The Northeast States of India consists of seven states and also the Sikkim. Northeast states are mostly the tribal regions. Each state has its own beauty to flaunt and their amazing culture makes the states beautiful. The states are lying under the hills with green lush valleys, national parks, the species like hornbill birds to one-horned rhino, Wild-water buffaloes to tiger all are the habitats of the states. The northeast is full of a mysterious and arguably most beautiful region of India.
History in Short
Northeast India comprises seven states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, and Sikkim. These North Eastern Region are officially recognized under the North Eastern Council, constituted in 1971 as the acting agent for the development of the northeast states.
The northeastern states were established during the British Raj of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many peoples of Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Nagaland converted to Christianity under the influence of British missionaries.
Places to visit in Northeast India
Tawang and Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh-
Tawang is a beautiful town located at an altitude of 3048 meters and the town is famous for monasteries and it is the birthplace of the Dalai Lama. Tawang is a paradise for nature lovers and offers spiritual peace to travelers. Itanagar, Ziro, Bomdila, Anini, etc are the attractions of Arunachal Pradesh.
Ziro Valley is a paradise for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts settled in the laps of the Himalaya. The valley is bordered by the thick pine forest, Paddy fields, Bamboo huts and large species of flora and fauna. Ziro valley was considered the world heritage site and the valley gives you to explore the traditional culture of the tribe residing in this valley. This will be the lifetime experience that you will cherish in your entire life.
Majuli, Umananda, Haflong in Assam
Majuli is the world’s largest river island and a world heritage site. This island is located within the Brahmaputra River and is 452 wide and most of the parts are submerged during monsoon. The island offers the finest place for watching species of birds and remarkable natural beauty. Kamakhya temple, Manas National Park, Kaziranga National Park and more to come for you when you visit the northeast.
Umananda Island is one of the smallest islands of the world and the island is dotted with a temple named Umananda Temple which was dedicated to Lord Shiva. During Shiva Ratri, you can see the entire temple is decorated with lights and huge numbers of devotees in the temple. Umananda Island is also called Peacock Temple. The name was given by the British and the island is situated in the Brahmaputra River. This is the major attraction of Assam and will be the religious travel in the tour itinerary.
The Haflong Lake is the spectacular and most alluring lake in Assam. The lake is located in the center of the city and the lake captured the attention of so many travelers. It is the clean and well-maintained lake and the perfect place to stay in peace while watching the exotic migratory birds. Haflong Lake also offers water sport activities like boating, fishing, etc for travelers and also home for the refugee during winter.
Cherrapunji, Dawki, and Double Decker in Meghalaya
It is the wettest place on earth situated on the mountainous landscapes of Meghalaya. Cherrapunji is surrounded by pristine nature and fresh, clean ambiance which refreshes you from inside. Dain Thelen falls, Noh Sngithiang falls, Noh Kalikai falls and more are the waterfalls found in Cherrapunji and view of the Bangladesh plains from the cliffs of the Meghalaya. Living root bridges, Dawki, Umiam Lake etc are the attractions of Meghalaya.
Dawki is a beautiful town situated in west Jaintia Hill of Meghalaya and located at the border between India and Bangladesh. The Dawki Tamabil suspension bridge and the River Umngot is the main tourist attraction of Meghalaya and the annual boating race held in March is the exciting activities held in Umngot River.
This make you wonder after seeing this double-decker root Bridge that was naturally formed by nature and this bridge is located a few kilometers away from the villages named Nongriat in Cherrapunji(wettest place on earth) and if you are adventure seeker trekking towards root bridge is the best way to do. The bridge will be slippery so you should be a little conscious while crossing the bridge instead of getting injured. Overall, it is one of the popular tourist destinations of Meghalaya.
Dzukou Valley, Kohima in Nagaland
Nagaland is located close to India and Myanmar border and the places are blessed by rolling hills and alluring natural beauty. Dzukou Valley is filled up with varieties of flora and it is one of the best tourist places in Nagaland. South of Nagaland is inhabited by primitive tribes and south Nagaland is a developed region where you can interact with tribes and can experience their traditional attire. Dimapur, Mokokchung, Wokha, etc are the other attractions of Nagaland.
It is the hilly capital of Nagaland and the city is the best destination to visit Nagaland. Kohima is the commercial hub though the town provides the elegant nature and the place is always cherished by travelers. The town is the perfect combination of ancient and modern cultures and traditions and that’s make the town a colorful and important place for Nagaland. The town is surrounded by scenic views and Japfu and Pulebadze have always been the major tourist hub.
Manipur- Manipur state will take you to the astonishing and splendid regions where your tour starts from the capital form Imphal the capital of Manipur, you will get a chance to visit Kangla Fort and Ima Market. Manipur will also give a chance to explore in the lovely and unique Loktak Lake, occupying an area of 287 sq kms, which is the largest freshwater lake in the North East.
Tripura- Tripura is a hilly state in northeast India, bordered on 3 sides by Bangladesh, and home to a diverse mix of tribal cultures and religious groups. Tripura is one of the least visited regions of the country and very less known about its beauty. The state is rich in gorgeous landscapes, dense forests, lush green hills, and rock-cut temples with a sprinkle of history and heritage. Visit Tripura to get close to the nature, landscapes, and heritage of the state.
Tsomgo Lake, Pelling, Lachung in Sikkim
Tsomgo Lake is 38 km away from the state capital city Gangtok, situated at an altitude of 12,400 feet. The way to Tsomgo Lake is winding through rugged mountain terrain and cliffs and then finally a beautiful lake will be reached. The lake has many myths and legends and a sacred place for Sikkimese. The lake water is delivered from the nearby mountains and it is Glacier Lake. During winter the lake remains frozen and summer brings a new charm to the lake.
Pelling is a beautiful town situated in the west district of Sikkim. The town offers a captivating view of Kanchenjunga and other neighboring peaks so that the town becomes the second biggest tourist attraction place in Sikkim after Gangtok. Pelling is the best for the snowfall holiday where you can experience the cold flakes of snow and it is also popular for a summer holiday. Sikkim also offers other tourist attractions destinations like Ravangla, Tsomgu lake, Namchi, etc.
Lachung is always listed in the traveling itinerary of the tour guide, where the town is situated at a towering height of 8,610ft and lies in the northern part of Sikkim. This mountain town has been more attractive by the flowing of Lachung Chu River and the Lachung Monastery on the other hand. Lachung is the popular snow destination in Sikkim and the beauty of the town is untouched and immaculate nature attracts the tourists in this town.
Best Time to visit Northeast
The best time to visit Northeast India is November to mid-May are the best months, as the weather is quite pleasant during this time. North-East India mainly has a subtropical climate, influenced by the Himalayas to the north, the Meghalaya plateau to the south and the hills of Nagaland, Mizoram, and Manipur to the east.
Religious and Cultural Festivals
Yaoshang- Manipur’s version of Holi celebrated in March.
Aoling Monyu- Konyak festival in the Mon region of Nagaland marking the arrival of rain in the month of April.
Bihu- The major festival of Assam, celebrated with singing, dancing, and feast in the villages.
Chapchar kut- This the biggest harvest festival in Mizoram, celebrated before the sowing season begins in the month of March.
Moatsu- the festival celebrated by the Ao Tribe in Nagaland after the sowing season.
Dree- The Apatanis of Ziro in Arunachal observe this agrarian festival in which animal sacrifices are common.
Nogkrem- In Meghalaya, the Khasi tribe give thanks for the harvest over five days.
Torgya and Losar- Arunachal Pradeshfestival of Monpa people in Bomdila and Tawang, with colorful chaam ( masked monastic dances) and religious ceremonies.
Ziro Festival of Music- Four-day Central Arunachal outdoor music festival with apong ( rice and beer ) and indie music, camping under the stars in the Ziro Valley in Sept.
NH7 Weekender- The popular multi day urban music festival held its first Shillong edition in 2015 and is now slated to be an annual feature. Indian indie and global artists spanning genres of rock, funk, electro and more perform on various stages.
Hornbill Festival- Celebrated in the first week of December, held annually in Nagaland at the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, this is one of the largest occasions, showcasing the dance, music, food, games and intriguing culture of different local tribes.
How to reach Northeast
By Flight- If you are looking to fly to one of the states in the Northeast, then you will be pleased to learn that four of the states- Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, and Assam. all have direct flights from various cities such as Kolkata and Delhi. Guwahati in Assam is considered to be the gateway to the Northeast states and once you reach there, you can fly to some of the other places such as Silchar, Dimapur, Imphal, Aizawl, Agartala, Jorhat and Dibrugarh. The Lokpriya Gopinath Bordolio International Airport in Guwahati is well connected to major cities of India.
The airlines that fly to Northeast regularly are Indian Airlines, Indigo, Spicejet and Vistara. Here are some of the airports that you can fly to reach Northeast India.
- Lokpriya Gopinath Bordolio International Airport, Guwahati
- Imphal International Airport, Manipur
- Silchar Airport, Assam
- Dibrugarh Airport, Assam
- Dimapur Airport, Nagaland
- Agartala Airport, Tripura
There are also helicopter services to Aizawl and Naharlagun.
By Train- Some cities of the country have some good connectivity by train to Arunachal Pradesh as well as Assam. Naharlagun is the important station in Arunachal Pradesh which is located between Guwahati and also New Delhi. There are also stations Guwahati, Lumding, Bongaigaon, Dibrugarh as well as Tinsukia. From Delhi, trains such as Rajdhani Express, Northeast Express, and Brahmaputra Rail travel to Northeast India regularly.
In the northeast, the trains are inevitably slow because the trains are not electrified. Because of non-electrified trains in the northeast, there would certainly be a lot of delays before you reach the destination. Mizoram is not connected by train. To reach the Sikkim, you must take a train to New Jalpaiguri, on the other side Kumarghat is the closest rail station to enter Tripura.
The Rajdhani Express takes around 28 hours to reach the Northeast, it is the fastest railway option. Meanwhile, Northeast Express takes 32hours while Brahmaputra Mail takes the longest, 42 hours.
By road- All the states have good connections of the road in the city areas with regular long-distance buses from many northeastern states to West Bengal. Assam has State-run buses that connect to the other states in Northeast India. Places like Guwahati, Tezpur, Kaziranga National Park can be reached by the Assam State Corporation buses. Guwahati Paltan Bazar is the main bus stand. The other options for the local travelers include Sumo, shared taxis leave once they are filled up with enough passengers. In Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland these Sumo run every hour, it’s a better idea to buy tickets from counter beforehand as these tickets run out very fast.
An important thing to remember is that if you’re traveling to Northeast during the winter season, it gets dark by 3.45 pm and it’s best if you’re not traveling around this time as the roads can be quite dangerous. Most of the highways in and around Assam are smooth with small puddles here and there.