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Seven Sisters Of India: An Introductory Guide For A North-East Tour In 2020

North-East India, the “land of seven sisters” has no dearth of natural profusion. Nestled together in the extreme eastern part of India, the seven sisters predominantly represent the cluster of seven neighbouring states, which include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Although, there are eight total states on that region. But, Sikkim has been a bone of contention for not being included in the belt of contiguous states. The reason being, geographically the state stands apart from the periphery of northeast region and it is detached by Siliguri corridor or by the Chicken’s neck, which is a narrow stretch of terrain in north Bengal. Furthermore, Sikkim had no common history with any of those Seven Sisters states. Probably this is why Sikkim is still not reckoned amongst the cluster of seven sisters states. On the contrary, the state is considered as the only Brother of Seven Sister States.

Seven Sister State Map

Despite of having cultural and spiritual diversity, all these states carry some resemblances from the context of economic, political and social spheres. The cluster of these seven states covers nearly 7% of country’s total area i.e. an area of around 255,511 square kilometres. According to the historic tale of our country, post Independence only three states (Assam, Manipur and Tripura) used to be considered under that region. However, moving ahead with time four more states i.e. Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland were also included to the contiguous states of seven sisters. Today, most of these states are delimited by the neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, China and Myanmar.

The seven sister states of North-East India is a perfect escape to nature’s abode. Starting from lush bush to the country’s largest river island, visiting North-East India add lot of awe-inspiring spices to your voyage. Let’s take you on a ride through this startling sisterhood of seven states.

1. Arunachal Pradesh
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If you have been planning for long to explore the magnificent landscape of North-East India, nothing could be a better kick-off than visiting Arunachal Pradesh. Popular as the Orchid State of India, Arunachal Pradesh is an absolute paradise for nature lovers as well as for adventure freaks. The picturesque state is encircled with mountains, lush valleys and manmade monuments. Each of the attraction in and around Arunachal Pradesh is appealing in its own way. Covered by the Himalaya Range, Arunachal Pradesh shares its domestic periphery with Assam and Nagaland; and international periphery with Myanmar, Bhutan and China. The state is inhabited by several tribes including Nissi, Sulung, Apa Tani and Hill Miri. Multiple languages are spoken in Arunachal Pradesh some of which include Nyishi, Adi, Mishing, Hindi, Assamese and Bengali.

arunachal pradesh tourism

Best Time to Visit: Winter (October-March) is the best time to explore the natural magnificence of Arunachal Pradesh. However, summers (April-June) are comparatively humid here with maximum 350C temperature. If you enjoy rain and want a soothing escape amidst the refreshing greeneries, July-September is idyllic for experiencing the monsoon in Arunachal Pradesh. If you happen to be in the Ziro Valley of Arunachal Pradesh in the month of September, don’t miss the four-day Ziro Music festival there. Yummy food and exciting outdoor activities take this vibrant event to another level of delight.

Places to Visit: Arunachal Pradesh, the Land of the Rising Sun has limitless beauty offering you a blend of wildlife, fortress, museum, frosty Himalayan ranges and much more. Some of the key attractions that you can’t afford to miss in and around Arunachal Pradesh are Itanagar (the capital city), Ziro Valley, Tawang, Namdapha National Park, Roing, Along, Anini, Bhalukpong, Bomdila, Pasighat, Dirang, Tezu and Khonsa.

How to Go: Arunachal Pradesh is visited by numbers of tourists all round the calendar. Hence, getting there is not a matter of concern for travellers.

For air travellers, the nearest airport is Lilabari Airport, which has good air connectivity with its adjoining city Guwahati. The distance between Lilabari and Itanagar can be covered in 2 hours by road (bus/taxi). Another option to reach Arunachal Pradesh is via Tezpur Airport. From Tezpur airport, you can reach Arunachal Pradesh conveniently by private vehicles.

If you want to reach Arunachal Pradesh by train, the nearest railhead is Harmuti railway station (around 35Kms from Itanagar). Another option is through North Lakhimpur station, which is located around 60kms from Itanagar. North Lakhimpur is well-connected to Guwahati from where you can hire a cab or get into a bus for Itanagar.

Arunachal Pradesh also has good roadway connectivity with its neighbouring cities like Shillong, Guwahati, Tezpur, Dibrugarh, Nagaon, Tinsukhia and Shillong. You can easily get a bus for Itanagar from these locations. In addition, you can also hire a taxi to reach Arunachal Pradesh.

Places to Stay: The home land to many electrifying lakes, spectacular mounds and eminent monasteries offers a wide range of accommodations for you in and around the city. Most of the budget and comfy staying options can be availed in the places like Itanagar, Tawang, Bhalukpong and Bomdila. For your convenience, some of the hotels are listed as follows:

#Anne Hotel

Sector C, Bank Tinali, Itanagar Ho,

Itanagar, India 791111

Charges: INR 550 (approximately)

#Ziro Valley Resorts

Ziro Main Road, Ziro, Itanagar – 791120, Lower Subansiri, Itanagar, India 791120

Charges: INR 2500 (approximately)

#YT Hotel’E’

Sector,Near Town Baptist Church, Naharlagun,

Itanagar, India 791110

Charges: INR 780 (approximately)

#Hotel Radiance International

Lhou, Tang, Tawang, A.P. (Craft Centre Colony) Tawang, India 790104

Charges: INR 2500 (approximately)

#Siddhartha Hotel Tawang

Nehru Market, Opposite Nhpc Office, Tawang, India 790104

Charges: INR 2000 (approximately)

#LA HOTEL

West Kameng, Bomdila, India 790104

Charges: INR 1200 (approximately)

#Dolma Cottage

Hotel Dolma,Old Market, Bomdila, India 790104

Charges: INR 5000 (approximately)

#Hotel Druk

National Highway 229, Upper Bhalukpong, Near Eac Office,

West Kameng, Bhalukpong, India 790114

Charges: INR 2400 (approximately)

2. Assam
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One more addition to the contiguous states of seven sisters is Assam, which is nestled in the north-eastern part of India. Assam or ‘Axom’ has a distinguished identity for its one-horned rhino and world famed tea. The beautiful state of Assam is reckoned amongst one such destination in India, which remained unconquered by the Mughal sovereigns. A rich variety of natural galore, religious centres and lively culture of Assam leaves you spellbound like never before. Geographically, the state is segregated into two regions i.e. Upper Assam and Lower Assam. Besides its historical significance and natural abundance, Assam is equally popular to the global audience for its eye-catching handlooms and captivating crafts.

Assam

Likewise its natural splendour, the people of Assam are equally rich by generosity that represent a rich variety of customs, outfits, culture and exotic lifestyles. The inhabitants of this state contain a blend of Aryan, Mongolian, Indo-Iranian and Indo-Burmese origin. Assamese is the predominant language here with Bengali being the second popular language of the state. Assamese people are identified for their traditional objects that include Jaapi, brass metal, Gamocha and Mekhela chador. Bihu is the prominent festival in Assam, which includes three different types of Bihus i.e. Rongali Bihu, Kongali Bihu and Bhogali Bihu.

Best Time to Visit: One of the least explored states of north-eastern India can best be revealed in winter i.e. from October-March. Due to subtropical and humid weather, the state faces intense rainfall and hot summers. Hence avoid visiting Assam during monsoon and summers. The state also witnesses dreadful consequences of natural calamities like flood and earthquake.

Places to Visit: Considering its picturesque vista and natural abundance, Assam is undoubtedly an impeccable destination for a tranquil vacation amidst hills. There are some spectacular destinations in Assam that you must explore while holidaying there. Be it a first timer or a frequent traveller, the state pulls you in the arm of charming mother-earth again and again. Some of the leading attractions that you must explore when in Assam are Kaziranga National Park, Agnigarh Hill, Kamakhya Temple, Dibru Saikhowa National Park, Orang National Park, Haflong Lake, Digboi, Diphu, Umrangshu. Besides, Cruise on River Brahmaputra, Majuli River Island, Sibsagar, Manas National Park and Silchar are some other worth visiting destinations in Assam. From Guwahati, you can further explore some adjoining destinations like Shillong, Mawsynram and Cherrapunji.

How to Go: The tourism of Assam is predominantly based on its well-blessed nature. Hence, the state is accessed by travellers from various part of the country. Assam is well-connected to all major destinations of India through the following means of commutation:

For air traveller, the nearest airport is Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, which is located around 25Kms from the capital city. There are regular flights for Guwahati from all the major cities in India. Once you reach Guwahati, you can hire a cab or get into a bus to travel further in the state.

The capital city of the state has two major railheads such as Guwahati railway station and Kamakhya Junction. The NF Railways (Northeast Frontier Railway) connects the state with all major cities in India. Some of the important trains to reach Assam are Abadh Assam Express, Scl Ghy Passenger, Ghy Dbrg Special, Ghy Rajdhani Express, Kanchanjunga Express, Dibrugarh Express, Hwh Ghy Special (03057), Saraighat Express, Jammu Ghy Express and Jan Shatabdi Express. Once you reach the railway station, you can hire private car or take a bus to travel further.

Presence of National Highways 31 and 37 links Assam with some of the important states in India. Most of the districts and cities within Assam can conveniently be accessed from Guwahati by road. State transport and private vehicles are quite regular from Guwahati and other cities in Assam. Most of the nearby tourist sites can be reached from Guwahati by road within 12-14 hours time. The following Table lists the distance between Guwahati and some other nearby locations/cities:

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