3 Magical Villages That You Must Visit in Northeast India

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Photo of 3 Magical Villages That You Must Visit in Northeast India by Ila Reddy

My favourite region of India is the Northeast and every state I explore in this part of the country leaves me enthralled. While it is still largely cut-off from tourist infrastructure that makes traveling in other parts of the country very easy and affordable, the charm of this region perhaps lies in exactly this: the unadulterated experience of exploring lesser-known places and learning more about its people and culture.

In this spirit, I share my three most favourite villages in Northeast India that offer unique experiences that are truly magical and need to be experienced!

Endless Shades of Green

My very first visit to Northeast India was Meghalaya. I did the usual itinerary covering Cherrapunjee, Nongriat, Mawlynnong, Dawki, and Krang Suri on a five day trip. But the place that caught me off-guard and won my heart was the quaint, picturesque hamlet called Mawphanlur in the West Khasi Hills.

With just three small cottages atop a hill, it's paradise for those looking for endless shades of green, solitude, stunning skies, and some much needed downtime. The hillocks are interspersed with small ponds that perfectly reflect the clouds above. There's not much to do, other than walk around, get lost in nature, catch a short nap in the outdoors, and enjoy the delicious food cooked by the hosts. If you're lucky, you might be able to kayak in the ponds and forage some wild fruit from the shrubs.

Although just 90km away from Shillong, this dreamy village is unknown to most tourists and offers much needed respite from busy city life.

Also read: Magic of the Night-Time in Kaziranga

Travel Back in Time

There are few places that take you back a couple of centuries and allow you to witness what the world might have been like in a different era. Longwa in Mon district of Nagaland is one such place.

I visited Longwa during the Aoleang festival a few years back. Meeting with members of the Konyak tribe, the last of the tattooed headhunters of Nagaland, was a surreal experience and one that I'll always cherish.

Located on the Indo-Burmese border, half this village falls in India, and the other half in Myanmar. Cut off from "development", it's no surprise to learn about the identity crisis and cultural conflict the local people here face every day.

Longwa is also home to numerous craftsmen: from gunsmiths, to brass-workers and wood sculptors, homes transform into workshops, and watching them create works of art in a jiffy under the dim light of a fire (barely any electricity in these regions) is truly fascinating!

More here: Celebrating Aoleang with Last of the Tattooed Headhunters of Nagaland

Switzerland of India

What can I say about the magical village called Mechuka in Arunachal Pradesh?! I traveled for 2.5 days by 4 modes of transport to get to it- and it was every bit worth it!

As I was visiting during the monsoons in early-June last year, the entire village was literally a green carpet, and with horses grazing in the meadows, colourful flowers, picturesque cottages, and snow-capped mountains in the distance, it felt like I was in Switzerland!

Again, not known to many tourists, Mechuka is paradise for those who like to travel away from the usual tourist crowds and tread on offbeat paths. The journey by road is an equally dreamy one, with waterfalls on every turn along the way!

There are several home stays in this beautiful village, offering a true cultural immersion into the life and traditions of the local tribes residing here.

Read more: Why I Traveled For 2.5 Days via 4 Modes of Transport to Visit this Remote Village in Arunachal Pradesh

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