Some places we visit have this “out of place / out of time” kind of a thing. It is like everything is holding within a particular ethereal energy. Majuli Island always gives me this special feeling when I travel there. I am not sure wether it’s due to the abundant wildlife or because of the friendly and deep inhabitants.
Ziro Festival of Music is an independant music gathering happening every year since 2012 in Ziro Valley, Arunachal Pradesh. Created by Bobby Hano et Anup Kutty, the whole set-up is an eco-friendly initiative. It employs local bamboo artisans and is hosted by people of the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.
Ziro Valley Festival features a magnificient list of musical talents from India and abroad, with an amazing audience, ready to enjoy the melody. The festival has a rich combination of Indian music, vibrant culture and art.
The experience is immersive, balancing between the two stages, and eventualy to the third one, namely the food and beverages corner. Musical expression is rather eclectic and the program will transport you from traditional music coming from all over India and abroad to Jazz and Rock or even Rap.
Located in the Indo-Bangladeshi border, this village gained great popularity when it was adjudged the cleanest village in India in 2005 and cleanest village in Asia in 2003. Attracting tourists from all over the world, it deserves a blog post.
God’s own garden
Also known as ‘God’s own garden’, the Khasi community who reside in this village practice an eco-tourism initiative. The village is located 90 kilometers south of Shillong and offer natural beauty and a phenomenal view of the plains of Bangladesh. The village is known for its cleanliness and it is quite common to see bamboo bins outside every house. The locals have adopted the habit of picking up garbage, dead leaves and cleaning roads which has made the village look beautiful. The village also boasts of 100% literacy rate with most of the locals fluent in English.
My first connection with India’s spirituality was a book on Hinduism iconography that I bought many years in a small French bookstore long before my first trip to the subcontinent. Its colorful cover with statues of gods and goddesses with multiple arms and artefacts left a lasting impression on me.
I usually escape the suffocating summer of the plains to fly to the high plateau of the Himalayas but this year, I decided to postpone my Ladakh pilgrimage for a yatra of another kind. I already attended the Kumbh Mela twice (in Haridwar and Allahabad) and I was starting to miss the energy of such extravagant events. This year, I could not miss the Ambubachi Mela taking place in Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati.
I had heard of Mande Burung; the local yeti, mysterious caves and wildlife sanctuaries hidden in this unknown land that were beckoning me to explore it. I knew it was just waiting to happen, taking space in my mind and patiently waiting for the right opportunity. And one day, Paul my friend called to inquire about a one-week adventure bike trip in the North East. This was my golden chance for Garo Hills. I proposed him a road trip with me beginning in Assam riding into the Garo Hills and finally entering the Khasi hills at the south-west border. It was approved and met with eagerness and excitement.
This was literally an adventure trip planned by joining dots on the map, which is not at all an accurate geographical representation of this constantly changing landscape where nature and political unrest alter their border lines and topography every day. I used all my research and contacts to plan the trip in such a way that we ride through untouched emerald expanses and visit most highlights along the way.
Paul and I met in Guwahati, our starting point for the trip on the 8th of April 2018, to begin our much-awaited tour the next day.