Hospitability of Nagaland, the rhinos of Assam and the living root bridges of Meghalaya: We are in Northeast India now. Northeast India is not a well-known tourist region in India, but there is a lot to discover.
We are a bit uncertain when we cross the border from Myanmar to India. Our guidebook has just some pages to describe this part of India. However it shows a lot of permits we will need and a lot of security issues.
But now we are here. The first part in Manipur was quite full of military checkpoints. It took us hours to manage the investigation and the paperwork. Especially here in Manipur we did not feel comfortable. So we moved further into the deeper mountains to Nagaland.
Hospitability in Nagaland
The roads through the mountains are not in good conditions, so we lost a third spring bar.
Nevertheless before we want to fix the problem we spend some days in Kisama Heritage Village. Normally in December to the hawksbill festival the place is full of tourists. But now, we are alone.
Nagaland is also well-known for its history. It was a place of the head-hunters. Quite aggressive tribes protected their area against enemies with cutting their head off. It was a tradition in this region. And you became only a man when you cut a head of an enemy.
In 1935 law forbade headhunting. The last case of headhunting goes back to 1963. It seems to be a secure place for us, today.
After some days of relaxing in Kisama we go further to the capital of Nagaland to Kohima. We have to fix our problems with the broken spring bars. We are lucky and we find a good garage quickly. However it takes the whole day to fix the spring bars.
At the evening we have an encounter with a very nice local. Surprisingly he invites us into his house. We are happy and appreciate his invitation. His house is in the hills over Kohima. When we arrive, he introduces us to his whole family. We get delicious food and spend the whole evening talking over the roofs of Kohima. We are surprised by this amazing hospitability.
Rhinos in Kaziranga
The next day we drive further to a national park in the region Assam. The Kaziranga national park is well known for the rhinos – around 2.500 rhinos live here (a guide told us).
It is time for our first safari on our trip. We get up really early in the morning. The safari starts at 5am. Nevertheless it is getting amazing. We come close to the rhinos and a lot of other animals, which are living here.
Living root bridges of Meghalaya
Deeper in the South is a place where you can find living root bridges. A place we want to see for sure.
The road into the mountains is in good condition. So we can manage a long trip – 350km in one day. Cherrapunjee – or Sohra – is situated on the end of a massive plateau. Everywhere waterfalls go down into the flat land of Bangladesh.
The Nokalikai falls seems to be the fourth highest in the world. We spend the first night in front of the waterfall. The next day we want to discover the living root bridges. A narrow and steeply road goes down from Sherrapunjee to Tyrna. From here it is just a short walk of 3km through the jungle. However the way is short but a steep decent. More than 3.500 stairs going down and we follow a path over high steal rope bridges to the next village Nongriat. Nongriat is hided in the middle of the jungle. Here are the only existing two-level living roots bridges, a bioengineering wonder.
And for our way back we have to climb 3.500 stairs – very painful.
We were surprised that in the Northeast region most people are Christians. In a lot of regions there English is the official language, so people speak it very good. Communication is no problem at all. Furthermore we were surprised, that nobody asked us for a special permit. Beside the stops for the military checkpoints, we just could go, wherever we wanted.