It’s time to head towards East. Maybe people in search of deliverance used to travel miles to reach to these heavenly ranges to experience the peace it renders. It is easy to fall in love with these valleys. And, when you already have someone beside you, who you love whole-heartedly, then these valleys will help you strengthen the bond even more.
Landlocked from all sides, it can be seen as a land where Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, and West Bengal’s culture melt to emerge as a unique edifying gem. At every step it has a floral delight waiting to amaze you. At Yuksom, you’ll bump into many mountaineering enthusiasts. Blessed with captivating landscapes, this land of flowers, leaves you longing for more of it. The numerous lakes, monastries and places like Gangtok make for a complete rejuvenating and intimate holiday that both of you have been wishing for after the band-baaja-vali-shadi. Numerous waterfalls lining the hillside make Pelling, another revelling spot for honeymooners while Ravangla and Lachung (in way to awe-inspiring Yumthang Valley) are only more. To add some spice to this trip, you could attend some of the festivals like Saga Dawa, Bhanu Jayanti, Drukpa Tseshi, Phang Lhabsol, Biswakarma Puja, Lhabab Dhuechen, Kagyed Dance, Losoong, Cham Dance, Losar and Bhumchu and be a part of the culture here. Being a tourist-friendly destination, Sikkim is well connected within by roads and can be reached in just few hours from Bagdora Airport.
Places to visit: After some adrenaline rush at adventurous places like Pelling, Ravangla, and Yuksom, marvel at the nature’s bounty at Lachung, Mangan, Lachen, Chhangu Lake, Khangchendzonga Rumtek Monastery, Nathu La, National Park and Himalayan Zoological Park.
Activities: Spend some time to fill your adventure lust by trekking, river-rafting, yak safari, mountain biking and kayaking.
Where to Stay: There are plethora of options to stay around Gangtok and major towns in Sikkim like The Royal Plaza, Mayfair Spa Resort & Casino and The Elgin Nor-Khill, Gangtok. In Pelling you could have a peaceful stay at The Elgin Mount Pandim.
The hills simmering in the distance create a blue haze while the mighty Brahmaputra sprawls in an untamable spirit, making Assam aptly known as the land of red rivers and blue hills. The emerald green tea estates, the abundance of fauna in the sanctuaries and the existence of plains and a hilly serene topography simultaneously make it an exquisite beauty perfect for a honeymoon worth documenting in a memoir. Don’t be surprised if we are able to guess that the first thing you pictured were the one-horned rhinos. Tour Kaziranga National Park on an elephant, keep an eye on a prancing Tiger and share the joys together by spotting one!
Apart from being a pilgrimage destination for many, Assam is even a heritage destination. From mythological monuments of Sivasagar to the last capital of Ahom Empire and the tea capital of India, Jorhat, the city of Assam have to be on your travel list. The other place is the world’s largest river island, Majuli. To reach Majuli, you have to take a boat from Nematighat near Jorhat. You can experience the Bihu festival in its varied colours of celebrations. This gateway to the North-East is connected through road, railways and air transport, specifically till Guwahati.
Places to visit: The historical monuments to visit include Kamakhya Temple, Rang Ghar, Talatal Ghar, Kareng Ghar, Chandubi Lake, Agnighar Hill. Assam gives you options to experience the wilderness at Kaziranga National Park, Nameri National Park, Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, Manas National Park, Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, and much more. Majuli Riverine Island is another marvel to explore.
Activities: Angling, white water rafting, Para-sailing, rock climbing and hang-gliding. Pat, Muga silk, cane and other traditional products and decorative items are the must bring back items from Assam.
Where to Stay: Radisson Blu, Vivanta by Taj, Hotel Brahmaputra Ashok, Hotel Landmark in Guwahati, while Thengal Manor in Jalukanibari and Banyan Grove in Jorhat are good options to go for.
The Shirui lily blooms in Ukhrul and the floating Islands at the Loktak Lake will make you wonder at nature’s bounty. You must head towards the Dzukou Valley at Senapati. The Mao legend says that when lovers go to Dzukou the night also turns like a day and moonlit shines like the sun. No person alive can hold testimony to this legend but this place is still the nature in its purest form. This place is nearest to Imphal International Airport. The Loktok Lake is just 39 km away from the Imphal while Dzukou is at three hours distance from Imphal, by road.
Places to visit: Sendra Island, Sadu Chiru waterfall, Loktak Lake, Floating islands, Kaina, Doll-House, Shree Govindjee, Keibul Lamjao National Park, Khangkhui Cave, British War Cementery, Thalon Cave, Moirang, Dzukou Valley, Khongkhampat Orchidarium, Agape Park.
Activities: Trekking, boating, and camping and different festivals like Dol Yatra and sports such as Polo and boat race.
Where to Stay: The Classic Group Hotels are the best here for a decent stay. From the same group, the cottages in Sendra provide comfortable accommodation overlooking a gorgeous vista of the Loktak Lake, nestled in the hills.
Unsullied is what simply defines Meghalaya. From Asia’s longest caves to the impressive waterfalls, Meghalaya is the abode of the clouds, making Shillong, Mawsynram and Cherrapunjee the favourites. The panoramic landscapes, foggy hills, cascading waterfall, serpentine rivers and the terraced slopes make it a sight better than Scotland in beauty, to which it is often compared. The caressing weather of Meghalaya can be best enjoyed during March and July. Airport in Guwahati, 128km away, is the nearest airport to Shillong.
Places to visit: Cherrapunjee, Mawsynram, Wards Lake, Law Kyntang. Pristine white falls like Elephant falls, Shadthum Falls, Weinia falls, Bidan Bishop falls and Nohkalikai falls.
Activities: Hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing, trekking, rowboats, paddleboats, and water-scooters.
Where to Stay: Staying beside a lake is a must for an overall peaceful stay and exactly something that Ri Kynjai offers. Cottages, traditional Khasi spa and relishing the local delicacies will keep you occupied in Shillong. Cherrapunjee Holiday Resort fits for a stay during the trip to Cherrapunjee.