This is the story of a trip to the north-east, To the heart an adventure and to the eyes- A feast! The Seven Sisters is their popular sobriquet, Each one, special in its own way! This one is of Meghalaya-Tripura-Mizoram The states of thrill, quest, joy and calm! With vast expanses of undulated hills, The sine qua non of green therapy it fulfills! Whatever the excuse that has held you back, Drop them now and your bags you pack! For this is one vacation you’ll never bewail, The story and your experience you will always hail!
I think the word North-East to a lot of us this far away seems like a dream destination. Because of its picturesque landscapes are so dreamy but dream here also means not an easily achievable task. The distance and accessibility are a deterrent. But everyone still has a trip to the North-East in their “Wanderlist”. And for hodophiles like us, the accessibility, language, food, nothing impedes us from heading in the direction our heart takes. The only thing that could possibly give us a reality check is our bank balance, thanks to our constant urge to be on the road.
Usually, we have a few days before a vacation to prep/plan for it, but this time it was different, time had become a luxury we couldn’t afford and needless to say we were left scrambling for hotels and travel options when the travel date was around the corner. Eventually things fell into place, and we found roof over our heads and wheels beneath us for our 15 days starting from 31st Oct’21 to 14th Nov’21 in the 3 of the 7 sisters of India.
While the detail of each state must be honored with its own blog, this one is going to be a sneak peek into the wonders of what the seven sisters hold.
We were traveling from Bangalore. So we took a flight to Guwahati via Chennai. We rented a cab fr our two weeks there. The worst cab driver I have ever met! His driving was good (Let’s give credit where it is deserved) but his attitude was just intolerable. So I will never recommend this guy to anyone. However I do have contacts of others cab guys whose details we found a little too late into the trip. So you can reach out to me if you need them.
Except the railways we used all modes of transport. The airways, roadways and water! We even trekked quite a bit. But all those details are for later. 🙂
Translating to “The abode of clouds”, this state stands true to its name. Meghalaya is one of the wettest places on Earth, given its highest rainfall records. Rich in flora, Meghalaya is filled with sublime landscapes. I will not be exaggerating when I say I was hesitant to blink a lot in the fear of missing something while on the road. Home to most of the living root bridges of the world, this state is an example of how man and nature can together do wonders! Not only have men and women been skillful in creating extraordinary spectacles, but they’ve strived hard to maintain the same. Meghalaya is by far one of the cleanest states of India and boasts of being home to Asia’s Cleanest Village, Mawlynnong.
We spent 6 days exploring different places in Meghalaya and that was not enough. In these 6 days we covered the double decker root bridge trek, multiple water falls, the Mawphlang sacred grove walk, camping at Dawki river, zip lining in Shnongpdeng, and a relaxed stay at Mawlynnong. All the details will come in my next blog!
How to reach
By Air: The only airport is in Umroi which is about 35km from Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. But more frequent flights are to the Gopinath Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati, Assam which is 128 kms from Shillong. One can simply take a flight to Guwahati and then drive or take a taxi to Meghalaya.
By Road: The roads in Meghalaya are road trip friendly and one can choose to book a cab or drive down (if privileged with their own car). The roads are also well connected to the neighboring states. If you are from plain lands then be a little cautious while driving during the monsoons here because remember this is one of the wettest places on Earth. (If you didn’t know this already then you are not paying attention to what I have been writing!) And two, these are hilly regions so in combination with monsoons, these roads are tricky. But if these don’t matter to you, the drive in this state cannot be dull, I promise you. The rugged beauty of this state is going to keep you spell-bound even for people with motion sickness like myself.
PS: Do not eat lots of maggi before hitting the road. Doesn’t bode well with motion sickness. But don’t worry if you’re a maggi lover, because the public toilets in Meghalaya are clean and user friendly 😉
By Train: Unfortunately, there are no railway lines in Meghalaya but fortunately so for the environment 😉 The nearest railway station is in Guwahati and then you’ll have to travel by road to Meghalaya. All suggestions/warnings mentioned in the above section apply again here. Duh!
Tripura is one of the oldest princely states in India. While most of the seven sisters have all similar cultural influences and lifestyle, Tripura shares a lot of similarity with West Bengal including the architecture. Tripura is known for the ancient architectures, multiple rock carvings and beautiful valleys. This state is bordered by Bangladesh on three sides i.e., the north, south and west. The length of this international border is around 856km. These borders are relatively calmer with much more relaxed BSF personnel. More details about our experience at the border to be coming soon.
How to reach
By Air: The most easily accessible airport is in Agartala which is the capital city of Tripura.
By Road: Tripura is connected to the rest of India through NH-44 through Assam, Meghalaya, Kolkata and other parts.
By Train: Tripura is well connected through the railways from cities like Guwahati, Assam, New Delhi
Mizoram is yet another northeastern state that will dazzle you with its scintillating valleys and hilly terrain every step of the way. Known to be the fifth smallest state Mizoram is a young one too. It was marked as a state in 1987. This is a land-locked state sharing two international borders i.e., that of Bangladesh and Myanmar. Mizoram is not usually at the top of people’s travel list, mainly due to lack of information. Although it is not a very tourist-centric state, the people of this state are extremely friendly and do everything it takes to make your stay comfortable. Language can be a barrier when you travel to some of the most remote places in the state, but that does not in any way restrict the people of Mizoram from trying to melt your hearts away with their warm gestures.
How to reach
By Air: There is a sweet little airport in Lengpui located about 31 kms from Aizawl. There are flights from Kolkata or Delhi airports to and from Lengpui.
By Road: Aizawl is connected to the rest of India again through Silchar. And like the other two state, Mizoram is also a hilly region and the drive can be visually pleasing and motionally (If this is not a word, it should be) challenging
By Train: The nearest railway station is in Silchar in Assam which is about 176kms from Aizawl. After reaching there one can reach Aizawl by cab (Reach out to me for details of cabs in Mizoram). There are also some buses that ply this route.