Northeast India, often referred to as the "Paradise Unexplored," is a captivating region that beckons intrepid travellers with its untouched beauty and cultural richness. Located in the lap of the Himalayas, this region is a treasure trove of stunning landscapes and dense forests. While popular tourist spots like Kaziranga National Park and Tawang Monastery have garnered attention, the hidden gems of Northeast truly captivate the soul.
Located in Tripura, Unakoti is considered a mystical site, with stone and rock-cut sculptures steeped in lore and legends. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Unakoti boasts an impressive collection of ancient carvings. Historians believe that these exquisite sculptures were created by ancient people who used the vertical surface of the Unakoti hills to carve various mythological scenes featuring iconic forms of deities like Shiva, Ganesha, and Uma-Maheshwara. Unakoti also serves as evidence of ancient Saiva worship in Tripura, dating back to the 8th-9th centuries CE. A visit to Unakoti would be complete with exploring the nearby Jampui Hills, which proudly stands as Tripura's highest hill, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
Chongkham, located near Namsai, is another hidden gem that mesmerizes visitors with its natural beauty and cultural heritage. This town is graced with beautiful monasteries situated in the Patkai range. Picturesque blue skies, bamboo houses, and paddy fields surround the town. In terms of culture, Chongkham is inhabited by the Tai Khampti and Singpho tribes. The Buddha Vihara and the World Peace Pagoda at the Chongkham River Island are must-visit attractions in this area. To delve deeper into Chongkham's history, visiting the Khampti and Singpho Museum at the Arunachal Pali Vidyapith is highly recommended. The challenging Glow Lake Trek can be undertaken for those seeking adventure, beginning in Chongkham. Additionally, there is the option to visit the nearby sacred Parashuram Kund.
Ukhrul, a unique hill station in Manipur, defies the norms of traditional tourist destinations. The Kachai village, famous for its lemons known as champers, provides an opportunity to observe the daily life and culture of the Tangkhul Nagas. Another village worth exploring in Ukhrul is Longpi, where local potters skillfully create handicrafts. To witness the breathtaking bloom of Shirui lilies, a trek to the Shirui Kashung Peak during May and June is a must. Picnic enthusiasts will find solace at Phangrei, a picturesque spot ideal for setting up a camp. For those seeking adventure, the Hundung Mova cave promises a fascinating exploration into the region's natural wonders.
Tucked away amidst the lush green Jaintia hills, Shnongpdeng remains a hidden paradise, untouched by the masses of tourists. Located just 8 km from Dawki, this tranquil gem will enchant you with its pristine azure waters of the Umngot River. A boat ride along this crystal-clear river will leave you rejuvenated and spellbound. Shnongpdeng also offers a range of thrilling activities, including scuba diving, kayaking, snorkelling, and cliff jumping, providing adrenaline seekers with an unforgettable experience. The riverside campsites in Shnongpdeng are a haven for nature lovers, offering a chance to unwind and connect with the peaceful surroundings. While here, visiting the nearby Krang Suri waterfall is highly recommended, where you can witness the majestic cascade amidst verdant greenery.
Cover Photo Credits Shutterstock
ALSO READ Northeast On A Plate