Thursday, 25 January 2018

Review: Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains: A Journey across Arunachal Pradesh - India's Forgotten Frontier

Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains: A Journey across Arunachal Pradesh - India's Forgotten Frontier Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains: A Journey across Arunachal Pradesh - India's Forgotten Frontier by Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just on the other side of Bangladesh in the Northeast are a number of states that borders Tibet, Myanmar and Bhutan. Its remoteness means that it has never been on the tourist trail and ongoing posturing from China who dispute the borders in this mountainous region mean that it is not likely to be anytime soon.

One of these states, Arunachal Pradesh, which translates as 'land of the dawn-lit mountains' that is probably the remotest of the lot. Travelling on a small motorbike, called Hero, it is this landscape and people that Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent wants to explore and discover about. It is a landscape that has as many surprises as it does legends and the isolation of the state has ensured that the culture there has remained distinctly different to the rest of India. Accompanied by guides and sometimes travelling alone, she finds the people warm and hospitable regardless if they are shamans or monks. She meets those that accompanied the Dali Lama as he passed through the state to safety. The remoteness of the place means that there are very few roads and while the scenery is breathtaking it can be equally dramatic especially when the monsoon hits.

This little piece of India to the East of Bangladesh can rightly claim to be one of the planets least explored regions. Overcoming her anxieties prior to a trip of this magnitude was an achievement in its own right and Bolingbroke-Kent has written a book here that is thrilling and informative in equal measure. It can, I think, be described as a book that epitomises travel writing; someone very much out of their comfort zone, yet who still manages to discover the wonders of this little-known land and write about it with keen and compassionate observation.

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3 comments:

  1. ...on my TBR for 2018!
    This writer traveled on a motorbike...could you feel differences/similarities with L. Pryce's adventure on a motorbike in Iran?

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  2. Though the premise was the same, solo woman on a motorbike, the books was very different in style and because of the coutry and the people there. Both are well worth reading

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