After a decade in the accounting and consulting business, I decided my heart was in travel. I had no dramatic ‘moment of awakening’ nor did I have any issues at my work place that prompted me to think of a shift. Like many other things in life, you sometimes just know when a change is needed. So began Version 2.0 of my life.
The idea of India Trail
- a socially responsible tour operating agency - started to crystallize in October 2013 during a trip to Arunachal Pradesh. On this trip, I visited some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen and I had the time and inclination to think about what I really wanted to do with my life. Rugged terrain and green valleys with towering mountains and clear blue skies - who wouldn’t be enthused by that!
I am often asked what attracted me to the North-east of India and why I chose to come to Nagaland. The answer is quite simple - the North-east has a lot of potential and the people are wonderful! What more does one need in the hospitality industry? If you are from the North-east and you are reading this, pat yourself on the back because you are a natural ‘people person’.
About a year ago I had decided to shift temporarily to our central base of operations – Kohima – and the move turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made. Apart from getting to know a lot more interesting and enterprising people from Nagaland and the surrounding states, my business partner, David Angami, and I have also extended our business to the quaint villages that surround the towns we were working in. David and I first met during our university days in Delhi in 1997 and since then our friendship has only grown stronger that now includes our business partnership.
We have received immense support from our friends and their friends in Nagaland and this has motivated us to go out and explore more parts of the state and meet more people and find interesting things for our clients to do. In each place that we explore - and we continue to do this every month- we make it a point to meet the youth and the elders to see how they visualize tourism in their village and our plans revolve around their sensitivities and needs. This ensures that our guests and clients do not disturb the balance that exists in every place that we go to. As a result, we always get a warm welcome every time we visit these villages.
View of Kohima
We have spent a considerable time working with the Chakhesang tribe of Nagaland in Phesachadu village. So far, our tours of this charming village have been the most incredible experience our clients have had in the North-east. The youth and the elders of this village extend such warm hospitality that our guests are overwhelmed. You can read a blog post from one of our most regular guests here
Members of the Chakhesang tribe in Phesacadhu
Khonoma village is another well-known tourist destination, and it has the potential to become one of the central spots in Nagaland for tourists. The people from the village have recognised the importance of tourism to boost the local economy and have been pioneers in many initiatives in the state including being the first green village in the state.
The rolling hills of Khonoma
I have been coming to Nagaland for the past five years and in this time, I have met some of the best people I know today. I have learnt a lot about the North-east of India and the economy and the society and it surprises me that there aren’t many people in the rest of the country who don’t want to do the same and explore this region. We hope that our efforts at boosting tourism in the region will offer our guests a far-reaching experience of a land that has been shrouded in mystery for a long time. We have a long way to go. If I had to do it all over again, I would not change a thing!