Ford natgeo-rajeevkhandelwal-episode


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There are certain regions in the country that one can go back to any number of times, and they still call you back. And so it is with the North-East. Agreeing with me was Bollywood and television star Rajeev Khandelwal when we travelled together for the My Endeavour alterrain series produced by Ford India and National Geographic.

I travelled with Rajeev from Dibrugarh in Assam to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh. His quest was to explore this region in Ford India’s SUV, the Endeavour alterrain edition ( It seemed a natural partnership for all - the terrain, the car, the channel and the adventure seeker.

Every journey can be looked at and experienced in many different ways; you may have seen the episode with Rajeev on National Geographic on June 9, 2013 - but join me on the same journey from another vantage point. Through images.

[If you missed the curtain-raiser, have a look here -]

You can also view more images at You can also watch the curtain-raiser on YouTube at

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Ford natgeo-rajeevkhandelwal-episode

  1. 1. Exploring the North-Eastof India with Rajeev KhandelwalTHE EPISODE ROUND-UPThe show was telecast on June 9, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.,India Standard TimeAll photographs and text by Ajay / http://kunzum.comMonday 10 June 13
  2. 2. When in the North-East, you are never far from its mighty rivers. It was thusapt to start along the mighty Brahmaputra where Rajeev camped for the night -waking up to a crisp sunset in the company of locals fishing for their dailymeals in row boats and nets.Monday 10 June 13
  3. 3. This lady could only watch withcuriosity wondering what theentourage of cars and cameraswere doing in her village as weshot Rajeev’s journey. Did younotice the flies on her face?Monday 10 June 13
  4. 4. When on the go, we had to eat wherever we could grab a bite. Sometimes it was best not topeek into the kitchen. But then again, dhaba food rarely hurts anyone.Monday 10 June 13
  5. 5. And then started the beautiful journey to Arunachal Pradesh with roads runningalong tea gardens and forests much of the ways. We did encounter broken roads, butdid not really feel the bumps - we were busy enjoying ourselvesMonday 10 June 13
  6. 6. The residents of the North-East are beautiful - in their hearts, and in theirlooks. Like this Assamese girl we met in a village on the way.Monday 10 June 13
  7. 7. Nature is worshipped in the North-East; after all, the people here have beenco-habitating with the natural world since time immemorialMonday 10 June 13
  8. 8. We met members of the Khampti tribe at the first stop in Empong village near Chongkham andNamsai in Arunachal Pradesh - and could only be mesmerised by the portraits that I shot.Monday 10 June 13
  9. 9. Here is another girl from Empong village. Touchwood, they sure are a happy lot.Monday 10 June 13
  10. 10. The Khamptis prepared a special treat just for Rajeev. Only he was invited.Monday 10 June 13
  11. 11. The local monastery in Empong performed their traditional dances under bamboo treesby the riverside with light rain falling all throughMonday 10 June 13
  12. 12. Rain followed us in much of Arunachal - but we throughly enjoyed its refreshingeffects while much of the country roasted in the summer heatMonday 10 June 13
  13. 13. And then we visited the Golden Pagoda, a Buddhist monastery, atop a hill in Tengapani. Thedesign and the picturesque setting make for a spiritual atmosphere.Monday 10 June 13
  14. 14. Wherever Rajeev went, he got an invite to a meal - including at the Golden Pagoda where he hadbreakfast with the monks. A part of the training for young monks includes washing their own utensils.Monday 10 June 13
  15. 15. Even Buddhistnuns need friends- like the one atthe GoldenPagodaMonday 10 June 13
  16. 16. Rain or no rain, tea leaves have to be picked - so we may all get our cuppa on timeMonday 10 June 13
  17. 17. The alterrain seemed to have been enjoying itself with Rajeev driving it through alllandscapes and settlementsMonday 10 June 13
  18. 18. Quite a squishy ride for the alterrain - Rajeev was heading to a tea garden in Wakro in Arunachalto not only pick leaves, but also learn how to process the leaves into tea for the marketMonday 10 June 13
  19. 19. That’s the tea gardens we are talking about. What do you think of the landscape?Monday 10 June 13
  20. 20. Converting leaves to black tea can be quite a steamy affair - it also kept us warm in the coldMonday 10 June 13
  21. 21. After a long day’s shoot, Rajeev deserved his cuppa - made from the leaves heprocessed himselfMonday 10 June 13
  22. 22. One could drive the alterrain forever in these landscapesMonday 10 June 13
  23. 23. Want to catch little birds for your meal? Not Rajeev’s idea of a treat, but catching birdsin this trap makes for daily bread for this Mishmi tribal in ArunachalMonday 10 June 13
  24. 24. The Mishmis taught Rajeev how to weave bamboo baskets…Monday 10 June 13
  25. 25. ...and they also taught him how to build a traditional houseMonday 10 June 13
  26. 26. The 410 metre long bridge over the Lohit river at Parshuram Kund (15 kms from Wakro) is amarvel in itself - but we had to take care in the strong winds lest we flew off ;)Monday 10 June 13
  27. 27. Rajeev really tested the alterrain in the Bereng river - both came out with flying colours to tell thetales of their adventures. I was sure we were going to be stranded for the night, trying to fish thecar out and to get it going again.Monday 10 June 13
  28. 28. For a change, the alterrain got a joyride - when crossing the Brahmaputra on aferry to take us from Dibrugarh in Assam to Pasighat in ArunachalMonday 10 June 13
  29. 29. This is where we all felt jealous: Rajeev got to raft down the Siang riverin Pasighat - we did notMonday 10 June 13
  30. 30. Parting words by Rajeev along the Brahmaputra - where the journeystarted on day oneMonday 10 June 13