The Seven Sister states, as Northeast India is fondly called, are bestowed with gorgeous green expanses, undulating hills and attractions that will tug at your heart!
LoKtak Lake, Manipur
When in Northeast India, visit the world’s only floating National Park-Keibul Lamjao at Loktak Lake in Manipur. This is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, famous for its circular floating swamps called phumdis (floating vegetation).
Loktak is an ancient lake with a crucial role in Manipur’s economy.Additionally, it serves as a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. The lake is surrounded by residences of fishermen who live in phumdis, also called phumshongs, which are a series of floating islands, exclusively found here. The islands that attract most visitors are Sendra and Phubala.
Grass carp, silver carp, anabas testudineus, mirror carp and Burmese flying barb are some of the fish species that can be found in this lake. There are over 233 species of flora to be explored here!
Majuli Island, Assam
Majuli is a lush green, pristine and pollution-free freshwater island in the Brahmaputra river, located at a distance of 50 km from the city of Jorhat in Upper Assam. Majuli is one idyllic heaven where you can roam around the rice paddies and have a view of the scenic villages around.
Majuli once held a Guinness World Record for being the world’s biggest river island, but it’s slowly being washed away by the fast-moving waters of the Brahmaputra river. Since the 16th century, the satras (monasteries dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu) here have been a sacred part of their culture. These are learning centres of neo-Vaishnavite philosophy. There are 22 satras here, the first of which was established in the 16th century by Sankaradeva, the father of Assamese culture.
Ferries are the only choice for reaching the island, and they operate only during the day.
Living root bridges, Meghalaya
Recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Living Root Bridges in Meghalaya are made of rubber tree roots, known as Ficus elastica tree. The single-decker and double-decker root bridges in Cherrapunji form the prime attractions for travellers. It is said that walking on the bridges brings you close to nature in the most special way possible.
The root bridges are extraordinarily strong and can support 50 or more people at a time. As they are alive and still growing, the bridges actually gain strength over time. Some of these bridges are over 500 years old, grow as long as 170 feet and soar 80 feet above the streams they cross. The village people still use some of the root bridges for daily commute.
Dzukou Valley, Nagaland
Famous for its multi-coloured flooring of flowers, Dzükou Valley is also known as “The Valley of Flowers of the Northeast”. It sits high amidst the clouds, looking gorgeous at the interstate boundary of Nagaland and Manipur. You can witness the beauty of the blooming flowers the most during the monsoon season, the most famous being dzukou lily.
The term dzukou is an Angami/Mao word meaning “cold water”, referring to the stream of ice-cold water flowing through the valley.
Dzükou Valley offers a lot more than just sightseeing. You can go for rock climbing or hiking during your stay there. The valley also has natural caves to be explored.
Primitive art in Tripura
Folk culture forms the backbone of Tripura’s traditions and lifestyle and is well reflected in their delicately rhythmic dance and singing forms. Unakoti, around 135 km from the state capital, Agartala, is a holy site in Kailasahar subdivision of Tripura.
The mountain edges that carry life-size rock carvings lure a lot of travellers. The hilly terrains are engraved with the images of Uma-Maheshwar, Vishnu, five-faced Shiva, Ganesha, Hanuman, and Ravana. It is believed that the archaeological wonder of this site dates back somewhere between the 7th and 9th centuries. The primitive murals, unrefined rock carvings and the natural beauty alongside the waterfall are a charm for the tourists.
Tawang, Arunachal pradesh
Located amidst the Eastern Himalayan ranges and perched at a height of over 10,000 ft above sea level, the town of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is famous for its 400-year-old monastery.
This monastery is a treasure trove of Tibetan Buddhist culture. The Parkhang Hall within the monastery has a library that houses a good collection of rare Buddhist manuscripts and thanka paintings (traditional Tibetan paintings on cloth). Apart from its religious importance, Tawang’s natural beauty is mesmeric too.
The food of Mizoram
The cuisine of Mizoram will tickle your taste buds in a way that you’ll crave for more of it. Mizo food has a perfect blend of North Indian and Chinese elements. It is this combination that gives it a unique taste. Mostly, the food preparations are non-vegetarian but vegetables in Mizo food are an integral component.
Bai, Vawksa Rep, Koat Pitha and Sanpiau are some of the dishes to look out for when you explore the capital city, Aizawl. There are few restaurants that serve authentic Mizo food today. To experience picturesque views with tantalising food, you must visit the Flavours of Mizoram food festival at the Ants Café.