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Earlier, northeast India was known as the land of the seven sisters - Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, and Manipur. Each state has its own unique history and culture, and for a traveler, the region is a repository of rare experiences. It’s fascinating that even many Indians from outside the northeast region know so little about the place. If you’ve traveled across India but have never visited the northeast, here are the reasons to do so.

Cultural Diversity of North East India

To make things easier, we refer to Northeast India as one entity. In reality, the region is wildly diverse, home to hundreds of different tribes. It is possible to explore the region for a lifetime and still barely scratch the surface of its cultural offerings.

The Nagas are fiercely proud people who live in bamboo villages in hilly areas spanning several states. Arunachal Pradesh is filled with Tibetan towns and villages perched precariously on the edges of mountains. In wet Meghalaya, the peaceful Khasi tribes act as forest guardians and protectors.

Eco-friendly destinations in North East India

For eco-conscious travelers in Northeast India, there are many eco-friendly destinations to choose from. Khonoma in Nagaland is an example where villagers banded together to stop unchecked deforestation. The village of Mawlynnong in Meghalaya was named the cleanest in Asia, and all guesthouses are made of bamboo. Arunachal Pradesh's Apatani tribe has developed its own unique sustainable farming methods. If you are a proponent of green travel, this is a must-see destination.

A rare and new experience for your Taste buds

The cuisines of the eight north-eastern states are entirely different from those of mainland India. The use of spices is kept to a minimum. Rather, fermented ingredients like soybeans and bamboo shoots add flavor to the dishes. Gordon Ramsay couldn't believe he was dining in India when he visited Nagaland. Nevertheless, it would be incorrect to classify the cuisine from this region as one entity because each state has its style of cooking.  Traveling to this part of the country will be a fascinating experience for gastronomes.

You can see what untouched Indian nature looks like

While the region may not be spotlessly clean - there are plenty of people who prefer to use nature as a trash can rather than respect it - yet there are still plenty of places where you can wander without tripping over bottles and cans. Tangling feet in plastic bags and kite strings.

Offbeat, untraveled status is part of the reason so much of the area's natural beauty remains intact, but in some areas, the credit goes to the people. Most tribes in Northeast India worship nature, especially the sun and the moon, which leads to greater respect for their natural surroundings.

Khasi tribes in Meghalaya are a perfect example. A Khasi village named Mawlynnong is famous for earning the moniker of “Cleanest village in Asia”. This is not only an absurd and very unfortunate competition, but it demonstrates the Khasi tribes' commitment to respecting their environment. It is not uncommon to see Khasi adults and children picking up trash from the ground outside of Mawlynnong something we never expected to see in India.

The nature and people of the Northeast inspire action.

Experience endangered one-horned rhino

By 1975, there were fewer than 600 one-horned rhinos left in the jungles of Nepal and India. The two main reasons behind the decline were hunting and poaching for their horns. The population of this endangered species has risen to 3,500 with more than half of them residing in Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Additionally, the national park has the highest density of tigers in the world. You can take a safari tour here and meet elephants, wild water buffaloes, swamp deers, and a wide variety of birds while admiring Kaziranga National Park's conservation efforts.

Kaziranga National Park, Bokakhat, Golaghat District, Assam, India

Spiritual awakening

India's easternmost state in Arunachal Pradesh. Therefore, it is called the Land of the Rising Sun. Several seminal Buddhist monasteries dot the state's awe-inspiring landscapes. Tawang Monastery, founded in 1680, is the most important. It also has the largest monastery in India. Tawang's Dharma Coffee House and Library serve warm cups of coffee. Urgelling Monastery is the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama. A meditative atmosphere is ideal for spiritual introspection in these monasteries. The sweeping views of snow-capped mountains are an additional luxury.

Festivals

The northeast is home to many festivals, making it an ideal time to visit the state. Nagaland's Hornbill Festival, Arunachal's Ziro and Dree Festivals, and Assam's Bihu and Dree Festivals are some of the most popular.

Rich handicrafts

North-east India is home to a large number of tribes, each of which has its handicraft tradition. Bamboo works, in particular, are common in the region. Bamboo craftsmen in Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura make beautiful screens, lamp stands, furniture, and baskets among other things. Manipur is known for its gold and gold plated jewelry, Assam, and Meghalaya for their silk textiles. In some of these states, pottery is also a common craft.

Road trips

There are also some great routes here for an epic road trip to this offbeat destination in India. The winding roads, often rough in many places, can be a challenge for any driver. However, that's where all the adventure lies. You will frequently encounter pristine forests, rolling hills, national parks, gushing rivers, tea gardens, stunning waterfalls, and much such natural grandeur along the way. One of the best ways to experience northeast India is to take a road trip.

We are assuming you’re all aboard the Northeast India train by now, a visit to this offbeat state of India will leave you speechless. Plan your trip don’t forget to read Travographer for more exciting blogs.

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