Planning Your Perfect North East Trip: Tips, Destinations, and More
The northeastern states of India, collectively known as the “Seven Sisters,” along with the state of Sikkim, constitute a region of unparalleled natural beauty and cultural diversity. Nestled amidst the majestic Himalayas, lush green hills, pristine rivers, and dense forests, these states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Sikkim – offer a unique and enchanting experience for travelers. The tourism in these states is characterized by its unspoiled landscapes, vibrant traditions, and warm hospitality of the indigenous tribes. Each state boasts its own distinct cultural heritage, from the colorful festivals of Manipur to the tranquil tea gardens of Assam and the living root bridges of Meghalaya. Adventure enthusiasts can explore the challenging trekking trails, while wildlife lovers can discover diverse fauna in the national parks.
How to reach Assam?
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati is the major airport serving the state, with regular flights from major cities in India. Guwahati, the largest city in Assam, is also a major railway hub, making train travel a convenient option. National highways and well-maintained roads facilitate road trips to Assam from neighboring states.
Best Time to Visit Assam:
The best time to visit Assam is during the winter months, from November to March, when the weather is pleasant and suitable for exploring the picturesque landscapes. This period allows travelers to enjoy the lush tea gardens, wildlife sanctuaries, and cultural festivals without the hindrance of heavy rainfall, which is common during the monsoon season.
Major Tourist Places in Assam:
- Kaziranga National Park
- The Kamakhya Temple,
- Rang Ghar and the Talatal Ghar,
- Tea estates of Assam, especially in places like Jorhat and Dibrugarh
Foods to Eat in Assam:
Assam’s culinary delights are a treat for food enthusiasts. Assamese cuisine is characterized by its use of rice, fish, and various herbs and greens. Must-try dishes include Assam Laksa, a tangy and flavorful noodle soup, Masor Tenga, a sour fish curry made with tomatoes and lemon, and Aloo Pitika, a mashed potato dish infused with mustard oil and herbs.
For dessert, indulge in Pitha, traditional Assamese sweets made during festivals. Also, do not miss the opportunity to savor the region’s aromatic Assam tea, renowned globally for its unique flavor and fragrance, which you can enjoy in the serene ambiance of a local tea garden.
How to reach Arunachal Pradesh?
The state is well-connected by road, and travelers can access Arunachal Pradesh via Assam. Tezpur in Assam serves as a gateway to Arunachal Pradesh. From Tezpur, one can take a scenic road trip through the hills to reach destinations like Itanagar, the state capital, and other prominent towns and attractions within Arunachal Pradesh.
Best Time to Visit Arunachal Pradesh:
The best time to visit Arunachal Pradesh is during the spring and autumn months, from March to October. The weather is pleasant, and the region’s natural beauty, including its lush forests, blooming flowers, and clear skies, is at its most enchanting.
Major Tourist Places in Arunachal Pradesh:
- Sela Pass
- Ziro Valley,
- Namdapha National Park
Foods to Eat in Arunachal Pradesh:
A culinary delight for visitors, the cuisine includes dishes like Thukpa, a flavorful noodle soup, and Momos, delicious steamed dumplings filled with meat or vegetables, often served with fiery chili sauce. Bamboo Shoot Curry, a traditional delicacy, highlights the region’s use of local ingredients. Smoked Pork, a staple in Arunachal Pradesh, is marinated and smoked to perfection, offering a unique and smoky flavor. Additionally, don’t miss trying Chura Sabzi, a delectable dish made with fermented soybeans, offering a delightful combination of taste and texture.
How to Reach Manipur?
Manipur is accessible primarily by air, rail, and road. Imphal, the capital city, has Tulihal Airport, which is well-connected to major cities in India. The airport serves as the main gateway for travelers visiting Manipur by air. Alternatively, Manipur is well-linked by rail, with Dimapur in Nagaland being the nearest major railway station. Travelers can also opt for road transport, enjoying scenic routes from neighboring states, especially Assam.
Best Time to Visit Manipur:
The best time to visit Manipur is during the winter season, from October to March. During these months, the weather is cool and pleasant, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. T Avoid the monsoon season (June to September) due to heavy rainfall that might disrupt travel plans and outdoor exploration.
Major Tourist Places in Manipur:
- Loktak Lake,
- Kangla Fort
- Andro Village,
- Shree Govindajee Temple
- Ima Keithel (Mother’s Market)
Foods to Eat in Manipur:
A popular dish is Eromba, a tangy and spicy curry made with fermented fish, bamboo shoots, and various vegetables. Iromba with Morok Metpa, a combination of Eromba with spicy green chili chutney, is a local favorite. Manipuri Thali, a traditional meal served on a brass plate, includes rice, fish curry, vegetable sides, and chutneys, providing a comprehensive taste of Manipuri cuisine. Chamfoot, a meat dish cooked with spices and herbs, and Singju, a crunchy salad made with seasonal vegetables, are also beloved dishes. Don’t forget to try Chingam (black gram pancakes) and Paaknam, a sweet dish made with rice flour and jaggery, for a delightful dessert experience
How to Reach Tripura?
The state’s capital, Agartala, is served by Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport, connecting it to major cities in India. Agartala Railway Station is well-linked to important railheads, offering a scenic journey through the region. Tripura is also accessible by well-maintained road networks, making it possible to travel from neighboring states.
Best Time to Visit Tripura:
The best time to visit Tripura is during the winter months, from October to March. The weather during this period is pleasant, making it conducive for sightseeing and exploring the state’s attractions. The monsoon season (June to September) brings lush greenery but also heavy rainfall, which might disrupt travel plans. It is advisable to avoid this period due to potential inconveniences caused by the rain.
Major Tourist Places in Tripura:
- Ujjayanta Palace
- Tripura Sundari Temple
- The Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary
- The Unakoti Hill,
Foods to Eat in Tripura:
Mui Borok, a traditional Tripuri dish, consists of fermented bamboo shoot, fish, and pork, creating a unique and tangy taste. Wahan Mosdeng, a fiery chutney made from green chilies, adds spice to meals and is a favorite accompaniment. Mui Borok Wak, a dish made with smoked pork and bamboo shoot, is a culinary delight for meat lovers. Additionally, Bwtwi, a Tripuri dessert made with jaggery and rice flour, and Chakhwi, a spicy curry made with fish and bamboo shoot, are must-try dishes, providing a rich taste of Tripura’s culinary heritage.
How to Reach Meghalaya?
The nearest major airport is Shillong Airport in Umroi, connecting the state to major cities in India. Guwahati, in neighboring Assam, has a major railway station, and from there, travelers can hire a cab or take a bus to reach Meghalaya. The state is well-connected by road
Best Time to Visit Meghalaya:
The best time to travel Meghalaya is during the post-monsoon and winter months, from September to May. The period after the monsoon season offers lush greenery, blooming flowers, and clear skies, It’s advisable to avoid the heavy monsoon months (June to August) due to frequent rainfall, which might hinder travel plans.
Major Tourist Places in Meghalaya:
- Mawswami Caves
- Laitlum Canyon
- Nohkalikai Falls
- The Double Decker Living Root Bridge in Nongriat Village
- Don Bosco Museum
- Dawki River
- Shnonpdeng Campaing
Foods to Eat in Meghalaya:
Jadoh, a traditional Khasi dish, combines rice, meat (often pork), and aromatic spices, creating a flavorful main course. Doh Khleh, a pork salad made with shredded meat, onions, and spices, is a popular delicacy. Pumaloi, a sticky rice cake, and Pukhlein, a sweet pancake made with jaggery, are delightful desserts.
How to reach Mizoram?
The state’s capital, Aizawl, is served by Lengpui Airport, connecting Mizoram to major cities in India. Silchar in neighboring Assam is the nearest railway station, and from there, travelers can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Mizoram. The state is well-connected by road, offering scenic routes and allowing visitors to enjoy the picturesque landscapes on the way to their destinations.
Best Time to Visit Mizoram:
The best time to visit Mizoram is during the winter months, from October to March. The weather during this period is cool and pleasant, making it ideal for exploring the state’s attractions. This season allows travelers to enjoy the vibrant cultural festivals and the scenic beauty of Mizoram’s hills and valleys. Avoid the monsoon months (June to September) due to heavy rainfall, which might cause landslides and disrupt travel plans.
Major Tourist Places in Mizoram:
- Durtlang Hills,
- Mizoram State Museum
- Vantawng Falls
- Reiek Tlang, a stunning hill offering hiking trails and panoramic views, is a perfect destination for nature lovers.
Foods to Eat in Mizoram:
Mizoram’s cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors, featuring locally grown ingredients and aromatic spices. Bai, a traditional Mizo dish, combines meat, bamboo shoots, and local herbs, creating a rich and flavorful stew. Bamboo Shoot Pork Curry, a staple in Mizo households, is a savory dish cooked with bamboo shoots, pork, and spices. Zawlaidi, a popular Mizo dessert, is made with rice, sugar, and coconut milk, offering a sweet and creamy indulgence. Don’t miss the opportunity to try Baih-ka, a bamboo-pipe cooked dish that combines meat, bamboo shoots, and spices, resulting in a unique and aromatic delicacy.
How to Reach Nagaland?
The state capital, Kohima, is served by Dimapur Airport, which connects Nagaland to major cities in India. From Dimapur, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Kohima or other destinations within the state. Nagaland is well-connected by road, offering picturesque journeys through the hills, and buses and taxis are the primary modes of inter-city travel within the state.
Best Time to Visit Nagaland:
The best time to visit Nagaland is during the winter months, from November to February. The weather during this period is pleasant, making it ideal for exploring the state’s attractions and attending festivals. The Hornbill Festival, held in December, is a major cultural event showcasing the rich traditions of Nagaland’s tribes. It’s advisable to avoid the monsoon season (June to September) due to heavy rainfall, which might cause landslides and disrupt travel plans.
Major Tourist Places in Nagaland:
- Dzukou Valley
- Japfu Peak
- Hornbill Festival
- Nagaland Zoological Park
- Tuophema Village
Foods to Eat in Nagaland:
Nagaland’s cuisine is renowned for its bold flavors and exotic ingredients. Smoked Pork with Bamboo Shoot, a classic Naga dish, combines tender smoked pork with bamboo shoots and indigenous spices, offering a unique and aromatic taste. Axone, fermented soybean chutney, is a popular condiment served with various dishes. Bamboo Steamed Fish, a delicacy where fish is marinated with local herbs and spices, is cooked inside bamboo tubes, imparting a distinct smoky flavor. Thüku, a spicy Naga hotpot, is prepared with meat, bamboo shoots, and fiery chilies, creating a fiery and flavorful stew. Additionally, Naga King Chili, one of the world’s hottest chilies, is a significant ingredient in many Naga dishes, adding a fiery kick to the local Cuisine.
How to reach Sikkim?
Sikkim, the tiny Himalayan state, is well-connected by air, rail, and road. The nearest airport is Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal, which is approximately 124 kilometers away from Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. From the airport, one can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to reach Gangtok. The nearest major railway station is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) in Siliguri, which is well-connected to various cities in India. From NJP, travelers can hire a cab or take a scenic drive to Sikkim. Sikkim also has a good network of roads, making it accessible by buses and private vehicles from neighboring states.
Best Time to Visit Sikkim:
The best time to travel Sikkim is during the spring and autumn months, from March to June and September to November. During these periods, the weather is pleasant, and the skies are clear, offering excellent visibility of the majestic Himalayas. This is an ideal time for outdoor activities, sightseeing, and trekking. The monsoon season (July to August) should be avoided due to heavy rainfall, which can lead to landslides and road closures.
Major Tourist Places in Sikkim:
- Gurudongmar Lake
- Tsomgo Lake
- Nathula Pass
- Rumtek Monastery
- Yumthang Valley
Foods to Eat in Sikkim:
Sikkimese cuisine is diverse and flavorful, reflecting the state’s cultural diversity. Thukpa, a hearty noodle soup, and Momos, steamed dumplings filled with meat or vegetables, are popular and widely available. Phagshapa, a pork dish cooked with radishes and dried chillies, offers a spicy and aromatic experience. Gundruk and Sinki, fermented leafy greens and radishes respectively, are staple side dishes. Sikkim is also known for its variety of teas, with Temi Tea Garden producing some of the finest tea in the region. For a sweet treat, indulge in Sel Roti, a traditional Sikkimese sweet fried bread often served during festivals and special occasions.
Looking for North East tour packages?
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