassion, the female aspect of Avalokiteshvara. Our minds kept going back to the striking resemblance to Kali. We kept asking whether somewhere down the line the Hindu and Buddhist cults had mingled.Lobsang Lama excused himself since it was time for the boy monks to pray. We found our way back but were taken by surprise by the stream of boys rushing vigorously through the door. The Dukhang was instantly transformed into a sea of maroon robes. The Lama proceeded to the altar while the novices did their customary genuflection. The collective chanting began.The sonorous tune from the gyaling pervaded the surroundings. Some of the starry-eyed denizens stole furtive glances of the two visitors. They seemed to be quite perplexed with our taking notes and clicking a million photographs. It was time for us to break away; we expressed our gratitude to the benevolent monk, mumbled a last prayer and quietly slipped out. As we strolled downhill we felt the reverberating chants echoing through our minds and leaving us addled in a surreal intoxication.
If Shangri-La conjures up images of a hidden paradise, happy folks, mellifluous chants floating in the air and mystical monks absorbed in prayers then Tawang is that fabled land. Traversing hundreds of kilometers across mountainous terrain we had arrived at Arunachal’s piece-de-resistance - the Tawang monastery. Aptly named Galden Namgyal Lhatse, meaning celestial paradise, it is surpassed in antiquity only by the temple at Lhasa.It was a drizzly morning when we hauled up in front of the majestic structure perched atop a ridge and shrouded by a perennial mist. Here we were received by Lobsang Thapke, an senior monk. An elderly gentleman with a soft demeanour, his tiny eyes effused intelligence and compassion in about equal parts. Over the next few hours he unraveled a fascinating tableau of the monastery, his riveting oratory frequently interspersed with light hearted vignettes.
210 Kms from Ziro
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
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.
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!
We departed for Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. First thing first - Beware of the hugeeeeeeeeeeeee traffic jam!! My goodness, its a real problem! The jam extends from the city main to the outskirts and you have to sit and kill time. A journey of 2 hours took us 5 hours to complete! The journey was quite soothing until the jam. Bizarre sights of food are available all along the way. The local sellers are seen trading live birds, bee-hives that are supposed to contains baby bees which forms edibles are some preparation, bamboo shoots, chillies, long and narrow brinjal etc.
Nagaland Land of the tribal people. Free spirited, beautiful people
106 Kms from Ziro
Best time to visit - NA
Dibrugarh is the passage to Arunachal Pradesh. You will get all varieties of Indian, Mughlai, Chinese, mainland and nearby foods in this excellent town.Dibrugarh Airport is one of the most seasoned airplane terminals in eastern India furthermore the easternmost non military personnel air terminal of the nation. At present this airplane terminal has night landing facilities furthermore the administrations of two aerobridges. It is the third air terminal in eastern India after Kolkata and Guwahati air terminals to have the administrations of aerobridges. There are couple of good bar cum restaurents accessible in the town, for example Little royal residence, H2O, Studio 69. They ordinarily give both beverages and food. The traditionally made rice brew called Hanz is remarkable beverage in the district. It is prepared by normal aging procedure, and an uncommon sticky rice called bora is utilized to give an one of a kind sweet taste.Read More
Dibrugarh is the passage to Arunachal Pradesh. You will get all varieties of Indian, Mughlai, Chinese, mainland and nearby foods in this excellent town.Dibrugarh Airport is one of the most seasoned airplane terminals in eastern India furthermore the easternmost non military personnel air terminal of the nation. At present this airplane terminal has night landing facilities furthermore the administrations of two aerobridges. It is the third air terminal in eastern India after Kolkata and Guwahati air terminals to have the administrations of aerobridges. There are couple of good bar cum restaurents accessible in the town, for example Little royal residence, H2O, Studio 69. They ordinarily give both beverages and food. The traditionally made rice brew called Hanz is remarkable beverage in the district. It is prepared by normal aging procedure, and an uncommon sticky rice called bora is utilized to give an one of a kind sweet taste.
Dibrugarh, AssamYou know how you crave that cup of tea to start your day, or at the end of a long hard one, or sometimes, just to wake up? Forget all of that. Welcome to Dibrugarh, the Tea City of India. Take a Tea Tasting tour and open your senses to the taste, the feel and the fragrance of the beverage your day depends on. Besides this, find exotic flora and fauna at Namdapha National Park or visit the Tilinga Mandir (also known as The Temple of Many Bells) for little adventures that the quaint town offers.
I landed at the Dibrugarh Airport to kick-start my journey. Dibrugarh is renowned as India’s tea capital. The finest tea in the world is grown here. This place essentially lies in the neighboring state of Assam with a few parts falling in Arunachal Pradesh. Dibrugarh is home to miles and miles of tea estates and the lush greenery brings many tourists here. There are a few national parks and botanical gardens to explore like the Jokai Botanical Gardens and the Saikhowa National Park and some Vaishnavite temples as well. This is one of the highly urbanized places, with universities and decent transport facilities. One of the few places in this part of the country where you can find a decent internet connection.
After two days at Mon we drove to Dibrugarh which was 200 kms or 7 hrs away. Situated in the northernmost tip of Assam, Dibrugarh is the gateway to Aurnachal Pradesh. Famous for tea, it has world’s largest area covered by tea gardens. After the long drive, all we could do is rest and prepare for the journey ahead.
The house was full of memorabilia, books, curios that spoke of a life dedicated to understanding and finding out about little known people that had hitherto been ignored. A peek into the life of an anthropologist was what ignited the initial spark. And it was Ashok who then fanned the spark as it was he who told me that I would find the Apatanis interesting. And interested I was.
Ziro is a quaint old town in Arunachal Pradesh, home to the Apa Tani tribe and famous for its pine hills and rice fields. The Apa Tani tribe is a unique Arunachal tribe and one of the rare ones that are not nomadic in nature. They cultivate wet lands and were famous for their facial tattoos; practice of the latter is stopped recently.The best time to visit Ziro is in January in order to experience the ‘Murung rituals’ of the Apa Tani tribe or in the month of March for their ‘Myoko rituals’. There is a ‘Dree Festival’ from 4th to 7th July each year where the Apa Tanis sacrifice animals to the God with the belief that the Gods will be pleased and the region does not experience famine. The agriculture season from February to October are considered unique and are known internationally. There is a famous Shiva Lingam at a few kilometres from Ziro town which attracts a huge number of devotees every day.
This tiny town is slowly picking up pace and becoming known in north-east India. Ziro is all meadows covered with rice, bamboo and wheat fields with the mountains overlooking it. The mist settles in the valley by evening and lifts by early morning, making the scenery look enchanted! To get to Ziro is an adventure in itself; Ziro is remote, exotic and off-beat, rugged travelling! Best for backpackers who are looking for new places to explore.The nearest airport is in Guwahati and a flight from Guwahati to Lilabari takes one hour. From Lilabari, you can take a taxi to Ziro (123 km). The nearest railway station is in New Jalpaiguri (NJP) (811 km).
If Arunachal Pradesh has not made it to your travel list, you must think about some edits on that list. Ziro Valley hidden in the heart of this North-Eastern State would take you back in time and give you a lesson on the self-sustaining strength of the tribes in this area. Read Gauraang Pradhan's account of Ziro.
To describe in words what awaits you in Ziro Valley would unfailingly be an understatement. Repeatedly hailed as one of the most landscapes on the planet, the fertile valley is a mozaic of nature's most vibrant colors. Punctuated by smiling faces of the native Apatanis people, the valley is an unexplored mountain paradise.
A world heritage site this picaresque town in Arunachal beckons the thirsty traveler yearning for novel vibes. I haven’t been there as yet but from what I’ve heard the grass couldn’t be more greener than the egg blue skies. Again pure in essence and structure the town is ancient and is home to the Apatani tribe. Its trippy coz if you’re constantly living in the city amidst concrete and cement then you must takeoff to this pristine clime and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul all at once. Nothing can match the greenery or the beauty of Ziro. It’s still untouched.
On finally reaching Ziro, we first tried to locate Mr. Tatu, but found later that the name was quite common in these places and we would need more information if we're to find the Mr. Tatu we wanted in particular. However, an elderly lady came to our rescue and pointed us in the direction of someone who seemed to be the right Mr. Tatu, as by the lady's account this man had traveled a lot and spoke Hindi and English. Mr. Tate turned out be to be a kind and very helpful person. He convinced us to stay with him and later showed us around his fields, telling us stories and introducing us to others who we then learned more from.
Located 1500m above sea level, the rich culture and the local agricultural practices of the local Apatani tribe has earned the Ziro Valley the prestige of being a UNESCO heritage site. One of the oldest towns in the state, it is surrounded by mountains making this valley a refreshing mixture of beauty and diversity. The local tribe here grows rice and rears fish. The Apatani's respect for their land is evident in their use of it. Their farming is not destructive and they do all they can to preserve and protect their land and resources. The tribe has its own style of architecture with houses raised 4 ft form the ground and mainly constructed out of bamboo and timber. Unlike other tribes of this area, the Apatanis are not nomadic. Ziro is also popular for hosting the Ziro Music Festival every September.
The next day we drove to Ziro - the land of Apatani Tribes of Arunachal. Here we visited the Hong Village. We then explored the Apatani villages and Nishi tribal Village which are not too far away. The uniqueness of the Apatani tribe is tattooing on the women's face and their nose plug. Apatani, like other tribes also believe in sun and the moon as god and have traditional altar in their home made up of Bamboo and Cane. After a whole day of exploring we spent the night at Ziro.