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.
- 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
Our journey path (as featured in
Treks in a Wild World)
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.
- 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
- 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 including Rabindranath 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 by Prime 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.