Tag archives for India

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


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


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


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


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

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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


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!


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.

To see more photos click here!


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.

To know more click here!


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