Tag Archives: Assam

Glass Apart: My LOVE for Glass Bangles!

मेरे हाथों में नौ नौ चूड़ियां है…

The precious leave of Holi was utilised in a very unusual activity, taking account (Style, Design, Colour, Numbers – Total Audit) of the Bangles I have in my cupboard. I wanted to organise these as I was repeating my bangles quite often…

…& I don’t like doing that! I am a self-confessed bangle freak!!

I love to wear new bangles every day, matching it with the outfit, though it doesn’t go that way. So, cupboard cleaning and organising took a few hours but it was worth it. For the first time, I noticed my collection of glass bangles, bought from the length and breadth of the country. They were parked the same way as offloaded carefully from the flight, without even checking what and how many bangles I had bought.

My personal collection

My love for glass bangles dates back to my childhood when an old gentleman used to come to sell glass bangles in his daliya (cane basket), neatly tied by a sootli (thin rope) in such a manner, so that design colour etc. was clearly visible. My mother use to buy lots of bangles from him whenever he came. (Maybe it is genetic). I was a very curious child always, so I asked many questions from bangle seller – Naccha! So, what is Naacha now – Mummy use to call him chacha, I called him naana, so he became Nachha (Naana – Chacha) for all ladies in the colony! I don’t know what he thought about this new nomenclature.

Questions like: Bangles are made of what, how do you colour them? How do you put sequins on them? Why do you bring these in cane basket? Are these heavy? Why do you sell bangles? He patiently replied all my queries while selling his bangles to colony aunties, sipping hot tea. Once his sale was over, he will give me a few free bangles and my joy in knew no bounds. Probably, the love dates back to the incident, which I suddenly recollected while sorting my bangle collection today…real nostalgia!

My glass bangle collection has travelled from far-flung areas, across the length and breadth of the country right from Katra, Jammu to Hyderabad, AP traversing Delhi ( Pracheen Mandir Bangle Bazaar, Delhi Haat, Janpath, Sarojini Nagar, Lajpat Nagar) Jaipur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Lucknow, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Hardwar, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Kolkatta ( Shankha Poda), Assam, Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Kutch, Bhuj…

Even international destinations are not spared: London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Guangzhou, Bangkok…I have bought whatever in the name of bangle available there! (needs a separate post)

You will be surprised to know that I always carry a sheet of bubble wrap to pack my bangles so that they can survive the wrath of airline people. Before planning a trip, I never forget to check from where I can buy bangles. Over a period of time, I realised that bangles are becoming my passion, rather obsession! By nature, I am a very content person, I don’t like to hoard stuff for the heck of it, but I can’t control when bangles cross my eyes. I want to shop, come what may and most of the time I do that. I remember my bua saying: बिंदी, चूड़ी के लिए क्या सोचना!

That has stayed with me. I never give a thought to anything while buying bangles. I am sharing a few pictures from my collection. I love wearing them especially with traditional outfits on all occasions, on all festivals. Sometimes I decide the bangles first and then match the saree or dress. If I something misplaced, I feel very agitated.

The history of bangles dates back to Mohen-jo-daro days, 2600 BC when these were found in excavation and statues were found wearing them. In India Ferozabad in UP, near Agra is very famous for glass bangles and supplies to the world. The bangles of Firozabad are exceptionally made, so intricate, so colourful, so fine… It is one of a kind cluster producing bangles and catering to the growing demands and requirement in India, there is approximately 150 bangle making in the city.

We Indians love bangles, the love of Bollywood for bangles is part of the folklore, haven’t we grown up hearing songs like:

चूड़ी नहीं मेरा दिल है, बिंदिया चमकेगी चूड़ी खनकेगी, मेरे हाथों में नौ नौ चूड़ियां है, बोले चूड़ियां बोले कंगना

No celebration is complete without bangles, No Shringar is complete without bangles! Life is a celebration, celebrate it with anything you love!

My special thanks to Sai Vandana, Aarti Mohit Mathur, Aparna Chaturvedi and Hemlata Didi who have patiently tolerated my madness, added to the collection in whichever ways possible.

Last but not the least my dear Mummy, Usha Varma for introducing to the finer things in life!






Experience ‘Glamping’ at the incredible Hornbill Festival in Nagaland!

For some unknown reasons…Nagaland has always fascinated me and I am sure you too would be interested in knowing how to explore the land of Nagas. I came across this beautiful advertisement talking about Nagaland which caught my fancy and I was compelled to share it with you. If you are designer, photographer or an adventurer – Hornbill festival of Nagaland is for you!

Naga Rock bands, Night bazaars, Naga delicacies, Naga rain forests, Naga Handicrafts, Naga dance performances…all set to regale you during your five trip during the festival. Kohima Camp, Nagaland, introduced by ‘The Ultimate Travelling Camp’ crosses into the realm of the unknown, exploring the unexplored, showcasing the cultural treasures of the Land of the Nagas, in the exotic state of Nagaland, hidden in the north-eastern part of India.

So if you have always wanted to enjoy the complete outdoor experience with all the benefits of luxury ‘glamping’ – the buzzword for Glamorous Camping is made for you. With the ultimate travelling camp, you can participate in a happy calendar of events and celebrations across the country! Chase a dream – in style, truly nomadic, mobile camps with all the luxuries civilization has to offer in the best locations, capturing the most perfect views.
Here comes the Kohima Camp in Nagaland, one such extraordinary location. It’s a designers’, photographers’, and adventurers dream come true. Coinciding with the native Hornbill Festival, this expedition takes you to the heart of Naga Heritage where 16 tribes of Nagaland come to celebrate. You can here enjoy the performances, fairs, food, archery, ceremonies and much more, all the while surrounded by pristine rain forests and rolling hills that are just wanting to be exploited. Each tent is designed in a soft focus of desert colours with colonial furniture reminiscent of the Raj.

Hornbill Festival in Nagaland continue

Naga tribal people in traditional outfit celebrating the annual Hornbill Festival at Kisama, Kohima, Nagaland, India

Naga tribal children in traditional outfit during the annual Hornbill Festival at Kisama, Kohima, Nagaland, India

Women of the Samdom tribe with traditional headdress at the annual Hornbill Festival, Kohima, Nagaland, India, Asia






Konia Camp, Nagaland, introduced by ‘The Ultimate Travelling Camp’ crosses into the realm of the unknown, exploring the unexplored, showcasing the cultural treasures of the Land of the Nagas, known as the last head hunters, in the exotic state of Nagaland, hidden in the north-eastern part of India.

For the benefit of my readers, I am giving the 5 –day iterinery for the festival which is on till December 10, 2013.

Day 1: Arrive into Dimapur * Transfer and check in at Kohima Camp, Nagaland

This afternoon, following your arrival into Dimapur. You will be driven to Kohima Camp, Nagaland, will be about two and a half hours through lush, rolling forests, with a halt mid-way to stretch your legs and have a few refreshments. On your arrival at the camp, located at the foothills of the gigantic Japfu Mountain, soak in the serenity of the surroundings as you are accorded the traditional welcome of the tribes of Nagaland. You will then be accompanied to your superlative luxury tent, where the check-in formalities will be completed. Spend the evening relaxing in the peaceful environs of the camp. Enjoy a drink by the campfire followed by a feast skillfully created by our Chef, as you sit down to your first night’s dinner in the lap of nature and luxury.

Day 2: Visit the spectacular Hornbill Festival and explore the quaint Kigwema village of the Angami tribe

After a leisurely breakfast, drive to the Kisama village for the spectacular Hornbill Festival. Revel in this marvelous riot of colour as you watch all 16 tribes of Nagaland show off the rich fare of diverse cultures and traditional arts that is Nagaland. You can witness the attire, folk music and dance forms, headgear, cuisines, paintings, handicrafts, and other intricacies of the varied tribes and sub-tribes of the state. The highlight of the festival is not only the music, both traditional and contemporary, and dance; you will also be enchanted by the display of exquisite handicraft and handloom. Adding to the excitement is a motor rally, traditional sports like wrestling and archery, a literary fest, and fun events like climbing a greased bamboo pole or chilli eating contests.Having built up an appetite, you return to camp for a sumptuous lunch after which you can choose to relax in its serene surroundings. Or you may choose to explore the charming Kigwema village, just a few kilometers drive away. In the evening, you have the option of returning to the festivities of the Hornbill festival, in the capital city, Kohima. Get into the spirit of the festival as you enjoy the music of one of the many talented Naga rock bands or scour the night bazaar for local artefacts and Naga delicacies. Be inspired by a fashion show featuring traditional tribal wear as well as contemporary designs or be entertained at the Miss Nagaland contest.

Day 03: Visit the Hornbill Festival and revel in the rustic charm of the Jakhama village

This morning, after breakfast the excitement continues as you revisit the Hornbill festival where you spend the rest of the morning immersing yourself in this vibrant extravaganza. In the afternoon, following a leisurely lunch, revel in your luxurious surroundings at the camp as you enjoy a book, play a game of chess or go for a stroll. Or if you still want to further immerse yourself in the Naga culture you may choose to visit the village of Jakhama, 5kms drive from the camp. The name Jakhama is derived from ‘Mejakhama’ which means ‘laying resistance against intruders’. The village was the first line of defense against the neighboring Manipur kingship. Jakhama’s prosperous houses, built in unique styles and designs, are a sight to behold. Visit the great granaries where families can store grains for years. End your visit in high spirits with a glass of the local rice beer called ‘khie’.

Day 04: Visit the Hornbill Festival and enjoy the folklore of Phesama village

After breakfast this morning head out for your last day at the Hornbill festival. Enjoy the festivities with the tribes as they hold you in thrall with their distinct costumes and perform traditional Naga dances and ceremonies. Following lunch, if a little relaxation is in order spend the afternoon at leisure in the tranquility of the camp. Or you may wish to explore the Phesama village, the nearest village to the capital Kohima, on the southern front. Interact with the people and listen to folklore rich in local mythology around a bonfire in one of the ‘morung’ – the traditional institution where these stories have been passed down through the generations. Later this evening, you have the option to enjoy the cultural festivities in Kohima for the last time. Return to the camp sated from the exhilarating experience at the festival, with memories to last a lifetime!

Day 05:Excursion to Kohima and village Khonoma

This day you will explore the treasures of Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. Kohima played a key role in World War II, where the Naga tribes fought alongside Allied forces against Japan on the tennis court of the British Deputy Commissioner’s house. Visit the beautiful war cemetery built on a terraced hillside for the brave hearts that died in the war and visit a private museum that holds some of the best artifacts from World War II. From here, continue to the Angami village of Khonoma where you’ll relish a local lunch. Admire the traditional architecture of carved gateways and surrounding stone walls, visit morungs and participate in indigenous games like wrestling with the local warriors.

The picturesque state of Nagaland is bound by Assam in the west; Myanmar in the east; Arunachal Pradesh in the north and Manipur in the south, forming a part of what are known as the Seven Sisters, the seven states of North East India, full of rolling hills and verdant rain forests. The Naga people, comprised of 16 proud tribes were once headhunters. The tribes retain much of their traditional and cultural heritage visible in their elaborate costumes and ritualistic headdresses which incorporate tiger tusks, bear skins, hornbill feathers and other symbols.

For more details to visit Hornbill festival at: http://www.kohimacamp.com or Email: kohima@tutc.com or call: 1800 123 0508.