Diwali

That is how we celebrated Diwali — my owner's family and the only foreigner left in the guesthouse apart from me. The doors are wide open — we are waiting for Lakshmi to come. As soon as it got dark the daughter-in-law went to paint Lakshmi's footprints on the steps and the sons lit and arranged the candles everywhere around the house so that Lakshmi could see where to go. I don't know though how Lakshmi is not afraid of all these crackers. There are heaps of the paper from them everywhere in the morning.

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The Konyak Tribe in Nagaland

Konyaks occupy the territory close to both sides of the Indo-Myanmar border. These photos are taken in the Mon province in Nagaland, India.

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The Konyak people have a reputation of being main head hunters in Nagaland. I'd like to believe that now they hunt only animal prey. These are hard to be seen at all, by the way — I have neither seen a single bird in the sky, nor heard birds' chirp even once for the whole week I was there, in the countryside.

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Naga houses in Mon province, Nagaland

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The houses are usually large and are divided into 2 sections each of which would have a fireplace. One section can be described as common area where everyone can enter and spend time as they wish. The other section is for the family. Family kitchen and bedrooms (if they are separate) are located here. This is where women reign and entrance here is restricted. All of the following photos are taken in the common section of the house. One can see fascinating wood carving work. It's not found in all the houses, only in wealthy ones. They're also decorated with buffalo sculls — to indicate the social position of the family. If they cut a buffalo it means they have shared it with other families which they can afford.

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Once upon a time in Nagaland

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Once we were taking photos of the kids jumping over a horizontal bar in a Nagaland village. They were really good at it. It was the first time I saw children playing such a game. A group of men approached us. The usual conversation began — what is your name, where are you from... Have you seen how the naga people smoke opium? No, we haven't. Do you want to see it?! Why not))

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A Naga Man about Women

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— The problems start when the woman starts earning money, — said our local guide at Longwa village in Nagaland, that is right next to the Indian border with Myanmar. He is a pleasant young guy, well-educated. He came to this village from the town and teaches English at the local school. Then he dwells on the topic how a man is the the head of the family and a woman should sit at home and keep silence. I tried to reason with him that it's not like that everywhere, that there used to be matriarchy. Even now, for example, in Bhutan, women are the owners of the land and when they get married it is a man who moves in to live with his wife's family. My friend got angry and obviously didn't believe me. What I didn't know is that the described social order is a norm in the neighboring Meghalaya state...

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A Day in Kullu Valley

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Khirganga

Khirganga. The Ganges of milk rice pudding 'khir'. Such is the name of a wonderful natural hot spring at the height of almost 3000 m in Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India. It really compliments the beauty of the surroundings. Imagine just what it would be like to observe this serene beauty while soaking in the hot water... Such a bliss. Totally worth trekking up here.
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Magic Meghalaya — Jumanji world or Hobbit land?

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Meghalaya («the abode of clouds») — one of 7 «sister-states» in North-East India. It grants lots of unforgettable experiences: from wandering in nature's lap to heart-to-heart talks with the Khasi people.

Enjoy my photo-story of Meghalaya heaven here


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trip → Mystery worlds of North-East India

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

 November 28 — December 12, 2015 

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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