North-East India: Splendid Mountains, Reviews
When I hear the term ‘the Seven Sister States’, a combination of picturesque beauty and rich culture clicks my mind. From densely covered forests to Buddhist stupas & monasteries, lakes and lovely weather, North-East is a complete package for your vacations. Dotted with sprinkling waterfalls, national parks, it is best to spend your winter vacations in the mountains of Guwahati, Shillong, Imphal, Gangtok, and Darjeeling. If you love to travel by air, then main airports are in Bagdogra, Guwahati, Imphal, and Silchar. They are well-connected to New Delhi and Kolkata. You can also plan your road trips from West Bengal. It is now easier because of a good network of roads. If you want to travel via trains while enjoying its natural beauty, the main station is linked to Assam.
Seven Sister States, A Brother and A Neighbor
Have you ever wondered how many states come under North-East India? Well, ‘the Seven Sisters’ cover the whole of North-East and they are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura. Not only this, it is accompanied by a brother – Sikkim, and neighbor. You must be bewildered by now as some of you might have not heard this term. Darjeeling is the neighboring answer and it is the north-eastern area of West Bengal which you will discover on your trip to this part of India.
North-East: A Step Closer to Heaven
Home to the cleanest and tranquil villages in Asia, land of one-horned rhinoceros, traveling in toy train in Darjeeling, Tiger reserve in Assam, trek on the oldest bridges, lush-green forests, ancient monasteries, stupas and much more. Welcome to North-East India! A vacation to the North-east is a must at least once a lifetime.
Darjeeling: A Refreshing Neighbouring Spot To Hangout At
In the Himalayan foothills, Darjeeling was once a summer getaway during the British Raj elite. It is a town in West Bengal state which is famed for its scented tea plantation, a toy train that was completed in 1881 and one of the world’s highest peaks – Mount Kanchenjunga in its backdrop. Whenever you’re in Darjeeling, don’t miss to ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Also, include cycling in Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary, explore the Rock Garden, Trek to the Tiger Hills in your itinerary.
Sikkim: A Mountainous Brother
Sharing an international border with Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet from three sides, Sikkim abodes one of the oldest as well as outstanding monasteries – the Pemayangtse Monastery. Sikkim has the best landscape view with Mount Kanchenjunga with Gangtok as its capital. It has the highest motorable roads leading to the famous Nathula Pass for an adventurous bike trip. When in Sikkim, you must sight-seeing Lake Tsomgo, Gurudongmar Lake, Rumtek Monastery, explore the Singalila National Park and camping at Goecha La Pass.
The Spectacular Seven-Sisters
Initially, there were only 3 states during independence with Assam as a big state while Manipur and Tripura were princely states. Later on, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh were formed leading to the formation of the glorious ‘Seven Sisters’. These states are known for its diverse culture, tribal tradition and religion. Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh is known to be the largest in India.
These Seven-Sisters are famed for its traditions, culture and festivals by the tribal communities. Bihu is one of the famous festivals in Assam which is celebrated thrice a year. It marks the gathering of crops which also signifies Assamese new year and the spring festival. Women wear traditional dress and dance while men sing and do drumming together.
Similarly, other well-known festivals celebrated are Ziro Music festival in Arunachal Pradesh, Moatsu festival in Nagaland, Cheiraoba in Manipur, Chapchar Kut in Mizoram, Ashokastami Festival in Tripura and Ka Pomblang Nongkrem in Meghalaya. Being a music buff, Ziro music festival is my personal favorite.
If you’re in Assam, do visit Kaziranga National Forest which has been announced as a World Heritage Site. Surrounded by aromatic tea gardens, it is one of the beautiful places in the world. Leisure your time watching rhinos, elephants, deer, tigers and numerous colorful birds while doing jeep safaris.
Shillong – Scotland of East
‘The capital of Meghalaya’, ‘Scotland of East’, ‘music capital of India’, Shillong has several beautiful names. It is an ideal spot for peace seekers, couples and away from the scorching heat. Known for its breathtaking beauty and sights, the soothing climate makes it suitable to visit throughout the year. The drizzles and cool breeze make an addition to include this place in your list. The occurrence of music festivals throughout the year keeps it lively.
Best Time to Visit
The best time is to travel from November to April which is the peak season for travelers. You can also plan your trip between May to October. Somehow, heavy rainfalls due to monsoons can lead to few landslides.