North East

The seven sisters as they are fondly called are the group of states comprising the North Eastern region of India. The states are Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura . This region is a true frontier having a long international border shared with four countries. Since time immemorial, it has been the meeting point of many communities, faiths and cultures. North East is renowned for its magical beauty and bewildering diversity with each state having distinct culture and traditions. Nature creates an enchanting and romantic atmosphere in winters when mist carpets the valleys and swirls in hills during summer rains. The monsoon brings heavy rain, and thunderstorms sweep across the hills, valleys, powerful rivers, plains and dense jungles.
Each state is a travellers paradise providing fascinating insight into Natures marvels and there are numerous wild life sanctuaries and national parks sheltering rare animals, birds and plants. Besides this the states provides great scope for angling, boating, rafting, trekking and hiking.

Days Out in Brahmaputra Valley-Nameri & Tezpur

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I have seen elephants so many times, fed them bananas, saw Mahout riding them and heard their trumpeting, but that sound was not like trumpeting. It was more like roaring of tigers or lions that I heard in zoo. So I was not at all convinced with the judgement of Jainul Abedin. I thought it’s better to keep my eyes open and brain in action for own safety, especially because we were accompanying by a forest guard with a very little on field experience. But he was at the helm and we needed to follow him. A single man with a 3not3 rifle, GOD knows, if loaded or not, the ratio was 5 of us to him. He suggested Kamal and Prakash to move ahead of him and me, Chandra & KKD to follow. We were moving cautiously and quietly. It was a serious situation, no animal was visible yet, only the heart shaking rumbling sounds. We all were trying to escape somehow and were following each other’s steps. Jainul was looking confident to handle the situation, he pointed towards the bush to spot some wild elephants hiding there. I immediately made up my mind of running zig zag in case of an attack. They were growling loudly and we all were maintaining absolute silence yet moving forward. . How could I not click a snap of them? I looked through the lens, not sure of how much could I zoom in. But before I could click Jainul pulled me and virtually taken away from there. He cautioned, “Are you carzy? Elephants will not spare, if caught.” He forced me to go fast to catch my friends who were far ahead by now. I did in the end catch up with them and we did escape safely. It was perhaps Jainul’s quality training that enabled him to be alert on time, identify the noise correctly and handle the situation brilliantly.

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Ranka Monestry Gangtok

Sikkim : A mystic land

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Sikkim is a truly mystical land, a confluence of advancement and mysticism. It is India’s least populated state, hosts Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest peak,…

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Days Out in Brahmaputra Valley – Nameri National Park

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“Moromi”, in Assamese means “a loved one”. She was looking at me with her pretty eyes. I could not move further. I felt like I was caught by her looks. First time ever, I felt for a deer like that. It was a love at first sight, if that exist at all. I came close to her, spread my hands for a hug and it was gracefully accepted by her.

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Days Out in Brahmaputra Valley- Learning Bihu

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People gathered here in huge number and many had already occupied the chairs kept under sheds circling the field. Others, like us, who reached here late, were trying hard to get a convenient place to watch the jubilant youthful passionate Bihu dance. I found my place in the middle of crowds. But some tall youths, who were blessed by the GOD with such a sterling heights, suddenly came and stood in front of me. They were standing like a monument and my visibility to the field came to an end.

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Majuli – The Island of Dancing Monks

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The half a dozen shopkeepers were honking to sell their wares. You can reach, Gharmur, the largest habitation in Majuli by bus, shared taxis or own cars. One of the Sumo drivers, constantly tailing us offered us a ride to “ME: PO OKUM” (which means happy home); our abode for the night, for Rs. 500. Considering the distance of around 15 Kms, we found it acceptable. Passing aside the small creeks, lakes and water bodies, we reach the market center of Majuli, which has a number of shops selling all kinds of goods. It is surprising that despite being connected to Jorhat only by three ferries plying in a day, the modernism has reached there, with the setting up of medical centers and educational institutions. Housing too, has segued from traditional bamboo and mud construction to ones made of concrete. There are ATMs, shops selling electronics, Airtel and Tata Sky outlets and what not. We picked up some eatables for the young ones and some cokes, sodas and bakery products for our use.

Me: Po Okum is an eco camp located at Chitadar Chuck village in Majuli. Haren Narah, the owner of the camp received us with a big smile and guided us to three cottages reserved for our stay. The camp has 10 cottages including a large one. All these cottages made of bamboo; thatch and wood have been raised on stilts around 4 -6 ft. above the ground, probably to mitigate the fear of floods during the monsoon. The camp looks like a group of traditional huts around a small mustard field. The cottages have attached basic western toilets with some basic supplies.

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The grandeur of the North-East – Kaziranga National Park

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The manager of the resort, Avik a young man in late twenties met us at around 6 p.m. and told that he has firmed up the arrangements for Maruti Gypsy, which would take us for a safari from the East Point of the park. The resort has a policy of not serving any eatables in the cottages. Hence the family assembled in the “Minivet Pelican” dining hall, which is open from all the sides and is located in front of the cottages and amidst the tea plantations. A couple of drinks followed by a dish of butter chicken and yellow daal, gave us adequate impetus to have a good sleep.
The Gypsy reported at 7.00 in the morning and after a quick breakfast we headed for the park. I being the oldest was given the seat next to the driver, while others accommodated themselves in the open rear portion. The driver introduced himself as Arun Deb. He did his high school education at Jorhat and after doing some odd jobs, bought a second hand Maruti Gypsy and came to Kaziranga. During the six years driving in the park, he probably knew all the better viewing points.
We reached the Park Administrative Centre in Kohora, which has three tourist routes under its jurisdiction – Kohora, Bagoti and Agaratoli. The park area is divided into four ranges. The four ranges are the Burapahar, Baguri, Central, and Eastern. They are headquartered at Ghorakati, Baguri, Kohora, and Agoratoli, respectively. The Park is open from November 1 to May 15. Only light vehicles are allowed on the park roads. You can book the Gypsy or take your own vehicle too, which needs to be accompanied by a representative of the forest department. At the gate one has to register and obtain an entry permit.

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Gateway of South East Asia – IMPHAL

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The old Fort is damaged but a lot of new construction has come up in the Fort. ‘Kangla’ was the ancient capital of Manipur from the ancient times down to the year 1891 AD.

Inside the fort there is an old Govindji temple, temple was closed & it seems that now no body offers prayer there.

After that we went to visit new Govindji temple which is not very far from the fort.The famous temple of Shree Govindaji is one of the prime attractions of Imphal. This Hindu temple has the deities of Hindu gods, Radha and Krishna Govinda.

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Shillong, Meghalaya – the abode in the clouds

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We were told by the locals that surprisingly in Cherrapunji it rains mostly at night. Thus, the day-to-day activity is not really disrupted by the rain. 
However, the irony is that despite perennial rainfall, Cherrapunji faces an acute shortage of drinking water, and the inhabitants often have to trek for miles to obtain potable water.

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Murti Kolakham (A treat for your five senses)

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One advise to anybody booking WBFDC Murti Resort. Please make sure while booking that they are booking the rooms in the First floor of the resort and not the ones on ground floor, which are horrible. There are four large AC rooms on the first floor named Tista, Torsa, Murti and Jaldhaka. The rooms are well furnished with a big attached balcony where you can sit and enjoy the calmness of the environment around with only the gurgling sound of the ever busy river Murti.

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Rise Above the Clouds – Cherrapunjee

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Ever saw the clouds above and wonder where do they come from and how it would be to rise above them? You must pay a visit to Cherrapunjee, the place we knew as the wettest place on earth. (It may no longer be the wettest one but it can do wonders for you if you are looking for a quiet and adventurous gateway but still not in the mood of suddenly discovering your next door neighbor vacationing in the same spot). We just came back and I thought I better write it down and pay the place its due it truly deserves.

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