May 04, 2020
Houseboats in Kerala or Kettuvallams were traditionally cargo boats that carried rice, spices and other commodities, which
now are transformed into luxury boats complete with bedrooms, kitchen, living area, bathrooms and other amenities. Today, these allow travelers to enjoy the breath-taking beauty of Alappuzha while gliding along its backwaters. The Alleppey
Houseboat Team having the largest inventory of houseboats, motorboats, shikara in Alleppey, Kumarakom, Kollam & Neeleshwar in Kerala. They have more than 250 Houseboats 100+ Shikara and motorboats available for tourists coming to Kerala. They
can guarantee you the availability of houseboats, shikara & other backwater leisure services in all seasons.
May 04, 2020
Any write-up on Sikkim would be incomplete if we do not cover Mount Kanchenjunga, the all pervasive mountain range which oversees Sikkim.
Kangchenjunga, also spelt Khangchendzonga, is the third highest mountain in the world. It rises with an elevation of 8,586 m in a section of the Himalayas called Kangchenjunga Himal. Until 1852, Kangchenjunga was assumed to be the highest
mountain in the world.
Kangchenjunga was first climbed on 25 May 1955 by Joe Brown and George Band, who were part of a British expedition. They stopped short of the summit in accordance with the promise given to the Chogyal(erstwhile rulers of Sikkim) that the
top of the mountain would remain intact. Every climber or climbing group that has reached the summit has followed this tradition of stopping short by 10 feet.
Kanchenjunga translated means “The Five Treasures of Snows”, as it contains five peaks, four of them over 8,450 metres.
Sikkimese worship Mt Kanchenjunga as their guardian deity. It is believed that the ‘mountain god’ played an active role in introducing Buddhism into this former kingdom.
May 03, 2020
For serious birdwatchers, Sikkim has a bird sanctuary not very far from Gangtok, the capital city.
Kitam Bird Sanctuary is a protected sanctuary located near Namchi, Sikkim. From Gangtok, it is 71 km away.
The bird sanctuary lies between 1200 feet and 3200 feet above sea level, and occupies an area of more than 6 square kilometers within thick vegetation of shrubs and sal, pine forests. This sanctuary has two rivers namely, River Rangit
and Manpur River. Sumbuk and Kitam are the two villages located in the sanctuary. Tumbol Schor, the highest point of Kitam Bird Sanctuary, offers great panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Kitam Bird Sanctuary is heaven for bird lovers and attracts domestic and international tourists around the year for birding. Kitam is the only low altitude bird sanctuary and remain open throughout the year. Home to over 200 species of
birds, Kitam is also known for several beautiful butterflies.
There are many bird watching trails and a few watch towers and viewpoints in this sanctuary that are ideal for bird watching.
The best time to visit this place is during the months of October to May, as in winters several colourful migratory birds come to visit here.
To enjoy birding in the early morning hours, one must opt to stay at a homestay in Kitam. Look for Barbet Home Stay Kitam on google. We had done a day trip from Gangtok. Here is a documentation of our trip
May 02, 2020
Sikkim is a haven for bird watchers. Trekking the hills and valleys is certainly the best way to observe and photograph them. However, if you are a bird lover you can spot birds wherever you are visiting-near a monastery, at waterfalls,
on the roadsides, near the place you are staying. Absence of chemicals and fertilizers make the entire state bird friendly.
As Northern part of Sikkim was mostly inaccessible in February, our recordings of bird sightings are linmited to the South and West part mostly.
The video is a visual account of the common birds we could capture.
May 01, 2020
Kanchenjunga at Tiger Hill, Darjeeling - a celebration to share
Near Darjeeling is a short and otherwise unremarkable hill. It is possible to walk up to the summit or hire a jeep to get there. Some even spend the night on or near this elevated place, so as to catch the early morning sunrays on Khanjenjunga.
Tiger Hill offers a spectacular view of Kanchenjunga, that third highest summit on earth and peoples from far and near assemble to witness the sun strike, not just that lofty summit, but also the dawn awakening of the Himalayas. Due to the elevation of Kanchenjunga
and the curvature of the earth, the sun touches here before lighting the lower Himalaya summits to the east. Residents of the area had long held this belief of first light to be true for thousands of years before the first man stood on the summit of Kanchenjunga(actually
six metres below the summit in deference to local sentiments) and realized it was true.
Therefore, you have a magic place and a magic moment and an experience best shared. The dawn at Tiger Hill takes on a carnival atmosphere. There are men banging drums and those playing pipes. First, the cold wind stirs chill air and the many prayer flags begin
to flutter then the crowd grows almost silent before the moment. Till then the darkness of 4 am is broken by cries of "Coffee" for those braving the chill. The rising sun tips the summit with gold then blushes rose, the day has begun. Manmade music rises
again as those around begin to dance, chant and worship. There are smiles on all the faces and the cold morning long forgotten.
April 30, 2020
Anyone travelling in Sikkim by road cannot but be impressed by the mighty Teesta River.
Teesta(Tista) River is a 315 km long river that rises in the eastern Himalayas. It flows through the states of Sikkim and West Bengal in India and through Bangladesh before entering the Bay of Bengal.
Flowing through the length of Sikkim, the Teesta River is considered to be the lifeline of the state.
The Teesta River originates from the Pahunri (or Teesta Kangse) glacier above 7,068 metres (23,189 ft), and flows southward through gorges and rapids in the Sikkim Himalaya.
It is fed by rivulets and tributaries Rangit, Rangpo.
A number of hydroelectric projects and dams have been built on this river. The Teesta river dam projects have been approved with the requirement that they adopt suitable seismic coefficient in the design for the dam, tunnel, surge shaft
and power house. The projects are cascaded over the length of the river, do not store large amounts water, have small reservoirs, and therefore the projects are expected to have very low risk from the reservoir induced seismic activity in the area.
Melli (also spelled Malli) is a town on the West Bengal-Sikkim border near the River Teesta.
Lepchas are among the indigenous peoples of Sikkim, India and number between 30,000 and 50,000. The Dzongu valley, an officially demarcated reserve for Lepcha community bordering Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, known for its vast
plant wealth is one of the least attended areas on ethnomedicinal aspects, for being sacred and restricted, especially to outsiders.
April 30, 2020
Visit- February 19th to 28th, 2020
Four of us, me, husband, brother and wife made a memorable road trp to Sikkim in the month of February 2020, and managed coming back just before the nation was caught in a lock-down. Reliving the memories of that trip has been a pleasurable
past-time during the lock down!
According to ABP live, since the corona pandemic reached Indian shore, the state of Sikkim has remained completely virus free. Early measures taken by the state have so far been effective in keeping the virus at bay. Since the state
has a border with China, it was on high alert and very early issued mandatory screening at the border. Even though tourist season had just started the state still ordered a ban on foreign tourists on 5 March. And even before the nationwide lock-down, Sikkim
declared self-quarantine by March 17. Borders with neighboring state West Bengal were also closely monitored.
There are some other features of this Indian state which could have been a deterrent.
Sikkim is the first fully organic state in the country. Sikkim has registered a 4 percent increase in the state's forest cover since 1993.
The total forest and tree cover of the State as per the latest India State of Forest Report 2017 is 3379 sq. km (47.62% of the total geographical area of the state)
In Feb 2020, when Aadu(Peach) trees were in full bloom and rhododendron were beginning to bloom, we entered Sikkim. The date is 19th February,2020. This short video tells it all
April 26, 2020
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April 23, 2020
April 22, 2020
Textile Industry in India is one of the major contributors to the pre-independence GDP of the country. As we were the part of Golden Silk Route – the items produced here were exported to many Asian and European landmasses. The famous
Pashmina textile of Kashmir, Banarasi Silk Cloths and Printed Cotton Fabric of Rajputana were key merchandise of that era.
- In Rajasthan, the art was supported by the Royal Family of Jaipur. Here, in Sanganer Town, you can still found 100s of families from
Chippa and Rangreez Community that work in these professions from generations. They were settled here on orders of the Kings and throughout history, they were actively producing goods that helped our state to collect revenues and taxes from the export and
Also, on may historical texts, evidence could be found of Rulers gifting dresses made using the
Block Print Cotton and Silk Fabrics to other states. So it can be easily deduced that this art was considered “Noble”. On the other hand, just because of this, not all caste were allowed to wear the same products. We found extensive texts that suggest that
people belonging to Upper Caste were only granted use of
Block Printed Textile products. So, that could be the reason for most labours and farmers were dressed in White Cloths.
Also, many of these texts suggest that some of the castes have specified designs of Buti Designs that they were allowed to wear. Mostly to classify once caste.