NGT Rewind: Everest Base Camp Guide, Kerala’s Snake-Boat Races & Kolkata’s Chinese Breakfasts

The best of Nat Geo Traveller India from August 1-7. | By NGT Staff  
Boat Race, Kerala
On race day, the chundan boats are dressed up with embroidered silk umbrellas and gleaming golden flags that flutter in the breeze. Photo: Keren Su/The Image Bank/Getty Images

What’s New:

BAA-UTIFUL VIEWS: Norway has a brave new four-legged explorer who is taking to Instagram to showcase the Scandinavian country’s natural wonders. Say hello to Frida the Sheep on the @SheepWithAView handle.

Trip Ideas:

OLD-WORLD CHARM: The south Indian city of Vellore is a delightful mix of compelling history, green pockets and delicious biryani. Among its star attractions is Vellore Fort, within whose ramparts are a mosque, church, and the looming Jalakanteshwara Temple.

GO NOW: Kerala’s snake-boat races are fast-paced, choreographed performances that are a sight to behold. With the next race on 13 August, here’s what travellers can expect.

DESERT ROCKS: In a place with barely 300 mm of annual rain and a relentless sun beating down, it’s staggering to see 300 species of plants thriving on the edge of the Thar Desert. But that’s exactly what greets visitors at the Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park, at the foot of Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort.

LIVING DANGEROUSLY: During a trip to Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, a traveller learned to laugh in the face of her fears after going whale-spotting, zip lining, and kayaking through the region’s rainforests.

STAY: At Kochi’s charming Walton’s Homestay, the host gives travellers hand-drawn maps of the port city, marked out with the best places to have coffee, cake, and seafood.

Travel Reads:

MIDNIGHT MEMORIES: Pleasantly blurry recollections of a romantic Spanish getaway trump a memory card of pictures.

TOUGH ENOUGH: More and more companies are offering thrilling (and safe) adventures for beginners, as this bookworm discovered on a trip to Argentina.

WORD PLAY: Did you know that Niue, the world’s tiniest self-governing nation was named after the local exclamation for “Behold the coconut!”? Read about this and other place names we use in our everyday vocabulary here.

DISBELIEVER’S DILEMMA: Ritual can move mountains—and sometimes, the staunchest agnostics, as this traveller discovered on a trip to Amritsar’s Golden Temple.

MOUNTAIN BREW: In honour of International Beer Day, we shared a lovely tale on enjoying a pint at Europe’s highest brewery, in the Swiss Alps.

SAVING OLD BANGKOK: Far from the Thai capital’s maddening crowds, change is brewing. A clutch of quirky boutique hotels are transforming traditional neighbourhoods.

WHAT’S IN A NAME: Patna’s tasty pedakia—a fried, half-moon shaped sweet—has many avatars and names across India. It is known as karanjikai in Tamil Nadu, neureos in Goa, and ghughra in Gujarat to name a few. More on this iconic food here.


EVEREST PRIMER: After the disastrous earthquake that rocked Nepal in 2015, the Everest trail is open again, welcoming visitors to the high mountains. Our do-it-yourself guide to the Everest Base Camp gives you all the information you need to get to the sacred mountain.

GARDEN OF STEEL: Founded by a Parsi, planned by an American, named by a British viceroy, and landscaped by a German botanist—the industrial city of Jamshedpur isn’t your average tourist destination.

WILD INDIA: Gujarat’s Velavadar Blackbuck National Park is one of the best places in the country to see graceful blackbuck. There’s lots more to spot, including striped hyenas, quails, pelicans and Indian eagle owls.

WALKING IN THE CLOUDS: Conquering a trek is an unparalleled feeling. It’s even better when you’re not sick from the altitude. Before your next high-altitude trek, read our guide to combating acute mountain sickness to ensure you feel on top of the world.

LOCAL FLAVOUR: When in Kolkata, start the day right with a hearty authentic Chinese breakfast on Sun Yat Sen Street. We’re talking prawn papars, red roast pork and fish ball soup. More here.

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