North-East India has recently come under the spotlight, thanks to the innumerable blogs and travelogues that has been lately coming up related to this humble region. I know many of you dream of doing a tour of the North-East but aren’t sure about how to go with it. Well, don’t worry! There are more than a dozen places that you definitely need to check out…in-fact every place is mysteriously beautiful to the eyes, but we have managed to jot down places that you definitely need to check out on your next trip to ‘heaven’! Since the Assamese city of Guwahati is the most accessible of all the places, it is suggested to plan your trips from Guwahati.
Here is the list of 10 Places To Visit From Guwahati By Road To Most Surreal Places In The North-East!
Known For : Kamalabari Satra | Dakhinpat Satra | Garmur
The world’s largest river island deserves a mention in his list for the obvious purposes. This heavenly adobe can be reached from Guwahati in two ways: One is by Neematighat (Jorhat, Assam) and then by ferry service from there to Majuli which takes about an hour’s time. Other is via Lakhimpur (Assam), which is somewhat taxing because of the longer route. Since the former one is a better idea, we would suggest you take that route. This island is home to the river Brahmaputra which flows through the heart of Assam. Majuli can be still considered to be a virgin spot among the tourist places in India and a road trip (along with a ‘river’ trip) to this mesmerizing place needs to be visited before the commercialization sets in.
Best Time : July to March
The only home of one-horned rhinoceros, Kaziranga is merely 225 kms away from Guwahati city which can be covered on a 4 ½ hours’ drive. A beautiful national park, covered in greenery Kaziranga can be considered to be an option for a night-stay in the nature lap, away from the city. Several resorts are also available for this purpose. The road is comfortably made with 4 lanes and is dotted with many food joints and dhabas for your pit stops. Along with rhinoceros, you can also spot tigers, elephants, buffaloes, etc. You can further take a 2 hours’ drive from Kaziranga to Sibasagar town, which is the ancient Ahom kingdom and get a glimpse of the rich history of Assam.
Best Time : October to June
A trip from Guwahati to the abode of clouds, that is, Shillong can be achieved only in 2 ½ hours which covers a distance of 100 kms. The well developed 4 lane highway to Shillong starting from Khanapara is a delight for drivers and back-seaters alike. A snack stop at Nongphu is a must and there are several stalls on the way which sell delicious pineapples and locally made pickles of various kinds. When you do reach Shillong, make sure to walk around the town at most times since it is the best option. The road going downhill and uphill simultaneously makes up for the unique experience of the city. A further drive up to Cherrapunjee covers 53 kms but once you’re on the road, you will realise why the state of Meghalaya is called the abode of clouds. Bridges welcome you with a cool breeze and clouds covering your way ahead. It is mystifying to see such a heavenly place exist amid us. Beautiful landscapes cross you on your way which includes pasture lands, cliffs, forests and yes waterfalls too! This place is one to be definitely visited!
The distance from Guwahati to the ancient trade route border town of Dawki is 195 kms which would take you approx 4 hours to cover. The splendid drive covers a beautiful spread of deep gorges and ravines and is an extremely thrilling experience! The Umngot River in Dawki is an attraction and is possibly India’s cleanest river! The water is so clear that you can never find out its depth unless you look very closely. The annual boat racing also takes place on this river during Springtime. Once you’re here, you’ll automatically feel like you have been dropped into nature’s arms and you’d never want to leave it behind!
A trip to the lap of nature, nestling in the valleys of Arunachal Pradesh is something that one should experience once in a lifetime! A drive from Guwahati city would take approximately 14 hours covering a distance of 566 kilometres. The drive, although a little rough, can be eased into by stopping over at Dirang which is an attractive valley town on the way. If not Dirang, then you can also make a pit stop at Tezpur and enjoy some of the cultural histories of Assam with several ruins dotting the place. When in Tawang, you would not want to miss the mountains and morning prayers. Tawang is truly the home of Buddhist cultural marvels in the North-East. A perfect opportunity for photographers, the Guwahati-Tawang drive will make you go gaga over the beauty of North-East!
Known For : Darjeeling Himalayan Railway | Tiger Hill | Batasia Loop
The road to Darjeeling is of 491 kms and would easily take you more than 6 hours of drive. But hold on to it, because it is going to be one of the best experiences of your life, with roads covered in mists, you’ll feel like you’ve reached heaven.
Best Time : February to March, September to December
This is perhaps one of the most daring road trips to take on. A place called Jairampur needs to be reached before the Indo-Burma border and the drive to Jairampur can be made on the NH 153 throughout the year. Through Jairampur, one can reach the Pangsau Pass on the border. The distance that needs to cover is 578 kms which would take an 11 hours drive. It is one of the most underestimated road trips but if one has the will to go for it, then there is nothing like it.
Known For : Tarin Fish Farm - Paddy cultivation | Kile Pakho | Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
Ziro can be reached from Guwahati within 9 hours 17 minutes which covers a distance of 464 kms. The road changes between different landscapes and provides a breath-taking view with a pleasantly surprising change of air as well. The roads beautifully ascend up on hilly roads and the drive to Ziro is definitely an exciting one! The Ziro valley is in Arunachal Pradesh and has a spectacular view of the mountains! The layered landscapes of rice- fields and rivers present a picture which is worthy of a postcard.
Best Time : Throughout the year
Known For : Nathu La Pass | MG Road, Gangtok | Rumtek Monastery
There are two ways to reach Gangtok from Guwahati: one is through NH 31C which takes 528.8 kms and the other is through NH 37 and NH 31C which would take 554.7 kms. Some of the roads are critical and dangerous but the fun to drive on them is double the fear. 8 kms away from Gangtok, you can reach a place called Tashi which provides a spectacular view of the snow-peaked Kanchenjunga, for the sunrise where you can see the peaks dazzling with changing colours. A beautiful destination for nature lovers, Gangtok will leave you spell-bound.
Best Time : Throughout the year
Not very far, in 2016, if you find yourself driving from Guwahati to Imphal and Moreh via Dimapur, you will actually be driving on the Asian Highway (AH 1) which is a part of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway that will connect Moreh to Mae Sot in Thailand, via Mandalay and Yangon in Myanmar. If you do decide to take the road trip, it would take 14 days to cover the 4,500 km once-in-a-lifetime drive! You will undoubtedly experience a beautiful shift in the landscapes as it changes from Assam to Meghalaya to Myanmar and eventually to Thailand. This road trip should be number 1 on your ‘road trip list’!
Road trips are always fun. It soothes your soul as well as your mind. So, make sure you don't miss out these awesome places.