A 7 Day Gangtok and Darjeeling Itinerary You Must Do

A holiday in the North-East for the quintessential Indian tourist means going to the charm of Sikkim (actually just Gangtok and around) and Darjeeling. Even though things are slowly changing for good and people have started to look beyond, no north-east destination comes closer to the Gangtok-Darjeeling duo as yet. Nestled in the laps of lush green mountains and snow-capped peaks of the Eastern Himalayas, Gangtok is one of the most beautiful state-capitals of India. Darjeeling, the queen of hills too, is equally mesmerizing if not more. Not to mention the quaint little towns spread all around and the to die for views from them. And then there’s the mighty Kanchedzonga which overlooks the entire region. Who would not want to go there, no?

Kanchedzonga from Pelling

Kanchedzonga – Photo from Shutterstock

If you too have fancied a trip to this part of the country, let me suggest you some things to see in Gangtok and Darjeeling. … continue reading

Reality of The Tea-Gardens of South Assam

The things that come in the mind when we talk about Assam are the vast tea-plantations, spread through acres and acres of inclines on the numerous teelas that are so common in this part of the country. The green carpet that flows smoothly from one teela to another with snaking narrow roads passing though them. Primarily grown in the region which known as Upper Assamthe tea has been the identity of the state since a long long time. More so because all the big brands of the tea-industry grow, process and sell (and export) their variants of assam tea from this region. The Southern part of Assam hardly has any big brand to boast of. That however does not mean that there are no tea-gardens there.

Tea-plantations in Silchar

Tea-plantations in Silchar, Assam

Tea bushes thrive under hot and humid climate and the southern part of Assam, just like upper – Assam, provides just that.… continue reading

10 Travel Photos Of 2015

The year 2015 has been pretty exciting in terms of travel for me. It has been a year of at-least a couple of interesting firsts for me besides visits to places I had never thought I would be visiting any time sooner. I was hoping to squeeze-in one more trip somewhere in the unknown this long weekend before I come-up with this post but sadly, that could not happen, all thanks to the flu that the changing season seems to have brought with it. Having said that, there’s no point brooding over something that did not materialize. Instead, let me share with you some moments from my travels in this year which is only 6 sunsets away from becoming part of history.

borail hills silchar haflong road

Beauty of the Borail Hills

The Borail Hills: Even though I was born and brought-up in Assam (which still is my home) and not far from the Borail Hills, I had never had the opportunity to venture into them and experience them up close, save for once as a child.… continue reading

Through the Borail Hills

Even though I had spent the first twenty-two years of my life not far from the laps of the Borail Hills which overlook the Barak Valley, I had never had a chance to visit them up close. The reasons were many. From trivial ones like really bad roads to the serious ones like having to cross militant-infested areas. Over the years however things have gotten better. The militancy in the region is now non-existent and the road that connects the region to the rest of the country is it a much better shape than it used to be few years back. The fact that this road is part of the East-West corridor, the largest ongoing highway project in India, has definitely helped in this aspect.

The east-west corridor just out of Silchar

The east-west corridor just out of Silchar

I had decided to ride up to Haflong, a beautiful hill-station in the Dima-Haso district of Assam in March this year.… continue reading

In Pictures: Memoirs of the Dooars

It was almost a decade ago when I had my first tryst with the Himalayas. It was my first college trip with friends and this was when my love affair with the mountains and the Himalayas in particular started. I have already mentioned this in one of my previous posts (Happiness – Glimpses from the past) briefly so now let me share a few glimpses from that first memorable trip of mine to the Eastern Himalayas. However, before I begin let me request you to excuse me for the terrible quality of photos that are about to follow. Those were times when all I had was a Sony Ericsson K750i mobile phone in the name of a camera.

On the way to Tsomgo Lake - Gantok

On the way to Tsomgo Lake – Gangtok

It was the first time I was seeing and travelling through snaking mountain roads.… continue reading

Photo story: A kingdom in Ruins

The raj baari of Khaspur or the royal seat of the last Kochari kings as it is called, actually the ruins of it, lie some twenty-five kilometers from the town of Silchar, the district head-quarters of Cachar which got its name from the Kochari (or Kachari) kingdom. In my last post Khaspur – A kingdom in ruins, I shared a glimpse of whatever now remains of the once rich kingdom that was known for its brave warriors, the raj baari of Khaspur and places around it. In continuation of the same, I share few more here, of the remains and places around it.

borail hill village

The Borail hills in the background

With time (and of-course without any proper care from the archaeological survey of India) most of the architectures have come to be in very bad shape and sadly, it just seems to be a matter time when we lose these few standing witnesses of history, just like we lost the others.… continue reading

Jatinga – The village and the mystery around it

Many times over the years I have heard about this small hill town called Jatinga nestled somewhere on a ridge of the Borail hills in the Dima Hasao district where, on dark moonless nights, birds come to kill themselves! To be honest, whenever I heard anything about the bird suicide in Jatinga thing, I always took it with a pinch of salt until one day, I decided to google it up. To my surprise I found that all of it was actually true and even more surprising was the fact that quite a few renowned ornithologists too have tried to actually find out the reason behind the birds committing suicide there.

Jatinga Bird watching tower

Bird watching tower – Jatinga

I felt like an idiot for having never believed anything about a phenomenon which has been happening since the past 100 years!!… continue reading

Khaspur – A kingdom in ruins

About twenty-five kilometers from the town of Silchar in southern Assam, lie the ruins of one of the most powerful kingdoms of its their times, the Kachari kingdom, also known as the Dimasa kingdom.

Not much is known about the origin of the Kachari kingdom which was established in the thirteenth century and was finally annexed by the British in 1854 but legend has it that that they were the off-springs of Ghatotkacha, the son of Bhima.

 ruins in Khaspur

The Chandi temple – Khaspur

During start of their rule, Dimapur (capital of present day Nagaland) used to be the capital of the kingdom which was later moved to Maibang in Assam before finally being moved to Khaspur (locally known as Rajbari, meaning the King’s palace).

Khaspur, where the ruins lie scattered inside the Pathemara Tea Estate is easily accessible by narrow but good enough roads.… continue reading