When you set out for a trip, what is the most important thing that you look out for? Is it the journey or the destination? Now, if you are given an opportunity to set out on a road trip that guarantees journey extraordinaire, will you consider it? Here, we are talking about embarking on a road trip in Northeast India.
Replete with beautiful vistas and scenic landscapes, this relatively unexplored gem is best explored on a road trip. It might be a bit arduous, but when greeted with Northeast’s rare beauty, all that you will care about is ‘breathe in and forget the rest for time being’. In case, you find yourself slightly inclined to embark on a diverse yet exciting road trip, you will find yourself hearing Northeast calling.
Here are five best road trips that you can indulge in while in Northeast, which will allow you to gape at mesmerising views and feel the wind in your hair.
Guwahati to Cherrapunji
This road trip will start off with a bit of busy lanes as you pass through Guwahati, but the condition of the roads will not be a matter of concern. The initial busy stretch along the finest roads will, however, fuel your senses to prepare for this beautiful journey. As you leave behind the busy lanes, you will have a feeling of entering an artist’s canvas; such is the beauty of the stretch from Guwahati to Shillong. It will be a good idea to take a break in Shillong before heading to Cherrapunji. In terms of sightseeing and staying options, this hill station will amaze you. When there, do explore the rock capital of India and indulge in the rock scene for sure.
Next day, start your trip toward Cherrapunji. Traffic will be moderate and the scenic beauty of the trail will leave you awestruck. Blue skies, dense forest and refreshingly fresh weather will be part of your drive. You will be spoilt for choice once you reach there; don’t miss the best places, such as Nokhilakhai Falls and Nature’s Park, the Seven Sisters Fall and many more. Try camping here and experience the beauty of the place while relaxing amidst nature.
Route – Guwahati – Lokhara – Umian – Shillong – Mawkdok – Cherrapunji
Tejpur to Tawang
This will be one of your epic road trips in the Northeast India for sure. You can conveniently reach Tezpur from Guwahati, which is well-connected to the rest parts of the world, by flight, train or road. The trial particularly from Tezpur to Bhalukpong is picturesque, laden with vast green forests and valleys that you will feel like not coming back from there. You need to be a bit gutsy to take an attempt for this road trip as it is arduous characterised with sharp hairpin bends. But the scenic beauty and the adrenalin rush that you get from this trip will make up for all the hardship. Make sure to collect the Inner Line Permit (ILP) from the commissioner’s office or from any state tourism offices.
You will not find many tour or reputed travel operators to assist you in this road trip; so do your homework well before you set off.
Route – Tezpur – Bhalukpong – Tenga Valley – Bombilla – Dhirang – Tawang
Gangtok to Lake Tsomgo and Nathu-La Pass
Tsomgo Lake, also known as the Changu Lake, located at an altitude of 12310 ft above the sea level and is around 50 km drive from Gangtok. Reaching Gangtok is not at all a tiresome task; it is well-connected to other parts of the country via road, train and flights. Opt for an overnight stay here in Sikkim, which is also a hot tourist spot, and then start your next leg of journey.
The hilly terrain might challenge you to keep away from body ache, but the beauty of uncertainty will surely work wonders for you. On your way, you will pass through the world’s highest ATM and the Indo-Chinese trading post at Sherathang. Try to avoid the planning this road trip during winter season, as snowfall might play a spoilsport and leave you hanging in the middle with roads all blocked.
Route – Gangtok – Lake Tsomgo
Shillong to Cherrapunjee
The road from Shillong to Cherrapunji is one that every road tripper dreams of. The entire trail will be unbelievably picturesque and will be a part of your lifetime memory. Also, cliffs, patches of pasture lands, forests will paint your trip like a dream. A small waterfall and a newly discovered cave might be the perfect joints to take a break and enjoy nature in its purest form before heading ahead.
Route – Shillong – Mawkdok – Cherrapunji
Jorhat to Mechuka
Jorhat is typically the gateway to upper Assam and the road then goes north leading to Mechuka, passing through tiny scenic hamlets, forest hills and vast meadows. This is one such trip that transforms a normal routine trip into an interesting cross-cultural experience. Once you reach Mechuka, the vivid scenery will look like a picture postcard. Once there, try your hands at weaving as Mechuka’s tribal weavers are expert in using loin looms and turn them directly into wearable clothes.
This 540 km road trip will not only take you through beautiful landscapes, but will also give you an amazing opportunity to experience cross-culture of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.