An ode to North East India

When it comes to explore the North Eastern part of India, the very first thing comes to mind is the beauty of the places where nature flourishes with all its glory. Situated amidst the many hilltops and scenic valleys, the beautiful places here paint a picture that you need to see to believe. The clouds floating right by your side, and the sun rising from amidst the valley, North East holds something special to experience – be it nature, wildlife, local life, food, to name a few. From the beauty of the tourist places in North East India to the fun-filled activities, there are numerous experiences that you simply cannot afford to miss out. Here, we bring to you 5 things to do when in North East –

  1. Spot one-horned rhino at Kaziranga National Park in Assam

One of the best places to visit in north east India is Kaziranga National Park. Declared a UNESCO Heritage Site, the National Park is home to the one horned rhinos which attract tourists from all over the world.  Spotting one-horned rhinoceros is an altogether different experience. Apart from this, the park is home to boundless wildlife, variety of flora and fauna, which one can experience through elephant rides, jeep safaris or boat rides. The best time to visit here is from November to May. One can also explore Kaziranga beyond wildlife. It has some beautiful tea gardens, golf resorts, Deopahar Geological site, Biodiversity Park and an ethnic village where one can explore the lifestyle of the tribes.

2. Tawang Monastery & Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh

Tawang is a quaint town located on the corner of Arunachal Pradesh with Bhutan on its East, is a beautiful place. One of the most important places of attraction in this town is the Tawang Monastery. Situated at a height of 10,000 feet in Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang Monastery is the largest Buddhist monastery in India, which gives a breathtaking view of the valley. Home to 450 monks, this is the perfect place to visit for a surreal experience. One can also sit and just admire the captivating view of the Tawand River in the evening.  

Ziro is a picturesque town, which is located 115 km from Itanagar, the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh. The beauty of this town has attracted the attention of many, due to which it has been shortlisted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Perched at an altitude of 1500 m above sea level, Ziro has hills that are beautifully covered with bamboo and pine trees, surrounded with paddy fields, which can mesmerize any tourist to this place. The valley is most famous for its three day and night rock concert, which is held annually towards the end of September. Being a part of the event will give you an experience of your lifetime. 

3. Experience the natural charms of Meghalaya

Located in the foothills of the magnificent Himalayas, Meghalaya is blessed with bewitching natural charms in forms of serene water bodies, mystical and unexplored caves, unexplored, dense woods and incredible varieties of flora and fauna with a perfect touch of the ancient tribal culture. The wettest place in the world finds its home in Meghalaya in Cherrapunji, which is famous for its living root bridges, formed due to incessant rain. 

Another place to see is Jaintia Hills which are stuffed with limestone deposits. The hills have a number of caves and spelunking in these caves can lead you to a number of shallow and some long caves, making it an adventurous attraction in the region.  Then, don’t forget to explore the transparent Dawki river in Meghalaya. Dawki is a town in the West Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya popularly known for the beauteous lake. Umngot River in Dawki is one of the cleanest rivers in the world that you can clearly see the bottom. Taking a boat ride one the Umngot River is one of the things you must do in Dawki. There is a lot more in Meghalaya to explore.

4. Explore beautiful valleys of Sikkim

Sikkim, the north-eastern state that shares its borders with Tibet and Bhutan, is a haven of tourists who love enjoying the serene beauty of nature. With the snow-capped mountain peaks, mesmerizing glaciers, alpine meadows, and hundreds of Buddhist monasteries, Sikkim will never disappoint you. A trip to the balmy and serene valleys of Sikkim would be the perfect retreat. Besides, the adventure enthusiasts could try various thrilling activities like trekking, mountaineering and glacier walking.

Lachung; Lachen, North Sikkim; Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim; Tsomgo Lake/ Changu Lake; Yuksom, West Sikkim; Ravangla; Gangtok; Pelling; Rumtek Monastery, Gangtok; Nathula Pass; Teesta River are some of the key places to explore when in Sikkim.

5. Gastronomic delights of North East

Manipur is known for its simple seasonal stews while Meghalaya is more famous for its spicy meat and fish preparations. Nagaland, on the other hand, is better known for its bamboo and pork fare and Mizoram prefers subtly flavoured, boiled food rather than the fried kind. The influence of neighbours like China, Myanmar and Thailand can easily be seen in the cuisines of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, while Tripura is better known for its bursting masalas, a trait it shares with the rest of the country. Assamese food ranges from spicy to bland, with rice being the centrepiece of this cuisine.

In short, the food of North East India is extraordinary. These gastronomic delights leave the palate demanding more!

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