Sela Lake, Arunachal Pradesh

The 'Seven Sister' States -

1. Arunachal Pradesh,

2. Mizoram,

3. Meghalaya,

4. Manipur,

5. Assam,

6. Nagaland, and

7. Tripura,

...constitute the North East India. These states have much more to offer than just the less noisy roads & unpolluted environment.

Being a dreamy region, it has preserved its pristine natural beauty, exotic flora & fauna, historical sites and wide culture. These are the five reasons that will compel you for your next trip here-

1. Experience unique traditional music and festivals-

You can travel to North East India to witness an unending series of celebrations. One thing that keeps these people going on is their music, festivals, and dance. In Manipur, the famous dance forms include Bizu, Hak, Hai and Basanta Raas. Moving further, you can enjoy the Bamboo dance, in Mizoram, which is performed to the beats of gongs and drums.

Five Reasons to travel North East
The aHornbill festivala exhibits the colorful culture of Nagas. Someone who is into the exploration of cultures can experience the melange of cultural displays and performances under one roof. Dubbed popularly as the afestival of festivals,' it takes place during December, every year.

The Torgya and Losar Festival during January and February in Assam display amasked Tibetan Buddhista dance forms. The Ambubachi Mela, in Guwahati, in June can make a profound impression with its tantric rituals and animal sacrifices.

The Saga Dawa is a prominent Buddhist festival celebrated in Sikkim during the Tibetan lunar month. aSaga Dawaa interprets as the aMonth of Meritsa and is dedicated to the life of the Buddha.

The Dree Festival, being a celebration of the Apatani tribe, has gained popularity across the other tribes of Arunachal. It is celebrated on the 5th July every year to pray for a good harvest.

There are other famous colorful festivals that you should be a part of, once in your life time.

2. An abode of Cultural Diversity-

North East India is a home to the diverse and historically integrated tribal cultures. Each culture has flourished at a discrete geographical location according to their needs, to ensure their survivability.

Due to being cut off from the other developing states, North East has been a home to over 200 different tribes. They are unique in their cultures and way of living, as..

- the sun & moon worshipping tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.

- opium smoking,

- facially tattooed, and

- head hunter tribes of Nagaland

With an inherent aggressiveness, Naga people dwell in bamboo villages in the hilly regions, stretching across several states. Tibetans, being calm and quiet have their town and city settlements located on the edges of mountains. Peace-loving Khasi tribes live in the wet Meghalaya forests, which have been of paramount importance for them.

Five Reasons to travel North East
Unakoti hill, figuratively signifies, one fewer a koti in Bengali, with huge rock reliefs of Shiva.

The vibrant and serene Tibetan culture in Arunachal Pradesh offers mesmerizing views with the

- prayer wheels,

- stupas,

- Buddhist monasteries and

- colorful prayer flags fluttering all over their religious buildings,

...in Tawang, Bomdila and Dirang valleys.

Five Reasons to travel North East

3. Explore the Nature in its true colors-

North East India sees fewer foreign tourists (only 0.5% of the total visiting India) and Indian visitors. This fact as well as the 'significance of nature for tribes,' can be credited for the untouched and unspoiled natural heritage here. The inhabitants worship, respect and cherish their natural surroundings.

Five Reasons to travel North East
aMawlynnong,a; a Khasi village has even earned the tag of aCleanest village in Asia.a Such is the sheer devotion of Khasi tribes, in Meghalaya, for nature.

What you can expect to see here are the

- dense forests & majestic waterfalls in Meghalaya,

- velvety grass plains in Assam and

- snow laden Himalayan peaks.

There is not a single sign of nature-disturbing interference of humans like trash cans, polythene, and other junk.

Five Reasons to travel North East
The mountains encompassing the mighty Brahmaputra river from the three sides is a beauty worth watching. Moreover,

- hilly outcrops,

- alpine greenery,

- tea-gardens, and

- steep mountains

aare a true feast to the eyes of the beholder.

4. Give your taste buds a treat with the mouthwatering food-

North East India offers you with its exotic and some incredibly exclusive local delicacies. For an encounter with some unusual and daring food treats, north east India is your best bet.

Five Reasons to travel North East
The Tibetan thukpas; a noodle soup, and steamingly spicy momos are the delicacies inherited by Tibetan legacy in Tawang. Visit Sikkim, and you can have a taste of Tchang beer, the specialty of Sikkim that is served in a bamboo mug.

Additionally, you can try

- Chira,

- muri,

- Komal chaul (a rice variety that isnat cooked but soaked in cold water for one hour),

- apong,

- Jodah, and

- Zu.

To give an adventurous tinge to your stomach, you can try a barbequed rat during your visit to Arunachal Pradesh. Going a step further, Nagaland serves you with the

- grubs,

- worms,

- maggots, and

- spiders

It is nothing in comparison to what Mizoram has for you; a hot dog in your plate, literally.

Moreover, these are the famous dishes that you should try here-

Five Reasons to travel North East

- Iromba (Manipur)

- Jadoh (Meghalaya)

- Tungtap (Meghalaya)

- Gyathuk (Sikkim)

- Chikhvi (Tripura)

- Zan (Arunachal Pradesh)

- Khar (Assam)

- Kumurat diya Hanhor Mangxo (Assam)

- Pitha (Assam)

- Fish Tenga (Assam)

- Sanpiau (Mizoram)

- Vawksa Rep (Mizoram)

- Smoked Pork (Nagaland)

- Bamboo Steamed Fish (Nagaland)

- Nga Atoiba Thongba (Manipur)

North East India is an ultimate destination with its authentic recipes and dishes. So, it is capable enough to give afifty shades of fooda to your belly.

5. Spectate the riveting wildlife-

Due to the not-so-easy accessibility from the rest of the world to this region, the wild life diversity is well preserved here. Various national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are a habitat of exotic, endangered, rare and indigenous animal & bird species.

You can catch a glimpse of the endangered one horned rhinos, on a safari in the Kaziranga National Park. Being a UNESCO world heritage site, it houses a whopping two-third of one horned rhinos of the world.

The elephants, leopards, gaur, sambar, tigers, Indian muntjac, wild boar, swamp deer, hog deer, wild water buffaloes, jungle cats and 35 other mammalian species share this park.

Manas wildlife sanctuary in Assam boasts to house a higher number of endangered species.

Do check out the elephants, tigers, rare breeds of macaques red pandas, and marbled cats in the Nokrek National Park, Meghalaya.

Intanki Wildlife Sanctuary in Nagaland is a common refuge to

- Black Stork,

- Langur,

- Sloth Bear,

- Monitor Lizard,

- Tiger,

- Golden Hornbill, and

- Python.

You can also find the endangered Brow-antlered deer in the Manipur wildlife reserves.

Photo: Roderick Eime, mauro, Sandro Lacarbona, Prashant Ram, anuradhac, Veeresh Malik, Rahul Ganguly and Sangeeta Nameirakpam