Northeast India refers to the easternmost region of India consisting of the contiguous Seven Sister States, Sikkim, and parts of North Bengal (districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, and Koch Bihar). In the far northeast, the Chin Hills and Kachin Hills, deeply forested mountainous regions, separate India from Myanmar. The Bangladesh-India border is defined by the Khasi Hills and Mizo Hills, and the watershed region of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The Patkai, or Purvanchal, are situated near India’s eastern border with Myanmar, made up of the Patkai–Bum, the Garo–Khasi–Jaintia and the Lushai hills. The Garo–Khasi range lies in Meghalaya. Mawsynram, a village near Cherrapunji , located on the windward side of these hills, has the distinction of being the wettest place in the world.

Although connected to the vast body of India by a slender land-locked isthmus a mere forty five miles wide, historically, culturally and spiritually the ties are perhaps even more tenuous for this gathering of seven states is a world of its own, its many peoples – over 166 separate tribes – traditions and languages owing more to its Tibetan and Burmese neighbors than to Mughal or Hindu India. Apart from its vast scenic beauty it is this very ‘otherness’ – indeed, this other-worldliness – which provides the northeast’s greatest attraction.

Until recently the whole area was simply known as Assam. This term of convenience encompassed a richly variegated and interwoven tapestry of highly localised (and often highly individualistic) clans, tribes and states often speaking mutually incomprehensible languages, whose territories expanded and contracted as their poweT waxed and waned. The richest of these constantly warring groups had settled alongside the mighty Brahmaputra river which cuts a broad swathe from right to left across the entire area, but the vast majority of the tribal people inhabited the hills.

Sikkim

  • Kalimpong

    Situated at an altitude of 1250 meters it enjoys temperate climate throughout the year. Somewhat secluded and tucked away in the corner under the big Darjeeling umbrella, Kalimpong offers a quite and relaxed holiday against the backdrop of Kanchenjunga.

    The journey from Darjeeling to Kalimpong is a beautiful experience. The road drops from Ghoom 7407ft., to Teesta Bazar 700 ft. in 12km and passes through lush green forests and tea gardens. One can stop at the view point of ‘Lovers Meet’ from where the confluence of river Teesta and Rangeet can be seen. One can travel direct to Siliguri from Kalimpong and this road follows the river Teesta from the hills till it emerges into the plains of Siliguri.

  • Dr.Graham’s Home

     A unique educational institution started in 1900 by Dr. John Anderson Graham, a missionary with six orphans. The School, situated in a 500 acre estate on the slopes of Kalimpong’s highest hill, Delo, has today strength of well over 700 boys and girls, who are accommodated in small cottages in a picturesque setup. It has its own dairy, poultry and bakery. Every year in the month of May the school organizes “Mayfair”. A Day’s visit there can be enthralling.
  • Flower Nurseries

     Kalimpong is famous for its nurseries which export exotic flowers like Amaryllis Lilies, Anthuriums, Roses, Gerbera, Dahilias, Gladiolias as well as Orchids and Cacti. Some important nurseries are: Brindaban Garden Nursery, Ganesh Mani Pradhan Nursery, L.B.Pradhan Nursery, Pinewood Nursery, standard Nursery, Shangrila Garden Nursery, Twin Brothers Nursery, Universal Nursery and others.
  • Gangtok

     Gangtok is located in the Shivalik Hills of the eastern Himalayan range, at an altitude of 1,437 metres (4,715 ft). Gangtok rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840. Nestled within higher peaks of the Himalaya and enjoying a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim’s tourism industry. Today, Gangtok is a centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning, with the presence of several monasteries, religious educational institutions, and centres for Tibetology.
  • Tsongmo Lake

     Tsongmo Lake or Changu Lake is a glacial lake in the East Sikkim, India, some 40 kilometres (25 mi) away from Gangtok at altitude of 3,780 m (12,400 ft).The road to Nathu La passes the lake on north side. The Chinese border crossing is only some 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east-northeast in a straight line, but some 18 kilometres (11 mi) by road.
  • Rumtek Monastery

     A short drive from Gangtok will take you to Rumtek Dharma Chakra Centre. Built in 1960 by His Holiness the late 16th Gyalwa Karmapa it is a replica of the original Kagyurpa Monastery in Tsurphu, Tibet, the seat of His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa Rinpoche, head of the Karmapa sub sect of Kargyudpa order of Tibetan Buddhism. It now functions as the headquarters of the Dharma Chakra Religious Centre.
  • Do Drul Chorten

     This is the biggest and the most important stupa in Sikkim. It is located near Gangtok. It is the most important tourist spot in the East Sikkim. This has been built in the year 1945 under the supervision of late TruslshiRimpoche. There are about 108 prayer wheels (Mani-Lhakor) in this chorten. There are some mantras have been engraved in these prayer wheels; by turning these prayer wheels, the devotees can read and chant these mantras. The renowned chorten has a gold-plated steeple.
  • Pelling

     Pelling is today emerging as the second biggest tourist destination in the state after Gangtok. Although in itself it is little more than a strip of road lined with hotels, its main USP is the breathtaking view it offers of the Khangchendzonga and surrounding ranges, as well as the easy access it provides to tourist spots in the area.Pemayangste monastery is less than a kilometre from Pelling, while a 40 minute walk on the hill opposite the monastery takes you to SangaCholing monastery built in 1697, one of the first in the state. Pelling’s serene environment and picturesque setting is perfect for nice nature walks and small treks
  • Khecheopalri Lake

    Situated at a distance of 25 kms. from Pelling, it is considered to be one of the sacred lakes of the State both by the Buddhist and the Hindus. The Lake remains hidden under the rich forest cover. The birds do not permit even a single leaf to float on the lake surface.
  • Pemayangste Monastery

    It is one of the oldest monasteries of the State. It was originally established by LhatsunChempo, one of the revered Lamas to have performed the consecration ceremony of the first Chogyal (Monarch) of Sikkim. This ancient monastery belonging to the Nyingma Sect has been considered as one of the premier monasteries in the State. It has been entrusted with the task to perform all religious functions of the erstwhile monarch.
  • Khangchendzonga Waterfalls

    About 28kms from Pelling and 5kms before Yuksam is Khangchendzonga Waterfalls which is situated at a sharp curve on the road side. The falls being very big in size and equally attractive through out the year, it has become one of the leading tourist spots in west Sikkim.
  • Rabdentse Ruins

    About 3kms from Pelling and few minutes walk further down from Pemayangtse Monastery are the Rabdentse ruins the 2nd capital of Sikkim, founded by the 2nd Chogyal of Sikkim TensungNamgyal in the year 1670. The site has been recently very fully excavated and restored by the Archeological survey of India .After the restoration one can now visit the king’s bed room , assembley hall and kitchen, Public courtyard and other palace guards’ room etc.
  • Darjeeling

    The name ‘Darjeeling’ came from the Tibetan words, ‘dorje’ meaning thunderbolt (originally the scepter of Indra) and ‘ling’ a place or land, hence ‘the land of the thunderbolt’. This is the land of the muscatel flavouredDarjeeling tea revered by connoisseurs across the globe. This is the land of the world heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway where the century old miniature steam engine still chugs uphill vying for space with the fast disappearing Land Rovers. For foreign tourists, the main attractions are the cultural diversity (many Tibetan refugees moved here after Tibet was annexed by China and they co-exist with the descendants), the beautiful views (including the wonderful vista view of Kanchenjunga), a variety of trekking options, and the opportunity to cool down after a stint in the plains.
  • Tiger Hill

    Situated at an altitude of 2590 meters (8482 ft.) and 13 kilometers from the town, this spot has earned international fame for the magnificent view of the sunrise over the “Kanchanjunga” and the great eastern Himalayan Mountains. Even Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, is visible from here. The hesitant rays of the early morning sun paint these peaks in pale gold.
  • Ghoom Monastery

    Built in 1875 by Lama SherabGyatso, this ancient monastery is said to have been blessed by the renowned TomoGesheRimpoche of Tibet. The specialty of this monastery is that it contains the statue of the ‘Future Coming Buddha’ known as Maitreye Buddha. The Monastery has also preserved some of the rare handwritten Buddhist manuscripts. You could visit the monastery on your return journey to Darjeeling from Tiger Hill.
  • Batasia Loop

    The Batasia loop situated almost 5 km away from the town is a gigantic railway loop where the Toy Train makes a 360 Degree turn. It was basically built to make it possible for the Toy Train to cut the deep ascend. Strategically located the Batasia Loop offers a panoramic view of the Kanchanjunga Range.
  • Himalayan Mountaineering Institute

    The Batasia loop situated almost 5 km away from the town is a gigantic railway loop where the Toy Train makes a 360 Degree turn. It was basically built to make it possible for the Toy Train to cut the deep ascend. Strategically located the Batasia Loop offers a panoramic view of the Kanchanjunga Range.
  • P.N. Zoological Park

    Established on the 14th of August, 1958, the zoo was dedicated to the memory of Padmaja Naidu, former Governor of West Bengal on the 21st November, 1975. Considered as one of the best zoos in the country, it is the only centre that breeds the tibetan wolf in captivity. Breeding programmes for the endangered red panda, snow leopard and the siberian tiger are also carried out at PNHZP.
  • Tibetan Refugee Centre

    After Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet, thousands of Tibetan refugees came to reside in India. Darjeeling too became a home away from home for the Tibetans in exile. To rehabilitate the community a ten-member committee was formed in Darjeeling to organize a rehabilitation centre which was known as “Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Centre”. The centre was established on October 1, 1959 and the residents of the centre are today known for their handicrafts. The centre makes excellent carpets, woolen goods, woodwork, etc, which are famous across the globe.
  • Tea Garden

    Happy Valley tea garden is located just a kilometer away from the main town and is situated along 18 Lebong Cart Road (very near to the District Magistrate’s Office) and offers tourist a refreshing ambience far from the otherwise noisy town. One can soak in the ambience of the tea garden and take a walk through the carpeted garden. You can take a pony from the Chowrasta or merely walk down the hill to reach the factory. The garden is presently closed but the residents are running it through a cooperative.

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