Northeastern Hill States

The Northeast is a true frontier region. It has more than 2000 km of border with Bhutan, China, Myanmar (Burma) and Bangladesh and is connected to the rest of India by a narrow 20-km-wide corridor of land - aptly coined the “chicken neck” by locals. One of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse regions in Asia, each of the seven northeastern states has its distinct culture and tradition.

Arunachal Pradesh, only recently opened to visitors, is home to fascinating tribal cultures and the Buddhist enclave of the majestic Tawang Valley - more like Tibet than India. To its south, Assam, the most densely populated and largest of the states, occupies the scenic lowlands of the Brahmaputra Valley and attracts visitors to some of India's best national parks. Meghalaya's beautiful hills have the dubious distinction of being the wettest region in the world, as well as one of the friendliest. The little-visited four southeastern states of the region, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, make up a fascinating area, hilly, remote, and a zone where the tribal cultures of South and Southeast Asia intertwine.

The Northeast has been a politically sensitive region since Independence. Insurgency in places continues to surface making travel in some areas unsafe. Arunachal Pradesh, most of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram are largely free of problems. Nevertheless, advice on travel to these and the other states should be sought locally. Permits are required for Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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