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RootsandLeisure_HornbillFestival2017

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 …

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Travel | Cluster of Age-Old Monoliths Amidst the Hills of Meghalaya

What exactly is a monolith ? Why are they there in the first place? With these questions in mind I wandered off to look for answers and got my reading glasses ready to do some research. The word monolith comes from the Greek word “monolithos”, derived from mono (“one” or “single”) and lithos (“stone”). I begin my exploration in the hub of all monoliths in Meghalaya, Nartiang village in the Jaintia Hills district. It is the place to start if you are looking for a rocky site full of traditional memories and hidden stories. They call it the “Monolith garden”. These monoliths are said to be a testimony of a sovereign strength. They are a symbol of tradition in the Jaintia Hills among the “pnar” tribes. It is said that these monoliths were erected to mark the reigns of the erstwhile Jaintia king. There are folktales to explain the existence of these ancient monuments. Looking for these stories was the highlight of my mini research. I always wondered on how the monoliths came to be in such …

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Land of Mystical Tales, History and Folklore | Longsa Village, Nagaland

For the lover of ancient culture, tradition, digger of history and folktales in you! Longsa – a picture postcard village, some 29 kms away from Mokokchung town, is hugely popular for its deep rooted cultures and traditions, shrouded with myths and mysteries, echoing rich poetry of the time millennium folklores. Definitely a place that you need to visit once in your lifetime, if you still miss your grandma’s fantasy stories! Lovely natives, stories of the village and of course, its beauty, are some of the key highlights of this place. It was recognized as a Green village in 2006 and is the only Ao village on the other side of Dikhu river. By any chance, if you happen to be a huge historical buff then this might be the place for you to escape to. Visit the Koralong stone that sits at an altitude of 1521 m above sea level, about two kms away from Longsa village. On a clear morning, you can see the Himalayan mountain ranges from here. A sight to behold. Awatsu is a …

RootsandLeisure_ZunhebotoNagaland

Of Rustic Delight and Living | Zünheboto in Nagaland

Imagine this. A rustic hillside town nestled within lush hills, with views of spectacular sunrises every morning, blue skies and clouds nestled between hills all day, and vibrant hues of sunsets to end the evening. Lush green forests, freshwater streams and rivers in almost every direction; sounds like a nature lovers dream come true right? And if you’re someone, looking for such experience, then we just might have the perfect place for you. Let’s take you on a journey to the mighty land of warriors- Zünheboto, which also means “hilltops of Zünhebo”. The name of the town comes from ‘Zünhebo’ flower, which abounds plenty in the area. The town is nestled around some beautiful villages, which offers a treat to your eyes as you get to witness interesting attractions cornered all around. Definitely a place to get you exhilarated and makes you wonder why haven’t you visited this place earlier? But better late than never, right? So, how about a visit to the Ghosu Bird Sanctuary as a startup activity? Here, every dawn break, all …