The sceneries and colourful festivals of North East is something every traveller should experience at least once in their life time.
A person in love with sojourns, North-East, the most mystic, least explored and arguably the most beautiful region in India, has always enticed me. Known as the Seven Sisters, the states Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura are situated amidst scenic valleys and several hilltops. The exotic land paints a picture you need to see to believe.
However, a freak motorcycle accident put off my dream of a ride to the North East states three years ago. So, when I got a chance to visit the region last November and click the pictures of the Horn Bill Festival in Kohima, Nagaland, I had no second thoughts. But the planned two-month trip was extended by another two months after me and my two friends – Sandeep and Nidheesh – got carried away by the beauty of the Himalayas and the cultural disparity in that part of the country. We also got a chance to visit Bhutan and click a few beautiful photographs.
Equipped with two tents, cooking accessories and other riding gears, we started from Kozhikode on two motorcycles. Considering safety and other aspects, we had opted not to ride after sunset and had pit stops in Bengaluru, Kadappa, Vijayawada, Berhampur and Balasore in Odisha, Kolkata, and Guwahati. It took us 13 days to enter the North-East states where we intended to cover the Horn Bill festival in Kohima.
As a photographer, I was awestruck by the colour combinations of the festival. I spent a week in Kohima and clicked photos, but was left yearning for more as there was much more to explore. Each photograph had a distinct tint and the traditional wear of each tribe varied. For a photographer, it is a paradise.
From there, we went to Tawang. The roads were difficult to travel and the sub-zero temperature made our ride even more difficult. But the mesmerising view of the majestic Himalayas made us forget the wear and tear. We also travelled to the Indo-China border through the Bumla Pass. After spending a week in Arunachal Pradesh, we headed for Meghalaya. We visited the rainbow waterfalls, living root bridges and the border of Bangladesh and headed back to Guwahati to prepare for our Bhutan visit.
The difference between India and Bhutan was evident just after crossing the border; their culture is entirely different from ours. There is a difference in everything beginning from traffic rules to the behaviour of people. We stayed for almost two weeks in Bhutan and on heading back, we were touched by the warmth and hospitality of the people there.
If you are passionate about travelling and photography, North East India offers an excellent opportunity to explore your passion. A journey will help one change all their perceptions about the country.