Year: 2017

hor air ballooning in goa

Hot Air Ballooning

‘With bug eyes and my mouth wide open, I forgot to take photos for the first few minutes, just trying to absorb it all in, honouring every moment. Then I quickly remembered I’m a blogger on a mission, and I started to take photos and videos like a photography fiend — presenting to you a few clips from that person: You can also read about that experience, here: Hor air ballooning in Goa Subscribe to my Youtube channel, for more travel videos.

the town of Longwa in Nagaland

Visiting Longwa, In Mon: My Highlight In Nagaland

Want to explore rural Nagaland, and experience the life of headhunting tribesmen? Visit Longwa, in the district of Mon. Nagaland has always been a mystery to the outside world, with a very little being known about this as-often-termed ‘godforsaken’ place. Considered as the ‘wild east’ Nagaland is home to some 16-odd headhunting tribes, who, until very recently, valiantly fought off any intruders. They would chop-off their enemy’s head and ostentatiously hang it on the entrance of their house as a showpiece, with a simple belief that more heads one claimed the better is his reputation. And to tell you the truth, this was prevalent in many places in Nagaland until late 20th century, before the British missionaries came and finally turned the entire state into a big Christian community. Though of course, Nagaland, as we know it today, is only a remaining shadow of its once fierce self, and much of the south of the state has already been fairly developed, in the north, however, one can still find tribespeople in exotic attire who continue to live a traditional lifestyle (minus the headhunting ritual ofcourse). And in search …

Khonoma village Nagaland

Khonoma, Asia’s First Green Village: In Pictures

In the world of ever-changing realities, we all secretly crave for some stillness in life, and with that, for visiting someplace that has been technologically forgotten and kept isolated from the real world. During my visit to Nagaland, I ended up visiting one such place — the village of Khonoma. Often regarded as Asia’s first green village, Khonoma can be anybody’s long-nurtured dream of losing themselves into nature’s serenity. Located only 20 km from the popular town of Kohima, Khonoma is easily accessible. Readily available taxis (in Kohima) take around 500 Rupees per trip allowing tourists to visit Khonoma on a quick one-day or a half-day tour. It is, moreover, also possible to stay in the village, thanks to a few traditional homestays. What Makes Khonoma Special Rural Nagaland is beautiful and friendly. The only is, it doesn’t have the infrastructure for tourists — a prominent reason why many people visiting Nagaland return home without visiting anything beyond Kohima and other popular big towns like Mon and Mokokchung. This is where Khonoma makes a distinction. Despite a small …

Pfutsero Nagaland

Pfutsero: Visiting The Highest Inhabited Town In Nagaland

Somewhere not much deeper in Nagaland, as I took a sip of my morning tea (in the unsung town of Pfutsero) watching the clouds playfully swirl around the green-lush mountains, I heard my last night’s Naga friends lovingly tending to their vegetable gardens at a distance below. The mist descended heavily on our postcard village of Pfutsero, as a group of men approached me with their massive 14-inch grass machete knives, avoiding any eye contact. The valley echoed with the laughter of women and children. A periodic bwak of chicken was moreover noticably prevalent. This may not be the most beautiful place I’ve seen in the world, said a voice inside me, but it was surely something closer to that – where people live beautifully, eat well and be merry! The town of Pfutsero was never on my agenda, and well, neither were many other places I ended up visiting during my three-week backpacking trip in Nagaland. The biggest motivation for visiting Pfutsero was, however, the fact that it is technically the highest town in Nagaland and also the coldest. In …

hornbill festival in nagaland

Hornbill Festival: In Pictures

Where the stories of Nagaland’s impressive past and an immersive culture is unfortunately slowly dying today, the best way, at least for a tourist, to get closer to its people and their culture, on a fast track, is by attending the 10-day carnival of the Hornbill Festival. Celebrated every year, between 1 and 10 December, Hornbill Festival is where all Naga tribes (16 in total) come together and exhibit their wears, enact their daily life and re-create their energetic festivals at one place. Imagine spending a year travelling through rural Nagaland, witnessing their way of life and celebrations, and then think about bringing it all together in one go. That’s hornbill festival for you. And bringing The Hornbill Festival 2017 in pictures, all at one place, here’s what I have for you: A tribesman from Khiamniungan tribe getting ready for a performance, as he fixes on his helmet. Their traditional attires consist of bright red and bright deep blue coloured dresses, and the ornaments are made of cowries and conch shells Despite most of the tribesmen attending and performing at hornbill festival, being …

Hornbill festival kohima

Planning A Three Day Visit For The Hornbill Festival & Kohima

The land of colourful festivals, indigenous tribes, intricate art and craft, and strange food, Nagaland has always been a place of mystery and attraction for people. With over fifteen odd headhunting Naga tribes, this tiny bit of India, today, speaks for its once fierce self — the rare place that never saw a colonial raaj in its history, unlike the rest of the country. Where the stories of Nagaland’s impressive past and an immersive culture is unfortunately slowly dying today, the best way, at least for tourists, to get closer to its people and their culture, is by attending the 10-day carnival of the Hornbill Festival. Celebrated every year, between 1 and 10 December, Hornbill Festival is where all Naga tribes come together and exhibit their wears, enact their daily life and re-create their energetic festivals at one place. Imagine spending a year travelling through rural Nagaland, witnessing their way of life and celebrations, and then think about bringing it all together in one go. That’s hornbill festival for you. My Visit To Hornbill Festival My visit to Hornbill …

Nagaland roads

Driving In Nagaland: With Datsun redi-GO

Those having even a little idea about how I like to travel may well know that I have never been a group traveller, and when my travels are complimented with the comfort of exploring places in a guided tour and in a private car, things become even more uninteresting. But ever since I had a motorbike ride in Jammu with 60 other riders, I’ve discovered a completely different part of me — a part that occasionally enjoys the company of fellow-travellers, a part that sometimes appreciates the comfort of having a private vehicle. Overpowered with ‘that other me’ when an invitation with Datsun India, for a few days of drive in an around Kohima, in Nagaland, landed in my inbox, I said ‘why not’. And the next thing I knew was I was flying from New Delhi to Dimapur, with three other bloggers to explore Kohima, and the popular Hornbill Festival. Driving In Nagaland As I discovered, Nagaland is a part of India, yet vastly different from the rest of India in many ways. And the biggest of …

Top Tourist Places to Visit in Karnataka with Family

After travelling in India and abroad for more than two years, if there’s one thing I have learned it is that no other country in the entire world is as diverse and distinct as India. Every state in India represents a tiny country on its own. And Karnataka, lying in the southern part of India, is a beautiful example. In Karnataka, one can find the bustling cities like Bengaluru, get cosy-up in the rainforests (of Coorg) or experience royalty in the princely city of Mysore — from glittering palaces to rare national parks to ancient ruins, from beaches to yoga retreats to evocative temple ruins, Karnataka has something for everyone. And if you’re planning to spend a weekend with your family and friends, here are my top 5 destinations in Karnataka: Top Tourist Places to Visit in Karnataka The City of Bengaluru Among all the Indian cities, if there’s one name I had to choose as the best Indian-city to travel, then Bengaluru would be my first choice. Blessed with a benevolent climate and a …

solo female travellers

Safest Indian Cities For Solo Female Travelers

This post on safest Indian towns for women travellers has been written by a guest blogger, Purvi Kamaliya, who has been on her solo adventures in India for the past 4 years. She has been hitchhiking, camping, trekking, cycling and exploring the offbeat and unseen places around the country, while regularly articulating her experiences in her blog Travel Hippies. Speaking on the issue of women travelling and safety in India, this is what she has to advise. 8 Safest Indian Towns For Solo Female Travelers The safety issue is the first thing that comes in the mind of solo female travellers planning to explore India but according to me, such considerations are completely pointless as the crime against women exists everywhere in the world. You might need to be as vigilant in India as you need to be in any other country. I have travelled to the interiors of certain towns tagged as ‘unsafe’ and I realised that the scenario was completely opposite.  However, consider a few curious stares and creepy smiles common if you …

How To Approach Tourism Boards For Travel Blogging Sponsorships

Of late I’ve been fielding questions from bloggers and non-bloggers alike about how to score travel blogging sponsorships from tourism boards. So speaking of my experiences, of working with over 20 tourism boards so far, this is what I’ll suggest… But before anything, let’s understand a couple of things: Tourism boards are the government organisations responsible for the tourism of a particular town, or a country. A city may have its own tourism board, eg. Zurich city has Zurich Tourism Board, despite the country, Switzerland, having one — Switzerland Tourism Board. For a travel-blogger, working with a Tourism Board is as much an achievement as playing in the national team for a sportsman. The more you have worked with tourism boards, the more successful you will be considered as a travel blogger. Media Trips organised by Tourism Boards are called FAM trips, or the Familiarization trips. Now, if you’ve just started blogging and are struggling with increasing your readership and social media followers, remember that there’s no “magic number” when it comes to knowing when it’s the right time …