Golden rays of the sun furtively steal their way through the thick maze of leaves in a forest; a few boats bob peacefully on an endless expanse of water; hills and mountains rise protectively over growing human settlements where people live in perfect and unbreakable harmony with and in reverent appreciation of the creations of nature- North East India, also aptly called the Seven Sisters, is in all probability one of the most enchanting destinations in the country for anyone who is looking for a bit of memorable excitement in the midst of tranquility, and who wants to and can afford to take some time apart from his/her daily busy schedule to enjoy a private rendezvous with nature.
From the serene beauty of the Kaziranga National Park to the frenzied river rafting in the streams of Arunachal Pradesh, the North Eastern part of our country provides a medley of activities which can be paralleled by few other regions, if any.
No wonder it has been called the Paradise undiscovered, a haven sought by each person and yet not valued or appreciated enough except by those few who have had the good fortune of being blessed with it as their home.
Because of the presence of a wide assortment of flora and fauna, this region has experienced the gradual establishment of a number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.
The most famous among these is the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, famous for the rare one-horned Rhino. Set against a backdrop of hills, the picturesque wetlands and the wide variety of birds, reptiles, animals and plants provide not only the perfect destination for an idyllic holiday, but are also an excellent source of information about the natural world.
For this purpose both elephant rides and jeep safaris are available, though understandably, the former tends to be a bigger draw!
Other well known national parks are the Manas and Orang National Parks in Assam and the Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh.
Another holiday experience in North East India is trekking. Possible in all the seven states, the presence of thousands of rare plant species, towering waterfalls, rolling hills and flowing rivers serve to make trekking through the woods and plains of these parts a rich and an unforgettable experience.
From the gentle slopes and the greenery of Sikkim to the mystic beauty of the state of Arunachal Pradesh (also aptly called the Land of Dawn-lit mountains) these areas promise an exotic and once in a lifetime experience to all trekkers who visit them.
The soaring mountains, their beauty magnified by the lush green vegetation in some areas and snow covered peaks in others, are a perennial source of excitement and appeal for mountaineering lovers.
The Sikkim Himalayas include some of the most challenging and alluring mountain peaks in the world while the green peaks of Mizoram and extreme North East India are the best options for everyone who are fond of mountaineering but wish to avoid the snow covered mountain peaks present in Sikkim.
In Assam, the North Cachar Hills and the Karbi Hills ,the Simhasana Hill of Karbi Anglong and the ‘Elephant Rocks’ of Morigaon district provide excellent opportunities for mountaineering.
Among the latest entrants in the category of adventure sports in North East India, white water rafting has gained instant acceptance and popularity among the tourists.
The Teesta River in Sikkim offers one of the finest white water rafting stretches in the world while Rangit, a tributary of the Teesta, offers trickier challenges and is better suitable for experienced and trained river rafters.
Facilities for overnight beach camping and the presence of deep forests, cultivated terrains and small villages on the river banks add to the magic.
The mighty Brahmaputra (known as Siang in Arunachal Pradesh) with its various tricky and challenging sections and abundant waters offers a great and unforgettable scope to rafters.
Cave exploration provides a rush of adrenaline which cannot be easily substituted by any other adventure sport.
Investigating and exploring the deep murky interiors of caves can be frightening and at the same time immensely thrilling.
The East Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and South Garo Hills of Meghalaya contain numerous caves and caverns, some with their own eerie history and hence, they hold a special attraction for tourists.
The presence of various hill stations such as Along and Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, Haflong and Umrongso in Assam and Shillong in Meghalaya, and the resident tribal communities in some of these regions provide excellent sources of knowledge and a perfect holiday destination for visitors.
A vast part of the North East still remains to be explored completely; however the possibilities for hand gliding and para-sailing have already been recognized by the government.
The long stretches of hills and mountains combined with the deep gorges and the river valleys will in the near future make it a perfect destination for any anyone who is interested in the mentioned aero sports.
The panorama of this much understated and yet among the most beautiful regions of India provides all the elements necessary for man to fill the void which has today sprung up between him and nature and renew that much necessary bond again.
Along with the excitement and knowledge one naturally gains by taking part in the multitude of adventure sports available here, he/she learns simultaneously to appreciate the beauty of nature and attains a strong will to preserve the same.
Perhaps the only problem is the lack of adequate support from the respective state governments to realize the full potential of eco-tourism available here, a place which has otherwise been recognized as one of the world hotspots of biodiversity.
Should that want be fulfilled however, there is no doubt that North-East India will prove to be among the most sought after destinations by adventure lovers around the globe.