NGT Rewind: Handy Travel Apps, India’s Best Train Journeys, and Goa’s Bird Festival

The best of Nat Geo Traveller India from October 10-October 16. | By NGT Staff  
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, West Bengal. Photo: Jane Sweeney/AGE Fotostock/Dinodia Photo Library
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, West Bengal. Photo: Jane Sweeney/AGE Fotostock/Dinodia Photo Library

What’s New

APP REVIEW: Google’s new travel app, Google Trips, is a part-organiser, part-guide that helps plan holidays—and it has its charms, even if it feels like a personal stalker sometimes. But is it worth the download? More on our take here.

Trip Ideas

PAINTING THE TOWN RED: At the annual Pot Maya festival, every wall is a canvas in the artist village of Naya in West Bengal. Except these traditional artists don’t just paint their stories, they sing them too. This year’s festival takes place between Fri 11 Nov–Sun 13 Nov 2016. More here on why you should plan a visit.

SCENIC INDIAN TRAIN JOURNEYS: Most of us have grown up travelling by train—and a good many of us barely do anymore. Rediscover our country’s breathtaking rail routes, like the Baramulla-Banihal DEMU train that journeys through Kashmir’s stunning landscapes. More here.

STAY: At Kolkata’s iconic Fairlawn Hotel, the hectic pace of modern life is relinquished for something more old-school and leisurely. More here.

GOA BIRD FESTIVAL: This November, take a breather from Goa’s beaches and get acquainted with its blissful forests. The state is hosting its first bird festival, with guided nature walks through forests and coastal wetlands, inhabited by the Malabar pied hornbill, painted storks, and 430 other bird species. It’s the perfect break for the city-weary and registrations are open. More here.

MORE THAN JUST CHEESE: There are many things one expects from a Swiss town like Gruyères: Mountain views, pots of glorious fondue, even a medieval castle or two. But aliens and giggling cows? More here.

WILDLIFE GETAWAY: In the early 2000s, Rajasthan’s Sariska Tiger Reserve was the first in India to lose all its tigers. But today the park is home to a growing population of big cats. Our guide tells you where to stay, when to go, and how to plan a trip to the sanctuary. More here.

Travel Reads

EDITOR’S NOTE: We live in a time of airport horror stories. But amidst heightened security and longer waiting times, Editor-in-Chief Niloufer Venkatraman observes, airports are also doing little things to make travellers more comfortable. More here.

GIRL POWER: Meet the inspirational Malik sisters, Tashi and Nungshi, who have climbed the seven tallest peaks in the world to raise awareness about the plight of girls in India. More here.

RAILWAY REEL: We’re celebrating all things trains this month at NGT, so of course, we have a story on the starring role that the railways have played in Bollywood. From Rajesh Khanna serenading Sharmila Tagore on the Darjeeling toy train to Kajol’s iconic last-minute dash in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, many an iconic movie scene has played out in (and sometimes on) a train. Where would romance in India would be without trains? We shudder to imagine. More here.

EAT WITH A LOCAL: There’s no better way to explore a place than through its food. Our list of apps and websites will help you eat and drink with locals, and promises full bellies and unforgettable experiences. More here.

WILDLIFE WARRIOR: Meet Siddharth Chakravarty, a self-confessed pirate who stalks the seas protecting whales, orcas, and seals. More here.

FILMS TO WATCH: Can’t figure out what to watch over the weekend? Neither can we, which is what inspired our “Films to Watch This Weekend” series. Every month, we’ll recommend three travel movies, each after a different theme. This instalment celebrates the Great Outdoors. More here.

VIDEO: What happens when a filmmaker takes a road trip in gorgeous Tasmania? Pure magic. Watch his mesmerizing video here.

KISSING BRIDGE: Copenhagen’s lively buzz, edgy design, and warm people make it easy to fall in love with the Danish capital, as one traveller discovers atop its newest bridge. More here.

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