Tourism in North East India

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Northeast India
States and big cities in Northeast India
Population 38,857,769
Area 262,230 km2 (101,250 sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Northeast India consists of the eight states Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. This article covers tourist attractions in the Northeast region of India.

National parks[edit]

  • Dibru-Saikhowa National Park - Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is a national wildlife park in Tinsukia, Assam. It mainly consists of moist mixed semi-evergreen forests, moist mixed deciduous forests, canebrakes and grasslands. It is the largest salix swamp forest in northeast India.

Other national parks

Waterfalls[edit]

  • Nohkalikai Falls; 1,120 ft Cherapunjee (Meghalaya)
  • Nohsngithiang Falls; 1,033 ft (Meghalaya)
  • Langshiang Falls – 1,106 ft (Meghalaya)
  • Kynrem Falls – 1,001 ft (Meghalaya)
  • Elephent Falls (Meghalaya)
  • Panimur Falls (Assam)
  • Vantawng Falls – 751 ft( Mizoram)
  • Nuranang Falls Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh)
  • Chmapawati Kunda (Assam)
  • Akashiganga Falls (Assam)
  • Sivakunda Falls (Assam)
  • Bishop Falls (India)(Meghalaya)
  • Khaipholangso falls (Karbi Anglong, Assam)
  • Belughat falls (Karbi Anglong, Assam)
  • Kangthilangso falls (Karbi Anglong, Assam)

Reserved forest[edit]

Hills[edit]

  • Naga Hills - The Naga Hills, reaching a height of around 3,825 metres (12,549 feet), lie on the border of India and Burma (Myanmar).
  • Patkai Hills - The Patkai hills are on India's northeastern border with Burma.
  • Khasi Hills - The Khasi Hills are part of the Garo-Khasi range in the Indian state of Meghalaya, and is part of the Patkai range and of the Meghalaya subtropical forests ecoregion.
  • Lushai Hills - The Lushai Hills (or Mizo Hills) are part of the Patkai range in Mizoram and partially in Tripura, India. Hills in Mizoram run north–south. A hill range of the Mizo Poets Square also known as Mizo Hlakungpui Mual runs from north to south. The Poets Square was set up in 1986 to commemorate the Mizo poets and writers at the outskirts of Khawbung. It's one of the most visited sites for tourists.
  • Assam Himalaya - Assam Himalaya is a traditional designation for the portion of the Himalaya range between the eastern border of Bhutan, on the west, and the Great Bend of the Tsangpo River, on the east.
  • Garo Hills - The Garo Hills are part of the Garo-Khasi range in Meghalaya, India.[16] They are inhabited mainly by tribal dwellers, the majority of whom are Garo people.[17] It is one of the wettest places in the world.

Other hills

River Islands[edit]

  • Majuli - Majuli or Majoli is a large river island in the Brahmaputra River, Assam, India, famous for Vaishnavite Satras. The island had a total area of 1,250 square kilometres (483 sq mi).[22] Majuli is the largest river island and the first island district in the Indian subcontinent. It is also recognised by Guinness Book of World Records as World's Largest River Island.[23]
  • Umananda Island - The Umananda Island, also known as Peacock island, is the home to Umananda temple and it is the smallest inhabited river island in the world.

Hill stations[edit]

  • Haflong - Haflong is only hills station in Assam, surrounded by lots of natural beauties like fluent water streams, lush green hills and bounty waterfalls.
  • Cherrapunji - Cherrapunji is a subdivisional town in the East Khasi Hills district in the Indian state of Meghalaya. It is credited as being the wettest place on Earth, although nearby Mawsynram currently holds that record. Cherrapunji holds the all-time record for the most rainfall in a calendar month and in a year: It received 9,300 mm (370 in) in July 1861 and 26,461 mm (1,041.8 in) between 1 August 1860 and 31 July 1861.[24]

Monasteries[edit]

Lakes[edit]

  • Lake Tsongmo - Lake Tsongmo or Changu Lake is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim, India, some 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Gangtok at elevation of 3,780 m (12,400 ft).
  • Loktak LakeLoktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India is famous for its phumdis (heterogeneous decomposing mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matters) floating over it. Keibul Lamjao, the only floating national park in the world, floats over it. It is near Moirang in Manipur state, India.[29]
  • Lake Shilloi - The Lake Shillioi is in the district of Phek, Nagaland. Shilloi Lake lies on the lower slopes of the hill ranges running along Myanmar. It is surrounded by beautiful hills. The lake spreads over 0.25 to 0.30 km2.

Other lakes

Monuments and other tourist spots[edit]

Living root bridges[edit]

The living root bridges of Cherrapunji aren’t built — they are grown over hundreds of years, in the rainforest of Cherrapunji. They are alive, growing and gaining strength over time.[34] They are also present in Laitkynsew, and Nongriat.

Madan Kamdev[edit]

Madan Kamdev is a famous archaeological site in Kamrup district of Assam. This site has ruins of huge and small temples scattered around an old temple of Lord Shiva: Gopeshwar Temple is near a village and a big cave nearby is known as Parvati Guha.

Meghalaya Caves[edit]

The Indian state of Meghalaya is famous for its many caves, which attract tourists from India and abroad. A few of the caves in this region have been listed amongst the longest and deepest in the world. A famous one is Mawsmai caves near Cherrapunji are the limestone caves, lies near the village of Mawsmai. Meghalaya is famous in the world for its deep caves such as the Siju Cave; Krem Liat Prah is the longest cave in Asia.[34]

Capital cities[edit]

Agartala[edit]

Agartala is capital of Tripura state. Its second largest city in Northeast India after Guwahati. Places of attraction in Agaratala:

  • College TillaMaharaja Bir Bikram College, Tripura University buildings, football ground, international cricket stadium, picturesque lush landscapes and serene natural lakes. It is also a National Bird Sanctuary.
  • Ujjayanta Palace — Palace of the Tripura kings, was converted to state legislative assembly and is now into a museum; in the area of Palace Compound is one of the eye-catching attraction in the state.
  • Jagannath temple — Hindu temple of Vaishnava school of thought. It has been transformed into the Ujjayanta Museum and it was inaugurated by Dr. Hamid Ansari, the vice president of India.
  • Umamaheswar temple — Hindu temple of Shaiva and Shakti(durga).
  • Venuban Buddha Vihar — Around 2 km inside the city of Agartala from the city center is the Venuban Vihar where a Buddha shrine houses a metal idol of Lord Buddha.[35]
  • Krishna Mandir
  • Puratan Agartala (Old Agartala)
  • Malancha NiwasRabindranath Tagore, the first Asian Nobel Laurete had stayed here during his visit to Tripura.
  • Agartala Amusement Park, Amtali- Chocolate Hotels Pvt Ltd
  • Agartala City Centre — The main hub point in the city, in Paradise Chowmuhuni, carries a lot of attraction in the capital.
  • Agartala Secretariat — Approximately 3 km from the heart of the city, this is a splendid place to watch the biggest government building in Northeast India.
  • Rabindra Kanan
  • Nehru Park
  • Heritage Park
  • Tripura State Museum is at the Ujjayanta Palace.
  • Science Museum, in Sukanta Academy.
  • Haveli Museum, in Kashipur.

Aizawl[edit]

Aizawl is the capital of Mizoram state. The main places of interest in Aizawl are:

  • Bara Bazar is the main shopping centre of Aizawl in Dawrpui Veng locality. The steep Zion Street is lined with stalls selling garments. The main bazar is where the people are best seen in their traditional costumes selling produce from the farms as well as imports from China brought through Myanmar. The Millennium Centre in the same locality is a popular shopping mall.
  • Mizoram State Museum is in the centre of the town at Zarkawt. This museum gives a good insight into Mizo traditions, culture and history.
  • Reiek Tourist Resort, a tourist spot 12 km from Aizawl, is a beautiful place at an elevation of 1548 metres with a traditional Mizo village.
  • Durtlang Hills on the northern side of Aizawl offers a fine view of the hill station from Durtlang Hospital or Aizawl Theological College.
  • Hmuifang is about 50 km from Aizawl with an elevation of 1619 metres. The mountain is covered with virgin forests reserved since the Mizo chief's time.[36]
  • Berawtlang Tourist Complex 7 km from Aizawl is a recreational centre that hosts cultural activities. It is considered a popular picnic spot.
  • Baktawng Village, 70 km from Aizawl, is where Pu Ziona lives with the "worlds largest existing family" with 39 wives, 94 children, 14 daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren.[37]
  • Solomon's Temple, Aizawl Mizoram, India in Kidron Valley, Chawlhhmun is a grand temple complex operated by Kohhran Thianghlim of Mizoram.[38]
  • Khuangchera Puk is a cave in Ailawng near Reiek, about 30 km from Aizawl.
A panorama of Aizawl taken from Zemabawk.

Gangtok[edit]

Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim state. City is known for its tourist attractions.

Guwahati[edit]

Guwahati is the commercial capital of Assam state and its largest city in North East India.

  • River cruise: One of the major attractions of Guwahati is the cruise on the Brahmaputra river.[39] On board these luxurious cruise vessels tourists can relax and enjoy the beautiful view of the sunset.
  • Umananda Temple: On the Peacock Island in the middle of the Brahmaputra, this Shiva temple was built in 1664. It is believed that Lord Shiva by using his third eye burnt Kamdeva here. Every year Shivaratri is celebrated in this temple in a great way. The island is believed to be the world's smallest human inhabited island. The world's largest river island is Majuli.
  • Accoland: Accoland family fun kingdom is the northeast's only amusement park named after Acco, the mythological king of amusement. This park is at Patgaon.
  • Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra: Shankardev Khalakshetra's name is synonymous with the Vaishnava saint and scholar of Assam Srimanta Shankardeva. It is a multipurpose cultural complex that has fulfilled its aim in protecting, promoting and preserving the cultural heritage of the communities and tribes of Assam and the country.
  • Guwahati Planetarium: In Uzanbazar this planetarium is the only one of its kind in the northeastern region and a center of astronomical research. For visitors, the mysterious aspects of the universe are brought alive by sheer audio-video technique and explained in the dark domed structure inside the planetarium.
  • Assam State Museum: Assam State Museum is near Dighalipukhuri. It houses many rare, specimen of the Ahom Dynasty. Many articles of equipment, dress materials belonging to the glorious past of Assam are found here. Many antiques, statues, manuscripts, written on Shashi-paat and other valuable articles are preserved and displayed.
  • Kamakhya Temple: Kamakhya Temple, some 5 km from the main city on the Nilachal Hill, is one of the most sacred Hindu shrines of India. Goddess Kamakhya is worshipped here. Ambubachi Mela is celebrated every year in the middle of June in this temple. Many devotees from across the country gathered here during this mela.
  • Shilpagram: Adjacent to Srimanta Shankardev Kalakshetra, this is the only crafts village of the North East Zone Cultural Center (NEZCC). It had made landmark in the promotion of the varied arts and cultures of the local people. It holds regular cultural events throughout the year in its open air stage and auditorium.
  • Nehru Park: At heart of the city at Panbazar by the side of Cotton College. The highlights of the park are the concrete statues of Bihu dance, Ojapali dance, Deodhani dance, Jhumur dance, Bhoor tal dance etc. There are altogether 45 concrete statues depicting these aspects of Assamese life and culture.
  • NEDFi Haat: NEDFi Haat is at a leased building of Industries & Commerce Department Govt. of Assam. In NEDFi Haat visitors can buy handicraft and handloom products. They can buy traditional food items produced by the self-help groups of the state in the Bihu seasons.
  • Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden: Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden is the largest zoo of the northeast at Hengerabari Reserved Forest in the city.
  • Basistha Temple: Basistha Temple[40] is on Sandhyachal Hill, on the southern part of the city; this beautiful tourist spot was once the ashram (hermitage) of sage Basistha.
  • Sukreswar Temple: Sukreswar Temple is an ancient Shiva temple built by Ahom king Pramatta Singha on Dakini Jogini hill by the side of river Brahmaputra.
  • Navagraha Temple: Navagraha temple or temple of nine planets is on Chitrachal Hill to the east. It was the ancient seat of study of astronomy and astrology. The nine planets are represented by the nine linga's inside the main temple. There is a stone imprint of solar system inside the temple. This temple is 3 km from the railway station is a center of Astrological and Astronomical research. It was for this temple Guwahati was named Pragjyotishpura.[41]
  • Dighalipukhuri: At the heart of the city at Uzanbazar and surrounded by the High Court on the north and the State Museum and District Library on the south. This is a huge man-made tank. It was excavated by King Bhagadatta to celebrate the 'swayambar' of his daughter Bhanumati who was married to Kourava prince Druyadhana. There is a boating club on the Dighalipukhuri.
  • Ugro Tara Temple: At the heart of the city banks of Joarpukhuri (twin ponds). The Ugro Tara Temple is another shakti peeth temple where the eyes of sati were believed to have fallen.
  • Balaji Temple, Guwahati: This temple is a recent addition to the religious places of Guwahati. It is at Betkuchi area of the city. Balaji temple with striking South Indian architecture is unlike the other temples of this place. In the evening the temple is illuminated by electric lights.
  • ISKCON Temple, Guwahati: This temple belongs to the ISKCON society founded by Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The temple's main deity is Radha-Krishna. The main emphasis of this temple's preaching lies on the teachings of Krishna and Bhagavad Gita.
  • Madan Kamdev & Gopeshwar Mandir is near to Guwahati in a village named as Deuduar.
  • Northbrook Gate: It was constructed to welcome British viceroy Lord Northbrook who visited Guwahati in 1874 near Sukreswar Ghat. British officials named it 'Gateway of Assam'.
  • North East Crafts Museum and Showroom of Handicrafts & Handlooms: An undertaking of North Eastern Handicrafts and Handlooms Development Corporation Limited (a Govt. of India Enterprise) this showroom has a wide variety of bamboo and cane handicrafts from across the Northeast India. Visitors can buy these indigenous handicraft products from the showroom. The showroom is in Garchuk in Guwahati.
Panoramic view of Guwahati City.

Imphal[edit]

Imphal is capital of Manipur state. Some of the places of attractions in city as follows.

  • Kangla Palace: It is on both sides (western and eastern) of the bank of the Imphal River. It was the traditional seat of the past Meitei rulers of Manipur.
  • Hiyangthang Lairembi Temple Complex: A religious site and a tourist attraction, the temple complex is noted for its annual Durga Puja festival in September or October.
  • Imphal War Cemetery: This cemetery remembers British and Indian soldiers who fought and died in the Second World War (1944).
  • Women's Market (Ima Keithel): The market stalls are all run by women, and it is reportedly the only such market in the world.[42]
  • Jama Masjid: A holy place for Muslims in Imphal, it is the only mosque in the Imphal market (on the bank of the Nambul River).
  • Shree Govindajee Temple: The temple was considered the apex of cultural activity during the reign of the Maharajas. Near the palace, it has two domes and a raised congregation hall.
  • ISKCON Temple: The ISKCON Temple is near the road from Imphal Airport to the city.

Itanagar[edit]

Itanagar is the capital if Arunachal Pradesh. Major tourist sites include:

  • Ita Fort: Ita Fort in Itanagar town is one of the most important historical sites in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India. The name literally means "Fort of bricks" (brick being called "ita" in the Ahom language).
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Museum, Itanagar: Known for showcasing tribal culture of the state.
  • Ganga Lake is a beautiful natural lake locally known as Gekar Sinyi (Confined water in the Nyishi dialect) surrounded by a landmass of hard rock. Primeval vegetation, orchids masses on tall trees and tree ferns contribute to its popularity as a picnic spot. Boating facilities and a swimming pool are available at the site.

Kohima[edit]

Kohima is the capital of Nagaland. The city is known for its Hornbill Festival. Major tourist sites include:

  • War Cemetery is a memorial dedicated to the soldiers of the 2nd British Division of the Allied Forces who died in the Second World War at Kohima, in April 1944.
  • Naga Heritage Village is a vista of nature, cheerful and hospitality of people. The Heritage Village protects and preserves all ethnic cultural heritages of Nagaland. It upholds and sustains the unique identity of dialects, customs and traditions of all the ethnological tribes of Nagaland.

Shillong[edit]

Shillong is the capital of Meghalaya.
Places of interest in and around Shillong includes:

  • Elephant Falls: 12 km on the outskirts of the city, the mountain stream descends through two successive falls set in dells of fern covered rocks.
  • Lady Hydari Park: The park stretches over a kilometre and has an adjacent mini zoo.
  • Wards Lake: Known locally as Nan-Polok, it is an artificial lake with garden and boating facilities.
  • Shillong Golf Course: Shillong has one of the largest golf courses (the world's wettest) in Asia: Gleneagles of the East. It enjoys the rare distinction of being one of the few natural golf courses in Asia. Not only is the Shillong Golf Course scenic and enjoyable, it is also challenging. A group of British civil service officers introduced golf to Shillong in 1898 by constructing a nine-hole course. The present 18-hole course was inaugurated in 1924. The course is set in a valley covered with pine and rhododendron trees. The tight fairways, carpeted with a local grass which hardens the soil, are difficult to negotiate. The number of out-of-bounds streams that criss-cross every fairway makes it all the more trying. Obstructions come in the form of bunkers, trees and rain. The longest hole is the 6th, which is a grueling 594 yards. Shillong Golf Course is considered to be the "Glen Eagle of the East" at the United States Golf Association Museum. It was set in a valley at an altitude of 5200 ft in 1898 as a nine-hole course and later converted into an 18-hole course in 1924 by Captain Jackson and C. K. Rhodes.
  • Motphran: The “Stone of France” which is locally known as "Motphran" was erected in memory of the 26th Khasi Labour Corps who served under the British in France during World War I. It bears the words of the famous Latin poet Horace "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" which can be roughly translated as "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."
  • Shillong Peak: A picnic spot, 10 km from the city, 1965 m above sea level, offers a panoramic view of the scenic countryside and is the highest point in the state. Obeisance is paid to U Shulong at the sanctum sanctorum at the peak's summit every springtime, by the religious priest of Mylliem State.
  • Capt. Williamson Sangma State Museum: For those interested in ethnic tribal culture and tradition this government museum offers insights to the lifestyle of the people. This museum is in the State Central Library complex where monuments for the great patriots of the state were erected besides the statue of Smt. Indira Gandhi and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures: The Don Bosco Museum is part of DBCIC (Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures). DBCIC comprises research on cultures, publications, training, animation programmes and the museum, which is a place of knowledge-sharing on the cultures of the northeast in particular, and of culture in general. DBCIC with its Don Bosco Museum is at Mawlai, Shillong.
  • Entomological Museum (Butterfly Museum): A privately owned museum of M/s Wankhar, Riatsamthiah, Shillong about 2 km from Police Bazar is the only known museum in India devoted to moths and butterflies.
  • Air Force Museum at Upper Shillong
  • Forest Museum in Lady Hydari Park
  • Rhino Heritage Museum at Shillong
  • Zoological Museum in Risa Colony
  • Anthropological museum at Mawblei
  • Botanical Museum at 4th Furlong
  • Arunachal Museum at the Cantonment Area
  • Chrysalis the Gallery: This art gallery is on the second floor of Salonsar Mansion at Police Bazaar, the commercial hub of Shillong. Chrysalis has flexible spacing to display paintings (canvases), sculpture, photography and handicrafts. Run by a local artist, Jaya Kalra, the gallery caters to exhibitions of artists and artisans especially from the northeast and also from the rest of India.
  • State Museum: Located at the State Central Library complex.
  • Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians is in Don Bosco Square.
  • Bishop and Beadon Falls: Both cascade down the same escarpment into a deep valley.
  • Spread Eagle Falls: 3 km from Polo Grounds.
  • Sweet Falls: Sweet Falls (also called “Weitden,” in the native dialect) is the most beautiful of all the waterfalls in Shillong. It lies about 5 km from the Happy Valley and is about 96 m in height.
  • Crinoline Falls: Near Lady Hydari Park.
  • Madina Masjid: The only glass mosque in India. Madina mosque is the rare architectural marvel in India as it has an striking and glittering structure of glass.

See also[edit]

Outline of tourism in India[edit]

References[edit]

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Official Sites[edit]

Tourism in North East India travel guide from Wikivoyage