Take the cover off your guitar and tune the machine, polish that violin’s bow, check if the flute is still obliging you with clear notes. All that and more jazz, because it’s music time. And while you do all that, throw in a pair or two of shredded jeans, bandanas and those rock star boots and biker jackets.
Do add those snazzy lighters (did that set you thinking!) as well, for you can soon be cheering the folks on the stage.
Maybe, some woollens too. This time, we are travelling in pursuit of music. Yes fellas, ixigo gives you another reason to learn geography a musical way. Just that this time, you won’t need your geography books.
We have it covered, right here, in this guide to Ziro Festival of Music 2014 and, yes, travelling.
First, the fest.
The tents are pitched at Ziro, 450 km from Guwahati, at some 5500 feet above the sea level. While mist comes rolling in through your tent’s flaps, brace up for three days of musical extravaganza. India’s hottest 20 bands will be crooning here. Of course, there will be loads of head banging too. There’s Still Dirty, Imphal Talkies, Laxmi Bomb, Suman Sridhar, The Vinyel Records and Ganesh Talkies to name a few.
Fest Dates – September 25, 2014 – September 22, 2014
Tickets – INR 1000 per ticket (can be booked online at – http://zirofestival.com/tickets); 4 Day Pass – INR 2500
Venue – Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Do not forget – Inner Line Permits (ILPs) for Indians; Protected Area Permits for foreigners.
Do forget – IPods, MP3 Players and all that tech. Because there’s plenty of music, both human and nature’s.
You can book a hotel at Ziro and let it be a normal vacation like always. Or, you can up the cool quotient by going for a homestay at ground Ziro (pun intended). Arunachal Tourism Department has tied up with the residents and you can get a great place to stay in the villages of Silbey, Biri and Hong.
Now, to turn it as cool as it can be, you can go camping. If pitching a tent is not your cup of tea (or coffee), fest organisers have it ready for you. Email the camp organisers at [email protected] or [email protected] to book a camp.
So, other than the fest, what else can I do at Ziro?
Ziro, the venue – If there’s one place in India that’s hipper than you could have ever imagined, it’s Ziro. Not just in its name. Some say, it’s a fairyland, cut off from the rest of the world. It might be true as once you trudge up the solitary treks towards Talley Valley, a sense of surreal creeps around. Tall pines stand still, looking like guards who’ll guide you through the solitary treks.
Pack yourself a lunch for the Kile Pakho Ridge. It’s the best place to get an eagle’s eye view of the magic that’s Ziro. So just sit and munch and, maybe, doze off for some hours.
Then, there’s the little known natural cave at some 19 km from Ziro. A good workout after the heavy dose of music I might say. Crawl in to reach the narrow crevice and you might feel like being the only human soul for miles around.
Trudge up a little further; by ‘little’ I mean some 30 km. Walk through the undisturbed forests of rhododendrons and wildly growing orchids to a place that’s uncannily tranquil. While you’re on this walk at the Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, just lookout for one thing. Thing if you might call a clouded leopard that.
There are plenty around, but you need not fret for this creatures usually keep to themselves. Keep your distance or take a local with you and you’ll be safe.
While losing yourself to a power that can’t be put into words, do keep your camera handy. I say that because there might be a blue pine just round the corner at Midey. Coming to blue pines, you can also check the ones that are grown right in the midst of bamboo groves.
If you find that queer, let me make it queerer. Request a local to show you around the paddy fields. Make sure those are filled with water, for the locals harvest fish here. So, while you try walking the swampy, moist fields, look closer to see schools of fish darting by.
Now that’s what I call an experience.
How to reach Ziro?
By Air – The nearest airport to Ziro is at Tezpur, but flights are cancelled in swift motion. So I advise you not to risk it.
By Train – The nearest railhead to Ziro is North Lakhimpur. It is at a drive of some 2 hours from Ziro. You can easily get a cab from here to Ziro.
By Road – If you ask me, this is the coolest way to reach Ziro. Hop on a bus from Guwahati, Itangar or North Lakhimpur for the ride of a lifetime. Roads are often disturbed by swirls of dense clouds here.
So while you do a whole lot of head banging (don’t forget to pack a moov or some other anti-inflammatory medicines with you) at Ziro and learn sowing rice, do not forget to come back and tell us of your experience. If there’s something I’ve forgotten here, do put in a comment. Happy travelling, for music this time.
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