North East – Seven Sister Tour
Highlights of the Seven Sisters: why Northeast India is the place to travel right nowOf the countless pictures you’ve seen and travel tales you’ve heard of India, it’s unlikely many – if any – focused on its remote Northeast States. This triangular-shaped piece of la…Tribes, treks and tree bridges in Meghalaya, India’s new adventure playgroundIt’s raining on the limestone plateau that soars above the delta of the Brahmaputra River in Northeast India. Big, fat, heavy drops, that dribble down the back of the neck and soak
Duration: 21 Nights – 22 Days
Destination Covered: Routing – Guwahati – Tezpur – Bomdila – Tawang – Bhalukpong – Kaziranga – Dimapur / Kohima – Imphal -Aizaul-Agartala-Silchar-Shilong-Guwahati
Day 01 : Arrive Guwahati
Arrival by flight in Guwahti, after traditional Swagat by our representative & transfer to Hotel & Check in. (Check in time at the hotel is 1200 hr)
Later the day at leisure.
Evening enjoy River Cruise: A River Cruise on the mighty Brahmaputra is a wonderful opportunity to get a feel of this legendry river.
Overnight at hotel- Guwahati
Day 02 : Guwahati
Morning after breakfast we take half day guided city tour of Guwahato, We visit Kamakhya Temple: The Kamakhya Temple dominates the life of Guwahati, as much as does the great Brahmaputra River. The temple, situated high aloft a hill called Neelachal Parbat or Kamagiri in the city of Guwahati is one of its several religious landmarks, which speaks volumes about the rich historical treasure over which the state of Assam is seated. The Kamakhya Temple had been built in reverence to Goddess Kamakhya or Sati, who was one of the numerous incarnations of Goddess Durga or Goddess Shakti.
Bashista Ashram: Dating back to the time when the great sage Vashista visited this spot on confluence of the Sandhya, Lalita and Kanta stream, and set up his ashram here.
Shankardev Kalakshetra: a place where Assamese history and culture is depicted in a sprawling open enclosure.
Overnight at hotel-Guwahari
Day 03 : Guwahati / Tezpur (185 Kms 4 hrs drive)
Morning after breakfast depart for Tezpur, “The city of Blood”. Arrive and check in at hotel.
Afternoon we visit Tezpur : “The city of blood” (as a result of the great mythological war faught between Lord Krishna and Lord Shiva), Tezpur is 174 kms away from Guwahati. The remains of 5 th – 6th century stone temples have been discovered in nearby Da Parbatia.
Day 04 : Tezpur / Bomdila (165 Kms, 4 ½ hrs drive)
Morning after breakfast depart by car for Bomdlia. En route we visit Bhalukpong: Situated on the Assam-Arunachal border, 250 kms from Guwahati, Bhalukpong is another picturesque spot for angling and leisurely picnics.
Tipi: An Orchidarium at Tipi (5 kms from Bhalukpong) is the Botanical paradise of the state. About 300 specis can be seen in the flora – glass house. Some of them are rare and endangered species. By the side of the glass house there is an orchid museum too. Arrive Bomdila and check in at hotel.
Bomdila: At a height of 8500 ft, Bomdila is the headquarter of West Kameng District, the land of the Monpa, Sherdukpen, Aka (Hrusso), Miji and Bogun (Khawas) tribes.
Later Visit craft center, where very fine wooden carpets of colourful designs and Masks are produced, Buddhists Monasteries, Ethnographic Museum and shopping center.
Bomdila also offers a Bird’s eye view of Kangto and Gorichen peaks (highest peaks in the state) amidst the Himalayan landscape and snow clad ranges.
Day 05 : Bomdila / Tawang (180 Kms, 5 hrs drive)
Morning after breakfast depart by car for Tawang.
En route we visit Jaswant Garh: 14 kms from Sela Pass the war memorial raised to pay homage to Jaswant Singh, Mahavir Chakra awardee of 4 Batallion Garhwal Rifles is a place where patriotic emotions of all Indians find a natural ex-pression
Sela Pass: One of the world’s highest pass at 13714 ft. height, which runs through a small ridge and along the paradise lake.
Dirang: It is a small hill resort which is famous for the breathtaking views of the snowy Himalayan ranges and its orange farms.
Arrive Tawang and check in at hotel. Evening free at leisure.
Day 06 : Tawang
Morning after breakfast explore Tawang, visiting Tawang Ganden Namgyal Lhaste : Popularly known as the Tawang or Gompa Monastery, is a 400 years old Mahayana Sect Buddhist Monastery. It was built during the 17th century AD by Mera Lama, a contemporary of the 5th Lama. It is situated at a height of 3500 m near the Buddhist border. It is a place worth paying a visit because of the collection of huge scriptures, books, gold lettered Buddhist scriptures, images and tapestries. The Parkhang Hall of the monastery has the library with the rare hand-written and block-painted thankas or manuscripts of revered books like Tangun, Kangyur and Sungbhum. The 108 gold-embossed manuscripts of the ‘Teaching of Lord Buddha’ and 225 volumes of the explanations of Buddha’s teachings covered with specially designed moth – proof silk adorned with paintings are the other rare works of Buddhist literature. The18 ft high gilded statue of the Buddha in the monastery complex is also worth watching. The festival of Torgya is held in the 11th Monpa month called the Dawa Chukchipah in the Tawang Monastery. A Craft Center here produces fine woolen carpets in various colorful designs.
Urqelling Monastery is the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama who is the only Indian to have risen to such a high position in Gelupka Sect of Buddhism so far. These monasteries along with several other monasteries and nunneries are visited by several tourist from all over the world all the year round.
The Craft Center: The craft center in Tawang sells beautiful masks, hand woven carpets, jewellery in silver, coral and amber, ‘chubas’ the local dressand delightful affordable mementos
Rest of the time free to explore the town by your own.
Overnight at hotel.
Day 07 : Tawang / Bhalukpong (280 Kms, 6 hrs drive)
Morning After an early breakfast drive back to Bhalukpong. Arrive Bhalukpong and check in at the riverside resort.
Rest of the time free to explore the nature at your own.
Day 08 : Bhalukpong / Kaziranga (161 Kms, 4 hrs drive)
Early morning drive to Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park: The oldest park in Assam, Kaziranga, on the south bank of the Brahmaputra River, is world famous for its great Indian one – horned rhinoceros, of which there are aplenty. Spread across 430 sq kms, it is a dazzling mosaic of dense rain forest, tall elephant grass and swathes of reeds interspersed with vast tracts of marshes and shallow pools that are a favourite haunt of this celebraty pre-historic beast. Wild elephant, hog deerand barasingha also abound. Book in advance for at least a night’s stay at the forest lodge to catch those early morning views of him from elephant back. Jeep safaris are also arranged. This National Park is 217 kms from Guwahati and 96 kms from Jorhat.
En route enjoy the beautiful tea estates of Assam. Arrive Kaziranga and check in at the Jungle Resort
Overnight at Jungle Lodge-Kaziranga
Day 09 : Kaziranga
Early morning enjoy the elephant safari in the central (Kohora) range of Kaziranga. Later return to the resort for breakfast.
Afternoon enjoy the exclusive Jeep safari in the western (Bagori) range of Kaziranga.
Overnight at Jungle Lodge-Kaziranga
Day 10 : Kaziranga / Dimapur / Kohima (210 Kms, 6 hrs drive)
Morning after breakfast depart for Nagaland. Enroute visit the hot spring in Garampani.
Arrive and check in at hotel in Kohima. Rest of the time free at leisure.
Overnight hotel- Kohima
Day 11 : Kohima
Morning after breakfast we visit Kohima village: As you enter this village, you notice a number of traditional wooden gates with the scimitar of horns of Mithun. In this village, one comes across wooden carvings looking like horns atop some houses.You can also see relics of stone erections here and there in front of the houses which are memorial symbols of the grand feasts offered by their ancestors.
The Kohima War cemetery : It was constructed in memory of the officers and men who made supreme sacrifices during World War II. On each grave there are beautiful epitaphs engraved in bronze.
The state museum: It has a rare collection of artifacts of the different tribes, which inhabit the state. It depicts the different aspects of life of the people in all its varied forms.
Overnight hotel- Kohima
Day 12 : Kohima / Imphal (260 Kms, 7 hrs drive)
Morning after breakfast depart by car for Imphal. arrive and check in at hotel.
Overnight hotel- Imphal
Day 13 : Imphal
Morning after breakfast we visit: Manipur Zoological Gardens: Eight kilometers from Imphal, at the foot of the pine-covered hillocks, you will find a wealth of rare birds, animals and reptiles at the Manipur
Zoological Gardens. In the zoo’s sylvan surroundings, you will even get a glimpse of one of the rarest species of deer in the world, the graceful brow-antlered thamin deer
Khonghampat Orchidarium: there is the Khonghampat Orchidarium that has more than a hundred rare varieties of orchids. The best time to visit the orchidarium is in the months of April and May when the orchids are in full bloom.
Khwairamband Bazaar: One of the main features of Imphal is the Khwairamband Bazaar. What makes this market different is thatit is run by women. Split into two sections on either side of the road, it has tribal women clad in colorful, traditional attire, selling everything from hand-woven shawls, skirts, vessels, mugs and mats to fish, lotus, oranges and orange-flavored honey. And if you wander in the quaint by lanes around the market, you will get a glimpse of Manipur’s customs and traditions.
Shri Govindajee Temple : The core of Imphal’s traditions, however, lies in its various temples. The most important of these is the Shri Govindajee Temple, a historic center for Vaishnavites. A simple, twin-domed structure, it adjoins the magnificent palace of the former rulers of Manipur. Constructed in the early 18th century under the Rajarishi Bhagyachandra regime, the temple comes alive during festivals when thousands of people come to offer prayers. In fact the best time to visit it is during Holi, also known in Manipur as Dolijatra or Yaosong when boys and girls do the Thaba Changba folk dance, all night. In the center of the temple stands the presiding deity, Lord Vishnu flanked by the shrines of Balarama and Krishna on one side and Jagannatha on the other. The temple also has a paved court and a large raised congregation hall.
Day 14 : Imphal / Aizwal by flight
Morning after an early breakfast transfer to airport for the flight towards Aizwal .Arrive Aizwal and check in at hotel.
Overnight hotel- Aizwal
Day 15 : Aizwal
Morning after breakfast go for sight seeing in Mizoram visiting The Museum and Mini Zoological Garden at Aizawl, Bung (picnic spot), and Paikhai. Evening free at leisure.
Overnight hotel- Aizaul
Day 16 : Aizal / Agartala (350 kms, 6 hrs drive)
Morning afte4r breakfast depart for Agartala, the Capital of Tripura. Arrive and check in at hotel.
Overnight hotel- Agartala
Day 17 : Agartala
Morning after breakfast excursion to the lake city Udaipur , Udaipur : The main attractions in Udaipur are Tripura Sundari Temple, popularly known as MATABARI, one of the 51 pithas of Hindu Puran, Bhuvaneswari Temple, Gunabati group of Temples, Vast Lakes with scenic beauty.
Tripura Sundari Temple: This temple is one of the 51 pithasthans in India as per Hindu mythology. As per mythology, Lord Vishnu had cut off the body of Mata Sati into 51 pieces by Sudarshana Chakra and all these pieces fell at different places throughout the country and these places are known as pithasthans. It is said that ‘right foot’ of Mata Sati fell at Matabari. This pithasthan is also known as Kurma Pith because the shape of the temple premises resembles to that of “Kurma” namely tortoise. Inside the temple, the idol of Maa Kali is kept which is made of ‘reddish black Kastic pathar.’ Maa Kali is worshipped in her ‘Soroshi’ form in this temple. There is an idol of smaller size of Maa Kali called ‘Chotto Maa ‘and this image used to be carried by Maharajas of Tripura during “Mrigaya” namely hunting and also during war.
The temple consists of square type sanctum of the typical Bengali hut type structure with a conical dome. The temple was constructed in 1501 A.D. by the then Maharaja Dhanya Manikya.
In the eastern side of the temple there is a famous Kalyan Sagar where fishes and tortoises of huge size are found and devotees feed them with “muri” and biscuits. No fishing is permitted in the Kalyan Sagar. Every year on Dewali, a famous Mela takes place near the temple which is visited by more than two lakhs pilgrims.
Neer Mahal: This magnificent lake palace was constructed as a summer resort in 1930 by late Maharaja Birbikram Kishore ManikyaBahadur in the middle of a natural lake called Rudrasagar having an area of 5.35 Sq.Km. The construction was undertaken by Martin & Burn Co. and it is the only lake palace in the entire eastern India.
A good combination of Hindu and Mughal architecture is noticed on the domes of the palace. There are mainly two parts of the palace – one on the western side known as Andar Mahal which was used by the royal family and another on the eastern side which was used for the security personnel and servants. There are 15 rooms in the main Andar Mahal. There is a beautiful garden laid in the western side of the palace. In the garden there is an open stage where drama, theatre, etc. use to be organised.
Maharajas used to go by motor boat to the palace from Rajghat.
In water number of migratory birds are found in the lake surrounding Neermahal.
Kamalasagar Lake: Vast lake at the border of Bangladesh was excavated by Maharaja Dhanya Manikya in 15th century. On the bank of Kamalasagar, there is a famous temple of Goddess Kali dating back to 16th century. It is one of the excellent picnic spots in the statewith scenic beauty.
Later return to Agartala.
Overnight hotel- Agartala
Day 18 : Agartala / Silchar (280 kms, 5 hrs drive)
Morning after breakfast drive to Silchar. Arrive and check in at hotel.
Overnight hotel- Silchar
Day 19 : Silchar / Shillong (340, 7 hrs drive)
Morning after breakfast depart for Shillong, the Scottland of East.Arrive Shillong and check in at hotel
Shillong: Day long picnics amidst smokey blue hills thick with pine and orchids, singing brooks and crashing waterfalls…for the british in this garrison town it was home. The scenic khasi hills reminded them the Scottish highlands – just perfect for those summer holidays away from the heat and the dust of India’s plain. Evening free at leisure.
Overnight hotel- Shillong
Day 20 : Shillong
Morning after breakfast city tour of Shillong visiting: Ward’s Lake ( also famous as Shillong Lake ) and the landscaped Lady HydariPark which also has a mini zoo.
The old churches of Shillong : The town is dotted with fine old churches of which the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians is mostfamed for its stained glass windows and lofty arch.
Shillong Golf Course: Shillong’s popular 18 hole golf course (referred to as the Gleneagles of the east) holds its annual tournament in October, when these khasi hills are at their prettiest
Shillong Peak (1965 m): About 10 kms from the town, it offers breathtaking views of the city spread out against its glorious hill slopes. If time permits visit the Bishop Falls, Beadon Falls and the three step Elephant Falls.
Evening free to roam around in the famous Mall.
Day 21 : Shillong / Cherapunjee / Shillong
Morning after breakfast drive to Cherapunjee.
Cherapunjee: Once world renowned for being the wettest place on earth, cherapunjee is impressive with its gushing waterfalls and the deep gorges. You get stunning views of the plains of Bangladesh. Cherapunjee’s orange and honey are famous and you can pick up fine baskets from the Sohra Market.
In cherapunjee visit, Krem Mawmluh cave: This cave is located half a km west of Cherrapunjee adjacent to the small hamlet of Mawmluh. The cave has five river passage with impressive proportions. The cave has a length of over seven Kms.
Also visit Cherapunjee’s famous waterfalls: Close to the town are glorious Nohsngithiang Falls ( Mawsmai Falls), Dainthlen Falls, Nohkailikai Falls (world’s fourth highest) and many smaller falls. The stunning gorges are worth all that film you carried with you.
Later return to Shillong.Evening free to visit the famous Mall.
Overnight hotel- Shilong
Day 22 : Shillong / Guwahati Departs (85 Kms, 3 hrs drive)
Morning after breakfast drive to Guwahati.
En route visit, Borapani Umiam Lake , Located about 17 kms from Shillong, Umiam Lake is highly popular for a relaxing time. The Orchid Lake Resort here has watersports facilities and the nearby Lum Nehru Park has an aviary and orchidarium.Arrive Guwahati and in time transfer to airport for the onward destination
Tour concludes : We thank you for your patronage & looking forward to serve you in near future.
Welcome to Northeast States
Sometimes the Seven Sisters of the Northeast (the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura) hardly seem like India at all. The region’s hundreds of tribes and subtribes are slowly embracing modernity, but remain extremely diverse. Nagaland’s former headhunters now go to church on Sundays. Many Arunachalis also attend church-like buildings on Sundays – to worship the sun and moon. Cloudy Himalayan valleys near the border of Tibet are dotted with colourful monasteries, echoing with Buddhist chants and clashing cymbals.
The geography is as varied as the culture. While waterfalls thunder down Cherrapunjee’s jungle escarpments, blizzards may be blocking the passes to Tawang, and one-horned rhinos go on grazing peacefully in Kaziranga’s grasslands beside the mighty Brahmaputra.
Northeast travel can be tough, with atrocious roads and long distances. But the destinations are always worth the effort and there’ll be a warm welcome that awaits. You are indeed far from the beaten track: only the adventurous need apply.
Top experiences in Northeast States
- Assam Kaziranga national park
- Tawang vally
- Majuli island.
- Loktak Lake
Top attractions in Northeast States
- 1Tawang GompaTAWANG VALLEY
- 2Kangla FortIMPHAL
- 3Nongriat Root BridgesCHERRAPUNJEE (SOHRA)
- 4Samten Yongcha GompaMECHUKA
- 5Kohima War CemeteryKOHIMA
- 6Kaziranga National ParkASSAM
- 7Ujjayanta PalaceAGARTALA
- 8Ima KeithelIMPHAL
- 10Don Bosco Museum of Indigenous CulturesSHILLONG
- Tawang GompaTawang ValleyBuddhist Monastery
- Kangla FortImphalFort
- Nongriat Root BridgesCherrapunjee (Sohra)Bridge
- Samten Yongcha GompaMechukaBuddhist Monastery
- Kohima War CemeteryKohimaCemetery
- Kaziranga National ParkAssamNational Park
- Ujjayanta PalaceAgartalaPalace
- Ima KeithelImphalMarket
- UnakotiTripuraArchaeological Site
- Don Bosco Museum of Indigenous CulturesShillongMuseum
Northeast States activities,
Kaziranga National Park
Top choice national park in Assam
The park’s 2400 one-horned rhinos represent about two-thirds of the world’s total population (in 1904, there were only 200). Kaziranga offers popular 4WD Safari that allow you to get close to the rhinos and other large mammals; you may want to avoid the elephant-back safaris on animal welfare concerns. Safaris are available in four of the park’s five ranges, of which the central Kohora Range and western Bagori Range offer the best overall wildlife sightings and also have most safari traffic.
When to Go
March: The best season for rhino-spotting in Kaziranga.
October: A time for dazzling Himalayan vistas and trips to remote outposts such as Tawang, Mechuka and Pemako.
December: Fierce Naga warriors in ethnic regalia assemble for Kohima’s spectacular Hornbill Festival.
You can fly from Guwahati to Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Silchar, Dimapur, Imphal, Aizawl and Agartala, and by helicopter to Shillong and Tura (Meghalaya) and Naharlagun near Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh). Trains – some fast, some slow – run from Guwahati to Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Silchar, Dimapur, Agartala and Naharlagun. Public road transport is provided by buses, minibuses, shared taxis and, on the worst roads (of which there are plenty), by tightly packed 10-passenger shared jeeps, usually Tata Sumos. The most comfortable, convenient and flexible mode of road travel is to hire a car (or jeep) and driver: costs for this range from around ₹2500 to ₹6000 per day depending on the vehicle, distances and number of days.
Dangers & Annoyances
Travelling Safely in the Northeast States
In recent decades, many ethno-linguistic groups in the Northeast have jostled – often violently – to assert themselves in the face of illegal immigration from neighbouring countries, governmental apathy and a heavy-handed security policy. Some want independence from India, others autonomy, but many are fighting what are effectively clan or turf wars. While peace mostly prevails, and numbers of violent insurgency-related incidents have fallen far below their peaks of the 1990s and 2000s, trouble can flare up suddenly and unpredictably.
The following news websites have the latest updates on Northeast India:
- Arunachal Times (www.arunachaltimes.in)
- Assam Tribune (www.assamtribune.com)
- Morung Express (Nagaland; http://www.morungexpress.com)
- Nagaland Post (www.nagalandpost.com)
- Northeast Now (www.nenow.in)
- Northeast Today (www.northeasttoday.in)
- Sangai Express (Manipur; http://www.thesangaiexpress.com)
- Time8 (www.time8.in)
- TNT (www.thenortheasttoday.com)
These websites provide updates, timelines, analysis and the history of insurgency in the Northeast:
Centre for Development and Peace Studies (www.cdpsindia.org)
Global Security (www.globalsecurity.org)
South Asia Terrorism Portal (www.satp.org)
Entry & Exit Formalities,
Rules and regulations about visiting the Northeast States change from time to time. The following is the situation as of early 2019. Whatever permit you get, make several copies of it as you’ll often have to hand one in at checkpoints, police stations and hotels.
Since 2011, Arunachal Pradesh is the only state for which foreigners need a permit. For Arunachal, the Protected Area Permit is valid for 30 days, costs the rupee equivalent of US$30 (US$60 for solo-traveller permits), and can be obtained in a couple of days through tour companies or, with a bit more effort, independently.
Foreigners visiting Manipur, Mizoram or Nagaland have to register with the police within 24 hours of arrival, but this is almost always taken care of automatically when you check in to a hotel.
Indians need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram or Nagaland. These normally cost ₹100 or less and, depending on the state, can be applied for online, on arrival, or at the state’s representatives in some other states.
Arunachal Pradesh You can apply online (www.arunachalilp.com) or in person at the Guwahati airport, Naharlagun train station or Arunachal government offices in Delhi, Kolkata, Shillong, Guwahati and elsewhere (www.arunachaltourism.com/inner.php).
Mizoram Available on arrival at the Aizawl airport or from some Mizoram government offices in other states (www.mizoram.gov.in/page/get-in).
Nagaland Apply online (www.nagaland.gov.in/portal/portal/StatePortal/OnlineService/IssueILPService) or in person at Nagaland government offices in other states (www.home.nagaland.gov.in/inner-line-permit-ilp).
Northeast States attractions;
The magical Tawang Gompa, founded in 1681 in what was then a Monpa royal palace, overlooks the town from its ridgetop site. Reputedly the world’s second-largest Buddhist monastery complex after Drepung Monastery (in…TOP CHOICE FORT IN IMPHAL
The vast, low-walled fort at the heart of Imphal was, with a few interruptions, the political and religious heart of Manipur for many centuries until taken over by the British after the 1891 Anglo-Manipuri War. Toda…TOP CHOICE BRIDGE IN CHERRAPUNJEE (SOHRA)
NONGRIAT Root Bidges:
The most fascinating sights around Cherrapunjee are the incredible living bridges – formed from rubber-fig roots that ingenious Khasi villagers have, over decades, trained across streams as natural pathways. Over 40…TOP CHOICE BUDDHIST MONASTERY IN MECHUKA
Samten Yongcha Gompa:
Thought to be about 400 years old, the charming wooden Samten Yongcha Gompa stands on a breezy hilltop 6km (as the crow flies) west of Mechuka, fronted by a forest of prayer flags and with wonderful panoramas over t…TOP CHOICE CEMETERY IN KOHIMA
Kohima War Cemetery:
The immaculately maintained war cemetery contains the graves of over 1400 British, Indian and other Allied soldiers, killed in or around Kohima in 1944 as they resisted a Japanese invasion of India from Burma in one…TOP CHOICE NATIONAL PARK IN ASSAM
Kaziranga National Park:
The park’s 2400 one-horned rhinos represent about two-thirds of the world’s total population (in 1904, there were only 200). Kaziranga offers popular 4WD safaris that allow you to get close to the rhinos and other l…
TOP CHOICE PALACE IN AGARTALA
Agartala’s centrepiece is this striking, dome-capped palace, fronted by two reflecting lakes and housing the large, outstanding Tripura State Museum. The museum’s colourful, well-displayed galleries exhibit the arts…TOP CHOICE MARKET IN IMPHAL
Housed in three big colonnaded buildings with pagoda-style roofs, this huge bazaar with over 4000 all-women vendors is reckoned to be the largest of its kind in the world. Only married women are allowed to be stallh…TOP CHOICE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE IN TRIPURA
Massive relief sculptures of Hindu deities (some dating back to the 7th century) adorn rock faces at the site, including a 10m-tall face of Shiva sculpted on a monolithic rock and a trio of Ganeshas hewn beside a wa…TOP CHOICE MUSEUM IN SHILLONG
This well-displayed museum is a fabulous repository of tribal artefacts interspersed with exhibits on Christian missionary work. The self-guided visit takes about 1½ hours. The 17 galleries exhibit tribal basketry, …RUINS IN SIVASAGAR
The Talatal Ghar palace was the heart of an Ahom capital complex founded by King Rudra Singha. Built in the 1750s over an earlier wooden palace, it originally had seven storeys, three of which were underground (incl…PALACE IN NEERMAHAL & MELAGHAR
The multidomed red-and-white water palace, Neermahal lies empty but shimmering on its own boggy island in Rudra Sagar Lake. Like its counterpart in Rajasthan’s Udaipur, this was a princely exercise in aesthetics, in…MONUMENT IN SIVASAGAR
About 4km south of central Sivasagar along AT Rd, look right to see the rather beautiful Rang Ghar, a two-storey, oval-shaped pavilion that has been impeccably restored. Built by King Pramatta Singha in 1746, its gl…MUSEUM IN AGARTALA
Tripura State Tribal Museum;
The well-maintained State Tribal Museum has an impressive display of tribal costumes, handicrafts, instruments, utensils and other objects from Tripura’s 19 tribal cultures (about one-third of the state’s population…NATIONAL PARK IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH
Namdapha National Park,
Namdapha National Park, spread over 1985 sq km of dense forest in far eastern Arunachal Pradesh, is an ecological hot spot with a mind-boggling array of animal and plant species, and habitats ranging from warm tropi…HINDU TEMPLE IN GUWAHATI
According to Hindu legend, when a distraught Shiva scattered the 108 (or 51) pieces of his deceased wife Sati’s body across the land, her yoni (vagina) fell on Nilachal Hill, 8km west of central Guwahati. This makes…SPORTS GROUND IN SHILLONG
This is the venue for a 50-person archery event whose outcome is the subject of a highly popular betting game in Shillong, known as Thoh Tim or Teer or Siat Khnam. At tiny betting stalls all over the city, people wa…NATIONAL PARK IN LOKTAK LAKE
The giant 26-sq-km phumdi filling up the southern part of Loktak Lake is home to some 250 sangai (Manipur brow-antlered deer or dancing deer), the world’s last wild population of what is Manipur’s state animal. Keib…NATIONAL PARK IN ASSAM
The grasslands and lowland forests of Unesco-listed Manas National Park, abutting the Bhutan border about 150km northwest of Guwahati, are home to a very impressive list of animals including tigers, one-horned rhino…NATIONAL PARK IN ASSAM
Beautiful Nameri National Park, comprising 200 sq km between the pristine Jia Bhorelli River and the forested hills of Arunachal Pradesh, is particularly popular with birders (over 370 feathered species are recorded…BUDDHIST MONASTERY IN TAWANG VALLEY
This beautiful monastery in a tiny village east of Tawang (9km by vehicle, 6km on foot) is well worth a visit. Its current head, the Thegtse Rinpoche, is the 14th reincarnation of the guru who founded it in 1440. Th…TOMB IN SIVASAGAR
Charaideo was the first Ahom capital, established in 1228 by the dynasty’s founder Sukapha after his arrival in eastern Assam while seeking new lands with his royal retinue from Yunnan (southwestern China). The site…TEMPLE IN AALO
Around a quarter of Arunachal’s population follows the Donyi-Polo (Sun-Moon) religion, an institutionalised form of traditional animist beliefs developed in the 1970s in response to the spread of Christianity (which…CHURCH IN AIZAWL
Aizawl has a lot of large churches, but this one outdoes them all. Intended as a re-creation of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, it’s a white-marble square with towering facades on each of its 37-metre sides and …HINDU TEMPLE IN SIVASAGAR
Three typical Ahom temple towers rise proudly above the partly wooded shore of Sivasagar tank. The centrepiece (and tallest) is the 33m-high Shivadol, dedicated to Shiva. One of Assam’s most important temples, it wa…BUDDHIST MONASTERY IN TAWANG VALLEY
The ancient if modest Urgelling Gompa, a 3km walk below Tawang town, is where the sixth Dalai Lama, a Monpa, was born in 1683. Before he left for Lhasa, it’s said that he stuck his walking stick into the ground just…CEMETERY IN IMPHAL
The Indian Army War Cemetery, dating back to the 1944 Battle of Imphal, honours the many Indians who laid down their lives fighting in the Allied forces in the region during WWII. The names of 860 who were cremated …WILDLIFE RESERVE IN GUWAHATI
This small wildlife sanctuary has a thriving population of some 130 one-horned rhinoceroses, plus around 2000 wild water buffalo and almost 2000 resident and migratory bird species. About 40km northeast of Guwahati,…MARKET IN KOHIMA
This small but fascinating market outside the Kohima Local Ground stadium, off Razhü Junction, is a compendium of exotic Naga tribal foods with such delicacies as mefi (wriggling hornet grubs), frogs, silkworms, sna…GARDENS IN KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK
A fascinating counterpart to the wildlife attractions of Kaziranga National Park, the Orchid Park houses not only an orchid house with over 600 species from Northeast India (April is the best month for blooms), but …PALACE IN SIVASAGAR
Dramatic if largely unadorned, this brick palace is the last major remnant of the Ahom kingdom’s pre-Sivasagar capital at Garhgaon. You can climb to the top of the unique four-storey structure, which rises like a st…MOUNTAIN IN RURAL MIZORAM
At 2157m, Blue Mountain in southeast Mizoram is the state’s highest peak. It’s considered by Mizos to be the abode of gods, but its cliffs are also said to be the abode of ghosts as well as mountain goats. A three-d…HINDU TEMPLE IN SIVASAGAR
The somewhat grandiose complex of Gauri Sagar comprises an attractive tank and a trio of distinctive 1720s temples – Vishnudol, Shivadol and Devidol – built by the Ahom queen Phuleswari along its north bank. The mos…CEMETERY IN IMPHAL
This peaceful, impeccably maintained graveyard is the last resting place of more than 1600 British and other Allied soldiers and airmen killed in the Imphal area during WWII. Most of them died during the Battle of I…HINDU TEMPLE IN AGARTALA
Of the four Hindu temples around the fringes of the Ujjayanta Palace compound, the most fanciful is the Jagannath Mandir, consecrated to an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Its massive sculptured portico leads into a com…MUSEUM IN IMPHAL
The two-storey state museum, on a lane off the main road that fronts Kangla Fort, has a curious collection of tribal costumes, royal clothing, 20th-century Manipuri art, musical instruments and stuffed wildlife. In …SPORTS GROUND IN IMPHAL
The sport of polo is believed to have originated in Manipur and Imphal’s Mapal Kangjeibung is reckoned to be the oldest living polo ground in the world. Games happen on variable days through the October-to-May seaso…ARCHITECTURE IN KOHIMA
The Naga Heritage Village, 10km south of Kohima along the Imphal road, has a representative selection of traditional Naga houses and morungs (young people’s dormitories) with full-size log drums and architectural or…HINDU TEMPLE IN IMPHAL
The 1776 Shri Govindaji Mandir, with two pronounced domes, is a neo-Vaishnavite temple with Radha and Govinda (Krishna) as the presiding deities. It sees a large congregation of devotees during the evening aarti (pr…MUSEUM IN LOKTAK LAKE
Moirang’s INA Museum celebrates the village’s small but symbolic role in the Indian Independence movement. It was here on 14 April 1944 that the anti-colonial Indian National Army (INA) first unfurled the Azad Hind …HINDU MONASTERY IN MAJULI ISLAND
This small satra, out on a country road 11km east of Kamalabari, was founded in 1663 and has been making traditional dance masks from bamboo, cloth, clay, cow dung and paint ever since. You’ll be given a short expla…ISLAND IN LOKTAK LAKE
Sendra is the most elevated of a string of islands in Loktak Lake linked to Moirang village by road causeways. Sendra has wonderful panoramas that you can combine with good food and coffee at Sangai Café and/or a ni…MUSEUM IN KOHIMA
Located within Kisama Heritage Village, 10km south of Kohima, this well-kept museum exhibits war memorabilia from the WWII battles fought in and around Kohima. Displays include a diverse range of weaponry, table-top…MUSEUM IN KOHIMA
This well-presented government museum, 2km north of Kohima’s centre, has galleries on two floors featuring tribal costumes, weapons, musical instruments, sports and jewellery. It’s a good place to acquaint yourself …MUSEUM IN GUWAHATI
Housed in an imposing colonial-era building, the state museum has a large medieval sculpture collection and upper floors devoted to informative tribal-culture displays. In the Village Life of Assam section, you can …WATERFALL IN CHERRAPUNJEE (SOHRA)
At 340m, Nohkalikai is said to be the highest single-drop waterfall in India. It’s at its best during the monsoon, when its capacity increases 20-fold. You can see it from above from the viewpoint 4.4km from Cherrap…MUSEUM IN TAWANG VALLEY
An interesting Buddhist museum that contains images, robes, trumpets, gongs, oboes and ancient masks and manuscripts, along with some personal items of the sixth Dalai Lama and (upstairs) photos of visits by the 14t…NATIONAL PARK IN GARO & JAINTIA HILLS
Hilly Balpakram is traditionally considered by the Garo to be the ‘abode of souls’, where people temporarily go after they die, and is full of mythological associations. The 220-sq-km park is thick with wildflowers …NATURE RESERVE IN AGARTALA
An 18-sq-km patch of forest south of Agartala, Sepahijala contains a lake that is a popular weekend picnic and boating spot, and an open-air zoo (adult/child/camera/parking ₹12/8/20/20) where you can see a range of …RESEARCH CENTRE IN JORHAT
To delve into the science and processes behind a good cuppa, visit the Tocklai Institute, the world’s largest and oldest tea research centre (founded in 1911). The labs here research, among other things, microorgani…PARK IN TEZPUR
Tree-shaded lanes lead to Agnigarh Hill, rising above the Brahmaputra about 1km southeast of the town centre. The wooded park has occasional river views (best from the lookout tower at the top). Sculptures depict th…MUSEUM IN ITANAGAR
With two spacious floors of well-displayed exhibits, the state museum gives a decent representation of Arunachal Pradesh’s tribal cultures, especially their crafts, costumes, adornments and tools.BUDDHIST MONASTERY IN TAWANG VALLEY
This friendly nunnery, with about 50 Buddhist nuns, was founded by Merag Lama (founder of the main Tawang Gompa) for his sister. It’s connected to Tawang Gompa by a cable car. The cable car was closed on our last vi…PARK IN TEZPUR
Chitralekha Udyan has a U-shaped pond (paddle-boat hire ₹20 per person) wrapped around manicured lawns dotted with fine ancient sculptures. From April to September, the park also has bumper cars and water slides. A …TOMB IN AIZAWL
When Varte (V) died in a 2001 car accident, her husband, Khawlhring (K), lavished his entire savings and energy to create this three-storey mausoleum to her memory. A grand but spartan affair, it’s 7km north of the …CAVE IN CHERRAPUNJEE (SOHRA)
This 150m-long limestone cavern, with its low passages, is the most impressive of the area’s easily accessible caves and very popular with domestic tourists. Mawsmai’s old monoliths, commemorating heroes and clan me…MUSEUM IN CHERRAPUNJEE (SOHRA)
At the top of the hill in Cherrapunjee village, the museum in the Ramakrishna Mission (a Hindu spiritual movement with origins in West Bengal) has an interesting collection of Northeastern tribal artefacts from fish…NATIONAL PARK IN GARO & JAINTIA HILLS
East of Tura, the forested hills rise to Nokrek Peak (1412m), the highest point in the Garo Hills. The summit is part of the 48-sq-km Nokrek National Park, which occupies the highest parts of the larger Nokrek Biosp…MUSEUM IN AIZAWL
This government museum has some interesting old Mizo artefacts and models of traditional village buildings, but the display is a bit random and shabby. It’s a 300m walk up a steep lane from Zarkawt Traffic Point, pa…MONUMENT IN GARO & JAINTIA HILLS
The Jaintia Hills are home to Nartiang village, 63km east of Shillong, where you can visit an intriguing complex of stone monoliths erected by different clans between the 16th and 19th centuries – the largest concen…MUSEUM IN SHILLONG
This remarkable one-room display of pinned butterflies, moths, rhinoceros beetles and stick insects is housed in the home of the original collector. Most of the exhibits are from Northeast India and the giant moths …PARK IN GUWAHATI
The mildly attractive Dighalipukhuri Park has boating facilities. The lake was once connected by a channel to the Brahmaputra and was used as a naval harbour by the Ahoms. At the park’s north end is the open-air War…RUINS IN DIMAPUR
Until it was sacked by the Ahoms in 1536, Dimapur was the capital of the prominent Dimasa Kachari kingdom of eastern Assam. Little grandeur is evident today, the chief relics being some curious, toadstool-shaped pil…HINDU TEMPLE IN UDAIPUR
The red-painted Tripura Sundari Mandir is a Kali temple dating to 1501 where pilgrims come to be showered with the blessings of the Hindu mother goddess. Even more people come here during Kali Puja (October/November…HINDU TEMPLE IN AGARTALA
One of Agartala’s most prominent Hindu temples, this shrine is dedicated to Narayan, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, and the goddess Laxmi. The imposing structure flanks the main entrance to the Ujjayanta Palace, and ther…LAKE IN SHILLONG
The central landscaping element of colonial-era Shillong, this attractive lake has a pretty ornamental bridge, adjacent flower beds and manicured lawns, courting couples, boating facilities and gaggles of geese.CHURCH IN AIZAWL
The Salvation Army Temple, built in 1981, has endearingly complex bell chimes on the hour that can be heard from some distance when not drowned out by the city hubbub. Its tall white Gothic-inspired exterior is wort…PARK IN SHILLONG
Walk 2km northeast of Police Bazar to stroll the rolling meadows of Shillong Golf Course, bordered by pine trees and overlooked by a pretty clubhouse. You’re free to roam the far extent of the greens (Sts Peter &…HINDU TEMPLE IN GUWAHATI
The red-coloured Ugratara Mandir was built in 1725 to enshrine the spot where the goddess Sati’s navel is believed to have fallen when her distraught husband Shiva scattered pieces of her body across the subcontinen…BUDDHIST TEMPLE IN ITANAGAR
The small, brightly painted Siddhartha Vihar, and an equally colourful stupa, stand in peaceful gardens on a little hill towards the east end of town, near the State Museum – a tranquil respite from the din along th…HINDU TEMPLE IN GUWAHATI
The temple complex sits on a small forested island, accessed by a 15-minute ferry ride from Umananda Ghat. Many visitors feel that the Shiva temple, which sits atop the island, is less interesting than the boat ride…CHURCH IN GUWAHATI
The pretty, half-timbered Christ Church, with pointed, wood-framed windows, is one of Northeast India’s oldest churches, founded in 1844. Rebuilt twice after earthquakes in 1856 and 1897, it was most recently renova…HISTORIC BUILDING IN SHILLONG
The centrally located Pinewood Hotel is a 1920s tea-growers’ retreat that is particularly representative of colonial-era architecture. It’s now a state-government-run hotel and you can drop in for tea or a drink in …CHURCH IN SHILLONG
The Presbyterian Church, perched above Police Bazar, is a graceful structure in whose grounds stands a statue of Thomas Jones, the still-revered Welsh missionary who brought Christianity and literacy to the Khasi pe…BUDDHIST MONASTERY IN MECHUKA
A small monastery overlooking the valley from the hillside on the south side of Mechuka, Samden Choeling makes for an enjoyable 1km walk from the town centre. Particularly nice at sunrise or sunset.MUSEUM IN MAJULI ISLAND
At the Auniati satra (5km west of Kamalabari) you can visit a little museum of Ahom royal artefacts, collected here thanks to the Ahom kings’ support of Vaishnavism and visits to Majuli.PARK IN GUWAHATI
Between the riverbank and Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Rd in Uzanbazar, this sliver of peaceful, tree-shaded park is police patrolled and particularly popular with courting couples around sunset.HINDU TEMPLE IN AGARTALA
Standing on the eastern boundary-road of the Ujjayanta Palace’s lakes, this Hindu shrine sees a steady flow of pilgrims through the day. Ask for permission before taking photographs.MUSEUM IN AALO
Next to the Circuit House is an informative little district museum showcasing bits and pieces of local tribal culture in the form of artefacts. It also sells a few books.ARCHITECTURE IN GUWAHATI
A charming piece of colonial-era architecture, this two-storey house, built in 1922, now holds the offices of the Foundation for Social Transformation.GATE IN GUWAHATI
This arched construction on the Brahmaputra was built to welcome British viceroy Lord Northbrook when he arrived by river steamer from Kolkata in 1874.CHURCH IN SHILLONG
The 1902 All Saints’ Cathedral would look perfect pictured on a biscuit tin.PARK IN GUWAHATI
A pleasant space for strolling tree-shaded pathways.NOTABLE BUILDING IN GUWAHATI
The old courthouse, with its distinctive beehive dome, has been replaced by the very similar new High Court diagonally across the road.PLANETARIUM IN GUWAHATI
The Guwahati Planetarium looks like a cross between a mosque and a UFO and has two shows in English per day.MARKET IN GUWAHATI
A busy commercial area for sundry objects and rations in Old Guwahati.HINDU TEMPLE IN GUWAHATI
This is a Nepal-style Hindu temple in the Paltan Bazar area.HINDU TEMPLE IN GUWAHATI
Hindu temple near the river in Uzanbazar.GATE IN SHILLONG
An entrance to Ward’s Lake.GATE IN SHILLONG
An entrance to Ward’s Lake.
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