In the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, surrounded by the sun, clouds and earth, there is a sense of calm; calm that the eyes can see, the body can feel and the mind can transcend. This image of Sangti Valley holds secrets, secrets that unravel themselves a little more each time I look and recollect the feeling of transcendence I feel amidst these mountains. Like the best love affairs, the best trips… Read More
The greatest culinary gift of the streams, pastures and forests of Arunachal Pradesh is an abundance of fresh produce. The Monpa people of West Kameng district live in close connection with nature and have a deep knowledge of both farmed crops and wild edible food resources. Being non-vegetarian, the meat of both wild and domesticated animals like fish, yak and chicken is also used in the preparation of traditional Monpa cuisine. The… Read More
Perched on a small plateau carved out of the mountainside, medieval Kastong Monastery stands watch over the gateway to West Kameng. The intricate and beautifully maintained sambu which adorn doorframes, window encasements and even entire ceilings at this revered sacred site are reason alone to visit. But it is also from this unique vantage point, that the most breathtaking panoptic views of Dirang village and the surrounding valleys can be taken in…. Read More
Across Arunachal Pradesh, women practice traditional methods of weaving and textile production in home industry with great dexterity. A means of expressing and preserving their tribal identity, skills are passed from one generation to the next with care and enthusiasm; and the results are as varied and enchanting as the colours of a rainbow. In West Kameng district, the tribal dress worn by Monpa ladies includes the ‘shingka’, a light red sleeveless… Read More
It was a cool afternoon and the sky above the valley was lined with lacy clouds. Through the open window I watched as we drove by green hillsides plump with orange and kiwi groves. Curiosity and anticipation were tangled inside me, like I already knew something big was coming. Our car turned up a rough road and stopped at the edge of a meadow. A flock of tawny sheep was being led… Read More
The cuisines of Arunachal Pradesh vary across the state according to the availability of local ingredients and the food preparation methods particular to each tribe. Imagine a Monpa meal and thoughts of smoked morels, yak’s cheese and Thukpa (hand-rolled noodles) immediately start to tickle the senses. A typical lunch served in Dirang might also include mutton curry, fiery homemade chutney and garden fresh salad… Lip-smacking!