Authored by Rohit Agarwal
Cloaked from the world by largest mountains and evergreen forests, untouched by modernization, wild, flaunting its serene beauty, and maintaining its natural diversity, the seven sister states in north east India are cluster of varied cultures, languages and people.
Here are 5 destinations shouldn’t miss.
5 Mesmerizing Destinations in North-East India
The capital of Meghalaya, Shillong is a hill town at an altitude of 1496 m above sea level. And while it has rapidly developed into a modern Indian town, it remains a paradise for nature lovers with beautiful lakes and waterfalls set in pine forests and green mountains in India’s north east.
Known as “Scotland of the east” by British in India, Elephant falls, Sweet Falls and Bishop & Beadon Falls are some of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the region. And with spectacular panoramic views of the scenic country side, Shillong Peak is the highest point in the State and should also be on your list.
Be sure to stop by the butterfly museum which is filled with some of the worlds rarest species of colorful wings. Guwahati is the nearest airport from where Shillong can be reached by bus or car.
Gangtok is a modern capital layered along a precipitous mountain ridge, descending the hillside in steep tiers. And who would want to miss the magnificent view of India’s highest peak, Mt.Kanchenjunga?
There are countless viewpoints with panoramas of Khangchendzonga on the distant skyline, and this is the best reason to spend time here. Though more than anything, Gangtok is a great place for adventure activities; para-gliding, river rafting, yak riding, and rope ways.
The Kyongnosla waterfalls at 10,000 feet, and TSOMGO Lake which remains frozen during winter are other special attractions in Gangtok.
It’s one of the wettest places on earth, and the only place in India to receive rainfall throughout the year. But if you can brave the rain, you’ll be rewarded with some of Cherrapunji’s pristine untouched beauty.
Cherrapunji is famous for its living root bridges, a result of bio-engineering practiced by the locals. The bridges can bear 50 people at a time and are spectacular to watch (though the one-of-its-kind double-decker root bridge requires at least a few hours of trekking).
For those willing to make the trek, you will pass through valleys, caves, waterfalls, foggy mountains and ever green forests. The cliffs of Cherrapunji also offer stunning views of the plains of Bangladesh.
One of the most beautiful hill stations of India, Darjeeling is spread over a steep mountain ridge, surrounded by emerald-green tea plantations and towered over by Khangchendzonga.
When you’re not gaping in awe at the stunning view, sipping the local made black tea is a cultural experience you shouldn’t miss. You can also explore colonial-era architecture, visit Buddhist monasteries, and take a ride in a steam train, which, moving slowly in steep circles, offers ample time to appreciate surrounding nature and enjoy the ride.
A town and hill station in northeast Sikkim, Lachung is famous for scenic beauty and beautiful snow capped mountains, and was described as the “most picturesque village of Sikkim” by British explorer Joseph Dalton Hooker.
The beautiful snow-capped peaks here attract tourists from all over the world for skiing and trekking. Snow lasts until March / April, though for year round snow you can travel to close by Yumesamdong in the summer months.
The historic Lachung Gompa monastery has some beautiful ancient inscriptions. And in May you can see the wild flowers and Rhododendrons bloom.
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Photo credits: Featured image by Franck Zecchin. Shillong landscape by Masrur Ashraf. Shillong town by Subharnab Majumdar. Nohkalikai Falls at Sunset by Neelima v of Travel with Neelima. Cherrapunji by roman korzh. Lachung by Wasin Waeosri. Pinterest images by Franck Zecchin & Vanlal Tochhawng.