We take pride in introducing the most beautiful nooks and corners of the world to avid travellers, so they may explore them firsthand. And today I want to reintroduce to you the fascinating 7 sisters of India. Still majorly unexplored, visiting the Seven Sisters of north east India provides a very different experience than one usually gets while traversing the Indian mainland.
Which are these seven states? Why are they called Seven Sisters of north east India?
A famous Tripura journalist, Jyoti Prasad Saikia, had coined the term '7 sisters of India' during the course of a radio talk show in January 1972. It coincided with the inauguration of these seven contiguous states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Saikia also wrote a book called 'The Land of Seven Sisters' later, and that's how the nickname caught on originally.
Although the Seven Sisters of north east collectively only comprise about 7% of India's total land area, but the great ethnic and religious diversity makes them a must-visit at least once in a lifetime. Although there is political, social and economic resemblance amongst the states, but geographically each is gorgeous in its own way. And hence, what follows is fundamental information on each of the 7 sisters of India, so they may be visited separately or collectively, depending on the longevity of your plan.
If travelling from mainland India, one cannot enter the 7 Sisters of India without crossing the state of Assam, at least aerially. Also known as Ahom, the state boasts of a hospitable culture and rich heritage. The place is naturally gifted because of its proximity to the majestic Brahmaputra also giving it a fantastical geography, replete with carefully maintained tea estates and rice fields.
Literally meaning the 'abode of clouds', Meghalaya is a tiny state blessed with plenty of rain all year long. This obviously means a lot of greenery and ample water bodies all across. Since the major chunk of the rain falls between June and September, it's best to admire the dramatic cliffs, lofty waterfalls and the endless caves of the place during the rest of the year. A trip to the Seven Sisters of north east India is indeed incomplete without the immersive experience that Meghalaya bestows upon every traveller.
Possibly the least explored amongst the Seven Sisters of north east, Arunachal Pradesh literally translates to the "land of dawn-lit mountains". The virginal quality of the state enables 26 indigenous tribes to live and prosper peacefully amidst the sprawling greens. With hills that are impossible to climb and forests so dense that sunlight is a luxury, Arunachal has continued to fascinate tourists and travellers alike.
If you haven't been to Tripura yet, you may not get a better chance since its sublime royal palaces and temples will surely garner the world's attention soon. The state sees little tourism for now, even though there are no permit hassles. But this adds to its charm; it's largely unexplored even in this internet age. Agartala is the place you need to start at to access all the touristy destinations within a couple of days.
The land of Naga - the great snake, Nagaland's beauty is visible in the most mundane things. The houses are made of wood and decorated with ornaments and the villages are situated bang in the middle of beautiful valleys surrounded by majestic hills promising natural bounty. The state's location on the border of the country means that political disturbances are expected, so it's better to be aware of the current situation before visiting the state.
You know that a particular place is special if its name literally translates to the "jewelled land". From professional sports to lip-smacking cuisine, from arts and culture to rich cultural heritage, Manipur lives up to its name with unprecedented elan. The state is so densely covered with forests that it's a breeding ground for the rarest of flora and fauna, as well as guerrilla armies. While visiting Manipur, it's recommended that you have a local for company at all times.