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Fast Facts
Location : Arunachal Pradesh
Attractions : Itafort, Buddhist Monastery, Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Museum and Ganga Lake.
Best Time To Visit : Round the year

Introducing Itanagar
Buddhist Monastery, ItanagaItanagar the capital of the north-eastern India state of Arunachal Pradesh is situated at the foothills of Himalayas at a height of 350 mts above sea level. Open to tourists recently in 1998, Itanagar is known for its incredible and incomparable natural beauty. Also known as the 'Land of the Dawnlit Mountains', the hill resort of Itanagar draws tourists from far and wide. Sprawling over 2,500 acres area, Itanagar is bestowed with beautiful and tranquil surroundings and offers a pleasant climate.

Actually Itanagar is the twin towns, Naharlagun the older town and Itanagar the official capital. Both these twin-towns are 10 kms apart and present a very picturesque aspect and a find blend of the 'old' and the 'modern'. Administratively Itanagar comes under Papum Pare district, and has been the capital of Arunachal since 20th April 1974. Like other places of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar is also dominated by tribal groups, the Nishis or Nishings are the major tribe in Itanagar area. You will find the great influence of Tibetan culture on the lifestyle of people of Itanagar. On the whole, it is not possible to describe the beauty of Itanagar in words, better you visit the hilly town and explore its hidden jewells on your own.
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How to Reach Itanagar
By Air : Nearest airport is located at Tezpur in Assam, at a distance of 225 kms. Another airport is located at Lilabari (Assam) at a distance of 71 kms.

Helicopter Sevices : Arunachal Pradesh Helicopter Service operate regular helicopter services between Guwahati and Naharlagun on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday. Helicopter services are also available from other destinations of Arunachal Pradesh to Itanagar. Pawan Hasn Helicopters has three flights a week between Itanagar and Guwahati.

By Train : Nearest railway station is located 32 kms away at Harmuti in Assam. North Lakhimpur in Assam, 60 km from Itanagar is another convenient railhead.

By Bus : National Highway No 52 connects Itanagar with Assam. Direct buses are available from Guwahati (429 kms) to Itanagar. Buses are also available from Banderdewa, North Lakhimpur (Assam) and Tezpur (Assam).

Places Where You Can Stay
Plenty of accommodation options are available in Itanagar. Donyi Polo Ashok (C - Sector) and Arun Sabansiri (Zero Point, Tinali) are two popular hotels in Itanagar. Other hotels are Hotel Itafort, Hotel Bomdila, Hotel Arunachal, Hotel Simang, Hotel Chandni, 1 Blue Pine Hotel etc. You may also stay at Circuit House.

Tourist Attractions in Itanagar
Itafort : One of the major attractions of Itanagar, Itafort was built in between 14 to 15 centuries A.D. Itanagar derives its name from this historic fort.

Buddhist Temple : Consecrated by the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist Temple is a lovely yellow roofed shrine that reflects the extensive Tibetan influence. From the temple you will get a breathtaking view of Itanagar and the beautiful countryside.

Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Museum : A well preserved museum, Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Museum provides a kaleidoscope of the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Here you can see wood carvings, musical instruments, handicrafts, textiles and archeological discoveries. The museum has a workshop in the Handicrafts Centre that specializes in traditional cane manufacture and also a library section. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, closed on Mondays.

Ganga Lake : Just 6 kms away from Itanagar, the legendary Ganga Lake (Gyakar Sinyi) is a beautiful picnic spot. A lush green forest lake flanked by primeval vegetation, orchids masses on tall trees, tree ferns provides a fine taste of the rich forests of the state.
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Tourist Attractions Around ItanagarBuddhist Temple
Tezpur : Situated on the banks of Brahmputra river, Tezpur is gateway town to the Arunachal hills. Bhalukpon, 58 kms northeast of Tezpur is known for its hot springs, orchid centre and the Nyethidwo festival celebrated in the month of March. Tipi is famous for its orchidarium which houses 7,500 varieties of native orchids and its cutflower experiments.

Bomdila : The district headquarters of West Kameng, Bomdila is a beautiful place and boasts of apple orchards, lush green forests and thrilling trekking trails. At Bomdila there are a number of picturesque gompas (monasteries) and the craft centre that has wide range of hand-woven carpets, woven by the local Monpa tribe.

Dibang : Close to Bomdila, Dibang is popular for its beautiful gompas and colourful Kalchakra celebrations. Visit the yak breeding centre, enjoy a dip in the enervating waters of the hot spring situated amidst verdant surroundings.

Tawang : Tawang is accessible by car from Itanagar and you certainly enjoy the dramatic drive through charming alpine country. The lofty road to Tawang passes through the dragon gates located at the awesome heights of the great Sela Pass (13,714 ft). Jawanthgarh Memorial, Tawang War Memorial, Tawang Monastery and Urgelling Monastery are major attractions of Tawang.

Ziro : Situated at a distance of 220 kms from Itanagar, the Picturesque destination of Ziro is surrounded by pine mantled hills. Visit Tarin, the high-altitude fish farm, the famous whispering pine grove and the craft centre. Make a point to visit, Apatan a tribal home. The Apatanis are considered the most developed and intriguing of Arunachal's tribal people.

Pasighat : Pasighat is Arunachal's oldest town and also the district headquarters of East Siang. Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary is 13 kms away and it deserves a visit. Pasighat is also an ideal destination for adventure sports.

Namdapha Wildlife Sanctuary : Namdapha Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most unusual and an important wildlife sanctuary in India. With its rich bio-diversity, Namdapha provides shelter to a wide range of endangered flora, fauna and avian life. Here you may spot the all four great cats namely - snow leopard, the clouded leopard, the leopard and the tiger. Namdapha Sanctuary is also home to the endangered hoolock gibbon, red panda, takin and capped langur.

Shopping in Itanagar
Itanagar is a shopper's paradise and an ideal place for those who are looking for traditional handicraft items. Some of the famous handicrafts of Itanagar include bamboo crafts, cane and wood crafts. While you shop in Itanagar pick up the shawls, coasts, carpets, bags and sashes, these items are made from wool and cotton. Don't forget to check out the Tibetan Buddhist paintings or the thankas. Besides, the Monpas are highly skilled in weaving and making some of the fabulous carpets, you can pick these up in the Bomdila and Tawang craft centres.

Important Guidlines for Tourists
Before visiting the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh you have to fulfill some formalities. All foreign tourists require a Restricted Area Permit before visiting Arunachal Pradesh. The permit allows a visitor to stay in Arunachal Pradesh for a maximum period of ten days. You may obtain the permit from an Indian embassy abroad or office of the ministry of home affairs, govt of India, New Delhi or foreigner's regional registration offices at New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, or Home Commissioner, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar. Indian tourists need an Inner Line Permit, that can be issued by the office of resident / deputy resident commissioner, liaison office in New Delhi.

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