Northeast India, a beauty surrounded by hills and nature, shows a group of different Indian states having its unique cultural diversity. The Northeast has been identified as a prioritized global ecoregion by WWF. Sixty percent of the area is covered by forest region, making northeast India tourism very attractive in terms of flora and fauna. Traveling to the Northeast would be like entering an area away from the chaos.
Talking about northeast India tourism, you would have to plan your travel very carefully as there are too many tourist worthy places which you should not miss. Your time period of traveling would be shorter than what northeast India tourism has to place in your platter.
And your platter is mainly going to have eight cuisines as in the eight states viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. Each of these cuisines, as in countries, will have their own dishes of cultural heritage and attractions.
To let your northeast India tourisms’ virtual tour be easy and exciting, let me take you to each state separately and make the beauty of northeast India float in front of your eyes.
“A place of tranquil dawn-lit mountains.”
The word Arunachal specifically means dawn-lit mountains, and so is the place is known to be. Being the Northeasternmost state, it is the first one to greet the rising sun. The months of October to April would be your best northeast India tourism visit to Arunachal Pradesh. Here, one of the alluring tourist attractions is the opportunity for adventure and water sports. The places to visit here can be seen as follows-
1) Tawang State
This is one of the best northeast India tourism places as it offers the view of snow-clad Himalayan ranges, adventure sports like trekking, hiking, and mountain biking. For each hunger of your travel soul, a different place is offered.
Jaswantgarh War memorial is a place you should not forget if you respect the soldiers. It is a memorial of an Indian Army Sepoy who fought bravely for his motherland.
Bum La pass, which is 16,500 ft above sea level is a must-visit place if you are seeking thrills and adventure. However, you must need a special permit for this place.
Tawang Monastery is the most popular one among others in Arunachal Pradesh, as it sits on a hill at the height of 10,000 ft. Dating back to 1860 AD, this monastery will offer you a breathtaking view of Tawang valley. It has a fort-like look from afar and is the second largest monastery in the world.
Shongs-tser lake, which is said to be created as a result of the earthquake, is best for getting perfect pictures. Nuranang waterfall dropping down from an altitude of 100 meters, also has a myth associated with Jaswant Singh whose memorial can be found nearby.
The capital city of Arunachal Pradesh has always been enchanting for the northeast India tourism enthusiasts. If you’re interested in seeing the 14th-century architecture, Ita fort will be your place, which is built in an irregular shape.
Itanagar wildlife sanctuary and zoological park, which is one of the most well-preserved wildlife reserves, would make you feel in the laps of nature. Here, you can find a wide range of fauna and flora.
Sela Pass in Dirang, which is 13,700 ft above sea level offers a rush of adrenalin and frozen Sela lake after the climb, with the thick layer of clouds floating above, is worth the sweat.
To get in touch with the cultural heritage, you should visit around July when a 3-day festival called ‘Behdeinkhlam’ is celebrated, which is very colorful along with the folk and religious performances. You can also find the tribes of Monpa here.
Sangti Valley, which is less crowded by tourists and clad with greenery, should also be visited to get some alone time away from chaos. Daporijo is a picturesque town located on the shores of the Subansiri river. This holds the history and local tribal collections in Daporijo museum and craft center.
Bomdila is situated at an altitude of 3500 meters, whose Bomdila viewpoint is a must-visit place. You must not forget your camera and binoculars to capture the breathtaking view and experience. You must not even forget to visit the Apple Orchards of Bomdila as it is Asia’s largest orchard.
Other places that you can visit in Arunachal Pradesh are Ziro, Pasighat, and Bhalukpong.
“A beautiful bird stretched across Brahmaputra river.”
Assam is the oldest state of North East and land, which possesses a red river and blue hills. Assam has many attractions, thus, offering you the best northeast India tourism.
1) Kaziranga National Park
This reserve forest, known explicitly for one-horned rhino, provides you with the best experience and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kamakhya temple, Assam State Zoo, Chandubi lake, Pobitora Wildlife sanctuary, Gopeswar mandir in Deudar are among the best visiting places of Guwahati.
This place should never be missed as it is the largest freshwater island of South Asia, which resides on Brahmaputra River.
4) Dima Hasao
This is the least populous district of Assam, and so you would find extreme tranquility here. Haflong, the primary and only hill station in Assam are situated here, which is said to be the Switzerland of north-east.
There is a village named Jatinga here, which is a tourist attraction in northeast India tourism due to its mysterious suicides of Birds.
It is a very important city of Assam as it is the last capital of the Ahom Kingdom and is also the tea capital of India. This city is also home to Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, which houses the hoolock gibbons. There even is a manmade forest covering called Mulai Kathoni.
This district is well-known as it was the seat of Ahom Kingdom. There are many ancient monuments situated here which belonged to the Ahom era.
This is the district of Dibru-Saikhowa national park, which is one of the biggest and also a biological hotspot of India. Even the oldest oil-refinery of India, Digboi, is situated here. It is also home to India’s only coal museum.
Tea capital of the world, Dibrugarh, offers a different experience of life in a tea estate in northeast India tourism. The famous Rajdhani Express originates from Dibrugarh.
Other attractions of Assam include Hajo, Udalguri, Tipam village, Dehing Patkai Rainforest, and others.
“A jeweled town.”
A state of colors and festivals, Manipur’s Sangai festival is the largest government-sponsored northeast India tourism fest. This festival reflects the actual Manipur and unity in the diverse culture of India.
This state is the origin of one of the eight classical dances of India i.e., Manipuri. Manipuri dance form has a particular attire of umbrella skirt and veil-like dupatta covering. This state, being surrounded by nine sub-Himalayan ranges, offers the best northeast India tourism. The places to visit include an array of locations.
The battle-city of Imphal war during World War 2, has a specific historical importance. The places which you shouldn’t forget to visit are
Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is the only floating National Park of the world, is an integral part of northeast India tourism. It is home to an endangered species of deer called dancing deer or Eld’s deer.
Loktak lake is the largest freshwater lake in the country which has Sendra island over it.
Kangla Fort is an archaeological site which is a great tourist attraction.
Tharon Cave is at the top of an adventurers’ northeast India tourism list. It is a 655.6M long cave that can be explored with the help of a map outside the cave.
This town is an attraction for its unusual varieties of flora and fauna. The forest of this place is a natural habitat of hog deer’s, hyenas, tigers, leopards, and many others. This city is full of waterfalls, exotic animals and lots of orchards. Here you can visit,
Barak Waterfall which is a series of seven waterfalls.
Zeilad lake is exceptionally famous for a large number of pythons and water birds. Here you can also see huge tortoises, ducks, and cranes.
Buning Meadows, which is a place full of colorful lilies and orchids, can give you a romantic view and feel.
This must be on your northeast India tourism list if you wish to have a pleasant climate. This is the best city to visit for your appetite for trekking, hiking, and picnics. Here you should visit, Ikop, which is a lake situated at an altitude of 772 m or Lousi lake which features a wetland ecosystem.
Chandel is a city if you are looking for traditions and cultural heritage. Here you could find Manipur’s alluring music and dance. You must not forget to get dressed in a typical Manipuri Dance costume and click lots of pictures. Here, you can also find varieties of Orchids, Ornamental and medicinal plants.
Apart from all these beautiful places, you can also find many memorial sites of war soldiers here. This makes Manipur a complete northeast India tourism experience.
Are you interested in Indian food? Check Out about North Indian food here.
“The Abode of clouds.”
A state possessing an agrarian economy and which is full of hills and valleys, Meghalaya offers great flora and fauna and is home to 2 national parks and three sanctuaries. This place among the northeast India tourism can be specifically visited for adventure. In terms of scenic beauty and fog in the highlands, it is compared with Scotland.
For sports like caving, trekking, rappelling, hiking, and others, Meghalaya would be your destination. The Garo hills of Meghalaya also has many tourist spots like Nokrek Peak, Tura Peak, Balpakram, Napak lake, Siju caves, and others.
1) Umiam Lake
This state has a lot of trekking routes, and hence, trekking along its routes can be an opportunity to encounter rare animals residing here. Umiam lake specifically has a complex for water sports and facilitates rowboats, paddleboats, speedboats, water-scooters, and many others.
2) Living Root Bridges
Double-decker root bridges and many other living root bridges can be found in Meghalaya, which is an attraction for all. You would feel mesmerized looking at this creation as the suspension of plant roots forms living root bridges.
The place receiving the most rainfall in the world, Cherrapunji, has been the traditional capital of the Khasi tribe. Here you must visit Mawlynnong village, which won the title of Asia’s cleanest village in 2003. This little town offers you mesmerizing beauty and cleanest breath during the green times of monsoon.
In Cherrapunji, you cannot forget to visit the fourth highest waterfall in the world, which plunges from the height of 335 meters known Nohkalikai Waterfall. This waterfall falls into a lagoon, which is a perfect afternoon sky blue.
The capital city of Meghalaya, Shillong, is famous for its crystal clear lakes and a fact that pine trees surround it. Its climate makes it a northeast India tourism place that can be visited at any time of the year. Here, you must visit the Elephant falls, which are the most popular ones in the Northeast. It is also called a ‘The Three-step Waterfalls’ by the local tribes.
The 6449 ft high Shillong Peak will offer you a grandeur of a panoramic view. It is a semi-circular peak, and you can also avail of a telescope here for getting a bird’s eye view. The ‘Leishyllong’ deity resides here, and the Shillong Peak is also a radar station of the Indian Air Force.
Open valleys and waterfalls along with Hills of Jaintia, Jowai is a beautiful and loved tourist city. Here you can see,
- Nartiang Monoliths, which has the remnants of the Summer Palace, is a lovely sight.
- Umlawan cave, which is the deepest and largest cave of the Asian sub-continent, is the pride of Meghalaya.
- Here you can also visit Tryshi falls, Krang Suri Falls, Jarain Pitcher Plant Lake, Syntu Ksair.
- Meghalaya is also home to other beautiful places like Tura, Nongpoh, Mawsynram, Khasi hills, all of which have their own beautiful sights and National Parks to offer.
Get a quick Meghalaya tour here.
“The land of Mizos”
For this state, an International Tourist, as well as a Domestic Tourist, has to obtain an Inner Line pass. However, for international tourists, they also have to register themselves additionally with state tourist within 24 hours of arrival. Here you can spend time in the pleasantries of nature.
The capital city of Mizoram is an attraction in northeast India tourism specifically for Reiek Tourist Resort, which is at the height of 1548 meters. This resort offers a view of hills, valleys, and plains and is surrounded by lush green trees. Bara Bazar is a traditionally situated and built street of shopping stalls where you can find people in their traditional and cultural attires.
To know the traditions of the Mizo tribe, you can visit Mizoram state Museum located in Aizwal. The Durtlang Hills, Berawtlang Tourist Complex, Solomon’s Temple, and many others. Here in Baktawng Village, resides the world’s largest existing family of Pu Ziona. His family consists of himself, his 39 wives, 94 children, 14 daughters-in-law and also 33 grandchildren.
The largest plain area of the state of Mizoram, Champhai, is a town at an altitude of 1678 meters. Here, you must visit Murlen national park, which has a variety of mammals, birds, and medicinal plants. A village called Mura Puk is also a must-visit as it possesses six caves, which were the hiding places of local tribesmen.
A lake called Rih Dil, which is a natural lake, is eye-catching due to its heart-shaped outline. It has an essential significance in traditional religion as it is considered a corridor to the Heaven of tribesmen. To visit beautiful vineyards, you must visit Hnahlan.
This serene town possesses the northeast India tourism attractions like Zobawk Sports academy, Kawmzawl park, Saikuti hall, and Thuamluaia Mual.
A district that is famously known to be the most literate district of India, it is a beautiful place to spend time. Here you can go to Vantawng falls, which are the highest waterfalls of state. This is a two-tiered waterfall, and its name literally means Heaven’s reaching falls.
In Serchhip, during the peak season, you can get a chance of experiencing paragliding. In Mizoram, there are a few other places which you should not miss. Here is a quick list of these places.
- Khawnglung Wildlife sanctuary
- Mizoram State Museum
- Murlen National Park
- Durtlang Hills
- Rih Dil
- Vantawng Falls
“Land of the Festivals”
Amongst the places in northeast India tourism, Nagaland is one of the most loved hill stations as it not only offers the bounty and beauty as its name suggests, but also is a state of culture, identity, colorful costumes, spicy cuisines, tribal dance forms, and music. You can enjoy a great time with zeal in the land of Nagaland.
This is the largest city of Nagaland, and people drop by this state due to the Dimapur Airport located here. This city has a lot of beautiful places to offer-
- The Triple falls, which is a fall created by three different water streams from a height of 280 ft. It falls down and creates a natural pool, which makes the place look mesmerizing. This spot is not just for soothing your eyes, but also for calming your nerves of adventure. This is because of its exquisite location, which is suitable for trekkers.
- The Kachari ruins of Dimapur form an integral part of northeast India tourism. It is famous for its monoliths and is believed to be the remains of ancient temples and architecture.
- The Zoological park of Dimapur is a reserve for its beautiful flora and fauna.
- The Rangapahar reserve forest is famously known for its wildlife and medicinal plants. If you are a bird watcher and enthusiast, this place is for you as there are many unique birds found here.
- The Nagaland science center is also located in Dimapur, which is an effort of introducing the scientific miracles to the visitors.
Kohima is a land of folklore and a hilly capital of Nagaland. The popular site of this place is the Commonwealth War Cemetery, where many soldiers of World War 2 were rested in peace. In Kohima, you must visit Dzukou Valley and Japfu Peak.
Nagaland is called the ‘Switzerland of the East,’ and this place is a solid proof of that. Japfu Peak is the second-highest peak of Nagaland. The Dzukou valley is famously known as the “Valley of Flowers of the East” and is believed to be created on the base of an old volcano crater. This valley gives you a breathtaking view when visited in the full bloom season.
To see the state bird of Nagaland, Tragopan bird, you would have to visit Kohima Zoo. This Zoo is situated on a hill, providing the birds and animals natural habitat. You would be attracted by the golden langurs and Blythe’s tragopan.
Touphema Village, which is a small township built by the local community, shows you the small huts which are specifically developed in the traditional Naga style. If you want a feel of typical Naga style living along with their culture and lifestyle, you must visit this village.
Being home to the Konyaks Nagas, here you can see people with beautifully tattooed faces and also wearing feathery loincloths. This district does not have many sightseeing places, but its colorful and weird dressing, culture, and people would lure you into adding this place in your list of northeast India tourism.
To get a clear and stunning view of the Brahmaputra river, you should visit Veda Peak. This peak is also the beginning of a waterfall, making it a beautiful place to visit at least once.
In this district, you can see the marvelous hills and Shilloi lake, which is an attraction to lots of people. The Phek waterfall is also very attractive, which is between the full natural surroundings in the middle of a jungle. You would have to hike a bit to reach here, but it is worth it.
So, Nagaland is going to be a very peaceful, scenic, and soul-filling time for you in your northeast India tourism.
The famous state of Sikkim, due to the third highest mountain in the world i.e., Kanchenjunga(8586m), is very peaceful and simple. The state of Sikkim is divided into three areas regarding travel permissions and restrictions.
One where you have to get Inner Line Permit, other where you require Protected Area Permit, and last where Restricted Area Permit is required. The foreigners are allowed only a 15-days permit to visit Sikkim. However, it can be taken in two slots of 15-days, i.e., you can visit it for 30 days also.
Being the capital city of Sikkim, Gangtok offers a beautiful view of the Kanchenjunga Range. It also has a vibrant Buddhist Monasteries. In Gangtok, the places to visit must are-
- Nathula pass which is at the Indo-China Border. You could also get a view of snow-clad Himalayan ranges from here. From this location, you could even view the Chumbi valley of Tibet. The meaning of Nathu is ‘listening ears,’ and la is ‘pass.’ This Nathu la pass is situated at a high altitude of 4302m. You would be amazed to know that it is one of the highest motorable roads in the world.
- Hanuman Tok Temple, a Hindu temple of flying monkey god, is situated in Gangtok. It is a very divine and spiritual place. According to the legends, it is believed that during the RAM-RAVANA war, when Hanuman went to the Himalayas for getting a medicinal herb Sanjeevani, he rested here on his way back.
2) Seven Sister Waterfalls
On a cliff, seven streams of water are naturally arranged and make a mesmerizing waterfall on the Gangtok-Lachung highway. It is a must-see place in Gangtok after rainfall.
Other places to see in Gangtok include Himalayan Zoological park, Tashi viewpoint, Enchey Monastery, and Namgyal Institute of Tibetology.
Pelling is a place for all kinds of tourists on their way to northeast India tourism. It possesses everything from tranquil monasteries to shimmering lakes and waterfalls, which makes Pelling a natural splendor of beauty and magnificence.
In Pelling, you must visit Khangchendzonga Waterfalls. The melting glaciers of Khangchendzonga run out as streams and form this waterfall. There even is a ropeway for adventure enthusiasts here.
You can also visit the Pemayangtse monastery. The name of it means ‘Perfect Sublime Lotus,’ which offers a meditative environment to everyone. This place has statues of saints and also possesses idols and scriptures. There are lots of paintings, and the main hall is designed in traditional Tibetan style.
Khecheopalri Lake and Rabdentse ruins can be added to your Sikkim northeast India tourism.
In Lachen, you can visit Gurudongmar lake, Chopta valley, Lachen monastery, and Thangu valley.
Other locations to savor in mind and heart during your northeast India tourism visit to Sikkim are Aritar, Lachung, Yuksom, Geyzing, and Legship. All of these destinations have their own sightseeing locations. In Legship, you can find a Hot sulfurous spring, which is known as ‘Phu Cha Chu.’ This place is visited mostly by tourists for its curative medicinal properties.
Goecha La pass of Sikkim, which is the southeast face of Mt. Kanchenjunga, is said to be the base camp for the ones wishing to soar the mountain. Its view is so mesmerizing that the Indian government featured it in Rs. 100 note.
Tripura is a state of awes due to its magnificent mountains and dense forests. Also, the tradition and history of Tripura are diverse, making it a great northeast India tourism spot. You would always cherish the moments spent here.
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It is a place of heritage of Tripura as the Manikya Kings used to reside in this region. This city is rich in culture and personality and far from the humdrum of metro life. The places to see here can be listed as follows.
Ujjayanta Palace was a Royal palace of Tripura in historic times built-in 1900. The name of this palace ‘Ujjayanta’ was given by India’s well-known and well-sung poet Rabindranath Tagore. This palace is complete in itself with its Throne room, Library, Durbar hall, Reception hall, lush green gardens, several Hindu temples of Lakshmi-Narayan, Uma-Maheshwar and Kali-Jagannath which are the celebrated duos of Hindu Gods.
Sepahijala wildlife sanctuary, which is also an academic and research center, is a special attraction for varied kinds of birds. This sanctuary also has several lakes and boating facilities. Here you could find around 150 species of residential and migratory birds.
You could also enjoy elephant rides here and witness the plantations of rubber and coffee. A rare species of a famous spectacled monkey can be found here.
Neermahal, which is a lake palace in Tripura, is a rare architectural beauty. It is the largest palace of its kind in the Indian subcontinent. In India, there are two water palaces, Neermahal being one of them over the Rudrasagar lake. There are even lawns and flower beds surrounding it.
To give attention to this cultural heritage, light and sound show is organized every evening. Hold your breath because this palace also includes certain water sports! There are boat races during Neermahal Water Festival. So, in your northeast India tourism, keep this architectural marvel in your priority list.
This is a popular trekking destination and also a place with royal history. Here you can enjoy places like Lakhi Narayan bari, Tea Estates, and Unokotiswara Kal Bhairava.
You could also visit Unakoti, which houses the Indian heritage in carvings and sculptures of gods and goddesses. Many rock carvings are supporting the instances of the life of Lord Shiva on Earth.
So, you can see that Tripura can be a cultural, spiritual, religious, and adventure place for you to visit in northeast India tourism.
To get a quick look at northeast India’s top places to visit, binge on the video.
If you are planning for diving in the sea of northeast India tourism, make sure you possess travel insurance. This will be necessary as there are certain places which need special permissions also. And also, the visit for northeast India tourism means coming for adventure, and adventure entails risk with it. You are sure to enjoy every ounce of your journey drop by drop and collect gallons of memories and happiness with you.