How was this year for you? Did you travel to new places, visit old favourite ones, or had to make last-minute cancellations? Well, whatever the case, a new year means new bucket lists, and we’re excited to see where 2023 takes you.
We’re suggesting 5 places that earn a spot on your 2023 travel bucket list.
(1) ARUNACHAL PRADESH- LAND OF DAWN-LIT MOUNTAINS
Arunachal Pradesh is the largest among the northeastern states and is also the remotest state of India. It’s aptly called the “Land of dawn-lit mountains” because the villages of Dong and Vijaynagar are the first to receive the sun’s first rays in the country, although Dong village is preferred for its accessibility by car.
Snowfall: It’s one of the few places in the country to receive snowfall. The cities of Bomdila, Mechuka Valley, and Tawang receive snowfall every year, starting in the last weeks of November till March.
Apatani tribe: One of the major ethnic groups of the eastern Himalayas, the Apatanis are inhabitants of Ziro valley in the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh. Known for their facial tattoos and ingenious fish and paddy culture, the Apatani cultural landscape is included in the Tentative List for UNESCO's World Heritage Site.
Donyi-Polo religion: This indigenous folk religion is practiced only by the Tani and Tibeto-Burman people of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. It is symbolized by ‘Donyi’ (sun) and ‘Polo’ (moon), emphasising them as nature worshippers.
Ziro Festival of Music: This 4-day outdoor festival is held in Ziro Valley and showcases the independent music scene of India as well as international artists covering genres ranging from folk to post-rock and soul. The festival is known to propagate eco-friendly materials with most of the infrastructure using mostly bamboo.
Arunachal Pradesh Tour Packages
(2) MEGHALAYA- ABODE OF CLOUDS
Meghalaya’s highlands are constantly covered in clouds arising from the valley floor, hence, giving its name “abode of clouds.” This distinct feature is visible mostly throughout the year and is one of the many reasons tourists are in love with Meghalaya.
Adventure activities: There are so many exciting outdoor activities that can keep your adrenaline pumping such as rafting, trekking, paragliding, ziplining, ATV rides, and caving; in fact, 3 new caves were discovered in the East Jaintia Hills district this month.
Living root bridges: Meghalaya’s living root bridges are one of a kind made by the Khasi people and found only here. Tree roots are coaxed together and intertwined to form root bridges. There are around 100 of them located in different villages, with Nongriat, Cherrapunjee, and Nongbareh popular among visitors.
Waterfalls: As one of the wettest places on earth, Meghalaya has some amazing waterfalls that are worth the hike to reach them. Some of them hold world records such as the tallest plunge waterfall in India. The tiered waterfalls are thrilling to look at too.
(3) NAGALAND- LAND OF FESTIVALS
Nagaland is home to diverse indigenous tribes differentiated by language and traditions. There are 17 recognised tribes, and there’s no better way to understand and witness their beautiful commonalities and differences than at their festivals and village tours.
Head hunters: The Konyak tribe is the largest among the tribes and is known for its head hunters who follow the traditional practice of collecting the heads of their enemies as trophies, indicative of power. Facial tattoos were given only to warriors for every decapitation whereas body markings celebrated major milestones and rites of passage.
Amur Falcons: Although not endemic to Nagaland, the Amur falcons visit the state annually before making their way to Southern Africa. When an international team of ornithologists recorded around one million Amur Falcons roosting in the region, it earned Nagaland the moniker “the falcon capital of the world.”
Hornbill Festival: This 10-day festival celebrates the cultures of the different tribes of Nagaland and attracts people from all over the world. There are extravagant dance and musical performances as well as competitions.
(4) SIKKIM- THE VALLEY OF RICE
Sikkim is famed for its natural beauty and being an all-organic state. It borders Tibet in the north and northeast, Bhutan in the east, Nepal in the west, and West Bengal in the south, which has influenced the people’s beliefs, traditions, and food. Sikkim’s 3 major communities—Lepcha, Bhutia, and Nepali—live in harmony and add cultural richness to the state.
Lakes: There are more than 227 high-altitude lakes in Sikkim, fed by glaciers. Many of these are considered sacred by the locals who believe them to be the abodes of various local guardian spirits. According to a Naysol text, there are 109 sacred lakes, which include Gurudongmar Lake, Khecheopalri Lake, Tsomgo Lake, and Tsho Lhamo Lake.
Snowfall: North Sikkim receives heavy snowfall every year and the hamlets of Lachen and Lachung offer perfect stays to enjoy it besides unparalleled views of the snow-capped Himalayas. West Sikkim also receives snowfall but is not as popular as North Sikkim.
Indo-China border: Nathu La Pass is situated on the old Silk Route and connects India and China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. The border checkpost at Nathula Pass is marked by the Border Gates of India and China, a war memorial, and an Exhibition Centre of the India Army.