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Northeast India is the eastern-most region of India connected to East India via a narrow corridor squeezed between Nepal and Bangladesh. It comprises the contiguous Seven Sister States (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura), plus the Himalayan state of Sikkim. North East India is unique because of its geographical location bordering China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan thus making this region a melting pot of various racial stocks, viz. Indo-Burmese, Mongoloid, Austro-Asiatic, Aryan, Dravidian etc.
North East India has a reputation for warm hospitality. People are homely, welcoming and openhearted. The small and serene villages shelter the humble people, warm and fascinating and as colourful as the land itself. They robe themselves in the choicest cloths, which are generally woven in their traditional looms. The handicraft and handloom of all the states is very unique and a much see for the visitors.
The region is also a paradise for wildlife lovers with a total of 17 National Parks and more than 50 Wildlife sanctuaries. WWF has identified the entire Eastern Himalayas as a priority Global 200 Ecoregion. These protected areas are the home to thousands of species of Flora and Fauna including many critically endangered and endangered species like the Hollock Gibbon, White winged wood duck, Brow antlered deer (Sangai), White bellied heron, Bengal florican, Assam roofed turtle, Golden langur, Red panda, Stump tailed macaque and many more.
Arunachal Pradesh : The eastern most province of India, which is the first to be touched by the rays of the sun, is one of the most beautiful regions. Its isolation has protected its natural beauty, tribal culture, crafts and tradition and its splendid wildlife. The vast canopy of rainforest with its plethora of flora and fauna, makes it one of the world’s seventeen bio-diversity heritage sites. It offers the tourist numerous opportunities for rafting, hiking and mountaineering. Arunachal Pradesh finds mention in ancient literature such as the Kalika Purana and the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana.There are 26 major indigenous tribes in Arunachal Pradesh. Some of them are Nyishi, Monpa, Sherdukpen, Wanchoo, Apatani, Tagin, Miri, Adi, Akas, Mijis etc.
Assam : Assam, the gateway to the enchanting North East India is blessed with vast alluvial plains rich in forest and rolling tracts of paddy and tea and oil from the depths of the earth. The mighty river Brahmaputra or son of lord Brahma wends its way from the higher riches of the Tibetan plateau through Arunachal Pradesh to the plains of Assam. The rich bio-diversity supports an immense range of rare and endangered species.Cocooned between dramatic Himalayan foothills in the north and the plateau and the hilly terrain in the south, Assam is one of the largest producers of tea in the world. Her tea estates established by the British, produces over half of India’s tea.
Assam is the home of diverse tribes such as Mishing, Deori, Kachari, Tai-Phakai, Singpho, Rabha, Tiwa, Lalung etc. The region can be any anthropologist delight.
Manipur : Called as the jewel state of India, Manipur is a land rich in culture, tradition and natural beauty. Home to about 500 different varieties of Orchids and its dancing deer Sangai, which is also the state animal. The RasLeela of Manipur is famous all over the world and is a National dance of India. Manipur is also the sports capital of Northeast India producing some of the best sports personalities in India. The sport of Polo was also invented here. A trip to Manipur would not be complete if one does not try the local cuisine here. Manipur is also reputed for its martial arts, traditional dances and its famous handicrafts and handlooms.
Meghalaya : Meghalaya, or “Abode of the Clouds” is the home of the Khasi, Jaintia and the Garo tribes. It is bounded by Assam in the north and the east and the plains of Bangladesh in the south and west. The State is divided into three hilly regions - the Garo Hills (Western Meghalaya), the Khasi Hills (Central Meghalaya) and the Jaintia Hills (Eastern Meghalaya). Great stone Monoliths erected to the old tribal kings can be found in the Khasi and the Jaintia hills as well as the sacred forest groves. Besides being the home of 300 varieties of Orchids, Meghalaya is rich in wildlife; its gentle hills are interspersed with rich meadows and pine forests. Meghalaya is also a trekkers paradise and now an important caving destination in India.
Mizoram : One of the most peaceful and friendly states of Northeast India, Mizoram literary means the land of the hill people. Mizos are a close-knit society with no class distinction and no discrimination. The entire society is knitted together by a peculiar code of ethics 'Tlawmngaihna' an untranslatable term meaning that everyone to be hospitable kind, unselfish and helpful to others. The festivities of the Mizos are directly related to their Jhum cultivation and are so timed accordingly. Cheraw or the bamboo dance of Mizoram is famous all over. Mizos are also known for their integrate handloom work.
Nagaland: Wide valleys, rippling streams, majestic mountains, deep gorges, and a rich variety of flora and fauna make Nagaland unique. Nagaland’s turbulent history, song and dance, native crafts, costumes, jewellery and myths and legends are an intrinsic part of its traditions. The colorful people are talented musicians, singers and dancers. Nagaland, which is pre-dominantly a tribal state, is inhabited by 16 groups of the Tibeto-Burman tribe. Though they were animist by tradition, the influence of English missionaries led most of them to embrace Christianity. The life style of the modern Naga is still influenced by ancient tenets and this makes Naga society a well knit and cohesive unit. A very interesting traditional institution is the Morung, a men’s exclusive dormitory that is the focal point of the village.
The Nagas have a wonderful tradition of weaving. Hand woven Naga shawls find a market in India and abroad. Each tribe has distinguishing patterns and motifs and certain ceremonies are indicated in the weaving of these beautiful shawls.
Tripura : Once a erstwhile princely state, Tripura is one of the smallest state of the country bordered by Bangladesh on three sides and the state of Assam and Mizoram on the East. The area of modern 'Tripura' was ruled for several centuries by the Tripuri dynasty. It was the independent princely state of the Tripuri Kingdom under the protectorate of the British Empire. With its historic palaces, rock cut carvings, stone sculptures, ancient Hindu & Buddhist temples, wildlife sanctuaries, rich cultural diversity and its rich tradition of handicrafts, Tripura has a lot to offer for tourist coming here.
Sikkim : Known to the Lepchas as Ney-Mayel-Lyang or the 'Hidden Paradise', Sikkim is a beautiful Himalayan state bordering the state of West Bengal in the south, Nepal in the West, Bhutan in the East and Tibet in the North. This land of amazing natural beauty is full of legends and history. Its lofty peaks, holy lakes, ancient monasteries, flower filled meadows, orchids, hot springs, tribal culture and beautiful tourist destinations makes Sikkim a multi dimensional holiday destination. Sikkim has a strong influence of Tibetan Buddhism. Sikkim also has a very mixed cuisine which makes it a perfect destination for the foodies. With its exotic Himalayan wildlife, picture-postcard landscapes with some great hiking trails in the mountain and unique tourist spots makes Sikkim a perfect holiday destination.
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