|Millions Of Amur Falcons|
|Only Floating National Park In The World|
|Cleanest Village In Asia|
|The Double Decker Living Root Bridge|
North East being termed the Land Of Festivals is no mere understatement. During our stay, we attended three elaborate festivals that ran for days showcasing their indigenous games, culture, art, music, warfare, legacy, traditions and history. The festivals were a one stop shop for us to experience the culture of several tribes that have been living in this region since time immemorial.
|War Scenes From Hornbill Festival|
We experienced great hospitality from the locals, soaked ourselves in tribal traditions, were part of their festivals and celebrated it like ours. Many a homes generously opened their doors and hearts for us. In true village style, we traversed the country roads with friendly villagers, sharing seats with livestock and baskets of vegetables and fruits while gunny bags and bamboo cushioned our feet.
|Traveling With Locals, Like A Local|
|Authentic Manipuri Thali|
Their obsession with Sports is very promising. Their love for Football is evident by the sheer number of football fields that you can spot even in remote villages and these grounds just don't seem to exist, they are pretty much in use and you can see them play a game daily. And if you thought it is only Football that have them occupied, you are wrong, It were the people of North East who introduced to the world the game of Polo and now proudly host annual international tournaments.
|Capt Kenguruse Memorial Tournament|
|International Annual Polo Tournament, Manipur|
The people are not just friendly but very welcoming too. Among the very few tourists to attend Tokhu Emong Festival in Wokha district, we were welcomed with open arms and were invited to their community celebration and were treated with royalty. Our visit to Doyang was made possible all thanks to these kind and wonderful friends we made in Wokha.
One night we lost way to our hotel in Kohima, a kind family not only offered to drop us but also treated us to one elaborate dinner at their home the next day. During our stay in Mawlynnong, where one of us suffered from a sore throat, the old and kind couple running the homestay nursed us and took care of us like their own kids. All these instances moved us beyond words and we were filled with immense respect and gratitude for having the opportunity to meet these people.
|Eco Friendly Huts|
cannot even locate where a place from North East is on the map.
It is disheartening that many of our Countrymen call them names and are racially profiled. A geographical area that is very much a part of India is neglected. We Indians are the biggest racists and hypocrites who disrespect people from other parts of our country but when the same treatment is meted out outside India we cry wolf.
Amidst all this calm and beauty there is a bit of chaos and unrest. We were shocked and overwhelmed to see multiple massive Army carcade comprising of many jeeps mounted with automated weapons manned by bunch of smart, fit and able men and women of the Indian Army. They were completely covered from head to toe, we couldn't even see their eyes. We understood how lethal and professional our Army could be, tirelessly working to keep our Nation's interests and borders safe from internal and external threats. However, unfortunately events like Malom massacre have also happened under the Army's watch.
|Memorial At Malom Bus Stop|
This trip taught us to quit the habit of surrendering ourselves to commercialization and make memories and experiences rather than collect materialistic things. It also taught us to introspect on how we have done some irreparable damage to Nature and have been living surrounded by toxic environment, processed and contaminated food and plastic people. We really need to get back to our roots, start respecting Nature, consume healthy and chemical free food, breathe fresh air without the help of filtering masks. We have to be very thankful and content with what we have.
"You Only Live Once But If You Do It Right, Once Is Enough."