Unexplored and hidden gems in Northeast India have been slowly started to be noticed by many. The entire region is known for its elemental beauties. Soon the tourism of the Northeast began to attract even more tourists by attaching various activities amidst these breathtaking views.
The unearthed and unhindered beauty that had been kept secret for so many years has started coming to the limelight. Yet, there are still a few places that are so unique and one of a kind. Apart from the regular activities that are too mainstream, here are 7 unique things you can do in Northeast India.
Majuli, the largest river island in the entire world recorded to be comprising an area of 352 sq km in 2014, is located in Assam. It’s surrounded by the mighty Brahmaputra. Once noted to have a surface area of 820 sq km, Majuli drastically shrunk due to erosion. But it still holds the title of being the largest river island in the world. The demography of the island has been marked to have 150,000 inhabitants with around 144 villages in the area. The river island can be reached only via ferries, the nearby town being Jorhat.
The island is a hub to the Vaishnavite culture due to its history; places like Garmur and Kamalabari Satra hold many scriptures and artifacts dating back centuries. It’s also home to many endangered species. The island lends shelter to numerous migrating birds during the winter season. You can catch a glimpse of various rare avifauna like the pelican, Siberian Crane, the whistling teal, and dark wild geese to name a few.
Furthermore, the island provides the facilities of boat rides downstream of the Brahmaputra. The tranquil winds of the Himalayas drifting in the atmosphere are sure to calm your soul. With little to no factories and copious amounts of rainfall, the island possesses low air pollution. Saddeningly, at the brink of extinction due to heavy soil erosion, surveys claim that in less than 20 years from now, the island would no longer exist.
Also Read: Things To Do In Assam
The Dzukou Valley is at an altitude of 2438 meters above sea level and its highest point, the Japfu Peak, is over 3048 meters. It’s the highest point in Nagaland and the Dzukou Valley is known for its topography that looks made straight out of graphics. The beauty of the entire valley is so surreal that the visitors feel like they have landed on a mystical place. The place looks ethereal with its lush rainforests and the wildflowers laid in wait for a wanderlust soul to get lost in.
It has become one of the renowned places for trekking. Every year trekkers from every place begin their journey to reach the top of the valley. The closest air terminal is Dimapur, from which the capital city of Nagaland, Kohima, is only a 2-hour ride away. From Kohima, the journey of trekking to the top of the valley proceeds. Having two different routes to reach the valley, one for beginners and the other for intermediates, any type of trekker can enjoy this enchanting place.
Along the journey you can witness rustic beauty with the stimulating hues of the wildflowers in the green terrains, all shrouded with a veil of clouds as you go higher. At the top of the valley, the tiny gushing waterfalls and unpigmented waters give a refreshing end to the tiring hike. The highlight of the entire place would be the chopper service provided on top of the valley. The chopper service provided at such a place brings about justice to the vitality of the place as you get an overview of the serene elemental nature.
Also Read: Things To Do In Nagaland
Did you know that the largest body of freshwater lake of Northeast India is in Manipur? That it is also known as The Floating Lake? More importantly, the lake consists of phumdis (chain of islands with plenty of vegetation) where the Keibul Lamjao National Park sits on top of, making it the only national park in the entire world that floats!
Encompassing a surface area of 287sq km, the Floating Lake, known locally as Loktak Lake, is situated in a small town of Moirang. The name of the lake comes from two words lok and tak, where lok translates to ‘stream’ and tak meaning ‘the end’. The lake is not only a source of sustenance for the locals, it also harbors the purpose of irrigation and hydropower generation. The brow-antlered deers which are known to be endangered, also known as Sangai, are native only to Manipur. They’re an endemic subspecies of Eld’s deer, that can be found roaming around the floating national park. Not only that, the entire lake is a refuge to a diverse fauna (including the categories of avifauna and aquafauna), and to the numerous rare animals like the sambhar and Indian python.
From the capital city of Manipur, Imphal, the lake is located only 39 km away by road. Of all the islands on the lake, Phubala and Sendra predominantly serve the facilities to stay and enjoy the breathtaking biodiversity of the lake. The Phubala Resort, only at a distance of 40 km from the capital city, and the Sendra Tourist Home in the heart of the lake is a prime spot from which one can be one with nature.
Also Read: 7 Exciting Things To Do In Manipur
Located at a height of 5154 meters, Gurudongmar Lake in Sikkim is one of the highest situated lakes in India and the entire world. Lying in the North Sikkim, it’s very close to the Tibetan border, only 5 km south of it. However, the capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok, is around 190 km away from the lake. The lake was named after the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, Guru Padmasambhava, who had visited in the 8th century.
Primarily made out of glaciers, one of the streams of Gurudongmar Lake is the source of the Teesta River. The lake remains frozen with a layer of ice sheet spread across it during the winter season from November to May. The lake looks small compared to the actual size due to the topography of the region. The altitude of this region allows many exotic animals like the blue sheep and yaks to inhabit.
From the many legends surrounding this lake, one of it claims that while Guru Padmasambhava, who was also called Guru Rinpoche, had visited the place. He was requested by the inhabitants to help them. Since the lake remained frozen for most of the year, it became pretty strenuous for the locals to keep a livelihood. He agreed by melting a part of the lake, which remains unfrozen during winter, to facilitate as a source of drinking water. From then, Gurudongmar Lake was considered sacred. It was also said that once upon a time the water of the lake was so clear that you could see the bed of the lake even when you’re right in the middle of it.
Also Read: Lakes In Sikkim
Being recorded as the wettest place on the planet by receiving abundant amounts of rainfall every year, Meghalaya is a tropical heaven where the valleys and rivers surge with water during monsoons. For a very long period of time, this had made it impossible for the local tribes to make a living. Thus, the indigenous people of the state came up with the idea of making Living Root Bridges, bridges that only grow stronger with time, bridges that aren’t shackled with problems like rusting, fungi, or insects.
The innovation soon sprinkled all across the Khasi Hills areas of the state, as the Living Root Bridges have been used as a mode of transit for centuries now. Molded in shape by interweaving and manipulating the aerial roots of the Indian rubber tree called Ficus elastica, the Living Root Bridges are made utilizing a framework made out of the hollow trunks of the areca nut palms or bamboo scaffolds. Although it requires maintenance for the first few years initially, if taken proper care of, the bridges turn out to be perpetually irrepressible.
Lying between the condensed forests of the Khasi and Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya, of all the functional Living Root Bridges, the Double Decker Root Bridge in Cherrapunji and Single Decker Root Bridge in Shillong are one of their kind. With pleasingly misty weather and an ecosystem of exuberant flora and fauna, many use the path to these two bridges as a trek. The longest Living Root Bridge is noted to be about 50 meters long and the oldest one is marked at least 180 years old. The Living Root Bridges are often regarded as green architecture and a marvel of engineering that every modern architect needs to learn from. No wonder it has garnered itself a place in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
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Considered to be one of the World Heritage Sites and the abode of the world’s two-third of the great one-horned rhinoceroses, Kaziranga National Park is located in Assam. The place also is a tiger reserve with a high density of tigers, in addition to the large population of wild water buffalos, swamp deer, and elephants found in the region. Furthermore, it’s also regarded as an Important Bird Area. Being situated near the Eastern biodiversity of the Himalayas, the national park has an abundance of diverse species.
Although closed for almost 7 months, from May to October due to monsoons, the national park has its safari facilities open for people visiting the rest of the year. There are also many observation towers (like at the Harmoti and Sohola) for getting a view of the wildlife. Interestingly, four lodges at Kohora and three lodges in the exterior of the park are administered by the Government of Assam for tourists to stay.
Other than these, there are also private lodges run just outside the boundaries of the park. This makes the experience wilder and even more alluring than ever. Quite recently, in order to increase the vegetation and make the place even more exotically appealing, the Kaziranga National Orchid was set up. It consists of orchids of 500 species, 132 kinds of leafy vegetables and sour fruits, 46 varieties of bamboo, cane of 12 different kinds and lastly, numerous types of local fish.
Also Read: Experiencing Bihu Festival In Assam
The Nathula Pass is the same route to the infamously recognized Old Silk Route. From Tibet, this route was previously utilized to transport valuable items like silk and gold to India. Due to arising conflict, the once legendary route was sealed. However, a few years back an alliance between both countries led to the reopening of the route for business. Using this opportunity, many tourists visit this place to go on treks, relive the history, and enjoy the beauty of the place.
14000 feet above mean sea level, connecting Sikkim with Tibet, the route of Nathula Pass is a mountain pass located in the Eastern District of Sikkim. Lying on the borders of Indo-China, the pass is at a distance of 54 km from the capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok. Originating from the Tibetan language, the name of the mountain pass translates to nathu being ‘listening ears’ and la meaning ‘pass’. Only Indian citizens with a permit obtained from the capital city of Sikkim can go on this expedition.
Hiking amidst the snow-clad mountains, flora and fauna native only to that weather, Sikkim has always been a hotspot for tourism. With the twists and turns along the journey of the past, with an ambiance of solace created by the calm air of the Himalayas, this place can concoct an overwhelming feeling where you’ll find yourself lost in the past and nostalgia. With a rich history and breath-chasing scenic beauty along the path of the mountain pass, who wouldn’t want to visit this place at least once in their lifetime?
Also Read: Monasteries In Sikkim
What Is Northeast India Famous For?
An absolutely underrated part of the country, Northeast India is known for its diverse landscapes and weather - you can experience both freezing cold winters and tropical weather here. Also, there’s the distinction of being relatively away from the tourist radar, which makes for a more interesting holiday. The people and culture of Northeast India is vibrant, and well-worth experiencing!
Which Is The Most Beautiful State In Northeast India?
What makes Northeast India is its diversity. For instance, if you’d like to experience life in the mountains, Sikkim or Arunachal Pradesh would be for you. But if you want to experience green forests, consider visiting Meghalaya, Mizoram, or Tripura. For a more cultural experience, you could visit Nagaland.
Is Northeast India Dangerous?
Northeast India did have political tensions a few years back, but it has subsided of late and you should not miss a chance to visit Northeast India!
What Is The Best Time To Visit North East India?
You could visit Northeast India throughout the year; it depends on what you want to experience. For instance, if you want to experience snowfall, visit Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh during the winter months. Summer could be a great time for adventure activities. Monsoons are particularly wet here, there won’t be much to do around that time, but the lush greenery can be a sight to behold.
Who Is The Brother Of Seven Sisters?
Sikkim is known as the brother of the Seven Sisters. This state doesn’t share its boundaries with any of the Seven Sisters, instead sharing it with West Bengal, Bhutan, Nepal, and China.
Why Is Sikkim Not A Part Of Seven Sisters?
Sikkim is not considered a part of the Seven Sisters because the state doesn’t share boundaries with them.
Which Is The Best State To Visit In North East India?
Given the diversity of landscape and culture, it can be very difficult to choose the best state to visit in Northeast India. Meghalaya, Assam, and Sikkim are among the more popular states among tourists.
Which Is Better Sikkim Or Arunachal Pradesh?
Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh are both great places to visit. But if you’re looking for a place that’s more tourist-friendly, then consider visiting Sikkim.
Which Is Better Sikkim Or Meghalaya?
Does It Snow In North East India?
It does snow in Northeast India, but not everywhere. The places at a higher altitude receive heavy snowfall, while the lower regions have a mild or even tropical climate.