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Top 5 Travel Experiences in Northeast India

Top 5 Unforgettable Travel Experiences in Northeast India

Northeast India is the kind of kaleidoscope that dreams are made of, especially for seekers and travelers who are looking to visit places far off the beaten trail. In this short post, we gather some unforgettable experiences we have come across during our travels in the Northeast.

1. To venture deep in wild jungles

Video @ instagram.com/triplandindia/

Two such jungles come to my mind. The Manas National Park in Assam – away from noisy tourists and the big expanse of Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh that can only be explored by foot. There was this one time at Manas when I stopped my car to listen to the loudest roar of a tiger that I have ever heard. He was somewhere in the vicinity. I could feel him. Even in the closed safety of my vehicle, I was frightened. Or the time when I was greeted up close by a group of wild elephants who graciously crossed me by. And at a watchtower, when this rhinoceros and her calf were right below me. Things at Namdapha are a few notches more thrilling. You are always on foot surrounded by the thick forest with only your wits and a machete to save you in case you encounter something dangerous. A few days without sunlight can make you go crazy and turk for open spaces. Sometimes when it rains, it is as if the jungle comes alive and then the mud and leeches become your worst enemy.

2. Feeling right at home

Gracious to get a chance to stay in their homestay and experience village life of the Tangsa ethnic people.

Love and compassion are hard to come by. And yet, there have been numerous instances during my travels through Northeast India where I have ended up at people’s houses to feel at home and been welcomed like I was one of their own. It is easy to have your ego swell when a proud warrior tribesman accepts you and yet their humility, kindness, and lion-heartedness can send you back down to earth and keep that ego in check! There is so much to learn from the people here. Their kindness is infectious. Their way of life is simple. Their stories are filled with metaphors that bring forth the relationship between man and earth. There have been times when a smile and a simple request were enough to get me a room in someone’s house. In an age of money, take me to places where I can forget about it and I am a happy man!

3. Finding zest and gusto during festivals

Video @ instagram.com/solanopatino/

Festivals in Northeast India are aplenty. Each tribe has numerous festivals every year and it is when you get to meet people at their jolliest. You can get drunk and out on the local beers and wine. You can get to taste the cuisine and overeat all of that delicious meat. Pork and Mithun are like a religion in these parts. You can buy some really cool stuff such as machetes, coats, and shawls from each tribe. And it is super fun and educational to see the diversity in dances, languages, and songs during each and every festival. It’s all so brilliantly colorful, like a celebration of life, of ancient ways and rites of passage.

4. In peace and zen with water

Video @ instagram.com/misonwell_rangtong/

Well, there really is a heaven on earth! Especially when you find yourself on a hot and lazy afternoon bathing in a river fresh out of the mountains. With six hilly or mountainous states with countless rivers and streams that all drain down to the plains of Assam, you are never really far away from water in Northeast India. And all it takes is a small ride to the nearest river or stream or wetland to get your feet wet, to regenerate, and find calmness.

5. On long roads

Road tripping in Arunachal Pradesh

In all my honest opinion, it would take a lifetime to travel to every nook and corner of Northeast India. It is a frontier land and most places can only be reached through long and winding roads. To me personally, long journeys on the roads of the Northeast are both a test of a man’s will and an experience to be cherished. I have done plenty of long road trips in the region, spending weeks at a stretch on roads that cross tiny villages, dense jungles, massive rivers and places hardly visited by outsiders. From one settlement to another and then to another. And then there are also places that have no roads connecting them and can only be reached by trekking. The exploring goes on and on, seeking new pastures and horizons.


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