5 North-East Indian Cultures You Can't Miss on Your Next Vacation header image

5 North-East Indian Cultures You Can't Miss on Your Next Vacation

Truly unique & offbeat North-East Indian cultures

Karandeep Arora

Karandeep Arora

The mystical states of North-East India are home to more than 200 tribal groups, making this territory one of the world’s most diverse regions. Tourists can expect a unique cultural experience in every North-East Indian town, be it the unique festivals of the tribes, cuisines, lifestyle, or the green destinations across these eight states. 


This section of India's northern territory is primarily an unexplored cultural paradise with an abundance of eco-friendly destinations. Experience the fascinating culture of North-East India through its festivals, tribes, and otherworldly picturesque destinations narrating their unique charm.

Explore these unparalleled cultures across North-East India on your next vacation:

1. Astonishing Cultural Festivals of Sikkim

Sikkim is a blend of cultural bouquets decorated with various tribes, folk tales, dance forms, traditions and festivals. 

Image Source - https://www.adotrip.com/public/images/festivals/master_images/5c3f0b73e2ee6-Tendong_Lho_Rum_Faat_Attractions.jpg

The Tendong Lho Rum Faat is one of the oldest festivals in Sikkim, celebrated by the Lepcha people in July and August. People commemorate the deity Mt. Tendong who saved their ancestors from a calamity. It is a vibrant cultural celebration that attracts thousands of ethically-curious tourists annually.

Sikkim also hosts several other festivals like Dasai, Pang Lhabsol, and Saga Dawa that represent various communities and tribes of the state, offering fulfilling cultural insights to the travellers.

2. The Agricultural Tribes and Festivals of Arunachal 

Arunachal is India’s ‘’Land of Dawn-Lit Mountains’’ and is home to 26 tribes that follow unique customs and religions. The majority of their tribes practice the Donyi-Polo religion and worship the sun and moon deities during colourful cultural celebrations. 

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Since Arunachal has several ancient agricultural tribes, they honour the almighty for blessing them with bountiful harvests. Tourists can visit the Ziro Valley, where most cultural festivities take place, and especially the revered Myoko festival during March that showcases artistic skills and folk cultures of Arunachali tribes.

3. The 100 Drums Festival of Meghalaya

Image Source: https://www.specialholidays.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/100-Drums-Festival-of-Meghalaya.jpg

Meghalaya, known as the ‘’Abode of Clouds’’ is Asia’s richest botanical habitat with its panoramic view and refreshing climate. The Garos of Meghalaya celebrate ‘’Wangala- the 100 drums festival’’ every year in November to honour Saljong, the sun-God of fertility, for a healthy harvest. 

The men and women don their traditional costumes and headgears and dance to the tune of music and oval-shaped drums.

NotOnMap offers several homestays in Meghalaya, such as the Orchids Seven Huts Homestay. Owing to opportunities like this, tourists can immerse themselves in enriching cultural experiences. 

4. The Versatile Folk Dance Culture of Assam 

Image Source: https://tourdefarm.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Assam-Bihu-Festival-1-1140x760-1.jpg

The culture of Assam is an intermix of traditions of many Assamese communities and tribes. Though Assam is known for a multitude of revealing attributes, including its prestigious silk Mekhela Chador and the traditional hat Jaapi, the exceptional folk dance during festivals is a phenomenal sight to behold.

During April, people welcome the Assamese new year with Bohag Bihu, the most colourful Bihu festival of Assam, also known as Rongali Bihu. 

Assam’s riverine island Majuli hosts the Majuli festival, a cultural celebration of diverse ethnic groups in November, where tourists can experience Assam's incredibly untapped societal versatility in one place.

5. Perennial Festivals of Nagaland

Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/58/Hornbill_Festival%2C_Pix_by_Vikramjit_Kakati.jpg

The 17 main tribes of Nagaland celebrate their festivals throughout the year. Each tribe regards their culture and traditions as sacrosanct and celebrates its seasonal festivals with rich colours, extraordinary musical performances, and stunning dance forms.

Travellers can experience the culture of Nagaland any time of the year and revel in the cultural joy that mainly revolves around agriculture.

Bonus Tip: You can experience the authentic culture of Sangtam Naga Tribes while living together with them at NotOnMap’s Nagaland Community Stay.


In a nutshell, books can be written on the numerous festivities being celebrated in India’s North-Eastern parts. Their deep-rooted beliefs and traditions have stood the test of time for decades at a stretch. Above all, witnessing such cultures before your eyes is an experience to be etched in your memory books forever and after. 

If your curiosity in their passion for traditions has left you tongue-tied, don’t hesitate to get the full essence of the excursion. Get in touch with NotOnMap’s travel experts and take the first step towards a vacation brimming with an endless pool of cultural knowledge.

Karandeep Arora

Karandeep Arora

Traveler | Copywriter


A copywriter by profession and an aspiring scriptwriter, Karandeep spent the better half of the last decade travelling to remote and far-off regions of India. He's been working on fighting the tide of mediocrity and settling for experiential travel adventures to improve his mindfulness of cultures and society as a whole.