I am always enthralled by how under-rated the Northern Indian states are. From the raw energy that the locals ooze out to the ever delicious food and refreshing cups of tea, there is not one thing but everything that makes Assam and Mizoram an ideal destination.
I find that these states have not taken over as popular tourist destinations(YET) thus making them a nice spot for having an adventurous vacation!
I wrote a separate blog for the national parks around Assam and Mizoram, to check them out head on over to Kaziranga National Park and Cherrapunji Forest
When to go
The best time to visit Assam and Mizoram is between the months of November and March. Although located in the north, they are not at an elevation and have a very pleasant climate during winter and spring. The temperature ranges between 50F to 70F which according to me is the best weather to travel in.
Monsoons in these states can get unforgiving and it’s best to avoid that time to travel.
How to get around
The capital of Assam, Guwahati is a thriving city and has an airport that connects you to all major cities in India. The city also has an international airport connecting you to Singapore and Nepal.
Travel around Assam and Mizoram can get a little tricky as you’ll be stuck in a car for a few hours a day at least. We rented a chauffeur driven car from Savaari which was a great option. We didn’t have to drive and worry at all and the driver took us to some local favourites making our experience more authentic.
The rates are very affordable and the most important thing is that you don’t have to worry about getting around using other means.
Where to Stay and Eat
It’s easy to miss this vegetarian joint on your way to Shillong from Guwahati. I added this to my list because they have good food. It’s also a nice spot to stretch your legs before heading on further to Shillong.
La Galerie, Shillong
Located in the heart of Shillong’s bazar, the La Galerie is on my list solely because it gives you an amazing view of all the hustle of the market surrounding it. There are literally hundreds of locals shopping till almost 10 pm in the night and it gets very chaotic.
Radisson Blu, Guwahati
Priced at about $100.00 a night, this hotel was a great choice. It is at a very convenient location with a gym, spa and a swimming pool. They have buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the food takes your pallet all around India.
Taj Vivanta, Guwahati
Vivanta by Taj is another really affordable yet fancy hotel to stay at in Guwahati. Priced similar to the Radisson at $100.00 per night, this high end hotel provides all the necessary luxurious. They grow their own vegetables and the food here is fresh + local = mouth watering!
Top Sights to see in Guwahati, Assam
This extensive city located on the banks of the river Brahmaputra is the capital city of Assam. The city has a very interesting history with many spots to visit.
A few that caught my eye are:
The Kamakhya Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess, Kamakhya. She is known to be the goddess of desire. The temple is a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus and because of this, the area surrounding the holy grounds is filled with street vendors, tourists and pick pockets.
Saraighat Bridge over the Brahmaputra River
I added the Saraighat Bridge to the list solely to make sure people visit it to take in the vastness of the Brahmaputra river. The bridge is almost a mile long and connects the north and south banks of the Brahmaputra river.
Pragjyotika Assam Emporium
Assam is famous for its hand crafted items and heirlooms. Spanning from bags, pots and painting to more intricate work. I recommend the government sanctioned Pragjyotika Emporium to shop for local goods at a very affordable rate. This way you are contributing to the community and getting a fair deal for it too!
Top sights to see in Shillong
Umiam Lake Viewpoint
Located about 9 miles from Shillong, this gorgeous man-made lake is a hot spot for many water sport activities such as kayaking, water scooters and boating.
There is a vista point a few miles away from the actual lake. You can bask in the hills of Meghalaya while munching on local snacks and a hot cup of tea.
Mawkdok Dympep Valley
Remember how we drew pictures of hills and mountains when we were growing up? The Mawkdok Dympep Valley is an exact replica of that! Criss cross hills, deep valley and lush greenery all around makes this a tiny haven for photographers.
If you look far enough, you can also spot the India - Bangladesh border.
This is a nice place to stop the car, walk around, and if you’re in the mood for it -> go zip-lining across the valley!
The Police Bazar (market) is one of the most crowded, fast, and loud shopping centre’s I have been to. There are street vendors yelling out at no one in particular trying to sell goods. Kids are yelling out as their parents are trying to bargain with vendors and well there is a lot happening all at once!
There is a shop for all of your needs and some for needs that you weren’t even aware that you had!
Although this place can be overwhelming to people who are not used to crowds, it’s an experience in itself and you will end up finding some amazing souvenirs for friends and family back home!