Sometimes the Seven Sisters of the Northeast (the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura) hardly seem like India at all. The region's hundreds of tribes and subtribes are slowly ceding to modernity, but remain extremely diverse. Nagaland's former headhunters now go to church on Sundays. Many Arunachalis also attend church-like buildings on Sundays – to worship the sun and moon. Cloudy Himalayan valleys near the border of Tibet are dotted with colorful monasteries, echoing with Buddhist chants and clashing cymbals.
The geography is as varied as the culture. While waterfalls thunder down Cherrapunjee's jungle escarpments, blizzards may be blocking the passes to Tawang, and one-horned rhinos go on grazing peacefully in Kaziranga's grasslands beside the mighty Brahmaputra.
Northeast travel can be tough, but the destinations are always worth the effort. You are indeed far from the beaten track: only the adventurous need apply.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Northeast States.