7 Amazing Reasons to Visit North-East India
A land of diverse customs, languages, and arts, there is a mysticism attached to India that puts it as one of the foremost travel destinations in the world. Wanderers in search of spiritual awakening, awe-inspiring landscapes and age-old traditions have long roamed this incredible land, discovering its many hidden wonders, each as unique and exciting as the previous one.
As a result of the country's vast landmass, entire districts of India have remained unexplored for decades. The northeastern states of Meghalaya, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Tripura are all enchanting locations with a distinct unadulterated vibe. These states continue to amaze and astound visitors who make that extra effort to discover the region's many towns, villages and natural attractions.
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Straight out of a fairy-tale, the sheer beauty of Dawki Lake in Meghalaya is unimaginable. Situated on the boundary between India and Bangladesh, Dawki Village is just over a 100 kilometers from the state capital, Shillong. At first, Dawki seems like any other lake. However, it is the crystal-clear water, which on a bright and sunny day, you can see the bottom of the lake, that makes for an incredible sight.
A popular tourist attraction, it's possible to take a boat ride on the lake for a nominal fee. Even though locals use the lake water, replenished by the Umngot River, for cleaning and bathing at times, they make sure to maintain its sanctity and cleanliness. It's because of this reason that only rowboats are allowed on the lake. Tourists to the capital can take a full-day trip to Dawki which also includes a stop at the cleanest village in all of India, Mawlynnong.
Pelling is a scenic town in the state of Sikkim that encapsulates the spiritual energy of the northeast in the most subtle and tranquil manner. The Rimbi river that passes through the city, along with the quaint and rather small Rimbi waterfall is a refreshing outing while visiting the area.
The town's location at the foothills of Mount Kangchenjunga makes it the ideal place to appreciate panoramic views of snow-capped mountains and lush green valleys. Pelling is also home to Sanga Choeling, one of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim. However, it is the well-preserved Rabdentse ruins, some seven kilometers from Pelling, that is sure to impress history enthusiasts wanting to learn more about the region's past. A visit to the ruins can be easily combined with the lyrically named Singshore Bridge and Pemayangtse Monastery, both situated nearby.
Majuli got the recognition of being India's first island to become a district. Set amidst the Brahmaputra river, in Assam, it's also the world's largest river island. Accessible only by boat, ferries carrying cars, bikes, and people leave the mainland at regular intervals to reach Majuli.
However, because of its delicate position between the river, the island is fast eroding every year, moving towards inevitable extinction, often putting the lives of its residents in jeopardy because of flash floods.
The locals of Majuli are a friendly bunch who honor the purity of the surroundings and local heritage by celebrating music, dance, traditional crafts, and pottery every day of the year. For a truly exceptional vacation, spend a few days on Majuli, in one of the bamboos and thatched-roof homestays that promise a rustic and memorable time.
An adventure awaits in the Ziro Valley for the avid traveler who wants to drift away from the insanity of everyday life and slip into the calmness that envelopes this magical land. Bursting with soul-searching experiences in the wild, and engulfed in an environment that oozes tranquility and peace of mind, Ziro Valley is Arunachal Pradesh's most alluring destination.
From the rice fields on hilly slopes and the oh-so-instagrammable bamboo grooves to the famous Ziro Music Festival held in September every year, the valley, with its pretty villages and hospitable locals, is a spectacular hidden gem that continues to fascinate and enthrall visitors with its heavenly aura.
Known as one of the wettest regions in the entire world, Cherrapunji is a lush and pulsating town, in the state of Meghalaya. Its allure is enhanced by a medley of distinct topography that including mountains, caves, the tallest plunge waterfall in India, Nohkalikai, and a double-decker living root bridge that is 100 feet long.
Among its many spectacular sights is the Seven Sisters falls with views that are quite simply out of this world. A destination for the adventurous, the areas surrounding Cherrapunji are apt for trekking and romantic walks amidst the perpetually mist-covered hills.
Kaziranga National Park
Although the tiger is the most desired animal to spot across various national parks of India, at Kaziranga National Park in Assam, the one-horned rhinoceros is the main attraction.
Set alongside the river Brahmaputra, Kaziranga has the largest population of one-horned rhinos in the world. Moreover, it's a World Heritage Site and home to rare migratory birds, elephants, tigers, swamp deer, Asiatic water buffalo and river dolphins.
Best explored via a jungle safari, the animals play hide and seek across the fertile lands occupied by dense forests and sprawling wetlands. Evenings at Kaziranga are perfect to appreciate and learn about the local folklore at the National Orchid and Biodiversity Park's cultural program.
India's first 'green village,' Khonoma is a quick 20 kilometer drive from the capital of Nagaland, Kohima. The village, hidden among the hills, has been home to the Angami tribe for centuries. It continues to be a landmark settlement that is changing the way people live by giving importance to conservation and sustainable living.
Surrounded by terraced paddy fields, the locals have given up practices of cutting trees and hunting that at one time formed the basis of their existence. Warm and inviting, residents of Khonoma are eager to share their past through stories of bravery against the British. Deeply rooted in their heritage, Khonoma is a fascinating insight into the simplicity of life that continues to exist far away from the modernity of cities.
Northeast India has maintained its pristine splendor due to continuous efforts by the locals to keep the innocence of the region intact. By giving importance to their legacy and avoiding commercialization, they continue to enchant us with an indispensable old-world charm that hopefully will last for years to come.