Northeast India comprises eight states – the ‘Seven Sister’ states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura, with Sikkim as the eight state. The Seven Sister states have a contiguous border but Sikkim is separated by West Bengal. Here are some marvellous facts about the Northeast region as a whole.
1. The population of all eight states of Northeast is roughly equal to the population of Odisha, India’s 11th most populated state.
Population of Northeast: 38,857,769. Population of Odisha: 41,974,218.
2. Seven states of the Northeast are connected to India via a thin stretch of land known officially as the Siliguri Corridor and popularly as ‘Chicken’s Neck’.
The stretch is just 21 to 40 kilometres wide.
3. 90 per cent of Northeast’s border is shared with China, Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
4. Till 1963, Northeast India consisted of Assam and the princely states of Manipur and Tripura.
Nagaland was carved out of Assam in 1963, Meghalaya in 1972, Arunachal Pradesh in 1987, and Mizoram in 1987. Sikkim joined the Indian Union in 1975. Here is a timeline.
5. The Northeast India has been identified as one of the world’s seven richest biodiversity areas by Myers 2000.
6. Almost 70 per cent of the world’s orchids are found in India’s Northeast.
7. The world’s largest riverine island, the Majuli, is in the Northeast.
It is in the middle of River Brahmaputra.
8. The River Brahmaputra that criss-crosses the Northeast is the only Indian river that passes through three countries.
9. Around 70 per cent of Northeast is hilly terrain.
10. The language and culture of Northeast is a mix of Tibetan, South-East Asian and East Indian culture.
11. Seven of India’s major national parks are located in Northeast.
Prominent among them are Kaziranga and Manas.
12. The Indian Rhinoceros, also known as the one-horned rhino, is found exclusively in the Northeast.
13. Mizoram and Tripura are among the states with the highest literacy rates in India.
As per Census 2011, Mizoram has a literacy rate of 91.58 per cent while Tripura pegged a very healthy 87.75 per cent. Except Arunachal Pradesh, the literacy rate in all northeastern states is above the national average of 74.04 per cent.
14. Around 220 languages are spoken in the states of the Northeast.
Prominent among them is Assamese and Bengali according to the number of native speakers.
15. There are around 220 ethnic groups in the Northeast.
There are also significant numbers of Bangladeshi-, Burmese-, Thai- and Tibetan-origin people in the Northeast.
16. The Northeast is India’s most musically active region.
The Hornbill festival held in Kohima, Nagaland, is India’s most well-known music and dance festival. Rock and pop music play crucial roles in Northeastern culture.
17. The Northeast part of the country is the biggest contributor to tea production in India.
In fact if you take away tea production from Northeast, India will not remain the second largest tea producer of the world.
18. There is no dowry culture in the Northeast, at least not in anti-feminist way.
19. The Northeast is the only part of India which the Mughals could not occupy during their reign.
Only the British were able to integrate Northeast into their empire.
20. The Ahom Dynasty of Northeast is the longest unbroken dynasty in India’s entire history.
The dynasty ruled much of Northeast for 600 years, 1228–1826 CE.
21. Mawsynram in Meghalaya holds the Guinness World Record of being the wettest place on Earth.
It receives an annual average rainfall of 11,873 mm (467 in) per annum.
22. The Shungetser Lake in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district was unofficially renamed by tour guides as Madhuri Lake after Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit.
The song “Tanhai Tanhai” in her 1996 film ‘Koyla’ was shot here.
23. Except Mani Ratnam’s ‘Dil Se’ no Bollywood film has had Northeast as a major setting.
24. Jhum or the slash-and-burn cultivation is still practised in many parts of Northeast.
25. The North Eastern Council (NEC), constituted in 1971, is the acting agency for the development of the eight states.
26. The Assam Rifles is India’s largest and oldest paramilitary force while the Indian Army’s Assam Regiment recruits exclusively from the seven Northeastern States.
Gorkha Regiment has many soldiers from Sikkim.
27. The Northeast is India’s cleanest region.
Roads in major cities are squeaky clean and people take extra care to keep the surroundings neat and tidy.
Any more facts you know about the beautiful Northeast? Please share in comments!