Connected to the rest of the country by a small stretch of road between Bhutan and Bangladesh, Northeast India, comprising eight states, is the most undiscovered and arguably the most beautiful part of the country that any traveler can come across.
While Northeast India has a slowly and steadily growing tourism industry with luxurious hotels and the like, we feel the best way to get in touch with the beauty of the nature is to camp in the spots that make your jaw drop, so that you can see how the sun takes over in the morning and how the moon is much more of a companion than chandeliers on the highest ceilings. With that said, here are some of the best places for camping in Northeast India!
Assam is very famous for two things; the silk and the tea. While both of these things are definitely worth experiencing, one thing that you should experience, given the opportunity, is the beauty of the place. Assam has three national parks, namely, Nameri, Kaziranga, and Manas national parks. All of these have such a huge and varied flora and fauna that Assam is known as one of the world’s richest biodiversity zones.
Assam has the Brahmaputra cutting right through the middle of the entire state and that has created camping spots that are off-beat and offer very beautiful sights right out of the tent.
For those looking for a spot near Mayang, Chanaka Eco Camp and Mahabahu are the best camping spots around. With the river on one side and the forest on the other, these places provide multiple variants of the camping experience. While the former offers everything from backpacker-style camping to glamping, the latter offers just the backpacker part.
Encamp Adventures is about ten minutes away from Guwahati and offers a large number of activities to every camper. Village tours, water activities, bonfires, hikes, and lip-smacking food are everything that you can look forward to when coming here. It also has a great list of places that you can visit.
One last spot that we are absolutely in love with is the Potibora Hill And Eco Camp in the Potibora Wildlife Sanctuary. The speciality of this place is that these campsites are only existent in the winters, when the Brahmaputra slows down a little and gives birth to small, temporary islands. You’ll need to cross the river in a boat to get here and once you do, you’ll have access to basic amenities.
While we are listing the three best camping spots, there are a lot more in Assam that demand your presence. Research a few more to see which one suits your needs/wants best and have fun!
Also Read: 7 Unique Things To Do In Northeast India
Aptly dubbed ‘The Land Of The Rising Sun’, Arunachal Pradesh is known for its beautiful climate and geography. It has greenery, mountains, lakes, snow and everything in between. Depending on where you look, of course.
Since it is located on the eastern tip of India, you can see a lot of culture flowing over from the neighbouring countries. A lot of infrastructure as well as the languages have Tibetian influence.
When it comes to camping in Arunachal Pradesh, you can find a number of spots dotted around the map, all of which offer a different experience altogether. The varying terrain through the state provides you with a bunch of options of camping sites to choose from as well.
The first one on the list of the best ones is Mishmi Hill Camping, located in Mishmi Hills. Surrounded by thick forests and beside the Deopani stream, this place is embellished with an unusually pretty rural setting, the kind we would see in the photos in our textbooks in school. You can go fishing, trekking, swimming and even off-roading from this spot. Mishmi is also known for allowing camping in public lands. Meaning, you can choose a spot of your liking and set up camp. Be careful, though. you’re in a forest full of predators!
Speaking of camping in public lands, Namdapha National Park is another place where you can set up camp at any spot you like. There are some beautiful spots like Deban, Hornbill, Bulbulia, and Camera Spot that you can choose from to stay at. Namdapha also has an eco-village that you can stay in. The eco-camp has beautiful rooms that are built to look like rural huts with hay roofs and cane walls. All the spots in Namdapha National Park are fairly reasonable and easily accessible to book.
Arunachal Pradesh also holds one of the best places for adrenaline junkies to camp in as well! Sela Pass is one the hardest treks in India and takes you to the multiple monasteries in the towns spread throughout and takes you through the harshest terrain and weather conditions. This 9 to 11-day trek also has some exquisite camping spots like Namsha, Sangit and Dirang. It’s a snow-trek and not a cakewalk. So, research and prepare accordingly before you set out on this journey.
Also read: 8 Thrilling Treks In Northeast India
Manipur is the birthplace of the famous Raas-Lila and modern Polo, the game which the locals call ‘Sagol Kangjei’. Manipur is also extremely beautiful with its infusion of many cultures and their influence on the day-to-day life of the locals.
This state, which has been known throughout modern history for its rather gore story, is also known for all the wonders it holds within, like the Loktak Lake, which is India’s largest freshwater lake and it sits in a quaint little town called Moirang. Speaking of Loktak Lake, it houses one of the most unique camping experience, not around it, but in it! Sangai Moonlight Campling is an initiative started by a local man who has not only created a one-of-a-kind campsite, but also an alternative source of income for the local fisherman community.
Sangai Moonlight Camping provides residence in a ‘floating homestay’ built on the multiple tiny islands around the lake. The transport and hosting is done by the community people and you get to live a night in the life of a Phumdi, the community hosting you. As an addition to that, the view of the lake, from the middle of it, is an experience to be had.
Another spot that is just as relaxing as the last one, but a little more grounded, is Woods And Earth Retreat in Waroiching. This campsite provides you with the amenities provided in all reasonable campsites with the addition of a freshwater stream flowing directly through the center of it.
If you’re the kind to go through a forest rather than a water body, you should visit Dzukou Valley. Northeast Guide and Ecohunters are two organizers who organize treks that take you to the heart of the valley, buried deep in the forest with nothing but tents, lights and the spirit of adventure! The view of the valley as you trek downwards into it is mesmerizing enough to keep you going and once you get there, the peace and quiet that nature provides might just keep you there.
Manipur is known to be very tourist-friendly. That, plus the abundance of beautiful spots spread through the state provide you with the opportunity to create an experience that you will want to come back to.
Also read: 7 Exciting Things To Do In Manipur
The state which is the abode to clouds. No, literally. Megh-alaya is the house of clouds and it is aptly named so. The similarly coloured but ever-changing sky seen from this part of the world is just as alluring as the sights seen on this land.
The Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills, and the Garo Hills have divided the state into two districts amongst themselves. However, they offer completely different experiences. If you want to explore and experience the wildlife and flora, visit Garo Hills. For the experience of an evergreen forest and almost continuous rains, visit Khasi Hills and for the culture, the experience of actually connecting with the locals, and seeing their skills like weaving and carving, visit Jaintia Hills.
Starting with Jaintia Hills, we found three camping sites located at different places on the banks of the Umngot-Dawki river. Namely, Kenny/Pacify Camping Tents in Shnonpdeng, Manshwa Camp in Shillong, and Encamp Adventures in Dawki. All three places provide basic to moderate camping amenities, with the exception of Encamp Adventures, which also provides glamping. All of these places are priced reasonably but can become expensive with all the different add-ons like water sports, treks and glamping amenities.
Khasi Hills, known for the culture, also hold two camping spots that are an experience of a lifetime. Weiing - The Lakefront Camp is a campsite nestled away from any form of civilization in the forests of Phlangmawsyrpat. It makes for the perfect spot to relax with its exclusive fauna, fishing, a few prehistoric caves and fossils for you to explore.
Camping Co. takes you to the second largest river island in Asia - Nongkhnum. While it is accessible by road, we suggest you take a beefy off-roader there since it is one of the attractions on the island. Other than caves, waterfalls, cliffs, and flatlands, Camping Co. also takes you to the majestic historical monuments and humble farms on the island.
Meghalaya is also known to be a tourist-friendly state. However, the climatic conditions can make camping challenging. Beware, traveler!
Called the ‘Land Of Blue Mountains’, Mizoram is known for its dense bamboo forests and evergreen flora. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Mizoram is also home to two large wildlife sanctuaries, namely the Dampa Wildlife Sanctuary and Khwanglung Wildlife Sanctuary. While Khwanglung is known for its wide variety of wildlife, Dampa is more famous as a tiger reserve.
Since Mizoram is a border state with a couple of wildlife sanctuaries and a tiger reserve as its main tourist attractions, it isn’t big on camping. One of the few places with any credibility is the Hangzo Natural Park near Aizawl. It’s a forest land that spreads out to the end of horizon and has camping grounds built and maintained by the locals.
Hangzo Natural Park offers everything from basic two person tents to glamping tents with a pool to the side, However, the operating time of this park is highly erratic. Make sure it is open and operational before making a plan to visit.
Home to one of the most mythical tribes in the world, Nagaland is another piece of paradise on Earth. Here, you get to see a culmination of diverse cultures, insane places to visit and the most exciting part for us, the ghost peppers!
Three of the hottest camping spots in Nagaland are near Kigwema, Kisama, and Zakhama. CampMonk runs the campsites in Kigwema and Zakhama and has done a great job at capturing the essence of the place and placing it in packages that you can buy when staying at their campsites. While the campsite in Kigwema is set up in the woods away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the one in Zakhama gets you a little high with its tents on the second tier of a three-layered hill. However, you can use the campsite at Kigwema as a starting point for a trek towards the Japfu Peak.
The one in Kisama is most famous as the venue for the Hornbill Festival and is named after the same. Camp Hornbill is operational year-round and has the perfect ambience for a relaxing night out of the ordinary.
The second smallest state in the country and home to the highest peak in the country, Sikkim is a camper’s paradise. It’s divided into four districts and one can easily navigate the state through these.
While the East District is the administrative and business hub, with the capital city of Gangtok being there, the west is known for its historical and cultural importance. The north is the one district that you definitely want to visit to experience the beauty of the alpine scenery. The South District is laid out with many tourist attractions like the 135-feet tall Guru Padmasambhava statue and the entirety of the Khangchendzonga mountain ranges.
While there are a lot of organizers and camping resorts in Sikkim, we found the top three spots for camping. The first one being near Gangtok, called Sikkim Glamping, is exactly what it sounds like. Set on the outskirts of the capital city, this spot gives you an amazing view of the mountain side while sitting in a huge tent with all the creature comforts within easy reach.
The second one is called Lamuney Camp Site and a part of its glory is the effort it takes to get there. It’s a stop on the trek to Goecha La and is a mind-blowing place with the Himalayas providing a brown and white view for you to absorb until sunset.
Teesta River, Goecha La Pass, Yumthang Valley and the ever-famous Gurudongmar Lake are a few spots that demand a shout-out. If possible, take detours and visit these places. Then, give us a shout-out!
Also Read: Sikkim Travel Guide
One thing to note here is, the terrain and altitude varies a lot throughout this state. Please prepare well before heading out on an adventure. And that’s all, folks! These are the best places for camping in Northeast India that we think you must experience. Just don’t forget to be safe while on your adventures. Cheers!
Is It Safe To Wild Camp In India?
Well, yes and no. Camping in the wild is always going to put you at risk with encounters with the unknown. The only way to have any surety is to research the spots before setting up camp, being alert for any encounters and knowing what to do in case of one.
What Is Glamping?
While traditional camping refers to going out to isolated places away from the crowds with basic necessities and setting up, glamping includes traveling to similar locations but with a lot more creature comforts.
What Is The Best Time To Visit North-East India?
The months between March and June are considered to be the best time to visit Northeast India. Since these are the blooming days for the tribes, trails, and teas of this magnificent region.
How Many Days Are Enough For North East India?
When you're looking to cover each of the Northeastern states, then 5 to 7 days for each state is a good enough time.
How Is the Road From Guwahati To Shillong?
The road distance 97.9 km and the route is via NH6. It takes about 3-4 hours of travel and the route is quite scenic.
Is It Difficult To Drive In Meghalaya?
Meghalaya is a hilly region and driving through these hilly roads can be tough and challenging if you've never driven on hilly roads.
Do I Need A Permit To Visit Nagaland?
Yes, you need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit Nagaland.
Why Do Indians Need A Nagaland Permit?
Nagaland is a state with protected status given by the government because of which you need special authorization and permits to visit these states.