The Northeast is best explored intensively rather than extensively, and best taken in smaller bits, so to speak. I’d like to suggest Sikkim to you. A week is not enough to do the state justice, but we’ll work with that. Fly into Bagdogra and take the road to Rumtek, a journey of nearly 130km, which will take almost five hours. Stop there for a night and visit the Rumtek Monastery. Known as the Dharmachakra Centre, the monastery is an important seat of learning. With the mighty Kanchenjunga as backdrop, it is a fascinating place.
Proceed to Gangtok next, 23km away. Devote the rest of the day and the next to see the city. Also make a day trip to the high-altitude lake of Tsongmo and to Nathu La, the furthermost point on the Indo-Chinese border. For Nathu La, contact a local travel agent a day before to organise your taxi and permits. After three nights in Gangtok, drive to Pelling, where two days will cover the wonderful Pemayangtse Monastery, the Rabdentse Ruins and other sights such as Rimbi and Kanchenjunga Falls. You must also visit the Khecheopalri Monastery and the sacred ‘wish-fulfilling’ Khecheopalri Lake, about 30km (2 hours) from Pelling. Drive to Bagdogra to fly back to Delhi.
For accommodation, in Rumtek, try the Mustard Seed Farmstay (from ₹ 2,000 plus taxes) or Superview Waterfall Homestay (from ₹ 1,800). In Gangtok, check out The Shire (from ₹ 2,000) and Mintokling (from ₹ 3,000). In Pelling, see Yangthang Dzimkha Resorts (from ₹ 4,000) and Hotel Phamrong (from ₹ 3,500 plus taxes).