Kasol village had come and gone with little to no impression. The narrow streets crowded with tourists, cafes and souvenir shops lining the road, numerous hotels standing upright between the road and the river – it could have been any hill station. But we were heading towards a different destination. So we went ahead on the meandering road enjoying the tall pine trees and the soothing river down below.
Then came Manikaran. A small pilgrim village famous for its hot water springs. The water is used for pious bath and apparently for boiling rice for the temple as well. For a small patch, the river was lined with houses and hotels on both sides surrounding the Gurudwara. We passed by quickly and stopped a little ahead where the road goes lower and crosses the river by a bridge. The water was cold and the landscape was charming. But we had farther to go.complete article
Finally my north-east trip was over and it was time for me to head home, or in this case travel to Kolkata. The journey was quite straightforward and uneventful. But still in order to give closure to the whole series I decided to write this piece. Even though the journey took me little over two days, I will try to keep it short. So here it goes…complete article
I reached Kohima late at night, at least late as per Kohima winter standard. First view of the city for me was from across the valley while seating in the back seat of a car driving towards the city itself. The hills were illuminated by the lights from the streets and houses. Even through darkness of night I could make out the outlines of the hills as it waved over the community of lights making a sort of roofing on top of them. Looking at the vastness of it one could tell that this was not a hill station, but a city built on a hill. And that fit perfectly with the agenda I had in my mind.complete article
Last night had been cold and painful. A chilly wind blew relentlessly across the field outside and poured inside through the countless holes of my bamboo cottage. On top of that, my leg muscles screamed their presence with rigorous aching, an aftereffect from the cycling earlier that day. My stuff were scattered across the room, some on the other bed, some hanging and some inside the almirah. I knew I had to pack. But neither getting out of bed, nor engaging my legs into any activity sounded appealing at that time. So I gave in and let myself fall asleep under two warm blankets. This morning, however, was sort of a miracle. I woke up feeling neither cold nor pain. I was as fit as I ever could be and the thick fog outside meant that the temperature had increased significantly. I got up, got ready, packed up and walked into the foggy morning outside to start off my long journey for Kohima.complete article
The first time I was introduced to Majuli, it was through a picture I saw somewhere. There was a local man standing with his oar on a small boat and driving it through a pond full of pondweeds. The plants were glossy green, the water reflected sunlight and the picture seemed just perfect. What I immediately found interesting about this place was how beautiful it was despite its simplicity. Or rather it was beautiful because of its simplicity. It was a village in India, it could be any village in India – almost untouched by tourism it flaunted a rural lifestyle wrapped inside its scenic beauty. And that’s what I wanted to find when I planned my trip. Needless to say, I was more than satisfied.complete article
Second destination on my north-east itinerary was Majuli, The large river island. I had to reach there on the same day after leaving Nameri, which meant travelling 230 km on land and 12 km in water. While this wasn’t my most tiring experience in this trip, it surely involved most number of vehicles. This is the route I took: Hotel – Nameri Bus stand – Charduar – Balipara – Tezpur – Jorhat – Nimati Ghat – Kamalabari Ghat (on boat) – Hotel at Majuli.
Here’s the full story…complete article
Nameri might not be a popular tourist destination, but it is well known to most bird lovers. This place houses many local and migratory birds, which attracts tourists and often photographers to this place throughout the season. I wasn’t fortunate enough to spot many birds during my stay, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this place and finding it absolutely worth it.complete article