Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur now open without permit...

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#31 Mar 17th, 2011, 16:24
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#31
I see no response yet to my above post. Some broad details of my proposed NE-tour. I am thinking winter, maybe Dec-2010. Is that good?

I am planning it more like a back-packing, hop-on-hop-off, kind of by Buses/Share-jeeps(**), lasting 2-3-4 weeks, variable in a relaxed way, that covers an overall route (suggested by HVK) as follows:

Part-1: Guwahati-Kohima-Mokochung-Kohima-Imphal-Moirang-Imphal-Kohima- Guwahati

Part-2: Guwahati-Shillong-Cherapunjee-Shillong-Agartala-Silchar-Aizwal-Silchar-Shillong-Guwahati.


Does it make sense? Any suggestions or improvements? Any dangers/security issues?? Will later try to drill down to actual sights/places to visit on that route.

(** similar to my earlier Shimla-Kinnaur-Spiti Valley tour or the first Srinagar-Leh-Manali Bus/Jeep tour)
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#32 Mar 17th, 2011, 20:00
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#32
December would be a pretty good time all around you could catch the Hornbill festival in Kohima first week in December. Its best to try to work around festivals because those are when the northeast is most interesting. Barring that right after the monsoon is great when the skies are clear and the hills are brilliant green.

I post pics and write ups on my blog
Arunachal Pradesh: http://www.micahimages.com/journal_w...pradesh-india/
Nagaland: http://www.micahimages.com/journal_w...agaland-india/
Meghalaya: http://www.micahimages.com/journal_w...ghalaya-india/

More posts on Nagaland and Manipur where I currently am will come later when I get around to it. Once I leave Manipur I'll post something here on practical details. I hope to do Mizoram and Tripura in the next month after another visit to Nagaland.
#33 Mar 17th, 2011, 20:06
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Originally Posted by sbballer33 View Post December would be a pretty good time all around you could catch the Hornbill festival in Kohima first week in December. Its best to try to work around festivals because those are when the northeast is most interesting. Barring that right after the monsoon is great when the skies are clear and the hills are brilliant green.

I post pics and write ups on my blog
Arunachal Pradesh: http://www.micahimages.com/journal_w...pradesh-india/
Nagaland: http://www.micahimages.com/journal_w...agaland-india/
Meghalaya: http://www.micahimages.com/journal_w...ghalaya-india/

More posts on Nagaland and Manipur where I currently am will come later when I get around to it. Once I leave Manipur I'll post something here on practical details. I hope to do Mizoram and Tripura in the next month after another visit to Nagaland.
Thanks, sbballer! I will read all your blogs. I am sure your experience from the field will be of great help to plan my trip. Looks like you are spending lots of time there and so it must be quite ok, security wise?
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#34 Mar 17th, 2011, 22:55
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#34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ks_bluechip View Post I am planning it more like a back-packing, hop-on-hop-off, kind of by Buses/Share-jeeps(**), lasting 2-3-4 weeks, variable in a relaxed way, that covers an overall route (suggested by HVK) as follows:

Part-1: Guwahati-Kohima-Mokochung-Kohima-Imphal-Moirang-Imphal-Kohima- Guwahati

Part-2: Guwahati-Shillong-Cherapunjee-Shillong-Agartala-Silchar-Aizwal-Silchar-Shillong-Guwahati.
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In Part 1, you are going all the way to Imphal and Moirang (INA Memorial is your target I guess). From Moirang you could add Loktak lake.

Are you not interested in having a trip to Moreh? The border town to Burma. You will find lots of Tamilians and some sardarjis there. If you are lucky (means work your way with locals at Moreh), you may be able to have a day trip to Burma (see their town, local market, etc).

Since you are going in winter, Siroy Lily trip is out of question. In May/June it is beautiful though.

I'm not sure if Kaziranga is in your itinerary. You could visit... it is en route to Kohima from Guwahati.

Further, it may save your time, if you choose to take the road from Imphal to Silchar.
#35 Mar 18th, 2011, 07:08
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#35
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Originally Posted by sdsudarsan View Post In Part 1, you are going all the way to Imphal and Moirang (INA Memorial is your target I guess). From Moirang you could add Loktak lake.

Are you not interested in having a trip to Moreh? The border town to Burma. You will find lots of Tamilians and some sardarjis there. If you are lucky (means work your way with locals at Moreh), you may be able to have a day trip to Burma (see their town, local market, etc).

Since you are going in winter, Siroy Lily trip is out of question. In May/June it is beautiful though.

I'm not sure if Kaziranga is in your itinerary. You could visit... it is en route to Kohima from Guwahati.

Further, it may save your time, if you choose to take the road from Imphal to Silchar.
sdsudarshan: Thanks for your inputs. Will try do Moreh. I have already been to Kaziranga.

I had to break this into 2 parts, because I was told the direct road, NH53, between Imphal and Silichar is in bad shape. Any updates on its current state?

Looks like you have travelled to these NE regions? Any links, blog or notes of that??

PS: @sbballer: I just started with your Nagaland blog link. Amazing stories ... and stunning pictures!! Thanks.
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Last edited by ks_bluechip; Mar 18th, 2011 at 07:31.. Reason: added PS:
#36 Mar 18th, 2011, 08:49
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It is true that route to Silchar from Imphal is not that good. But then, it is a question of just a day long rough journey against two full days of journey. Imphal - Guwahati is 24 hrs for all practical purposes, as you know.

May be, if you count the time and associated costs, it might turn out to be cheaper to fly from Imphal to Silchar than take the bus ride back to Guwahati. I know that many people do it.

Yes, a visit to Moreh and Tamu (Burmese side) is worth a visit.

I know the place as I stayed there for about five years, however no blog or website. Everything is first hand info only (though a bit outdated :-) ).
#37 Mar 18th, 2011, 10:45
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Originally Posted by sdsudarsan View Post It is true that route to Silchar from Imphal is not that good. But then, it is a question of just a day long rough journey against two full days of journey. Imphal - Guwahati is 24 hrs for all practical purposes, as you know.

May be, if you count the time and associated costs, it might turn out to be cheaper to fly from Imphal to Silchar than take the bus ride back to Guwahati. I know that many people do it.

Yes, a visit to Moreh and Tamu (Burmese side) is worth a visit.

I know the place as I stayed there for about five years, however no blog or website. Everything is first hand info only (though a bit outdated :-) ).
Again thanks for your responses. Perhaps it might be worth doing Imphal-Silchar by road for the experience! The route looks scenic to me on Goggle Earth. By Air too makes sense. Will include Moreh & Tamu.

When were you there? Do you think it is safe to travel these regions by Bus/Jeep? Does my Route-plan look OK, other than the changes you already suggested? Do you know of any other 'must-see' places in NE-region?

I was also going to ask you where is Jambudweep ... but found it near Hastinapur, UP. Now looking at their website.
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#38 Mar 18th, 2011, 12:54
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@sdsudarsan, have you got a chance to cross from Moreh to Tamu? If yes what was the procedure and when you exactly did that.

The Burma border as I understood in my last visit in Dec10/Jan11 is completely sealed with India now. I mentioned in one of IM post here, my experience to cross over to Burma but that was unintentional and ofcourse illegal. I was fortunate not to caught in wrong foot. Even they have severe restrictions for locals to cross over for regular shopping which was allowed as a day visit even a year back.

Considering Paresh Baruah factions presence in Burma and present ULFA crisis, India Burma border is extremely sensitive and I haven't heard any first hand experience in recent past to crossing over to Tamu from Moreh.

This is a report of someone of foreign origin (definitely task is tougher for them) where it discussed both Moreh -Tamu border and the one I crossed in northern end through Ledo / Stilwell road at Pangsu Pass. Below the thread you would get a few interesting link on Lonely planet discussion forum in this regard.
#39 Mar 18th, 2011, 23:02
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#39
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Originally Posted by ks_bluechip View Post Again thanks for your responses. Perhaps it might be worth doing Imphal-Silchar by road for the experience! The route looks scenic to me on Goggle Earth. By Air too makes sense. Will include Moreh & Tamu.

When were you there? Do you think it is safe to travel these regions by Bus/Jeep? Does my Route-plan look OK, other than the changes you already suggested? Do you know of any other 'must-see' places in NE-region?

I was also going to ask you where is Jambudweep ... but found it near Hastinapur, UP. Now looking at their website.
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Thanks for your appreciations! I read your Uttarakhand trips often.

Travel by bus/jeep is not unsafe. Nothing can be considered absolutely safe, more so in NE. I found jeep travel to be a bit more cramped, but much faster and safer. Imphal-Silchar by road is an experience, of course. At the same time, even air travel is quite interesting, as it is just about 20 minutes and both airports have a narrow landing corridors. Quite unlike other air travels.

In terms of route plan, it is looking good. Regarding places to visit, it depends on interest. For example, the zoo at Imphal is not quite big, but has few unique animals due to its wonderful climate. Now with army/assam rifles out, Kangla fort is worth a visit at Imphal. So is Govind-ji temple (but find out the times when deities are open to darshan). Their customs/traditions are so unique to watch. There is a Hanuman temple close to Govindji temple with lots of monkeys around. A quite trek around Langol (outskirts of Imphal at the base of hillocks) early in the morning is amazing, for the views. Some people travel about 30 kms to see the jack fruit tree from where Govindji was carved (similar to Puri Jagannath). There is world war memorial as well.

So long as you have some local with you and a lady in your team, you are pretty safe and respected in Manipur. Some people choose to stay at Gurudwara, considered safer than some of the hotels!

NE region must see places: too many I guess, just like the Devbhoomi. Arunachal alone needs about 10 days to see important places. You have wisely kept it for another trip, I guess. People say that Tripura (Agartala and around) needs atleast three days, though I've not visited that place. Meghalaya (Shillong) needs 3 days for popular places alone (1 day Chirapunjee, 1 day for Barapani, shillong peak, etc. and 1 day for shillong downtown as well as the Butterfly museum). In Nagaland, safety is the issue.

BTW, Jambudweep of mine is not the physical one near Hastinapur (amazing to see the ruins of the fort even today! About 3 hrs drive from Delhi but not marketed...).
#40 Mar 18th, 2011, 23:11
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#40
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Originally Posted by kshil View Post @sdsudarsan, have you got a chance to cross from Moreh to Tamu? If yes what was the procedure and when you exactly did that.
Let me not say if I went to Tamu or not :-)
Technically, the border was opened for trade during Chidambaram's tenure as commerce minister. Other than that, the border is always closed. Sealing for locals moving during day keeps happening on situation basis. So, one has to keep their fingers always crossed. However, typically you accompany a local as another local, then just pay the fee to the burmese army at their checkpoint and you are good for the day. On Indian side, all they want is proof of your identity and why you are in town. The presumption is, if you are in town (Moreh), then either you are local or a friend/relative visiting them. I used to visit Moreh often, as I could get south indian food in plenty (think of getting puttu, appam, idly, vada, flake parotta, etc. and thali meals on plantain leaves). Further, all the festivals from Southern part of India (particularly Tamilnadu) are celebrated. In any case, during my stay I was local :-) as I was working there! As for currency conversion, you can get it at Moreh from any shop. The Indo-Burma borders in Nagaland are always sealed!
#41 Mar 19th, 2011, 13:36
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#41
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Originally Posted by sdsudarsan View Post In terms of route plan, it is looking good. Regarding places to visit .... , it depends on interest.
Thanks a lot for your feedback on my route, travel-mode and the various tips on sights to see and places to visit along route. If anything else occurs to you please let me know. I am reading up other materials and will post a more detailed list/plan here later. still plenty of time until winter-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsudarsan View Post So long as you have some local with you and a lady in your team, you are pretty safe and respected in Manipur. Some people choose to stay at Gurudwara, considered safer than some of the hotels!

BTW, Jambudweep of mine is not the physical one near Hastinapur (amazing to see the ruins of the fort even today! About 3 hrs drive from Delhi but not marketed...).
I will probably go alone, don't have a team and a lady?! (my wife would have been perfect; but she has no interest in such places and anyway she will busy in Chennai with Carnatic-Music; and that is one main reason I timed this for Dec ). If you have any local contacts who might help let me, let me know, but no hurry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsudarsan View Post BTW, Jambudweep of mine is not the physical one near Hastinapur
I didn't really understand this. I suppose you will clarify if/when needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsudarsan View Post I used to visit Moreh often, as I could get south indian food in plenty (think of getting puttu, appam, idly, vada, flake parotta, etc. and thali meals on plantain leaves). Further, all the festivals from Southern part of India (particularly Tamilnadu) are celebrated.
This is useful, I can go there and eat South Indian food, speak Tamil and maybe make some local friends. How come the Tamils got to settle there?
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#42 Mar 21st, 2011, 18:08
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I was just in Moreh a couple days ago and was able to cross the boarder (after giving a passport copy to the local Indian intelligence agent) to the market on the Burma side didn't want to press my luck by going any further and I'm a foreigner who stands out, so not much of a problem for Indians.
#43 Mar 21st, 2011, 23:27
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Originally Posted by ks_bluechip View Post This is useful, I can go there and eat South Indian food, speak Tamil and maybe make some local friends. How come the Tamils got to settle there?
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After the WWII, when the Tamil businessmen from Rangoon fled Burma (most of them are now Burmese refugees in India, particularly TN), some of them did not want to go back to their native places as refugees, where they always visited as rich businessmen with pride. Those people, stayed put at the border and that is the history.

Let me see, if I can connect to someone in Manipur. Of course, there are small Tamil, Telugu, as well as South Indian informal associations. I'll try, since time is in our side.
#44 Mar 22nd, 2011, 00:04
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#44
Never been to NE. But next yr I want to go backpacking. And thanks guys for these informations.
#45 Mar 22nd, 2011, 06:53
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#45
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Originally Posted by sdsudarsan View Post Let me see, if I can connect to someone in Manipur. Of course, there are small Tamil, Telugu, as well as South Indian informal associations. I'll try, since time is in our side.
Thanks Sudarsan, for the explanation. Any local contact/help you can muster up for me, will be deeply appreciated.

I have since managed to get a copy of Lonely Planet's NorthEast-India guide book - 2nd edition Oct-2009. It does gives fair amount of details of these NE States. Feel much more confident now and have an idea what to expect and what to see.

If everything goes well, I plan to go there in Nov or Dec; suffixing or prefixing with at least 2 days of the Hornbill Festival (Dec 1-7) in Kohima. I read that accomodation in Kohima during that festivel will be difficult. Even so, attending that will be the high point I guess.
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