Tag Archives: Ziro

Dibang & Tally Valley Treks

October 3 – 31, 2019

Three incredible treks, five unique cultures and an experience you will never forget.

This trip will rely heavily on local guides and experts to guide us thru the Himalayan jungles in one of the most untouched areas of the world.

This is for nature lovers, adventurers, wildlife photographers and others with a strong body and a stronger will who want a chance to feast their lens on a snow leapard; or perhaps be the feast. Dibang Tourism, headed by Mrs. Tine Mena, the first woman from North East India to peak Everest, will support us with guides and porters as we follow the traditional hunting trails past the Seven Lakes which the are the namesake of this incredible trek thru Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary.

But don’t worry, before we get started on the treks we will take a few days to relax and explore the upper Brahmaputra river at Dibu-Saikowa National Park by boat with with the guys Guijan Eco-Lodge.

When we get to the remote village of Mechuka we will have some personal time to explore the culture and himalayan landscape with several possibilites for day treks.

In Ziro we will stay with a local family and explore the 3-4 night Tally Valley trek with Apatani tribesmen. This area features the distinctive face tattoos of the Apatami as well as unique sustainable farming that combines rice fields and fish farms.

We will finish the trip back at Guwahati with a visit to the infamous Kamakhya temple; the place where Kali’s yoni is said to have fallen after she self-immolated at her father’s botched sacrifice.

Cost
The cost of this trip including food, lodging, transpotation porters, security & guides within India is $3800 for 28 days.

The route
North East India
Surrounding Area

Your guides for this trip:

Leadership is provided by Mike Holliday. Mike grew up on the back country trails of Canada and has been traveling India since 2007. His first trip to North East India the following year blew his mind and he knew he had to share this with people.

After over ten years of traveling around India and he started the Sleeping Dog Off Track Adventure Pilgrimage company to bring awareness to the unique cultures that represent the earliest foundation of human communities; to introduce people of the west to a simpler way of life that recognizes the interconnection between human life, the life of planet earth and the movement of stars and solar systems; and to facilite meaningful cultural exchange.

Mike’s interest in tribal cultures stems from his own aboriginal connection that runs thru his mothers line as well as from his own upbringing that kept him close to nature.

When Mike is not wandering off the map somewhere he teaches Vedic Astrology, philosophy and meditation on-line and around the world. He also provides one-on-one philosophical support for yoga instructors, holistic health practitioners, and seekers of truth and purpose.


Mrs. Tine Mena with former President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil

DibangTourism.com is an innitiative stated in 2011 by Mrs. Tine Mena to provide access to local aboriginal guides in North East India.
The will provode guides, porters and security for 9-10 days of the Seven Lakes trek thru Dibang Wildlife Reserve.


Hagen Dolo will support us with home stay in Ziro valley as well as guides and porters for the Tally Valley Trail.

Tribal Culture

Ten years ago I came to North East India and visited the northern Naga tribes. They had only recently opened the land to outsiders. We needed four people and a guide to get a permit. Other than a couple groups of anthropologists we were the first tourists they had ever met. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

But the Naga’s are a warrior tribe, unaccustomed and unfriendly to foreigners who they considered a threat. The children often threw sticks and stones while yelling and waving machetes at us to scare us away.

I now find myself on the other side of the Brahmaputra river valley walking thru Apani villages of Ziro district of Arunachal Pradesh, greeted with smiles, invited into the family homes and offered drinks (rice beer, millet wine and wild kiwi wine).

I’m told that they defend themselves and their culture thru kindness and their helpful nature is respected by anyone who travels thru their valley. UNESCO has recognized their unique culture and they are famed for their sustainable agriculture practices: rice paddies double as fish farms (the fish fertilize the rice and keep the soil loose while feeding on the rice); they also plant pine and bamboo forests for building.

Both of these indigenous cultures hold the mithun (semi-wild jungle buffalo) is high esteem. Apani burial sites are marked with a mithun skull which is believed to help guide the souls of the departed to heaven.

Those who have not been converted to Christianity worship the god Danyi-Piilo who is described as the Sun and the Moon. I’m told the Catholics have some respect for these traditional beliefs and many people are following both religions without contradiction. But there are also revisionist Christians who have split families and clans by introducing this idea that those who are not following Christianity are evil. Of course this has caused some push-back against the revisionist; or rather against the idea that if you are not doing like I am doing then you’re doing it wrong.

We visited a traditional temple for Danyi-Piilo and like many traditional cultures and beliefs, the only people there were over 50 years old. In this area all the women had their chins and foreheads tattooed and large nose piercings while the men had a ‘T’ tattooed on their chins. Nobody I talked to knew the reason for these tattoos: some said to beautify, others said to make ugly so they would not be stolen by other tribes. In any case, it seems clear that this religion, the tattoos, the language and ultimately the culture will mostly disappear as the elders follow the mithun into the after life.

For this it feels like a great honour to be up here staying with these people, hearing their songs, greeting them in their own language, drinking with them, and watching them laugh at us for whatever reason. The joy and kindness of the people will hopefully be passed down to their children and grandchildren.