Once upon a time, there was group of people
Bored by the same tourist spots
They roamed around in a ripple,
Trying to connect the dots.
Then someone called them,
“Listen missuses and the misters…
Have you heard about the seven sisters?”
Sounds like a good story? It surely is and it definitely can be yours. India is a magnificent country. Yes, you won’t give us any credit for that declaration but here is something to surprise you – there exists a huge area which is unexplored, exquisite and probably so surprising it almost seems surreal. It is called the North East India, popularly termed the seven sisters. The seven sisters, as the name suggests, are the seven states of Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram, while the only brother of the North Eastern India is Sikkim. The eight states have so much to offer that it can take an entire lifetime to explore them inside out. No amount of popular culture dosage and documentaries can provide you with a true picture of the North East, because it is so vast and yet so deep to experience.
So, if you are still pondering on the thought of visiting the North East, here are a few reasons to why you should stop thinking and start packing:
- Stay with the mountains and the valleys. Bollywood references, Ruskin Bond novels and tons of documentaries have been trying to explain the exquisite beauty of this region. Try it yourself, Google the mountains and valleys in North East India. Every single mountain, every single valley in the region is filled with greenery and a feeling of mystery surrounding them. The best part being, that most of these valleys including Pelling (Sikkim), Tawang & Ziro (Arunachal Pradesh), Dzouku Valley (Nagaland), Nathu La Pass (Sikkim) and Reiek Mountain (Mizoram) are so delicately beautiful and enormous, they seem like something just walked out of the Microsoft wallpaper collection! Yet they are obviously better than the wallpaper collection because you can do so much more than just staring at them.
North East India offers such a wide array of activities for travellers from all walks of life, that you may end up with paralysis of choice. Visiting the tea gardens and treks in North East should definitely be on the top of your lists, amongst all the other activities you can indulge into.
- Feel the colours of the culture. If green is the colour of the mountains, the colour of the culture here is – well, one cannot determine a single colour to represent the cultures here. North East India is so vividly populated that just by trying to understand the cultures present here, you can have an altogether different trip.
It all starts with the numerous tribal tours available throughout the states. Most of the travel packages have a few of such tours available; but, if you really want to experience the beauty, tear that map and the calendar and just take a free route to be with the real people inhabiting the states. Now, when you see the geographic and historic standing of the seven sisters (and the one brother) you will see why the populace here is so contrasting. There is Myanmar, China, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh covering the North East on all different sides. Each state, though interdependent, has its own culture and history. Result of all of this, is the dense population of over 200 tribes within the area – each following its own distinct traditions and culture. All so similar if you are standing at a distance and all so different, as you walk closer.
- Enjoy the wildlife. The natural beauty is one more feather in North East India’s hat. The states are blessed with geographic beauty and a beautiful climate throughout the Indian summers, making it an ideal escape for the working class dreamers. Want to experience it first hand? Why not go and greet the one horned rhinoceros in Kaziranga National Park in Assam! Or, see the living root bridges in Meghalaya! The more you explore, the more you want to get lost in the laps of nature, such is North East!
- Meet the people. The tribes are one part, the people living in the small villages and the towns and the monasteries are another treasure of the North East. The people here have taken a responsibility to keep their surroundings clean. Friendly and inviting nature of most of the locals is another treat. What else, go to the Jaintia Hills and see yourself immersed in the Western Music capital of India!
North East cannot be described in one article, movie or even a book. So do yourself a favour and visit the place.
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