The Reality about the People of Nagaland.
It is not unusual in my country to be discriminated for being different. Traditionally, India has always soaked in anyone from any background who came here. Religions , linguistics and every other form of social categories have always found a belonging in our country. So even after huge masses of immigration happened through out centuries , and everyone found a home in India, from time to time , we are be fooled to believe they were merely invasion. Not going into that discussion , as history is all about assumptions , yet we can see our ignorance as even in present times, we keep discriminating people of our own country for their different way of life. Here , from my experience I will try to light the true nature of Nagaland , as far as my experience of being their in my travels and tours.
The Nagas , refer to a cluster of tribes that belong from the northeastern states of India. To be told a fact , even outside Nagaland , Naga tribes spread in other states of Arunachal , Manipur , Assam and Mizoram. This tribes came into light under the British occupation of the region in late eighteen hundred. The origin of this tribes are disputed , as no strong historical evidence can be put forward to claim the source. However , at present there are 16 official tribes are inhabitants of the political region of Nagaland. English being brought in by the British with Christanity went a long way in bringing this tribes together. The ever warring Naga trives are now coexisting together for its development and in a quiet content way of living. They have reformed their practices , such as hunting into newer ways of economical avenues, saving the fine balance of nature and mankind. Being tribes, they always lived on hunting , and their ancestral accesories are all made of mostly tiger or leoprad claws, bones or skins of bear or deers found roaming in the wild, Bird feathers and meats are also quiet common for beautification and survival. However, with modern age , hunting has stopped , and they have conserved their forest for eco tourism to bloom and form the path towards a brighter future.
Being tribes, the people were very close to nature from there ancient days , and even now that can be seen in their general lifestyle. That dependency to nature and subsequent caring for it with utmost respect is what NAGALAND might inspire the rest of India to do. Almost all villages and tribes have a self sustainable living here. They depend highly on the nature that surrounds them. Wood from the forest , herbs for medicines or wild fruits to make wine and food is still a huge part of living in the modern Nagaland.
In ancient times, every tribe was almost at natural war with each other. Head hunting was a famous practice, where in , when two tribes met on battlefield, the winners would decapitate the fallen, and keep their heads or skulls as prize. These were awards to show the strength of a tribe and people. This practice is bygone now, and no more carried out. With modern social rules coming in, the tribes have found a cooperating existence among each other. Even though their languages and rules and laws , still differ, they adhere to the rules built up by the government. This is the proof , that if people are intending enough with good will , they can exist in peace. The Nagas known for their fierce battles and being warriors are also caring and happy family people, if you look closely. This myth , that Nagaland is only about soldiers and war , will soon perish as more and more travelers head there to see this beautiful culture.
Even though , in terms of GDP , the tribal areas do not contribute much , yet in the form of visions, they go a long way. Almost all houses in Nagaland have sustainable living, They make their general needs out of things they can find in their surrounding forest. From cultivating fishes to fruits and vegetables, each family has its treasure trove in its own , in the Naga country side. While on the tour in Nagaland , the food we eat in homestay is generally produced with in the surrounding of the house or cultivated, or found in the jungles nearby.
That was the way they lived hundreds of years ago, and still do. It is of importance to learn and realize this super value of the Naga society. Their needs are not much , and generally adheres to things that can be found with in the grasp of their natural habitat. The people here know how to make things and utilizes there time in every kind of handicraft possible from natural products, leaving no after effect on earth. The question is, with the advent of high consumerism , till when they can hold to their satisfied living?
Nagaland can also be called a state , where the rest of India must look up to for some inspiration , to diminish its conventional patriarchal miseries. Its a state ran by female power mostly. The Naga family heir is generally the youngest daughter of the house, and yet mostly family feuds are rare here, since their is a benevolent atmosphere. The homestays, where I lived in ,were all managed by women and they did a tremendous job. The women are also very productive here , since they create every house hold things necessary in the homes itself, rather relying on markets. Optimum utilization of time and nature can be seen, which needs to be implemented in our modern lives as much as possible too. Being a feminine driven state , the vibes are much more peaceful and relaxed here.
Nagas are primarily a non vegetarian population. The meats vary from tribe to tribe , but almost every tribe depends on that consumption. They have a healthy cuisine with lesser use of salt , as per my personal observation , which also helps their strong built. Chilies are heavily used , and cuisines mostly have meat as its primary ingredient. There is a negative obsession with what Nagas eat , specially the meat they consume. For the rest of India it is borne of classical conditioning. This curiosity behind the obsession , rather than being genuine, can be termed as a product of ethnocentrism of the Indian society.
A lot of this acceptance , that everything of a culture and tradition is because of the Geo political situation of a region and place , can be seen once you visit and live with the Nagas. This acceptance can breed tolerance and help our diverse country in bringing the ever glorified unity we so boast about , just like the different tribes of Nagaland has successfully practiced for modern coexistence.
Let me know your thoughts if you have been to Nagaland. If not, do plan up once, and let me know if my article motivates you to do so.
As more and more , travel industry is driven by social media , most travelers choose their next destination from pictures of other travelers and friends over Instagram and such handles. While it is a good way to promote such places, this also does not keep the destinations elusive anymore. You are expected to have crowds of other people , while visiting such a place . Yet to the blessing of huge range of Himalayas , some hidden hamlets and villages still hold on to their exclusivity. They are yet not, too much famous, in their reputation, and I chose to list five of them , for those who seek to go beyond the known trails. Check out if you have been to any one of this.
TONGLU - WEST BENGAL
Falling on the border of India and Nepal , Tonglu is my personal favorite. With majestic Kanchenjunga , world's third highest mountain looming large on the background , this village has some mind blowing landscapes around. Its just four houses in this village and settled atop a hill , pretty isolated from the rest of the world. With the chilling cold temperature round the year , Tonglu is a respite for summer and heat always. In the winter , snowfall, makes it beautiful and cold in both ways.
Falling near Darjeeling , it can be reached by car or foot . For more information to plan a vacation here, ping me directly.
TSOKA - SIKKIM
The village is well kept secret of western Sikkim, and though the state continues to grow in its fame of tourism , Tsoka still holds on to its elusive characteristics of being unknown. Accessible only by foot , the nature is still raw and well kept here. For those of you , who do not want to hike , a similar village but accessible by road and transportation can be found in Yuksom , in the same region. It is of your choice where you want to venture. Addition to the beautiful nature, the culture here is Buddhism , and amazing food delicacies such as momos and Thukpa , adore the taste of locals. Also for travelers who might want to try Yak Meat and amazing pork dishes, this village can serve perfectly. To know more , of course, give a knock on me,
OSLA - UTTARAKHAND
Legend has it , that this village has a temple dedicated to Duryodhana , the leader of Kauravas , from the epic Mahabharata. And the residents of this village are some of his descendants. But as all legends are , there is no proof to it, and the temple in the village indeed beautiful and striking in looks, is said to be of Lord Shiva , by the local residents. The temple door only opens during the annual fair which takes place in monsoon here, and thus the controversy remains. Hidden in the North western frontier of Uttarakhand , beyond reach of any transportation, this village is also gateway to a lot of amazing hikes and treks. A little tricky and time consuming to reach here , yet the journey and destination , totally captivates the mind and heart of all travelers that dare to go here. To plan a trip here, let me know.
GRAHAN - HIMACHAL PRADESH
A lesser known village in otherwise very famous Parvati valley , Grahan , in my view, is the most beautiful village of the valley , yet very less frequented. May be due to its accessibility only on foot, and no transportation makes it elusive as it is. The village still holds true to its customs and traditions and houses constructions that are two hundred years or more old. Surrounded by green mountains with snow during winter , Grahan is perfect to spend week , just detached from the outside world. Lonliness can never crop in , as the locals are very friendly and mingling with them is very easy. Activities here would range from hiking around forest, finding amazing waterfalls to take a bath in on sunny day. Evenings to mingle with other travelers and smoke some of the best hash in world. Interested ? You know whom to connect for a plan.
ARU - KASHMIR
A very well kept secret of Kashmir, the Aru village has everything that defines the region of paradise on earth. An ever flowing Lidder river , flowing by its side and huge green meadows near by, to venture and walk barefeet , is magical experience. Respite to all those, who are not too keen, on hiking or walking, because this village has proper roads to reach by car and transportation. Hopefully , once the political turmoil in Kashmir cools down , you can plan your vacation here. The small wooden cottages , give a feel of times , and world of Lord of The Rings. Along with super helpful and fiendly locals , the village of Aru can surely win hearts in your visit.
There are many more such beautiful villages in every corner of regions of Himalayas. My list is here, on the basis that I have been to all this places , and have never seen, much Instagram post or a hash tag from this place.
If you know of such cool places or hidden villages, do leave the name in comment box, as I too , seek for more of such beauties.
A direct bus from Bangalore had taken me to Wayanad through the beautiful forest of Bandipur , and by the changing green from the traffic capital of India , I knew , Wayanad will be more than what is expected. Situated in the north east frontier of Kerala , the region of Wayanad , stays elusive yet. The end of the great biodiversity of Western Ghats , meets the civilization here. Of all districts in Kerala , Wayanad has the lowest population , which means more place for nature, and that is surely visible as you hop down from your vehicle here. Weekend destination for BANGALORE and Cochin people , Wayanad is generally more calm and easy in weekdays, and being a jobless vagabond, I chose that for my first trip here.
Nestled among the hills and hillocks , the great greens of Wayanad is feast for eyes looking for nature. As I made my journey here in monsoon , the green was more lush and the weather pleasant enough for me. Of course, the rain kept coming through out my endeavor , but then it was just water falling, so did not bother much. Wayanad region is made of small and big villages connected by its pretty road. The administrative head quarter is Kalapetta , and most buses drops or picks you up from there. A lot of hotels and homestays finds it place here , however , I chose my stay in a local neighborhood far from Kalpetta. Transportation is easy, with Auto rickshaws and buses plying , but walking the beautiful roads also help to experience Wayanad at its truest form. Getting a local homestay is better , as you get traditional food of the region and they help you to guide through for the most amazing spots of the region.
Staying in a local neighborhood meant experiencing their lives first hand. Wayanad famous for its fertile soil has a lot of farming all around. From Bananas to betel nuts , this farms stretch wide and far covering most of the landscapes. It is one of an experience to walk through them , as backgrounds are covered by pretty hills that surround them. Chembra peak , which is the highest in this region looms large at distance , and made up for a constant companion when I walked around. Trekking to the top is possible if not for monsoon season. I being mostly trekking and hiking mountains for work did not opt for that , though most travelers who have done it, recommends highly of it, Travel is a personal choice , so I leave this on your perspective best to choose.
However , do not miss the farm tours around. Just go in them and meet the smiling farmers and natives working here, My only warning , going around the fields, beware of snakes a little. Wear shoes always.
Banasura Sagar or the largest earth dam and reservoir was a good place to escape too. It is the biggest source of water and sustaible project being made out of earth and mud. It reminded me of the capability of the human minds. If it feels to procreate sustainable energy , surely that is possible. The people of Wayanad live and coexist with nature a lot. Every house is filled among dense green, and own plantations. Calm and peaceful way of living can be seen around , the elusiveness is also catered as it is not a hot destination as Munnar.
For next stop, I had chosen Edekkal caves , an ancient cave, where pre historic graphics and murals, made by our ancestors are found. To be honest, my heart , which was in search of a relaxed vacation in nature , was more happy to climb the hill and see the view from top , than the caves itself.
The most important of all plantations here, is the Coffee! The abundance of coffee plantation here, makes coffee as cheap as 10 INR, in every other shop, around the corner. Even the best souvenir to take back has to be the coffee powder. The homestay I stayed with, had their own plantation and I made sure to buy cheap powder from them , for the rest of my journey.
All in all , Wayanad will be highly recommended by me , for its natural and less crowded beauty. My super tips will be to visit in monsoon , when the whole world thinks Kerala is always flooded. Wayanad being on top of hills , is mostly safe of flooding, even though high rainfall is always there. And if you are more like me who enjoys just going around and observing things, rather than tick marking off the places in To-Do list , then definitely walk around the beautiful roads of Wayanad. Hop on any local bus , and drop at any point or part of road , you seem to find beautiful. Walk along with it. You can always use Google map to find your next destination or get a bus when you feel like it.
But those roads of Wayanad , are the things I miss most from my trip.
So if you are planning a Wayanad trip, let me know for advices. Also if you have been to Wayanad times and more , leave down your best memory from there. I am surely going to go back there and hopefully , might take up your recommendations. Happy traveling !!
Monsoon is the time of fresh start and rejuvenation, of lush green and game of clouds. And August - September marks the same season. The cotton candy clouds change into white monsters that fill up the whole sky and covers every space mostly. The villages are all green with dense vegetation all around and trees bear greener leaves with no patch of dust anywhere. It is therefore, in this months of August and September that many a traveler comes to see the Valley in whole different light.
It is a wrong notion that hiking isn't possible in monsoon. In Parvati valley , the trails might be muddy but they are beautiful none the less. The greener landscape makes up for forest walk a soothing experience. The clouds play hide and seek with the forest, as you can see in the above picture. This forest also known as fairy forest looks like a whole different dimension due to the monsoon clouds. Himalayan trails do not have leeches , which is a perfect excuse to hike through the clouds and forest here.
Dust which is generally abundant settles down in monsoon , which clean air and clear views. Homes look wonderful and the backgrounds make up for a ethereal setting. It does not rain through out the day , contrary to mass belief. In Parvati valley generally showers are heavy and spans for couple of hours , then the clouds just hold up settled in the mountain slopes. It gives us ample time to sit outside , play your music and enjoy this nature which can be only found in this valley. And if it rains at all , even sitting inside our hostel or homestay , sipping in coffee makes up for a good experience.
The monsoon means birth , and with the flowers , August September marks the season of apples and pears. It can be found everywhere , in every field and corner. While a lot of our time goes in picking apples from the orchards , you are spoil for choices as you try to pick the most delicious one. The fresh food makes up for our breakfast and snacks, and truly this is the secret of such a healthy body and mind, of people, who live in the valley.
Some of the most beautiful landscapes can easily be found in Parvati valley , the monsoon and its magic adds up to something more magical scenarios. The veil of clouds with fresh farm and dense forest makes up for views you can just sit and watch throughout the day. Since pollution is less , only clouds form the landscape veil, not smog or fog! With time to time , the sky also clears up, and some beautiful lights fall on the far off mountain ranges , giving us joy and a colorful evenings.
Hence, August September marks a good time to avoid the rush and see some magical landscapes of the valley , and it does not only mean monsoon and heavy rains, it means mixture of everything that is beautiful and paradise like.
A small weekend trip in August September here in Parvati valley will ensure you see all this with your eyes. Let me know if you are planning, so that I can guide you to see all the views in the pictures I clicked. Hope to see you soon in the valley.
I am considering that if you are reading this , you are either fresh out of school or going through college and have a dream to see the farthest corners of the world. Your friends partying in same old pubs and smoking parlors doesn't make much sense to you , and you find happiness in discovering a old heritage eatery , rather than going for shopping. If this description almost suits you , but you have not much idea how to begin the process of living your dream life , this post is definitely for you.
Here I have synthesized a list of seven super cool professions , that is most suited for students who want to travel the world and beat the conventional work options. Mind it , this professions are only for those who find content in uncertain adventures and want to live a life beyond the comfort zone. Also , all of the following professions are more practical in outlook than theoretical , so you need a lot of passion to shine in the field. Moreover . being very unconventional choices this industries are less competitive and not yet saturated like Engineering or Medicines.
So if you are just ending your school and not sure about what you might just want to do or study in college , this list is going to help you. And for those who are already in college , I urge you , its always best to change the road NOW than to regret far later. So if your current college course doesn't make any sense , change and take up any of the profession listed below for a life where you get to travel a LOT and for FREE , WHILE EARNING MONEY !
Lastly , I have compiled a basic brief on every profession and how is it like to be in that field. For detailed information about which college to apply for, or how to go about the procedure , you can always message me and my consultations are free as long as you treat me with a Ice cream when we meet.
1 . CHEF
One of the most glamorous profession of our times , a good Chef is in demand throughout the world , always. Work load is high in the fresher years as you learn the tricks of the trade , but as some time passes , not only you get to taste the luxury of the hospitality industry , but also you can leverage your professional skill for a work in any part of the world.
You can do a part time chef course ( Diploma ) from any hospitality university or hotel management school , or better go for a full time degree. A lot of good chefs after two years in the industry, get a chance to go on cruises over the Atlantic or Pacific, visiting countries and destinations that you dream of. So if cooking comes natural to you , I recommend you this!
2. Cinematography / Video-graph er & Editing.
All the travel documentaries or adventure movies that we see , depends on the team of amazing videographers and cinematographers that work in it. Needless to say , that had to go to those wild and extreme places to get those shots. Hence , this is a very useful profession to get yourself a degree or diploma in. A lot of good media schools are coming up where you will find the best options to start your mark, on this one. Editing skills on computer is a hard skill to learn , however , now a days , its compulsory for a videographer to learn the basics of it. With a good camera knowledge and editing skill you can leverage your skill to get free stays while you travel at most of exquisite and expensive destinations easily.
3 . TOUR GUIDE
This is the profession , I can vouch and tell most about , since this is what I do. A tour guide is not only a random local guy who takes you around a monument, but someone who shapes a whole vacation and tour experience for people. A Good Tour Guide is always in demand by Travel and Tour companies for rendering the best services to their clients. To put it in words , a tour guide is paid to Travel ! What more could you ask for. The initial days are hard with work on and off , but as your services get popular , you are even invited to work in different countries for premier high class clients. All of this is a reality since , I am living it. To start a career in tour guide , get yourself a course in travel and tourism college. A degree with good human communication and interpersonal skills is required if you want to make a name for yourself.
Another hot profession from the hospitality industry , bar tending jobs are one of the coolest in the world. Not only are you, the heart of the grand parties , but every one wants to be your friend obviously. You seem to have magic in your hands and you are paid well to have a great time. Same as Chefs , you can work in luxury cruises or big party destinations such as Thailand , Bali , Ibiza or summer party festivals all over the world. Alcohols are free , music is free , entry to best festivals are free and over it you get paid for it ! Sounds alluring ? there is a variety of bar tending school throughout to get yourself a degree and a diploma to start your journey!
A naturalist is someone who is an expert tour guide only for specific regions with vast amount of knowledge in its field. Naturalist mostly work for expedition companies or wildlife sighting tours. A naturalist might be expert on Tigers and work for big luxury jungle resorts or they can also be expert on Arctic weather and work for cruises that ply to Antarctica. Naturalist is the hardest of all the profession mentioned here. There is no direct course to become a naturalist, but ways to become one. You need to be an expert in geology or oceanology , or an expert on wildlife by studying zoology or attaining a research. Once you are an expert you are open to submit your knowledge to find a work in expeditions. Best suited for people who would love to work with animals and wildlife, or extreme earth conditions such as polar regions or dense forests of Amazon or African wilds.
Though it is hardest to build a profession as, yet , they are the most likely to work as direct employees for big companies such as Discovery and National Geographic.
One of the most saturated profession in the modern times, photography has its own glamour and high demand in every business and life styles. Even though saturation is high , work options are always in demand. Getting a degree or diploma in photography will help you an easy access to media industry. There are so many different choices of field in photography itself which you can master and make a name for yourself. If you are keen on travel and documenting or journalism , you must master street photography. If you like glamour , you can become a fashion and wedding photographer. If adventure is your call , landscape and wildlife is your niche to go to. Whatever field you choose , travel comes alongside with it all. A lot of you might be good with camera and call yourself an amateur photographer, but to work full time and make a brand for yourself a degree in this field is essential if not mandatory. A good photography school will not only help you with knowledge and technicality , but being mentored by right successful photographers help in networking and giving you a head start in this competitive profession. So try out for a photography school or media university to start on this.
7. Adventure Professional
This is again where I started my journey with after college. I had no idea about it 8 years back when I started, since this was just coming up. Today Adventure industry constitutes a major part of the booming travel and tourism sector, and has the most potential future growth. Having a adventure industry experience for me means , I will never go out of jobs since there are very less competition in it. So if extreme adventure is your calling , then becoming an adventure professional will be your blessing. Adventure professionals can be categorized in three fields , air , water , and land.
Air adventures consists of knowledge and courses on sky diving , para sailing or para gliding.
Water adventures consist of snorkeling , rafting or scuba or other water sports.,
Land adventures consist of mountaineering , trekking and hiking.
You have different adventure schools from where you need to get yourself a degree , since adventure is a high risk industry, most big adventure brands is likely to prefer candidates with a solid degree and proof of know how , in the field they are applying for. I can definitely guide you if any of you are highly interested in making a life outdoors. The perks of this profession is amazing lifestyle , a home in exotic places of the world and making a huge amount of fan and followers through your work. So if you have an inclination and want to start on this path or any of the above and need practical guidance and advice, don't hesitate to message me!
Lastly , when I was young and just out of school and through college , I rarely had anyone to know about this options and choices. Fortunately I always paid heed to my instincts and heart, and with my passion and hard work, I am a successful travel professional today. It is our duty to help any one of you , who might be going through same stress and anxiety of finding a right next step.
Life is an amazing thing and it gets better like wine as you grow older , and your adventure starts today , so push off those stress from less marks and entrance exams , there is a whole world of Travel waiting for you , and you can make a living out of it ! I am mostly available on my Instagram or Facebook to any of you who would require a help to start a profession from one of above.
Note from the Author
" Travel made me rich and free. Magic and miracles are true , once you wander on the roads to places different and divine. Sharing with you all, those memories and stories , and wishing you all , that someday you guys travel far and wide too. I am not a great writer , so ignore my grammar and spellings, read it with feelings, and you might just be affected with the wanderlust to hit the road"