NGT Rewind: Mumbai Getaways, Birding Holidays, & Mountain Festivals

The best of Nat Geo Traveller India from June 27-July 3. | By NGT Staff  
Oriental dwarf kingfisher
Oriental dwarf kingfishers are dedicated parents. During the mating season, both the male and female work together to excavate a tunnel and nesting chamber—far from any water source—where the female lays a clutch of about 3-7 eggs. Photo: Shankar S./Flickr/Creative Commons (

What’s New

FUTURE PERFECT: The latest addition to Dubai’s architecture scene is the world’s first functional 3D-printed office. Read more about it here.

GO NOW: Mumbai’s most famous building, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, is celebrating the anniversary of its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Festivities run through the week starting July 2, and include tours, quizzes, and panel discussions.

MONKS AND MOUNTAINS: The Naropa Festival, aka the “Kumbh of the Himalayas” is back after 12 years this September. Visit Ladakh’s Hemis Monastery to join in the celebrations. The fortnight-long schedule includes masked dances, drumming performances, and a pilgrimage to a lake of prophecy.

FROND MEMORIES: Ever noticed the beach on the back of the ₹20 note? Locals in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands believe it’s a real place.

Trip Ideas

MONSOON TREKS: The rains are the perfect time to get out of Mumbai and explore the Sahyadris. To get you going, we’ve rounded up a list of hikes to nearby forts. The best part? You don’t have to be a seasoned hiker.

BIRDS ON THE BRAIN: On your next holiday, spend time with India’s fine-feathered friends. Our list of top birdwatching holiday destinations in the country includes where to spot kingfishers, vultures, and bustards.

MUMBAI GETAWAYS: Quick escapes from the city, for adventure lovers, heritage fiends, and perpetually hungry travellers.

STAY: Birds, books, and brisk mountain air make it very tough to leave Himalaica, in Uttarakhand’s Kumaon region.

ROAD TRIPPING WITH KIDS: A road trip junkie uncle introduces his young niece and nephew to the wonders of the Himalayas—its landscapes, fruit, wildlife and people— with a journey through Himachal Pradesh. Along the way, he rediscovers the mountains he loves.

MANY LIVES, MANY MASTERS: There’s so much more to Aurangabad than the Ajanta and Ellora caves. There is exquisite haleem, beautiful Himroo shawls, and the mind-boggling Daulatabad Fort. And the monsoon is the best time to visit.

Travel Reads

MATTER OF OBSESSION: The Matterhorn is the stuff of legend. It’s been 150 years since the Swiss Alpine peak was successfully summited. Chocolates and pizza are made in its shape, beers are named after it, and the crooked peak is even painted on numerous shopfronts, as a writer found out on her recent trip to Zermatt in Switzerland.

BARD IDEA: Could Denmark’s Kronborg Castle be the setting for Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet?

DEEP DISH: How do you deliver a pizza underwater? We got in touch with a submerged hotel in Florida to find out.

100 DAYS IN HIMALAYAS:  Between February and December 2016, Bollywood composer Shantanu Moitra will make a series of trips in the Himalayas with top wildlife photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee for their Project #100DaysInHimalayas. This week’s dispatch is from Spiti, where they encountered shamanic rituals and jaw-dropping roads.


STARGAZING APPS: Ever looked at the night sky and wished you could make sense of the celestial bodies you’re seeing? These apps and sites are just what you need.


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