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The Unexplored Seven Sister States Of India

Ever-wandering Indian travelers go all out to explore the length and breadth of this vast country. From Kashmir in the north to Kanyakumari in the south, they travel extensively to experience the natural and cultural uniqueness of every region. But, hardly does northeastern India figure in their list. Why so? Is it that the region is not easily accessible or that it does not get its due share of publicity to create enough awareness among travelers?

No wonder, compared to any other part of the country, northeast India still remains an unexplored tourist destination. Teeming wildlife, acres of tea estates, spellbinding hill stations with their natural beauty and serenity, and the people with unique culture make the region an awe-inspiring destination to visit in a lifetime.

The northeastern India is comprised of seven different sister states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. The region is relatively well developed and easily accessible by road, train and air. Hotels and resorts located around different tourist spots make for comfortable and relaxing accommodation, much of which can be booked online or over the phone. Most of the hotels and shops accept credit cards and online payments.

Listed below are some of the most popular destinations which you can list down on your bucket, during your trip to northeast.

1. Kaziranga National Park: One of the most popular tourist destinations in northeastern India is Kaziranga National Park. Spread across Nagaon and Golaghat districts of Assam, Kaziranga is home to nearly 2401 rhinos, comprising of 1,651 adult rhinos, 294 sub-adults, 251 juveniles and 205 cubs. Tourists from various places visit Assam to witness the beauty of single-horned rhinos—a species found only in this part of the world. Not only that, the park is also home to a large population of tigers, elephants, wild buffalo and other wild animals. Spread across 430 square km, the park was established in 1908. In 2006, Kaziranga was also declared as a tiger reserve and now has a total of 118 tigers.

2. The journey to Mawlynnong: This place takes the pride of being the cleanest village of Asia. The hamlet provides a unique culture of ecological preservation for the rest of the world to follow. Located in the East Khasi Hills district of the Meghalaya, Mawlynnong is popular for its cleanliness and natural beauty. Its beauty is truly rejuvenating. As per the census, the village has a population of around 500. People here don’t just take interest in keeping their houses clean, but also take initiative in keeping their surroundings clean and planting trees. The village makes its own manure. If you are in the village, don’t miss the sky view, where you can catch the beautiful birds coming from Bangladesh and India. A perfect greenland without any pollution, Mawlynnong is the place where you will love to spend few days of the year. Once you reach Shillong, book a cab to the magnificent land. You can also drive to the village from there but make sure that you have your driving license, car insurance and other documents handy.

3. Ever Raining Cherrapunjee: Known as the wettest place on the Earth, Cherrapunjee is famous for its perennial rains. The place holds the all-time record for the most rainfall in a calendar month and in a year. Located in the state of Meghalaya, Cherrapunjee is a place to visit if you want to be surrounded by misty clouds. Travelers who visit Cherrapunjee can also plan to visit Garden of Caves, David Scott Memorial Stone, Kynrem falls and Nohkalikai falls.

Situated around 6 Kms from Cherrapunjee, yet another place to visit is Mawsmai caves. It's one of the longest limestone caves in Meghalaya, but only 150 meters is accessible for tourists. As a magnificent natural wonder, it is formed by natural underground water flow for centuries. The cave attracts many adventure lovers with its unique stalactites and stalagmites formations in various forms, shapes and sizes. Nohkalikai falls and Seven Sisters falls are the other attractions in the vicinity. The monsoon season is the best time to visit the Seven Sisters waterfalls when the water runs to its fullest, and one has to behold the serenity palpable all around the place.

4. The Kamakhya Temple: Kamakhya is one of the most famous temples in the northeast that is one among 51 'Shakti Peethas', spread all across India. Located on the Nilachal Hill—a hillock standing at the banks of river Brahmaputra, Kamakya is visited by hundreds of thousands of devotees every year, who offer prayers to the temple deity–Sati and seek her blessings.

5. The Serene Tezu: Located in the beautiful Mishmi Hills of Arunachal Pradesh, Tezu is a small hill town known for its pristine lake. The holy lake is revered among Hindus as ‘Parashuram Kund’, where thousands of devotees coming from various parts of the country take a dip every year to absolve of their sins. Hindus believe that a dip in the holy lake purifies the soul. The lake is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the town. Apart from the holy lake and exotic hills, the hamlet offers several scenic places to the tourist where adventure lovers can enjoy adventure activities like river rafting, camping, angling and fishing. Surrounded by virgin forests and beautiful rivers, Tezu offers unmatched opportunity to the tourists to indulge in nature trails. The place is also exhilarating for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

6. The Magnificent Elephant Falls: Around 12km from Shillong, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions. Also known as 'Ka Kshaid Lai Patang Khoh Siew' or three steps waterfalls by the local Khasi people, the Elephant falls actually consists of three sections, one after another. The strong gushing sound of water from the falls offers soothing calmness to the mind and body. During the British rule, the fall was renamed to Elephant fall because of a rock at the side of the main falls that used to resemble an elephant. The flow of water here is mesmerizing, which leaves the surroundings with a relaxing sound of waterfall. If you plan to visit Meghalaya during your trip to northeast, Elephant falls must be in your list of places to visit.

7. Manipur’s Jagoi dance: The cultural dance form of northeastern state of Manipur is known Manipuri or Jagoi. Though there are several varieties of Jagoi dance form, Raslila and Pung Cholom are the primary ones. Jagoi is famous for its costume, makeup, elegant moves and aesthetic styles. Ras lila is most popular form of the dance, which depicts love between Krishna and the Gopis. The dance form is very graceful, and must be witnessed in its original form when you visit Manipur.

8. World War II Museum at Kohima: The museum, located at the heart of The Kohima city, gives a wide-angled view of the war history at the north eastern boarder state of Mizoram. The museum showcases heritage artifacts and illustrations from the battle between the allied forces and the Japanese. In the battle, Indian soldiers from Mizoram fought under British army alongside the allied forces. The museum welcomes tourists from all over India with its tribal architecture and art galleries. Kohima is a beautiful place to visit during your northeast trip. Some of the tourist attractions here are: Khonoma village, Japfu Park, Kohima War Cemetery and Kisama heritage village. The Kohima war cemetery is a memorial dedicated to the Indian soldiers who died during the second world war.

9. Mystical Mayong: This place still remains a mystic for the travelers. It is believed that son of Hidimba and Bhima—Hotchka—used his magical powers to defeat kaurava army. Though not very popular, Mayong is India’s own land of black magic and occult. Situated at the banks of Brahmaputra, the people of this place take pride in using magical powers to cure illness and taking out the negative energy from the nature. The shrouded mystic lures visitors to experience it for themselves. Visitors can travel to Guwahati by flight or train and then travel by road for 40 km to reach Mayong.

10. Talatal Ghar: Built by Ahom Kings, Talatal Ghar is around 15 Kms away from Sibsagar town. From the town center, you can hire an auto rickshaw and reach the destination without any hassle. The Talatal Ghar is an ancient building made with all natural materials, which stands as a testimony to traditional Assamese house building skills. The structures were built nearly 1000 years back, and they still stand intact today in the same glory of the past. Talatal Ghar has a tunnel which connects to Sibsagar pond.

Like this, there are many other places in and around northeast that offer astounding view of nature in its purest form. So, as soon as you plan to visit northeast, book your air tickets. Don't forget to take advantage of the accumulated reward points in your credit card. Plan your vacation well in time. If you don't already hold a credit card, apply for a credit card that best suits your travel needs.

And finally, don’t forget to buy a Naga shawl on your way back home, as it will forever remind you of the tranquility you would have experienced during your trip to the mystical land of northeastern India.....