Arunachal Pradesh India
Pradesh - Overview
A picturesque land tucked into the North Eastern tip of India, Arunachal
Pradesh greets you to relax in its beautiful hills and dales, to enjoy its
salubrious climate and to meet its simple and hospitable people. Whether you
are a simple holidayer or an adventure freak, Arunachal Pradesh will surely
mesmerize you with its centuries old spectacular vistas and diverse tribal
Area-wise, Arunachal Pradesh is the biggest state in the north-east region
and it spreads over an area of 83,743 sq.kms. Arunachal Pradesh is bordered
by the Indian states of Assam in the south and Nagaland in the south-east.
Bhutan lies to the west of the state, Myanmar lies to the west and the Line
of Actual Control separates it from the People's Republic of China to
the north. As per 2001 census, the state has a population of 1,091,117 and
main languages spoken by the people are Assamese, English and Hindi.
Itanagar is the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, other major cities are Along,
Daporijo, Tezu, Seppa, Pasighat and Naharlagun.
So, plan your next trip to India very soon, head towards the mysterious
land of Arunachal Pradesh and discover the interesting traditions of ancient
lifestyles, lived out against one of the most diversified ecological
settings of the country. With its verdant valleys, lofty mountain peaks,
shimmering rivers and some of India's rare and endangered flora and
fauna, Arunachal Pradesh offers plethora of attractions for you.
Arunachal Pradesh - History
Apart from the north-western parts of the state, little is known about the
history of Arunachal Pradesh. Although the Apatani tribe had some legendary
knowledge about the history of the region, but recorded history was only
available in the Ahom chronicles of the 16th century. According to historic
records of Monpa and Sherdukpen tribal, the northwestern parts of the state
came under the control of the Monpa kingdom of Monyul, between 500 B.C and
600 A.D. Arunachal came under the loose control of Tibet and Bhutan,
especially in the northern parts, while the remaining parts came under the
control of the Ahom and the Assamese until the accession of India by the
British in 1858.
During the Shimla Conference, in 1913-14, the British administrator, Sir
Henry McMahon, drew up the McMahon Line (550 mile), as the border between
British India and Tibet. After the Shimla Conference, for the first two
decades, the Survey of India did not show the McMahon Line as a border
between British India and Tibet. In 1937, the Survey of India published a
map showing it as the official boundary and in 1938 they published a map
showing Tawang as a part of Tibet. In the year 1944, the British established
their administrations from Dirang Dzong in the west to Walong in the east.
However, in late 1947, Tibet altered its position on the McMahon Line, the
Tibetan government wrote to the newly independent Indian Ministry of
External Affairs laying claims to Tibetan districts south of the McMahon
Line. In 1950, India unilaterally declared the McMahon Line to be the
boundary and forced the Tibetan administration out of the Tawang area in
1951 despite PRC's (People's Republic of China) protests. In 1954,
the NEFA (North East Frontier Agency) was created and the issue remained
quiet till the Sino-Indian War in 1962. During the 1962 war, the PRC
captured most of the NEFA, very soon China declared its victory and
voluntarily withdrew back to the McMahon Line and returned Indian prisoners
of war in 1963.
Pradesh - Tourist Destinations
Arunachal, literally meaning "the land of the rising sun", is
home to many picturesque townships, villages and hamlets. Consisting of 16
districts, Arunachal Pradesh offers everything that a tourist expects from
such type of wonderful destination.
is the state
capital, other important destinations are Tawang, Tezpur, Bomdila, Ziro,
Pasighat, Parasuram Kunda and Tezu. Apart from these, the tribal villages of
the state offer a dynamic insight into the fashioning of this enchanting
land and its lively people. So, don't forget to include the tribal
villages in your itinerary.
Arunachal Pradesh - Monasteries
From time immemorial, Arunachal Pradesh has been a major centre for
Buddhist Pilgrimage. All over the state, you will come across large number
of Buddhist monasteries. Tawang monastery is the most popular monastery of
Arunachal Pradesh which catches the attention of the visitors with its
magical background. The Taktsang Monastery or the 'Tiger's Den' is another
noted monastery which is located at a distance of 45 kms from Tawang. Some
other important monasteries are Urgelling Monastery at Tawang and the
Brahma dungchung Ani Gompa is one of the oldest Ani Gompa (nunneries) of
Arunachal Pradesh, situated 12 kms away from Tawang. The Gyanganga Ani Gompa
is just 5 kms away from the town and it is home to about 50 nuns. The
Singsur Ani Gompa was constructed by Gonpaste Rimpoche and is 28 kms away
from Tawang. The 12th century Gorsam Chorten at Zemithang is 92 kms away
Arunachal Pradesh - People & Culture
Nature has blessed the people of Arunachal with a deep sense of beauty
which finds wonderful expression in their songs, dances and crafts.
Arunachal Pradesh is a treasure-trove of ethnic diversity and old traditions
moulded by its geographic boundaries. Around 65% of the state population
belong to 20 major-collective tribes and 82 minor-tribes, most of them are
either of Tai-Burmese origin or of Tibetan origin. Notable tribes found in
Arunachal Pradesh include the Adis, Akas, Apatanis, Mijis, Monpas, Mishis
People of Arunachal Pradesh practice three kinds of religion. Monpas and
Sherdukpens in Kameng and Tawang district follow Lamaism of the Buddhist
faith, while the Khamptis in Lohit district follow Mahayana Buddhism. The
next group, Noctes and Wanchos in Tirap district, due to their long
association with the Assamese has converted into Hinduism. The third group,
comprising Adi, Abas, Apatanis, Nyishi, forms a majority of the total
population and worships the Donyi Polo (The Sun and Moon).
Arunachal Pradesh encompasses a tradition of artistic craftmanship
manifested through a variety of crafts such as weaving, painting, pottery,
wood carving, basket making, smithy work etc. Monpas are skilled weavers,
known for their artistry in carpet weaving and making painted wooden
vessels. Apatanis, Hills Miris and Adis are famous for making attractive
articles in cane and bamboos. Wanchos are known for wood and bamboo carved
figurines and also for intricate necklaces of colourful beads.
Arunachal Pradesh - Fairs and Festivals
Pradesh abounds with numerous fairs and festivals throughout the year. Fairs
and Festivals are an essential part of socio-cultural life of the state
people and they are linked with various religions. Most of the festivals of
Arunachal Pradesh are connected with agriculture and are celebrated with
ritualistic gaiety either to thank God for his providence or to pray for
good harvest. The festivals celebrated by the people of the state reflect
the culture, their artistic genius and skill in music and dance. Some of the
popular festival of the state include Losar Festival, Torgya Festival, Saka
Dawa, Dupka Tse-Shi, Lhabab Duechen, Ganden Ngamchoe, Nyukom Yullow, Mopin,
Solun, Reh, Oriah and Dree.
According to Monpa calendar, the Losar festival is the beginning of the New
Year, the 15-day festival usually falls in January/February. The Torgya
festival is a 3-day affair, it signifies the destruction of evil spirit and
seeks the happiness amongst the people. The Saka Dawa festival is celebrated
in the 4th month of the lunar calendar and it marks the Lord Buddha's
achievement of Nirvana. Mopin is an agricultural festival of the Galos
group, celebrated every year on 5th April. Solun is a colourful festival
celebrated by the Adi-Minyong group. Dree is the main festival of the
Apatanis and is celebrated on 5th of July.
Arunachal Pradesh - Adventure
Arunachal Pradesh is bestowed with lush green forests, several streams,
rivers, gorges and thousand of species of flora and fauna covering an area
of more than 60%. Kameng, Subansiri, Lohit, Siang and Tirap are five major
rivers of the state that wind their way through the sylvan green of the
hills. Rivers of Arunachal Pradesh are ideal for adventure sports like
angling, boating and rafting.
On the other hand, its terrain is suitable for trekking, hiking and
holidaying amidst a serene atmosphere. Arunachal Pradesh government has
identified four major trekking routes namely -
Pashighat-Jenggin-Yinkiong, Bhalukpung-Bomdila-Tawang, Roing-Mayodia-Anini
and Tezy-Hayliang. The upper reaches of the state offer an ideal landscape
for adventure sports of almost all kinds and it is best suited for tourists
looking for plenty of adventure opportunities.
Arunachal Pradesh - Wildlife
Due to huge variation in altitude and climatic conditions, Arunachal
Pradesh boasts of four type of forests that provide shelter to a range of
flora and fauna. In fact, Arunachal Pradesh is the only state which is home
to four major cats namely Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and the lesser feline
species like the Golden Cat and the Marbled Cat. You can spot more than 500
avian species in Arunachal Pradesh, many of which are highly endangered and
restricted only to this state. Some of the popular bird species which you
can see here include White Winged Duck, Sclater Mongal Bangal Florian etc.
Apart from these, you will also see seven species of Primates that include
Takin, which is found only in Arunachal Pradesh. A large mammal called 'Mithun'
(a cross between the Wild Gaur and Domestic Buffalo) is a major attraction
of Arunachal Pradesh. Each district and region of Arunachal Pradesh has its
own special and rare variety of orchid. Arunachal Pradesh also houses one of
the biggest orchidarium (located in Tipi) in Asia. One of the most
significant wildlife sanctuaries in India, Namdapha Wildlife Sanctuary in
Arunachal Pradesh is home to a fabulous range of endangered flora, fauna and
Arunachal Pradesh - Shopping
Any trip to Arunachal Pradesh is incomplete without doing some shopping.
Arunachal Pradesh is known for some of the most brilliant carpets and shawls
in the north east, skillfully weaved by the Monpas. You can buy these
hand-woven wonders in the Bomdila and Tawang craft centres. The Apatanis are
famous for their weaving, you can pick their shawls and jackets which make
great souvenirs to take home. Arunachal Pradesh is also known for its
colourful masks, leather goods and agarbatti (incense sticks). You can also
purchase Tangkha paintings, a lovely religious art-form that make for
wonderful gifts for friends and family members.
Arunachal's climate varies with the elevation. The climate varies from
hot and humid in the lower altitude to heavy rainfall in the Shivalik range.
It become cold as one moves northwards to higher altitudes. Summers are not
very hot, temperature ranges from 25oC to 35oC. Winters are cold, the
temperature remains between 1oC to 15oC. Arunachal Pradesh observes heavy
rainfall, average rainfall recorded is 3,300 cms.
Best Time to Visit
Best Time to visit Arunachal Pradesh is October to May.
Arunachal Pradesh - Transportation
Nearest airport is located at Lilabari (North
Lakhimpur) in Assam, at a distance of 60 kms from Itanagar. Flights of
Alliance Air connect Guwahati with Lilabari airport. Frequent bus services
are available from Lilabari to Itanagar.
Helicopter Services :
Arunachal Pradesh Helicopter Service
operates daily helicopters between Guwahati and Naharlagun. Helicopter
services are also available for other centres within Arunachal Pradesh.
Services are available from Guwahati, Dibrugarh and Itanagar to Tawang,
Ziro, Along, Deporijo, Pasighat, Roing, Anini, Tezu and Khonsa.
Harmuty (33 kms) in Assam is the nearest
railhead from Itanagar. Arunachal Express connects Harmuty with Guwahati.
Another convenient railhead is North Lakhimpur in Assam which is 60 kms away
from Itanagar and 407 kms from Guwahati. For onward journey, bus services
are available from Harmuty and North Lakhimpur to Itanagar.
National Highway No. 52 connects Itanagar with
Guwahati (429 kms). Direct buses to Itanagar are available from Guwahati,
the journey time is about 11 hours. Direct buses to Itanagar are also
available from Shillong (482 kms), Tezpur and other destinations in Assam
such as Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Tinsukia. Within Arunachal Pradesh, buses
operate between various places at a regular interval.