The Northeast region of India is one of the country’s top ecotourism destinations because of its stunning beauty and tranquil settings. However, the same qualities that make the region so appealing make it vulnerable to overuse and destruction. Ecotourism is an important part of ensuring that the region is preserved for future generations. There are numerous ways for visitors to learn about native traditions in order to protect natural environments and reduce the negative effects of travel.
Here are 15 of the most beautiful ecotourism destinations in Northeast India:
1. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya
Mawlynnong is a village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. It is notable for its cleanliness and was named Asia’s cleanest village by Discover India magazine. Along with cleanliness, the village has also accomplished a great milestone, such as a 100% literacy rate or a women empowerment scenario that the rest of the world can only dream of. Although the weather is pleasant and beautiful throughout the year, the monsoon season is particularly appealing. Rains bring out the lush greens of trees and forests.
2. Umden, Meghalaya
Umden is a small village in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district. Umden was declared as the state’s first ‘Eri Silk Village,’ with the goal of developing the village along the lines of Vietnam’s Hai Aan Silk Village and Assam’s Sualkuchi Village. The village has picture-perfect streams, lush green meadows, and acres of forests and orchards. The village also has a beautiful view of the sprawling Khasi hills and many picturesque tea estates. Umden is also a great weekend getaway from Guwahati and Shillong.
3. Majuli, Assam
Majuli is a picturesque, lush green, and pollution-free river island on the Brahmaputra River. It is the world’s largest river island, drawing visitors from all over the world. Majuli is also a strong contender for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Majuli’s culture is unique and quite interesting, and it is one of the main reasons why people love this place so much. Due to its rich cultural heritage, Majuli is regarded as the culture of Assam. All of the festivals celebrated here are joyful and vibrant. The main festival in Majuli is called Raas, and it is a thrilling and fascinating spectacle.
4. Nameri, Assam
Nameri National Park is a national park in the Sonitpur District of Assam, India, located in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas. It is the most scenic of Assam’s national parks. It is a birdwatcher’s paradise and teems with biodiversity. The Jia Bharali river is famous for its tigers, elephants, rare bird species, and rare fish species. Nameri has varied flora and fauna. The most well-known white-winged wood duck (Deo Hanh) can be found here. There are also cottages for accommodation, which offer simple and comfortable stays. You can also take a walk along the Jia-Bharali River or go on rafting trips.
5. Namphake, Assam
Namphake Village is in Assam’s Dibrugarh district. The tranquil surroundings and natural beauty of the location make it a popular tourist destination in Assam. This picturesque village on the south bank of the Buridihing River is home to the Tai Phake tribes, a major Assamese ethnic group. With 150 Tai-Phake families, this is Assam’s largest Tai-Phake village. Even after 240 years of migration, the Tai Phake ethnic group has managed to preserve their culture and traditions. They dress in handwoven traditional colourful dresses, eat indigenous food, adhere to their social practices, and enthusiastically celebrate traditional festivals. As a result, many outside researchers come here to conduct research on this tribe.
6. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Kaziranga National Park is located in the districts of Golaghat and Nagaon in the Indian state of Assam. This park is one of the few remaining unspoiled areas in eastern India. It is home to the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceroses, as well as a variety of mammals such as tigers, elephants, panthers, and bears, as well as thousands of birds. Kaziranga is a place where nature unfurls its pristine form in millions of hues, where wildlife roams fearlessly, and where man and nature meet. In 1985, UNESCO designated Kaziranga as a World Heritage Site for its unique natural environment.
7. Manas National Park, Assam
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the North-East Indian state of Assam, which is a biodiversity hotspot. It spans the Manas River and is bounded to the north by Bhutanese forests, covering an area of 39,100 hectares. The Assam roofed turtle, hispid hare, golden langur, and pygmy hog are among the park’s rare and endangered endemic wildlife. Manas National Park is well-known for its population of wild water buffalo.. Manas is one of India’s nine tiger reserve sanctuaries. Hispid Hare, Pigmy Hog, Golden Langur, Indian Rhinoceros, Asiatic Buffalo, and other wildlife spices can be found in the national park. Elephant, Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Himalayan Bear, Wild Boar, Samber, Swamp Deer, Hog Deer, and other animals are also commonly seen.
8. Touphema, Nagaland
Touphema Village is a wonderful recreation of a traditional Angami village and one of Nagaland’s ancient heritage villages. The village was built exclusively for tourists to help them understand the lifestyle and history of the people here as an ode to Nagaland’s rich cultural heritage. The village was built in collaboration with the state Tourism Department by the local community. The village is one of the most popular places to visit in Nagaland, with huts built in Naga style and decorated with native décor. So, if you want to experience the true Naga way of life, reserve your own hut ahead of time. The best part about the village is that tourists can stay in huts with bathing and sleeping facilities.
9. Khonoma, Nagaland
Khonoma is an Angami Naga village in Nagaland, India, about 20 kilometres west of the state capital, Kohima. Khonoma is the country’s first green village. Its journey to earn the Green Village tag was not an easy one, as hunting is ingrained in the people here. The Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary (KNCTS) was established in 1998 as the first step in this direction. This resulted in a hunting ban in Khonoma after the village council designated a 20-square-kilometer area as the KNTCS. However, almost everyone has now switched to farming. Although there have been reports of hunting continuing, Khonoma is committed to conservation on a much smaller scale.
10. Loktak Lake, Manipur
Loktak Lake, in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, is India’s largest freshwater lake. The pristine Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, is one of Manipur’s most popular tourist attractions. Due to its ethereal beauty and floating circular swamps known as phumdis in the local language, the lake attracts tourists from all over the world. Aside from being a beautiful sight, the lake absorbs floodwater during the monsoon season and supports the livelihoods of over three lakh people in Manipur all year. The Brow-antlered Deer and the Dancing Deer are both endangered species in this natural park. Both of these animals are classified as critically endangered. The Brow-antlered deer is unique to this area and cannot be found elsewhere. This is the world’s only floating national park.
11. Yuksom, Sikkim
Yuksom, famous for its breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains and landscapes, is a historical town in the West Sikkim district of the Northeast Indian state of Sikkim. Despite being a popular tourist destination in the state, it appears green, charming, and even unspoiled. It is set in a tranquil, cosy setting surrounded by high hills and lush green forest. This small but beautiful village does not appear to be a growing urbanisation centre, but it does have some decent facilities such as hotels, restaurants, tour agencies, and so on. It serves as the entrance to Kanchenjungha National Park and is thus frequently visited by trekkers and mountaineers from all over the world. In fact, many people believe that the number of Indian visitors is far lower than the number of foreign visitors.
12. Dzongu, North Sikkim
Dzongu in North Sikkim has been preserved for Lepchas, and the traditional way of life blends in perfectly with nature. Dzongu, a restricted area for the Lepchas community, is a historical and cultural hotspot. The Lepchas are deeply connected to nature and have lived here for centuries. Understanding their culture, customs, and language can help you appreciate the beautiful mountains, dense forests, and emerald-colored Teesta River. From the valley’s cluster of villages, there are breathtaking views of the mighty Kanchenjunga. The air is calm and unhurried, creating a dreamlike backdrop for the brilliant play of clouds in the sky. Because there is little tourist activity in the area, it appears almost untouched. It is sparsely populated and covered in dense vegetation for the most part. Near the villages, rice fields and cardamom plantations can be seen.
13. Thembang, Arunachal Pradesh
Thembang is an ancient village with significant historical and cultural significance in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Kameng district. Thembang is about 55 kilometres northeast of Bomdila. The village is surrounded by lush green majestic mountain peaks with oak and blue pine forest slopes, as well as cascading high-speed perennial rivers flowing down beneath the deep gorges. With all of these resources, community-based eco-tourism was introduced in Thembang in a sustainable manner, and it has already been awarded the best Eco-tourism award for the year 2017 by the State Department of Tourism. Thembang Fortified Village has also been proposed for inclusion on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
14. Eaglesnest, West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh
Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary is in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Kameng district. It covers an area of 218 square kilometres in Northeast India’s Himalayan foothills. The name of this wildlife sanctuary comes from the Red Eagle Division of the Indian Army, which was stationed there in the 1950s. The Eaglenest wildlife sanctuary has a subtropical climate and receives a lot of rain in April; due to its high elevation, it even gets snow in the winter. The Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary is best known for its diverse animal population, as well as some newly discovered rare animal and bird species. Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary has aided Arunachal Pradesh’s economy through community-based eco-tourism.
15. Khumulwng Eco Park, Tripura
Khumulwng means “valley of flowers”. Khumulwng Eco Park lives up to its name in every way. This park is located at about 38 km from Khowai in Baramura Hill Range through which 8 National Highway winds its way to Shilong and Guwahati from Agartala. It is an area surrounded by sylvan green forest with a stream flowing through it. this park has got a lot of other attractions of panoramic environment. This is an ideal destination for eco-lovers.
Travel Permits to North East India
Visiting to the three states- Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram would require Inner Line Permits (ILPs) while foreigners including Overseas Citizens of India require Protected Area Permits (PAPs) for Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Obtaining an Inner Line Permit (ILP) is not required for visiting Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura for Indians or foreigners.