Explore the Seven Sisters of Northeast India
Most of us may be ignorant towards the scintillating beauty of what lies hidden in the North East part of India and many of us may not consider it to be a part of our country but this doesn’t change the fact the seven sisters are as much part of our country as any other state and their culture is as much ours as it is theirs. Speaking of the scenic beauty, I am sure it will fail thousands of other beauty spots from all around the country. Let us open the fairytale book and have a glimpse inside the magical land of North East India.
What makes the seven sisters?Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, and Tripura together makes the seven sisters of India which is also known as “Unexplored Paradise”. Touristically speaking, these sisters pave the way for the avid travelers to explore the hidden hills, valleys, and green lands of the country. Politically, it lies ignorant not only from the rest of India but from the development perspective as well.
Have a look at historyThe seven sisters were added and recognized as an integral part of the country very recently and much later after the independence of India. Assam, which is the elder most sister of the seven, was a self-governed state until the independence of India. It became an Indian state on 15 August 1947. The four states were carved out from the flesh of Assam, which are Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. Nagaland became a separate state on 1 December 1963 when the Naga people reached out for the Indian government to declare them as an independent state. Meghalaya became an independent state in the year 1972, and Shillong which was until then the capital of Assam was made the capital of the new born state of Meghalaya. Mizoram was separated from Assam and declared Union territory in 1972, but it was in the year 1987 then Mizoram was given the statute of an Indian state owing to a Mizoram Peace Accord. Arunachal Pradesh, just as Mizoram, AP was declared a Union Territory in 1972 and later in 1987 became an independent state. Manipur was a princely state under the British Raj. It was a Union territory with a democratic rule but under the domain of Maharaja until 1956. It was last of the independent state to be incorporated to the geographical boundaries of India in the year 1972. Tripura merged with India in 1949, it was a UT until 1956 and was declared an independent state in 1972.
Why is Sikkim not a part of ‘Seven Sisters’?Fondly known as the only brother of Seven Sisters there are various reasons why it was given this name. Sikkim was the last state to join the Indian terrain in the year 1975. Geographically speaking, Sikkim does not touch the state boundary of any of the Seven states, hence lies distinguished from the sisters' play. Politically speaking, The Chicken’s neck or the Siliguri corridor, which is a trade maker of India to the North-East India does not help in the trade with the Sikkim. Hence, Sikkim was kept away for long. Diplomatically speaking, Sikkim became the part of North East in the year 2002 by then the other seven sisters were already formed and hence the title of seven sisters was already taken. However, they missed a brother and to make Sikkim an integral part of the Northeast, they took it as their younger brother.
Exploring the North Eastern StatesUndoubtedly, the Northeast India is abundant in culture, nature, and traditions and hence is a huge attraction magnet for the tourists from all around the world. Let us brief you about the each member of the Seven Sisters to help you know the region better. Planning to visit the North East India? 45 days is the minimum of what you can give to explore the beauty of NorthEast India. However, it will only allow you to visit the main location of the state. To travel the whole Northeast India in the best way possible, you must give it at least 2 months and a huge amount from the bank account as well.
Permits required to travel around the regionIndian citizens require the Inner Line Permits to travel to some of the parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram. You can get these permits from the government of the respective states from the offices available at these cities: Kolkata, Dimapur, Guwahati and New Delhi. Foreign Nationals require to register themselves with the Foreign Registration Officer (FRO) within the 24 hours of their arrival in the Northeastern states. They also need a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to travel through the protected areas of the region.
ASSAMThe hot cup of tea that helps you kick off your day, there are great chances that it comes from the tea plantations in Assam. The home to the aromatic and endless tea gardens of India, Assam is also famous for its exquisite wildlife and flora. Assam is the most developed and easily accessible state of the Northeast India due to its prominent location as compared to its other siblings.Number of days required to explore Assam: 7-8 Days Places to visit in AssamGuwahati: On the banks of river Brahmaputra, the state’s most developed city is famous for Kaziranga National Park. The National Park houses tigers, elephants, and Indian one-horned rhinoceroses. Also visit the Assam State Museum, Kamakhya temple and Brahmaputra River Cruise.Jorhat: The Majuli island, the largest river island in the world is located in Johrat, which is the must visit the city. You can also visit the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, Cinnamora Tea Estate, Kakochang Waterfalls and Johrat Gymkhana ClubDigboi: The Asia’s first oil refinery and the second largest in the world is found in Digboi. Hence, it is the commercially developed region. You can go around the town to visit the historic museums and trek the panoramic hills.
NAGALANDNagaland has a rich history of World War II connected to it. Encompassed by the lush green hills, Nagaland is a home to a number of ancient tribes and hence the culture, traditions, and festivals are the major tourist attraction of the state apart from its natural beauty. Number of days required to explore Nagaland: 7-8 days Places to visit in NagalandKohima- The capital of Nagaland is definitely the best place to visit. There are a number of scenic landscapes and there is no dearth of history and culture as well. You can Dzukou Valley, Kohima State museum and war cemetery, Japfu peak, Pulebadze peak among others.Mon- A perfect blend of history and nature, Mon is a paradise for trekkers and with a number of places to give you a sneak-peek of the Nagaland culture, it is a place for the history seekers as well.Mokuchung- If you want to enjoy the culture and festivals of Nagaland, Mokuchung is the district where you will find the authentic tribes of Nagaland apart from the scenic hillocks.
MEGHALAYAThe land of Khasi hills, Meghalaya is famously known as ‘the abode of clouds’. The state separates Assam from Bangladesh with its enormous mountain ranges. It is the place where you find the living root bridges, the wettest region of the world, the cleanest village of Asia, the highest waterfall of the country and the exquisite culture. Aren’t the reasons enough to travel to Meghalaya soon? Number of days required to explore Meghalaya: 7-10 days Places to visit in Meghalaya Elephant falls- The enormous three-tier water cascade is a popular tourist destination in Shillong. The evening and the sunset are not to be missed.Nohkalikai Falls- Located amidst the majestic green Khasi hills, Nohkalikai falls is the highest waterfall in India falling from the enormous height of 1115 ft. Nohkalikai falls are located in Cherrapunji.Living root bridges- Also, visit the living root bridges in Cherrapunji which are naturally formed by the roots of trees.Mawlynnong village- The cleanest village in Asia is located in Cherrapunji and is definitely a must visit not only for its cleanliness but for its distinguished beauty.Laitlum Canyon- A great trekking spot for the avid trekkers with the splendid view, the Laitlum Canyon is a day trek of 4-5 hours in Shillong.
MANIPURManipur is a culturally rich state of North-east India. It is the birthplace of the Indian classical dance of Manipuri and the home to only floating lake in the country which is a marvel to witness. This region is famous for its blue hills and is often referred to as Switzerland of India. Number of days required to explore Manipur: 10-15 days Places to visit in Manipur Loktak lake- It is a natural wonder of the country. The lake has floating gardens that swamps all around the place and houses a large variety of species. It is one of a kind beauty to witness in Manipur.Imphal- The capital city of Manipur is famous for various places such as Kangla Fort, Red Hill Lokpachang, Manipur zoological gardens, Matai gardens and Sirohi National park.Ukhrul- You can enjoy the mesmerizing view of the blue hills, trekking, a number of waterfalls and the long stretch of grasslands. Khayang Peak, Shirui Kashung Peak are the highlights. You can also visit the Nilai Tea estate.Senapati- With 80% of the area covered in forests, one can trek the forest hills while witnessing the rich wildlife around the city. Other cities to visit: Chandel, Thoubal, Tamenglong.
ARUNACHAL PRADESHArunachal Pradesh is probably the most beautiful of the seven sisters. The tranquility, the snowy peaks and the clear rivers, Arunachal Pradesh doesn’t fail to impress its tourists with its beauty and with its hospitality as well. Number of days required to explore Arunachal Pradesh: 10-15 Places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh Bomdila- Welcoming you with its snow-covered landscapes, this place is surrounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges and offers the views of the Gorichen and Kangto Peaks.Tawang- The home to the second largest Tawang monastery of the world, it is the cultural capital of the state. You can enjoy the green meadows and the Indo-China border.Ziro- The unexplored valley is famous for its infinite green meadows and the famous Ziro Music festival.Tuting- Paradise for the nature lovers where you can challenge yourself with the number of scenic treks and untamed nature. The gushing rivers and the splendid mountains will leave you in awe here.
MIZORAMMizoram is home to 21 different peaks of the spectacular Himalayan ranges. The scenic beauty of this northeastern state is unmatchable. The culture and the festivals come as an extra advantage. Mizoram is also known for its vibrant handicrafts and authentic handlooms. Number of days required to explore Mizoram: 7-8 days Places to visit in MizoramAizawl- In the capital and the largest city of Mizoram, you will find the spectacular sceneries of mountains, pastures, and green lands. Visit the Aizawl state museum, Durtlang hill, and Tamdil Lake.Serchhip- This district of Mizoram is famous for its numerous waterfalls. Chhingpuii Thlan and Thenzawl Deer Park are the major tourist destinations of this region. The newly introduced paragliding sport amidst the green hills is another major attraction of the city.Lunglei- This place is most famous for its bridge naturally formed by the rock. The name in itself means the 'bridge of rocks'. Apart from this you can visit witness the exquisite wildlife in this region.
Pictures Credit: https://tripuratourismplaces.files.wordpress.comThe third smallest state in the country, Tripura is bordered by Bangladesh from three sides. This region of North-East lies mostly unexplored and hence it is the best place to experience the undisturbed beauty of nature. The state is brimming with the forest areas, the enormous hills, gorgeous valleys and beautiful waterfalls. A number of days required to explore Tripura: 5-7 Places to visit in TripuraAgartala: The state’s capital, Agartala is a perfect blend of nature, history, and culture Agartala habitats a number of tribes, ancient temples, and monuments. Ujjayanta Palace is the most famous tourist destination of Agartala.Dharmanagar: Again a place where you see the history blending with nature. You will find here the historic ruins and the old temples that speak highly of the history of Northeast India.Ambassa: The scenic Pilak Lake and the Neermahal palace are the main tourist attractions of Ambassa. You can also visit the Gumti wildlife sanctuary to explore the flora and fauna of the region.