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One of the great things about travel is that it gives you the eye and time to find out good stories and good kind people all over. Do you remember the Vicks advertisement – Mother, daughter, hostel? No problem, if you don’t, I will help you to remember the heart-touching story. And this love story proves that love has saved humankind.

Today I am sharing with you Gauri’s story. Gauri Sawant adopted a little girl named Gayatri in 2008 when she was just 5 years old after Gayatri’s mother died of AIDS. She is a good human being and a courageous mother who also works as a social activist. Gauri Sawant born Ganesh Sawant adopted her daughter even though it is illegal for transgender people to adopt children. Yes, You read it right, she is transgender. She is beyond your rules, my rules, society’s rules, except love.

Gauri says “Motherhood is beyond gender. Motherhood is a behavior”

Also Read: Humankind Is 7% Happier Than Those Who Do Not Travel

The Story Of The Motherhood

Gauri Sawant is a transgender activist from Mumbai. She is the director of Sakshi Char Chowghi which helps transgender and HIV/AIDS patients. She has started an old age home for transgender people called Nani ka Ghar, meaning Grandmother’s Home, where old transgender people will take care of sex workers’ children.

Sawant, left her family at an early age to come to Bombay. While working at an NGO, Gauri came across her daughter, Gayatri. Gayatri had been orphaned in 2001 when her mother died.

The child’s grandmother was going to sell her into slavery when Gauri met her. She decided to adopt her, and since then the two have shared a very close mother-daughter bond. Gauri is the first transgender woman to have made her way into motherhood. According to her, “There’s no gender in being a mother”. Gayatri is now studying to be a doctor and lives in a hostel. Gauri’s inspiring story came to the forefront when Vicks portrayed her journey with Gayatri in an ad that has since its release been watched 1 crore times. She was featured in that Ad by Vicks too.

Also Read: My Favorite Best Travel Documentaries

With Gauri Sawant

Breaking Orthodox Tradition

Gauri breaks orthodox traditions and stereotypes prevented in her country. She is full of life, confident, and above all very loving human being. Her house is full of colleagues who adore her, and whom she has made feel safe. It is not easy to be a Gauri Sawant. I mean, having such a broad mind, modern thoughts, and a simplistic approach to life is tough. We can only talk about it and claim to have all these. But that’s what society needs more, that’s what Gayatris need more. She challenged the norm that parenting is only for married couples or male/ female genders. May she inspire her story and make more humans like her.

Also Read: Stay Healthy While You Travel

About Me

Travel documentaries highlight the travel history of the traveler. Also if you are looking for inspiration for your next trip, these travel documentaries will help you undoubtedly to be more knowledgeable. Travel documents make it easier for people to get to know new places and also new cultures. My Favorite Best Travel Documentaries- I have compiled a list of outstanding travel documentaries that you can watch on Netflix, Youtube, and also other OTT platforms.  So at this time enjoy your virtual travel.

List Of My 9 Best Travel Documentaries

Salt Of The Earth

Best Travel Documentaries
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Sebastiao Salgado, a Brazilian photojournalist, spent 40 years on his travel documentaries. He captures some group of unknown people in South America, Africa, and Central Europe and the results are compelling. He portrayed the painful lives of those groups of people through documentaries.  As well as this Oscar-nominated 2014 documentary has been highly acclaimed all over the world. This is one of the best travel documentaries I have watched.

You can watch this documentary on Youtube.

Also, Read My Travel Cool Photos

Also, Read 10 Amazing Things To Do In-Home When You Can’t Travel

Magical Andes

best travel documentaries.
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The magical Andes resembles a virtual tour of the royal Andes Mountains in South America. The Spanish documentary features a unique story of five characters who share a deep love of nature and also mountains. This six-part docu-series clearly showcases the landscape of the region and the ever-changing lives of the people who live there.

You can watch this documentary on Netflix

Dark Tourist

Best Travel Documentaries
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Dark Tourist- The Travel series explores Dark Tourism. Presenter journalist David Ferrier travel to many shady places of the world.  And he mainly focuses on that area of travel, known as dark tourism, in this docuseries. The series is also a wild ride that depicts bizarre tourist traps and unsociable things. This is one of the most unique Netflix travel documentaries.

You can watch this documentary on Netflix.

180 Degree South

Best Travel Documentaries
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Watch it for exciting travel documentaries. As well as gritty traveling, and the proper technique devised before pulling off such endeavors. 80 Degree South is an assimilation of the memorable journey undertaken by Jeff while recreating the epic tour pulled off by Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins during their road trip in 1968. Jeff’s journey was also more adventurous as he chose to surf, sail, and climb before finally making it to Chile.

You can watch this documentary on Youtube

Hit The Road India  (2013)

Best Travel Documentaries
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Two people running through the coasts and ghats of South India, driving one of the lightest vehicles, making it a spectacular sight. Hit The Road is one of the most interesting travel documentaries. Recognized by Lonely Planet as one of the best travel documentaries of 2012, this film is a story of two friends participating in a rickshaw rally from Chennai to Mumbai spanning 12 days also covering over 2000 km. Yes, as well as they had to suffer plenty of breakdowns along the way.

You can watch this documentary on Epic Tv App

Children of the Snow Land

Best Travel Documentaries
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This multi-award-winning film follows young people making a long and emotional trek back to their homes in the mountain villages of the Himalayas. Children of the Snow Land is a 2017 Nepalese English feature documentary film directed by Zara Balfour, and Marcus Stephenson. Also, The documentary has won Best Documentary at the Victoria Film Festival and London Independent  Film Festival.

You can watch this documentary on Youtube

Baraka (1992)

Best Travel Documentaries
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Baraka, also known as one of the best travel documentaries of all time, is a non-narrative documentary of a kaleidoscopic retreat with various hymns of nature and its impact on different cultures. From the cacophonic mantras of hundreds of monks assembled for a cosmic sacrifice to the frantic slaps of the whole village, the documentary highlights the phenomena of nature and how it forms the core of different cultures.

You can watch this documentary on Youtube

14 Peaks

Best Travel Documentaries
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For some, climbing the world’s highest mountains is a lifelong achievement. For Nepali mountaineer Nirmal “Nims” Purja, the new Netflix documentary film 14 Picks, Nothing is Impossible is going to be a good season to climb in all of them. Purja also sets a goal – which he calls “project possible” – to climb 14 peaks (more than 8,000 meters high) in a single mountaineering season. This is one of the absolutely stunning mountain-based travel documentaries.

You can watch this documentary on Netflix

Tales by Light

Best Travel Documentaries
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Travel Docu-series, Tales by Light, is full of moving portraits, panoramic imagery, live music, and also philosophical narratives for exploring the natural world through various photographers and filmmakers. As well as it has unseen footage from unique angles.

You can watch this documentary on Netflix.

This is my list, please comment and let me know what is your list of best travel documentaries.

Also, Read  Wear Mask Help In Yourself 

About Me

My Travel Cool Photos mean capturing my moments. Photo images are incredibly important because they not only allow us to capture specific moments over time. Cool photos are for future generations and enable us to recreate wonderful memories or experiences over and over again. I have captured many such moments in my travel experiences. Through these cool photos, I still do time travel to all my old travel places.

50 Rupees Selfie

50 Rupees Selfie
50 Rupees Selfie

I met him near Changu lake Sikkim along with his yak. This little yak master has two giant yaks. The kid had something very attractive, called attitude. “Can I click a picture?” I waited for his consent, but he did not say no nor said yes but kept looking at me. I slowly took out my camera and clicked two pictures. He looked at the camera without shifting his gaze or position. “Do you want a ride? 100 bucks for 10 minutes”. he said. I said, “I don’t ride animals.” But before I could complete my sentences, he uttered, “50 rupees then for clicking pictures”. This photo is one of my favorite photos from the Cool Photos collection.

Also, Read The Little Yak Master Did Not Give A Damn

Happy Holiday

The Holiday
The Holiday

Sometimes a small word becomes the reason for your happiness. And one such is “Holiday”. And if that holiday destination is Goa, then the happiness increases a lot more. This picture was taken on a day when I had the happiest and most exciting day on my birthday. This happiness I still remember.

Also, Read The Holiday

Today Is My Day

 TODAY IS MY DAY
TODAY IS MY DAY

I believe and I feel sometimes a day is designed just for me. This picture is very close to my heart. This one day I just did nothing. On this day in Himachal Pradesh, I canceled all my plans of going out. I sat on the roof of my hostel with Bagiraa ( the hostel dog). The joy of doing nothing, makes me think again and again when I see this picture. I miss that day.

Also, Read Tell Yourself- TODAY IS MY DAY

Take A Selfie

selfi with Naga people
Take A Selfie

Nagaland people are very photogenic. As I was walking around the Hornbill Festival in 2018, suddenly some Naga people came to me and said let’s take a selfie. And this is the selfie. Also many more cool photos I have with them. After clicking, I transferred this picture to everyone through WhatsApp while enjoying drinking naga bamboo tea with them. This photograph really touched my heart.

Also, Read 5 Reason To Visit Nagaland

Cheers

Cheers to life
Cheers To Life

Drink heavily with locals whenever possible” This caption is perfect for this picture. This photo was taken during the Hornbill Festival in Nagaland. Suddenly connecting with new people and becoming friends with them. That day is still very special to me. And this picture still doesn’t let me miss my excitement of that day.

Hello Human

Hello Human
Hello Human

In Hampi, we met a cute monkey. He very quietly came and sat on my neck, took pictures, and left. Honestly, This is the story of these cool photos.

The Poser

The  Dog Poser
The Poser

On the way to Sikkim Nathula Pass, our car stopped for a tea break. My friend clicked some pictures of me at that time. Suddenly the dog came in front of the camera and sat on my lap. And in that picture, that moment has been captured. I just love the picture.

The Goddess

The Goddess
The Goddess

In the Sonajhuri forest( Shantiniketan) I met the little goddess. She is an artist. She roam around in God’s outfit, and makeup and blessed everyone. I requested her to stay with me for the rest of the day. It is hard to find God and when the almighty is seen then who wants to leave her. By the way, her name is Pinky.

Also, Read When I met little Goddess In Shantiniketan

Art Of Joy

Art Of Joy Kolkata Wall

Sometimes your locality restores surprises for you. You just need an open eye and mind to see those. This wall graffiti near my home (Kolkata) surprised me with joy. Sitting on a cycle and playing with an art dog makes me feel silly. This photo always reminds me to keep alive my inner child.

I have many such cool photos with short stories. In my next blog, I would post some more for you guys.

Please let me know in the comment box which one you like most.

About Me

Nagaland is all set to host the 22nd annual Hornbill Festival 2021. Hornbill Festival held in Nagaland Kisama heritage village from December 1 to 10. The festival was virtually organized last year because of the pandemic. Hornbill is one of the most colorful tribal entertaining events in the country.

Also, Read The Land Of Festivals -Nagaland

Hornbill Festival 2021

The festival has been showcasing the tribal culture and traditions of Nagaland for over two decades. The 22nd edition of the cultural extravaganza this year will include 17 different tribes from Nagaland and will feature music, dance, sports, food, martial arts, folk art, walkathon, mountain biking, CrossFit challenge, car rally, wrestling, and local handicrafts. Nagaland is the destination of colors, rituals, and equally festivals. The most prominent iconic festival is the Hornbill festival. The festival is named after the forest bird hornbill; which are a cultural icon of the Naga people and part of the folklore of the various tribes of the state. During the Hornbill Festival, various tribal in Nagaland held their own festivals which extremely portray their rich culture. Naga People’s lifestyle can be seen through this festival. The festival’s 2021 edition comprises around 700 separate events.

Also, Read A Trip With The Nagas

The Way

Dimapur is the only airport in Nagaland, with a direct flight to Kolkata. For those coming by air, this is the entry point. There are government buses and private taxis from Dimapur to Kohima. You can also get a shared taxi from Dimapur station to Kohima for around 400 INR. There are also several night buses from Guwahati and Shillong which reach Dimapur and Kohima in the morning.

Kisama Heritage village is 12 km from Kohima. Taxi fare will be 200 approx.

Please Note share taxi and Bus from Dimapur to Kohima last time is 3 pm

Also, Read 5 Reason To Visit Nagaland

Covid-19 Guidline

Carry a full-vaccination certificate. otherwise, you will have to undertake an RT-PCR test at the point of entry.
No testing for children below 12 years of age, if accompanied by a parent, guardian.
Carry a COVID negative test report (RT-PCR/TRUENAAT/CBNAAT), undertaken not more than 72 hours before the journey, in case not fully vaccinated. This applies to those aged between 12 to 18 years.

Also, read My Extended Naga Family In Nagaland

 

Permits For Nagaland

Apart from the COVID regulations, Indians need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter Nagaland. Indian can get it simply Online.

Foreigners will need to register with the Foreigner’s Registration Office (FRO) of the district they visit or the nearest police station, within 24 hours of their arrival.

Also Read Mask Works, So Make Your Masks Work

 

We all know Durga Puja is one of the biggest festivals in Bengal and as well as in India. And not only in India but in all corners of the world. In long years the Puja has changed in many ways. But one thing remained unchanged. That is the pure bliss, the joy, the excitement that has never changed throughout the years. The style of Durga Puja in Calcutta during the British period was a little different. Even before the British rule, the Durga festival was celebrated in Calcutta even during the Muslim period. Earlier, Durga Puja was not so glamorous at that time, then Raja Krishnachandra of Nadia was the first to bring great splendor to this festival. And seeing his glorious Durga Puja festival, those who became rich during the time of the British government also started the same glorious worshiping of goddess Durga.

Also, Read KOLKATA IS AN EMOTION

Durga Puja Invitation In British Era

From the middle of the eighteenth century till the rule of the famous Act No. 10 of 1840, Durgoutsab was the best social festival in Calcutta irrespective of the class of the society. The joy of the natives in this festival is more than that of the company. From Esplanade to Enntali, from Latbahadur to normal clerk, no one could have dreamed of leaving Calcutta during Pujo. Most of the time they were almost ready to wait when Pujo’s invitations would come from different big houses.

Nemantanne ( Invitation) never made mistakes. During Durga Puja, Durga Puja tickets or invitation cards used to go to different houses. At that time generous advertisements were published for the common people on behalf of the big zamindars. Advertising was an invitation for everyone. Because Babura knew, even though the occasion was Durga, this festival was the festival of the company. In the beginning, just like the money given by the company, in the end, the only desire was to get the company’s favor.

British People Holiday During Durga Puja

In the late nineteenth century, British officers based in Calcutta started going out of Calcutta with their families during Durga Pujo. They went on vacations to various places in Shimla, Manali, Darjeeling. Following in the footsteps of the British, the Babu community in Calcutta at that time used to leave Calcutta. At that time, Durga Puja meant to them to travel outside Calcutta like the British. The Barwari Durga festival did not start in Calcutta at that time. Durga Puja used to perform only in the house of the big zamindar of Calcutta. Durga Puja was not performed in large numbers, as all the zamindars or big people in Calcutta used to travel outside Calcutta. At that time Pujo was not so glorious in Calcutta. But from that time onwards this touring tradition began. So far, the people of Kolkata have gone out of Kolkata for the Pujo holidays.

Also, Read Unique Story- Of 7 Indian Villages

Debt-Ridden Prisoners

Apart from various pleasures of dancing, singing, and drinking during the puja, the people of the Babu community in Kolkata used to free the prisoners who were in debt. In the old days, a class of prisoners could be released only if they repaid the loan. At that time some rich people used to repay their debts and release those prisoners. They used to release more English prisoners to please the British government. As a result, during the puja season or at the small causal court, a crowd of underage people would gather. They want to go to jail right now, before Pujo. Because there is the hope of liberation soon.

Also, Read 5 India’s Most Ancient City

50 Rupees Durga Puja

At that time British officials used to perform Durga Puja with their own money. One of the employees of the company used to do Durgotsab with his own money. He is John Chips, the famous manufacturer of Hunter’s Annals of Rural Bengal. The popular ‘Sree Chikbahadur’ of Birbhum. When Chips set foot in Calcutta as a writer for the company in 1782, he was only sixteen years old. Within a few years, it was heard that he had been appointed Auditor General of the company. In due course (1787) he was appointed the first commercial agent of the company in Birbhum. The company then traded in cotton, silk, lacquer, dyes, etc. Chips added to that, personal business. The company’s office was in Sonamukhi, and Chips’ home was in Surule, near Santiniketan. Shyamkishore, a descendant of Lord Singh of Raipur, was the dewan of chips.

He started Durga Puja in the words of his Dewan Shyamkishore to improve his business. Chips already knew about the british company’s official mood about Durgotsab. He organized the Durgo festival of the people with pomp and circumstance. And he used to believe that this Durga Pujo was the reason why his business flourished and every year Chips continued to perform Durga Pujo in his place. Mr. Chips used to spend only fifty rupees a year on this. Pujo costs only seventeen rupees. With the rest of the money, the people of the village used to get new clothes, and a full feast on the day of Mahasthami.

Also, Read The Land Of Festivals -Nagaland

Also, Read  My Travel Cool Photos

 

In this new world, people always try to stay healthy. As being healthy means long life, people all over the world believe this mantra. The life expectancy of an Indian is 69.27, and Americans are 78.54. There are five places in the world where people live extraordinary longevity. They lead their simple busy life as well with a healthful diet. And they believe living naturally means they don’t have mechanical conveniences.

Also, Read Stranger Meetup In Travel -Part 1

World Blue Zone

According to World Scientists, they have searched five Blue Zones in the world. Blue Zones are regions of the world where more people live longer than the average. The key to increasing life expectancy in all these Blue Zones is diet, regular exercise, strong social ties, and finding a purpose in life.
The five Blue Zones in the world are- Okinawa Island In japan, Ikaria in Greece, Sardinia in Italy, Loma Linda in California, and the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica.

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Okinawa, Japan

Okinawa is the largest of the Ryukyu island located on the coast of Japan. This island in Okinawa is famous in Japan for its extraordinary longevity the people. There are 24.55 people over the age of 100 for every 100,000 inhabitants. It is higher than the global average. A unique traditional diet and also a simple lifestyle are giving these people some lifespans. The Okinawans eat a diet rich in vegetables and tofu served on a small plate.

As per their tradition, their diet contains 30 percent green and yellow vegetables. Although the Japanese diet includes a large quantity of rice, Okinawa people consume less rice. But like other Japanese, they like the purple-fleshed Okinawan sweet potato. But unlike Japanese tradition, their diet has only 30 percent of sugar and 15 percent of grains. Their philosophy of joy meaning is the bonding between them. Living happily together with everyone plays an integral part in their longevity.

Also, Read The African Village In Gujarat

Ikaria, Greece

Ikaria, this island in Greece, earned the nickname- The Island Of Long Life. One in three people living on the island lives to be over 90 years old. According to health experts, a healthy diet and an active lifestyle is the key to a long life on this beautiful island. There is another reason for their longevity, people here do what they love to do every day as a passion, and they avoid unnecessary anxiety.

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Sardinia, Italy

Sardinia in Italy is the place for the world longest living men. The inhabitants of this region are culturally isolated from other cities in Italy. They maintained a very traditional, healthy lifestyle. Sardinian people consume plenty of vegetables and also fresh catches fish. They are always close with family and friends and drink one or two glasses of wine almost every day. The unitary nature of such communities in Okinawa, Japan, is another reason directly related to longevity.

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Loma Linda, California

The people of Loma Linda, California, are the longest-living people in the United States. The group of about 9000 Seventh-day Adventists in Lomba Linda live about ten times longer than Americans. The average life expectancy here is 89 for men and 91 for women. Here the average lifespan is much higher than in other American cities. They believed health is the center of faith, and they have strict rules about their diet, exercise, and rest. The people here typically avoid eating meat and dairy products. Seventh-day Adventists are pure vegetarians and follow the ‘Biblical Diet”. ( Bible Diet is a health plan given by God that delivers all the necessary nutrients we need to live the most abundant life possible).

There are seven agricultural products listed in the Bible. These are called the Seven Species: wheat, barley, figs, grapes, olives, pomegranates, and dates (Deut 8:8). The Bible often describes the land of Israel as a land “flowing with milk and honey”.

Also, Read Yoga Indias Most Successful Export To The World

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Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica is the happiest place in Central America. Most Costa Ricans are very healthy here. The number of men over the age of 100 is much higher. The reason for their longevity and happiness is a high level of life satisfaction. The main reason for the longevity of the people of Nicoya Peninsula is that they are very active in their daily life. They maintain a healthy lifestyle and also eat very little throughout the day. And they do not eat any processed food at all. They like to hang out with their family and friends all the time. And being happy with everyone increases their life expectancy.

About Me

One of my favorite parts about traveling is meeting new people or friends. I would love to say that stranger thing! I prefer to mingle with people than visit historic monuments. No matter how much we travel alone, we get connected with some people somewhere during that journey. Meeting someone for the first time is very exciting for me. And my personal travel experiences taught me that strangers are much more helpful and polite. As we travel, we see changes in the environment, culture, and people in different places. And we will never know about their culture and tradition unless we mix with them.

I have made great connections with different people at different times in different places, including Nagaland, Pondicherry, Sikkim, and Assam, on my nearly one-and-a-half-year journey. Later I may not have had any direct contact with them, but I still feel that emotion when we met first. I can meet you on my next travel?

Also Read: Humankind Is 7% Happier Than Those Who Do Not Travel

Also, Read: My Favorite Best Travel Documentaries

The Lady And Her Tea stall In Guwahati

The kind Woman In Guwahati
The Kind Woman In Guwahati

One afternoon I was waiting at the bus stand in Guwahati to catch a bus to Jorhat at night. Due to travel, I was exhausted, and I fell asleep. The shop where I came to have tea was owned by an Assamese woman. She offered me a cup of tea with some warm concern “did not you sleep last night? Please have it, we will feel better”. More than the tea, her kind words charged me up. Then I told her my travel details, she kept quiet and said “do you want to sleep? There is a room next to my shop where you sleep and rest”. Before I would say yes or no, she told me “don’t worry, it is a clean bed”. I wanted to sleep so I took the offer. When I woke up after two or three hours, she smiled and made me a very good evening snack. She asked me to wait there until my bus arrives. I thanked her, paid for my meal, and headed toward my bus. But she stopped me. She handed me a small packet. The kind woman said “it is your dinner with bread and vegetables.

Also, Read The Dreamer Of Ghoom

Believe In Strangers

Sometimes I believe in stranger

It’s a simple incident. When I reached Majuli Island in the morning, I needed to go to the toilet badly. I asked some people about the location of the washroom. They showed me a place, but I could not go with my heavy backpack. They were strangers to me, and my bags were stranger things to them. But still, I had no option but to believe them at that moment. In there, I was worried about my backpack, as it had all my important documents and money. I regretted my decision, but when I came out, I found them guarding my belongings. I was so relaxed. They ordered tea for me. It seems that believing in people might be a little difficult, but sometimes we have no choice but to trust strangers, who might give us a lifetime memory to cherish.

Facebook Friend In Jorhat

Social media friend
Social media friend Dipak at Jorhat

In Jorhat, I met my social media friend. When I was in Nagaland through my Facebook profile I got connected with some locals from Jorhat. I had a conversation with a gentleman named Deepak. He lived with his family in Jorhat. Deepak assured me that he would arrange an auto for me from the Jorhat bus stand to Majuli ferry ghat. Early morning I reached the Jorhat bus stand, Deepak called at the same time as the bus arrived. And I saw him waiting for me in an auto-rickshaw. He came to pick me up because his auto driver was late for the day. By profession, he was the staff of a government school there. Deepak gave me a lot of information about Jorhat. We had breakfast together and he dropped me off at the ferry ghat to go to Majuli. I have very little time with Deepak but unforgettable.

Also Read: A Mother’s Story -Who Stands For Her Rights

When Unknown People Become Good friends In Nagaland

Meet Unknown Friends
Meet Unknown Friends In Nagaland
 My Extended Naga family
My Extended Naga family

Also, Read My Extended Naga Family In Nagaland

The world is full of good people. And in Nagaland, the fact was no different. Before traveling to Nagaland, many people warned me about Nagaland. Their culture, eating, and drinking habit does not match with people like us. But the experience that I had is completely different. In Nagaland, I spent time with a beautiful Naga family. And their whole family helped me tremendously to get around Nagaland and took care of my other things.

As I was touring the Hornbill Festival, I met some young Naga people. And in a short time, they became very close friends. We went out together, sang songs and ate different foods. For the remaining four days I stayed with those new friends at their home in Kohima. They gave me tours in their car to different places in Nagaland. In my last 4 days in Nagaland, they never let me feel that I am not in my own house. And the warmest thing was that they cooked various famous dishes of Nagaland in their home and fed me.

Solo Travel is always fantastic when you meet strangers on your way. The fastest way to make a friend for life is to travel with a stranger. And these things it’s called stranger things.

About Me

Yoga is the union of body, mind and spirit. And thus, it connects the individual to the universal. It’s about realizing the connection between the finite and the infinite, manifest and the unmanifest. This practice is bringing harmony in Thought, Word and Deed. Rigveda is one among the foremost sacred, and therefore, the oldest books of human history. It’s about eight to ten thousand years old, and it may be a part of this sacred writing. Maharishi Patanjali considered being the authority on yoga propounded, nearly 5000 years ago in ancient India. Lord Krishna and plenty of saints of India have also spoken about yoga. In the middle ages, the practice was confined only to the Royal family. And therefore, the scholarly class taught to students in gurukuls after passing a rigorous test. Bhagavad-Gita says ” Yogaha Karmasukaushalam” meaning yoga is skill in action and expression.

Also Read 6 Forbidden Places You Are Not Welcome

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How Yoga Gains Empires Around The World

The beginnings of yoga date back to the Indus Saraswati Valley civilization 5000 years ago. And it was first discovered

mentioned in the Vedas. More coded and organized. When Patanjali established his knowledge of this technic when he composed the Yoga Sutras around 400 AD, it was forgotten until the recovery of Swami Vivekananda in the late 1860s. Although Patanjali’s practice was aimed at attaining samadhi or knowledge, the rituals that came many centuries after his writings were meant to engage physically and mentally and enhance the living experience.

In 1893, when Swami Vivekananda travelled to Chicago to address the Parliament of the World Religions, he became interested in yoga by drawing attention to the practice. After that, this practice has gained a different dimension around the world. While the practice was accepted with arms wide open throughout the world.

Also Read The Origin & Travel Route To India Of 5 Common Fruits

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The Rise Of Ancient Yoga

The rise started with the two Indian celebrated yogis, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and Sivananda. They established Hatha Yoga, the modern form of the practice that we know today. Krishnamacharya’s Mysore School of Hatha Yoga gave the world three leading yogis-B.K.S. Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikachar and K. Pattabhi Jois, men who have been responsible for the global ubiquity of yoga.

The virtues of yoga practice are slowly spreading all over the world. The fascination began in the 1940s, thanks to the efforts of Indra Devi or Eugenie Peterson. Peterson was an actor before she came in contact with Krishnamacharya and became one of his disciples-the first woman and foreigner to get the opportunity. After training for several years as his disciple, Devi travelled with the gospel of yoga to China and then to Hollywood. Indra Devi Often called the ‘First Lady of Yoga. Devi went where many others didn’t and attracted the West to this ancient practice by restructuring it to appeal to Western sensibilities.

Indra Devi (google Image)

The Significance Of June 21-International Yoga Day

June 21st, the day of uninterrupted summer, transforms the passage of the sun into the sky from north to south. The yogi and mystic, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, explains: “In yogic lore, the first transmission of yoga by Shiva. And the Adiyogi, to his seven disciples, the Saptarishis, said to initiated on the first full moon after the summer solstice, which celebrated as Guru Purnima. This period, known as Dakshinayana, hailed as the phase when there is natural support for those pursuing spiritual practices.

Also Read A Journey Of The Kalash People Of Pakistan

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The Kalash People Picture Source By Google Image

For centuries, the Kalash People lived in a remote mountainous region which now spreads contiguously across Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, Kalash people who lived in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan carried on the legacy through their centuries journey. The natural beauty of this region is almost isolated from the earth.

The people, known as Kalash. They are said to have descended from soldiers of the army of Alexander the Great who traveled this way in 324 BCE. The animist Kalash is outwardly different from the darker-skinned Pakistani Muslims who live in the lowlands below them. Today, they form the smallest of Pakistan’s minority ethnic groups (numbering between 3,000 to 4,000 people) and can be found in three valleys: Bumburet, Rumbur, and Birir. The Kalash language is said to be part of the Dardic group of Indo-Aryan languages. They have held their ancient Culture.

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Who Is These Kalash people

They say their ancestors came from Greece. There is a lot of evidence of it in the history of their journey. According to historians, Alexander the Great conquered the mountains of northern Pakistan 2,000 years ago, where the Kalash now live. The people of Kalash have also been living here for almost two thousand years. There is no resemblance between Arabic or Urdu, the language spoken by the people of the Kalash tribe, which belongs to the Indo-Iranian language. According to Kalash people said that Alexander came to India even before Islam. When he returned to Greece after winning the war, some of his comrades remained. They like the natural beauty of Hindu Kush. Married local women. The infidel Kalash of Hindu Kush are their descendants. And such a cultural mix has happened.

The New York Times found that the Kalash people’s DNA seems to indicate that they had an infusion of European blood during a “mixing event” at roughly the time of Alexander’s conquests. These isolated people are thus most likely the direct descendants of the ancient Greek-Macedonian armies who set up outposts in this region 2,300 years ago.

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They Follow Ancient Culture

The Kalash people kept their pagan rituals and worshipped their ancient gods in outdoor temples, despite the fact that most Pakistanis converted to Islam throughout the decades. Most importantly, they produced wine much like the Greeks of antiquity did. This is a Muslim country that forbade alcohol.

They cultivate on the slopes of the hills for their livelihood. They enjoy a very colorful culture. Full of dance, song, and entertainment. Earlier, the people followed a simple life, mostly dependent on agriculture and cattle rearing. Buckwheat and other crops were grown in the river valleys. The food is prepared in wood-fired ovens. They followed a nature-oriented faith. which later some researchers equated with the animistic form of worship while others found similarities with ancient Hindu concepts.

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Customs

The customs of the Kalashas are very strange. One of them that has been much discussed is the custom of sending menstruating as well as pregnant women to the ‘Bashaleni’, a dorm-style building far from the main village. It is frequently referred to as a type of oppression by modern cultural interpreters. But according to Kalash people, it is the women who handle the bulk of everyday work; so they need the time out.

The Kalash follow various social customs and rituals. When a boy goes from adolescence to youth, the boy, sent to the high mountains with sheep for the whole summer. When he survives and comes back to the village, Badulak festival is happing. In this festival, he will stay for one day, with any married, unmarried, and virgin girl in the village. For this, if anyone is pregnant, everyone in the village will consider it a blessing.

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Festival

Barbara West, a professor of anthropology at the University of Rochester. He says in the Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia and Oceania that “Kalash religion is a form of Hinduism that recognizes many gods and spirits” and that “given their Indo-Aryan language … the religion of The Kalasha is much more closely aligned the Hinduism of their Indian neighbors.

There are three main religious festivals of Kalash. In May, ‘Chilam Joshi’ is ‘Uchau’ in autumn and in mid-winter, the best festival is ‘Kaumus’. In this festival, they create human chains around the whole village. The priest of the temple spread the leaves of the juniper tree on the devotees like leather. At the end of the day, everyone dances and eats in a place called ‘Charso’ in the middle of the village.

The Kalas believe that at this time their most revered deity is ‘Baloman’ or they go around the valley and listen to everyone’s prayers. So big fires and torches are lit in the mountains to pay homage to the deity. Then they play the flute around the fire, play drums made of pinewood, clap their hands, and dance in circles.

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Modern Lifestyle

Numerous Kalash men and women in Nuristan, Afghanistan, have been forced to convert by the Taliban. But the Pakistani Kalash people are still fighting to preserve the tradition they have held for thousands of years. For decades, in their long journey, they are trying to hold on to their ancient culture. The traditions continue even today but have been much influenced by the incursions of modern lifestyle as motorable roads (rough and dusty) have made the remote villages accessible. Shops have opened in the valleys which provide meat and other food items, consumer products, etc. Electrification has made televisions, mobile phones and computers accessible. 

Even though the Kalash people and their culture, changing slowly over time. The elderly keepers are worried that the advent of modern lifestyle and the younger generation’s proximity to the Islamic lifestyle. A leader of the Kalash, Saifullah Jan, has stated, “If any Kalash converts to Islam, they cannot live among us anymore. We keep our identity strong.” About three thousand have converted to Islam or are descendants of converts, yet still, live nearby in the Kalash villages and maintain their language and many aspects of their ancient culture. 

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Tourism Kalash Valley

Tourism has also made inroads into the Kalash villages. Unless hindered by political situations, tourists take a long journey to arrive in spring and summer to see the rugged breathtaking beauty of the region and the unique culture of the Kalash people. The villagers too look upon tourism as a way of earning and have set up homestays and hotels, and shops selling local handicrafts. One of the best occasions to visit the Kalash villages is during their colorful festivals.

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Coorg people or Kodavas are a well-known martial community in Karnataka. And they are the only community in India that can keep a gun without a license. Kodavas are a martial race and have been bearing arms for 300 years. They still worship weapons and consider them sacred. They obtained licenses for firearms such as pistols, revolvers, and double-barrelled shotguns.

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Why Guns Without License

So why do the Kodavas have special rights? Actually not just the Kodavas even original residents of Coorg who have jamma land (land granted by the king). So the people of Coorg (Kodavas, Coorg Gowdas, and other communities as well who have been granted land by the maharajas) have an exemption from certain sections of the arms act. So it was a simple system – take land for free and don’t pay property tax on it, but when the king needs you, come with your army to assist the king. They always had to be ready with weapons if ever there was a call from the king. For this, you were allowed to keep weapons and practice during peacetime. If you decided you don’t want to fight a war, you had to pay taxes on the land you Owned.

Kodavas Guns Tradition
Kodavas Guns Tradition (Google Image)

British Era Rule

The Kodavas have been exempted from the Indian Arms Act right from the time it was introduced by the British in 1834. The British made an exception for this tribe in appreciation of their valiant support to them in their fight against Tipu Sultan. Of the 3.8 lakh people living in Kodagu, almost every family possesses a gun, some even ten. The only regulation is that the Kodavas should obtain an exemption certificate from the Government, which gives them the right to possess any gun without a license.

Another story is that Kodavas allied themselves with the British against the mighty Muslim warrior Tippu Sultan. So they were allowed to own and carry arms. Which was strictly prohibited at that time in other parts of India. Indian Government has decided to continue a British-era rule of exempting the Kodavas of Coorg.

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Use Of Guns

There has been a very close relationship between the Kodavas and his gun. When there is a boy born into the family a single shot is fired in the air. During the funeral, gunshots are used as a mark of respect. During a housewarming ceremony, the tradition is to carry a baby in a cradle, a lamp and the man of the house carries a gun. On completion of all the rituals, a gun is fired to mark the completion of the ceremony. Kodava mainly lives in a hilly area and their house is far away from each other’s house. They make gunshots in the sky when there is an emergency. And hearing that sound, other people ran towards the house for help.

Kalipodh Festival coorg
Kalipodh Festival (Google Image)

Kailpodh Festival

The word Kailpodh means a festival of armor or weapons. “Kail” means armory/weapon and “Podh” means festivals.

They place their traditional weapons like guns, swords, knives, spears, bows, and arrows in the prayer room. They decorate the weapons with flowers and they pray to their God, asking for the well-being of their crops and to give them the strength to protect them from wild animals. This is the significance of Kailpodh. Getting everyone together is one of the main objectives of this festival.

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