Trekking in East India

India is a vast continent in itself. Uncharted lands and great diversities between regions are characteristic features of this land. East India in particular is one of the most populated yet unexplored corners of the planet.

Trekking in East India

The Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh

Trek Essentials

Where: Northeast India
Best season: October – May
Best sights: remote Adi hill tribe, Hindu pilgrim bathing and the Kaali temple
Remember to bring: a permit and a dive instructor when visiting the Andamans

India is a vast continent in itself. Vast uncharted lands and great diversities between regions are characteristic features of this land. East India in particular is one of the most populated yet unexplored corners of the planet. There are valleys and hills inhabited sparsely by tribes and also cities like Calcutta that are a choc-a-bloc of people.

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Highlights

– Visiting Calcutta’s famous Kaali Temple, a place where they say Goddess Sati’s toe fell
– Diving in the waters surrounding the Andaman Islands to see the unique marine life that exists here
– Heading to the huge religious festival outside Calcutta city, known as the Ganga Mela
– Visiting the Adi tribe in the remote village of Arunachal Pradesh

Our Journey Path – As Featured in Best Treks

Holly Morris begins her journey in Calcutta, the city of magical bedlam. She enters through this gateway to Northeast India, before making her way to the remote Andaman Islands. Here she indulges in adventurous sports like underwater diving. She then travels north to the former British hill station of Darjeeling. The finale to her journey is at one of the most remote and unknown states of India, Arunachal Pradesh, where she spends time with the Adi Tribe and tastes their local delicacy – rat.

Traveller’s Tips

– The noise, congestion and pollution in Calcutta are out of control and though there are many modes of transportation to choose from, it is always a bit of a gamble. A convenient choice would be to jump on one of the many desol beljan bus, but make sure you get on the right one.
– While visiting the temples of Calcutta, make sure you follow the basic rules and restrictions like taking your shoes off before entering the temple premises and eating food with your right hand.
– Visiting most of the islands in the Andaman Island group requires a permit by the authorities, as this is a provision under the tribal protection act.
– It’s always advised to take an instructor who knows the water with you while diving.

Things to See and Do

– Calcutta is India’s third largest city; it contains a bewildering mix of polluted industrialisation, poverty, quiet beauty and affluence. Many famous poets and writers were born here includingRabindranath Tagore. One of the main attractions of the city is the Kali Temple and since most of the people here are Hindu, the temple is always flooded with devotees.

– The Sagar Island bathing festival held in the month of January is another event that attracts religious followers and devotees from all over India. Hindu pilgrims descend on the area to visit the Kapil Muni Temple and bathe in the confluence of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal.

– Darjeeling, a peaceful place surrounded by tea plantations, has been a popular hill station since the British established it as a rest and relaxation centre for their troops in the mid-1800’s. It made an idea place to escape from the humidity and heat surrounding much of the continent. The area is modelled on a remote Scottish village.

– Darjeeling also has the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, which was founded in 1954 byPrime Minister Nehru following the first successful ascent of the peak. It’s here that mountaineers are trained. This place also has a small museum that includes mountaineering paraphenalia from previous treks and Himalayan flora and fauna.

– The Andaman Islands are simply beautiful and isolated beaches accompanied with, luscious rainforests, mangrove swamps and unique marine and bird life. For a visitor, this is an ideal retreat to finds yourself within close proximity of the few native tribes that remain, hidden in the hills.

– The Cellular Jail is an important historical monument to see. The British used the Andamans until Independence as a prison site for Indian freedom fighters. The 686-roomed Jail is a monument to India’s freedom struggle.

More Information

The Pilot Productions crew travelled with the assistance of the following organisations.

Where to stay:

Tollygunge Club (Calcutta)
120, Deshapran Sasmal Road
Kolkata – 700 033
West Bengal
Tel: 473 4539/5954/4741/2316
Fax: 033 473 1903

Windamere Hotel (Darjeeling)
Observatory Hill, Darjeeling
Tel: 0354 54041 / 0354 54042
Fax: 0354 54211 / 0354 54043

Hotel Bay Island (Welcome Group)
Marine Hill, Port Blair, The Andamans
Tel: 03192 34101 / Fax: 03192 33463

Tour guides (UK):

Sunflight Travel

Orbit House
Albert Street
MANCHESTER M30 0BL
Phone: 0870 728 728 7
Fax: 0161 707 0606

Airlines: 

Indian Airlines

By Nitasha Kulashreshtha

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