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Trip to North East of India – Must read before you plan any holiday in India

So, how many times have you been to Goa from Bombay, Shimla from Delhi or say Lonavala from Mumbai? Multiple times right?

You must have stayed in best of the hotels and enjoyed all sorts of comforts with your family. Of course, holiday does mean rest for many of us.

It also means a swanky foreign destination for many people who holiday for others 😊 I mean not really knowing why & what exactly they would want to see. It’s just to add a place tag based on popularity.

The third category which we have seen is compulsive travel after marriage called as honeymoon travel. You can count the names of the fancied destinations in the category.

What if I say, northeast of India is none of the above. It is still the impregnable part of India waiting to be embraced and treated as one of the dream destinations by most of us.

Honestly, like everybody else even my dream destinations have been largely influenced by either movies or television programs where north east of India hardly has found any place. I too wasn’t really excited coming here given that I had never come across too attractive images of the northeast to fill my imagination. Besides, being a Nat Geo fan since childhood, I have been wanting to go to Tanzania since long. But as they say, even travel is destined, and that destiny is majorly determined by budget, today am here, writing about my travel in the northeast.

In fact, it is also my little one’s request that I must write about northeast and promote it since he sincerely wishes that people from all over India and the world should come here to travel, help tourism and in turn help the people he met and fell in love including his Krishna bhaiya from Manas National Park.

 

My North East Travel Plan

I wanted to do a long-term budget travel this time and northeast fitted the plan well. Made a 20 days trip across Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. Initially, for first 10 days, I traveled with my son alone and then was joined by my husband for Arunachal towards the end of April.

While I wasn’t too excited about north east, I was also not scared or apprehensive about coming here until I spoke to a couple of friends from Assam just a night before my flight to Guwahati. They were amazed at my plan of traveling alone with my child in an unknown territory. That made me think, “am I taking an unnecessary risk?”

April-May is not really the tourist season here as school holidays start from June only which meant I would be all the more alone in most places which are already forsaken by Government & rest of India.

But, since I had already gotten into the grind, I decided to put aside all such feelings and go ahead and check out for myself. Besides, the flight cancellation did seem more expensive & worse than staying out of my comfort zone.

So, here’s my itinerary.  Please click on the below posts for details on each of the places including where to stay, what to see, what to do, tips and how to reach.

North East Travel Itinerary 

A day in Pobitora

Trip to Manas National Park 

Meghalaya – Shillong, Cherapunji & Mawlynong 

Kaziranga 

Nameri National Park & Bhalukpong

Arunachal – BomdilaDirang, Tawang & Zimithang 

Back to Bangalore from Guwahati after visiting the Kamakhya temple

 

About North East of India

North East is about Green jungles

Kaziranga jungle by Travel Jaunts
Kaziranga jungle by Travel Jaunts

Pristine mountains, deep valleys & rivers

Mountain valley by Travel Jaunts
Valley on the way to Zimithang

Massive waterfalls and too many waterfalls

Jung Waterfall by Travel Jaunts
Jung Waterfall by Travel Jaunts

Winding roads

Winding roads by Travel Jaunts
Winding roads by Travel Jaunts

Heavenly Abodes

Heavely abodes by Travel Jaunts
Heavely abodes by Travel Jaunts

Clouds and Fog

Clouds and fog by Travel Jaunts
Clouds and fog by Travel Jaunts

Very cold when its cold

lake in Bumla by Travel Jaunts
lake in Bumla by Travel Jaunts

Unique people & culture

Monpa tribal women by Travel Jaunts
Monpa tribal women by Travel Jaunts

And most importantly learning to be happy with basics

Food on the way
Food on the way by Travel Jaunts

By definition North East of India comprises of seven Indian states known as seven sisters namely Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

Best time to travel to north east of India

January and February and for Arunachal of course summers. The wildlife season is north east is not the summer season since water is more than enough here. It is in winters when the leaves fall, one has more chances of sightings apart from Rhino and Elephants which are in plenty to be seen in almost every month.

Travel Bookings for North East

The major expenses for your north east travel are- Flights from your destination, the local transportation (taxi that you would need from Guwahati to respective places and back) plus accommodation which is relatively not very expensive but then quality also is not great given that there are limited options.

Flights – Guwahati is your gateway to north east whether you want to travel to Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland or Arunachal Pradesh. Assam does have other airports too but Guwahati is usually the most convenient option for onward journeys to most tourist destinations.

Accommodation– Most places in Assam are run by Government or given on lease by the government. Limited options and maximum would be a three-star quality. Meghalaya specifically Shillong does have good places to stay. Arunachal being the least commercial has of course very less options. In Assam and Meghalaya, you would find many eco-friendly camps and lodges which are budget friendly and good enough to experience the rustic side of the northeast.

Local Transport-Most taxis charge between Rs 4000-Rs4500 per day, you can arrange for a taxi from Guwahati or Tezpur. However, I must inform you that in Tawang, Bomla and Madhuri lake tourism has to be done using the local Arunachal taxi only which means you would pay your hired taxi driver Rs4000 per day in Tawang as agreed even if he doesn’t drive plus Rs5000 to the local AP taxi for Bomla and Madhuri Lake sightseeing This is how it is as of now.

Our recommended driver for traveling within north-east of India (specifically for Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal, Nagaland) – Mr. Madan, phone numbers to contact him directly – 09401838475/09854569511. Women wanting to travel alone or only with their kids can trust him too.

If you are not with your family and prefer budget travel, the ideal would be to take a shared taxi till Tawang, then pay for the local tourism to the local taxi and then get back using the shared taxi again.

Food- Limited options however you do get north Indian and east Indian basic cuisines besides Maggi the savior. Children, please forget pizzas and burgers if you are not in big cities of the northeast.

Please write to us if you have any query and do let us know if you need any help in planning.

About the author

The author is a Marketing Management graduate,currently living in Bengaluru India.Has traveled to more than 24 states in India and has been to 25+ countries apart from her extensive travel within India. She has the experience of traveling alone, traveling with her kid, and traveling in groups, with family or friends. She believes, traveling, photography and writing makes her life not only beautiful but also meaningful. Visit her blog at https://www.traveljaunts.in/blog-travel-jaunts/ for more

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