‘MMMANAT’ is the abbreviation for Northeastern states of India, popularly known as the Seven Sisters of India. Known as the paradise unexplored, India’s seven sisters Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura are also popularly known for their origin in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, magnificent valleys and exotic flora and fauna. There is great ethnic and religious diversity within the seven states. Most of these states were independent and their complete integration with India came about only during the British Raj. A tour to the Northeast begins from Guwahati which is considered as the gateway to these regions. It is connected through the major airports as well as the Indian Railways.
Land of Dalai Lama, Arunachal Pradesh has some of the mesmerizing places in the region. It is the largest state in the north-east region and has been mentioned as one of the most impressive, variegated and multilingual tribal areas of the world. Spotted with monasteries, hot springs and nunneries, the place is an ideal tourist spot for the nature lovers. Home to a 400 year old Buddhist Monastery and birth place of 6th Dalai Lama, Tawang is a must visit spot. Auranachal Pradesh is also abode of the first orchid sanctuary in the country located 24 Km from a town called Tipi and houses more than 183 species of varied orchids. The famous festival is the Torgva festival held here is the largest in the country.
Assam is a northeastern state of India with the capital city Dispur within Guwahati, popularly known as The Gateway of the Northeast. The ethnic origin of the Assamese diverges from Mongoloid tribes to directly of Indian stock. The earliest residents of Assam were of Austric stock. Broadly, Assam inhabitants can be divided into three categories, the tribal population, the non-tribal population and the scheduled castes. Upon reaching Guwahati the options are numerous. A visit to the Manas National Park can be a good start for the wildlife enthusiasts. The park houses great variety of wildlife including tiger, hispid, golden langur, hare and many others. Kaziranga National Park is another amusement for nature lovers. You can take a river cruise from Guwahati to Kaziranga and spot the horned rhinoceros and other endangered species. Assam is also houses the world’s largest river island -Majuli. Other places of interest in the state are the religious spot of Kamakhya Devi temple, striking tea gardens, Rang Ghar and Kareng Ghar in the Sibsagar district.
Manipur is the land of rich valleys surrounded by pristine hills and lakes. Tourists can reach Manipur through the Tulihal Airport and reach the capital city of Imphal. Manipur’s houses Keibul Lamjao National Park, the only floating national park in India. Located about 48 km from Imphal, the park is the home to several endangered species and seventeen rare species of mammals. Manipur which was a princely state under the British rule in 1891 was once described as the ‘land of gems’ or ‘Suvarnabhu’, the land of gold. Other worth seeing places are war cemetery, Shaheed Minar, Khwairamband Bazar, Manipur state museum, Langthabal, Manipur zoological park and Khonghampat Ochidarium. Do not forget to see Govindajee temple, a Vaishnavite temple adjacent to the royal palace of the former rulers of Manipur.
Meghalaya, literally meaning “the abode of cloud” is endowed with a rich variety of flora and fauna. It’s a home to 3000 species of orchids out of 17,000 varieties of orchids in the world. You can find the pitcher plant, which is an insect eating plant in the district of West Khasi hills, Jaintia hills and South Garo hills of the state. Other than this botanical wonder you can find tigers, elephants, bear, leopard, jackal, golden langurs and many other animals in the state. Take a three hour’s drive from Guwahati to reach Shillong the capital city and beautiful a hill station in Meghalaya. Popularly known as Scotland of the East, the place has a unique missionary culture. Shillong Peak is the highest point of Shillong. Other major tourist destinations in Meghalaya are the Elephant Falls located in upper Shillong, Catherdal, golf course etc.
Popularly known as the “land of Blue Mountains”, Mizoram is a worth visit state. Like its other sister states Mizoram also has some breathtaking spots and amazig scenic landscapes. Visit Vantawang, it is the highest waterfall in the country and be in the midst of the bamboo forests that surrounds it. For a relaxation and a break from the hectic city life take a boat ride in the tranqil water of the river Tamdil, a well-known lake and home to ample prawns and other fishes. The lake is an excellent picnic spot. Take a drive to the nearby jungles to get close to the rich flora and fauna. Also visit Lake Palak, 45 km from Aizwal, is the largest lake in Mizoram renowned for its varied crabs, wild duck and large fish. Other places of interst are Champhai a beautiful resort on the Indo- Myanmar border, Lunglei, Saitual and Rengdil.
Land of Mysticism, Nagaland is almost entirely inhabited by the Naga tribes except some Kukis, Kacharis, Garos, Mikris, Benglalees, and Assamese etc. The state also has some of the best peaks like her sisters. The Japfu peak, Mt. Tempu and Mt. Saramati are some of the highest peak of the state. Watching sun rise from Mt. Saramati, the highset peak in Nagaland, is the experience of its kind. Mt. Tempu peak gives the best view of the Dzukou valley, a favorite spot for young trekkers and meditation groups. Four districts of nagaland that have been opened for international visitors recently are Kohima, Dimapur, Wokha and Mokochung. Kohima, the state capital situated at the height of 1495 meters above sea level offers wide panoramic views.
Tripura – The Seventh Sister
Last is the seventh sister – Tripura, the ancient home of the Bodos. Located by the side of Bangladesh Tripura is now a part of the area comprising seven states called `Seven Sisters` because of several similarities in the cultural mosaic, social milieu and economy. Tripura constitutes of several ethnic groups with each of the groups having its own distinct form of cultural expressions. Upon reaching Agaratala, tourists can explore the Ujjayanta Palace build by Radhakishore Manikya Bahadur in1901, Sepahijala Wild life Sanctuary, Neer Mahal a palace in water, Jampui Hills which is an orange producing zone, Unakoti where one can see the striking rock cut images, Pillak, Dumboorlake and many other striking tourist spots.