Wandering around North-East India in December 2016

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December 2016 was marked by the third tour to the 'wild' North-East India. The group was very composed and we were able to do everything as planned and even more:) We had a lot of beautiful moments. We wandered into a distant village on Majuli island where local people literally ran to see us; an elephant was assisting his family to cross the road in Kaziranga National Park; we were lucky to reach an old palace near Shivsagar right before the sunset and had just enough time to explore the labyrinths of rooms inside — that was the first time the group had enough time to make it that far! It was also the first time for my group to see the tea factory while operation — unfortunately we were not allowed to take any photos inside but I will remember that wonderful tea smell forever. I liked Shivadol temple in the morning and a talk to the pandit there. I liked the amazing sunrises on Majuli island and also our bamboo huts at the pond in the paddy fields. And an ancient temple ruins we saw on the way to Nagaland. A merry crowd at the Hornbill festival. And I remember the faces of my ladies at the market in Shillong — they finally satisfied their passion for exotic things and strong desire to 'be closer to the people'))) Lastly we were welcomed to the amazing landscapes of Meghalaya. One of the ladies separated from us here for an individual 2 day journey I prepared for her. The rest 4 of us went trekking into a canyon near Cherrapunji. These places are some of the best discoveries of my traveling life. I was happy to share this beautiful experience with you!

P.S. I have to admit, this tour was not easy for me — because of the notorious money reform in India started in November, because of misfortunes and accidents in the lives of the people close to me. But during the hard times one finds real friends (or realizes that some of the friends are real people, worthy people whom one can rely on
). It was my great luck to see that I have many good friends! I'm very grateful to them. Thanks to them I could settle the troubles beforehand and I with my group didn't face any money issues during our tour. Everything went very well!

More photos here!


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trip → Miracle Land of Gujarat in November 2017

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Ahmedabad — Patan — Modhera — Bhuj — The Great Rann of Kutch — Mandvi — Dwarka — Junagadh — Sasan Gir — Somnath — Diu — Palitana — Ahmedabad

 October 28 — November 11, 2017  
Gujarat is a hidden gem of India, where almost no foreign tourists go. This is the homeland of probably the most famous Indian in the world — Mahatma Gandhi and also the current Prime-Minister of India — Narendra Modi. This is the land where the civilization flourished for more than 5000 years. The land where Krishna used to rule, where the most ancient and magnificent temples of Somnath and Dwarakadish attract pilgrims even today. The largest salt desert in the world, The Great Rann of Kutch, is located here as well. There are austere mosques, white marshmallow Jain temples and fascinating step-wells with bás-relief covered galleries vanishing in the distance. Asiatic lions, crocodiles, wild donkeys and blackbucks. Bright coloured textiles and heavy embroidery of the Kutch tribes. These are two unforgettable weeks in the land of miracles!

--- Play hide-and-seek, frighten the bats and watch the details of the bas-reliefs in the passageways of Gujarati baoli-step wells in Ahmedabad, Patan and Junagadh.
--- Enjoy tribal dance at the Great Rann of Kutch.
--- Climb the sacred mountain of Jains along with hundreds of pilgrims in Palitana.
--- Drive the empty roads of the ex-Portugese colony Diu on a scooter and swim in the Arabian Sea.
--- Track lions in the national park of Sasan Gir.
--- Pray to Shiva in the temple of Somnath and to Krishna in the capital of his ancient kingdom Dwarka.
--- Walk around the shops with beautiful ethnic textiles in Bhuj.
--- Feel the glowing eternity of the salt desert under the full moon at the Great Rann of Kutch
--- Drink strong milk tea from the saucers Gujarati style.
--- Indulge in the delicious sweet Gujarati thali)).

Itinerary with photos and price


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trip → Mystery worlds of North-East India in December 2017

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Guwahati – Kaziranga National Park – Majuli Island – Shivsagar and Assam tea plantations – Kohima and Hornbill Festival – Shillong – Cherrapunji – Guwahati

 November 25 — December 9, 2017 

You will not see a single UNESCO world heritage architectural monument on this trip. And most probably not a single foreigner. We will see alternative India — absolutely different. To get the idea how DIVERSE and BEAUTIFUL this land is. We will enjoy the nature and get to know the 'real' people, tribal people — their lifestyle, beliefs — that’s the main point of this trip. We’ll go to the farthest North-East of India — the land between Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh. We’ll see 3 out of 7 ‘sister’-states located here — Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya.

—Tribes with strict patriarchy and matriarchy living side by side.
—Rhinos emerging out of the fog just before the dawn and birds soaring above the Brahmaputra waters at the sunset.
—Tea from famous Assam tea plantations — the most favourite of the British settlers.
—Bloody tantric cults of Shakti and music&theatre worship at the satra-monasteries.
—Living root bridges and the largest river island in the world.
—Hornbill — colorful tribal festival in Nagaland, the heaven for a photo-lover.
—Christianity neighboring shamanic cults and tribal chiefs authority inside a democratic state.

Itinerary with photos and price


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trip → Expedition into the hidden world. The Spiti Valley 2017

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Only for jeep-safari lovers ☺

Delhi — Shimla — Sarahan — Kalpa — Nako — Tabo — Dhankar Gompa — Key Gompa — Komik — Chandratal Lake — Vashisht — Naggar — Delhi

 July 1 — 15, 2017  

End of the world. Spiti Valley, together with Ladakh, was once a part of Tibet but now it remains mainly beyond the reaches of a tourist map. This incredibly beautiful region with extremely harsh nature is cut off from civilization by snow which blocks the roads for most of the year. There is no airport here, only bad roads with mountain passes of over 4000 m.

The moon like landscapes. The naked mountains are devoid of refreshing green cover of trees, and because of this ‘nakedness’ the layers making the earth’s crust become visible — they are all broken, smashed, and pushed up while these mountains were created. One can feel with their skin, on a physical level, the energy and the might of the Earth.

Here and there the eyes can find tiny blocks of simple white washed houses, which constitute a harmonious part of the landscape. They are like tiny bread crumbs on a tablecloth of mountain slopes — so easy to just shake them off…

Russian spiritual seeker and painter, Nicolas Roerich, was passing through these lands during a horse expeditions he organized in the search of mystic Shambala. Having visited this region one realizes why the mountains are of violet and blue color on his paintings.

Dalai-Lama has said that it’s here where he is going to retire one day — far from the vanities of the world. Having visited this region one realizes what he means by ‘far from the vanities of the world’.

1000 years ago when Buddhism was persecuted by the authorities in Tibet, it was here where Rinchen Zangpo — the Great Translator of the buddhist texts into Tibetan — spread his teachings. This was where he founded many monasteries and was born to a new incarnation and nowadays he is the head of the Key Monastery.

Itinerary with photos and price


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Walks in the Himalayas of India in May 2016

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A very nice company came to travel with me this May. It was the first time that I had met men who have remained close friends for more than 35 years — since they were at school! That is even longer than I have been alive in this world, so it was very interesting and inspiring for me to see such an example. I created this tour program especially for them. We spent 10 days in the Himalayas. There were a lot of walks in nature — sometimes across wild slopes without any trails. We had lots of good talks over tasty food. The experience would not be wholly authentic without bumpy jeep rides on mountain roads — we couldn’t avoid the rough roads even though we tried our best :). The weather was mostly nice and sunny during our travel! We only had a couple of, somewhat, rainy days. Good fortune allowed us to witness how the gods of Kullu valley were socializing with one another. It was lucky of us to visit some of the holy places in the region, soaking in their vibrations, to be invited to a traditional Himachali house and, finally, to join a bunch of Hindus constructing a temple for a night bonfire and Bhajan-song session at the altitude of 3000 m. It is my belief that the trip was well worth the effort and my guests were all able to peek into the mysterious souls of the Indian people.

More photos here!


trip → Mystery worlds of North-East India in December 2016

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Guwahati – Kaziranga National Park – Majuli Island – Shivsagar and Assam tea plantations – Kohima and Hornbill Festival – Shillong – Cherrapunji – Guwahati

 November 26 — December 10, 2016 

You will not see a single UNESCO world heritage architectural monument on this trip. And most probably not a single foreigner. We will see alternative India — absolutely different. To get the idea how DIVERSE and BEAUTIFUL this land is. We will enjoy the nature and get to know the 'real' people, tribal people — their lifestyle, beliefs — that’s the main point of this trip. We’ll go to the farthest North-East of India — the land between Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh. We’ll see 3 out of 7 ‘sister’-states located here — Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya.

—Tribes with strict patriarchy and matriarchy living side by side.
—Rhinos emerging out of the fog just before the dawn and birds soaring above the Brahmaputra waters at the sunset.
—Tea from famous Assam tea plantations — the most favourite of the British settlers.
—Bloody tantric cults of Shakti and music&theatre worship at the satra-monasteries.
—Living root bridges and the largest river island in the world.
—Hornbill — colorful tribal festival in Nagaland, the heaven for a photo-lover.
—Christianity neighboring shamanic cults and tribal chiefs authority inside a democratic state.

Itinerary with photos and price


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Exploring North-East India in February 2016

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This was the second time we went wandering around North-East India during the winter of 2015—2016. It was so delightful!!! Words are not enough to describe this beautiful experience. The group felt very friendly and comfortable with each other since 3 out of 4 guests came to travel with me for the second time. We were having fun with elephants, rode bicycles, swam in waterfalls, fought leeches, tried home-made rice beer, listened to fascinating sounds of subtropical jungles and communicated to so many different people — unbelievably different in 3 individual worlds of Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya. I want to thank all the travelers. It was great! Thank you!!!

Check out more photos here!


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Wandering around North-East India in December 2015

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‘Wild’ North-East India feels dearer to my heart with each time I go there. The people are absolutely wonderful. The nature’s beauty is fascinating. This relatively small territory encompasses unbelievably different realities, sometimes even contradicting to each other, but the most amazing aspect about this region is how it has very little in common with the general image most of us might have of India. That is what I like most about it; that is what I admire — India allows people to be the way they are. These people are ‘tribal’ aboriginal people, but they were never moved to special reservations. No one tried to eradicate them, which was generally the case historically of some ‘civilized’ countries. They were allowed to remain as themselves, having been given a special status in the constitution of India. Of course, today’s progress and economic development can be seen everywhere and globalization is slowly penetrating this region as well, but, nonetheless…I’m happy to see them going their way all by themselves.
And, meanwhile, we go our way! This trip was important for me as I was presenting these places to someone else for the first time, and I am especially pleased that my first guests for the new tour were real men who tolerated all minor difficulties as they presented themselves. Many Thanks to Vladimir and Dmitry and because of them there were no worries and no fears even when we discovered a couple of human scalps on the wall in our guest house ;).

Check out more photos here!


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trip → Mystery worlds of North-East India in February 2016

north-east_3

Guwahati – Kaziranga National Park – Majuli Island – Shivsagar and Assam tea plantations – Kohima and Sekrenyi Festival – Shillong – Cherrapunji – Guwahati

 February 20 — March 5, 2016 

You will not see a single UNESCO world heritage architectural monument on this trip. And most probably not a single foreigner. We will see alternative India — absolutely different. To get the idea how DIVERSE and BEAUTIFUL this land is. We will enjoy the nature and get to know the 'real' people, tribal people — their lifestyle, beliefs — that’s the main point of this trip. We’ll go to the farthest North-East of India — the land between Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh. We’ll see 3 out of 7 ‘sister’-states located here — Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya.

—Tribes with strict patriarchy and matriarchy living side by side.
—Rhinos emerging out of the fog just before the dawn and birds soaring above the Brahmaputra waters at the sunset.
—Tea from famous Assam tea plantations — the most favourite of the British settlers.
—Bloody tantric cults of Shakti and music&theatre worship at the satra-monasteries.
—Living root bridges and the largest river island in the world.
—Sekrenyi — colorful tribal festival in Nagaland, the heaven for a photo-lover.
—Christianity neighboring shamanic cults and tribal chiefs authority inside a democratic state.

Itinerary with photos and price


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To welcome the God at one's home

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One of these days Vashisht and Shiva — the gods from Vashisht village, Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh — were invited to visit one of the village families at their home. An ordinary family invited the gods for a puja as a thank you for making their wish come true (nobody said what wish though). In the evening they arranged a feast for all the village, everyone was invited. So I went too.

To see the full story click here!


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