My first tour to North-east India was to the land of proud Ahoms – Assam, and it was pure pleasure; from amazing local delicacies and enjoying natural landscapes with some of the most wonderful people I have ever met.
Assam – Kaziranga Elephant Safari – A Ride to Remember
Being a nature lover, I chose to first visit Kaziranga National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This protected region, which lies in the Nagaon and Golaghat districts of Assam. It is not only home great one-horned rhinoceroses and tigers, but also several species of birds. This National Park offers fantastic safari opportunities, across its 430 sq km Both vehicle and elephant safaris are available at the park. I had already experienced vehicle safari at Jim Corbett, this time I went for the second option, and believe me, it was really fun.
Elephant safaris in this park are offered in the morning as well as late afternoon from Kaziranga, Eastern, Western and Burapahar Ranges. We expected to spot the tigers easily, but it wasn’t to be; though we did come across several pug marks. The chirping of birds and the sight of one-horned rhinoceros is still in my mind from that safari.
Meghalaya – Cherrapunjee Living Root Bridges’ Trek – Adventure amidst the Beauty of Nature
Mawsynram currently holds the record for being the wettest place on the planet, there was a time when Cherrapunjee had this distinction. It still holds the record for receiving the highest rainfall in a month and a year.
It quite appealing to me as to how would it feel like to live in a place such as this, and always wanted to come here for trekking. The first trek that I took part in was to the Living Root Bridge in Umunoi. This 4 km trail included 2 km of the downhill trek and 2 km uphill, passing through the village Sohsarat. Our group took nearly 3 to 4 hours to complete this journey.
Since it was not raining on that day, the greenery all around was something to admire.
After trekking on two of the most popular trails in the state, it was time for the hike to Mawphlang from Lad Mawphlang.
Nagaland – Hornbill Festival – Truly Festival of Festivals
In Kisama, which lies about 12 km from the state capital Kohima. The departments of State Tourism, and Art & Culture, this festival showcases the culture of the Naga Tribes. festival of food fairs, sports events, ceremonies, colorful performances, and traditional crafts exhibition-cum-sale. It was an amazing experience to see a different culture of India and it made me more proud when I saw people coming from all over the world to enjoy the festival.
Manipur – To the Floating Lake
I inquired about the best places to see in Manipur and the locals suggested me to visit the beautiful freshwater lake. It was only when I saw it that I believed that it was really a “floating lake”. The lake is said to be the largest freshwater floating lake in India. The lake is a lifeline for many people, as it’s a source of water for many purposes and the fishermen largely depend on it. Dried fish is one of the most favorite foods in Manipur, and it is found here in plenty. Dense forests, grasslands, lakes, and the rich culture made my journey to Manipur memorable.
Mizoram – Blue Mountains
The deep valleys, exotic culture, pleasant weather, and the rare natural flora and fauna of Mizoram attracted me. Phawngpui Peak is the highest peak in Mizoram. The view was pleasing; the blue fog hills seemed unreal with colorful flowers all around. As the sunset, I was stunned by the view of the fresh sky! It was beautiful. I was feeling happy to have included this place in my travel bucket list of North East India.
Tripura – Unakoti in Agartala
The huge rock-cut stone sculptures take you back to the 7th-9th century, their existence still a mystery! The sight of these large stone sculptures on the Unakoti hills fascinated me. The place is one of the less traveled and still unknown to people.