Hidden treasures of the North-east
1. West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh
The scenic hill district named after the river of the same name, Kameng was divided into Tawang, East Kameng, and West Kameng due to political reasons. Of these, the West Kameng is often compared to Papua New Guinea’s New Ireland because of its striking beauty. Owing to its remoteness, the region remains to be one of the less visited places in India that deserve more travelers.
Best time to visit: March – mid-June & September – mid-December
Also visit: Tawang and Nuranang Falls
2. Keibul Lamjao on Loktak Lake, Manipur
Keibul Lamjao – the only floating park in the world – is another destination in North-east India that deserves more tourists. The floating of the garden on the Loktak Lake is due to the decomposition of the plant material. Home to the endangered Sangai deer, the lake region in the Bishnupur district of Manipur should be on your bucket list for the winters.
Best time to visit: November – March
3. Pelling, Sikkim
Still untouched by the ‘tourism’ as such, Pelling is slowly gaining importance as a cultural extravaganza & a serene hideout at the same time. And for the adventurous mountaineers and trekkers, it is undoubtedly a delightful getaway that can be included in your Sikkim tour packages.
Best time to visit: Mid-February – June & September – December
4. Haflong, Assam
Emerald green valleys, silvery waters, unique orchids, and rare species of birds make up the scenic vistas of Haflong. The beautiful Haflong Lake, the local culture & cuisine, and the flora & fauna of the quaint hill station makes it a must visit destination in the northeast.
Best time to visit: October – February
5. Dzukou Valley, Nagaland
A new geographical belt altogether, Dzukou Valley is an unexplored destination in the lesser-visited state of Nagaland. The destination can be reached after an easy trek from Viswema Village – a short drive in a shared car from Kohima.
Note: Don’t forget to pack food for the trek.
Best time to visit: October – May
6. Tuophema Tourist Village, Nagaland
The Tuophema tourist village in Nagaland, another hidden jewel of the northeast, is located 41 km from Kohima. The village offers a chance to the tourists to explore an altogether new culture & a new social system in the village.
Don’t miss: Traditional rice beer and bamboo baked dishes of the Naga cuisine.
Best time to visit: October – May; especially during the annual festival of Angami Sekrenyi in the month of February
7. Unakoti, Tripura
Unakoti, a magical archaeological site located 180 km from Agartala, has been another remote destination for even the travelers heading to the northeast. The destination has almost one crore carved figures that date back to the 7th century.
According to Shaivites, once Lord Shiva took a night halt here with 1 crore other gods & goddesses. The next morning, none of them woke up. Furious at them, Lord Shiva cursed them to become stone images and continued his journey alone to Kashi.
Best time to visit: October – May
8. Aizawl, Mizoram
Be it the bustling Burra Bazaar that offers amazing bamboo handicrafts or Durtlang Hills overlooking the city, Aizawl – the capital city – has everything to make a holiday truly memorable. But the remoteness of the destination has left it untouched from the tourism scene in India.
Tip: Take a hike to the Durtlang Hills to give you a bird’s eye view of the city.
Best time to visit: October – March
Yes, it is tribal. But, at the same time, it is pristine and horribly clean. Located about 90 km south of Shillong, the Mawlynnong village was declared as the cleanest village in Asia in 2003. Both the community and the government work cordially to promote the eco-tourism of the wild village. And the awe-inspiring millennium-old Living Roots bridge is a sight to behold.
Tip: Take a trek from Mawlynnong to the Living Root Bridge, visit the scenic Umterming waterfall, and stay in one of the homestays on the stilts.
Best time to visit: October – April
Unspoken wonders from the West
10. Osian, Rajasthan
For those who love historical architecture but do not want to be surrounded by a large crowd, Osian village in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan is the place to be. And the fact that it is located near an oasis in the Thar Desert makes the land of these 8th-century temples a must-visit destination.
Best time to visit: November – March
11. Kaas Plateau, Maharashtra
The Kaas Plateau to Maharashtra is what the Valley of Flowers is to Uttarakhand. Located 22 km from Satara, the 1000 hectare plateau is covered with wild flowers. The beauty of this place makes it a perfect location for the shooting of a romantic Bollywood movie.
Best time to visit: September – October
Whispers from the North
12. Nag Tibba, Uttarakhand
An easy winter trek in Himalayas, Nag Tibba is home to the temple of Nag Deva (Snake God). And the beautiful sight of the Swargarohini & Nanda Devi peaks from Thatyur only adds to its charm. Though it is not totally off the tourism scene, the beautiful hill station in Uttarakhand definitely deserves more tourists.
Best time to visit: Mid-November – March
13. Crank’s Ridge, Uttarakhand
Crank’s Ridge, popularly known as the Hippie Hill, had gained attention during the 1960’s as a ‘power center’. Legends like Bob Dylan, Cat stevens, and Allen Ginsberg made it popular with the western alternative crowd. D.H. Lawrence – the famous English novelist – too spent two summers at this place. The natural forest fires in the valley below attract backpackers during the summers. However, there is more to this destination that can bring this quaint destination on the Uttarakhand tourism scene.
Best time to visit: March – June and September – November
And the rest of India
14. Gandikota, Andhra Pradesh
The Gandikota village in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh gives a strong competition to the Arizona’s Grand Canyon. And the spectacular gorge formed by river Pennar that cuts through the Erramala hills is not the only highlight. A magnificent Gandikota Fort rests atop the gorge. And then there are adventure activities like rock climbing, kayaking, rappelling, and trekking for those who seek more than just a calm & relaxing holiday.
Best time to visit: September – February
15. Chitrakoot and Tirathgarh, Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh may not be on your wishlist yet. But we assure you, the state from Central India has lots of hidden jewels. The magnificent Chitrakoot & Tirathgarh waterfalls are only two such delightful places.
The Chitrakoot falls also hold a religious significance as per the Hindu mythology. It is believed that for 10 long years there were no rains here. The intensive austerities of Sati Anasuya brought the river Mandakini down on earth. The Sati Anasuya ashram was visited by Lord Rama and Devi Sita. The Dandaka forest that was once ruled by Ravana & his demons and the Rama Ghat where Bharat took Lord Rama’s sandals for the throne are located around the waterfalls.
Best time to visit: July – October
Isn’t India truly magnificent? I am sure you agree as much as we do. These destinations have plenty of tourism potential and we are ready to share these places with the world. We did our part. Now, it is time you do yours.
Spread the word and make sure your buddies become aware of how incredible India is