Northeastern states of India are collectively known as the ‘Seven Sisters’ which was named in 1972. The Seven Sisters comprise Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura, with the addition of Sikkim as the 8th state in 1975. All the states have their unique and awe-inspiring facts. Northeastern states have vibrant cultural heritage, the powerhouse of natural resources, full of diversity, astounding architecture, picturesque landscapes, multi-colored festivals and many more. In spite of all of these, North Eastern states have been looked upon as an obscure land, unexplored, isolated culturally, regionally and geographically. The states having a rich reservoir of natural resources come with outstanding facts and attributes which are hardly known to the rest of India. We hope the listed lesser known facts can change the mindset of the people who have the aforementioned false beliefs.
North-Eastern part of India is a “Dowry Free Zone”
In India, the dowry system has been an inevitable part of the rituals, customs and traditions. Having a girl child is like a curse for them owing to the prevalence of dowry system. One interesting fact is dowry system has never been a part of the culture of North-East India, be it Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura or Assam.
Sikkim is India’s first fully organic state. The state has implemented organic practices on around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land.
The World’s tallest girder railway bridge is being built in Manipur. The Bridge will have a height of 141 metres which is roughly twice as high as Qutab Minar. The tallest girder bridge is a part of the forthcoming 111-kilometres long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal railway line.
The cleanest village in Asia is in the Northeastern state of India. Mawlynnong village in Meghalaya is a small village that attracts global fame for being the cleanest village in Asia.
Mizoram and Tripura are among the states with the highest literacy rates in India as per 2011 census. Mizoram and Tripura attained 91.58 and 87.75 per cent literacy rates respectively in the census.
One of the rivers in India which have been referred to as the cleanest river in the country is Dawki river but the actual name of the river is Umngot river. The water of the river is so clear and it looks like a surface of crystal glass. The hidden fairyland which is also known for its green river is in Meghalaya.
The Dhola–Sadiya Bridge, also known as the Bhupen Hazarika Setu is the longest bridge in India. The bridge, measuring 9.15 kilometres in length is the first permanent road connection between the eastern Arunachal Pradesh and northern Assam.
Keibul Lamjao National Park is the only floating park in the world. The park is floating on the surface of ‘Loktak Lake’ which is the largest freshwater lake in India. A popular folk form of wrestling known as Mukna is also originated from Manipur.
The wettest region in the World is in the state of Meghalaya in Northeast India. Mawsynram village is the world’s wettest place with an average rainfall of about 12000 millimetres. Meghalaya means ‘the abode of the clouds’ in Sanskrit. Among the communities, Khasi is one of the rare communities in the state to practice matrilineal descent where wealth is inherited from mother to daughter.
Majuli is the largest river island in the world situated in Jorhat district of Assam. The island covers an area of 352 square kilometres, is in the Brahmaputra river.
Northeast India has the oldest advanced oil refinery in the world. Digboi oil refinery in the town of Tinsukia district of Assam was set up in the year 1901. It is also referred to as the Oil City of Assam.
The smallest (inhabited) river island in the world, Umananda is also located in Assam. The island is also called ‘Peacock island’.
Meghalaya is the only place in the world where you can find living root tree bridges. The bridges formed by the aerial roots of the Rubber fig tree make this a prime destination of the state to lure visitors. UNESCO has recognised the living root bridges as a ‘Heritage site’.
The one-horn rhino or Indian rhinoceros is exclusively found in the north-east part of India, Assam. The Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Pobitora reserve forest, Orang National park and Laokhowa reserve forest are the homes of the endangered animal.
The unique and famous flower ‘Shirui or Siroi Lily’ is not found anywhere except in Shirui Kashung in Ukhrul district, Manipur. Manipur literally means ‘the Jeweled land’ is the birthplace of Pulo (presently called Polo). The Imphal Polo Ground is the oldest polo ground in the world which is also in the state, Manipur.
The largest state in the Northeast, Arunachal Pradesh is also known as “The land of the Rising Sun”. The state experiences the first golden rays of the rising sun because it lies in the country’s extreme east. The state is also home to the popular Tawang Monastery that is India’s largest and the world’s second-largest Buddhist Monastery. One more spellbinding fact of the state is —according to 2011 census, Arunachal Pradesh has the lowest population density in India with just 17 people per square km.
Asia’s biggest market run by only women, Ima Keithel is 500 years old, is in Manipur. This market is the prominent example of perseverance of Manipuri women in the society. Ras Lila, a spectacular form of classical dance is also from the state.
Northeast part of India is one of the world’s seven richest biodiversity areas according to a report from Myers 2000. 70 per cent of the world’s orchids are available in the Northeastern states of India.
Northeast is also India’s most musically active region. Rock, pop and folk songs play pivotal roles in Northeastern culture. Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is also called the Rock Music Capital of India.
Northeast India was the only part of India which the Mughals could not occupy during their ruling era of the Mughal dynasty.
The Assam Rifles is the largest and oldest paramilitary force in India.
Manipur and Nagaland were the only two Indian states where WW2 was actually fought. In 2013, the Battle of Imphal and Kohima were voted to be ‘Britain’s Greatest Battle’ by the British National Army Museum.
Northeast states are connected to India by a thin area of land which is known as the ‘Siliguri Corridor’ or ‘Chicken’s Neck’. The land is only 21 to 40 kilometres wide. China, Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh share 90 per cent of Northeast’s border.
Around 220 ethnic groups are found in the Northeast and there are also around 220 languages which are spoken in the states of the Northeast.
We are already familiar with Benarasi silk and Kanjeevaram silk. There are also many other silks which are produced in North East India. Assam is the only state in India that produces white Pat, warm Eri and golden Muga silk. The three kinds of indigenous silks have their unique beauty which is not found in other silks.
Sangai, an endemic and endangered subspecies of brow-antlered deer is found only in Manipur, is also the state animal of Manipur.
Seven of India’s major national parks are situated in Northeast India. They are Kaziranga National Park, Keibul Lamjao National Park, Manas National Park, Namdapha National Park, Balphakram National Park, Ntangki National Park and Phawngpui National Park.
Northeast region covers an area of 2,62,179 Square kilometres which is 7.9 per cent of India’s total geographical area. Coming to the population, it is 3.1 per cent of the total Indian population that is approximately equal to the population of Odisha (as per 2011 census). In spite of its meagre in terms of area size and population, its incredible contribution to the nation is miraculous. Mary Kom, Baichung Bhutia, Sarita Devi, Irom Chanu Sharmila ( also called Iron Lady), Arundhati Roy, Bhupen Hazarika, Arnav Somdev Devarrman, Dipannita Sharma, Chekrovolu Swuro, Jayanta Talukdar and Adil Hussain are some prominent figures who belong to NE.
If this article can give you an idea about Northeast India, kindly drop your valuable comment.