Northeastern states of India are still a mystery which in a way is a good thing as there’ll always be surprises for you on your trip here. From centuries old tribe in Nagaland to Himalayan peaks of Sikkim and Arunachal to traditions of the cloud state of Meghalaya, each and every part of Northeast India has some interesting facts to reveal like a soldier still serves at the border in Sikkim after his death! Wait before you say whoa to that! There’s a whole lot awaiting for you in this blog which surely will make you pack your bag and head out for an adventure of your own in Northeast India. So, without much ado, let’s get started-
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DID YOU KNOW?
Known as the land of rising sun for all the right reasons, Arunachal Pradesh being the easternmost state witnesses the first ray of sun in India. However, being very precise, Dong village in Anjaw district is the place to receive the second ray of Sun on the planet after Japan. Situated at an elevation of 1,240 metres above the sea level, Dong is reached by doing an 8km trek.
An unknown fact about Assam is that it is home to some of the biggest and smallest river Islands. Where Majuli Island is the world’s biggest River Island and the Umananda Island is believed to be the world’s smallest inhabited island and it is nestled right in the middle of river Brahmaputra.
Held every year in the Morigaon district of Assam, this Mela is unique as it exhibits the centuries-old barter system. In a field which is slightly bigger than a football court, Gobha and Ahom kings organise the annual Mela where buyers and sellers can come and take part. Started in the 15th century, it was started with an aim for the king to interact with the people. Anyone who visits the Jonbeel Mela can take part in it, that sounds interesting, isn’t it?
The golden treasure of Assam, which goes by the name Muga Silk is golden in colour and is sold at a high price in the market, making it a major contributor to the state’s economy. Discovered first time during the Ahom Dynasty in the 13th century, Muga silk is produced and woven majorly by the Garo community in Assam.
Sualkuchi is the world’s largest weaving village. It is said that every household in the village is directly associated with weaving exotic silk fabrics. The main silk that is weaved here is the famous Muga silk.
One of the most amazing facts about Northeast India is that it has provided safe haven to many endangered and exotic species of plants and animals in India. One such example is one-horned rhinos, which are declared critically endangered, yet thriving in Kaziranga National Park in Assam. Kaziranga is believed to have the largest one-horned rhino population in the world.
Also known as Ima Keithel, the Mother’s Market is one of its kind. Solely lead and operated by mothers, this market is probably the only women-led market in Asia and probably in the world. From grocery shopping to buying local handicrafts, this market is an ideal place to visit for shopping in Northeast India.
The Northeastern state of Meghalaya has matriarchal society, which construes women are the decision makers in the society as well as households. The Khasi tribe is the one to practice this where women are the bread winners of the families. In the tribe, if a female child is born it is followed by a celebration and if it’s a son, the society accepts it humbly as the god’s gift. Breaking the gender stereotypes, Khasi tribe has shown that there is no shame in role-reversal in the household, while still respecting both the genders.
Mawsynram in Meghalaya is the wettest place on the planet and it experiences an average annual rainfall of 11,871 millimetres. Earlier the same record was in the name of Cherrapunjee which is also situated in the state of Meghalaya.
The biggest cave in the state of Mizoram, the Pukzing cave is a major tourist attraction here. Believed to be carved by a man called Mualzavata who used just a hairpin for it.
Are you one such crazy wanderer who wishes to be in two places at once? Well, learning this one of the most amazing facts about Northeast India might fulfil your dream. Longwa village in the Mon district of Nagaland is a spot where the border passes. Dividing the village into two parts, one falling in India and the other part in the country of Myanmar, Longwa allows you to be in two places at once! Even the village chief’s house lies on the border, half on either side of the border.
This is a known fact that Nagaland is the land of many tribes but did you know that it is also home to the only surviving head hunting tribe? Surprising, isn’t it? Well, the Konyak tribe is known for their ruthless traditions. The tribe used to cut the head of their enemy tribes during battles and store them as trophies. Although, the practice of head-hunting has stopped after 1940, you can still witness the elderly tribals, narrating their historic tales. The tribe has got tattoos all over their face and are easily recognisable.
One of the most important facts you need to know about Northeast states of India is that it is a musical region, with every other person being into music. On January 2013, Nagaland made its name into Guinness Book of World Records, with 368 participants at the Agri-expo ground strummed to the tunes of AC/DC’s song, Knocking on heaven’s door.
We all are aware of the fact that Nagaland is a state of tribes but did you know that there are a total of 17 tribes in the state and more than 36 languages are spoken in the state. The major tribes are Angami, Chakhesang, Chang, Khiamniungan, Ao, Konyak, Lotha, Yimchunger, Zeliang, Phom, Rengma, Sangtam, Sema, Thangkul, Pochury, Kuki and Kachari. Nagaland is also one of the few states in the world which has managed to preserve it’s original tribe culture and customs.
It is sometimes hard to believe that Sikkim hasn’t always been the part of the Republic of India. The Kingdom of Sikkim was founded by the Namgyal Dynasty in the 17th century and it became a princely Indian state in the year 1890. However, after India gained independence, Sikkim enjoyed the status of a protectorate, however, it wasn’t until 1975 that Sikkim joined the Republic of India.
Would you believe that a soldier continued to serve his duty even decades after dying on duty? It is true, and adding to this eerieness is that fact that he still receives a salary. The legend has it that Harbhajan Singh was a soldier of Indian Army in Sikkim. One night while patrolling in the year 1946, he was lost. His battalion believed that he had run off. But days later his body was discovered after one of his colleagues dreamt about Harbhajan Singh telling about his body.
After his last rites, he visited another friend in his dreams, saying that his watch on the border isn’t over yet and he would continue to serve the nation after his death. There were many sightings of a soldier patrolling the border on a white horse. After a while, the officials granted him a special status and he was given a retirement when it was due. One of the most interesting facts about Sikkim is that locals at Nathu la made a shrine in his memory.
Tripura is one of the most underrated tourist destinations in India but if you visit this heavenly state, you will be greeted by numerous forts and palaces belonging to the royal family of the state. However, one fort which takes the crown is Neermahal, which is the only floating palace in the entire Northeast region. Built by King of Tripura Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya in 1938, the palace is an exhibition of the royal heritage and glorious past.
Although the region of Northeast India comprises a major landmass of India, the states are scarcely populated. The total population of all the seven sister states and Sikkim combined together are roughly equal to the population of the eastern state of Odisha, which happens to be the 11th most populated state in the country. The state of Arunachal Pradesh is the least dense state in India while being the biggest out of all 8 states of Northeast India, in terms of landmass.
Geographically Northeast India is at a slight disadvantage as the connectivity is very limited. If you wish to explore Northeast India by roads, you would have to pass through the famous Siliguri Corridor, also known as Chicken’s Neck. It is a road which connects Indian mainland to all 8 states of Northeast India. Socially and strategically important for India, the corridor is also one of the most scenic roads to drive across.
The Himalayas cover a majority of the landscape in North Indian and Northeast Indian states and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if we told you that approximately 70% of the Northeaster terrains are covered by mountains and hills. Attracting a lot of tourists every year, the mountains, valleys and mountain passes in this region are no less beautiful than its Northern counterparts. State of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim are completely nestled in the Himalayan ranges.
Northeast India is a haven for music lovers. Many music festivals in Northeast India like Ziro festival in Arunachal Pradesh take place annually in this region. Northeast India has also given many popular musicians including the famous R.D Burman, S.D Burman, Papon and many more.
Northeast acquaints you to more than 150 tribes and each of these tribes prepare their unique tribal liquor. These are distinct in taste and if you dream of tasting them, visiting the Northeast Indian is the only way.
Do these facts entice you to explore the offbeat locations of Northeast India? Don’t wait then, pack your bags and explore all these states and don’t forget to share your experience with us. Also, if you think we have missed any interesting fact or secret, do let us know in the comment section below.
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