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Old 13th May 2017, 23:28   #1
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Default Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Can not really remember since when did I wanted to visit the Nagaland and the Festival of Festivals 'The Hornbill Fest'. Well definitely from long back enough for me to have forgotten .'since when'.

Finally after being cancelled for few years was able to manage to attend the Hornbill Fest in 2016. And while we drove there, took the opportunity to throw in a visit to Loktak, Burma (sorry Myanmar, though personally I prefer Burma) border, stay in Khonoma (the strongest Naga Village) and a long pending trip to Kaziranga.

Few Teaser Shots from the trip.


Day 1: Night Carnival at Kohima

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Day 2: Hornbill Rock Fest

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Day 3: Hornbill Fest closing ceremony


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Day 4: Drive to Imphal

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Day 5: Loktak Lake

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Day 6: Drive to Moreh; the infamous Burma Border

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Day 7: Khonoma; the hidden village

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Day 8: WW II Cemetery Imphal

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Day 9: Kaziranga

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Day 10: Drive back to Guwahati

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Adding a jist about this memorable trip to the amazing North East and the events and places we covered in this trip. More details about the individual events and places would accompany the further posts...,

Day 1: Drive from Guwahati to Kohima. Lunch stop at Dimapur, had sumptuos Naga Cusine. Evening Visit to Kohima Night Carnival and Bazaar, again gorged on local delicacies.

Day 2: Enjoyed the Hornbill Festival, saw various tribal dances, beating of the Log Drum, Tug of War between various Naga tribes. Ate local Naga delicacies like caterpillars, pork, smoked Eels, Naga Chutney, local veggies. Avoided one famous one that is Dog Meat. Saw the final winners of Flower, Bonsai and Orchid Contest. In night rocked at the Hornbill International Rock contest's semifinal night at IG Stadium Kohima, had spicy grasshoppers which were great.

Day 3: Enjoyed the Hornbill Festival. Kids enjoyed at the children rides and activities today. Visited the WWII Museum at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama. Witnessed the famous Naga King Chili Eating Contest. Attended the closing ceremony of Hornbill Festival, with a great central bonfire, danced with all the tribes of Nagaland and enjoyed listening to live Christmas Carols.

Day 4: Drive from Kohima to Imphal.

Day 5: Drive to the Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Northeast, a unique wetland with floating island called Phumdis. Enroute transited through Moirang, famous for being the place where the Indian National Flag was first unfurled by Netaji's INA. Had lovely, great value for money and totally unique Manipuri Thali at a place run by all women of a family. Followed this up by a visit to Ima Keithel or Mothers Market, probably the worlds largest all women, rather all moms, run market.

Day 6: Drive from Imphal to Moreh and back. Roamed around and shopped at Moreh, the (in)famous border town at Burma Border.

Day 7: Drive back from Imphal to Khonoma Village via Kohima. At Khonoma, had a very enriching walk around the lovely village. Night stay at Khonoma.

Day 8: Drive from Khonoma to Kaziranga via Kohima. Visited the WWII cemetery at Kohima. Night Stay in Tents at Kaziranga.

Day 9: Early Morning Elephant Safari into Kaziranga followed by Jeep Safari in the morning slot and an evening Jeep Safari.

Day 10: Drive back from Kaziranga to Guwahati.


stay buckled, more on the road..

Last edited by YanTra Makto : 21st May 2017 at 22:19. Reason: as suggested, work in progress, not yet ready
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Old 14th May 2017, 00:58   #2
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Default Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill 2016, WW II trail and more

Day 1: Along the AH1



We were cruising along the AH1 or Asian Highway 1, which when completed will connect from European Route E80 at Istanbul, all the way till Tokyo. Well, for now I can not imagine as to how are border issues at Iran-Afghanistan, Afghanistan-Pakistan and Pakistan - India will be tackled. But for now in India what we have going is the India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) road corridor and technically can drive up till Singapore if not more on it.

Asian Highway One

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Well followed the usual route as shown in Google Map

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These sections of the road are good

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and these are BAD

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with only this around Dimapur being okay

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Lovely Drive

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Mining the sediments brought in by monsoon drench

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Odd Shot

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The North East have abundance of nature in addition to the richness of culture. Rare migratory birds, Ruddy Shelducks aka Brahminy Ducks seen from the highway itself.

A pair of Ruddy Shelducks

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Khau break at one of the homely line dhabas

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One for the road

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Utilizing the multipurpose Khats

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Along the highway one comes across these stalls of lovely craft work of cane.

Lovely Roadside Shops, offerings at a bargain

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Notice the two things things hanging on top left, open to all for guesses..?

Tell me what are these

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First 20-30 kms after getting off the Lumding road are a welcome change in scenery from the wide concrete-ised highway


Road to Dimapur

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Roadside Lotus Ponds

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Interesting fishing implements

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Woodstock

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Pulse Polio

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The section of road in Assam passes through an area known as Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council aka KAAC

for further interesting reading
http://www.karbianglong.co.in/
http://kaac.nic.in/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autono...nomous_Council

Lovely Scenes made up for the bad roads

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The Asian Highway just got dusty too

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Old 14th May 2017, 03:41   #3
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Default re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Day 1: Finally NAGALAND



After the roads in last 2 hrs more of a relief than Welcome.

Welcome to Nagaland


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Nagaland has English as one of its official state language, probably the only Indian state to have so. And close to 90-95% of the population is Christian; and being December the Christmas spirit was in abundance !

Its Christmas Time !

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For lunch took deviation from the highway to get inside Dimapur. The traffic was crawling but disciplined in a single lane with no lane breaking to get on the wrong side even without divider. The long queues and ensuing jam had me rethinking whether we did the right thing or not, however the food at Ethnic Kitchen compensated for the time lost.

At the Ethnic Kitchen, Dimapur

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Our Naga Lunch
The Pork Ribs and Naga Chutney were especially amazing

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The Menu for the day

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The time it took to get out of Dimapur was even more frustrating than the time it took to get in

However, finally we hit the Hill District. Being East and North and winters, the sun set pretty early and light was fading fast.

Entering Naga Hills

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The Christmas decoration and tableau at each village center looked even more lovely be the darkness of night

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Kohima City Lights by Nights

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hang on, the fun just started

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Old 14th May 2017, 12:46   #4
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Default re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Day 1: Kohima Night Carnival



As we were later than our expected schedule due to the traffic delays in Dimapur and worse than expected road conditions, we rang up our stay to inform that we will be late for check in and directly went to explore the Kohima Night Carnival and Night Bazaar, which runs on all night in the main Kohima Bazaar during the Hornbill Festival time.

Some info about Kohima Night Bazaar courtesy https://blog.tutc.com/nagalands-nigh...bill-festival/

Quote:
One of India’s smallest states, with a population of just 2 million, Nagaland offers travellers a rich cultural experience. Each of the 16 Naga tribes has its own proud traditions, unique cuisine, local handicrafts and folk art. This diversity extends to the local markets and Naga shops, promising an exciting shopping experience for visitors.

As a rule, shops and markets in Nagaland generally close down once the sun sets, which means shopping is strictly a daytime activity. However, the two main cities of Kohima, the state capital, and Dimapur, the largest Naga city, have bucked tradition. It’s only here that natives and visitors can enjoy shopping at night, although only around December every year.

The Kohima Night Market

Associated with the world-famous Hornbill Festival, the Kohima Night Market is a celebration of Nagaland’s dynamic culture. Held in the first week of December, the annual Hornbill Festival was launched in 2000 to strengthen Naga cultural roots and showcase the state’s treasures. While the event is held in Kisama Heritage Village, 10km from the capital, the festivities extend to Kohima. The night market is one such event. Organised by the Kohima Chamber of Commerce, the Kohima Night Carnival encourages local vendors, entrepreneurs, self-help groups, NGOs, churches and institutions to set up stalls to sell local handicrafts, toys, clothes, etc., at the night market.

Venue: Kohima City Centre
Timing: 6pm to 9pm
Dates: December 1st – 10th every year
Yay yay Kohima, we are here finally

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Well hunting and fighting were a regular practice for the tribes till some time back, and still remains a slightly less frequent and hidden practice. You will be able to see people openly carrying firearms, frequency second to just Bhind, Morena and Gwalior.

So this public notice makes sense.

No Arms beyond this point, so obviously you can carry them till here

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Though I straight away wanted to head to gasrto-exciting food stalls and wife to the shopping stalls; the proximity of parking place to the fair grounds ensured that kids win and we headed to the rides section.

The local populace is definitely not fashion shy.

Interesting face art

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After ensuring peace from children, we headed out to the streets, and voila what an atmosphere, so different from the rest of country.

Lovely Street atmosphere

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Could not really fathom the Korean Connection; Korean movies were popular locally and so were the umpteen beauty parlours claiming to be Korean Beauty Parlours and now Korean Cuisine available as street food.

Korean Street Food

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We really enjoyed the colourful, lively, friendly and carefree atmosphere with great background music including Christmas carols mixing in from various stalls and delightful smoky aroma of various roasts, fries and barbecues wafting through the chilly winter night.

Great beginning, rightly priming us for things to come. We enjoyed various local foods : Sausages, ribs, meat balls, skewers, Chow mein, momos and tea of something known as Job's Tear.

few excerpts of info, courtesy wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Job%27s_tears

Quote:
Job's tears , also known as coixseed, tear grass, hato mugi, adlay or adlai, is a tall grain-bearing perennial tropical plant of the family Poaceae (grass family). It is native to Southeast Asia. In its native environment it is grown in higher areas where rice and corn do not grow well. Job's tears are also commonly sold as Chinese pearl barley in Asian supermarkets.

There are two main varieties of the species, one wild and one cultivated. The wild variety, has hard-shelled pseudocarps—very hard, pearly white, oval structures used as beads for making rosaries, necklaces, and other objects. The cultivated variety is harvested as a cereal crop, has a soft shell, and is used medicinally in parts of Asia.
The Job's Tear Tea we had here was made by simmering whole Job's tears grain in water and sweetening the resulting thin, cloudy liquid with sugar. The grains sat at the bottom of each cup (or in a bamboo tumbler if having in it) to be consumed.

some more info at
https://www.flowersofindia.net/catal...s%20Tears.html


The kids too got their fair share of candies, cotton candy, jellies, pastries and cup cakes.

The crowd too was fashionably dressed in long jackets, warm kimonos and long boots etc.

Food Stalls

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Unique Ornaments

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Can you guess the quoted price of this thing above ?
Hint: We did not buy it


More food, Local Delight, am loving it, tana tana ta

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Food Stalls


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Mouth watering yummy barbecued meat balls


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Just to get few of you jealous

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Barbecues galore

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Barbecued Skewers with Naga Chutney


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Can you judge the feel of the place now..

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This place is a delight of non vegetarians

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The sausages as you can see in pic above were not your regular industrial food factory ones, but rather skillfully hand made in small shops or home.

One of the most special dish was the Moudi

Quote:
Moudi

“Moudi” where meat is marinated and wrapped in banana leaves. Then it is put in a fire pit in the ground and covered completely with mud and slow cooked. Once done the pit is dug and the meat is served.

The streets too wore a festive look due combination of Christmas spirit and Hornbill festivities.

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Well, this is the main stretch where the Night Bazaar is held and no traffic is allowed but the bazaar and festivities obviously spills over to the sidewalks of adjoining area too

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Some info about what to expect for shopping in the Bazaar apart from standard kids toys, balloons and cheap Chinese stuff, again courtesy https://blog.tutc.com/nagalands-nigh...bill-festival/

Quote:
What To Buy From Nagaland’s Night Markets

As famous as they are for their shopping and commerce, the night markets are also social and cultural events. If you look beyond the mass-manufactured toys, shoes, fashion accessories, music and electronics, you’ll see that these markets are a treasure trove of unique products that make great travel souvenirs. So if you’re visiting Nagaland, don’t leave without buying these.

Authentic Naga Foods

The Nagas love their food, which is apparent in the number of food stalls present at both night markets. The traditional cuisine favours non-vegetarians, with all kinds of meat — pork, chicken, eels, silkworms, frogs, crickets and even dog meat — on display and ready to eat. Nagas use very little masala, relying more on ginger, garlic, bamboo shoots and the hot ghost chillies to add spice and flavour to their meals. So take the fiery local flavour back home with a pouch of Naga chilli.

Naga Handicrafts

Naga tribal craftsmen and women employ their unique expertise and designs to create eco-friendly trinkets and utensils. For instance, the Konyaks are expert blacksmiths and wood carvers, while the Chang have gained fame with their great bamboo work. On your next shopping trip here, pick up Naga handicrafts, including bamboo baskets and mats, wood carvings, handmade pottery items, metal trinkets and jewellery, and other objects.

Naga Handlooms

Another famous souvenir from the state is the Naga shawl, whose distinctive colours reflect the tribes’ traditional designs and patterns. Usually a combination of vivid blacks, reds, whites and greens, these handloom shawls are an amazing keepsake. And if you don’t use shawls, don’t worry. The modern Naga handloom industry also produces modern garments, bags and accessories to appeal to the more discerning traveller.

Then we headed to hit the sack after a long, tiring but enjoyable day.

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Old 14th May 2017, 14:17   #5
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Default re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Day 2: The Hornbill Fest


Well, before I begin with the cascade of photographs, a bit of info about Nagaland and the Hornbill festival.

A bit about Nagaland courtesy http://hornbillfestival.com/about-nagaland/, for more you always have wiki and google.

Quote:
Nagaland – at a Glance

Nagaland is one of the “seven sisters” of the North-East India. One of the smaller hill states of India, Nagaland is known for its myriad tribes with their rich culture and traditions. The State has a distinct character both in terms of its social composition as well as in its developmental history.

If India is a country that boasts of “unity in diversity”, then the North-East is its most visible embodiment. Among the North-Eastern states, Nagaland stands out as a land of diverse tribes, systems of governance, cultures, sheer colour and variety. As its 16 major tribes hold their festivals each calendar month of the year, Nagaland is often referred to as the “land of festivals”.

Nagaland represents sociological and anthropological gold mines because it is still scientifically unexplored. Nagaland emerged as a State, out of the Naga Hills district of Assam and NEFA province, in 1963. This late start meant that the State lost out on the benefits of the first three Five Year Plans. What is more, the State has had to confront insurgency on a continuous basis, committing much of its scarce resources to administrative and related expenditures. Though Nagaland has been confronted with special constraints and challenges in the areas of politics, economics, geographical terrain, and development, especially of infrastructure, the “social capital” and resilience of the Naga village communities are not only giving hope but also beginning to help overcome the other difficulties.

Indeed, in spite of its many constraints and challenges, Nagaland has continued to chart new developmental paths for itself and has shown a unique model for the country. The Village Councils, Village Development Boards, and the recently introduced Communitisation of Public Institutions and Services Act, 2002, in areas like education, health, power, etc., which have already been acknowledged as successful.

People, Art & Culture

Nagaland, the land of the hospitable and warm Nagas, lies in the corner of India’s North-East bordering Myanmar. It has always evoked a sense of awe and wonder in the minds of people including the visitors. Although most of the Nagas have now become Christians, they still preserve the remnants of their early animist culture and ancient traditions.

Historically, the Nagas have always been brave warriors. They consider the safety and security of their guests as an honour and prestige and will never allow any harm to be done to any of their guests/visitors. Topographically, Nagaland is mostly a hilly region with a pleasant and salubrious climate throughout the year, except for a small region in the foothills. Nagas are by race, of the Mongoloid stock and speak Tibeto-Burman group of languages. But English and Hindi are widely spoken and language is no problem in Nagaland.

Colourful life and culture are an integral part of the 16 officially recognized Naga tribes of Nagaland. These 16 tribes are different and unique in their customs and traditions. These customs and traditions are further translated into festivals which revolve around their agricultural cycle. Songs and dances form the soul of these festivals through which their oral history has been passed down the generations. Nature has been kind to the Nagas and their land. Though by virtue of her natural beauty, the whole of Nagaland is a tourist hotspot, yet certain exceptionally charming places have been identified and developed by the Government to promote tourism.

A bit about the Hornbill Festival now courtesy http://tourismnagaland.com/

Quote:
The Hornbill festival is a showcase of the entire Naga culture. It is an annual ten day feature that takes place from 1-10 December. It has become a mega event not just for the 16 tribes of Ngaland, but also the remaining seven Northeast Indian states to showcase the best of their cultural elements. It is a mammoth task for a tourist to cover all the Northeastern states at once, hence this festival provides the ideal platform for getting a glimpse of the eight sisters of India.

and courtesy http://hornbillfestival.com/about-hornbill-festival/

Quote:
The tribes of Nagaland celebrate their festivals with gusto and fervor. More than 60% of the population of Nagaland depends on agriculture and therefore most of their festivals revolve round agriculture. They consider their festivals sacred and so participation in these festivals is compulsory.

Nagaland is known as the land of festivals as each tribe celebrates its own festival with dedication and passion. Some of the important festivals celebrated are: Tsukhenyie by the Chakhesangs in January, Mimkut by the Kukis in January, Bushu by the Kacharis in January, Sekrenyi by the Angamis in February, Aoling by the Konyaks in April, Moatsu by the Aos in May, Tuluni by the Sumis in July, Nyaknylum by the Changs in July, Tokhu Emong by the Lothas in November and Yemshe by the Pochurys in October.

To encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of Nagaland, the Government of Nagaland organizes the Hornbill Festival every year in the first week of December.

Organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments, Hornbill Festival showcases a mélange of cultural displays under one roof. This festival usually takes place between the 1st and the 10th of December every year in Kohima.

Hornbill Festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima. All the tribes of Nagaland take part in this festival. The aim of the festival is to revive and protect the rich culture of Nagaland and display its extravaganza and traditions.

For visitors it means a closer understanding of the people and culture of Nagaland. It must be included in your itinerary, if you are visiting Nagaland during that time to enjoy the food, songs, dances and customs of Nagaland.

The Festival is named after the hornbill, the globally respected bird and which is displayed in folklore in most of the state’s tribes.

The week long festival unites one and all in Nagaland and people enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are also on display. Festival highlights include Traditional Naga Morungs Exhibition and sale of Arts and Crafts, Food Stalls, Herbal Medicine Stalls, Flower shows and sales, Cultural Medley – songs and dances, Fashion shows, Beauty Contest, Traditional Archery, Naga wrestling, Indigenous Games, and Musical concert.

The highlights of what to expect from the Hornbill festival

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And now a bit about the venue Kisama, the Naga Heritage Village, courtesy http://hornbillfestival.com/naga-heritage-village/

Quote:
The nomenclature of KISAMA is derived from two villages namely, Kigwema (KI) and Phesama (SA) and MA which means Village, on whose land the Naga Heritage Village is established and commissioned by the State Government of Nagaland.

Situated about 10 kilometers from Kohima, the Naga Heritage Village offers a panorama of nature, cheerful and hospitality of people. The objective of the Heritage Village is to protect and preserve all ethnic cultural heritages by establishing a common management approach and comprehensive data base for perpetuation and maintenance for promotion of tourism. It also aims to uphold and sustain the distinct identity of dialects, customs and traditions of all the ethnic tribes of Nagaland.

During the festivities of Hornbill Festival, the Heritage Village serves as a healthy sign, vision and encouragement for uniting the various tribes of Nagaland to showcase their rich cultural heritage and tradition under the aegis of “Hornbill Festival” in one platform where one could have a glimpse and experience into the Heritage Village, Kisama. It also serves as a stage where different occasions and functions for various societies, unions are organized and taken place all round the year.

The Heritage Complex consists cluster of 16 house of each tribe created in the indigenous typical architectural designs and concepts with significance. The tribal house is also called “Morung or Youth Dormitory.” Colorful life and culture are a vital part of the 16 officially recognized Naga tribes. They are different and unique in their customs and traditions. These customs and traditions are further translated into festivals. Songs and dances form a soul of these festivals through which their oral history has been passed down generations. Nature has been kind to the Nagas and their land by virtue of natural and scenic beauty and making it a tourist hotspot.

The Heritage Complex also house World War II Museum, Bamboo Heritage Hall, Bamboo Pavilion, Kids Carnival, Horti-Scape, Food Courts and Stadium for Live concerts, Naga Idol, Beauty Pageant, Fashion Shows, etc.

The Venue for Hornbill festival held from 1st to 10th December every year. Not much of online info available in spite of an official site (edit: during Oct to Nov last year).

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The official site till last year appeared to be a mere hoodwink with links leading to nowhere, but thankfully it seems to have come up well now. Also few info regarding schedule of events etc can be had from pics of posters, invitation cards etc on the fb page.

So today was the day, but after the long day yesterday and late night last night (10 o clock seems and feels like midnight), we were able to move out only by 1030 in morning in spite of getting up by 0730ish.

So we drove to the Naga Heritage Village at Kisama on a lovely bright sunny winter day. A good nights rest, full stomach, blue skies, sunshine, the chilly nip in air and colourful conglomeration of people had our mood set just right for the day.

And boy what an experience it was.
We were confused about "kya karen, kya na Karen..".
Continuous events in the central arena, can't be missed, that's the main essence of this fest.
Food stalls; amazing shops selling local curios and specialties; Morung of each tribe with lovely atmosphere, local cuisine and beverages; another arena with kids rides etc; flower show with events; WWII Museum and more.

Will let just the photos speak for now.

Starting the walk from parking

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We were just in time to witness the Beating of the Log Drum by the famed Konyak Tribe, the traditional Head Hunters

Beating of the Log Drum by Konyak Tribe, the traditional HEADHUNTERS

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Here is a video of the same



After a few traditional dances was the time for exciting tug of war between teams of all the tribes of Nagaland, a prestigious event.

Officials explaining the rules to the competitors

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The next team in line, waiting for their turn

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A tough and long drawn fight it was

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A video of the same




The victory laugh

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Victory lends a cockiness

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The Onlookers

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While the elders overlooked from their Morungs far above

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Lovely Cheerers

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Beauties

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stay buckled..

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Old 14th May 2017, 19:46   #6
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Default re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Day 2: The Hornbill Fest

After the Tug of War, we took a break from events of Central Arena to have a look at what else the place had to offer. But before that let me post few more shots of the photo opportunity rich event.

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look at the neck pieces and cane arm bands


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and his ear rings


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wow, what do we say about this guys head gear and neck piece


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and he is a head hunter, the neck pieces earlier used to contain small brass or wooden heads depicted the number of heads hunted by the wearer. Now, its as per ones fancy or standing in the village / tribe.


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This guy looks aristocratic


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colourful, nice round arm bands and center guy looks almost Yokozuna-ish


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Hornbill feathers are they..?


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More Head Hunters


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and some more

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Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more-dsc_3503001.jpg


stay tuned, lots more coming up

Last edited by YanTra Makto : 14th May 2017 at 20:50.
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Old 14th May 2017, 22:53   #7
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Default re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Day 2: The Hornbill Fest



Finally time for some food and what culinary delights we had in store

Lovely Barbecue

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Products of Nagaland

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Few more

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Time to roam around the Morungs to see what they have to offer before settling down if required in the central food stalls.

A Gigantic Bamboo Barbecue Rack at one of the Morung

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Nice

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Wares at one Morung

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Tribal Couple at a Morung

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Finally found what I was looking for, caterpillars, they had run out of it at most Morungs. Found them at Kachari tribe Morung. Princely sum of 20 rs a stick.

Fried Caterpillars

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And lovely settings too

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Idyllic

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Dressed up to drum

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The Morungs had a lovely picnic like atmosphere, with relaxed sit outs in the winter sun, lots of food, beverages, music and fun.

Almost like a shack

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All lit up

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A Morung which had many exotics

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Like Dog Meat and Piglet

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And Snails

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An Old Warrior at a Morung

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Morung Decors

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Naga Heritage Village

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The Hornbill Tree

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Back to the Barbecue Stall

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Enjoying the food

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One stall had plates with recipes from the finals of the MasterChef Nagaland. Took one of the, it had a preparation of Smoked Eel and Pork cooked with snails in addition to other Naga delicacies

Master Chef Nagaland Finalist's plate

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Post Lunch Sweet for Kids

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More to come
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Old 30th May 2017, 08:30   #8
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Default re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th May 2017, 21:28   #9
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Default Re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Day 2: The Hornbill Fest



A view across the Naga Hills from Kisama, the Naga Heritage Village

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Though it was still only 2'30 in the afternoon, but being December the woolens had come out as the shadows crept up

The Winter Crowd

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Members of a Tribe with unique head dress

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Bold Red, Black, Orange and Blue seemed to be the preferred colours of choice

With the locals

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Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more-dsc_3464001.jpg


Digital India

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Lovely Belles

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And their rhythmic dance







Live Music

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For this live performance




See, I told you about the colours

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All in Winter Ceremonial Rig now

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lots more on the road
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Old 30th May 2017, 22:21   #10
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Default Re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Day 2: The Hornbill Fest


Main Venue, The Central Arena

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An interesting play act depicting the traditional hunt to celebrate a new born

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The hunt lunch

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A Ladies Dance with very relevant lyrics

"We praise our gracious God for all his blessings,
and for all His faithful creation;
but, as we look around,
we find bloodshed, hatred, killings everywhere;
Who have done this?
Who are to be blamed?
Come Nagas, lets introspect and see,
what we all have done..."




Close to 4'o clock or so the festivities in central arena started winding up. Now was the time to explore rest of the heritage village.

One for the pose

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Local Bike Gang on a Trip

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The Bamboo Pavilion, showcasing and selling local artifacts

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With a functional crossbow

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Kids resting on a bamboo and cane bed while mommy shopped

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Lovely Succulents at the flower show

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And now was time to set course for another attraction of Hornbill Fest; The Hornbill Rock Contest, stay tuned
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Old 31st May 2017, 15:54   #11
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Default Re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Nice photos. The Hornbill festival indeed a landmark event in the region. Kohima must have been very crowded as this now attracts lots of visitors from all over.

Fondly following your journey, nodding familiarly as I read, since I did this circuit about 2 years back. I didn't do this during the Hornbill festival though - Kisama was deserted when I was there, and so doubly nice to see from your photos how it is when the festival takes place. Looking forward to the rest of your travelogue.

What is your ride. Did you do it in an Alto, judging from your signature line ?

And surely you meant Tamu and not Loktak when you mentioned the foray into Myanmar.
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Old 31st May 2017, 15:59   #12
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Default Re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Hi yantra Makto

What a wonderful travelogue so far and kudos to you for doing this with your family in tow. The photos are amazing and thank you for sharing and giving us a glimpse of what you have experienced. Nothing beats experiencing different geographies and cultures in person.

We often hear of insurgency and violence in the north-eastern states and more so in Nagaland. Although, I know that it is not as bad as it is made out to be by our media, did you face any security issues concerns. Or were any areas/zones off-limits?.

Keep traveling and posting.

Cheerio!
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Old 31st May 2017, 17:06   #13
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Default Re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secretariat View Post
Nice photos. The Hornbill festival indeed a landmark event in the region. Kohima must have been very crowded as this now attracts lots of visitors from all over.

Fondly following your journey, nodding familiarly as I read, since I did this circuit about 2 years back. I didn't do this during the Hornbill festival though - Kisama was deserted when I was there, and so doubly nice to see from your photos how it is when the festival takes place. Looking forward to the rest of your travelogue.

What is your ride. Did you do it in an Alto, judging from your signature line ?

And surely you meant Tamu and not Loktak when you mentioned the foray into Myanmar.
Thank you Secretariat
Yes, Kohima was crowded but that added to the fun cause it was kind of a festive crowd. The only pain they say is the traffic during the the fest time especially in the morning hours close to opening time and immediately after the closing hours. We escaped that part !, it would not be a bad idea during the Hornbill fest time to stay closer to Kisama than Kohima to avoid the traffic or better still stay on the other side (that is non-Kohima side) of Kisama for days when you intend visiting the fest. There are few home stays, Dimori Cove is an excellent regular option. https://www.tripadvisor.in/Hotel_Rev..._Nagaland.html. That said for the adventourous type there are camping sights right above the heritage village.

You have to experience this fest!,and fast before the innocence is lost, most of the audience consisted of foreigners, government officials, reporters, journos, photographers, biker gangs or locals. Surprisingly for some reason quite a few of sardars too were there. One Sardarji was from Hyderabad, who has been visiting Hornbill regularly for last five years for complete ten days, just as a tourist.

Yes, our ride is an Alto, and I somehow prefer it for the hills, forests and bad roads from my Etios Liva, inspite of obvious lackof safety features like airbags and anti-skid. She has done close to 70,000 kms from high altitude Gurudongmar Lake to sea level Pondicherry and a quite a lot of off roading too. Oh I forgot exotics like Phobjikha Valley in Bhutan, too. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ed-bhutan.html (Alto'ed: Blessed in Bhutan)

Did I mention Loktak as Myanmar, my bad!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alphadog View Post
Hi yantra Makto

What a wonderful travelogue so far and kudos to you for doing this with your family in tow. The photos are amazing and thank you for sharing and giving us a glimpse of what you have experienced. Nothing beats experiencing different geographies and cultures in person.

We often hear of insurgency and violence in the north-eastern states and more so in Nagaland. Although, I know that it is not as bad as it is made out to be by our media, did you face any security issues concerns. Or were any areas/zones off-limits?.

Keep traveling and posting.

Cheerio!
Thank you for the words of appreciation alphadog
Nagaland during Hornbill time is no problem..!, Infact, as far as I know form what ever I could search online, legally there are permits required for Indians to enter Nagaland. (Foreigners except Pakistanis and Chinese are free to enter). And no as per information available on sarkari sites, there are no online permits, permits only from Nagaland Houses in Delhi, Kolkata or Guwahati. Went to Guwahati's Nagaland House too for same, unfortunately was late. Thought about starting late from Guwahati after getting the permits next day. But the guard there said, kya jarurat hai, aap to Hornbill ja rahe ho. Then rang up one Naga friend of mine, he appeared to be ignorant of passes being required by Indians and said lot of his non Naga friends do visit, nobody ever applied for a permit(as per him) and added Hornbill time par to chance hi nahin hai. Well, took the risk, nobody asked us for any permits anywhere, perhaps we were plain lucky. In fact at quite a few check posts just shouting "Hornbill Hornbill" was like a magic password for barriers to be raised!! Perhaps, Secretariat may be able to throw some light as he went during non-Hornbill time. But I would still say, better safe than sorry, better to stick to rules.

Yes, we did have our share of odd spooks, but that was in more interiors and in Manipur. Nagaland was all cheese. More about those incidents later
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Old 31st May 2017, 22:41   #14
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Default Re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Day 2: The Hornbill International Rock Contest



Though the festivities at Kisama were still on, it was time for us to move on to a new venue for another exciting event.

We set course from Kisama to Indira Gandhi Stadium, Kohima. Well this is how far it was

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We drove pass the main bazaar, resisting the temptation to revisit the Kohima Night Bazaar. Reached the venue and searched for parking. The roadsides were filled for few kms, fortunately found a parking just about 2-300 mtrs away as a car pulled out (that is another reason I love Altoarking). It was becoming chilly now, we spent ten odd minutes getting our warm clothes out, donning up the children and selves for the night, getting our durrie and quilts out and ready, just in case. And then we marched towards the venue, least knowing what to expect.

Walking past the gates of Stadium Complex, we came to base of an incline, where the ticket booth was set up. We had to pay a princely sum (pun intended) of Rs 200 per head, kids free to enter the grounds. And we still did not know where we were headed. Climbing up the short incline we emerged on a level flat ground, which was the venue.

Our Tickets

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And boy what atmosphere once again. I will share a pic now to give you all an idea.

Set up of the Hornbill Rock Contest

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The huge roundish ground had shacks all along the periphery, mostly medium, few small, and one odd big ones. And each shack had its own bonfire going, each shack had barbecue going and beverages flowing. At both the ends of the oval ground, were two stage facing each other, and in the center was a pavilion for seating of judges and press.

The stage had stacks and stacks of speakers and crowd brimming against the barricades, swaying and rocking to the music.

Few pics of the stage

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Find a fun video, though the audio in all our videos by two mobiles and two cameras all have come terrible as the mic in all the devices were blasted through by the high volume bass.




Leaving the wife and kids at stage, I went to get some grub and these are the wonderful shacks from where I had the options

Shacks and Smoke

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Each shack had their own specialties like the special coffee and see the last item were for this one.

A Sample Menu

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And while ferrying stuff to and fro from shacks to my family inn the audience, met these performers who were just on stage, the bass guitarist and drummer.

With Band Members

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And when I came back, got to see this lovely lovely performance from a top band of North East from Mizoram.

The Performers

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After this guys performance, rest all appeared drab. So all of us set course for the shacks now, for some grub.

One of the smaller shacks

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Kids order getting ready

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Food Time

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While I kept doing up and down time and again to the first shop whose menu I have posted above for wife's coffee, I showed interest in the last item of their menu, the Hot and Crispy Grasshopper. And the lady was kind enough to give it a handful to me for free just to taste and experience. And I loved it. These were way better than the spicy fried caterpillars I had in the afternoon.

Hot and Crispy Grasshopper

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And after the food enjoyed with lovely crowd, made few friends too over the bonfire, we set course back to hit the sack for the night.

A memorable day, with lots of firsts for all of us.

Keep exploring and stay tuned, lots to come
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Old 3rd June 2017, 11:38   #15
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Default Re: Along the Asian Highway 1: Hornbill festival, WWII trail and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by YanTra Makto View Post
Keep exploring and stay tuned, lots to come
Now that's a different travelogue and a truly different experience through your lens.

The NE is indeed an experimental non-vegetarian's food paradise and your love for it shows clearly.

Rating the travelogue 5 stars, keep it coming please.
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