In Manipur State there is a broad valley plain called the Manipur Valley. This valley is about 792 metres above sea-level and is surrounded by high hills rising to 1,525 metres.
There is heavy rainfall of 250 cm above in this region. Imphal, the capital of Manipur State, being surrounded by hills, receives only 147.3 cm. of rainfall a year. Annual normal rainfall of Tripura State is 211.7 cm. Silchar, in the plains of Cachar district, receives 322.5 cm. of rainfall annually.
Owing to heavy rainfall, dense evergreen forests entangled with undergrowth cover most of the area. In Tripura State 55.2 per cent of the total area is under forest. In the north, area under forest is relatively small. Only 27.2 percent of the area of Manipur State and 55.9 percent of the area of Nagaland are under forests.
There is settled agriculture in Manipur Valley and Cachar district and in rest of area there is shifting agriculture. The soils are poor in nitrogen and phosphorus; yields of crops per unit area are low.
Rice is the leading crop everywhere. About 80 percent of the total cropped area in the Eastern Highlands excluding Nagaland, is under rice.
About 25.7 percent of its area was reported as net sown area in 1988-89. Rice is the leading crop.’ About four-fifths of the total cropped area is devoted to rice.
Only about 6.5 percent of the area of Manipur State is under cultivation. Nearly half of the area of the Manipur Valley is cultivated. The soil of the Valley is fertile. Rice is the main crop. Loktak Lake which extends its limits considerably the area one-thirteenth of the area of this state during the rainy season a source of fish for the people.
Most of the area of Mizoram being hilly and forested, very little land is under cultivation. Only percent of the total area of this state is classed as net area sown. Rice is the main crop though ginger, are also produced.
This region is deficient in mineral. Coal is mined at a few places in Nagaland and salt a Waikhong. Natural gas has been struck at a few places in Tripura. There are large reserves of gas in about 77 square km which is being utilized for generating electricity.
The spinning, weaving and dyeing are important cottage industries. Handlooms are installed by people in almost every house to weave cloth mainly for their own use. Bed covers made in Manipur State are famous throughout India.
The Loktak Lake hydro-Electric Power Project is located in Manipur State. Its barrage has been constructed across the Manipur near Ithai. The installed capacity of the project is 105 mw.
The electricity available from this project will give an impetus to the development of industries in Manipur and Nagaland states of this region.
The people of this region are leading a life of isolation and are tied to old traditions. They live in tiny villages nestled on thickly forested slopes and ridges. Bamboo is commonly used in the construction of their huts. People generally have broad Mongolian features.
In Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland, density of population in 2011 was 52, 122 and 119 persons per square km. respectively. Bulk of the population of Manipur State lives in Imphal and nearby district. Tripura had 350 persons per square km. in 2011. This state has registered 329.5 percent increase in population since 1951. The increase is mainly due to the influx of refugees from the erstwhile East Pakistan.
The Cachar district of Assam falling in this region is also densely people.