By Ayushi Garg
Once you go, you don’t feel like leaving that beautiful paradise… Let’s explore the ethnic and religious diversity of the most ignored, least explored, mysterious and arguably the most beautiful region of India that claims to be the sister of each other. The culturally rich, bio-diverse and endowed with natural resources, North East India forms a distinct region with its variety of regional dialect and customs. The seven sisters – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura.
These states are the best place for adventure enthusiasts who enjoy the natural beauty and salubrious climate with valleys all around, green belt of trees and step farming. One gets to explore the eternal beauty of nature with the touch of floral and faunal diversities habitat out there
The people are unusually interactive and talented with their crafts using bamboos, paintings, music, folk dance, clothing, and what not. It’s an amazing experience with: sacred forests, bamboo-covered hills, waterfalls and Brahmaputra river flowing alongside, crossing living root bridges, authentic wildlife, rafting, Buddhist monasteries, ancient temples, native tribes and their unique way of life, star gazing, beautiful sunrises, snow covered hills, tea gardens, rock carvings and shopping of unique bamboo crafts.
Though the North East area has been in the worst limelight in history for numerous insurgencies and inter-factional disputes. There has been an improvement in security in some areas, but others remain disturbed with occasional clashes and armed conflict on the fringes. Special permits are required to enter some states. Exploring North East India is not an easy task to deal with, as you have to travel long distances and has no availability of flights and trains for few places only road trips.
Every state has its own story and so these sisters have a lot of things to share with us in the form of explorer.
Arunachal Pradesh used to be part of Tibet. She has rugged hills, streams and primeval forests and roads that go round and round, climbing up and down the hills. Tawang has an enchanting, serene and colourful Tibetan culture and peaceful historic monasteries, prayer wheels and stupas and enjoy delicious and authentic Tibetan food like thukpas and momos.
Assam is like an elder sister who has an access to all the other sisters. “Assam” is derived from the word “Asama” meaning uneven. She has ancient temples like the Kamakhya Temple, famous for Hindu Tantric traditions, Umananda Temple, sacred to Lord Shiva, on Peacock Hill, an island in the Brahmaputra. She is a land of fairs & festivals. The safaris are not to be missed, whether it is boat safari on the Brahmaputra River to watch dolphins or the jeep/elephant safaris through the Kaziranga National Park to watch rhinos.
Meghalaya, the “Abode of Clouds” is home to red pandas, tigers, elephants, rare breeds of macaques and marbled cats. Apart from being rich in biodiversity, she is also known for waterfalls, living root bridges, natural limestone and sandstone caves, hiking trails, rock formations and sacred groves.
Tripura was the independent princely state of the Tripuri Kingdom. The Ujjayanta Palace in Agartala was the former royal abode of the Tripuri king. She is well maintained and developing strong infrastructural roots. The splendid rock-cut carvings, Neermahal, (the rich cultural heritage of Tribals;) the Indo-Bangladesh border; Heritage Park; and ancient temples are attractive places. Tripura is famous for wood, bamboo and cane handicrafts.
Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland are the little sisters are not easily accessible and so perfect for trekking and camping. Famous for densely green hillsides, ancient temples, festivals, unique culture and exquisite tribal crafts.
Having an unspoilt environment, the liveliness in the air is an extravaganza with ancient traditions that are still followed.
One should visit these places filled with stunning scenery, liveliness and colours once in a lifetime for a delightful and adventurous experience in life. North East India is an amazing and unique destination that’s totally worth the every bit of extra effort it takes to visit them, after all, is that not the the meaning of ‘off the beaten track?’