NGT Rewind: Majuli’s Mask-Makers, Darjeeling’s World-Famous Teas, and Diving Holidays in South East Asia

The best of Nat Geo Traveller India from Nov 21-27. | By NGT Staff  
Tea plantations in Darjeeling
Pickers harvest Darjeeling tea leaves at the hilltop Glenburn Tea Estate. Photo: Justin Guariglia

What’s New

DELHI WALK FEST: The capital’s histories and mysteries come alive this month, thanks to the ongoing Delhi Walk Festival. There are lip-smacking food trails, Sufiana walks through Nizamuddin, even a blindfolded tour of the Qutub Minar Complex. Plus, the guides include writer William Dalrymple, standup comedian Gursimran Khamba, and environmentalist Pradip Krishen. More here.

LIVE FROM OUR NATIONAL PARKS: Ever wished you could tag along on a shoot with a top wildlife photographer? Sudhir Shivaram takes us on safari by broadcastinglive on Facebook pro tips on photography, views of wildlife, and tales of wild encounters in his videos. More here.

CYCLING ACROSS INDIA: Earlier this year, Sushil Reddy, a graduate of IIT Bombay, embarked on an adventure across India with one goal—to raise awareness about the benefits of solar energy. In 79 days, Reddy pedalled across nine states and one union territory—and earned a Guinness World Record for his journey. More here.

BEST WILDLIFE PHOTOS OF 2016:London’s Natural History Museum recently announced the winners of the 2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. The stunning images include a leopard skulking through the Aarey Milk Colony in Mumbai, and aerial views of a wild orangutan hanging above a rainforest canopy in Indonesia. More here.

NEW ON AIRBNB: Online rental portal Airbnb has a new feature on its mobile app—Trips, which lists immersive cultural experiences curated by local hosts. Think ramen lessons in Tokyo and truffle hunting in Italy. More here.

Trip Ideas

UNDERWATER ADVENTURES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: South East Asia’s oceans are mesmerising—home to whales, turtles, playful dolphins, and coral gardens in every colour imaginable. Plan your diving and snorkelling holiday now, with our guide. More here.

PATIALA GUIDE: There’s more to Patiala than the generous Patiala peg and the voluminous Patiala salwar (though we love them both!). Use our guide to plan a weekend trip to the big-hearted Punjabi city. There are lovely farm stays, bustling markets (joothis!), and delicious plates of chole puri. More here.

OFFBEAT LONDON SIGHTS: London recently topped a survey of the world’s best cities—and there really is a lot to see. Skip the usual suspects for an edgier experience with our guide to grisly museums, graffiti tours, and possibly, ghosts. You won’t regret it. More here.

INDIA’S ARTSY STATIONS: Train stations often go by in a blur, but some of India’s train stations are worth paying closer attention. There are ones that look like chessboards from above, others have have gorgeous jungle murals on the walls. More here.

FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES: Beach vacation on your mind? Go island hopping in the Coron archipelago in the Philippines. There aer crystal-clear waters,breathtaking views, and hot springs to soak in. More here.

MUMBAI GETAWAY: Break the monotony of city life with a weekend break in Avanti Kalagram. The eco-resort, only a few hours away from Mumbai, has pottery and batik-painting workshops—perfect for the whole family! More here.

INDIA’S TREASURED ISLANDS: The Andaman & Nicobar Islands are India’s most popular islands, but they’re not were the only ones worth visiting. There are more than 1,200 islands, and they are home to rare wildlife like the Narcondam hornbill and ancient monasteries just waiting to be explored. More here.

SNOWY HIMALAYAN ESCAPES: Get your adrenaline pumping this winter with a mountain holiday. Ski down powdery slopes and skate on frozen lakes in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir. More here.

SACRED ARCHITECTURE IN INDIA: The country’s spiritual havens aren’t just sacred spaces, they are also amazing lessons in design. More here.

Travel Reads

MAJULI’S MASK- MAKERS: The riverine island of Majuli in Assam is a treasure trove for culture buffs. It is home to mask-makers who have been turning bamboo and clay into demons and gods since the 17th century. The tradition comes to life especially during the recently celebrated raas leela season, but visitors are welcome to meet the craftsmen all year round. More here.

SIPPING THE WORLD’S BEST TEA IN DARJEELING: Tea is a $40 billion industry today, making it the most popular drink on the planet second only to water. But there is only one place that produces what has come to be known as the champagne of teas, and it’s right here in West Bengal—in Darjeeling. More here.

CHAPLIN’S KUTCH CONNECTION: Charlie Chaplin is admired the world over, but one city in Kutch shows its appreciation rather differently—with a city-wide celebration on the actor’s birthday. More here.

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