North East – India’s Unknown

India, The largest democracy in the world has been fascinating to million of overseas tourists for at least a decade now. North East India states are officially recognised as nature’s unexplored paradise. About 60% of the total area covered by the states are forests. Nature’s richness flourish here with UNESCO world Heritage sites like Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park. The region is also rich in petroleum and natural gas which serves as one-fifth of total Indian potential.

Above all India’s north east is enriched with 130 major tribes and 300 sub tribal communities. Ethnic and Linguistic differences amongst these tribes differentiate all these states, thereby giving birth to all these new dialects, languages with varied culture and unique traditions

Arunachal Pradesh

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Image Credits : Google Images

The final frontier of Indian tourism, virginal Arunachal Pradesh shows up as a giant patch of unexplored emerald green on the country’s map. India’s wildest and least explored state, Arunachal (literally the ‘Land of Dawn-lit Mountains’) rises abruptly from the Assam plains as a mass of densely forested, and impossibly steep, hills, which eventually top off as snow-capped peaks along the Tibetan border. Home to 26 indigenous tribes, Arunachal is perhaps the last sanctuary for India’s natural and anthropological heritage. Much of the state still remains beyond tourism’s reach, but new areas (comprising lush river gorges and craggy mountainscapes) are slowly being opened to visitors.

 

Assam

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Sprawled lazily along the length of the Brahmaputra valley, Assam (also known as Ahom) is the biggest and most accessible of the Northeast States. A hospitable population, a cuisine with its own distinctive aromas and flavours, a vibrant artistic heritage marked by exotic dance forms, and a string of elegant Hindu temples top its list of innumerable attractions, and no permits are required. The archetypal Assamese landscape is a picturesque golden-green vista of jigsaw-like rice fields and manicured tea estates, framed in the distance by the blue mountains of Arunachal in the north and the highlands of Meghalaya and Nagaland to the south.

Nagaland

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Image Credits : Google Images

The uncontested ‘wild east’ of India, Nagaland is probably one of the reasons you came to the Northeast in the first place. A place of primeval beauty, Nagaland’s dazzling hills and valleys – right on the edge of the India–Myanmar border – are an otherworldly place where, until very recently, some 16-odd headhunting Naga tribes valiantly fought off any intruders. Of course, Nagaland today is a shadow of its once savage self, and much of the south of the state is fairly developed. In the north, however, you still stand a good chance of meeting tribesmen in exotic attire who continue to live a lifestyle that is normally only seen within the pages of a National Geographic magazine.

Mizoram

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Seated precariously along rows of north–south-running mountain ridges, pristine Mizoram is more of an experiential journey than a tourist destination. Ethnically, the majority of the local population shares similarities with communities in neighbouring Southeast Asian countries such as Myanmar (Burma), and the predominant religion is Christianity. Mizo culture is liberated from caste or gender distinctions: in Aizawl girls smoke openly, wear modern clothes and hang out in unchaperoned posses meeting up with their beaus at rock concerts.

Tripura

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Far from India’s popular tourist circuits, Tripura is a culturally charming place which thrives on the hope that its handful of royal palaces and temples will draw the world’s attention some day. For the moment, though, foreign travellers remain very rare, despite the fact that no permit is currently required. The state can be accessed by land from Meghalaya and Bangladesh; if you fly in, you must register with the police on arrival at the airport.

 

Meghalaya

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Separating the Assam valley from the plains of Bangladesh, hilly Meghalaya – the ‘abode of clouds’ – is a cool, pine-fresh mountain state set on dramatic horseshoes of rocky cliffs. Cherrapunjee and Mawsynram are statistically amongst the wettest places on earth; most of the rain falls between June and September, creating very impressive waterfalls and carving out some of Asia’s longest caves.

 

Manipur

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Image Credits : Google Images

Manipur, a little Shangri La located in North-East India, is a Jewel of India. This little corner is a paradise on Earth where Mother Nature has been extra generous in her bounty. Least touched and least discovered Manipur promises to be the great tourist discovery of the 21st century. An oval shaped valley surrounded by blue green hills, rich in art and tradition has inspired description such as the “Switzerland of the East” with its cascading rapids, tripling rivers, varieties of flowers, exotic blooms and lakes.

 

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