Northeastern India is home to a rich palette of culture, wildlife and color
By Ibarionex R. Perello
India's enduring cultures, ancient architecture and stunning landscapes have drawn photographers since the infancy of photography more than 150 years ago. The vibrancy of color, the diversity of wildlife and the beauty of its people have held a special allure to those who not only enjoy traveling to distant locales, but who also hope to experience and make photographs of places whose history is measured not in hundreds, but thousands of years.
Despite the fact that India is a favorite destination for travelers from all over the world, there are areas of this amazing country that aren't as frequently visited, but which offer unique and picturesque experiences.
The Seven Sisters region of India encompasses the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Located in the country's northeast, these states feature outstanding opportunities to photograph wildlife, ancient temples, native tribes and a multitude of spiritual and cultural festivals. It's a destination that offers a host of choices to satisfy and inspire those who love seeing and sharing the world with the help of a camera.
Wildlife The opportunity to photograph wildlife abounds in the Seven Sisters area. One of the best locations to photograph both the exotic and endangered is the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. The 430-sq./km. park located near the bank of the Brahmaputra River is a refuge rich with wildlife.
Animals include the one-horned rhinoceros, a species whose numbers were once fewer than 200 but have now risen to the thousands. The large and impressive animal can be photographed amidst the tall grasses that form its habitat.
The park is also home to elephants, bear, Indian bison and an assortment of native birds, including the Himalayan griffon, oriental honey buzzard and bar-headed goose. The park offers the opportunity to elevate both yourself and your camera by traveling atop elephants, providing you a "near"-bird's-eye view.
Also in Assam, Nameri National Park located near the Arunachal Pradesh border offers its own unique collection of wildlife, including tigers, flying squirrels, turtles and leopards. Birdlife is rich and features many species, including four species of hornbills and the endangered white wing duck. The 212-sq./km. park located near the foothills of the Himalayas also abounds with herds of elephants.
In the state of Tripura, the Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary features a lush green landscape that's inhabited by more than 150 species of native and migratory birds, including the white ibis and open-billed stork. Mammals include deer, monkeys, wild pigs and leopards.
The efforts at Sepahijala to sustain the natural habitat have helped to not only safeguard numerous species, but also have created a space where travelers can enjoy the beauty and fragility of a natural environment.