\.A TRAVEL GUIDE TO NORTH-EAST INDIA
North-East India basically consists of the seven states which are also called the “Seven Sisters”. They include Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. These are some of the most beautiful in terms of natural beauty. They are loaded with the mountains, lakes, rivers, valleys and jungles. Sharing borders with Bhutan, Myanmar, Tibet and Bangladesh, the Seven Sisters offer completely unique experience even for visitors from India. The seven states are home to around 200 different cultures of tribes, different cuisines and different languages and even different traditions and practices for everyday life. Guwahati, Darjeeling, Gangtok, Shillong and Lachen are some of the most popular places here that ae most visited by people.
When to visit North-East India
The best time to visit any of these states would be during the monsoon months (May to October) when nature can be enjoyed at its best. Visiting North-East India during winter months can give one a chance to explore the mountains and the rainforests.
The way to get to the Seven Sisters is through the state of West Bengal if going by rail. The seven states are not very well connected by air with Guwahati in Assam being the best connected airport to other Indian states. Going by train will give some amazing views during the journey and the railroads are well connected more than airways. Buses are also available from West Bengal for those wanting to opt for the road journey. The entry to Assam through Bengal by road is through the Siliguri corridor which is a narrow stretch which connects both states.
Also Read: 10 Offbeat Destinations in India
Things to do
There is never a dearth of things to do when in the North-East Indian states. For ones looking for adventure, there are a number of adventure activities to try out such as paragliding, river rafting, hiking, mountaineering, trekking, et cetera. For people wanting to enjoy nature, there are a number of tea plantations and wildlife parks such as Manas National Park and Kaziranga National Park which are home to rare species of animals such as the One-Horned Rhinoceros, Red Panda and Musk Deer.
Some of India’s tallest and most majestic waterfalls such as the Langshiang Falls and the Nohkalikai Falls can also be found here. Visitors here can also soak in the culture of the people of these states. The people here are mainly Buddhists because of their close proximity to Tibet and there are hence a number of monasteries here that visitors can explore such as the Tawang Monastery, Rumtek Monastery, Pemayangtse Monastery, Enchey Monastery and Tashiding Monastery.
Accommodation and food
Accommodation can be found in the seven states easily and can also be pre-booked online seeing to the thriving tourism culture in the states. There are also several travel agencies who have travel packages to these states which include flight tickets, accommodation, food and sight-seeing.
North-East Indian cuisines are mainly Tibetan owing to the locals having roots in the Buddhist culture. However, one can also find restaurants which serve both North Indian and South Indian food. You should not miss these dishes: Thukpa, Momos (Dumplings), and the traditional thalis belonging to the different states. Do try the different varieties of locally made alcohol. Such as the Assamese rice beer called Xaj and the Rice beer found in Arunachal Paradesh called the Apong.
Also Read: THE HOLIEST OF ALL PLACES-HARIDWAR
Things to remember
When travelling in vehicles through the states ensure that you have emergency kits and spare tires. You never know what might happen when. Avoid night time travel as these states are politically sensitive now. It might be dangerous to travel at night. However, tourists in these states, have never been known to be harmed in any way. The locals are warm-hearted and friendly people who will try to help travellers however they can.
Foreign visitors visiting some of the national parks and monasteries will require a Protected Area Permit. Hence it is always better to pre-apply for the permit. Foreign Visitors are also required to check in with the Foreign Registration Office within 24 hours of their arrival.