NORTH EAST INDIA, AN UNEXPLORED VANTAGE TOURIST TRACK
Northeast India is one of the last vantages of unexplored India. It has an exceptional array of places to visit. And hidden place from the gushing waterfalls, to sprawling valleys, glittering rivers and frozen lakes, the so called "seven-sisters" that make up the region. There are so much surprises, hidden for you among the seven sisters from the cleanest village of Asia to the most literate state with many different customs and traditions you might not even aware of it. The seven sisters are anomaly Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Manipur. North-East India shares its borders with Bhutan, Myanmar, Tibet, and Bangladesh. It spreads over an area of over 262,230 Sq Km, and holds immense beauty as most of its hill towns are still untravelled and unexplored. That is also one of the major reason North-East India have historically had close ethnic and cultural bonds with Tibet, Bhutan, and Myanmar. Thus, you see the prevalence of Tibeto-Burmese languages in many towns. Assamese, Nagamese, Nefamese, Manipuri, Nepali, Tripuri, Khasi, and Sylheti are popular languages here amongst an astounding 220 languages spoken in the region. So many variants, numerous of tiny beauties around and not to forget some exotic food. North-East has some distinctive culinary treats to offer. From the pork chops of Nagaland to wild red rice of Mizoram and Tenga fish of Assam, the diversity in flavours can overpower your senses. Not to miss, the Jadoh and Tungtap of Meghalaya will make you go crazy over the place. It has so much to offer. So indeed it would be beneficial, for you to plan a detailed itinerary in advance.
You can find some traditional Lepchas, Bhutias, and Nepalis live here, close to one of the highest peaks in the world – Kangchendzonga. At Sikkim, you find stunning lakes like Tsomgo and Gurudongmar. Charming Gangtok and the adventurous Nathu La pass at the China border, its the centre of attraction. The whole state is surrounded by low hills. Its capital, Imphal, stands out for its feisty women weavers, potters and traders. Loktak Lake, the largest lake of North-East lies here, hosting floating islands and Sangai deer. Moirang, Bishnupur, and Ukhrul are other touristy places. Make sure that when in Guwahati, you should indulge in shopping for handicrafts, authentic bamboo mats, “Assamese saris” in Jagaran. You actually need to explore the north eastern part of India. Majority of people are not even aware of names of places. Most Indians thought Nagaland is in China, and Assam is in Tibet. But recently through social media, north east states has been highlighted a lot, that’s why people are coming to know of it. One of the most amazing facts about Northeast India is that it has provided safe haven to many endangered and exotic species of plants and animals in India. One such example is one-horned rhinos. Manipur’s Mother’s Market is one of the most unique place to experience. It is Solely lead and operated by mothers, this market is probably the only women-led market in Asia and probably in the world. From grocery shopping to buying local handicrafts, this market is an ideal place to visit for shopping in Northeast India. Meghalaya has matriarchal society.The Khasi tribe is the one to practice this where women are the bread winners of the families. And so much more.
Best time to explore and experience the north eastern states of India:
November to May, is considered as the best time to visit North East India. But also you should have a brief idea about it in all the months. Temperatures are between 0°C and 22°C . Exploring the tribes, spotting wildlife, grabbing a cup of coffee and all your soul to get rejuvenated. And did you know that you can find snow capped peaks in north east? If not then you are missing out a major part of our nation. Infant you will come across some breathtaking views of the snow-blanketed landscapes. Every state in the Northeast experience biting cold during winter. However, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, because of its high altitude, drop to sub-zero temperatures gifting us with some of the electing mesmerising views of snow-capped mountains and super beautiful landscapes. Winters are considered the best time to spot wildlife and take safaris. Also, you if plan your trip in an extensive way then you will also come across the Hornbill festival which is one of the major festival and its huge celebration for days. Its a must visit and have to be experienced by everyone.
Summers are from March to June,
and the temperature is between 10°C and 38°C. The weather can differ from region to region. Higher altitude regions experience friendly summers wherein lower attitude regions suffer from the scorching heat during this time. One more good thing about visiting the Northeast in summer is that the weather becomes pleasant and comfortable for sightseeing and trekking. So what are. You waiting for? Time to plan your trip in summers if are not someone who can tolerate chilled and freezing weather. You can get involved in some of the adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, mountain biking and kayaking. Its the most idea time to explore the hidden gems of north east on foot. And also make sure to carry Sunscreen, sunglasses and caps to protect yourself.
Monsoon are from June end to September
usually, and the temperatures are in between 9°C and 35°C during the monsoon. Monsoon here is quite heavy and also here you can find the village withe highest rainfall too. So the weather turns to be slightly cold. The hills, lakes, valleys, rivers, waterfalls and tea plantations turn all the more beautiful with pure rainwaters falling on them. Monsoon is the best time to visit northeast India if you want to witness the emerald beauty of India. It’s not a good season and time to explore places. But yes, you can explore the resorts of north east and has a chilled and relaxed time with your loved ones. you can enjoy heritage bungalows, boutique hotels here. And also, if you are a someones who love to drive, then scenic drives with the greeneries is something which you must experience.
Places to explore in North East India:
it’s the gateway to north east India. Did you know that Assam has the largest and smallest river islands in the world? Also, Kaziranga National Park is one of India’s national treasures in terms of flora and fauna. And majorly known for protecting the largest population of the one-horned rhino on earth. its total area is shared by the districts of Nagaon, Golaghat and Karbi and also, this place is in the centre of the state. it was awarded the status of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Lying on the floodplains of the mighty river Brahmaputra, rich vegetation covers almost the entirety of Kaziranga National Park. Not just home to one horn Rhino but also, Asiatic elephants, wild water buffalo, leopards and Royal Bengal Tigers, white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck and Baer's pochard duck and many more. Then comes Majuli, world’s largest fresh water island. Majuli is the world's largest river island and it attracts tourists from all over the world. Among one of the most surreal places in India, Majuli is also a strong contender for a place in UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Mostly inhabited by Tribals. An Dif you get opportunity, you must experience Majuli’s tribal festival known as Raas. How about exploring some metropolitan city as well? Guwahati is the largest city in the state of Assam. It is also the largest metropolis in the entire North-Eastern region of India. The capital of the state of Assam, and the nearest airport is Lokpriya Gopinath International Airport towards the west and India’s first fully solar-powered railway station at its heart, the city is well connected to other states of india. People throng every year to visit Kamakhya Temple here. Not just that there are many more here.
Key highlights of Assam:
1. Kaziranga National Park
5. Dibru Saikhowa National Park
9. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary
13. Nameri national park
Arunachal Pradesh: “Land of dawn-lit mountains”. This is the largest state of the seven sister states in the northeastern part of India. Ethnically a diverse state, the state comprises of the majority of Monpa people. The other people include the Tani people, Tai people and Naga people. The state is called Paradise of Botanists and also called the Orchid state of India. Arunachal Pradesh also has the highest diversity of birds and mammals in the country. One has to pay a visit to this beautiful state for a unique experience.you will have end number of unexplored trails, hidden tribes, not so common food to try and many more things. The state has 26 major tribal groups and 100 sub-tribe groups. Arunachal Pradesh tourism is that you will need to have a special permit and also inner line permits to even enter into the state. So you better apply in advance when you plan the trip. Arunachal Pradesh is proud to be the home of the largest monastery in India and the second largest in the world. And one of them is Twang Monastery. Arunachal Pradesh has a minimum density of population, which is 13 people per sq. metre. the only protected habitat that houses all four big cats. This includes the tiger, leopards, snow leopards and clouded leopards. Seems like its another gem of the north east India. And not to mention least explored too.
Key highlights of Arunachal Pradesh:
1. Namdapha National Park
3. Sela Pass
7. Nuranang falls
8. Sangti Valley
9. Bumla pas
10. Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary
Sikkim: from glacial lakes to snowcapped mountains, from bewitching meadows to bustling streets of Gangtok. Not just Himalayan beauty but also the vibrant culture will put you in awe. This place is nice but the people of Sikkim are very welcoming and nicer. You get to explore some really impressive hospitality from this place. Gangtok is considered as one of the beautiful hill stations in India. This city is a perfect amalgamation of cultural, scenic beauty and the perfect definition of balanced modernization. If you want to visit some religious sites, you must visit Enchey Monastery, Ganesh Tok, Do Drul Chorten Rumtek Monastery, etc. If looking for a place to catch an aerial view of the city, visit Ganeshtok and Tashi viewpoint, etc. you must visit the most beautiful glacier lake named as Tsomgo Lake is nestled around 40 km away from the main city of Gangtok. You will also come across different flora and fauna. The best time to see snow is Jan to Mar and for Rhododendrons and Orchids is April to May. It is just 2 hours away from the Gangtok so make sure that you include it in your itinerary without skip. Visit Nathula Pass which connects India to Tibet which creates an amalgamation of Indian and Tibetan culture around this place. Kanchenjunga Base Camp is around a height of 14,000 ft. above sea level and you must cherish every single moment. North Sikkim’s Lachen, Lachung, and Yumthang Valley has to in your list. Not just that if you love adventure you can get involved in some adventure activites such as River rafting and kayaking in Teesta River.
Key highlights of Sikkim:
2. Tsomgo Lake
3. Nathula Pass
4. Kanchenjunga Base Camp
5. Yumthang Valley
8. Teesta River
9. Gurudongmar Lake
Nagaland: Nagaland has always stood apart from all other states in India. The land of impeccable culture and unprecedented traditions, and obviously the lesser known state is certainly an enticing destination to explore. Dimapur officially welcomes you to Nagaland. It is a well-connected town that boasts excellent road conditions and scenic landscape. The town offers ample of opportunities to nature and history lovers. The capital city of Nagaland, Kohima is undoubtedly the most charming place to visit in Nagaland. Despite being a commercial hub, Kohima hasn’t lost its natural charms. You can treat Dzukou Valley, The Japfu Peak and the Puliebadze Peak. Mokochung another place known for its pristine and serene environment, paradise for nature enthusiasts. It’s the home for Ao tribe. Explore charming villages like Shangnyu Village and its famed wooden carving, Veda Peak and Chui Village. Wokha is nature’s spectacular gift to Nagaland. Dotted with colourful orchards, carpeted with multi-hued flowers and fringed by hills and river, Wokha is a nature lovers’ paradise. About 4 hours drive from Kohima, this district is the perfect place to bask and see the glory of nature. A tourist village above Riphyim is a major attraction in Wokha district, this place is known to offer splendid views of a dam on Donyan River. Dzukou Valley (2438m) is situated at a distance of about 30kms from the state capital, Kohima. Gorgeous Dzukou valley is a trekker’s delight and is reckoned to be the best trekking circuit in the country. Dzukou Valley to Nagaland is what Valley of Flowers is to Uttarakhand. It’s one of the best treks to do in Nagaland, and witnessing of the most enticing beauty.
Key highlights of Nagaland:
5. Dzukou Valley
6. Japfu Peak
8. Khonoma Green Village
Mizoram: one of the most enthralling. Beauty of india with so many gems to explore. So lets start of with the capital city Aizawl which is at the height of 1132 m above sea level. Dominated by the Mizo Tribe, Aizawl and its surrounding areas are lush with rolling hills and abundant greenery. Next is Mizoram, with the highest literacy rate in India. Lunglei is famous for its scenic beauty and natural setting. It is a small town, located around 170 km south of Aizawl whose name is derived from a bridge shaped rock found along Nghasih which is a tributary of the river Tlawng, it’s really mesmerising. Champhai, on the eastern border of Mizoram close to the Indo-Myanmar border is the administrative headquarters of the Champhai district. It is located at a distance of 188 Kms from the capital of Aizawl and is highly commercialised too. Mamit district is the fourth largest district of the state of Mizoram. There are so much you can add up in your itinerary such as The Dampa Tiger Reserve, which is one the famous natural protected regions of India. And if you are someone who loves adventure make sure to explore the longest cave network of Mizoram in Pukzing. Kolasib, is known for its natural beauty, scenic lake sides, which is perfect for spending some leisure time. Hmuifang Tlang is an amazing hill station with a lot to offer to the discerning traveller. Located a distance of 50 km from the capital city of Aizawl, Hmuifang is a hill town at the heart of the state of Mizoram.
Key highlights of Mizoram:
4. Mamit district
5. Dampa Tiger Reserve,
8. Hmuifang Tlang
9. Vantawng Waterfalls
10. Tamdil Lake
11. Falkawn village
12. Phawngpui Peak
14. Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park
Meghalaya: also known as the abode of clouds. And pretty much famous and well reputed for natural beauty, crystal clear lakes, adventure sports, thunderclouds. In short, unexplored and surrounded by the Khasi, Garo and Jaintia hills. Cherrapunji is one of the wettest places on earth, as it receives the highest amount of rainfall in India. You can explore the famous Dain-Thlen, Kynrem, and Nohkalikai waterfalls. Balpakram National Park, is oftely visited by adventure seekers and wildlife enthusiasts. Shillong is fondly known as the Scotland of the East. Every year tourists throng to this place, to relax and have quality time in the midst of nature. And also its a great destination for trekkers. The Living Root Bridge is a very famous bridge made up of roots of an Indian rubber tree. The Living Root bridge is the oldest natural bridge made around 200 years ago, already sounds historic? It’s time for you to go and see then. the Mawlynnong village is located in the East Khasi and the cleanest village of Asia.
Key highlights of Meghalaya:
2. Balpakram National Park
4. Elephant Falls
5. Living Root Bridge
6. Mawlynnong Village
7. Nohkalikai Falls
9. Kyllang Rock
10. Umiam Lake
Tripura: one of the largest cities in Tripura is Agartala. The place is famous for its terrains which are full of green pastures, hills and beautiful valleys. The major tourist attraction of this place is Ujjayanta Palace. Amarpura is one of the best places to visit in Tripura which Is pretty much famous for being a good picnic spot for friends and families on weekends. Neermahal which is situated in the middle of Rudrasagar Lake. The place has got very peaceful vibes. It is also famous for Durga Puja Festival. So you can even visit this place during Durga puja, and witness the vibrance. You must visit Veeramma Kali Mandir, Pagli Masi Temple, and Melaghar Kali Temple. Dharamnagar is the second-largest city in Tripura next to Agartala and is located in the north part of Tripura. The place is known for naturally beautiful landscapes. This place is also famous for some reputed boarding schools in India. Do a trip to Jampui Hills, located in the Northern part of Tripura. You will definately be enchanted by its beauty and juicy oranges. The top attractions of this city are Ujjayanta Palace, Sepahijala Wildlife sanctuary, and Chittagong Hills.
Key highlights of Tripura:
8. Jampui Hills
10. Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary
11. Neermahal Palace
12. Tripura Government Museum
13. Ujjayanta Palace
Manipur: this place has varied options with unending charm, adventure and culture. Senapati, a beautiful hamlet where you can get cultural insight to Manipur. Visit Andro is a small village known for pottery craftsmanship . Imphal, the capital of Manipur has so many touristy places such as Loktak Lake, Kangla Fort, Red Hill Lokpaching, Manipur State Museum, Sirohi National Park, Keibul Lamjao National Park to explore. Ukhrul, these days on travellers top most list because of Trekking . Chandel, the gateway to Myanmar, is bestowed with nature’s bounty. The place boasts of a diverse cultural scenario. Ans when in Manipur you have to include Tamenglong in your trip itinerary for sure. It has some great places to explore such as Zeilad Wildlife Sanctuary, Buning Meadow, Zeilad Lake, Kisha Khou, and Tharon Cave.
Key highlights of Manipur:
11. Dzukou Valley
12. Leimaram Waterfalls
Local food to experience in North East India:
Accessible routes for north east India:
By airways: Main airports in the northeast are located in Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura having direct flight connectivity from Kolkata as well as Delhi. Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport of Guwahati in Assam is well connected to major cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Kochi, etc. through airlines including GoAir, Air India, AirAsia India, IndiGo and Vistara. You can also reach Manipur’s Imphal Airport from Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and other cities via Air India, IndiGo and Air Asia India. Arunachal doesn’t have an airport, and the closest is Assam’s Lilabari Airport is nearest to central Arunachal; Tezpur Airport is the closest to Western Arunachal; and Dibrugarh Airport is closest to the eastern part of the state.
By Train : Train is another convenient way to reach several parts of the North East. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh has good train connectivity to Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru. Train like Rajdhani Express, the Brahmaputra Mail and North East Express run from Delhi to North East. Mizoram and Meghalaya do not have any rail links and Guwahati is the nearest railway station to further reach these states in a car. To reach Sikkim, one has to take a train to Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, and then drive further ahead, and while Kumarghat Railway station is the entryway to Tripura by train.
By Road : North East India is connected through roadways via National Highways 31, 37, 38 and 40, which connects Assam to the rest of India.