6 Weekend Destinations to Explore in North-East India

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Weekend Destinations to Explore in North East India

“Life is a journey that must be travelled
no matter how bad the roads and accommodation”
– Oliver Goldsmith

Weekend getaways to revitalise your soul in North-East

India’s northeast states have always been a questioning destination for travellers and it is seldom judged as a faraway journey. But its divine locales brilliantly lit with vibrancy and amaze; unexplored places and people are what draw the explorers. If you wish to look at it – northeast is a strange and fascinating abode that one must travel! And one of the best ways to traverse through the north-eastern terrains is by making short weekend pit stops which gives opportunity to discover different elements that beautify and romanticise this humble abode. Also, a weekend trip is a great way, especially for those who are living in the Northeast to explore their homely surroundings and the neighbouring ones. So, make most of the weekend and schedule your freedom by hitting the winding misty roads of the Northeast and get to know some of the most exuberant people, bizarre food, unique culture and impeccable landscape.

Let us knock down some weekend getaways and be all over the map in some pristine and proud north-eastern stations:

1. Dawki, Meghalaya

Umngot River

Photo: https://goo.gl/h5AOBs

Meghalaya’s beautiful town, Dawki is located in West Jaintia Hills and this humble kingdom is no less than the beautiful capital Shillong. A curvy road will take you through some breathtaking slopes and mesmerising landscapes as you roll towards Dawki. Apart from it, being the border town between Bangladesh and India, it houses the jewel of the North-East: a see-through river that is certainly a little-known gem of the state. This spellbound whistle-stop is called Umngot River and its clear water almost makes you think you are flying when you take a boat ride on it. Dawki, which is on the border of India and Bangladesh serves as a trading pass and a common playground for both the sides to fish and enjoy the Umngot River’s ultimate bliss.

Attraction:

The main attraction here is Jaflong Zero Point, where apart from the extreme natural beauty and peace is a 136-meter long single lane suspension bridge built in 1932 by the British over the Umngot River. Boat race is another popular attraction held here every year in the month of February.

How to get here:

The journey to Dawki is very scenic. The place is situated at a dramatic 175 kms from Guwahati and 10 km journey from Shillong by road which lies along the lip of the vast green Pamshutia Canyon. Tata Sumos or other heavy vehicles are the basic means of transport here as the roads may get a little bumpy at times.
From Guwahati, you can get shared taxis to Shillong, where from taxi to Dawki is to be hired.

Activities:

River raft in Dawki’s rousing river and take an hour ride to the nearby village noted to be the cleanest village in Asia, Mawlynnong, and witness the living root bridge tucked away in the picturesque Khasi Hills.

Accommodation:

Shillong is a preferred landmark for accommodation, as a major tourist hot spot, Shillong has many reputed hotels and resorts to dive in with both feet. And it has suitable options for all budget travellers as well.

Best time to Visit:

Dawki is a year-round harbour with radiant atmospheric conditions. The town being positioned in the Jaintia Hills is rewarded with charm and greenery and it is ideal to visit in the spring season; the months of March and April when the temperature is cool 20 degree Celsius.

2. Mechuka, Arunachal Pradesh

Mechuka

Photo: https://goo.gl/EYhrGc

Talk about peace and bliss, Mechuka is a major tourist destination in Arunachal Pradesh because of its scenic beauty, exotic tribes, fabulous hills and snow-clad mountains. As you gear towards this lonely place, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the valleys and a crystal clear stream alongside the road.

Mechuka is situated in a secluded forested area covered in pine trees and thorn bushes so a ride to this enchanting town would be like entering the wilderness. Apart from its magnetic beauty, its close contact with China border is the main highlight. Home to the Buddhist tribe and the 400-year-old Samten Yongcha Monastery of Mahayana Buddhist, this valley is dotted with wondrous ruins of the past and rustic and green fields.

On a clear blue day, the Siom River which flows through Mechuka provides a reflecting view of the sky and valley, there is no reason why not to embark on this journey to the barren land of beauty.

Attraction:

Apart from the beautiful backdrop and stunning abode, the main attraction is the Buddhist Monastery of Mahayana.

How to get here:

The closest airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, Assam. A taxi can be booked to Mechuka which is about 800 kilometres. However, if you wish to fly to Mechuka, the Arunachal government has launched commercial flight service although it is not frequent.

Activities:

Mechuka is a remote and untouched valley in Arunachal Pradesh, it offers a trek to Along and Mechuka valley, one can indulge in the tribal cuisine of Memba and Adi tribe and walk over a bamboo bridge that is over 1500 foot long.

Accommodation:

Mechuka has few lodges and private hotels that give accommodation to the visitors. You can either check the Almost Heritage which offers option of home stay or Gyaboo’s Traditional Lodge.

Best time to Visit:

The best months to visit Mechuka are from February to October when the temperature during summers can go up to 35 degrees Celsius and remains up to 25 degrees Celsius during monsoon.

3. Blue Mountain National Park, Mizoram

Blue Mountain National Park

Photo: https://goo.gl/jnK4SG

Often known as the Blue Mountain of Mizoram; this land has spectacular trees and flowers of all kinds and breathtaking view of the picturesque Chhimtuipui River. It also houses the highest mountain peak in Mizoram and is famous for orchids and rhododendrons. This abode also has breathtaking slopes and peaks where the clouds scatter.

This site is perhaps an ideal stop for family getaways, feel the light breeze as you walk the roads of Phawngpui’s Blue Mountain National Park and a gush of the wind as you witness the awe-inspiring and breathtaking mountains. Rich green slopes and blue sky blend together making the visit worthwhile. Surrounded by breathtaking cliffs and beautiful valleys, one will get a splendid view under the scarlet skies.

Attraction:

Blue Mountain National Park which is about 68 kilometres from Aizwal is a retreat for adventure lovers as this heavenly site is surrounded by dramatic rocky edges and vibrant green forest. Make sure to add this destination on your bucket list.

How to get here:

You can get a connecting flight to Aizawl via Kolkata and Guwahati. Once here, you can avail taxi services to ascend to the National Park.

However, the closest railhead is in Bairabi as the Bairabi railway Station which is about 120 kilometres to the capital.

Activities:

Mizoram is filled with divine spots to venture upon, trek to the unspoilt beauty of the two Mizoram district Lengteng and Mawmrang. Visit the oval shaped lake known as Palak Lake about 400 kilometres in Phura Village, and wander the busy market of Burra Bazaar in Aizwal.

Accommodation:

Aizwal being the hub of tourists has a good number of hotels and guests houses. You can check in reputed abodes like David’s Hotel Clover or Hotel Flora or check out some reputed budget hotels around.

Best time to Visit:

This region is pleasant throughout the year, but the ideal time to explore this side of the world is between the months of October and April. Weather during this time is nice and pleasant and you get a treat to witness vibrant, scenic view of the Blue Mountain enveloped in green valleys.

4. Majuli Island, Assam

Majuli Island

Photo: https://goo.gl/lMOagL

India’s first district Island and world’s biggest river island, Majuli is a destination not to be missed when you visit north-eastern paradise. The 400 sq ft island is a home to Assamese neo-Vaisnavite culture and it is a place like no other. The pearl lies here as the only way to commute is via ferry, it is a task and inconvenience witnessed by many but the real feel is to afloat in smooth Brahmaputra itself.

Assam serves roads to some exotic destinations in Northeast and each divine route you take you are bound to find impressive farm lands and huts where cows graze and children play by the roads and nearby farm huts.

Ferries are offered through Jorhat to Majuli Islands. It is a 7 or 8-hour journey to the bank of the river Brahmaputra that will surely enchant you throughout the way, it is a relaxing journey after set sail ahoy!

Attraction:

Majuli has around 13 tourist attractions and popular weekend getaways in Northeast which can be visited best during the months between October and February. It may be an island but it has many sights to see, one must schedule at least a week to explore the enchanting land.

Kamalabari Satra is one of the religious sites which houses art, culture, literature and classical studies. Tengapania is a spectacular picnic spot of the region and it is located on the bank of Rver Brahmaputra.

How to get here:

Majuli can be reached from Jorhat, Assam. You can get connecting flights from Guwahati and Kolkata. Jorhat is 14 kilometres away to Neemati Ghat from where the ferry runs twice up and down the Brahmaputra. Make sure to keep track with the ferry timings from the bus and taxi stations as they change according to the season.

Activities:

Majuli Island is famous for Satras, among few Samaguri Satra is famous for mask making and teaching. Learn some bamboo and clay technique to make some crafts, and learn the art of hand-looming from the Mishing tribe.

Accommodation:

Majuli has well-maintained lodgings you can plan your stay in the Circuit house, Dekasang Resort or Ygdrasill Bamboo Cottage.

Best time to Visit:

Majuli is best visited during the months of September to December. It is these months that the island glitters with festivals and tourists.

5. Mon, Nagaland

Mon, Nagaland

Photo: https://goo.gl/8GpUWV

Mount up high near the border of Indo-Myanmar through the wormy dust and stone roads of Nagaland. The land of the head-hunters is a divine and sacred place; mounted on higher grounds, Mon offers its best in raw natural beauty. To an adventurer, this winding road is ideal for a thrilling expedition. Being one of the backward destinations, many tourists visit to study the geography and heritage of this region. For wanderers and nature lovers, this land is a heaven, away from the chaos it is simple and charming quite town.

Ascending towards the journey to the mountains, you come across huts and shops where village ladies sell organic fruits – you are never hungry through the eerie but alluring road. Its superb greenery setting and enchanting roads will want you coming back for more adrenalin rush.

Attraction:

The legends and stories of Naga Head Hunters sure are exciting and to see one is even more thrilling {the skulls I mean} you can visit the heritage village, Longwa to see the famous skull exhibits; this site is also Indo-Burma border from where you can witness the Burmese territory on the other side of the village. Visit the museum which houses all kinds of ornaments and skulls collected by the head hunters of their enemies in Chenloisho Village.

How to get here:

The closest international airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati, Assam; you can get taxis to Mon from the airport or from any taxi service in Guwahati, a 10-hour journey will take you to some unimaginable twists and turns looking at downhill slopes and valleys.

You can, however, get a connecting flight from Guwahati to Dimapur or Jorhat which will shorten your travel to 7 hours as you can take National Highway 129.

Activities:

Visit the local market and try out the local food and traditional ornaments, take souvenirs of wooden sculptures and traditional hunting weapons of the head hunters.

Accommodation:

Mon has not much choice but you can opt for the Paramount Guest House or check in the government tourist circuit house. You can even plan your stay at Helsa Cottage. The people in Mon are very delightful and kind; there are few home stays available where you can enjoy delicious Naga cuisine and a warm welcome.

Best time to Visit:

The suitable months to step your foot in the land of the Nagas are from October to May, enjoy its pleasant winter destinations and vibrant beauty of nature.

6. Sibsagar, Assam

Sibsagar

Photo: https://goo.gl/8Ps1HZ

Sivasagar formally called as Sibsagar is a town tucked in upper Assam, this adoring town is full of historic attractions like forts dating back to the Ahom dynasty period. Here history, art and culture play an important role for locals and tourists as well.

Sibsagar provides lovely ambience and graceful hills that showcases its relics and temples and divine attractions like lovely parks that are further adorned with scenic cow grazing fields and peaceful solitary valleys. Hence, it is a perfect honeymoon destination to enchant and romanticise in the lovely destination in Assam Northeast.

Attraction:

Sibsagar is a historic town, once ruled by the mighty Ahoms. It provides tourist’s attractions like Ahom Museum, man-made lake, water tank called Bhorpukhuri, other tanks include Rudrasagar and Gaurisagar.

How to get here:

Sibsagar or Sivasagar takes around 7 hours to reach from Guwahati if you stick with the two National Highways, 27 and 715. This 362-kilometre journey can be commenced from any taxi stands as prepaid and sharing taxis are plenty in Guwahati.

Rupnath Brahma Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT) provides buses to all districts of Assam, you can also avail train to Sibsagar if you like the “chug” setting.

Sibsagar has no airport, however; the closest is Lilabari airport in north Lakhimpur which is 64 km away from Sibsagar.

Activities:

Wander around the forts and Lake of Sibsagar, its pristine and fresh ambience will attract you to visit these locus time and again.

Visit the Sibsagar Lake, Gargaon Palace of Ahom dynasty; famous Shiva temple, Shivadol; and Charaideo burial vaults (or maidans) of the king and members of the Ahom dynasty.

Accommodation:

Sibsagar has hotels that range from moderate to expensive, and one can find accommodations in places like Hotel Brahmaputra, Hotel Piccolo or Hotel Talatal to name a few, apart from these you can search budget friendly inns as well.

Best time to Visit:

Winters and monsoons bring out the best of Sibsagar, so ideal months to visit Sibsagar would be from October to February.

Places to visit in Northeast are plenty, and there is always something new in store. A journey in this heavenly part of India is best experienced by road and by stopping at multiple divine abode and stepping your foot in the middle of nowhere. Explore the hill stations and some Northeast getaways to print your mark on the map as you roll high and low in some of these escape routes.

If you enjoyed and found the information useful please circulate this blog and come explore some of the best Romantic Getaway in the Northeast. To know more about these destinations and to plan tours to Northeast India call us at +91-9212553106/07 and email at info@tourmyindia.com. We offer best deals and discounts and promise a travel experience unlike any other!

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About

Abhishek Gurung is a writer whose passion for food and travel is an unending affair. He likes going on treks and camping in the woods, loves exploring forts and architecture, he is a cycle enthusiast who likes to contribute something to the environment, travel photography and videography is another interest as he sees life in a cinematic point of view. He likes the idea of living in offbeat destination where the mode of communication is to interact with each other. Coming from Nagaland, he has visited some beautiful valleys and remote villages and appreciates nature as it is and as it should be.


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