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Northeast India (officially North Eastern Region, NER) is the easternmost region of India representing both a geographic and political administrative divisions of the country. It comprises eight states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The region shares an international border of 5,182 kilometres (3,220 mi) (about 99 percent of its total geographical boundary) with several neighbouring countries – 1,395 kilometres (867 mi) with Tibet Autonomous Region, China in the north, 1,640 kilometres (1,020 mi) with Myanmar in the east, 1,596 kilometres (992 mi) with Bangladesh in the south-west, 97 kilometres (60 mi) with Nepal in the west, and 455 kilometres (283 mi) with Bhutan in the north-west. It comprises an area of 262,230 square kilometres (101,250 sq mi), almost 8 percent of that of India, and is one of the largest salient (panhandles) in the world. Northeast is a hub of different genres of music. Each community has its own rich heritage of folk music. Talented musicians and singers are plentifully found in this part of the country.
The Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its dense forests, elephant-grass meadows, and swampy lagoons is home to the largest Indian rhinoceros population. The park is one of the best known biodiversity hotspots in India with four pre-defined tourist circuits. Each of these circuits has its own distinguishing feature. This 430 square kilometer national park is also the breeding ground for many other animals and birds.
Majuli, often considered to be the cultural capital of Assam, is the largest river island in the world. The island is inhabited mostly by tribals who follow unique lifestyle. It is the island’s lush greenery and pristine waters that make it one of the most popular places to visit in Northeast India. Barely 20 km away from Jorhat, Majuli is also one of the trendiest long weekend destinations in Northeast India.
Known as the tea city of India, Dibrugarh is the largest city in Assam and the gateway to other tea-producing districts of Assam. With its emerald fields, gurgling rivers, and a unique culture, the city is one of the most interesting places to visit in Northeast India. From trekking and picnicking on the banks of the Disang River to visiting temples and botanical gardens, there’s plenty to explore here.
The entrance to the seven sisters of Northeast India, Guwahati balances natural beauty with the modern conveniences of a city. Guwahati is located on the banks of the River Brahmaputra and is the largest city in Assam. If you’re looking for a relaxed holiday, this is the place to be. The city also has an eclectic nightlife. Guwahati celebrates a number of festivals and being a part of these celebrations is a truly unique experience.
The Tawang Monastery, also known as the Golden Namgyal Lhatse, is the largest monastery in India and the second largest in the world. Located at a height of around 10,000 feet, the monastery offers a panoramic view of the entire Tawang River Valley. The monastery houses residential complexes for the monks, a Buddhist cultural study center, school, temples, a library, and a printing press. If you can appreciate the finer points of art, a visit to the Tawang Monastery can transport you to a whole new world.
Surrounded by mountains that reach the sky, Ziro Valley is home to the Apatani tribe. There are a number of trekking routes around this valley that makes it one of the most popular adventure spots in Northeast India. Apart from the scenic beauty, the Ziro valley offers tourists an insight into the local culture and tribal lifestyle. It is also the venue for one of India’s most popular annual music fests.
The highest peak in Arunachal Pradesh, Gorichen stands at a height of 22,500 feet. The Peak, often covered in ice, holds religious significance for the local Monpa tribe and is also known as Sa-Nga Phu. For tourists, it’s the trekking routes and camping spots around the Peak that are the biggest attractions. The famed Nurunang Falls is just 25 km away from here. A word of advice – many of these trekking routes are intended for seasoned trekkers.
One of the best known jewels of Arunachal Pradesh, Roing attracts Indians as well as international tourists. With its lush green hills, deep valleys, and calm lakes on one hand and forts and man-made forest parks on the other, Roing offers the best of the natural and the man-made worlds. Archeological findings in Roing have dated its history back to the Neolithic period. What this means for the tourists is that no matter where your interest lies, there’s plenty to do here.
Rainfall can be beautiful! Located about 80 km apart, Cherrapunji and Mawsynram are the wettest places on earth. Both Cherrapunji and Mawsynram receive over 450 inches of rain every year and are blessed with panoramic vistas of scenic beauty. These hills offer a number of trekking routes too. No matter when you visit these family destinations in Northeast India, you’ll always be able to see and hear the beauty of raindrops falling from the sky.
Mawlynnong Village is one of the most unique villages in India. Though it abounds in scenic beauty, the village is best known for its focus on cleanliness. Mawlynnong, often referred to as God’s own garden, is one of the most popular tourist places for solo travelers in Northeast India. Apart from nature lovers, the village is a favorite with trekking enthusiasts as well. There are also a few natural wonders you’ll want to explore here.
Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, is surrounded by tall pine trees. One of the most visited hill stations in Northeast India, Shillong is best known for its scenic beauty, waterfalls and cool breeze. The city is also known as the Scotland of the East. While on one hand, Shillong is the home of many hill tribes on the other, it has a young, modern culture. The city is well known as the music capital of India.
The only city in Tripura, Agartala offers visitors a relaxed pace of life and the joy of small-town living. This capital city is renowned for its palaces and temples that showcase a rich history and heritage. It is equally well-known for its bamboo handicrafts and hand-woven textiles. Even though Agartala is a popular family destination in Northeast India, there’s something here for everyone. While you’re here, don’t miss out on sampling the local cuisine.
The largest city and commercial capital of Nagaland, Dimapur takes pride in its heritage and tribal culture. From the Kachari ruins to the Triple Falls and forests that are home to diverse flora and fauna, Dimapur has something for everyone. One of the best-known tourist attractions in Northeast India, it is also the gateway to other Himalayan destinations. Dimapur comes alive during the Hornbill Festival.
People in Kohima enjoy an unhurried pace of life. Tourists from around the world come here every year to enjoy the slow paced life and the scenic beauty Kohima is known for. The hills here are home to a few rare bird species. From its World War II cemetery to beautiful lakes, the town has a number of tourist sites worth visiting. Kohima is also where tourists can explore the rich tribal culture of Northeast India.
Nestled amidst forested hills, Imphal is a rejuvenating retreat especially for people living in chaotic cities. For them, Imphal offers picturesque hills and valleys. It is well-known as a honeymoon destination in Northeast India. The place has a number of historical monuments that showcase the state’s cultural diversity. To have an all-round experience of Imphal, you must sample the culinary delights of this state.
The capital city of Mizoram, Aizawl attracts Indian and international tourists alike. This 124-year old city has rich cultural heritage and is well-known for its scenic beauty and elevated setting. Aizawl is favored by solo travelers as well as families. It is also a popular trekking destination in Northeast India. One of the things that sets Aizawl apart from other holiday destinations is the quiet in the air. Though there are cars on the road, you’ll have to strain your ears to hear them honk.
A few hundred kilometers away from Aizawl lies Lunglei, one of the top places to visit in Northeast India. This is a town that not only boasts of panoramic vistas but old churches and relics of British missionaries. The wildlife sanctuaries in Lunglei are home to diverse flora and fauna. It’s a popular holiday destination for birdwatchers too.