Trips and Itineraries for Manipur
Manipur - Story of a solo traveler
I learnt from locals that for people who are interested in trekking they should try going to shiroi peak than Dzuko (which is on manipur and nagaland border) in which Manipur government is not interested....
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Top Places To Visit in Manipur 51 Spots
This is the largest freshwater lake in India and also one of the largest in the world. The only floating National Park, the Keibul Lam Jao National Park floats on this lake. Another important feature of this lake are the Phumdis which float on the lake in a large number. These look like islands but are not as they are thick depositions of organic waste and mud particles which have formed patches of vegetation known as phumdis. You will also see huts floating on these phumdis and sometimes blown away by the winds. The Lokatk Lake is about 50 km away from Imphal, the state capital and is an important tourist attraction.
If you have seen the movie Life of Pi, you will know what I am talking about - an island of weeds floating in a lake. An island with weeds so dense that you can step on it, walk through it and even build structures in it. There are many such islands, of Phumdis, on Loktak lake, the largest being the Keibul Lamjao, Sendra and Phubula. It is unlike anything I have seen before, or am likely to see again.
Loktak Lake (Manipur)
A very scenic – Loktak Lake is located 45 km from Imphal. The route from Imphal to Loktak Lake is really scenic. The landscape stretches from nearby paddy fields to distant cloud-covered mountains. This joyous ride is worth every inch on the road. How to reach –Imphal is easily accessible by air. Regular flights move in here from Kolkata and Guwahati. In case you wish to use road, easy transportation is available from Dimapur and Guwahati. Wingers ply from the backside of Dimapur railway station and charge 600-700 INR pp. The ride from Dimapur to Imphal takes about 6 hours. Entire route is hilly.Tips for the travellers -1. If you are using road transport, be prepared for motion sickness issues because almost 90% of the area of Manipur is hilly. Carry lemon, oranges and candies.2. Good hotels for local Manipuri food are available near the Polo ground. I ate at “Eigyagee Sharma hotel” and food was simply amazing.3. Try Manipuri snacks on the first floor of Ima market.4. Ask any villager in Andro to show you around. If you get lucky, you will get a free guided tour of Andro. Villagers are usually nice and are ready to offer their services.5. Try to witness the art of pottery in Andro. These locals are masters in pottery.6. Every object in the museum in Andro village is linked with an interesting story. Try to know about it from the in-charge there.7. Visit Ukhurul for watching Siroi Lily (June-July)8. Visit Moreh to cross the Indo-Myanmar border and then wander in Myanmar.9. There are a lot of budget accommodation options in Imphal. Hotel Nirmala is a good deal.10. Update yourself with the on-going local issues in Manipur before visiting.
You have to go in and come out without creating ripples in the serenity that surrounds the place, and that in itself adds a great charm to it. After spending almost a day in and around loktak lake and Keibul Lamjao, it was with a heavy heart we came back, craving to go back again soon.
Hotels and Homestays in Manipur 3 Hotels
Weekend Getaways from Manipur
246 Kms from Manipur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,August,September,October,November,December
Meghalaya’s capital, Shillong is quaint hill-station flanked by pine forests and a few hundred waterfalls scattered across the charming landscape. Also referred to as the Scotland of the East, Shillong is replete with remnants of its British legacy, that can be seen in its architecture and the cuisine found on most menus. The beautiful Umiam, is a manmade lake and locally known as Barapani, it’s one of Shillong’s most popular places to visit. The Wards Lake is another artificial creation and tourists flock to this destination mainly for the boat rides. The multitude of waterfalls crowding the city - Sweet, Bishop and Beadon, and Elephant falls play a significant role in Shillong’s tourism. The Don Bosco Centre of Indigenous Cultures, is a cultural repository for all the seven Northeastern states, boasting of everything from weapons to rare photographs. To witness a magnificent view of the entire city, the Shillong Peak at 1695 msl fanning out over the town is your best bet. While touring Shillong, don’t forget to incorporate the beautiful Golf Course, that is perched at an elevation of 5200ft. Read More
(Shillong-Scotland of the East):Neeraj was quick to respond and an arrangement for the bike to be picked up and repaired was made by him through the local Royal Enfield Service Centre. After handing over the bike, I left to explore Shillong. I was put up in a nice hotel in the main area of Shillong called Police Bazaar. I took a local cab, since my bike was getting ready for the road ahead. The day trip in Shillong consisted of certain places of importance. The first place I went to was the Shillong Peak also known as the Shillong Viewpoint. It is just a normal spot from where the entire capital city of Shillong is visible, In one glance. The peculiarity of this place is that it is located inside the Army Cantonment area, so there is thorough frisking of the travellers before entering. Also ensure that you have a photo identification proof ready for perusal. Next was the Elephant falls which is the shining star of Shillong. Divided into 3 separate areas of water flow, one has to descend a flight of around 50 steps for each area. It was just mesmerising. Some photographs and a steady climb up from the base area of the waterfall took me to the parking area. Then I set off to visit a lovely lake called the Ward's lake. This lake has it all. A big waterbody, clean grass all around, some beautiful flowers and above it all, a stunning silence. A silence in which you could hear yourself. Perks of travelling alone, ain't it? Moving on we halted at a zoo-park called the Lady Hydari park. Some unhappy Black Himalayan Bears and chirpy Geese was all that I could see. They were inside unclean enclosures. I hope that the entry fee that we pay, eventually is used for the actual development of these areas. The visit to the Cathedral Church followed. The silence and the serenity of the holy place was enough to freshen up and setup some really good vibes. It was now time to visit the Shillong Golf Links. This is a large area of lush green natural turf, where apparently golf is played on weekends by the locals. On seeing this place I was reminded of Khajjiar in Dalhousie and how Khajjiar is known as the Mini Switzerland of India. The Golf Course in Shillong was so much more clean than Khajjiar, which has now become a purely commercial place with lots of crap around. It clearly struck to me that Shillong is such an underrated hill station. It has a beautiful waterfall, a very calm lake, some lush green outfields, and a viewpoint just like any other hill station. Definitely Shillong doesn't receive the attention of a tourist like any other mainstream hill station in the north. I returned back to my room after having a light meal. Lots of good cafés around the Police Bazaar area, if you want to have an experience of the local culture. After walking down to another market area called the Barra Bazaar, I came back to my room and ensured that I get a good night's sleep before the drive next day to Mawlynnong-Asia's cleanest village.
Half confused and half worried, I am looking for a vehicle in the bustling streets of Bada Bazaar, an exit point in Shillong for Dawki, Cherrapunjee, etc. Dreaming about a vacation is super easy, but 'how to reach?', will exhaust your brain to the core - pan walas, shopkeepers, bus drivers, knocking doors and Google may have multi-directional opinion sometimes. This is enough to baffle and hence, delay the so-called planned trip.Call it lack of knowledge(read planning), but all those who want to travel will find a way(perhaps, discover a road not taken). After giving up on finding a direct public transport to Mawlynnong, I started reaching out to cab drivers. One would imagine that hilly areas would have big cars, but Shillong, in fact Meghalaya is a tiny cultural shock with the Maruti 800 prevailing as the main mode of transportation between cities – people overflowing through this miniature car of 90s. Having the basic knowledge of distance between places and what price cab drivers usually charge, did give me a platform(or basis) to bargain.
I kickstarted the next morning and we started our way through the beautiful roads of highway.. Stopped at a dhabba on the way, right before hitting the mountains which serves amazing bread omelette and some exotic fruits which they sell all over the way. The road trip from Guwahati to Shillong is blissful beyond words could explain. Stopped right after that at the umami lake .. It has this mesmerising view which one won't forget that easily ! Then we headed for the well known "Don Bosco museum" that showcases everything about northeast! Also it has a terrace that leads you and gives a view of The whole Shillong ! Evening was set aside for boat rides and some shopping at the police bazaar .. Bakeries here are real good!
Lucky us,it rained heavily in the night.So,we enjoyed the rainy weather,but also it didn't hamper our trip.So,in morning with fresh mind but tired legs,we set off for Shillong sight seeing.There are numerous waterfalls,each with its own unique beauty.Theres also a cave named Mawsmai Cave,where you can explore the cave system in its natural form.Its a unique experience as well if you can complete the whole cave system,but keep in mind,there are quite a bit narrow crevices & be ready to get wet below your knee in few areas.But,if you are adventurous,you must do it.Then there are Nohkalikai falls,with a wonderful scenic beauty as well as,a tragic history behind its name.
Guwahati- Shillong- Nongria Falls- Cherrapunji -Guwahati1) Guwahati-Gangtok-Tsomgo Lake- Baba mandir- NAthula pass- Gangtokor2) Guwahati-Gangtok-Lachung-Gurudongmar Lake- GangtokAs because we had time constraints and we planned to choose either of the options.We started from Guwahati at 9 am and planned to reached Shilong by 12 pm. However, once you enter those zones, time will cease to exist and your plans will go in dustbins. We took so many stops in between that we reached Shillong by 2:30.The way is absolutely breathtaking. Try having their local cuisines, chowmein (known as pan fried noodles in other parts of India) maggie, momos and lot more. Food in entire states of N.E is amazing.We reached police bazaar, Shillong at around 2:30. We bought raincoats for our journey and explored the tibetan market and tried the local golgappes or phuchkas.
Day 5We kept the last day to explore the main city Shillong. We visited Elephant Waterfalls, Shillong Peak and Local shopping markets. You can go for shopping at the local markets. You will find lot of handcraft items, stoles, woolens and what not.Elephant Waterfalls – It’s one of the prime attractions in Shillong and worth visiting as the falls can be viewed from three different steps. One has to climb down the steps amidst the greenery .This waterfall is pretty crowded as it’s located on the highway.Shillong View Point – It was a pleasant 20 minutes’ drive from the main city. You can hire local cabs and reach the destination in no time enjoying the lovely weather. At the entry you might have to wait till completion of the formalities by defense personnel as one has to pass the defense area. The view is definitely a treat to your eyes; you can see the whole city from the top. Do not miss having hot tea and Maggie there.Police Bazar - Certainly the place in town where everyone goes shopping and where you find everything. I especially loved the small roads going there with small markets along the streets. You can go for street shopping for funky clothes and shoes at a very reasonable price. Do not miss buying souvenirs.We had our last dinner at friend’s restaurant and enjoyed our walk to the hotel having ice-creams. With this we ended our trip with lot of unforgettable memories and a calmer self.
Meghalaya, the abode of clouds has lot to offer than just pine fresh mountains, beautiful waterfalls and rivers. We travelled to this city during the first week of September. We booked our morning flight from Delhi to Guwahati (Assam) and reached there around 1 PM. Our friend from Shillong had planned our itinerary for the next 5 days, which led us to the untrodden natural wonders.Day 1We landed Guwahati and traveled to Shillong which is 3 hours away. On our way, we visited Umiam Lake located in the hills. We reached there in the evening so the view was just amazing, we could see clouds all over, unending lake and lush green grass. The evening got more pleasing and alluring when it started drizzling and in bargain we felt calm and quiescent. You can go for a boat ride or try kayaking and water skiing, but make sure you try all these during day time. Next we headed to Shillong, we found little traffic on our way as it was raining throughout and there’s only one main road that connects to the whole city. We finally reached our hotel, we had ordered food from outside for dinner. We went out after dinner to explore the city and local markets. Don’t expect a shiny night because its more than that, it is peaceful beyond explanation.Day 2 and 3
This 53 km stretch caters a lot of things to offer the riders right from slight but soothing drizzles, to exquisite waterfalls and caves. This is one of the popular stretches as it is covered by natural and beautiful scenes throughout the road which is a treat for a bike rider.
317 Kms from Manipur
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
The capital of Tripura doesn't serve much more than an en-route destination for those travelling to Bangladesh. But even in those few hours, one can explore small wonders that go with every traveller's 'Indiana instinct'. On that note, Unakoti's rock-cut relief sculptures remain a popular site to visit along with the Heritage Park and the majestic marble-made Ujjayanta Palace, now the the Government Museum. Both provide interesting insights into the royal and historical heritage and cultural background of the state of Tripura. Nature lovers can wander into the rich biodiversity of the Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary, kingdom of the Clouded Leopard and home to a variety of birds, primates and other animals. It also houses various jungle resorts for those who want to rest, stay or eat. Some more interesting sights such as Dumboor Lake and the floating Neer Mahal (palace) atop lake Rudrasagar are pleasant to visit too. The sleepy city usually comes alive during Durga Puja (October) and the Saraswati Puja, both celebrated with grandeur and religious ecstasy, reflecting the significant and vibrant influence of Bengalis on Tripura. Restaurants such as Shankar Restaurant, Restaurant Kurry Klub and The Manikya Court are well known for vegetarian, non-vegetarian and local Tripuri dishes. Read More
257 Kms from Manipur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,October,November,December
More than the land of oranges as its original name Sohra connotes, this 'wettest place on the planet' is a land of waterfalls and rainfall. The Seven Sisters Falls and Nohkalikai Falls, Dain Thlen Falls and Nohsngithiang Falls remain the top most attractions for nature lovers. Adventure seekers and outdoor activity enthusiasts should visit during winters from November to February, when they can go river canyoning, explore the natural limestone Mawsmai Cave, Krem Mawmluh Cave, which is the fourth longest cave in the Indian subcontinent, and delve into solitude and quiet at the Eco Park, which explored more, can lead you to yet another quiet isolated waterfall leading to a deep gorge. Another star attraction of this East Khasi district, is the Double Decker Living Root Bridge, which can be reached after a steep but stunning trek through dense forests, also crossing bay leaf gardens and picturesque hamlets on the way. One can go atop an 80 feet observatory made of bamboo shoots, a daring but mesmerising climb immersed in the abundance of nature, from where the scenic plains of Bangladesh are clearly visible. Cherrapunji is a land painted with mystical beauty and its stories of deep rooted culture and history remain within a traveller after interacting with locals throughout their journey before finally carrying back life long souvenirs from the vibrant Cherrapunji Indigenous Festival, which is an annual event. Read More
On the way there are many amazing views and waterfalls. All you have to do is enjoy the ride and do not get tempted for every scenic beauty on the way. We reached cherrapunji around 6 again. Damn, it was dark. As it was wet all around we wanted to take cheap room or camp this time within a compound. Luckily, we met a rider who offered us place with tent. We offered him some drinks in return ;) Now this is where we made nearly 4 very good friends.. sharing their life experiences driving Sumo around meghalaya. Its so good, how few drinks can get you such an amazing conversation with strangers. All you have to do is smile, and there are many stories waiting to be told.
After breakfast, set off for Cherrapunji, well known for receiving one of the highest rainfall in the world. Cherrapunjee is localy known as Sohra and is situated at a distance of 56 kms from Shillong. On the way is the Mawkdok Valley which is a very prominent sighseeing for tourists. Then on the way we visit the Nohsngithiang falls (Seven sisters falls) which is known to be the symbol of the Unity of the Seven States of North East India. After that we head for Thangkharang park, located just besides the Khoh Ramhah rock and offers a 180 degree view of the Bangladesh plains. Later than we visit the Mawsmai cave, a major crowd puller that leaves tourists spellbound. After trekking in the majestic cave we move for Eco Park, which hosts several hybrid and indigenous orchids. It also offers a breathtaking view of distant Sylhet Plains of neighbouring Banladesh.Attractions: Mawkdok Valley, Nohsngithiang (Seven sisters), Thangkharang, Mawsmai Cave, Eco Park.Part 4:
If you love the rain, this is the place. A place far from all the hustle of the city and close to the clouds. Carry an umbrella , the weather is unpredictable but you will definitely love this place. Best place for the nature lovers.Norkhalika falls , one of the best scenic beauty.Double Decker Living Root Bridge, a must visit for adventurers.
Nohkalikai Waterfalls, Single Decker Living Root Bridge, Nohsngithiang Falls, Mawsmai Cave
Tourism department conduct one day trip to Cherrapunji which includes waterfalls (Nohkalikai is more famous), a cave, Ramkrishna Mission school and a garden. The high attractions are the waterfalls (during some seasons these get dry, one can avoid then) and the cave. The cave is quite big with some small openings for one to pass through. One should also visit double decker roots bridge for which transport would be through either local taxis or a reserved taxi. One has to walk up and down almost 3000 stairs to get to the place (almost 1.5-2hrs). I also liked spending a night in homestay nearby and visiting the bridge early in the morning again when there was no crowd and the environment was calm.
Day5: According to the plan, all the passangers were supposed to congregate outside Tourism dev. corporation's office at 9 am, and so was everyone. Next moment a mini bus stood in front of us to take us to this would be memorable journey to the rainiest place on earth- Cherrapunji! As the bus started, a beautiful girl- Mary- in her early 20's introduced herself as our guide for the day! After a quick introduction of all the passangers with eachother, Mary started telling us about Meghalaya, Shillong, Khasis and their customs. With her beautiful smile, she made sure noone would get bored even for a fraction of second. As we came out of Shilliong, the road started winding around the beautiful but shallow valleys of pine forests of the Khasi hills and then happened the best thing that could happen at that particular time....it started drizzling! Here i was experiencing rain in Cherrapunji! Wow! After about an hour's bus ride, we reached our first point which was the Duwansyngh Syiem point 15 kilometers before Cherrapunji which offers an amazing view of lush green hills of Cherrapunji. As Cherrapunji started approaching near, the roads started occupying themselves with thick cover of fog and mist, something of this kind which i was seeing for the first time from so close! An experience that i will fail to put in words. Another half an hour ride through hamlets of weirdly long names (sounding like random alphabets stacked together), many sacred Khasi monoliths and n number of churches, we finally reached Cherrapunji's Ramakrishna mission school. One of its kind, the school is located in one of the most beautiful parts of this small town, with deep down valleys surrounding it on the rear side. School has a massive playground done with beautiful rose and orchid plantations overlooking the valley. A small museum is opened for visitors on its first floor showcasing the local culture. What one will surely spot while on a visit to this school are the local kids selling cinamom packets running behind the visitors. Even thou its a matter of choice, the cinamom tastes too bland for the spicy tongue of the mainland Indians hence certainly unsuitable! Next point where our bus stopped were the extremely beautiful - Nohkalikai falls, named after a mother who commited suicide from the same place when she realised her step husband killed and cooked her baby for food after she consumed it without knowing about it.. These are the second highest waterfalls in India. Afternoon after 12 is the best time to view these waterfalls as 50 percent of the times, the whole area is covered in thick fog which makes the falls completely invisible to the naked eyes. A few kilometers away was the Mot-trob. A huge huge really huge monolith rock considered sacred by the local Khasis. This incredible rock with its massive size is surely a natural wonder worth a visit. Just across the rock a few miles away, one can see a view of Bangladesh border demarcated naturally by many rivulets flowing in the area. From mot-trob, the bus went to Cherrapunji's eco park. An artificial park developed overlooking valleys which is the starting point of many waterfalls including 'missing waterfalls' which runs under the park surface and jumps down into the deep valleys. Eco park which also has a small resort for overnight stays, offers a panoramic view of the surrounding pine and oak forests and thousands of small water streams and falls carving their way down hills till they meet river waters. On the way to and fro seen are the Seven sisters watrefalls also called Nohsngithiang falls named after the seven northeastern states of India. Again you need to be really lucky to spot these seven falls clearly through Cherrapunji's thick clouds. Next and the second last location was the Mawsmai limestone caves- one of the many found in this area. A walk..sometimes a crawl...even some creeping along the ups and downs and narrow mouths of the slippery limestone cave is nothing less than a mini adventure. At this point i was so glad i made it to Cherrapunji coz this place just in 3-4 hours gave me some of the most beautiful experiences and moments of this trip. Wondered what more this 'soon to end' trip had to offer me. This afternoon halt at caves also had our lunch break included. With no proper Indian food available around (even if it was i doubt if i dared to eat shahi paneer made by a khasi lady pewwk) other than maggi, I decided to settle on some local khasi meal which included chicken curry with eggs, dal and lots and lots and more and even more of rice!! Pretty tasty i must say! Our last destination today was the Thangkhrang park..the most beautiful in Cherrapunji. This park faces many of the important waterfalls in the area including the earlier spotted Nohkalikai falls. This extremely clean and out of the world park has a mini orchid nursery which grows Orchids to exhibit to the visitors. I was lucky enough to see a few of the species blooming in their pots. Following this visit to Thangkhrang park, we were done with all the point in Cherrapunji hence started our journey back to Shillong. After an hour or two, our bus dropped us at Police bazaar. It was just 5pm and pretty much sunny. After saying goodbye to everyone and Mary, I started walking towards the Ward's lake. Adjacent to the lake on the other side is Shillong's almost abandoned Botanical park. Had a quick walk in the park with almost no one around eating the so very sweet pineapples of Shillong and headed towards the hotel thinking how this beautiful trip so quickly came to an end as i had my flight back to Mumbai lined up day after tomorrow's early morning.
99 Kms from Manipur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,October,November,December
The recently 'smoke-free' declared city has a lot to offer in terms of its rich history and culture. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas and bordering Burma, Kohima boasts of lush green hills and forests amidst which treks and morning walks are a pleasure. Locations such as Dzükou Valley and Japfu Peak should be at the top of the to-do list for nature lovers. Ever seen a flying squirrel? The Itanki Wildlife Sanctuary houses a plethora of rare species of plants, animals and birds that can easily capture the hearts of wildlife and nature photographers around the world. Nagaland has been conspicuous in history with the Battle of Imphal and Kohima deemed as "Britain's Greatest Battle" by the British National Army Museum. Its 1,420 heroes can be seen commemorated at the War Cemetery, earning the respect of travellers across the world. Being a land of the Angami Tribe, the village Khonoma offers a rare chance of witnessing a civilisation untouched by commercialisation and modernisation, wherein one can learn about their philosophy, diverse art, history, food, dialect and music. The Nagaland Tourism department also organises various tribal tours such as that of the Konyaks, the fearless tattoo faced legendary headhunters, who have been known to sleep over a bed of human skulls. For travellers always yearning to take a part of the destination back home with them, The Hornbill Festival, hosted in the first week of December, remains at the kernel of Nagaland's cultural heritage, organising various activities, sports, competitions, music and dance performances and shops housing brilliant and unique souvenirs. Read More
Although, the road from Dimapur to Kohima was rocky and tiresome, yet the excitement of being at the coveted festival eliminated all the exhaustion. Moreover, the picturesque surrounding and the affable behaviour of the people of Kohima gave me an inexplicable feeling. Organised by the State Directorate of Tourism of Nagaland, the festival greets and embraces everyone to this beautiful place called Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. I was shocked to see that despite the rumors of being a disturbed state, people from all around the country flock to this city to get an overwhelming experience. Adorned with lights and several events happening simultaneously, the city becomes nothing lesser than a paradise on earth during the festival. You cannot deny the fact that December is considered to be the most happening month of the year and if you are in Kohima during this time, you are at the right place to have some wonderful moments to cherish.Regarded as the biggest festival in the North Eastern part of the country, it stood upright to prove its significance ever since its inception and has always been a pride for the people of the region. Though, our motive was to shoot the Rock Concert, which is a part of the festival, but could not restrain ourselves to indulge in the Naga way of blissful and happy life. It was a proud moment for the people of the region as the state of Nagaland was celebrating its fifty years of statehood and thus the festival was celebrated for ten days instead of the normal seven day schedule.Kisama, the Naga Heritage Village, which hosts the main festival, is well maintained and the scenic beauty around the area is breathtaking. With different stalls offering "Zothu” and "Thutse" (local alcoholic beverages made of rice) and the authentic food of the all the sixteen major tribes of Nagaland, Kisama offers a plethora of options for foodies and of course to bibulous like us. I visited all the stalls in Kisama to pleasure my taste buds with various delectable authentic food items and also to keep my spirits high, “Zothu” was always there. The stalls in Kisama closed their affair by 6 in the evening; however the night did not get over so soon. The Rock Contest, the Music Festival, the Hornbill Night Bazaar and many other activities kept the nights alive and young.The last day of the festival was more eventful as we all participated in the community dance where all the different tribes of the state unite and dance together. Since, we were there for the documentary shoot, after the celebration at Kisama, we had to rush to the Rock Contest Finale where ten bands got shortlisted from numerous bands, which came for audition from all across the country. That was the only time we were actually working apart from our extracurricular activities. It was fun, but to be frank, the result of the contest was unsatisfactory (*at least for me). Though the Rock Contest got over by 10 P.M., yet the night was still young and rocking. It was our last day in Kohima and we didn’t want to waste it at all. During our stay, we met some local guys and became friends, who took us to a party after the rock show. That place was meant for party freaks like us and we had the best of times, enjoying the party till the wee hours of the night. Dance to the tunes of the DJ or sit by the fire and enjoy some “Zothu”, it’s up to you. But I’m sure that if you were there, you would have had some amazing moments.With so many events and activities, I was gearing myself up for the festive season to follow. It was my first experience and with my fingers crossed, I am looking forward to have some more enthralling moments in the years to come at the Hornbill Festival.
11. Experience the thrill of mountain biking in KohimaA biking group called Native Station has pioneered the trend of mountain biking in Nagaland. The group has already organised several mountain biking events such as the Kohima Downhill and Thuwu-ni Enduro for professional riders. These biking trails present an adrenaline-filled experience that will take you through Naga villages such as Sangtam, Angami and the border villages of Assam.Visit Native Station for more information.
These guys (explorenagaland.com) run a guest house, and was it a great relief. We got a dorm with bunker beds, and 1 more room, and they were clean, well kept, and felt like home. Our ILP's were ready, food was served hot, and they organised a taxi for tomorrow's sight seeing.
KohimaWe took the route back to Guwahati, and had amazing fun on the roads, and reached Guwahati - Tezpur highway again in no time. Then we headed to Nagaon, and took a right after Nagaon towards kacharipara, and then followed directions on the road to dimapur. The roads were wide, and good with little traffic, and the light drizzle all along the way helped. There were dark clouds threatening in our rear view mirrors, so we pushed as much as possible. We reached Dimapur for lunch.
Visit Kohima, just in time for the Hornbill festival. In December, the local tribes of the region come together to celebrate and showcase their culture, and people from all over India travel to Nagaland to see this festival. Though a major chunk of your holiday should revolve around the Hornbill Festival, which begins on the 1st of December, Kohima has a lot of other beautiful places to see, such as the natural caves and the Dzuko Valley. Make sure to chart out a well-planned itinerary because you would not want to miss out on anything. After your holiday, you will agree that Kohima is one of the best holiday destinations in India to visit in December.How to reach Kohima: The nearest airport is in Dimapur, and you can hire a taxi from there to Kohima. It is a 5-hour journey from Dimapur to Kohima by road.
1. Hornbill Festival (Dec 1-10)
Kohima, NagalandKohima is your off-beat choice for the summer. It is urban but picturesque. It is forested but beware of the traffic jams. It has sprawling cafes and hole-in-the-wall retreats. Kohima, therefore, mixes many worlds. Explore the markets and museums, the Catholic Cathedral and the War Cemetery and come back enriched. Don’t forget to pick up a story or two from the folks down at Bara Basti, though, which should not be missed at any cost!
We departed for Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. First thing first - Beware of the hugeeeeeeeeeeeee traffic jam!! My goodness, its a real problem! The jam extends from the city main to the outskirts and you have to sit and kill time. A journey of 2 hours took us 5 hours to complete! The journey was quite soothing until the jam. Bizarre sights of food are available all along the way. The local sellers are seen trading live birds, bee-hives that are supposed to contains baby bees which forms edibles are some preparation, bamboo shoots, chillies, long and narrow brinjal etc.
232 Kms from Manipur
Best time to visit - June,July,August,September
Sylhet, lying on the banks Surma River, is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Bangladesh. With lush, refreshing greenery, it is known as the Land of Fairies! Keane Bridge is the gateway to Sylhet and also a prominent landmark. Ratargul is another lovely spot to visit when you are in Sylhet. This swamp forest is one-of-its-kind and the views here are absolutely stunning! One of the few freshwater swamp forests in Bangladesh, it's a must visit. Visit the forest during winter to enjoy the beauty at its peak. Tambil-Jaflong is where you'll witness inspiring views of the surrounding greenery and also get a chance to visit the waterfalls. Do also visit Sree Mangal, considered to be the largest tea gardens in the world. Pangthumai Waterfall and Satchari National Park are some of the other places you can visit when you are around Sylhet. If Sylhet is the only place on your itinerary, be aware that only a few hours are sufficient to explore and learn about the place. Read More
231 Kms from Manipur
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,September,October,November,December
The road towards Mawlynnong passes through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Meghalaya. You'll see forests, cliffs, valleys, gorges and waterfalls. As you come closer to the village, the road will become narrow and the bamboo forests will begin. And suddenly you'll be at the village, which is even more beautiful than its introduction. Blessed with pristine natural beauty, Mawlynnong, is located in the East Khasi district. It is 92 km from Cherrapunji and 90 km from Shillong. The village won the title of Asia's cleanest village in 2003. Climb up to the many tree huts, built out of locally grown bamboo, to get the most spellbinding view of neighbouring Bangladesh and gorges and valleys. There isn't much else to do here but walk around the quaint village. Take the opportunity to interact with the locals and savour some native fruit and vegetables. Once you've had your fill of this village, explore attractions such as the famous root bridges, Nohkalikai Falls etc, that are located at a close distance from Mawlynnong. Best way to reach here is by taking a taxi from Shillong or Cherrapunji. There are no hotels, but many locals offer homestays at affordable rates. Read More
One day trip to Mawlynnong – The Cleanest Village in AsiaOne of the other compelling reasons, was to visit the cleanest village in Asia – Mawlynnong, which is also around 3-4 hour drive away from Shillong. Like Cherrapunji, Mawlynnong also boasts of having a living root bridge, but a single layer one. Having seen many army cantonments throughout my life, my first opinion about Mawlynnong, on my first glance was that it looks like a well maintained army cantonment! Which is remarkable, considering that all the work is done by the villagers themselves, and the villagers maintain proper cleanliness too. And that is why a trip to Mawlynnong had to be there on my 5 reasons to visit Shillong.The vibrant food culture in ShillongThe last and the most compelling reason out of the 5 reasons to visit Shillong was the vibrant food culture in Shillong. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” – This saying was proved true when I got to relish different types of local food options from different cafes spread all around Shillong. However, I hogged onto the yummy Momos, on a daily basis apart from checking out the Cafes.If these 5 reasons could compel me to convince my parents to go on a week-long family vacation to Shillong, which was enjoyed thoroughly by all 4 of us, you should also check out these 5 reasons to visit Shillong and escape the Delhi heat by taking a trip to the North East.Already been to Shillong? Do share your experience in the comments and do add in your recommendations too.Check out more such blogs at theETLRblog.com .
• Visit Dowki (Bangladesh border) and Mawlynnong Village, which has been consecutively voted as Asia’s cleanest village. The live root bridge here (Not to be confused with the Double Decker Bridge in Cherrapunjee) is the major attraction for all the visitors. Travellers to this part of Meghalaya vouch for Mawlynnong Village as being one of their most serene and humbling choices for a retreat. It is located at a distance of 90km from Shillong.Both lie in the opposite directions, hence cannot be clubbed together. 3 nights in Shillong may be divided accordingly.Bazaars-Lewduh market or Bara Bazaar enjoys the reputation of being the oldest and largest traditional market of not just Meghalaya but of all of northeast. Bara Bazaar has the distinction of being one of India's rare market places where most of the shops are managed and run by women vendors. The market has separate segments for fruits, vegetables, fish, pork, beef and betel nut. Traditional items like handloom products and ethnic food items are also available in Bara Bazaar. Apart from shopping and souvenir hunt, you can be a part of the local faith by attending the religious ceremonies.Besides Bara Bazaar, one place that you definitely need to visit is the famous Police Bazaar. It is a mix of the traditional and the modern; the chic and the classic. More modern than Bara Bazaar, this place is home to a number of hotels, multi-cuisine restaurants and shops that just about cater to everyone. Almost like an extended community centre, Police Bazaar is the place you need to be if you want to catch the pulse of the city. The most popular shopping outlets in Police Bazaar include the store of Meghalaya Handlooms & Handicraft, Assam Emporium, Khadi Gram Udyog, Glory's Plaza, OB Shopping Mall and Grand Bazaar. Artifacts made of bamboo and cane are found in abundance here along with cotton and silk products. The lanes of Police Bazaar are narrow but the variety and option you get to choose from is immense.Where to Stay-Shillong
As we started off from Guwahati at 11:00 am to our destination Shillong the notion we all had was that Shillong must be having a very cold weather at present as it rained cats and dogs in Guwahati the previous night. So to combat the cold I had my bag packed with all warm clothes. After a travel of around 3 hours we reached Shillong. To our utter surprise Shillong was not that shivering cold. The sun and the cool breeze altogether made a pleasant climate. Since sightseeing in Shillong closes by 3:30 so we decided to travel further towards upper Shillong to reach Mawlynnong, Asia's cleanest village. It would take 2 and half hours more to reach there. So we had our lunch and booked a cab for Rs 1500 from Police bazar. At 4:00 pm we left for Mawlynnong. Though it was dusk the climate still was moderate. We did not encounter that cold to put on our sweater untill suddenly we approached the heap of clouds floating over the curvy roads and the steep hills. The wind which howled there added more to that chill. To drive in such a condition requires expertise. Nothing was visible except those fog lights. The drivers drove along the white lines which were the partition for the roads on the two sides helping the drivers to be along their own path. After few kilometers as we went downwards from the high altitude the clouds disappeared and the climate changed again. We could see the fields across the road and as we almost approached we saw jungle all over. After travelling few more kilometers we finally reached the village, Mawlynnong at 7 pm. It was dark already. Our cab driver was kind enough to help us in finding a cottage to stay. It was a homestay. A small room for four of us costing Rs 1800. The bamboo cottage was cozy. In this world of electronics and technology, this is a completely different world. No phone networks. That is the best of all. The phone besides having the advantage of bringing the far ones closer it has taken the nearer ones far. We are busy with mobile gaming and chatting not bothered about the company around us. But this place doesn't allow that. We can enjoy the company of our closest one in the lap of nature without any intrusion from the techy world. We freshened up and went out for a walk. The village was so cool and serene. Beautiful flowers in the garden and everything was so clean. There were dustbins kept at every places and the villagers themselves have taken the pain of preparing those dustbins out of bamboo. Since it was already late for the day so we returned back to our room and satisfied our gluttony and were off to sleep so that we could start afresh the next day.
we headed towards our next destination Mawlynnong Village but then we made our way to as it was quite nearby. Tamabil is Located in the Jaintia Hills, the Dawki-Tamabil border between India and Bangladesh.The security was not so tight here .I saw minimum army force on the border,it seems anyone can easily trespass through this weak security line . Illegal migration is certainly a big issue in India .Here is a picture of the border.
Experience amazement at living-root bridges.The living-root bridges around Cherapunjee are surely one of the marvels of nature. An amazing fact about India is the marvels of nature that lie tucked away in the most unexpected corners. These root bridges exist here since hundreds of years and we find its first recorded mention in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1844.
Last night we had a nice sleep. Early in the morning we went for a short tour of the village and then left for the leaving root bridge which is just 5 min away from mawlynnong.The living root bridge is just splendid and requires years for its formation. The climate was awesome...the sun was peeping out...there was sounds of birds chirping, water flowing by the stream.We were purifying our lungs with the purest air we can get. looking back to days of our journey.We then left for shillong with our RE and visited some local points like shillong view point..elephant falls..umiam lake...and its wrap..We then headed to guwahati and then to mumbai..
Take a nap in the thatched cottages of Asia’s cleanest village, Mawlynnong – a destination, surrounded by green oasis and warm people, perfect to welcome the new year.
Cross into the other-worldly realm of living root bridges in Mawlynnong, which also is famously regarded as the cleanest village in Asia. Spend the night at a homestay in Mawlynnong, and return to Cherrapunji the following morning.
Mawlynnong Village :Finally we reached to the most awaited Mawlynnong village which is famous as "Asia's cleanest village". People are so nice here, they welcome you with smile and you realize that you are far away from the city of crowds. We ordered for lunch and till the time it is prepared, we started exploring the village. It has a tree house in the village from where you can take a glimpse of Bangladesh and a big rock which is maintaining its balance on a small rock for many years. The food was excellent that i could not stop till my stomach gets filled. After the delicious lunch we drove towards our next Destination, "Dawki River".
In Manipur too, Holi is extremely interesting. It is a six-day festival here, commencing on the full moon day of Phalguna. The traditional and centuries-old Yaosang festival of Manipur amalgamated with Holi in the 18th century with the introduction of Vaishnavism. In earlier times, folk dances were performed with folk songs under the moonlight. The only musical instrument used was an indigenous drum. Presently, these have been replaced by modern bands and fluorescent lamps. Beginning days before, people of collect money from the community to spend on the festivities.Read More
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In Manipur too, Holi is extremely interesting. It is a six-day festival here, commencing on the full moon day of Phalguna. The traditional and centuries-old Yaosang festival of Manipur amalgamated with Holi in the 18th century with the introduction of Vaishnavism. In earlier times, folk dances were performed with folk songs under the moonlight. The only musical instrument used was an indigenous drum. Presently, these have been replaced by modern bands and fluorescent lamps. Beginning days before, people of collect money from the community to spend on the festivities.
This Holi, Get drenched in Manipur.Holi in Manipuri is a 6 days affair that coincides with the festival of Yaosang. The festival commences with burning of a small hut made of straw. After this, small children go from house to house to collect nakadeng (money) as gifts on the first two days. The main highlight of the festival is a Manipuri folk dance known as 'Thabal Chongba.' Accompanied by numerous folk songs and modern bands, Holi is Manipur is an incredible experience.
•What to buy: Mekhla-Chader
• CheiraobaCheiraoba, also called Sajibu Cheiraoba, is the celebration of New Year in Manipur.
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.Famous for: Classical dances and exquisite handicrafts.Places to Visit: Imphal (Kangla Fort for its historical and cultural importance), Moirang (for Keibul Lamjao, the only floating water national park in the world), Andro (the ancient Manipuri village with its own pottery and doll exhibitions).Things to Do: Spot the endangered Sangai in Keibul Lamjao National Park. Shop at the famous Ima Keithel Women's Market, one of the largest all-women's market in the world.Food: Unlike most of India, the cuisine in Manipur is super healthy, since the prime ingredients are chilly and pepper with little oil. Try ngri, the much-loved fermented fish.Climate: 0-12 degrees Celsius in winters. 35-40 degrees Celsius in summers.Best Time to Visit: October to March.Average Expenditure Per Head (excluding flights): Rs. 9,500 for 5 days.How to reach: The main airport of the state is Imphal Airport, where direct flights from Aizawl, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata and Silchar land.For an extended itinerary on Manipur, refer to this trip.
I had just endured a spate of festivals and pujas, and was really raring to go on an adventure. So when a friend of mine as much as mentioned Manipur, I went ahead and bought the tickets! And cost a bomb they did, given that I was buying them at a short notice and in the peak season. But when the travel bug bites, cost really does not matter, does it. Anyway, railways would be reaching the state only by 2016, according to a government website. So we set off, a group of 5 friends, to explore the place that's fondly called the jeweled land. One of the seven sister states of North East, Manipur shares its borders with Nagaland, Assam and Mizoram on one side and Burma on the other. Nestled among the Eastern flanks of the great Himalayas, Manipur is also known as India's Switzerland, or so I am told.
Discovering North East India through his lens, Salim Islam took a journey that explored those local communities and realities of Manipur that mainstream media never tells you about. From the ongoing social unrest to the empowering picture of the women on the streets of Manipur, this story will prove how travellers are the new-age historians.Read Salim Islam's travel story of Manipur.
14. Manipur - Madhurjan Thongba