40 Lesser known places in Northeast India that are a must visit this summer

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Northeast India is a hidden gem, often overlooked by travelers in favor of more popular destinations. However, this region offers a plethora of breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cultures, and unique experiences waiting to be explored. If you’re seeking an offbeat adventure this summer, look no further than Northeast India. In this article, we will delve into 40 lesser-known places in Northeast India that are an absolute must-visit. From picturesque hill stations to serene lakes and unexplored valleys, this region has it all. So pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable journey!

1. Mawlynnong – The Cleanest Village in Asia

Tucked away in the state of Meghalaya, Mawlynnong has earned the title of being the cleanest village in Asia. Its pristine streets, well-maintained gardens, and eco-friendly initiatives have made it a role model for sustainable living. Take a leisurely walk through the village, visit the living root bridge, and immerse yourself in the beauty of this idyllic place.

2. Majuli – The Largest River Island in the World

Nestled in the Brahmaputra River in Assam, Majuli is a paradise for nature lovers. It is the largest river island in the world and boasts lush greenery, serene backwaters, and a rich cultural heritage. Explore the ancient monasteries, witness traditional dance performances, and savor the local cuisine for a truly authentic experience.

3. Ziro Valley – Land of Apatani Tribes

Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh is a picturesque valley inhabited by the Apatani tribes. Surrounded by misty mountains and vibrant paddy fields, this valley offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city life. Trek through the pine forests, interact with the friendly locals, and witness the unique traditions of the Apatani people.

4. Dzukou Valley – The Valley of Flowers of the Northeast

Located on the border of Manipur and Nagaland, Dzukou Valley is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. During the summer months, the valley comes alive with a vibrant carpet of wildflowers, creating a breathtaking sight. Embark on a trek to the valley, camp under the starry sky, and witness the beauty of nature at its finest.

5. Tawang – Land of Monasteries and Natural Beauty

Situated in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang is renowned for its ancient monasteries and breathtaking landscapes. The Tawang Monastery, perched atop a hill, is one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in the world and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. Explore the nearby lakes, waterfalls, and snow-capped mountains for a truly awe-inspiring experience.

6. Laitlum Canyon – The Grand Canyon of Meghalaya

Often referred to as the Grand Canyon of Meghalaya, Laitlum Canyon offers mesmerizing views of the surrounding hills and valleys. The word “Laitlum” translates to “the end of hills,” and true to its name, the canyon provides a breathtaking glimpse into the vastness of nature. Take a leisurely walk along the cliff’s edge, soak in the panoramic vistas, and capture the perfect Instagram-worthy picture.

7. Dampa Tiger Reserve – A Haven for Wildlife Enthusiasts

Nestled in the state of Mizoram, the Dampa Tiger Reserve is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Spread across dense forests and rolling hills, the reserve is home to numerous species, including the Royal Bengal Tiger, Asian elephant, and Hoolock gibbon. Embark on a safari, spot rare animals and birds, and experience the thrill of being in the heart of the wilderness.

8. Mokokchung – The Land of Festivals

Located in Nagaland, Mokokchung is known as the cultural center of the state. The town comes alive with vibrant festivals throughout the year, showcasing the rich traditions and customs of the Ao tribe. Immerse yourself in the festive spirit, witness traditional dances and music, and get a glimpse into the vibrant cultural tapestry of Northeast India.

9. Khonoma – India’s First Green Village

Situated in Nagaland, Khonoma is India’s first green village. The village is known for its sustainable practices, including community-based conservation and organic farming. Explore the lush terraced fields, learn about the village’s eco-friendly initiatives, and interact with the warm and welcoming locals.

10. Shillong – The Scotland of the East

Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, is often referred to as the Scotland of the East. With its rolling hills, misty landscapes, and colonial charm, Shillong offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and urban vibrancy. Visit the iconic Elephant Falls, explore the bustling markets, and indulge in the local delicacies for a memorable experience.

11. Mechuka – A Hidden Gem in Arunachal Pradesh

Nestled in the Mechuka Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, Mechuka is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and glistening rivers, this remote valley offers a peaceful retreat away from the tourist crowds. Trek to the nearby hot springs, visit the ancient Buddhist monasteries, and experience the warm hospitality of the locals.

12. Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park – The Abode of Clouds

Located in Mizoram, Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The park is home to the highest peak in Mizoram, Phawngpui, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Trek to the summit, spot rare orchids and bird species, and soak in the serene atmosphere of this untouched wilderness.

13. Aizawl – The Capital City of Mizoram

Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram, is a vibrant blend of tradition and modernity. Explore the bustling markets, visit the unique Mizo villages, and indulge in the delectable Mizo cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the colorful Chawngbawlni Festival, celebrated with great enthusiasm by the locals.

14. Dibrugarh – Gateway to the Tea Gardens

Dibrugarh, located in Assam, is known as the gateway to the tea gardens of Northeast India. Take a tour of the tea estates, learn about the tea-making process, and savor a cup of freshly brewed Assam tea. The town is also dotted with beautiful temples and offers a serene environment for relaxation.

15. Zuluk – A Hidden Hamlet in Sikkim

Perched at an altitude of 10,000 feet, Zuluk is a hidden hamlet in the East Sikkim district. This offbeat destination offers stunning views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks and winding roads that are a delight for adventure seekers. Explore the nearby Thambi Viewpoint, witness the sunrise over the Kanchenjunga range, and immerse yourself inthe tranquility of this picturesque village.

16. Cherrapunjee – The Wettest Place on Earth

Cherrapunjee, also known as Sohra, holds the record for being the wettest place on Earth. Located in Meghalaya, this enchanting destination receives heavy rainfall throughout the year, resulting in lush green landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and living root bridges. Explore the mesmerizing Nohkalikai Falls, visit the famous Mawsmai Cave, and witness the unique natural phenomenon of the double-decker living root bridge.

17. Dzongu – Land of the Lepchas

Tucked away in North Sikkim, Dzongu is a secluded valley inhabited by the indigenous Lepcha community. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, pristine rivers, and dense forests, Dzongu offers a glimpse into the traditional way of life of the Lepcha people. Immerse yourself in their rich culture, partake in traditional rituals, and embark on scenic hikes to explore the untouched beauty of the region.

18. Ukhrul – The Land of the Tangkhul Naga Tribe

Ukhrul, located in Manipur, is known for its vibrant tribal culture and breathtaking landscapes. The town is predominantly inhabited by the Tangkhul Naga tribe, who are renowned for their colorful festivals and traditional handicrafts. Visit the picturesque Shirui Kashong Peak, witness the mesmerizing beauty of the Shirui Lily, and interact with the friendly locals to get a glimpse into their way of life.

19. Lunglei – The Bridge of Rock

Lunglei, meaning “bridge of rock,” is a town in Mizoram famous for its unique rock formations and scenic landscapes. The town offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills, deep gorges, and sprawling valleys. Explore the picturesque Khawnglung Wildlife Sanctuary, hike to the breathtaking Thanzawlhna Waterfall, and marvel at the stunning limestone formations at Khawnglung Cave for an unforgettable experience.

20. Bomdila – Gateway to the Himalayan Paradise

Bomdila, nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Arunachal Pradesh, serves as the gateway to the mesmerizing landscapes of the region. The town offers panoramic views of the snow-clad Himalayan peaks and lush green valleys. Visit the impressive Bomdila Monastery, explore the apple orchards, and take part in the local festivals to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the area.

21. Jampui Hills – The Orange Bowl of Mizoram

Located in Mizoram, Jampui Hills is renowned for its orange orchards and stunning viewpoints. The hills offer a pleasant climate and breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscapes. Witness the magnificent sunset at Vanghmun, indulge in delicious oranges, and experience the warm hospitality of the local tribes for a memorable stay.

22. Mawsynram – The Wettest Inhabited Place on Earth

Mawsynram, a village in Meghalaya, holds the title for being the wettest inhabited place on Earth. The village receives incredibly high rainfall, resulting in a surreal landscape of green meadows, misty hills, and cascading waterfalls. Explore the fascinating Mawjymbuin Cave, marvel at the sparkling Mawsmai Falls, and experience the unique charm of this rain-soaked village.

23. Jaintia Hills – Land of Underground Marvels

Jaintia Hills, located in Meghalaya, is a region known for its stunning underground marvels. The hills are home to numerous limestone caves, including the famous Krem Liat Prah and Krem Umthloo. Embark on an adventurous spelunking expedition, explore the mystical chambers, and witness the awe-inspiring stalactite and stalagmite formations.

24. Tura – Gateway to the Garo Hills

Tura, situated in Meghalaya, serves as the gateway to the Garo Hills. The town is blessed with natural beauty, including lush green landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and abundant wildlife. Visit the picturesque Tura Peak, explore the Nokrek National Park, and interact with the Garo tribes to delve into their rich cultural heritage.

25. Haflong – The Switzerland of the East

Haflong, also known as the Switzerland of the East, is the only hill station in Assam. Surrounded by blue hills, emerald lakes, and cascading waterfalls, Haflong offers a serene retreat amidst nature’s bounty. Enjoy boating in the enchanting Haflong Lake, trek to the panoramic viewpoints, and relish the local cuisine for a blissful experience.

26. Agartala – The Royal Heritage City

Agartala, the capital city of Tripura, is a place where history and culture come alive. Explore the grandeur of the Ujjayanta Palace, the former royal residence that now serves as a museum showcasing the state’s rich heritage. Visit the Neermahal Palace, situated on the tranquil Rudrasagar Lake, and witness the fusion of Mughal and Hindu architectural styles. Immerse yourself in the vibrant markets, sample delicious local delicacies, and witness the colorful festivals that reflect the diverse cultural tapestry of the region.

27. Dibru-Saikhowa National Park – A Biodiversity Hotspot

Located in Assam, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is a biodiversity hotspot renowned for its rich flora and fauna. Embark on a boat safari along the Brahmaputra River and explore the marshy wetlands, grasslands, and dense forests that provide a habitat for numerous endangered species. Spot the majestic Bengal tiger, Gangetic river dolphins, and flocks of migratory birds, making it a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers alike.

28. Mon – Land of the Konyak Tribe

Mon, situated in Nagaland, is known for its fascinating tribal culture and ancient traditions. The town is predominantly inhabited by the Konyak tribe, renowned for their headhunting history and distinctive facial tattoos. Visit the Angh’s House, the chief’s residence that reflects the traditional architecture of the tribe. Witness the Aoleang Monyu festival, celebrated with great pomp and show, and get a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Konyak people.

29. Namdapha National Park – A Wilderness Haven

Namdapha National Park, nestled in Arunachal Pradesh, is a true wilderness haven that encompasses diverse ecosystems, ranging from subtropical rainforests to alpine meadows. Embark on a thrilling trek through the dense forests, spot elusive wildlife species like the clouded leopard and snow leopard, and marvel at the breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks. This park is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

30. Dzuleke – An Ecotourism Village

Dzuleke, located in Nagaland, is an idyllic village known for its sustainable ecotourism initiatives. Surrounded by lush green forests and picturesque landscapes, the village offers a unique opportunity to experience the traditional way of life of the Angami Naga tribe. Engage in community-based activities, learn about the village’s conservation efforts, and embark on nature trails to witness the incredible biodiversity of the region.

31. Pelling – Gateway to the Kanchenjunga

Pelling, nestled in the West Sikkim district, serves as the gateway to the majestic Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. The town offers stunning views of the snow-capped mountains, including the mesmerizing Kanchenjunga Range. Explore the Pemayangtse Monastery, known for its intricate Buddhist sculptures, and take a peaceful walk to the Khecheopalri Lake, considered sacred by the locals. Pelling is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

32. Tuophema – A Cultural Retreat

Tuophema, situated in Nagaland, is a cultural retreat that offers an immersive experience in Naga tribal traditions and customs. Stay in traditional Naga-style huts, participate in craft workshops, and savor authentic Naga cuisine prepared by the locals. Engage in village walks, interact with the villagers, and witness cultural performances to gain insights into the vibrant heritage of the region.

33. Ravangla – The Land of Mist and Mountains

Ravangla, located in South Sikkim, is a serene hill station renowned for its misty landscapes and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Visit the Buddha Park, home to the majestic statue of Buddha, and witness the serene ambiance of the monasteries scattered throughout the town. Embark on a nature walk to explore the verdant forests, colorful orchids, and cascading waterfalls that adorn the region.

34. Loktak Lake – The Floating Paradise

Loktak Lake, situated in Manipur, is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and home to the unique floating phumdis (heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matter). Take a boat ride on the lake, visit the Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is home to the endangered Manipur brow-antlered deer, and witness the vibrant birdlife that thrives in the wetlands. Loktak Lake offers a tranquil and picturesque setting for nature enthusiasts.

35. Mokokchung – The Land of Festivals

Located in Nagaland, Mokokchung is known as the cultural center of the state. The town comes alive with vibrant festivals throughout the year, showcasing the rich traditions and customs of the Ao tribe. Immerse yourself in the festive spirit, witness traditional dances and music, and get a glimpse into the vibrant cultural tapestry of Northeast India.

36. Khonoma – India’s First Green Village

Situated in Nagaland, Khonoma is India’s first green village. The village is known for its sustainable practices, including community-based conservation and organic farming. Explore the lush terraced fields, learn about the village’s eco-friendly initiatives, and interact with the warm and welcoming locals.

37. Shillong – The Scotland of the East

Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya, is often referred to as the Scotland of the East. With its rolling hills, misty landscapes, and colonial charm, Shillong offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and urban vibrancy. Visit the iconic Elephant Falls, explore the bustling markets, and indulge in the local delicacies for a memorable experience.

38. Mechuka – A Hidden Gem in Arunachal Pradesh

Nestled in the Mechuka Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, Mechuka is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and glistening rivers, this remote valley offers a peaceful retreat away from the tourist crowds. Trek to the nearby hot springs, visit the ancient Buddhist monasteries, and experience the warm hospitality of the locals.

39. Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park – The Abode of Clouds

Located in Mizoram, Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The park is home to the highest peak in Mizoram, Phawngpui, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Trek to the summit, spot rare orchids and bird species, and soak in the serene atmosphere of this untouched wilderness.

40. Aizawl – The Capital City of Mizoram

Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram, is a vibrant blend of tradition and modernity. Explore the bustling markets, visit the unique Mizo villages, and indulge in the delectable Mizo cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the colorful Chawngbawlni Festival, celebrated with great enthusiasm by the locals.

Embark on a journey to these lesser-known places in Northeast India and discover the hidden treasures that await you. Immerse yourself inthe rich cultural tapestry, soak in the natural beauty, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Northeast India offers a unique and offbeat travel experience that is sure to leave you spellbound. So, pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready to explore these 40 lesser-known places in Northeast India that are a must-visit this summer.

FAQs about Northeast India

Q: What is the best time to visit Northeast India?

A: The best time to visit Northeast India is generally from October to May when the weather is pleasant and suitable for outdoor activities. However, certain regions like Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim may have different climatic conditions, so it’s advisable to check the specific region’s weather before planning your trip.

Q: Are permits required to visit Northeast India?

A: Yes, certain areas in Northeast India, especially the restricted border areas, require permits for entry. It is recommended to check with the respective state governments or consult a travel agent for information regarding permits and the necessary documentation.

Q: Is it safe to travel to Northeast India?

A: Yes, Northeast India is generally considered safe for travelers. However, like any other destination, it is always advisable to take necessary precautions, stay informed about the local customs and traditions, and respect the local culture.

Q: What are some popular traditional dishes of Northeast India?

A: Northeast India is known for its diverse and delectable cuisine. Some popular traditional dishes include momos (steamed dumplings), thukpa (noodle soup), bamboo shoot curry, smoked pork, fish tenga (sour fish curry), and pitha (rice cakes).

Q: Can I explore multiple states in Northeast India during a single trip?

A: Yes, it is possible to explore multiple states in Northeast India during a single trip. However, due to the geographical terrain and varying infrastructures, it is advisable to plan your itinerary accordingly and allocate sufficient time for each destination.

Q: How can I reach Northeast India?

A: Northeast India is well-connected by air, rail, and road networks. Major cities like Guwahati, Imphal, and Agartala have airports with regular flights. The region is also accessible by train, with railway stations in various cities. Additionally, several national highways connect Northeast India with the rest of the country, allowing for road travel.

Conclusion

Northeast India is a treasure trove of hidden gems, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant cultures, and warm hospitality. From the cleanest village in Asia to the largest river island in the world, this region is full of surprises waiting to be explored. So, if you’re seeking an offbeat adventure this summer, make sure to include these 40 lesser-known places in Northeast India on your travel bucket list. Get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime and create unforgettable memories in this enchanting corner of the country.

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