India, a land of rich diversity is home to more than a billion people, 28 different states, each having its own distinct identity, varied culture, food, and language. Ethnically distinct from the rest of India and tucked away in the beauteous Himalayan country is the north-eastern region of India which further accentuates the great Indian diversity.
North-East India is a jig-saw of natural and cultural splendors of its seven states, collectively labeled “The Land of Seven Sisters”, namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and the state of Sikkim. This unexplored, isolated yet magical paradise transports you to a different world altogether. Here are a few must have experiences while embarking on a journey to North-East India.
Brahmaputra River cruise
The mighty Brahmaputra River that has its origin in Tibet, charts its majestic course through the mystic land of Assam flowing across 1800 miles from its source. Assam is far-famed for its cruises and it forms one of its major attractions. A cruise on this river offers some breathtaking panorama along with the most thrilling of river journeys. Brahmaputra cruises feature attractions such as wildlife safaris, visit to tea gardens, barbecues on river islands, dance performances, visits to craft workshops, nature walks, visits to temples, exploration of forts and palaces of Ahom kingdom, discovering spiritual enlightening in Neo-Vaisnavite monasteries of Majuli Island along with firsthand experience of rich tradition and culture of the Assamese people. If you are lucky, you will be able to catch a glimpse of a group of Gangetic Dolphins playing in the holy waters of the river. Cruising on a riverboat on the longest river in India is a way to witness a world of solitude, in total contrast to most other Indian holidays.
Soak nature in Kaziranga National Park
Assam’s greatest revived asset, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1985), a Tiger Reserve (2006) and an Important Bird Area (Birdlife International), Kaziranga National Park has been a treat for wildlife lovers across ages. Spread across an area of 430 sq km, its landscape encompasses tall elephant grass, rugged reeds, marshland, shallow pools and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests. The main treasure trove of Kaziranga is the endangered Great One Horned Rhinoceros but it also serves as a shelter to a variety of other wildlife species such as Tigers, Wild Asiatic Water Buffaloes, Swamp Deer, Indian Elephants, Bengal Fox, Golden Langur, Pythons, Assamese Macaque, Large Indian Civet, Gibbon and many more. The Park is also a bird's paradise where you can sight a variety of colorful birds such as Bengal Florican, Dalmatian Pelican, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Ruddy Shelduck, Grey Headed Fish Eagle, Himalayan Griffon, Eastern Imperial, etc. Opt for a thrilling experience of observing wildlife sitting on the back of elephants and appreciate the flourishing myriad of ecosystems. Kaziranga has played a significant role in conservation of wildlife and undoubtedly remains a paradise where nature is seen in its most unadulterated form.
Immerse in Spirituality in Tawang
The holy town of Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is located at a height of 12,000 ft. above the sea level and shares its border with Tibet and Bhutan. This land of pristine beauty owes its name to the imposing 14th century Tawang Monastery. Tawang has acquired the reputation of the fabled Shangri La and is referred with numerous names, such as The Hidden Paradise and Land of Snowy Mountains. The region offers breathtaking mountain landscapes, tribal villages, treasures of many rare orchid species, numerous magical Gompas, serene lakes and many other mysteries. The land of the ‘Monpas’ is home to the second largest Buddhist monastery of the world, The Galden Namgey Lhatse Monastery (translated as ‘celestial paradise in a clear night’) which enlightens the entire landscape with an aura of spirituality. There are numerous holy monasteries like Tawang Gompa, Urgelling Gompa and Brama Dungchung Ani Gompa that one should not miss out on. Tawang has lately acquired fame as a trekking destination and offers interesting trekking trails for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Stay on a Tea Estate in Darjeeling
Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas is Darjeeling, home of "The Champagne of Teas". Darjeeling's vast tea estates date to the 19th century British colonial times when tea planting began as an experiment. At present there are about 87 tea estates in the Darjeeling district with the prominent being Makaibari Tea Estate, Glenburn Tea Estate, Goomtee Tea Estate, Puttabong Tea Estate and Happy Valley Tea Estate. Owing to the increasing popularity of tea tourism, these tea estates have embraced the idea to open small estates for tourists who wish to witness the tea production process as well as understand the intricacies of its taste and its flavourful history. Relax in cozy rooms overlooking the lovely Himalayan sunrise as well as the estate's thriving tea fields, take a stroll through the pictorial gardens, watch live tea processing in the factory, explore the diverse flora and fauna, chat with the garden workers to understand their lives in the gardens, indulge in fine cuisine prepared from many estate-grown ingredients, experience the local culture in this part of the world and of course drink tea to your heart’s content.
Explore the Unexploited Sikkim
Sikkim, a heavenly paradise on earth and termed as “The Switzerland of the East”, lies landlocked in between Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan in India’s eastern region. This tiny state is just 110 kms from north to south and 60 kms across. Despite its tiny size, this less explored region is full of exotic attractions for all kinds of tourists. A trip to cities like Pelling, Yuksom, Gezing, Jorethang, Mangan, Kalimpong and Mirik offer perfect relaxing holidays and superb views of Kanchenjunga range (India’s highest peak, and the third highest in the world). If you are looking for exciting trekking routes in this unspoilt terrain, or a quiet communion with the mountains, there are few places in India that would match the Himalayan state of Sikkim. The communities of Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalese are an analogous interfusion with their distinct identity. A holiday here offers the best chance to go off the beaten track and enjoy the warmth of the Himalayan people. A Yak safari or the Thumba millet beer will leave you with a memorable experience. If you wish to explore some exotic history, visit the Rumtek Monastery or the sacred Changu Lake in east Sikkim. This picturesque beauty is the most surprising state of all, with a climate, topography and lifestyle which leaves everyone coming back over and over for a holiday that extends beyond belief.
About Odyssey Travels
Odyssey Travels is a leading IATA accredited Travel Company, established in 1992. We specialize in planning customized holidays in India and abroad for our clients which includes air ticketing, worldwide hotel reservations, inclusive tours, sightseeing activities, visa assistance & travel insurance services. We offer customized tour packages for wildlife holidays and East India tours. For further information or to make a booking contact 020-66442929 or visit http://www.odysseytravels.net/