Northeast India is a paradise for every travel enthusiast. Blessed with diverse topography, the region allows ample opportunities for tourists to get in touch with nature's marvelous creations. We have listed down some of the best places in the northeast. Including these places in your itinerary will make your journey wholesome.
Let us know about these places in brief:
Kaziranga National Park is a national park located in the northeastern state of Assam. The wildlife sanctuary was created in the year 1904 and declared as a Forest Reserve in 1908, Wildlife Sanctuary in 1950, and National Park in 1972.
The sanctuary is home to two-thirds of the world's population of the great one-horned rhinoceroses. It is also home to the highest density of tigers in the world, which is why it has been declared as a tiger reserve in 2006. Besides, the park is also a domicile for wild water buffaloes, Swamp Deers, and elephants. Due to its unique natural environment, it was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1985.
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Tawang Monastery is located in the Tawang city of Arunachal Pradesh. It is the largest monastery in India and the second-largest monastery in the world. Situated in the valley of Tawang River on a hill with an elevation of 10000 feet, it is nothing less than a celestial paradise.
The architecture of the monastery is sure to leave you spellbound. The entrance is shaped in the form of a hut, which is called Kakaling, and decorated with mandalas on its roof. It is a three-storeyed building surrounded by a 925 feet wall. It has a huge assembly hall, 65 residential accommodations, a school, a Buddhist Cultural Studies center, a library, and a printing press.
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Ziro Valley has located somewhere around 115 km from Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh. This mesmerizing picturesque town is located at an altitude of 1500 m above sea level. Blessed with rich paddy fields, and hills covered with Bamboo and Pine trees, the town has been attracting many tourists around the globe due to its serene beauty. It has also been shortlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is mostly occupied by an indigenous tribal group of the region known as the Apatani tribe. The best time to visit Ziro is anytime except the months of Apr to June.
Ziro Valley hosts the popular Ziro Music Festival every year in the month of September for four consecutive days. The Festival witnesses guests from different parts of the world and has been successfully making names worldwide.
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Nathu La Pass is a mountain pass 54km east of Gangtok in the northeastern state of Sikkim connecting it with China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The pass is situated at a height of 4,310 m from sea level. It forms a part of the famous Silk Route between India and Tibet. Nathu La is a Tibetan phrase wherein Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass". The pass was temporarily sealed by India after the 1962 Sino-Indian War and re-opened in 2006. It now serves as a trade route for limited trade for items like wool, silk, yak hair, yak tail, horses, sheep, etc between India and Tibet.
Siang River and the valley surrounding it is an attractive tourist spot in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. Besides being a spot with picturesque beauty, it offers numerous opportunities for indulging in adventurous activities like trekking, rafting, angling, etc.
The valley is home to a raw naturally made hanging bride of cane and bamboo over the Siang river. This natural beauty is a unique scene to behold. The valley is situated in a small town named Pangin, which can be reached by road from Itanagar. Some other beautiful places to visit near the valley are Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary, Kekar Monying, Komsing, etc. the best time to visit the valley is from October to March.
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Gorichen Peak is the highest peak in Arunachal Pradesh at an elevation of 22500 feet. It is the right place for adventurous souls. Situated in the Tawang District, it is one of the top attractions for trekking and camping. Once you reach the top of the peak, you will be left by the mesmerizing view of the city. It is considered as a sacred peak by the Monpa tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. The best time to visit is during summers from April to June and winters from September. Regular cabs are available from Tawang to Gorichen Peak.
Nuranang Falls is also popularly known as the Bong Bong Falls by the locals. Located in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, its origins from a height of 100 meters. The waterfall is not known to many travelers but once you visit you will realize that is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in northeast India. It also goes by the name Jang falls as it lies a few kilometers away from the town of Jang. A small hydroelectricity plant located near the base generates electricity from the water for consumption by the locals. The waterfall fall originates from the slopes of Sela Pass and flows to the Tawang River. A famous song from the Bollywood movie was shot near the Nurarang Fall of Arunachal.
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Cherrapunji, popularly known as Sohra, is often termed as the wettest place on earth located in the East Khasi Hills district of the northeastern state Meghalaya. It is the traditional capital of the Khasi tribal kingdom. It is termed as the wettest place because it receives the highest rainfall in a year.
Cherrapunjee is home to the world's only double-decker living root bridge, the tallest plunge waterfall Nohkahlikai Falls, Mawsmai caves- the fourth-longest caves in India, and many other notable tourist places. If you are visiting Meghalaya, a visit to Cherrapunji is a must. Many sharing cabs, government buses, and private cars run from Shillong to Cherrapunji.
Yet another beauty in the Tawang district of Arunachal. It was formed in the year 1950 as a result of a flash flood after an earthquake. The lake was originally named Shonga-tser Lake, which was renamed after the name Madhuri Dixit, the famous Bollywood actress. It was renamed after the shooting of the Bollywood movie starring Madhuri Dixit. The lake is surrounded by lush green valleys and snow-covered mountains, which together create a breathtaking view for the eyes. The best time visit the lake is from April to October. Otherwise, it gets freezing cold. The lake can be reached via road or air. Road journeys generally commence from Guwahati, which takes about 14-16 hours. Helicopter services run from Guwahati to Tawang.
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The Sandakphu peak situated at a height of 3665 is the highest peak in the Darjeeling district on the West Bengal – Nepal border. Located at the edge of the famous Singalila National Park, the summit of the peak is home to a small village with very less population. Once you reach the summit, you can have breathtaking views of the fourth highest peaks in the world, namely, Everest, Kangchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu. To reach the peak, you can either choose a car journey or a trek. The trek to the beautiful peak starts from Manebhanjan, which is a trail of 51 km.
Phodong Monastery is located around 28 kilometers from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. It was founded by the 9th Karampa Wangchuk Dorje when he was invited by the King of Sikkim. It is considered as one of the six most important monasteries of Sikkim. It is situated at an altitude of 4500 ft. It offers a breathtaking view of the valley and the mountains. The beautiful paintings and ancient murals make the monastery a beauty to behold. The monastery holds an annual festival on the 28th and 29th of the tenth month as per the Tibetan calendar. During the festival, many religious rituals are taken place along with the traditional Chaam dance.
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Dampa Tiger Reserve is located in the northeast state of Mizoram. Located at an altitude of 800-1100 m, the Reserve is home to tropical forests, which serve as the best habitat for diverse flora and fauna. Surrounded with steep hills, beautiful valleys, streams, ripping salts, the reserve boasts of unique topography. The sanctuary was initially established in 1985 and was declared as a tiger reserve in the year 1994. Due to its remote location, the reserve is not easily accessible. It can be reached through a trek amidst the dense forest.
Dzongri is a trekking spot at an altitude of 4000 m in West Sikkim. The trail to the peak is filled with rhododendron forests and snow-capped hills. It is considered as the meeting place of man and mountain gods. The best time to visit is from March to Apr and Sept-Oct. All the arrangements for the trek can be availed from a small nearby village named Yuksom. The trek starts from Kanchenjunga National Park. The trek takes around 5 days.
The State of Assam several notable destinations for its visitors. Covering an area of 78,438 km2, the state is considered the gateway to northeast India. Assam is home to a plethora of tourist destinations. Be it pilgrimage sites or national parks, waterfalls or mountain peaks, river islands or lakes, Assam has it all. The state is known for the holy Kamakhya Dham, Manas National Park, Haflong Lake, rich tea gardens and more. Assam also has a rich culture formed by a unique combination of many erstwhile ethnocultural groups residing in the region.
Majuli is the world’s largest river island situated in the Majuli district of Assam. Majuli is home to natural splendors and a rich cultural heritage. The island is home to the indigenous tribal communities of Assam namely, Deori, Missings, Kachari, and more. What makes one stand enthralled when setting his/her feet on the island is the rustic countryside feel, fields with lush rice cultivation, beautiful wooden boats, and the pristine stream of water bodies. It is also the home for the Assamese Vaishnav culture. To reach Majuli, one must first travel to Jorhat by Air, train or road. From Jorhat, ferries are available that reach in about 1 hour. The best time to visit is from Oct to Feb.
It is the tallest plunge waterfall in India situated at an altitude of 1115 feet near Cherrapunji, Meghalaya. The ideal time to visit is during the monsoon when the fall is at its best due to heavy rainfall. The beauty of the falls can be enjoyed from a viewing gallery beautifully designed for the visitors. There are also a few shops and restaurants to collect your souvenirs and eat a few snacks. The waterfall has a very tragic history behind its name. It is said that a lady named Ka Likai jumped from the fall when she realized that her husband killed her infant daughter from her first marriage out of jealousy.
Tsomgo Lake, also known by the name Changu lake, is a beautiful glacial lake situated at an altitude of 3753m in Sikkim. The most unique thing about this lake is that its surface reflects colors during different seasons. The lake is covered by steep mountains, which are mostly covered in snow during winters. As the mountains are the source of water for the lake, it remains frozen during winters. The same snow melts in summer and the lake comes alive. The lake is held in great reverence by the local people and the water is believed to have healing qualities.
Goechala is a trekking destination in Sikkim. The whole trekking trail is surrounded by grand mountains, hills, and rhododendron forests. It provides a breathtaking view of 15 big summits. The rhododendron forest blooms into pink and red flowers during the spring season. Situated in the trail is a lake named Samiti Lake. The stills waters of the lake providing a reflection of the adjacent mountains make it a striking view.
Umiam lake, also known as Barapani Lake, is situated in Shillong, Meghalaya. The lake was created by damming the Umiam River. Besides being a notable tourist spot, it is a popular spot for water activities and adventurous facilities like kayaking, boating, water cycling, etc. Surrounded by sylvan hills and lush vegetation of Khasi pines, the lake is just a few hours ride from the city of Guwahati.
Kanchenjunga base camp trek is on the bucket list of every trekker. Lies in its embrace is a wide range of mesmerizing sceneries, tropical forests of oak, chestnut, rhododendron that offer an experience throughout the whole trek. Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain peak in the world and there are a total of five peaks within its range.
Kanchenjunga is considered a sacred mountain by the locals. To reach the base camp, you must first fly to Baghdogra or reach NJP by train and then drive all the way to Yuksom crossing the beautiful Teesta river. The trek starts from Yuksom and also offers camping and sightseeing opportunities at the peak including a view of the impressive Kanchenjunga Glacier. Trekking to Kanchenjunga peak requires good physical condition and trekking experience as the trail is full of steep hills and mountains. The whole trek takes around 26 days to complete.
Dimapur is the gateway to the northeastern state of Nagaland. Dimapur is a Naga term meaning “city near a great river”. Dimapur is a city on the side of which flows the Dhansiri River. The city is occupied mainly by the Kachari tribe of the state, which was one's known as the capital of the Kachari tribe. When we talk about it as a tourist place, it has in store ancient monuments, temples, parks, and picturesque scenarios.
The main attraction in the city is the Rangapahar Reserve forest, which is home to a diverse range of flora with medicinal properties and various species of endangered animals. Other notable tourist spots include Ao Baptist Church, Diezephe Craft Village, Zoological Park, Nagaland Science Centre, Green Park, etc. The city is also considered a commercial hub and has varieties of shopping spots. Nagaland tourism has done a great job in preserving the sanctity of every notable spot and keeping its beauty alive. To reach the city, one can catch a train or flight to Dimapur as it has both a working airport and a railway station.
Dzuko Valley is located in the borders of Nagaland and Manipur. Situated at an altitude of 2452 m from sea level, Dzuko valley is blessed with nature’s marvelous creation of glorious mountains and seasonal flowers. Amidst all seasonal flowers, the one that is world-famous is the Dzuko Lily. The summer season gives you an opportunity to witness the bright flowers whereas the winters offer the opportunity to witness snowfall. In 2019, the valley witnessed heavy rainfall after 37 years. It is mainly a paradise for trek lovers. There are two ways to reach the valley, one from Manipur and one from Nagaland.
The most picked is Nagaland as Manipur lacks the basic amenities required for the trek. The roads are mainly in poor condition. From Nagaland, the valley can be reached from two towns, namely, Jakhama and Viswema. Both the towns are within 30 km from Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. To reach Kohima, one can first reach Dimapur by Air or train and drive to Kohima, which takes about 3 hours. From Kohima, sharing taxis are easily available to Viswema and Jakhama.
Loktak Lake is the largest lake in the northeast situated in a small town named Moirang in Manipur. The lake is popular for phumdis (series of floating islands) floating on the surface. It is the only floating lake in the world. The lake serves as an important source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation facilities, and drinking water supply in Manipur.
Fishermen living on the phumdis in floating huts is a unique sight to behold. There is a floating park located on the lake, which is yet again the only floating park in the world. The park goes by the name Keibul Lamjao National Park. The park is home to “Sangai”, the dancing Deer of Manipur. Other wildlife habitation includes Otter, migratory birds, waterfowls, etc.
Mawlynnong is the cleanest village in Asia, which is located in the northeastern state of Meghalaya. Besides being the cleanest village, it is popular for the beautiful tourist spots, mouthwatering savories and the hospitality of the local tribe. Among the tourist spots, the best ones are the living root bridge and Sky View point. The village is also popular for its 100 percent literacy rate. When visiting the northeast, a night stay in the peaceful village is a must-add in your schedule.
Gangtok is the capital of the northeastern state Sikkim. It is considered an important Buddhist pilgrimage site due to the Enchey Monastery. The city is known for its alluring mountains and hills and breathtaking view of the Kanchenjunga. It also serves as a base for trekking activities to the Himalayas. It also successfully adds its name to the list of top hill stations of the country. Gangtok is home to various natural beauties ranging from waterfalls to lakes to gardens and more. The Teesta river serves as an ideal spot for water rafting.
Singalila National Park is situated at an altitude of around 7000 feet in Darjeeling. Initially established as a wildlife sanctuary, it got declared as a National Park in 1992. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. It offers its visitors a spectacular view of Everest and Kanchenjunga. The National Park is a part of the trekking route to Sandakphu and Phalut. Both Sandakphu and Phalut are the highest ranges of the Singalila range.
The Double Decker Living Root Bridge in Nongriat, Meghalaya is a wonderful creation of nature. Though a lot of credit has to be given to the Khasi tribe of the region too for training the roots to grow in the form of a bridge. This root bridge is a 3km long bridge above the Umshiang river beginning from the Tyrna village. It stands at a height of 2400 feet, which requires tremendous physical conditions to reach. The bridge also is popularly known by the name Umshiang bridge.
The holy Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya. It is an important Hindu pilgrimage destination. In the Kamakhya Temple, the menstruation ability of women is revered as the ability of a woman to conceive as contrary to how the country considers it as a social taboo. Kamakhya Devi is also revered as the Bleeding Goddess. Every year during the month of June, the Brahmaputra River near Kamakhya turns red. It is highly believed that Ma Kamakhya bleeds during that period.
Dibrugarh town is located in the upper region of the state of Assam. There are various notable tourist destinations in the town, which make it a desirable and must-visit place in the northeast. It is home to the popular Dehin Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, which is known as the Amazon of the east. It is the only rainforest in Assam, which is home to 293 bird species, 30 different species of butterflies, and around 47 different species of reptiles and mammals.
It is also home to the 9km long river bridge “Bhupen Hazarika Setu” built over the Lohit River, which is the longest in the country. The Shree Jagannath Temple in Dibrugarh is a small replica of the Jagannath Temple in Puri dedicated to Lord Jagannath. Some of the best tea gardens in the northeast are located in Dibrugarh.
Imphal is the capital city of Manipur. Imphal is a small city but is quite developed. It is home to many tourist attractions making it a desirable tourist destination. The Kangla Fort is a popular fort in Imphal consisting of many temples on its premises. It is also known as the Palace of King Pakhangba.
Another famous fort named “Bihu Loukon” made up of mud is located in Malang, Imphal. The India Peace Memorial Red Hill is located towards the south of Imphal city. The place served as the battle place during World War II. It can be reached by Air from Kolkata and Guwahati. The closest railway station is Dimapur. Bus services run from Kohima, Dimapur, and Guwahati.
North east comprises of seven states. Each of the states has a unique beauty of its own. It would be difficult to declare one as the best one. The state of Meghalaya is home to exotic hills and waterfalls. Arunachal lets you witness the mighty Himalayas. Assam is home to various national parks, temples, and scenic beauties.
Mizoram and Nagaland are popular for mindboggling picturesque landscapes. Sikkim is the Tibetan capital popular for mountain peaks, trekking trails, monasteries, etc.
In short, the northeast is nothing less than a paradise with each state being equally beautiful. However, Guwahati in Assam is the gateway for all northeastern states. Moreover, Assam is also safe as compared to the rest of the states and ideal for stay.
The best time to visit North East India is month of October to May. October to January witness winters while summers start from March. The temperature in winters does not fall much except in certain regions. The summers are also bearable. The northeast enjoys occasional showers in every month of the year.
The monsoons are not an ideal time for visiting the northeast. The mighty Brahmaputra gets deadly during monsoon and results in high floods putting life and property to danger. Transportation and communication become difficult due to disrupted road services.
Northeast is quite safe for travellers especially the state of Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Arunachal. However, some tribal regions of the northeast are not much safe irrespective of the state due to tribal identity conflicts. There was a time when the northeast was not very safe due to ongoing political and ethnic movements.
However, the region is considerably safe now. It has emerged into a popular tourist spot attracting tourists from different parts of the country. Solo female travelers also occasionally travel to this paradise.
Well, yes! There are certain regions in the northeast that enjoy yearly snowfalls. Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh receives snowfall every year covering the mighty mountains in snow. Myodia and bomdila in Arunachal that receives snowfall during winters. Dzukou valley in Nagaland witnessed snowfall in 2019 after almost three decades.
The state of Sikkim also experiences snowfall in certain regions like Nathu La Pass, Katao, and Gangtok. December to February is the ideal month to travel if you want to experience snowfall.
The state of Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal, Tripura, Nagaland, and Meghalaya are collectively termed as “seven sisters” because of their interdependence on each other. They are contiguous with similar social, political, and economic spheres. Sikkim is not a part of the seven sisters because it is not a contiguous part of the seven sisters. It is separated area-wise by Siliguri.
The state of Sikkim is the only brother of seven sisters. It was not initially a part of the northeast when the term “seven sisters” was coined. Sikkim became a part of the northeast in the year 2002. The state has an influence of Tibetan culture due to its close proximity to Bhutan and Nepal. It is blessed with mighty peaks, ravishing waterfalls, valleys and, other natural wonders.
There are a total of ten airports in Northeast situated in Guwahati, Agartala, Pakyong, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Silchar, Dimapur, Lengpui, and Imphal. Airports that host international flights are Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati and Imphal International Airport.
Northeast India is popular for its diverse topography. Be it hills or mountains, rivers or valleys, waterfalls or national parks, trekking activities or water adventures, temples or historic monuments, snowfall or rainfall, you get to witness everything in the northeast. It is popular for the unique traditions of each state.
Every state has its own traditional attire, dance, song, and festival. It is a secular region where people of every religion, caste, and creed reside in harmony. It is the only region in the entire country where women enjoy equal rights as men. There is no concept of dowry in Northeast India.
Some of the best places to visit Northeast India in February are Tawang and Roing in Arunachal Pradesh. Cherapunjee and Mnylnllong in Meghalaya are also ideal to visit in February. Kaziranga National Park and Dampa Tiger Reserve are also a great spot to visit in Feb. One can also visit Sikkim in Feb when the temperature is not very low.
Some of the best places in the northeast to visit in March are Tawang, Ziro, Pelling, Gangtok, Dibrugarh, Digboi, Nuranang falls, Madhuri Lake, Dzongri, Nohkalikai falls, Umiam lake, Laktak lake, Singalila National Park, Imphal valley, and Kamakhya Temple.
Majuli, the largest river island in the World is the best place to visit in April. Other places include Mokokchung (Nagaland), Ziro (Arunachal), Dzukou Valley (Nagaland), Halflong (Assam), Shillong (Meghalaya), Tsogmo Lake (Sikkim), Double-decker living root bridge, Goechala, and the states of Manipur and Tripura.
There are different types of northeast tour packages offered by various travel agents and companies. If you wish to explore everything in a particular state, each state will take around 6-7 days to complete. You can avail state-specific packages that cover only one state like the Northeast package for Sikkim, Northeast package for Assam, and so on.
Some packages cover more than 1 state like the northeast package for Sikkim, Assam, and Meghalaya. This covers only a few top spots in each of the three states. This is a very popular package opted by most travellers. Similarly, packages for the combination of different states are also available.
Some packages are also designed based on the type of tourist spots like packages for wildlife that only covers the top wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the region. Some trekking packages are designed for mountaineers and trekkers.
Northeast India witness rainfalls in full swing during the month of June. Due to heavy rainfall, the roads of most of the states will be blocked due to disruption in communication. A very few places are safe though like Tripura, upper Assam, and Nagaland.
Even Meghalaya is a paradise during the rainy season as the streams and waterfalls get flooded with rainfall thus creating an exotic appearance. But it is generally advised to avoid visiting during monsoon as the region witnesses devastating flood every year.