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Seven Sisters of India Explained in Details

India’s Northeast called the land of the seven sisters, and is a region which can be best described as a virgin, wild and untouched from the modernizations taking elsewhere in the world.

The Seven Sister States of India is a contiguous state of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Seven sister states are Located in the extreme northeast corner of the Indian.

'Land of the Seven Sisters' was coined to coincide with the inauguration of the new states in January 1972 by Jyoti Prasad Saikia, a journalist in Tripura, in the course of a radio talk show.

Sven sister is diverse biophysical region serene and enchanting natural scenes of lofty snow-clad Himalayan peaks, densely forested hills, valleys and plains, colorful orchids, flowers, butterflies, birds and other wildlife, crystal clear waters of rivers, lakes and waterfalls and life infusing fresh fragrant air are still present to cool the eyes and delight the soul, mind, and heart of nature lovers. Claim a region unexplored.

Seven sisters falls
Seven Sister Falls by Rishav999/CC BY-SA 3.0

Who are the Seven-Sister States?

Northeast India is commonly called the land of the ‘Seven Sisters’ of the present seven states, viz., Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura, the first five states were parts of undivided Assam from the viewpoint of administration, during the pre-Independence period of India.

They were subsequently constituted into individual states to fulfill the socio-political aspirations of the people inhabiting them. Manipur and Tripura, on the other hand, were princely states which became group c states after independence states.

In terms of Area, among the seven sister states Arunachal Pradesh is the largest state and Tripura smallest one. Amongst Northeast India, the smallest one is Sikkim (7,096 km2).

The list of seven sister states as followed-

  1. Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Assam
  3. Meghalaya
  4. Manipur
  5. Mizoram
  6. Nagaland
  7. Tripura
seven-sisters states map of India/Northeast India Map

Why Sikkim is not included in Seven Sisters?

Geographically, seven sister states are contiguous regions. Although Sikkim is part of Northeast India geographically Sikkim isn’t connected with the Seven Sister States.

Politically, North Eastern Council (NEC), constituted in 1971 as the acting agency for the development of the north-eastern states. Long after induction of NEC, Sikkim formed part of the North Eastern Region as the eighth state in 2002.

Due to Sikkim late induction to the Northeast Indian states family the other seven sisters states refer Sikkim as the Brother States.

Seven Sisters States Capital and Total Area

States Name

Capital

Area in Km2

Arunachal Pradesh

Itanagar

83,743

Assam

Dispur

78,438

Manipur

Imphal

22,327

Meghalaya

Shillong

22,430

Mizoram

Aizawl

21,081

Nagaland

Kohima

16,579

Tripura

Agartala

10,491


Ethnic Diversity of Seven Sisters States

Northeast India is considered to be one of the most diverse, culturally rich and environmentally rich regions of the country.

It is a land where multiple ethnicities reside; every ethnic community has a history and shares a cultural memory. There exist tensions among these communities and the conflict of space and identity is further intensified by immigrant forces and acculturation.

There are around 220 ethnic communities in the Northeast India alone and more than 220 dialects. The hills states in the region like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland are predominantly inhabited by native ethnic communities with a degree of diversity even within the ethnic groups.

The region's population results from ancient and continuous flows of migrations from Tibet, Indo-Gangetic India, the Himalayas, present Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Adivasi, Assamese, Bhutia, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Biate, Bodo, Chakma, Chhetri, Dimasa, Garo, Gurung, Hajong, Hmar, Hrankhwl, Jamatia , Karbi, Khasi, Khampti, Koch, Kom, Kuki, Paite, Vaiphei, Zou, Teddim, Simte, Gangte Lepcha, Lushai, Meitei, Mishing, Mizo, Poumai, Mao, Maram, Tangkhul, Anal, Monsang, Naga, Nepali, Noatia , Paite, Pnar, Purvottar Maithili, Rabha, Reang, Rongmei, Singpho, Sylheti, various Tibetan tribes, Tamang, Tiwa, Tripuri, Zeme Naga, Chorei and Limbu are different ethnic groups inhabiting the region.

Some Interesting Fact about Seven Sisters States

Arunachal Pradesh

  • Arunachal Pradesh is Largest of the seven sisters
  • Receives an average rainfall of above 3000 mm per year
  • Its climate ranges from subtropical in the south to Alpine in the north
  • The state is inhabited by 26 major tribes and over 100 sub-tribes
  • With only 13 persons per sq. km, it has the thinnest the population density in the country
  • Over 500 varieties of orchids are found here

Assam

  • India’s largest Shaktipeeth “Maa Kamakhya Temple”
  • World’s Largest River Island “Majuli”
  • India’s Widest River “Brahmaputra”
  • World’s biggest weaving village “Sualkuchi”
  • Asia’s oldest amphitheater “Ranghar, Sibsagar”
  • World’s highest one-horned rhino population “Kaziranga”
  • World’s largest tea-growing region “across the state”
  • India’s largest natural zoo “Assam State Zoo”
  • Asia’s oldest refinery and the birthplace of crude oil “Digboi”
  • India’s longest river bridge “Dhola–Sadiya Bridg”
  • India longest rail-cum-road bridge “Bogibeel”
  • World’s biggest weaving village “Sualkuchi”
  • Bird’s Suicidal Point “Jatinga”
  • Asia’s largest dry fish market “Jagiroad Dry Fish Market”
  • World hottest chili “Ghost pepper” or “Bhut Jolokia”

Nagaland

  • Home to the Hornbill Festival
  • 16 major tribes with myriads of small-scale tribes inhabit Nagaland
  • The Naga Shawl being symbolic of the social hierarchy
  • After Assam Nagaland is the land of the world’s hottest chili pepper here know as King Chilli

Meghalaya

  • Mawlynnong in Meghalaya is the cleanest village in Asia
  • English is the official language of Meghalaya
  • It is the only Indian states that follow the matrilineal system
  • The living tree root bridge only found in here
  • Mawsynram holds the world record for receiving highest rainfall on earth
  • Nohklaiaki fall is the highest plunge waterfall in India
  • Krem Liat Prah is India longest natural cave
  • Mawphlang sacred forest- people are not allowed to take away anything
  • Umngot river at Dawki village of Meghalaya is considered to be India's cleanest river and many more

Manipur

  • Manipur was a Princely state before 1956
  • The earlier name of Manipur was Kanglipak or Meeteilleipak
  • The origin of the game of Polo can be traced back to Manipur
  • During World War II, Manipur was the scene of many fierce battles between the Japanese invaders and the British Indian forces
  • Manipur is the home of only Floating National Park of the world

Mizoram

  • Mizoram has the most literate district in the country - Serchhip -as per the census 2011
  • The second most literate district of the country is also from Mizoram - Aizwal. The literacy rate of Mizoram in 2011 was 91.33 percent (2nd highest in the country)
  • About 91% of the state is forested. Mizoram is the largest producer of bamboo in India.
  • Mizoram faces a unique problem of rats called 'Rat Floods' due to a particular species of bamboo flowers, after which the population of rats increase tremendously, enough to destroy entire villages, farmlands and farm yields
  • Mizoram contains the highest concentration (95%) of tribal people among all states in India.
  • World’s largest family is in Mizoram. Ziona Chana (the head of the family has 39 wives, 94 children, 14-daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren. In total, 181 members till now and still counting

Tripura

  • Unakoti is famous for various Hindu deities etched on its rock
  • Neer Mahal is the only water place in Seven Sister
  • The smallest state in seven sisters
  • 3rd smallest amongst Indian states
  • Home of RD Burman and SD Burman know their contribution of music in Bollywood
  • Matabari temple is one the famous 51 Shaktipeeth temple in India almost 500 years old
  • Ujjayanta place known for its striking architecture build in 1901
  • The ancient architectural site of Pilak, Jolabari a civilization that flourished around 8-12th century

Importance of Seven Sisters States (Northeast India)

  • The Seven Sister (Northeast India) region of India occupies strategic geopolitical situation due to its international boundaries with Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Nepal.
  • Seven Sisters States (Northeast India) is full of hills, streams and rivers. The hills are covered with dense forests because of the heavy rainfall. In some places, the ridges rise one after another. The valleys are deep, narrow and steep-sided and the streams are deepening and cutting the valleys.
  • Seven Sisters (Northeast India) is strategically important. It has natural frontiers on three sides and a political boundary on the fourth. It has common frontiers with four political communities, China in the North, Bhutan in the West, Bangladesh in the East and Myanmar (formerly Burma) in the South. No other part of India occupies such a strategic position as the North East.
  • There are as many as 15 species of non-human primates and most important of them are hoolock gibbon, stumptied macafue, pigtailed macague, golden langurs, hanuman langur, rhesus monkey, one-horned rhinoceros and many more.
  • Seven Sisters (Northeast India) is a part of Indo-Burma hotspot. This hotspot is the second largest in the world, next only to the Mediterranean Basin, with an area 2,206,000 square kilometers (852,000 sq. mi) among the 25 identified.
  • 51 forest types are found in the region, broadly classified into six major types – tropical moist deciduous forests, tropical semi-evergreen forests, tropical wet evergreen forests, subtropical forests, temperate forests, and alpine forests.
  • India's North-eastern states, with their mountainous topography and perennial streams have the largest hydropower potential in all of India. Together, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura account for almost 40 percent of the total hydropower potential of the country.
  • Northeast India accounts for 10% of India’s total oil and gas production.

To study more about the Seven-Sisters of India some books recommendation given below. These books are also used as references for this article. So, I highly recommend you go through these books. For details click the book title.

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