So, here I was, back in mother India, after a two week tour across Bangladesh. After the amazing experience at the border check post in Bangladesh (people had collected money for me to pay the “exit fee”) just minutes ago, I faced some other problems at the Indian immigration check post. With my passport equipped with a multiple entry visa, still valid for 20 days, it should be a straightforward process to enter India. But the immigration officer wasn´t very helpful in my attempt to get the formalities done and reach my Couchsurfer’s place as fast as possible to get some food and sleep.
He started to study my passport very carefully, asked a lot of questions about my Indian visa, switched the topic to other countries I have been, and ended up making a complete list of which countries I had passed on my journey. It was not like he was interested in or curious about my person itself and my journey, it was more like he tried to find a problem or create some difficulties. After about one hour of questioning he eventually seemed convinced, that everything with my passport was ok, and that I was not a spy, a terrorist, an alien, or in any way dangerous for the republic of India and gave me the entry stamp. I still don´t know why it took him so long, welcome back to India.
The seven northeast states of India – called Seven Sisters – are perhaps the most diverse part of India in ethnicity, culture, and biodiversity. It is a tribal area, some people have their roots in Myanmar or Southeast Asia, some have a Tibetian background, some are Bengalis, like in Bangladesh and west Bengal. It happened to me often, that I arrive in a village, and the people look completely different from the last village, speak another language (or at least dialect), and eat different food.
The northeast states are also mostly unexplored by tourists, especially the Border States to Myanmar: Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland. My plan was to go there to check out the weird stuff I have heard: people are eating dogs, snakes and giant spiders, tattoed warriors of the naga tribes are still fighting each other, even so the headhunting stopped a few decades ago.
Lack of time and bad road conditions caused by pre-monsoon showers impacted on my decision. I took a route from Agartala, capital of the state Tripura, to Shillong in Meghalaya, then following the mighty river Brahmaputra through Assam. I continued through the small strip of India between Bangladesh and Bhutan to the Nepal border.
Enjoy the pictures: