With New Year comes new plans, resolutions and travelling to new places. 2017 certainly looks promising, as it has some of the best long weekends! Nationwide, there are 7 holidays on Mondays, 5 Holidays of Friday, 6 Holidays on Saturday, 2 Holidays on Sunday with 11 2-day long weekends and 1 4-day long weekend.
We know how you feel about weekends and so, got it all sorted for you.
Torgya Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
A three-day monastery festival, Torgya is observed by the Monpa tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. The rituals, including the performance of sacred dances by brightly costumed monks in the monastery’s courtyard, are supposed to ward off evil spirits and bring prosperity to the tribe.
Where: Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh
Brahmaputra Beach Festival
Brahmaputra Beach Festival is an open-air two-day long fest, held on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra. The festival promotes the culture of Assam and its neighbouring states. Cultural events, which include songs and dances, are organized. It aims to promote indigenous culture, crafts and popularize traditional sports of Assam.
Where: Guwahati, Assam
The ‘Metropolis – Urban Winter Festival’ is a three-day-long annual art, craft and music festival organised every year in association with Assam Tourism. Metropolis is a collaboration of creative talents from all across India as well as other parts of the world. The event is known as one of the happiest and largest urban winter festivals in Northeast.
Where: Guwahati, Assam
Daporijo, Arunachal Pradesh
A small town at an altitude of 600 m, situated on the banks of the Subansiri River, is surrounded by a cluster of tribal villages and is known as a semi-urban oasis in the region. The beautiful hilly terrain, picturesque surroundings and quaint traditions of this town are ideal if you are looking for some place simple yet out of the ordinary.
Places to see: Kamala Reserve Forest, Sigem Daporijo Reserve Forest and Subansiri River
Best time to visit: Sep–Jan
Namdapha, Arunachal Pradesh
Namdapha National Park is an ecological hotspot with an incredible number of plant and animal species. It is most famous for being the only National Park in India that has four big cats: common leopard, tiger, clouded leopard and snow leopard, and has over 500 different species of birds, including the critically endangered White Bellied Heron, as well 7 different species of non-human primates.
Places to see: 65th Mile Lake, Bulbulia, Firmbase, Miao Reserve Forest and Mugaphi
Best time to visit: Sep–Jan
Pelling is a small hill town, located at the South Western border of the state at an altitude of 2150 m above sea level. The town is popular for its magnificent views of the snow-capped Himalayas, especially the Kanchenjunga. The region also has many beautiful monasteries, waterfalls, tea gardens, and fruit orchards, bringing in thousands of tourists every year.
Places to see: Darap Subba Village, Dzongri, Kaluk, Kanchenjunga Falls, Khangchendzonga National Park and Rimbi Waterfalls
Best time to visit: Feb–May
The town of Champai is situated in Mizoram. Champai is a prominent border town and shares border with Myanmar. Its strategic location makes it a major commercial center of the state. It is also known for its breathtaking scenic beauty. The rolling hills of Myanmar to the rice plains of Champai – often referred to as the Rice Bowl of Mizoram, are attractions of unmatched beauty that draw thousands of tourists to this town every year.
Places to see: Fiara Tui, Kungawrhi Puk, Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Lenteng Hills, Mura Puk, Murlen National Park, Palak Wildlife Sanctuary, Rih Dil and Thasiama Seno Neihna
Best time to visit: Sep–Apr
Phodong Monastery, Sikkim
The monastery dates back to the 18th century, and is considered as the most religious place for the Kagyu sect of Buddhists. There are indications that the structure dates back even more than 18th century, with the secluded location making it even more wonderful to experience.
Famous for: Reconstruction and apparent existence of an older monastery. You can also find some ancient murals at the place.
Along with the adjacent Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary of Arunachal Pradesh, Nameri National Park covers 1000 sq km of semi-evergreen, deciduous forests with cane and bamboo brakes and narrow expanses of open grasslands. Besides elephants, other mammals include tigers, leopards, bison, hog deer, sloth bear, etc., other endangered species. There are over 300 species of birds, and a large number of reptiles and insects.
Places to see & things to do: Angling, Nameri National Park, Rafting and Trekking
Best time to visit: Oct–Feb
Known as Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park, it is the oldest national park in Assam, and is often dubbed ‘Mini Kaziranga’. It is famous for its one-horned rhinos, and has over 222 species of birds. Migratory birds, such as the Milky-White Pelican come here from America every summer. It can be a great stopover for people traveling from Kaziranga to Manas.
Places to visit & things to do: Elephant Safari, Jeep Safari and Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park
Best time to visit: Sep–Feb
Chapchar Kut, Mizoram
Chapar Kut is an agriculture festival in Mizoram, celebrated during March every year. The festival marks the time for planting in the state. The highlight of this festival is the bamboo dance called Cheraw. Besides this, various dances (Khuallam, Chheihlam, Chai and Sarlamkai) are also performed, traditional songs are sung amidst the cymbal clashes, beats of the drums and sound of the gongs. Handicraft, art and flower shows, along with food festival and music competitions, are organized too. Chapchar Kut is celebrated in Mizoram, Lunglei and Saiha.
Where: Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, and Lunglei and Saiha.
Cradled in the mountains of East Sikkim, Aritar is a famous hill station in Northeast. With rich history, beautiful monasteries, splendid waterfalls and serene lakes, Aritar has it all to make a perfect getaway. With chirping birds and crackling water surrounding it, Aritar transcends you, physically and internally. This place is ideal for all kinds of travellers: religious enthusiast looking for temples and monasteries, adventurous souls interested in trekking and nature walks or people looking to relax.
Places to see: Changey Waterfall, Kali Khola Falls, Lampokhari Lake, Lungchok Valle and Phushrey Lake
Best time to visit: Feb–Apr
You read it right! Started in 2009, Goodstock is not a typical music fest, but kind of a private event, mostly for musicians. A free event for all, the organisers provide the stage, sound, lights and some basic food (mostly pork n rice). The event has been attended so far by most musicians in and around Guwahati. By 2012, the event became popular among musicians from other states too.
When: 13 March
Where: Panikheti, Guwahati
Aoling Festival, Konyak Tribe, Nagaland
Once deadly headhunters, the fascinating Konyak tribe now lives peacefully, spending most of their time practicing agriculture, drinking local alcohol, smoking opium and occasionally hunting. After closing sowing of seeds each year, the tribe celebrates its most important festival, the Aoling Festival, which marks the beginning of spring season and a new year.
Where: Mon, Nagaland
Mopin Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
Mopin is the harvest festival of the hospitable Galo tribe, worshiping goddess Mopin. It is celebrated to drive away evil spirits, and for acquiring prosperity and wealth. An indigenous folk dance called Popir, performed by young women, is a highlight of the festival. Traditional rice wine (apong), prepared by Galo women, is served.
When: Early April
Where: East Siang and West Siang districts of Arunachal Pradesh. Festivities take place on a grand scale at Mopin Ground, Naharlagun, near capital city Itanagar.
Celebrated to welcome the Assamese New Year, Bohag Bihu is one of the most prominent festivals in Assam. To be precise, the Assamese celebrate Bihu thrice in a year namely, Bohag (or Rongali Bihu), Kaati (or Kongali Bihu) and Maagh (or Bhogali Bihu). The Bohag Bihu calls for huge celebration beginning April 14 every year. Although the festival is observed for 7 days, the celebration extends for about a month.
Moatsu Festival, Nagaland
Celebrated by the Ao tribe of Nagaland, Moatsu is the time of great rejoicing as the planting season comes to an end. All activities are associated with harvest. One can expect a lot of singing, dancing and merry-making. The highlight of this festival is Sangpangtu, wherein men and women dress up in their best attire and sit around a fire, eating meat and wine.
Where: Mokokchung district villages (particularly Chuchuyimlang village), Nagaland.
Anini, Arunachal Pradesh
An unexplored place, Anini falls in the Dibang Valley district, situated at nearly 1,968 meters above sea level. Fortunately, the town has still not been touched by the hustle and bustle of cities. This makes it an ideal getaway for those looking to spend their vacations in tranquil surroundings and breath-taking views.
Places to see: Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary
Best time to visit: Mar–May
Tsomgo Lake, Sikkim
At an altitude of 3780 m, located at a distance of around 38 km from Gangtok, this lake exudes ethereal views for the surrounding mountain ranges of the Himalaya. The best part of exploring this lake vicinity in summer season is the unmatched vistas painted with blooming rhododendrons, primulas, blue and yellow poppies. If you are travelling in May, chances of witnessing snow are brighter as it remains frozen till mid-June. The surrounding areas of this lake are inhabited by the red panda and several species of birds are high. You can also see the exclusive brahminy duck.
Ambubachi Mela, Assam
A unique Tantric fertility festival, the Ambubachi Mela marks the menstruation period of the Goddess Kamakhya. Her temple is closed for three days, while she menstruates and reopens on the fourth day, with a rush of devotees who come to receive bits of cloth that are supposedly soaked with her menstrual fluid. It’s considered to be extremely auspicious and powerful. The festival attracts numerous Tantric sadhus (holy men) from India and abroad.
When: Late June. See festival listing for exact dates.
Where: Kamakhya temple, Guwahati, Assam
Famous for ancient temples, the picturesque settings and the rich culture of the land make it one of the leading attractions in Tripura. Tourists can visit royal palaces, sanctuary, temples and lakes.
Dree Festival, Arunachal Pradesh
Dree is an agricultural festival of the Apatani tribe. It’s celebrated by sacrificial offerings and prayers to the gods who protect the crops. Folk songs, traditional dances, and other cultural performances have also become a part of the modern-day festivities. There’s even a “Mr Dree” contest, billed as the ultimate platform for men to show their strength, agility, stamina, and intelligence! It is the perfect place to connect with nature, revive the body, mind and soul, and feel alive.
When: 4–7 July
Where: Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
Echoing Experience at Nathu La Pass, Sikkim
Translating to “Listening ears”, the trek on the Nathu La pass invigorating. You will be thrown to views that will remain in your memory for a very long time. Spot beautiful lakes on your way to the pass.
Best time to visit: You should plan your visit during the summers, when the temperatures are at a bearable 15 degrees. In the winters, it falls down to -25 degrees.
Gorichen Peak, Arunachal Pradesh
Located at 6,500 m above sea level, this peak is considered as one of the best climbable peaks. The scenic beauty, coupled with the ecstasy that comes the huge mountain is scaled, is unparalleled.
Best Time to Climb: Summer
Where to stay: It is nearest to Tawang, and the guest houses there are quite decent. During the trek to the summit, you’ll have to set up camps.
Shilloi Lake, Nagaland
Shilloi Lake is one of the highlights Nagaland. Situated in Phek town, it is surrounded by glorious mountain peaks. The lake has an interesting folklore and custom associated with it.
Famous For: Picturesque view and horrifying story.
Best Time to Visit: Summer
Ziro Music Festival
Ziro Festival of Music is undoubtedly one of the most sought after outdoor music festivals in India. It features a combination of 30 indie bands from across the world and top folk acts from across Northeast. The Ziro Valley has some of the most memorable views that linger on for a very long time.
Where: Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
Named after a famous flower and celebrated in September to promote tourism, Anthurium is one of the key festivals in Mizoram. A small village called Reiek (about 70 km from Aizawl) hosts this fest. Folk dance, music and cuisine are in abundance during this time.
Ravangla provides a delightful experience to travelers, with its scenic hillside beauty and rural environment. Enclosed within lush tea gardens and densely forested hills, it is thronged by tourists for its panoramic views of some major Himalayan peaks. The town is the starting point for the trek to Maenam La Wildlife Sanctuary. There are also several trails up the nearby hills which are perfect for short treks for those seeking a bit of adventure.
Places to see: Borong, Kewzing Village, Maenam Hill, Mangbrue Gompa View Point, Ralong Hot Springs, Rayong Sunrise View Point and Temi Tea Estate
Best time to visit: Sep–Mar
Borong is a sleepy and cozy little town in south Sikkim, which captivates travelers all the time. It is home to lovely birds and butterflies, and is surrounded by dense forests, grasslands and fascinating views of Mt. Pandim, Mt. Siniolchu, Mt. Kanchendzonga and Mt. Kabru. The town is close to a number of monasteries, plantations, a wildlife sanctuary and offers something for everyone.
Places to see: Maenam Peak and Seven Sisters Waterfall
Best time to visit: Sep–Apr
Home to the one-horned rhinoceros, Kaziranga needs no introduction. Even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stayed and enjoyed jeep safaris in 2016. One of India’s most-recognised tourism mascots, Kaziranga National Park is a must-see. Enjoy the Elephant safari and witness the rhinos, as well as the Tigers, wherein Kaziranga has the highest density of tigers among all the protected areas of the world.
Places to see: Deoparbat Ruins, Kakochang Waterfalls, Kaziranga National Park, Maghnoa Doul and Panbari Reserve Forest
Best time to visit: Oct–Mar
Siang River for River Rafting
Enjoy the adventure of river rafting in the Siang River, a tributary of the Bhramaputra River. It serves as a home to the Adi Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh.The thrill of the Grade III and Grade IV rivers make it worth it.
Best time to visit: Late October and early November when the tides are not too violent.
Along, Arunachal Pradesh
Along is a beautiful own that is snuggled in a pristine valley, surrounded by lofty mountains, and the beautiful rivers of Sipu and Siyom. The landscapes and scenic beauty make it a perfect summer holiday destination and a photographer’s delight.
Places to see: Kane Wildlife Sanctuary, River Rafting and Trekking
Best time to visit: Sep–Feb
Shillong Autumn Festival
A cultural extravaganza organized by the Government of Meghalaya, along with other organizations. The festival includes fashion shows, wine festival, flower shows, kite flying competitions, music and rock festivals, golf tournaments, fishing competitions and a host of other activities. It also hosts a tempting ‘food festival’ with the rich spread of local and international cuisine.
Where: Umiam Lake, Shillong, Meghalaya
Majuli Islands, Assam
The largest river Island of the world and the first island district of India, Majuli sits proudly on the mighty Brahmaputra. The island is a cultural hub of Assam and is home for the Assamese Neo-vaishnavite culture.
Wangala Festival, Meghalaya
Famously known as “100 Drum Festival”, this is an annual harvest festival, celebrated in the honor of Saljong, the Sun-god of fertility. It signifies the onset of winter and marks the end of a period of toil. It is quite fascinating to see dancing troops synchronizing their moves with beats and rhythms. One must try the local Ale, Bitchi.
Nongkrem Dance Festival, Meghalaya
This dance festival is a five-day harvest Thanksgiving festival of the Khasi tribe, wherein unmarried girls decked with gold and silver ornaments dance and young men dressed in exquisite warrior attire dance around them. One of the main features is the ‘Pomblang’ or goat sacrifice.
Where: Smit, around 15 kilometers from Shillong.
Shine a Light
A three-day event, this is a platform for talented musicians from across boundaries to celebrate Rock and Roll. At the backdrop, the changing scenic beauty at Cherrapunjee gives the audience one of the most mesmerising experiences.
Where: Sohra, Meghalaya
Hornbill Festival, Nagaland
A vibrant, colourful and cultural festival to understand the people and diversity of Nagaland. Every year, visitors from around the world thronged to Nagaland to attend the festival. It must be in your bucket list, if it isn’t already.
When: 1–10 December
Where: Naga Heritage Village, Kohima, Nagaland
The place is dotted with a number of traditional villages and is inhabited primarily by the Tangkul Nagas. Besides scenic nature trails, Ukhrul hosts numerous waterfalls, caves, lakes, saline springs, and the Nillai Tea Estate.
Places to see: Ango Ching, Azoa Jenephiu Magi Lake, Dilily Falls, Khayang Peak, Nillai Tea Estate and Shirui Kashung Peak
Best time to visit: Oct–Jan
Spend Some Time in Solace at Ravangla, Sikkim
This place is well known for bird watching (Himalayan migratory birds) and is 6 km from Ralang Monastery. One can view the grand peaks during sunrise. It’s hot springs have been a favourite with tourists.
Design By: Nocy Marak