The flower market which just popped up in front of us on our last day in Kolkata and in India as well, was just as colourful and diverse as the county itself. But not only that it was as peaceful and relaxed as many other places in India, which is so controversial to the huge crowds common for the whole county.
Wandering in a strange city has always had its charm for me. In Kolkata you can see street baths and man powered rickshaws everywhere, but behind that the city has its secrets, revealed to the lucky ones and the one who don’t spare time and energy to explore. Like in many other cities, there are whole streets and even blocks dedicated to manufacturing or just trading a specific garment such as shoes. Then you just turn around the corner and there everything changes – there are no shoes, but only sculptures workshops all around you.
When I first arrived in Kolkata in the beginning of the spring, I found the idea of hanging hundreds of fans in such a vast space as a train station, with a ceiling some twenty meters above, to be quite bizarre. Only a month later that idea looked brilliant. Despite the heat, the raw meat sold on streets and markets sells out long before it gets rotten and the lack of refrigerators keeps the animals alive a few hours longer.
Unlike, other parts of Arunachal Pradesh, where you can see the church house from far away and the locals greet you with the words “Hi, what is your religion, we are all Christians”, in the villages around Tawang the people are Buddhists. Most of them work on their land, and there is any small business it’s owned by the Indians coming from the more developed states.
The mountain slopes around Tawang are dotted with many small villages. It takes 5-6 hours walking to reach some of them, but the people there rarely need to go to Tawang. The main reasons to do so are the bus station and the several stores.
Zemithang is less than ten kilometers from India-Bhutan and India-China borders. A traveler from the UK told us that we should go and see the small town, although only tourists with an official guide are allowed to go there. Just as he said, the authorities asked us to leave, but even the short stay was worth it.
Tawang is situated at an elevation of 3000 metres in the northwestern part of Arunachal Pradesh. Tawang Monastery is the largest Buddhist monastery in India and the biggest in the world outside of Tibet. It is a major holy site for Tibetan Buddhists as it was the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama.