Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya are three of the Seven Sister States of North East India. Located south of the eastern Himalayas, they share international borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh in the west, Myanmar in the east, and China in the north. Due to their geographical location, their culture, climate and people are similar to those of South East Asia. These three states are connected to the rest of India via a small 22 km-strip of land in West Bengal referred to as the “Chicken’s Neck”.
Assam is best known for its tea and silk production, as well as for its efforts in the conservation of endangered species, such as the one-horned Indian Rhinoceros. It also provides one of the last wild habitats for the Asian elephant. Because it receives more rainfall than most parts of India, Assam is know for its lush and beautiful environment.
Arunachal Pradesh, the “Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains” in Sanskrit, is also known as the Orchid State of India or the Paradise of the Botanists. Its diverse culture and traditions also make it the Indian state with the highest number of regional languages. The state is divided into five river valleys, all of which are fed by snow and countless large and small rivers.
Meghalaya, with the poetic meaning of “The Abode of Clouds” in Sanskrit, was part of the state of Assam until 1972. It is the wettest state of India, and the majority of its surface (70%) is forested – its forests are notable for their biodiversity of mammals, birds and plants. Shillong Peak (6,434 ft) is the highest point in Meghalaya, overlooking the city of Shillong.