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Nishant Sinha – Founder of ChaloHoppo Shares His Travelling Stories to North East India

“To travel is to live” – Hans Christian Anderson Travelling is something that most of us want to experience but not many may be ready for the real adventure. Hence, only a few experience the thrill and the challenges that fall in the travel trails. Today, we introduce you to a wanderlust and his wonders of wanderings.   Meet Nishant Sinha, whose Instagram profile says ‘”I am one of the cliches of our generation who have quit their jobs to travel and live for today” Nishant is a travelling enthusiast and the founder of ChaloHoppo, a travel company that offers tours to the North East region of India. Today, he chats with us about his travel stories, and the people of the region have given him wonderful memories. Hi, Nishant. It is a pleasure to have you on board. You seem to be exploring North East India a lot, looking at your instagram feeds. Would you like to tell us a bit about yourself and your profession? Currently I would call myself a tourism entrepreneur who is focussed on …

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Faces | Kids Playing Badminton on a Cold Snowy Morning in Lachen Village, North Sikkim

  “This photograph was shot in Lachen*, North Sikkim. It was captured around 6:30 am on a cold January morning – just after Lachen had received its first snowfall (this winter). The Lachenpas woke up to see their village blanketed with snow. The two children in the photograph are little Lachenpa girls playing badminton early morning. Snowfall to these kids mean snowball fights, building snowman, running around and throwing snow at passers-by … fun times.I attempted to capture images of these raw expressions that a snowfall in Lachen usually brings. This was also a festive occasion because the community was engaged in celebrating cham dance at the gompa. So the general mood of the village was that of celebration and playfulness” ~ Mayalu Mesh (@thesikkimese) *Lachen is a picturesque tourist location in North Sikkim with just about 100-150 households. Temperatures in Winter months (Jan-Mar;Oct-Dec) fall below zero degrees, and the entire pine-clad village gets covered in snow. Lachen serves as the base for some wonderful treks in North Sikkim.

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“My Trekking Experience to Dzükou Valley, Nagaland” by Wati Pongener

One fine Saturday, we bumped into an old friend from college days and as we got talking about how our life has progressed, we (obviously) had to mention Roots and Leisure. She was pleasantly surprised to know that her seniors from college in Ahmedabad (us! :)) are the ones behind the growing community; she has been following us for a while now. She got really excited, and immediately offered to share her own travel story with the R&L readers. Wati Pongener had made a recent trek to one of the most beautiful local attractions in Nagaland – the Dzükou Valley* “The air in Dzükou was so fresh that I could not help but think if I have been breathing wrong my whole life  – before that moment! Every time I inhaled lungful of air, I imagined myself being cured of all the diseases from years of breathing polluted air.” (*Dzükou valley is situated at the border of Nagaland and Manipur just behind the Japhu peak. Its ecosystem could be classified as one of the last spots …

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A Quick Tour Through the Food and Craft Stalls At The Hornbill Festival 2017, Nagaland

The food, art and crafts stalls are a big part of Hornbill Festival; locals and tourists flock in to indulge themselves in some local food and drinks every year, experiencing the rich culture and traditions of different Naga tribes. The food stalls offer some delicious food items prepared by chefs who are ardent food enthusiasts themselves! For the arts and crafts junkies, the Bamboo Pavilion displays a variety of handicrafts, decor products, handmade necklaces, books by Naga writers, etc. for sale. Here are few of the MANY interesting stalls we came across this year at the festival. Chefs Asin Shurhozelie (Left) and Asen Jamir (Right) of ‘The Bowl’ welcoming visitors to their food stall at Kisama Heritage Village, Nagaland  Volunteers Paudwa Elunglung (Left) and his friends from the ‘Benreu Students Union’ preparing some mouth-watering barbecued food at the Kohima Night Bazaar food stall. Macramé (patterned lacelike webbing made of hand-knotted cord,yarn) curtains by Lem on display inside the Bamboo Pavilion stall at Kisama. The ‘LEM’ stall offers a range of beautiful macrame wedding backdrop products, home decor supplies like macrame wall hangings, hanging chairs …

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Fashionable People Spotted at the Hornbill Festival 2017 in Nagaland

The Hornbill Festival 2017 kicked off on the 1st of Dec in Kisama, Nagaland – officially welcoming the festive season! Amidst the excitement of the festival goers, the stall operators, the dancers and the tourists from all over the world, we spotted some really well-dressed people in the crowd – making the festival even more colourful!  Check out these fashionable locals spotted at the Hornbill Festival 2017!

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Discovering a New Love for Bird Watching | Ramthansiama Chawngthu, Aizawl, Mizoram

  Bird personalities vary from species to species and are always fascinating to observe. After years of work in the domain, hobby photographer Ramthansiama Chawngthu who is a banker by the day, took to Instagram to chronicle the rekindling of his appreciation and passion for birds. Bird watching is a rare hobby and one that requires boundless patience. There is also the intellectual challenge of trying to figure out what their orders or families are and recognizing them. “It’s not just passively sitting there and having a beautiful image thrown at you. You have to work at it,” said Chawngthu in a brief chat with the Roots & Leisure team. Tell us a bit about your work. I’m Ramthansiama Chawngthu from Aizawl, Mizoram. I work as a banker by the day and pursue nature photography as a hobbyist. I have a deep passion for bird watching and travel intensively across the northeastern India to shoot birds. Most of my photos, however, are shot on the outskirts of the city of Aizawl. I have found some really rare birds in …

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A Blossoming Crowd at the International Cherry Blossom Festival Shillong,2017

  Not long after the first International Cherry Blossom Festival pulled in almost 30,000 tourists from the nearing states to Shillong last year, Meghalaya yet again geared up for the second international cherry blossom festival. It was held at different locations across Shillong from the 8th November – 11th November 2017 to commemorate the cherry blossom spread through out the state. A quick look back!  The Himalayan cherry blossom grown wild in Meghalaya has long been associated with Japan. This annual festival is a reminiscent of the local heritage with its white and pink blooms all over the hills of Shillong. With around 5,000 trees planted along the Umiam Shillong road, Mawphlang and Ward’s Lake, the government of Meghalaya further targets to plant 20,000 trees by the festivals’ 50th anniversary. Day One of this years’ event kicked off at the 5th Ground, Polo Grounds, Shillong hosted by the Meghalaya Minister for Forests & Environment, Clement Marak. The opening day was marked by a pleasant painting and drawing competition followed by story telling, local folklore and fashion show accompanied by a great display of lights at …

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Unearthing Manipur’s Pristine Beauty at Biisho Village | Travel

  Biisho is a beautiful village of the Poumai Nagas in the district of Senapati in Manipur. The village’s soil is known to be very fertile as it sits on the banks of Barak and Darai rivers.  The village is known for its lush valley called Zhophao, which is a vast meadow that serves as a pleasant spot for backpackers to set up tents. The valley serves travelers with a perfect weekend escape to the hills and the rivers. With some pretty unique experiences hidden in its depths, Biisho is more than just a destination to experience waking up to mist ladened mountains. As you enter the village, you will be greeted with excited and beautiful smiles of the locals. On a lazy afternoon, you will mostly find the villagers nonchalantly sipping a hot cup of tea sitting on their porches made of bamboo or by the verandah. A sight that is only but a slight cue of the simple joys of life that the blissful village enjoys. Bissho was once explored by travelers far and few. The village has …

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Farmstay & Experiential Travel : A Dash of Heritage and Beauty with Palighar Homestay | Kalimpong

  “Oh! Heaven is a place on earth.” December is almost here, and most of us are feverishly looking all over the internet for a great winter getaway to usher the New Year. Well, aren’t you the lucky one today? Because we have found you just the right place to be at when you step into the first day of the coming new year.  PaliGhar is a countryside farm-stay that’s situated in a small town called Echhey in West Bengal’s scenic destination, Kalimpong.  Kabir Pradhan, the founder of PaliGhar homestay, tells us why PaliGhar is more than just “another hotel”, and how they’ve worked on keeping the place connected to its roots, heritage and culture without compromising the quality of comfort and service they offer their guests. Tell us a bit about yourself. I am Kabir Pradhan and am 32 years old. After completing my Bachelors in Commerce at Calcutta University, I realized that the subject didn’t interest me much. I then pursued a Post-Graduate Diploma in Travel & Tourism Management from the Indian Institute of …

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Badal On A Trip To Krang Shuri – A New Tourist Hot Spot in Meghalaya

Recently, my expedition took me to yet another unexplored site in the hills of Meghalaya. It seemed as if nature has blessed these hills with innumerable locations that travelers from afar get attracted to. Here’s how it began. After almost an hour journeying from Shillong towards Jowai, then taking another 45 minutes towards Amlarem, we finally reached our destination, Krang Shuri. A beautiful bliss of nature and a must visit for everyone travelling to Meghalaya. You would need to walk another kilometer or so to reach the location but on the way,  you can see the waterfall from a distance. My friend, who came along couldn’t resist taking a picture. From this place walk for about 5 minutes and you will reach the ticket counter. A minimum of ₹30 per person is charged as an entry free to Krang Shuri. Upon entry, we saw a huge crowd carrying their life jacket (for safety of course) heading towards a mini dam like structure where you could swim. We arrived near the natural pool and the first …