A day with the Apatani tribe in Arunachal Pradesh

Posted by & filed under India, Travel Diary, Tribes.

Vanessa Betts ventures deep into India’s remotest state to meet the Apatani tribe   For me, Arunachal Pradesh had always meant Tawang Monastery and nail-biting mountain passes, and it was only my second visit that I experienced the unique tribal culture of the central valleys. My boyfriend and I had a free afternoon in the… Read more »

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The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

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Starting at an elevation of only about 100m in New Jalpaiguri and rising to around 2,200m is the Darjeeling Himalayan railway – the world’s tallest railway network. Whilst the length of this track is only 78km long, the Darjeeling Himalayan railway (fondly know as the ‘Toy Train’) is a must-do for travelers to this part… Read more »

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Festivals of India

Posted by & filed under Festivals, India.

With so many festivals on offer in India, it isn’t hard to look beyond the more common ones to find a slightly different festival experience. Below is just a selection of some of India’s most unique festivals on offer to travellers.   Durga Puja – best experienced in West Bengal/Kerala Much like Diwali, Durga Puja… Read more »

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The Manikarnika Ghat of Varanasi

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For 3000 years people have gathered to worship on the shores of the Ganges in the holy city known as Varanasi. Overwhelming at times, Varanasi is the mystical centre of the Hindu world where every visitor can witness an abundance of life and death rituals. Pilgrims bathe in the Ganges to purify themselves via ghats,… Read more »

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Apatani: a distinct tradition

Posted by & filed under India.

Nestled in India’s northeast lies the little known state of Arunachal Pradesh. With a population of just over 1 million covering the state’s area of 84 000 km2 (an area roughly a third of the size of the United Kingdom), Arunachal is one of India’s most sparsely populated states. The population here is made up… Read more »

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Tawang: India’s largest Buddhist monastery

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At an elevation of 3300m in the state of Arunachal Pradesh is Asia’s second largest Buddhist monastery: Gaden Namgyal Lhatse or the Tawang Monastery. At least 400 years old and founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso in 1681, Tawang is one of the most important Buddhist shrines in the world. The monastery is significant for… Read more »

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Palaces and Fortresses of Rajasthan

Posted by & filed under History & Archaeology, India.

Translating to the ‘land of kings’, Rajasthan is India’s largest state and boasts a dramatic desert landscape. Until the British arrived, Rajasthan was divided into twenty princely states headed by Rajputs who safeguarded their luxurious palace with powerful fortresses. A ferocious warrior nation, the numerous leaders of this state ultimately spelled out their own demise,… Read more »

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Snake Boats of Kerala

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Measuring up to 140 feet in length and requiring 100 rowers to make them manoeuvrable, the chundan vallam, or snake boat, is considered one Kerala’s greatest symbols.   With a bow that rises five feet above the water level, the snake boat’s resemblance to hooded snakes has earned them this nickname. This particular boat’s legend… Read more »

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Nagaland’s tribal culture

Posted by & filed under Festivals, India.

Bordering onto Myanmar, Nagaland embodies the rugged beauty of India’s North East and is a wilderness of unkempt forests and rolling mountains waiting to be explored. The multitude of colours that fill Nagaland’s scenery can also be found in the state’s myriad tribes, which each have their own unique character and distinct customs. Running for a… Read more »

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