Cameras On the Ready: The Focus is on the Northeast

Northeast India is a kaleidoscope of colliding cultures, landscapes, languages and tribes. Its natural beauty is at once rugged and ethereal. From the hinterlands of Nagaland where tribes of head hunters roam, to the magnificence of Kanchenjungha arching across the Sikkimese horizon, to the verdant forests of Assam with their thriving wildlife, the Northeast is a land that should be on every ardent traveller’s bucket list. With such an eclectic mix of sights and hues the eight states are a photographer’s dream. Whether it’s travel photography that you’re after, trying to capture the true feel of a place or have an anthropological interest in its people and want to get an authentic picture of the lives of the tribal populace, up, close and personal, the mise-en-scene of the Northeast provides all this and more. Ahom takes you on some of the top guided photography tours in the region. No matter what your interest, we’ll take you to the best spots and set the scene so you can just focus on your lens.

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Wildlife and Birding

Northeast India is home to seven of the major national parks in India, sheltering a wide variety of exquisite flora and fauna. Of these, Kaziranga National Park and Manas National Park, both in Assam are UNESCO-conferred World Heritage Sites. A visit here comes with the hope of sighting the endangered one-horned rhinoceros, found exclusively in these parts. In fact, the approximate 1800 rhinos in Kaziranga account for two-thirds of the total global population of the species. A photography tour in Assam is a great way for wildlife enthusiasts to capture a range of animals thriving in their natural habitat, including the Asiatic wild water buffalo, Indian elephant, swamp deer, sloth bear, Indian and Chinese pangolin, nine different species of primates, Golden jackal, Bengal fox and several species of local and migratory birds. Ornithologists can be seen flocking to Khonoma Tragopan Wildlife Sanctuary in Nagaland, Namdhapa National Park in Arunachal Pradesh, and Saikhaowa in Assam with their binoculars and long lens cameras. The Black-breasted Parrot bill, Himalayan Griffon, Snowy-throated Babbler are among the rare birds that you can spot in these parks.

Colour of Festivals

Celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the Northeast in the myriad festivals that fill up the social calendar of the region. Each state has its own festivals where live music, colourful dances, traditional costumes and local flavours dominate the festivities. Festivals like the Hornbill in Nagaland are essentially a celebration of the ethnic diversity of the state. All tribes and local communities irrespective of faith come together to showcase their cultural legacies at this festival. A photography tour in Nagaland is incomplete without a visit to Hornbill Festival. You will be met will a riot of colour from every corner- the elaborate headgear worn by Naga chiefs, to the ornate decorations on the war drums, to the delectable spread of exotic foods on display. The Bihu festival in Assam, Kang festival in Manipur, and Ziro Music festival in Arunachal Pradesh are some of the other vibrant festivals in the Northeast. Photographers are spoilt for choices as their subjects are many and varied.

Anthropological Treasures

The Northeast states are home to some of India’s most unique and intriguing anthropological treasures. A visit to the remote Ahng Valley of Nagaland takes you to the home of the Konyak tribe- an ancient community of head hunters recognised by their distinctive tattoos. These tattoos are earned as recognition for acts of valour and the Konyak men wear them as proudly as the grizzly decorations that adorn their front walls: human heads collected as prizes from their opponents. Meet the Konyaks, discover their fascinating stories and capture their lives on camera. This is a travel photography tour like no other. The Mishing community of Assam is another interesting tribe. The community lives predominantly in the villages of Majuli Island and are engaged in the age-old trades of weaving and mask making like their ancestors. We take you into the heart of these tribal settlements to give you a chance to interact with the villagers and see their handmade crafts.

Nature at its Finest

The Northeast is inextricably linked to the mountains, with the Himalayas framing the northern frontier of the region. A trip to Pelling in Sikkim provides the best views of Mount Kanchenjungha, the third highest peak in the world. This quaint hill state is also home to a mesmeric array of flowers. Photographers are met with a burst of colour at Yumthang Valley with its stretches of rhododendron blooms in every hue. Natural root bridges of Cherrapunji in Meghalaya are a spectacular example of human ingenuity and innovation where tribal Khasi villagers have trained the roots of living rubber fig-trees to form natural bridges over streams. Ahom’s northeast photography tours take you to the sites of these natural wonders and the spots from where they are seen to their best advantage.


A history of colliding cultures and religions have left an indelible mark on the Northeast, with the most obvious imprints on architecture. Both surviving edifices as well as relics of erstwhile kingdoms bear testimony to the region’s intriguing past. The 400-year old Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh stands in defiance to the ravages of time, sacred to Buddhist devotees as the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama. To this day, the Monastery provides shelter to monks while its enormous central courtyard is used to host traditional festivals like Losar. Shivsagar in Assam on the other hand, is the capital city of the old Ahom dynasty. Visit the relics of the royal sports pavilion at Rang Ghar and the former army base at Talatal Ghar- the architecture of both structures echoing strong Mughal influences. A northeast photography tour is fascinating not just for the shots but also for the discovery of the land’s rich history.

Nature has been especially kind to Northeast India with a treasure trove of breath taking scenery and foliage. Ahom’s photography tours are designed with the specific requirements of photographers in mind. We’ll take you to the best spots, at the best times. With our expertise in the region, we provide the most accurate backgrounds and histories for each place that you visit, making the experience more insightful. So just pack your DSLRs and lenses and let us take you on a captivating journey to the Northeast.