All posts tagged: Travel

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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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Faces | Traveling Like a Local In The City of Chiang Mai, Thailand

  “On a hot afternoon, my friend and I were wandering about and exploring the old city area of Chiang Mai. All we needed after walking around in the sun for a while was definitely a cold and fresh coconut drink. On our way, we spotted an alley with lots of graffiti wall art and a phone kiosk along the lane. To the locals, this phone kiosk might look vandalised, but to me, it was this super cool spot with an amazing aesthetic appeal to take a nice photograph in! Plus, my coconut drink seemed like the perfect prop to use in this picture to blend in with the city and get a real sense of the life out here. Why not travel like a local but take pictures like a tourist, right?” ~ Manki Lai, @ohmanki

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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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Faces | A Detox from Delhi Smog at the Ghats of Yamuna River

  “This is a shot of my friend, Emily, captured one beautiful morning around 5 a.m. at Yamuna Ghat in New Delhi. I love shooting portraits and exploring spaces with unique surroundings. My friends and I made this spontaneous plan to have a photoshoot at this location early morning. What began as an impromptu shoot ended up being a wonderful, fun experience. It was about an hour and a half drive away from the place we were staying. Devotees often come here early to bathe in the holy water and feed the birds. The birds you see behind in the picture are Siberian Seagulls. Hundreds of them migrate every year during winter season (between October and March) and flock across the holy rivers of Yamuna. We were told by the boatman that feeding the birds is often believed to bring good karma.  This was my first visit to Yamuna Ghat and it was truly an awe-inspiring sight watching the seagulls swivel around the rivers as we fed them, while riding on our boat. That was the exact moment I captured this photograph! The ambience …

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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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Man of Many Passions | Jonathan Dkhar from Meghalaya

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” — Oprah Winfrey If not for passion, how else can we gather enough energy to pursue all that our heart longs to do. Jonathan Dkhar, from the hills of Shillong seems to have figured that out. He is a lawyer by profession but has many passions – he is a biker and a musician; he plays as a session drummer for two bands : one a progressive metal band called ‘Dwar’ and another a heavy rock/ metal band called ‘Akhia’. His energy in turn inspires many to live each moment with passion. Here’s a chat with Jonathan Dhkar to understand why and how he juggles many interests. Hi Jonathan! Tell us something about yourself. I have lived in Meghalaya my whole life , and I am currently working full time as a lawyer.  As a part time activity, I play the drums with a couple of bands here in Shillong. I also love going for long rides on my bike and exploring the …

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Amelia takes us to the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

See elephants as they should be seen at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. R&L’s newest contributor Amelia from the UK (and based out of Thailand), takes us on a virtual tour to this beautiful elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She shares how she enjoyed her day out in the wild, spending quality time with the rescued animals in their natural habitat, and relished her Thai vegetarian buffet lunch. Thailand’s Northern Province of Chiang Mai is an incredible place to see wildlife, boasting an array of exotic animals that are specific to the region. But what separates the Elephant Nature Park from the rest is its commitment to the welfare of the elephants – a movement against keeping elephants in confinement for human amusements. There is no riding here and each elephant’s needs are individually assessed and prioritised. For those intending to visit the park, the itinerary, travel details, and cost set out below is what you can expect from a one day tour. Itinerary: The day begins with elephant feeding, visitors stand on …

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Travel | Exploring Shilloi Lake: Nagaland’s Limpid Legend

The mountainous regions of North East India appear in perfect harmony with the flora and fauna, picture postcard scenery inhabited by the indigenous tribes and communities always seem to leave an indelible impression with anyone who visits the region. The magic of this region is that, it steers you out of your comfort zone and offers a beauty so raw and untouched that your adventurous spirit feels at home in these hills and valleys. One such destination is the Shilloi Lake in Nagaland. It is the largest natural lake in the State. About 290 kms from the capital, Kohima, Shilloi Lake lies in the Phek district. It takes about 10-12 hours by road. The lake is in the shape of a human foot. The water body is surrounded by mountains, captivating skyline, greenscapes and wildflowers- A picturesque postcard image!  Perhaps, that is why it is often considered a traveller’s haven. Not only is the place a sight to behold but it speaks of an enchanting folktale that any local will be willing to feed your …

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Discovery of The Most Beautiful Cottage in Meghalaya | Maple Pine Farm

Surrounded by waterfalls that tumble down and pound on the rocks and hill, the rivers that susurrate tales of the tribes, the slopes that run craggy in places, gentle otherwise; meandering mountain roads, our contributor, Badal had started out to explore the South West Khasi Hills in Meghalaya when nature exposed her flawlessly fallow fragment – unsettling him in the most gratifying manner. Perhaps, the Japanese author, Haruki Murakami is right when he says, “Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.” Our friend Badal shares his experience of discovering a beautiful Bed & Breakfast guest house in the midst of nature – about 25 kms away from Shillong If you’ve ever visited Shillong, Meghalaya, what is the best thing you can remember? Waterfalls, hills, rivers, rain, cloud and what else? Well, one thing that’s heard of very often from this part of Northeast India, are the monolith and of course the sacred groves. If you haven’t visited, then that’s a must-visit. Exploring the South West Khasi Hills with Badal “My short expedition started …