The North East of India comprises of seven sister states, and are an amalgamation of natural beauty and cultural richness. Verdant mountain ranges intermingled with spectacular dense forests, weaving through Buddhist stupas and monasteries, meandering roads, glacial lakes, and a climate to die for. The North East will surely take your breath away, and keep you coming back for more.
Don’t leave North East before you:
From the sultry foothills of West Bengal, the state of Sikkim is a short three-hour drive away. With verdant uninhabitable mountains, the terrain keeps getting more challenging as you ride on the serpentine roads along the beautiful river Teesta to the capital city of Gangtok. From here will open up a dream-world of sights both natural and manmade. From monasteries to swaying rhododendron hills, from ski-high towns like Namtse to the razor-sharp mountains of Singalila Range, the meandering mountain roads of Sikkim spring up views after lovely views at every bend.
Not to Miss: The placid glacial lake Tsongmo (Changu), the higher-than-Ladakh town of Yumthang with its curative hot springs, and the heartbreakingly beautiful Gurodongmar Lake, one of the highest lakes in the world.
Right at the foothills of the Himalayas, Darjeeling attracts all those who wish to experience life as it once was before the days of modernization. While lovers and honeymooners travel to the town and book themselves in cozy cottages to enjoy private time away from the city, the tired travellers go soul searching in the hills.
Not to Miss: Darjeeling is famous for its tea plantations the world over. With over 86 gardens producing the famous Darjeeling tea, this is the place to enjoy guided tours amid verdant tea estates and enjoy tea tasting sessions like a true connoisseur.
In the far eastern side of India, in the tea state of Assam, lies this fascinating land of natural and cultural wealth – the land we call Guwahati. Guwahati was once the capital city of the state of Assam and is a place of many charms. From the lush green hills and tea plantations to the winding Brahmaputra River, from the glorious sacred temples to the bustling markets, you will enjoy every last moment of your stay in Guwahati.
Not to Miss: The Kaziranga National Park and the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary are famous throughout the world as the abode of the rare one-horned-rhinoceros. In Kaziranga, you can also spot the mighty tigers roaming around freely in their natural habitat.
Soaked in an ancient colonial charm, Shillong is fondly known as the Scotland of the East, given its picturesque beauty, cobblestone streets and old churches- just like in the Scottish highlands. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the North East, Shillong lies nestled amidst tall pine conifers and pineapple shrubs. With spectacular views of the snow clad Himalayas, it is the ideal destination for honeymooners as well as those seeking solitude.
Not to Miss: The Shillong Peak and the Sohpetbneng Peak are two of the most popular viewpoints in the region offering stunning vistas of the countryside. Other extremely popular attractions here are the milky white waterfalls. The Crinoline Falls, which are about 13 metres in height and the Elephant Falls located in Upper Shillong make for great picnic spots.
If you love to stroll through the green landscape, venture out to the hilly area in Imphal. Imagine yourself being surrounded by the lush green landscape and sitting beside the calm waters of the many rivers (Iril, Sekmai, Thoubal) that flow in here. Nature and its small wonders are often found here in plenty. Dark forests, sprawling grasslands and the beautiful scenery form part of the unspoilt beauty of this valley. Imphal is also known as the culture capital of Manipur as it is home to many traditional and tribal songs, dances as well as other folklores that is unique and will surely impress you.
Not to Miss: he local festivals call for a grand celebration by ever family residing in this city. These festivals are packed with foot-tapping folk dances (Pung Cholom, Ras Leela and Khamba Thoibi), soothing music and unique rituals which the people here follow religiously.
When to Go
November to April – this is the best time to visit the Northeast, when you can expect wonderful weather. However, it can get extremely cold in the mountain areas around December till February, and the fog can disrupt journeys.
May to October – This is the time of heavy rains in this area, and one can expect a few landslides. However to enjoy the views of rain-soaked mountains, glorious waterfalls and long walks in the midst of low-lying clouds, this would be a great time to visit the North East.
How to Reach
By Air: Main airports in the North East are in Guwahati, Imphal, Bagdogra, Dibrugarh and Silchar. These are well connected from New Delhi and Calcutta.
By Train: The North East is well connected by train to most of the major Indian cities, the best connections are to Assam.
By Road: A good network of roads connect all the North East States, and regular buses from West Bengal make it easy to travel to this region
So may your way to this charming part of India, and book your holiday now!