17 Best Things to do in Northeast India

The Northeast region of India is one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world. The land of Seven Sisters includes Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, and Sikkim in addition. Each of these states has a vast natural landscape, flora, fauna, and natural beauty to offer to travelers.

Northeast India has forever been the center of attraction for tourism in India. If you have been here, you will find it hard to resist the beauty of Northeast India. It's an epic journey for nature lovers. The penetrating peaks and magnificent nature is what makes the northeast region of Indian highly compelling and worth visiting, especially during the monsoon season.

The cool weather in the northeast is one of the best things you can experience during the monsoons. The weather may be wet, but it is not at all scorching or clammy. It is like a natural cooler. There is a kind of novelty and freshness in the monsoon that is worth experiencing. The entire belt of the seven sisters gives a surreal feeling during the rainfall with its green forests and tea estates.

All these states are small and pretty close together. But you need to take some Northeast tour packages to figure out how to cover most of the things to see in the northeast in the least amount of time. Each of these Northeast states has so much to offer that you cannot visit all in just a single visit. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are not even that small. You cannot visit two of the other five states on one trip if you really want to explore the depths of nature in Northeast.

So, you will have to choose where you want to go on this trip. You could go for the Orchid State of India, that is in Arunachal Pradesh, or you could go to Manipur for its culturally rich heritage. You can go to Assam if you want to enjoy the untarnished natural beauty. Or go to Tripura if you want to see endless bamboo and cane forest plantations, or to the land of the hill people, Mizoram.

Northeast India lets you escape the tiresome everyday life. Everyone needs a vacation to relax and spend some time romantically with their partners. Visit the most beautiful place called the Scotland of the East - Shillong in Meghalaya or you could go to Sikkim, the youngest of the sister states, the eighth state in the Northeast, and the most popular tourist destination for people from West Bengal.

The food is the essence of northeast India. The food culture in the northeast is as vibrant as their culture and heritage. Every state has its own specialty and it tastes even better while you enjoy the rain. The food is the essence of northeast India. Laksa from Assam, Alu Muri in Meghalaya, Kelli Chana in Manipur, and Shapale in Sikkim are some of the most famous dishes you must try during the monsoon season.

Northeast has more than 150 tribes and each of the tribes has their own tribal liquors. If anyone is visiting this beautiful side of India, tasting these incredible liquors should be on the wish list. Well, northeast India is the best vacation for you if you wish to enjoy to the fullest.

Steeped in rich culture, gorgeous nature, and warm welcomes is the North East of India. An unexplored paradise, with picturesque landscapes and a variety of flora and fauna waiting to be discovered, it is a magical experience that is one-of-a-kind. Whether you wish to picnic by Majuli Island or explore the Mawsamai Caves, your opportunities are endless.

Here are the best places to visit in northeast India.

1. Kohima, Nagaland

If you want to get to know over 14 different tribes of people, go to Nagaland. Nagaland, which is limited by Assam in the east and south, Manipur in the north and Myanmar in the west is generosity of a nature in a narrow strip of mountainous territory. Kohima, the capital of Nagaland extended carefully by the face of the hillocks is a clear indication of the consolidation of homes with nature.

The Catholic Cathedral on the Aradura Hill with its magnificent cross, Dimapur as the melting pot of the Northeast and the Nagaland State Museum promises a wide range of interesting and varied discovery.

As there are number of tribes in Nagaland, each tribe celebrates its own distinctive seasonal festival. During the first week of December, Nagaland becomes the setting for the Hornbill Festival of deep-rooted tribal heritage. It is its capital, Kohima, where the event that gives rise to demonstrations of this culture is celebrated. Music, dances and dangerous indigenous games and sports are organised.

The Kohima War Cemetery is a must see. It is a monument dedicated to the soldiers of the British unit as part of the allied forces during the World War II. It is at this point that the Allied Forces won a battle against the Japanese, forcing the latter to retreat. If you want to get into the details of the tribal culture of the Naga people, then the Naga Heritage Village is the place to be in Kohima.

Pulie Badze is a popular weekend getaway for people who live in Kohima, perfect for a hiking trip up the hill to enjoy stunning views and a pleasant climate. Visitors walk to the top of the hill to get a panoramic view of the surrounding areas, including parts of Mount Japfu, Nagaland's second highest peak and a panoramic view of the city of Kohima.

The Dimapur Airport is the state's only civil airport, but the city also houses the state's railway station. There are buses (a few luxury options are also available), and they make for comfortable, sometimes overnight, rides. If you're looking for a holiday that's relaxed yet thorough, five or six days is ideal.

Of course, the connectivity issues mean that it makes sense to try and visit more than just Nagaland on your trip. Maybe pair it with Assam, as it's one of the few states that has direct flights to the Dimapur airport?

2. Longwa, Nagaland

Do you ever get the feeling that visiting just one place while you're on holiday won't quite do the trick? Longwa, located right on India-Myanmar border, might just be able to help you out with that! One of the seven sisters, Nagaland has a small village called Longwa which share its borders with Myanmar.

This village is a true example of a world without any boundaries as villagers have dual citizenships. The locals can go to Myanmar without any visa or passport. The village chief's house sits squarely atop the international border and makes for a natural tourist hotspot. However, Longwa is more than just a geographical wonder - the four rivers flowing through it are quite a spectacle and attract an audience of their own.

Getting to Longwa is a bit of a hassle. There are no direct buses, trains or flights, so your best bet is to head to Sonari or Simaluguri and make your way from there (Longwa's district, Mon, is about 65km from the former and 90 from the latter).

Smoked pork is the famous breakfast item in Nagaland. Rice is served with a meat dish (usually pork) or vegetables. Unless you are a panda you might not like bamboo shoots. But if you cook those shoots in true Naga style, chances are that you'll fall in love with them.

3. Mon, Nagaland

Nagaland is the only state with the last head hunting tribes. This is most amazing and interesting facts of Northeast. Nagaland is the only place where one will find the head hunting tribal. They used to cut the heads of their enemies during the battles and store them as trophies. Though, now the head hunting has been stopped but one can find the elderly tribals who narrates their stories. These tribals have tattoos on their faces.

4. Tuophema, Nagaland

40km away from the capital (or a 1.5 hr drive away, as the roads aren't in the best shape), Tuophema is an unusual blend of touristy and local. The hospitality of the Nagas in this corner of the state is well known, and yet their day-to-day doings remain unchanged by the presence of tourists. In essence, a trip to Tuophema guarantees comfort as well as unprecedented access to the villagers; a win-win!

The state's tourism board and some of the village's inhabitants jointly came up with an accommodation option for travellers and that's how Touphema Tourist Village was born. The establishment has 12 huts that it lets out to tourists and they've all been done keeping the local Naga architectural and artistic styles in mind.

Touphema village is a heritage tribal village resort located nearly 41kms from state capital Kohima. The village sprawls atop a hillock offering one with the ethereal views of the verdant green vales around. At the village you can enjoy comfortable stay with all modern amenities in a unique ethnic setting.

Staying in this village will let you enjoy the true Naga hospitality and will also let you get a sneak peek into the tribal lifestyle and culture of the Naga people. Activities you can undertake here include guided hunting trips, cultural trips, walk into the farming fields etc.

5. Khonoma, Nagaland

Having earned titles such as India's most beautiful village, Khonoma should have a space right at the top of your list of places to see when in Nagaland. As you can imagine, a simple stroll through the slopes of Khonoma is enough to refresh the senses, and an unusually large number of treks are offered in and around the village to take advantage of this.

For a bit of sightseeing, the Semoma fort is worth all its awestruck reviews. D Cafe serves great coffee and live music and is perfect for anyone looking to take a break from all the sightseeing.

6. Viswema, Nagaland

The hikes to Dzuko valley (or the valley of flowers) are certified favourites! Dzukou Valley is a charming valley that will offer you generous views of the emerald green hills, lush forests, winding streams and an explosion of colors with flowers blooming along the trekking trail. It takes some efforts to reach the Dzukou Valley but every effort is worth it!

This famous local trekking place in the beautiful state of Nagaland will make you fall in love with the scenic beauty of this place. The cold rivers of Japfu and Dzukou and blossoming wild seasonal flowers would just make the traveling moments more special. You can even find some caves where adventure fanatics can play the alluring battle of the man versus wild.

The closest airport is Dimapur and you can hire a cab that offers to-and-fro services to Kohima, preferably at a point known as the ‘The Trekkers Point.’

7. Moreh, Manipur

In Imphal, buying is quite easy as the markets are put together but people have to travel three hours to the Moreh market. What makes Moreh stand out is the picturesque trip and the cheap imported goods available. The fine movement of the Ras Lila (Manipuri dance), the extravagance of Thang-TA (martial arts) can make it an all-together different experience.

8. Mao, Manipur

It will definitely be a beautiful idea to have Manipur as a honeymoon destination for who loves to spend moments in the lap of nature, walking up next to some jaw dropping sceneries, watching beautiful manipuri youth performing cultural extravaganza! Manipur can be reached by air at Imphal, the capital.

Cherries on the top- an early morning flight will add advantage with enchanting view of cloud capped hills with shades of blues! While in Imphal, the honeymooners can definitely enjoy the taste of local dishes like black rice pudding, kangsoi, ooti, kanghou and plenty of items like eromba, nga atioba thongba etc.

Also, exploring Kangla fort, Manipur State Museum, Kangla palace, Polo ground and local market couple can take the taste of ethnic lifestyle and state history! The Manipuris love their fish, so much so that you can find it in most of their dishes. Iromba is one such dish that is loaded with fish. Mashed potatoes and green leaves make up the remaining part of it.

9. Imphal, Manipur

Manipur is one of the states of northeastern India and bordering Myanmar, formerly Burma. It is one of the least visited places in the country but it is not devoid of attractions. Imphal has markets such as Paona Bazar and Khwairamband Bazar. Buyers can buy exotic shawl (Hauphee), Tangkhul scarf, various wooden items and the most popular Moirang Phee (a fine cloth) of art for their own.

One of the famous and unique markets of India, Ima Keithel is only market which is solely run by the mothers. From spices to clothes, other groceries to handcrafted things, all are available under one roof. This is one of the amazing markets for shopping in Northeast.

10. Ukhrul, Manipur

Drive to Ukhrul, which is 84 km away from Imphal via NH 202. The shirui hill of Ukhrul is a home to a number of flora including unique Shirui Lily, an extremely beautiful endangered species of lilies and also the state flower. The evergreen forest which gives a vibe of sylvian landscapes would definitely be the best experience.

Besides, adventurous couple can make an expeditions of Hundung Mova cave, which is a naturally formed limestone cave. Phangrei lake shouldn't be forgotten to explore too! Village lover can also hop through nearby beautiful villages like Kachai village.

Besides the spellbinding sites, the unique and famous flower called Shirui or Siroi Lily found in Shirui Kashung in Ukhrul district is also an irrefutable pride of the state. The remarkable fact is the flower is found nowhere except in the upper reaches of the Shirui hill ranges. The Shirui hill is at a distance of 97 km from Imphal and about 18 km from Ukhrul.

11. Loktak Lake, Manipur

Take the opportunity to visit the beautiful Loktak Lake. Loktak lake invites thousands of tourists to the state every year. Head on to the Loktak lake, a freshwater lake situated 50 km away from Imphal to enjoy its one of its kind picturesque beauty and biodiversity including circular sized phumdis vegetaion. If one is craving for some clean air and serenity, Lakoi Pat may fulfil this desire which is situated in a short distance from Loktak.

The iconic lake is situated in Bishnupur district. The freshwater lake is well known because of its round-shaped floating swamps, called Phumdis in the local language. The major attraction of the lake is the circular rings made up of natural biomass locally called Phumdis.

Located near its capital, Imphal, it is a very pleasant place and the only floating National Park in the world. A canoe trip with one of the fishermen who live on its shores in order to navigate calmly among its islands of vegetation, called phumdis, is undoubtedly the best way to get to see the lake.

Thousands of tourists from both foreign and inside the nation visit the lake every month. For adventure lovers, the lake is a paradise as it has scuva diving as well as kayaking facilities. Boating (both traditional wooden and motor) and boat racing are also available. Midlake gardens are also there in the lake.

Nearby is the Keibul Lamjao National Park. There are also a couple of dozen tourist sites which can’t take your eyes off. You can also visit the following prime tourist destinations: Andro, Kaina, Khonghampat, Khongjom, Khwairamband Bazaar, Langthabal, Sendra Island, Manipur State Museum, Manipur Zoological Garden, Moirang, Phubala, Sahid Minar, Sekta, Singda, War Cemetries, Kakching Garden, Langol Tower and many more.

For heading to this jaw-dropping destinations, you can find both direct and connecting flight options from Delhi/Bangalore/Kolkata/Guwahati to Imphal. Finding flights for Imphal is just a cakewalk, so there’ll be no worries at all. You can also reach the state by train/bus/cruiser. For accommodation, the state offers a wide range of accommodation options including mid-range, budget and decent hotels. Booking link option is also listed for your convenience.

The Thanga island is the largest island, both in area size as well as human population, in the Loktak lake, of course, the world's only floating lake. It's a paradise for adventure lovers as well as nature lovers. Because none would return from this island disappointed or unsatisfied.

12. Kongthong, Meghalaya

Meghalaya is the land of clouds, the land of music, and the land where life is full of surprises. If you ever happen to visit Meghalaya, go a little offbeat. Don't just visit the popular tourist destinations like Cherrapunji, Shillong city or Dawki river, but try and look for unknown places. One such place is Kongthong, the only whistling village of India.

Kongthong village is approximately 55 km from Shillong towards Sohra. It takes almost 3 hours and a back-breaking bumpy ride to reach this village hidden between the green woods. The journey is picturesque with ample opportunity to capture nature at its best and enjoy a beer or a sandwich beside a crystal clear stream.

Hidden in a corner of Meghalaya between the crests of Sohra and Pynursla is the village of Kongthong, a remote village in India. Curious whistles and chirps echo in the jungle around Kongthong, but it's not a birdsong. They are people who call each other music, an extraordinary tradition that can even be unique. Kongthong is a village in India, where mothers compose a special melody for each child.

According to the tradition of the community, everyone will address the person with this little individual melody for life. Hat Thymmai market displays products from cosmetics and chocolates, to even pints of beer and medicine. Once a week, Bangladeshi products are also put up for sale at an extremely cheap price and offer travellers a very good opportunity to collect cross country souvenirs. The market is open from 9 am to 6 pm.

13. Ranikor, Meghalaya

If you like fishing, Ranikor is the best place to be. Fishermen can paddle down the river where the Kynshi and Rilang rivers converge to enjoy fishing. You can find gold mahseers, golden carp, silver carp and common carp.

14. Jowai, Meghalaya

For caving in India, there are more than 150 krem (caves) that pierce the limestone bed of the Jaintia mountains, including Krem Liat Prah, the longest cave in India, which extends at least 25 km under the Shnongrim mountain range.

Away from cities and towns and in the lap of nature, Sohbar is located beside a sparkling river where you can go boating or dive in for a rejuvenating swim.

15. Tura, Meghalaya

Located in the Garo Hills, Tura is the second-most important town and an eco-tourism hub in Meghalaya. The place is shrouded with the fragrance of mountains and waterfalls. Tura Peak and Nokrek National Park are places not to be missed. Both the locations are situated nearby. The former is known for the magnificent view it offers of the Brahmaputra River and also the yellow plains of Bangladesh.

The latter is listed as UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve owing to the rich flora and fauna. Other places to visit in Tura are Pelga Falls, Siju Caves, Naphak Lake, and Rongbang Dar Waterfall.

16. Mawsynram, Meghalaya

Meghalaya is famous for being the wettest place on the entire planet. Who would ever want to miss some breezy road trips with raindrops? The popular wettest places Cherrapunji' and Mawsynram are such beautiful places that you must visit once in a lifetime. Every year these places receive 450 inches of rain. The scenic beauty of Cherrapunji and Mawsynram attracts tourists from across the world. You can witness these beautiful places and hear the beauty of raindrops falling from the sky. In Meghalaya, you must visit this awesome, green tourist place once in a lifetime.

Find yourself exploring the wettest land on earth. For about 5 km to the south-west of Shillong headquarter, you will find yourself getting all wet on the roadside of the Mawsynram village. Some say it is the most romantic place to be with your partner.

No Indian cuisine journey can be complete without tasting the authentic thali. Every state of the country has its own version of thali and Meghalaya is no exception. The Khasi thali consists of an array of dishes, chutneys, and salads with plain rice or jadoh. The famous foods that you can try here are Thukpa, Khao Suey, and Jadoh, among others.

Pukhlein, Daineiiong, Jadoh, and Jastem are some of the most famous dishes you must try during the monsoon season. If you adore pulao and can't live without pork then this Khasi delicacy is perfect for you. Jadoh which is pork pulao is sure to cast some magic on all you pork lovers.

One of the most famous dishes of Meghayala, jadoh is a cuisine from the Khasi kitchen. The dish is made with short-grain rice and pork. The dish actually resembles biryani and is available in every traditional restaurant. There is no better place than Meghalaya for a pork lover in India.

The state seems to have mastered the art of cooking pork. Dohkhlieh is one among such dishes. It's very easy to make pork salad wherein boiled pork meat is shredded with onion, chilies, spices, and salt. This side dish goes well with jadoh. Time for some delicious dessert!

Pukhlein is a rice powder pancake sweetened with jaggery. The rice powder is mixed with jaggery and fried in a pan. The result, delicious golden brown crispy rice bites that are best served with a wide variety of protein items.

The local liquor, kyat is a fermented rice beer. One might just consider kyat as the national beverage of Meghalaya as there is no bar or restaurant in Meghalaya that does not serve kyat, neither is there any household that will let you leave unless you have a glass of kyat – a true symbol of Meghalayan hospitality!

17. Jakrem, Meghalaya

And the Jakrem hot springs near Mawsynram are greatly appreciated as they are believed to have healing and medicinal properties. When you are here, you can also visit the Mawjymbuin Caves, which is formed naturally. The best access points are the villages of Mawshamok and Tyrna, south of Sohra.

The food is heart-friendly and employs very little oil as compared to the other cuisines of India. Chakhwi is one such healthy recipe that is a tasty mix of bamboo shoots, jackfruit and pork.

Each of the states in Northeast India is worth visiting. So get hold of a Northeast tour packages catalog and plan your next trip soon. You can take at least two trips in a single year if you plan your budget well.
Kalyan Panja