The Northeast region of India has long been known for its unexplored, rugged beauty. Yet until recently, it has remained relatively untouched by foreign tourism. Limited flight options, restrictive permit requirements and security concerns were among the chief problems keeping tourists from exploring the wonders of this exotic, untouched region of the country. This is now changing. In the last year, tourism to some parts of Northeast India has increased by more than 30%, according to an article in The Times of India.
Where To Go
So, now that the Northeast region is easier to reach, where should you go? Here are just a few examples of the exciting places in Northeast India:
- Arunachal Pradesh. This thinly populated state borders Bhutan, China and Myanmar. A major draw for tourists includes the diversity of flora and fauna in the area, including 500 species of orchids and a rich and varied wildlife population. Tigers, leopards and elephants abound in the foothills, while white browed gibbon and red pandas are found in the higher altitudes.
- Nagaland. With a population dominated by Naga culture and linguistic traditions, many travelers come here for handicrafts like tribal shawls, hand bags and Sarongs. Much of the state is forest land. Depending on the elevation and latitude, the landscape varies between tropical and temperate forest.
- Tripura. The second smallest in all of India, this tiny state is well known for its handwoven cloth products and items handmade out of bamboo. This state is also home to many fairs and festivals, and a summer resort called Neermahal.
- Meghalaya. A place of exquisite beauty, this state experiences torrents of rain during the monsoon season from May through October. Expect relatively dry weather for the remaining months of the year. Travelers come here to see the lush, fertile land, the varieties of fauna and the exciting wildlife.
- Manipur. The Meitei community here hosts a large number of social and religious festivals that draw travelers during the dry months. Like Meghalaya, Manipur is drenched in rain from the months of May through October.
- Sikkim. The northern portion of this state has meadows of wildflowers and hot springs, the south district is home to many monasteries. The government seat is in the east, and the west has adventure activities like trekking and mountaineering. In other words, there’s a little something for everyone.
Best Way To Travel
Although its infrastructure is improving and tourism is encouraged by local officials, many travelers still prefer to tackle this region of the country in tour groups, rather than individually. There are many companies that offer different tour packages between 8 and 10 days long. Tourists who are interested in responsible tourism may be interested in tours with the companies Greener Pastures or Kipepeo. For budget-conscious travelers, the Canadian company Cultural Pursuits offers a variety of deals that can be tailored to the traveler. Tourists interested in luxury cruises may try Jungle Travels India.