As the year begins, all travel enthusiasts will have a plan sketched in their minds, about the places they want to explore before the year bids goodbye. So this time, if your plans have not yet taken a concrete form, why not try exploring the best tourist places in northeast India? This is a region which has been largely hidden from public eyes, for many reasons. Let me list out the must-visit places of northeast India, so you can put a tick mark on at least a few, during the course of the year.
1. Umngot Lake in Dawki, Meghalaya
The entire state of Meghalaya will bag the first position among the best tourist places in northeast India. While every inch of the land is a feast for your eyes, Dawki, with its crystal-clear Umngot Lake, has an enchanting charm unlike any other place. A slow boat ride along these waters is sure to take you to another world. The water is so clear that you can see till the depths of it, isn’t that magical? The lake is surrounded by pristine greenery on all sides, especially during the monsoons. But the best time to visit Meghalaya is in winters, if your primary wish is to see the tear-drop like water of Dawki, as it will be clearer at the time.
2. Cherrapunji, the land of rains
Cherrapunji, the place that used to be the wettest on earth, is surely one of the best tourist places in northeast India. An array of waterfalls and caves await you near Cherrapunji. The best time to visit Meghalaya is in monsoons, for those who want to see the waterfalls in their full glory. Living root bridges are another specialty of the area. Bridges made using sturdy roots of rubber trees, some of which are in two layers, are a class apart! Fine examples of how nature can be put to our use, without disturbing its equilibrium! Cherrapunji, or Sohra, as it is locally known, is a treasure house of attractions. No wonder, it is the flag-bearer of tourism in northeast India.
3. Mawlynnong, cleanest of all
Here is something for all cleanliness-freaks. Mawlynnong, in Meghalaya, was ranked as the cleanest village in Asia. Though it was years back, the village still lives up to the title. This tiny village is among the best tourist places in northeast India, owing to its simple charm. As you enter the village, you are greeted by the sights of flowers and shrubs on both sides of lanes and alleys. Not a speck of litter anywhere! Simple village folks with a welcoming smile make you instantly feel at home. A paradise that is not lost, Mawlynnong village is a must-add in your itinerary.
4. Kaziranga National Park in Assam
Moving on to the next beautiful state, Assam, Kaziranga, is undoubtedly the queen of attractions of Assam. It has world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceros. Apart from the rhinos, there are many other wild forms such as tigers, elephants, and wild buffaloes. It is one of the picnic places in Assam which can entertain tourists for a day or even more. Hop on to a jeep, and get into the wild. Numerous swamps and wetlands make the national park unique, and definitely one of the best tourist places in northeast India.
5. Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati
For those with a spiritual penchant, temple visits add more enthusiasm to a vacation. So, there is the Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati, which is a hub of spiritual tourism in northeast India. Though the place cannot be counted among the picnic places in Assam, it is a must-visit due to its historical and spiritual significance. The deity worshipped here is Kamakhya Devi, a fulfiller of desires. The temple is considered sacred by the followers of tantric cult. Ambubachi Mela, the annual celebration of Kamakhya Temple, is among the festivals of northeast India, which attracts worshippers from all over the country.
6. Jorhat, the tea capital
Speaking of Assam, the first thing that comes to our minds is tea gardens. Jorhat is the place to
7. Kohima, the capital of Nagaland
Nagaland is a name that reminds us of the tribal population of India. The state is a storehouse of culture, heritage, and nature. Tourist places in Nagaland are among the best tourist places in northeast India. Kohima, the capital, is surrounded by many tourist attractions. This quaint city nestled amidst lofty mountains has many historical relics which speak volumes about its past. The War Cemetery is dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives in the World War II. Mt. Japfu in Kohima is the second highest peak of Nagaland, and is a wonderful destination. A city that gives you insights into the culture and festivals of northeast India, doesn’t that deserve a place in your list?
8. Dzukou Valley
Located along the borders of Nagaland and Manipur is the exotic destination, Dzukou Valley. This is one of the tourist places in Nagaland that is irresistible for trekking enthusiasts. Scaling sky-high mountains is a pleasure when you are welcomed by exquisite flowers and soothing winds at every corner. Rare wild flowers and gurgling streams on the way will never let you feel the exhaustion. Located at 2,000 meters above sea level, Dzukou Valley is among the best tourist places in northeast India, especially if you are an adventure enthusiast.
9. Kisama Heritage Village
Close to Kohima, there is a place that plays host to one of the most unique festivals of northeast India. Kisama Heritage Village is the venue of the Hornbill Festival that happens annually in Nagaland. It is a festival that presents a medley of tribal cultures and traditions. In Kisama, you find models of houses belonging to every different tribe of Nagaland. It is a great place to learn about the customs, food, and way of living of the tribal folk of Nagaland. You can eat with them, dance with them, and be one among them. Truly deserves to be among the best tourist places in northeast India, right?
10. Imphal, a peek into the old
Imphal, the capital of Manipur, does not have the pomp and splendor of a capital. The city that smells of history, where you feel like the clock has stopped ticking sometime in the past, is one of the best tourist places to visit in Manipur. The city sparkles with greenery all around. Kangla Fort located on the banks of Imphal River, was the seat of ancient rulers of Manipur, and is a must-visit for history buffs. A market run exclusively by women is another highlight of Imphal. Though Imphal stands much behind other tourist places when it comes to connectivity, it has the potential to come to the forefront of tourism in northeast India.
11. Keibul Lamjao, the floating national park
Keibul Lamjao, a national park that floats in water, is one of the best tourist places in northeast India. It is probably the only one of its kind in the whole world. Miles of wetlands and floating grasses which support many life forms is a nature’s marvel. Loktak Lake is a beautiful lake that forms part of this park. You can go to the depths of water in boats, and even step on the floating grass. People here, have their unique methods of fishing, techniques which you might not find elsewhere. This is one of the places to visit in Manipur that a northeast explorer must not miss out.
12. Senapati, the hidden gem
Senapati is one of the places to visit in Manipur that remains largely unexplored. Pristine greenery and oodles of history, both welcome you in Senapati. There are many traditional villages such as Liyai and Yangkhullen, which will tell you about the past of the place. With towering mountains, deep green valleys, and lots of rivers, there is no dearth of scenic beauty. Though Senapati is yet to find place in the oft-traversed tourist maps, it deserves to be listed among the best tourist places in northeast India.1
13.Agartala, for palaces and temples
What is Tripura famous for? This question has been often repeated by tourists who are completely new to tourism in northeast India. Agartala, the capital of Tripura, is a city that boasts of marvelous palaces and temples. Ujjayanta Palace in Agartala is among the best tourist places in northeast India. It is a shining example of the affluence of the erstwhile kings. Temples like Jagannath Temple and Lakshminarayan Temple are worth a visit, not just for spiritual purposes, but also for learning about the festivals of northeast India.
14. Unakoti, for history and mystery
Unakoti, in Tripura, is a pilgrimage place with a touch of mystery surrounding it. The giant rock carvings of the place are a mysterious marvel. There is no proof as to the exact period of its construction. Giant rocks with faces of Lord Shiva, and Goddesses Durga and Ganga, are an architectural wonder too. The fact that all these are hidden in the midst of green forest cover, adds more to the mystery factor. Unakoti has everything needed to make it to the list of best tourist places in northeast India.
15. Rudrasagar Lake
of northeast India
Rudrasagar is a placid lake with an exquisite beauty, located in Tripura. It is around 50 kms from Agartala. The highlight of the lake is the palace which rests on its waters. Neermahal, a palace that speaks about the architectural finesse of olden Tripura, stands majestically in the midst of the lake. Boating in the lake and a visit to the palace are not to be missed when you visit Tripura. Though infrastructural barriers may play spoilsport, Tripura could be one of the best tourist places in northeast India, for those who love the unbeaten tracks.
The above stated places are some, but not all, of the attractions that northeast India can offer you. It is time that we set aside that skeptical mind, and set off to make the best of tourism in northeast India.