Kolkata & North East
The former capital of British India, Kolkata (or Calcutta) is a feast of colonial-era and modern daily-grind India. A clash of old world architecture with developing urban areas, famed for the mild yet complex flavors of Bengali cuisine. The best way to experience this old world wonder is on foot – walking down the old cobble-stoned streets or hopping on to an iconic tram. Nestled at the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, Sikkim’s vast open valleys has made it a hiking haven replete with Buddhist sites. Bordering West Bengal, Nepal and Tibet, Sikkim’s mountainous terrain features 28 mountain peaks including the mighty Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest peak, over 80 glaciers, 227 high-altitude lakes, five major hot springs, and over 100 rivers and streams. A land engulfed in mystery, Nagaland’s countryside is made up of challenging terrain, often blanketed in Rhododendrons and Orchids in the summer, as far as the eye can see. Inhabited by vibrant tribes of hunters and warriors of old, the culture and way of life here is fascinating and far removed from modern India. Explore artisan craft villages, festivals and ancient temple ruins or head to Assam for its highly sought after tea, silks and handlooms. If you don’t have a fondness for fabrics, you’re sure to develop one here as weaving is ingrained in almost every Assamese home. Assam has numerous wildlife sanctuaries, the most prominent of which are two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Kaziranga National Park located on the bank of the Brahmaputra River and the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary near the border of Bhutan. Both National Parks are refuges for the fast-disappearing Indian one-horned rhinoceros, and the sanctuary at Manas is known especially for its tigers and leopards.