Blogs from Assam, India, Asia

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Asia » India » Assam March 17th 2014

The last stop in Assam after Manas National Park was the city of Guwahati. This is where I flew into from Kolkata and this is where I would fly out of back to Kolkata. The city used to be called Gauhati (pronounced go-hah-tee) but it has since had an official spelling and pronunciation change to Guwahati (pronounced gwa-hah-tee although all the locals still pronounce it the old way). Just like Calcutta changing to Kolkata. I got to Guwahati by train from the Barpeta Road station near Manas. I figured I should take at least one train while in India. It isn't a “real” train ride because it is only about two hours but it is still characteristically mental. The ticket cost 45 rupees (less than a dollar) but you don't even really need to buy one ... read more

Asia » India » Assam March 17th 2014

The Indian part of this trip was great. I didn't think much of Kolkata but Assam was just like southeast Asia and therefore brilliant. I aim to return to cover some different parts of the subcontinent in the future. If I did the same Assam trip again, with the benefit of hindsight, I would probably give myself only half as long at each place. It is difficult knowing beforehand how long one needs anywhere, and I like to spend time and not just rush about helter-skelter like a mouse in a cheese factory, but really I didn't need as much time as I gave myself. I could have fitted into the month some of Gujarat like Gir and the Little Rann Of Kutch quite easily and still seen the Assamese parks well. Instead I was bound ... read more

Asia » India » Assam March 8th 2014

After Nameri National Park I was headed for Manas National Park. My plan was to take buses from Nameri to Guwahati (the city I had flown into when I arrived in Assam) where I would stay overnight, and then the next day bus to Barpeta Road, which is the closest bus station to Manas (20km away). I had checked this when I got to Kaziranga in case there was a more direct route but was told that there was not. However at Nameri I found out that in fact there was a bus that went straight from Tezpur to Barpeta Road and it would take about seven hours. Even more conveniently I could catch that bus at Balipara before it reached Tezpur. At 8.45am one morning I hopped on that bus, the fare just 230 rupees ... read more

Asia » India » Assam March 2nd 2014

With a potential Assam-stopping strike in the air, I returned abruptly to Kaziranga. Better safe than sorry. If the strike went ahead I could stay at Kaziranga for a few days until it cleared, if it didn't happen I could go straight from there to Nameri National Park and arrive on the day I had planned to (I just had to miss out the dolphin search at Tezpur). In the morning I had another walk through the tea plantation. It can be a bit difficult birding in there because a lot of the birds tend to be down amongst the tea plants where it is impossible to see them. This morning I had some good luck with a whole flock of about twenty rufous-necked laughing thrushes bursting up out of the tea into a tree where ... read more

Asia » India » Assam February 23rd 2014

My next location after Kaziranga National Park was the Hollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary which is a small patch of remnant forest east of Kaziranga. The name has various spellings. I had been using Hoollongopar but at the sanctuary they use Hollongapar so that's what I'll stick with from now on. The area has been protected since 1881, originally as the Hollongapar Reserved Forest, mainly so the British colonialists could hunt leopards and elephants there. In 1997 it was re-designated as a Wildlife Sanctuary. Nowadays the forest only covers an area of 21 square kilometres and is hemmed in by tea plantations and farmland so there are no longer any dispersal routes in or out for most of the species inside. There are seven species of primates in the reserve, the main one people want to see ... read more

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Asia » India » Assam » Kaziranga National Park February 21st 2014

After two days in Kolkata I set off for the real part of the Indian trip, Assam. Totally unexpectedly, there was no WIFI available anywhere along my route so there has been a slight pause in postings. There was WIFI occasionally present in the areas, just not where-ever I was specifically staying. Most of the time my network connection signal remained blank. Perhaps this shouldn't have been a surprise – I flew into Guwahati and went straight to Kaziranga National Park, then to Nameri National Park and then Manas National Park. The only city I actually stayed at along the route was Guwahati for a few days at the very end (and there were a few WIFI signals there but my laptop wouldn't connect with any of them). First stop in Assam was Kaziranga National Park. ... read more

Asia » India » Assam » Sibsagar April 12th 2013

Rongali Bihu is also a fertility festival, where the bihu dance with its sensuous movements using the hips, arms, etc., by the young women call out to celebrate their fertility. In this aspect, the bihu dance can also be called a mating ritual by the young men and women. Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu festival continues for seven days.They are known as..Goru Bihu (Cow Bihu),Manuh Bihu, Hat Bihu, Senehi Bihu, Maiki Bihu, Rongali Bihu and Sera Bihu.Actually first day for to pay respect to cows and other days for social activities. img=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0d/Bathing_cow_on_the_eve_of_Goru_bihu.jpg/220px-Bathing_cow_on_the_eve_of_Goru_bihu.jpgimg=http://bits.wikimedia.org/static-1... read more
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Asia » India » Assam » Sibsagar April 11th 2013

On avait planifie d'aller dans le nord de l'Inde voir le monastère Tawang, lieu de naissance du 6e Dalai Lama. Malheureusement il se trouve dans l'état d'Arunachal Pradesh pour lequel on obtient très difficilement permis de visite (vu que c'est a la frontière avec la Chine). Alors on est allés plus tôt que prévu a l'île Majuli qui est probablement la plus grande île fluviale en sable, sur le Brahmaputra. Son attrait principal était ses monastères satras, monastères hindou de rite vaishnuvite, établis au XVII siècle. Des bâtiments très simples ou les bhakats (moines) peuvent être célibataires ou non. Ces monastères sont renommés pour leur contribution culturelle: la danse Sattryia est devenue une des danses classique indienne (dansée par des moines). Tous les arts sont pratiques et enseignes par les moines Nous avons eu la chance ... read more
Moines - danse classique
Moines, danse classique
Danse de Nagaland

Asia » India » Assam » Kaziranga National Park April 7th 2013

Nouveau état, nouveau pays. Nous retrouvons la chaleur, les routes droites et asphaltées, la religion hindou, les saris et les arnaqueurs. Mais nous découvrons une cuisine gourmet, une soie incroyable (dorée matte, tissée par des vers qui ont mange d'autres feuilles que celles de mûriers) et des gens hyperaccueilants et sympathiques. Comme d'habitude, un mélange d'extrêmes. Car pendant que les chauffeurs des auto-ricksaws, de bus et de taxi, ainsi que certains garçons de restaurants, essayent de nous arnaquer en demandant 10 fois les prix payes par les indiens, d'autres hôteliers nous traitent comme des membres de leur famille et font tous les arrangements imaginables pour nous faciliter la visite en Assam. Un gérant d'hôtel nous a dit que tout touriste est son hôte prive et qu'il se fait un point d'honneur de lui montrer l... read more
Nameri - sieste devant notre tente dans ce parc
Nameri - orchidees sauvages
Nameri - piste de tigre!!!!

Asia » India » Assam » Guwahati August 17th 2012

Our first four days in India have consisted of a lot of travelling and marvelling at the sheer stink of the capital of the Assam region - Guwahati. Having done copious amounts of research into the conflict zone of the state of Assam, we made an executive decision that really we would be ok. The PM of India had travelled there so how bad could it be? Arriving at Delhi airport we went straight to the Spicejet (India's answer to easyjet) counter to book the first flight to Guwahati. The travel man immediately asked us about our route from there warning us to not go out when we arrived there due to Indiependence day and to have our wits about us due to tribal friction. This advice seemed to follow us wherever we went and was ... read more




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