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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

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Shillong

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.

While Shillong 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.

The capital of Meghalaya, Shillong is a hill town at an altitude of 1496 m above sea level.

Gangtok

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.

Cherrapunji

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.

It’s one of the wettest places on earth, and the only place in India to receive rainfall throughout the year.

Cherrapunji is one of the wettest places on earth, and the only place in India to receive rainfall throughout the year.

Darjeeling

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.

Lachung

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.

Lachung is famous for scenic beauty and beautiful snow capped mountains.

WE RECOMMEND FURTHER READING: CLICK TO LOOK INSIDE ↓

Lonely Planet Northeast India

Anthropology of North East India

Nat Geo Adventure Map

INSPIRED?! PIN THIS TO YOUR TRAVEL PINTEREST BOARDS ↓

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings.

His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

Read more about India through Rohit’s website Trans India Travels. You can follow him on Facebook too.

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.

    32 Comments

  1. I have not yet visited India, a situation that I clearly need to fix. When I go, I now realize that i need to get to North East India. I’m intrigued to see the natural beauty in Cherrapunji as well as drink tea in Darjeeling.

    • Glad we could inspire you Mindi! There is so much natural beauty in North East India, and yes, tea is definitely a staple of the region! Happy travels 🙂

  2. Ohhh wow those photos are incredible!!!!! Great post!

    xx Sofia | SOFIAADOT

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Sofia! Happy travels 🙂 Hopefully see you in India soon!

  3. These are lesser known destinations in India which lie untouched by tourists as accessing these places is difficult. Places like this is where I want to go exploring.

    • Makes them all the more appealing to me for this reason as well 🙂 Hope you have the chance to go exploring soon!

  4. Taking note of this and saving it on my browser! I ‘ve always wanted to do northern India and hopefully this is the year!

    • Glad we could help! Have a wonderful time in India Carla 🙂

  5. We haven’t made it to India yet, and the more I read, the more places I want to visit. The images here are stunning, but I think will skip a frozen lake (actually do my best to avoid winter travel) and the wettest place on earth.

    • Definitely plenty of amazing destinations to visit during summer here … Feel free to reach out if you have any Q’s on planning your itinerary 🙂

  6. My knowledge about India geography is minimal, but I have heard of Darjeeling because of its tea culture! Beautiful photos! I will need to save this list when I plan my trip to India!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Cat, and that we could introduce you to some regions you hadn’t heard of before 🙂 Hope you have the chance to travel soon!

  7. Wow!! India has never been on my wish list of travel destinations until now!So much natural beauty, Cherrapunji and it’s root bridges, Darjeeling, and Shillong (Scotland of the East!) are all on my list now:)Mesmerizing indeed.

    • So glad we could inspire you to think of India Tracey! It really is such a beautiful country, and I think it’s highly underrated as many people don’t realize how many stunning natural attractions live here.

      Hope you have the chance to experience first hand soon!

  8. These are all new to me except Darjeeling, and there was never a more romantic name. Wonderful insights, thank you.

    • Totally agree, it’s certainly a beautiful name, Darjeeling 🙂 Glad we could introduce you to some regions you hadn’t heard of 🙂

  9. I hadn’t heard of any of these places (except for Darjeeling), but they all look amazing! I can see why Shillong is considered the ‘Scotland of the East’ with its rolling green hills! Cherrapunji looks stunning – I would love to swim in some of the waterfalls! I’d also love to visit the Lachung Gompa monastery to see the art and inscriptions.

    • So many incredible places aren’t there! Seems like many people have heard of Darjeeling though not the rest. Glad we could introduce you to some new regions and add to the bucketlist!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Ankita! Happy travels 🙂

  10. I knew about Darjeeling, but all the other places are new to me – and great ideas for a trip to India! So happy to discover new places to visit!

    • So glad we could introduce you to a couple of new places Lori 🙂 Sounds like many people have heard of Darjeeling, though not really the rest. Glad we could highlight the region!

  11. Honestly, I did not realize that India was such a nature lovers paradise. All sound interesting, but I would definitely like to visit Cherrapunji. The bio-engineered root bridges sound fascinating.

    • Absolutely – so many incredible natural attractions that fly under the radar on the tourist scene – highly recommend India though, it’s such a beautiful landscape 🙂

  12. The North-East of India is really mesmerizing. The pristine beauty of the land is really mesmerizing. Given their proximity to the Himalayas all these places are real treasures of nature.For me, Lachung is the best, a place where I would love to go back again and again

    • Awesome Sandy & Vyjay! So glad to hear you agree! Completely understand the allure of Lachung – it’s an easy place to fall in love with!

  13. Beautiful places! I did not know about them, apart from Darjeeling of course. If they have cook hikes around they are on my wish list already. I’d be curious to be those living root bridges by myself.

    • Many have wonderful regions for hiking, and yes, it’s quite incredible to check out the living root bridges! Hope you have the chance to visit soon 🙂

  14. Beautiful places!

    • Aren’t they just! Such a stunning region 🙂

  15. North east India on the whole is my favorite part of India. You need to visit someday, Meg 🙂 I just got back from Lachung and the yumthang valley of flowers and LOVED IT to bits. I have also been to a fair bit of these other parts as my hubby is from NorthEast 🙂 You guys, we should plan a trip to NE india together 🙂

    • I can’t wait! I have a whole section of content on India now from guest posts and with every new post my wanderlust grows a little stronger! Lachung and the yumthang valley of flowers sounds like an incredible trip – will definitely shoot you a note when we finally start planning a trip 🙂

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