All posts filed under: Places Travelled

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, can be anybody’s long-nurtured dream of losing themselves amidst nature’s serenity. Located 20 km from Kohima, Khonoma is easily accessible and offers an unusual rural-Nagaland charm. 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 trip, while at the same time, a few tourist homes offering enough options for slow-travellers to spend a few days, or a week, in the village. 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 …

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 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 …

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 …

5 Must See Holiday Destinations In Kerala

Kerala holds enough charisma with its stunning beaches on the Malabar Coast, green patches of coffee and tea plantations in the east, and the many intertwining backwater canals that can be found all across the state. Rich in heritage, abundant in wildlife and tropical charm, Kerala will give you that relaxing, laid-back vacation, that you are looking forward to. And for some quick assurance, here are my top five hand-picked destinations in Kerala: Bekal: Located in the Kasargod district on the west coast of Kerala (about one and a half hour drive from Mangalore) Bekal boasts of many scenic attractions and an offbeat holiday experience. Attractions like the Bekal Fort, a feisty beach and calm backwaters moreover always add to the experience. Enjoy the sun-kissed beaches from Bekkal Cliff and coconut palms that sway in the breeze with a view of the emerald ocean on the horizon. And if you’re planning a short visit only, look no further than staying at Taj Bekal. Spread across 26 acres of beautiful open space, with an amazing view of the sea & backwaters, Taj Bekal is a visual delight. Periyar Tiger Reserve: Thekkady is home to Kerala’s largest …

How To Travel From Kuala Lumpur To Penang

Penang is one of those rare frozen-in-time places which connects centuries-old history with today’s modern lifestyle. It caters for the history buff and travel photographer but also nature-lovers. It’s one of those offbeat, yet popular places in southeast Asia, and Malaysia in particular, that has still maintained its laid-back vibe and an old town charm. In short… Penang is Amazing. And with that fact, comes the hard reality — soaring popularity and increasing tourist inflow. More and more tourists are travelling to Penang every day. The good thing is, however, getting to Penang is easier than one can imagine. You have options to choose from. The basis of time it takes to how much it costs, here’s my way of understanding how to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. If You Want To Travel Superquick, Pay Not So Much But Miss The Journey — FLY  Costs around 700 Indian Rupees (nearly 10 USD) — somewhere between what a bus and train costs. Quicker than both bus and train — total three hour travel time, with one hours flight journey and two hours for check-in and check-out. Unlike the …

Offbeat Destinations Near Manali For A Peaceful Holiday

The town of Manali, in Himachal Pradesh, is one of the top tourist destinations in Indian Himalayas. Its close proximity to New Delhi and Chandigarh is moreover continuously making it easier for the crowds to break away from the usual city-madness and experience the peaceful Himalayas. And with the upcoming 4-way highway, all the way from Chandigarh to Manali (with New Delhi to Chandigarh already having one) it is going to be easier than ever for people to reach Manali — meaning, Manali is going to get more crowded, more smokey and bustling with life in the coming years. Recently while travelling to Manali (long story short: I visit Manali and surrounding a few dozen times a year, while staying for a few dozen weeks. I know the place better than my home New Delhi) I realised that Manali isn’t a place I would want to travel to. And it also isn’t a place I would write a Travel Guide for — Things To See And Do In Manali! Not anymore! The idea of having a …

How To See Berlin In Less Than 6 Hours

Berlin is one of those few European towns that nobody should miss, especially if someone’s visiting Germany. There is art, history, culture, nightlife, an old town charm, fancy pubs — in short, something for everyone. In fact, there is so much to travel for in Berlin that you at least need a few days to explore it all. During my recent blogging trip with Germany Tourism, I ended up having less than 6 hours in the town, before I had to catch a flight to New Delhi. The good thing was, I had a Germany Tourism official (and I’d thank Mr Jens Becker again for this) travelling with me, who, before leaving, not only helped me locate the lockers in the central train station in Berlin, and buy a day pass for the public transport to save me time, but also created a personalised travel guide to cover the highlights of Berlin on a fast track. In less than 6 hours, I covered most of the highlights that Berlin had to offer. Though of course I still only skimmed through its skin, …

Places To See In Rügen, Germany

I’ve never been a big fan of beaches and coastlines. The open spaces around them and a dearth of activities — other than a few relating to water, and of a millennial romantic odyssey — scare me. So during my recent blog trip with Germany Tourism, when we were told that we are going to spend almost two days exploring the German island of Rügen, I was feeling more hopeless than ever. But as we escaped from the mainland Germany and made our way to Rügen, after quickly scanning through the Hanseatic town of Stralsund, I realised that Rügen was unlike any other island I’d visited before. There was more to see and do here than I could ever imagine. Other than a few white sand beaches, Rügen offered its own national park, historical towns and uncountable walking trails. No wonder, Rügen had something for everyone. Rügen For Everyone With its white-sand beaches; ghost-towns; canopies of oak, elm and poplar trees; charming architecture; and national parks, Rügen offers myriad options to enjoy your holiday. In its southeast, lies a …

Kühlungsborn: Germany’s Hidden Gem On The Baltic Coastline

Standing next to the azure sea and on a beach full of white sand, as I heard a continuous laughter of people in the background, I said to myself, “this is the kind of moment I would want myself to be locked in”… And no, I did not have to travel halfway around the world to get to such apparently relaxing location — just two hours from Hamburg. As I landed at Hamburg airport and greeted other bloggers and journalists whom I was going to travel with for the next few days, on a blog trip with Germany Tourism, I was excited more than ever. We were going to explore the highlights along the little-visited German Baltic coast — a part of Germany that promises beautiful architecture and some of the best beaches in Western Europe. And the resort town of Kühlungsborn, was our first destination. If you will look at a map, the coastline of Kühlungsborn, looks pretty jagged and rough, as though forcibly ripped from the sea. But when you reach there you realise that the water, in fact, cannot appear more serene and …