India Travel

Best Places to Visit in North-East India

North-East India is a gem that remains hidden because all the focus is given to North and South India. But that does not make North-East any lesser a part of this country. In fact, when thinking about the diversity of India, these states play a significant role. Their culture and traditions are strikingly different than the ones observed in the central states.

The North-East India comprises of seven states: Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland and Assam. You will see more natural beauty in these states than anywhere else in the country. There are lots to see here, and I’m going to list some of the major highlights of North-East India.

1. Dzukou Valley, Manipur

If there is a paradise on earth, this valley has to be it.

It is located on the border of Manipur and Nagaland. Also known as the Valley of Flowers, this picturesque valley is like a piece of a child’s wildest dreams. After a lot of trekking through the rainforest, several bumpy ups and downs and following the trail, you will be rewarded with this beautiful haven. Every inch of these hills is covered with green grass. There is a mist always surrounding the hills, and the best part is that the valley is filled with flowers. There are flowers of every possible colour in there, and it’s a delight to watch.

In fact, the trekking is not even a bad part because, on the way, there are plenty of small waterfalls and streams to refresh your body and soul. This place has remained untouched by human technology in any manner, and it’s wonderful to experience this bliss.

There are two villages nearby, namely Zakhama and Viswema, from which you can start your trek. There is no shortage of accommodations because a lot of people visit this place. So don’t worry about trekking alone through the forest as there will probably be 30-40 people along with you.

It is a must-visit place.

2. Kaziranga National Park, Assam

One-horned rhoniceros
One-horned rhinoceros. Photo by Subharnab Majumdar

This National Park located in the hilly terrains of Assam has many distinctive features that set it apart from the other national parks of the country.

It is the only national park in India that preserves the dwindling species of the incredible one-horned rhinoceros. Apart from that, the park is also home to other endangered species like elephants and tigers. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you understand its significance now. You can opt for a safari through the park and marvel at the variety of flora and fauna present here.

If you plan to visit, make sure that you don’t come here from May to October as the park remains closed during this period due to heavy rainfall. If you would like to visit some the other famous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India, read Top 8 Natural Attractions of India.

3. Siang, Arunachal Pradesh

If river rafting appeals to you, then come over to Assam to have the most adrenaline-spiking time ever.

The best part about rafting in the Siang river is that the route and the landscapes are all untouched by human hands. There is no technological harassment done to nature in these parts, and your rafting experience will be made more incredible by the splendid scenery around you.

This place is so primal that tribals also live here. The Mishmi tribe are a friendly lot so you can have a good conversation with them to understand their lifestyle and oneness with nature.

It will surely be a great experience for you.

4. Kamakhya Temple, Guwahati

Situated atop the Nilachal Hills, Kamakhya Temple is of great significance for the Hindus. It is dedicated to the mother goddess Kamakhya. Hindus believe that she is the younger bride of Lord Shiv and the yielder of desires. Because of this, a large number of devotees come here every day, especially in the early morning, bringing sacrificial offerings for the goddess, usually goats. If you are someone like me who hates the animal sacrifice part, then don’t come here in the early morning.

Kamakhya Temple is associated with many mythological beliefs. The temple has a unique structure. It has a dome and cross-like structure.

It is one of the major tourist spot, both for Indians and foreigners. So don’t go back without paying a visit to this beautiful temple.

5. Agnigarh, Assam

There is no shortage of folklore and tales and in India and this rather strange site is an example of that.

The story has it that King Banasura’s daughter, Usha was madly in love with Lord Krishna’s grandson, Aniruddha. Her father disliked him and decided to isolate her so that they couldn’t meet. He locked her up in a hillock and named it Agnigarh which means House of Fire. It is believed that this name was given to the place to restrict the entry of anyone, especially the lover. But a funny, or an unbelievable part of the story is that Usha fell in love with Aniruddha in her dreams! That’s right.

But no matter what, this site is now a symbol of love in the North-East. It is almost like a North-Eastern Taj Mahal on the hills minus the monument.

With all this strangeness, don’t hesitate to visit Agnigarh because whether you believe in its significance or not, the scenery is impressive.

6. Umananda Temple, Guwahati

Fancy visiting a temple on an isolated island in the middle of the great Brahmaputra river? If yes, then get ready to travel to the Umananda Temple.

Located on the Peacock Island, this temple also has a religious importance. The island was named so because the British found it to resemble the peacock. The name Umananda is also religious. “Uma” is the another name of Shiv’s wife, Parvati and “Ananda” means happiness. People believe that Lord Shiv created this island for the happiness of his wife and he meditated here for some time. Thus, the temple was built.

It is the smallest inhabited riverine island in the world, and you can reach here from boats that are available on the banks. Get ready for this mysterious spiritual getaway.

7. Rang Ghar,  Assam

From a distance, it looks quite worn-out and old. But as you get closer, you can see its magnificent structure. Well, it’s not just any other ancient and ordinary building.

It is the oldest existing amphitheatre of Asia. It was used as a sports pavilion by the King and his nobles. Buffalo fights were a common sport in those days.

With a breathtaking background of forests, this small structure stands as strong as it did in the 18th century.

So go over and experience history.

By Merlin Chacko

Currently studying English Literature at Delhi University. Obsessed with Harry Potter and NOT Shakespeare. I believe that nothing nourishes the soul like books and travelling. Constantly amazed by the Indian culture and its history. Personally feel that the old forts and ruined palaces in India are almost magical.

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