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Arunachal Pradesh

Nature’s Treasure Trove

About Destination

Arunachal Pradesh appears as a giant patch of green on the country’s map. India’s wildest and least explored state. Rightly called the ‘Nature’s Treasure Trove’, Arunachal Pradesh has limitless beauty. There are a lot more tourist places in Arunachal Pradesh. The snow clad mountains and scenic valleys make the atmosphere serene. Water sports and trekking make you energetic. Exploring Arunachal's magnificent landscape and coastline tops the list for many. If adventure is your game, there's a long list of thrilling activities to get your blood racing. Or if it's a relaxing holiday you're after, hot pools, vineyards and cultural attractions will keep you entertained. Home to 26 indigenous tribes, Arunachal is perhaps the last sanctuary for India’s natural and anthropological heritage. Much of the state remains beyond tourism’s reach, but new areas are slowly being opened to visitors.


Country : India Capital : Itanagar
Capital's calling code : +91-360 Currency : Indian Rupee
Time Zone : GMT+5.30 hours Minimum Stay : 6 to 8 Days
Languages : Hindi, English and 90 other local languages
What to see : Hills, Heritage, Wildlife, Waterfalls, Pilgrimage, Tribes and Treks
Suited for : Adventure Seekers, Honeymoon Couple, Family Trips
Best Time to Visit : March to October. November to February is extremely cold.
Selfie Spots : Indo China Border, Pankang Teng Tso Lake, Dirang River Valley (The Bailey Trail), Bomdila Pass & Monastery, Nuranang waterfalls, Tawang Monastery, Sangti Valley, Sela Ridge, Tawang Chu Valley, Gompa
What to Pack : Swimsuits, towel, extra pair of clothing and sun tan lotion, comfortable sneakers


Explore

With Tibet to its north, Bhutan to its southwest and Sela range of West Kameng to its east, Tawang captivates you with its scenic beauty. It is located 10000 feet above Mean Sea Level. Tawang has beautiful lakes around it and you will love the view offered by the place. The 400-year-old Tawang monastery is not only one among the oldest but it is named one among the largest Indian monasteries. 

Famous for : Monasteries, Buddhism, Nature

Major Attractions : Sela Pass and Tawang Monastery

Roing is one of the most important tourist attractions in Arunachal Pradesh. It is located in Lower Dibang Valley. The picturesque beauty of the place attracts tourists from all parts of the world. Nature lovers, archeologists and adventure seekers will find the place engaging, educative and interesting. The place has many lakes and waterfalls and here you will find yourself at peace. A perfect place if you want to be in solitude. 

Famous for : Nature, Waterfalls, Adventure

Major Attractions : Mayudia and Bhismaknagar

Itanagar has various attractions to offer which include Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Ita Fort, The State Museum, Ganga Lake, Polo Park and a lot more. Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary is a sprawling sanctuary that houses various species including langur, antelopes, Himalayan black bear, porcupines, goral and many more (visit: Places To Visit In Itanagar). The gallery in State Museum has great collections that speak of the rich heritage of the tribes in the state. Ganga Lake offers scenic views with the green forests and orchids. Polo Park is a botanical garden and it soothes your mind.

Famous for : Heritage, Himalayan Ranges, Brahmaputra river

Major Attractions : Ita Fort and Ganga Lake

Nearby : Kaziranga National Park

Ziro is famously known as Apatani Plateau. Declared as a World Heritage Site, Ziro offers some of the best attractions in Arunachal Pradesh. While you are here, ensure that you visit Talley Valley, fish farm and Wild Life Sanctuary. Pine Bamboo groves found here look enchanting.

Famous for : Hills, Nature, Orchards, Serenity

Major Attractions : Paddy cultivation and Tipi Orchid Research Centre

Looking around the beauty of Arunachal Pradesh and lost in its tranquility, if you seek a change, this is where you need to be. Bhalukpong keeps your body and mind engaged. The options are many if you seek adventure. You could go hiking, trekking and river rafting. The hills that surround Bhalukpong offer you great opportunity to go trekking. Once you are here, do visit The Kaziranga National Park and Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary.

Famous for : Hills, Orchids, Rivers

Major Attractions : Sessa Orchid Sanctuary, Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary


Experiences

There are a number of trekking routes in Arunachal Pradesh, the most challenging and adventurous trek here is the Tawang Chu Trek via Jong and Mago. Travellers looking forward to high altitude trekking routes can go for Kangto Trek and Gorichen Peak Trek. Some fascinating trekking routes are: - Se La Peak Trek, Bomdila - Daimara Trek via Ramlingam and Chakku, Bomdila - Tawang Trek, Bomdila Seppa Trek, Along - Machuka Trek, Pasighat - Mariang Trek, Daporijo - Along Trek, Daporijo - Taksing Trek and Pasighat - Tuting Trek. Starting from Jong, one can trek to Mago passing through a breathtaking jungle where one can see some superb waterfalls.

Tip : Being at a high altitude the path sometimes gets covered with snow during winter and there can also be unexpected showers in Tawang so make sure you are well informed about the weather conditions before you set for the activity as even little rain can spoil your adventure.

For the travellers who are not sport enthusiasts, they can take pleasure in activities like boating. Ganga Lake in Itanagar, Sally Lake and Siom River in Pasighat are the ideal spots to unwind and rejuvenate yourself. Do not forget to carry your handy cam so that you can capture amazing views of the aquatic life in the waters, lush green forests, mountain terrains and beautiful gorges. You can hire a local guide who will be ready to take you around at reasonable charges.

Angling & Fishing in Arunachal Pradesh India offers lots of opportunities for angling and fishing lovers where Siang, Dibang, Subansiri and Yamne Rivers are the ideal spots for this leisure activity. To your delight, you can find the famous Indian fish Mahseer, Golden and Brown Trout, Boka (Katli), Sal, Korang and Gorua in Bhorali River. However, Anglers should dutifully release the catch, especially the Golden Mahseer which is an endangered species. Boleng is the most popular fishing spot for anglers with Fish in the narrow gorges, rocky riverbeds and high tides-you will not return disappointed. You can hire fishing equipments like net, bait etc from the local shops nearby or even arrange it from the guide who will be taking you around for the activity. Angling in allows you to go into an untraveled territory in a very special part of the, where tracts of unspoiled wilderness stretch for hundreds of kilometers and human presence  is scarce and sustainable.

Go rafting on the mighty Brahmaputra River and its tributaries- Lohit and Subansari. You can enjoy the thrilling rapids while rafting on the Siang Lake which is even called the Upper Brahmaputra region. Rafters can also traverse through the narrow valleys of Ninnguin and Marmong and enjoy splendid views of abundant greens surrounding them. For the travellers experiencing rafting for the first time, it is best advised not to step in waters without a trained guide. The rafting camps by the river will provide you with the necessary equipments and skilled guides for your rafting expedition. The best time to go rafting in Arunachal Pradesh is in months between November and March. However, monsoons should be best avoided because of the strong currents prevailing in the rivers. Make sure you carry your swimsuits, towel, extra pair of clothing and sun tan lotion. Other interesting river rafting routes include Kameng (Seppa- Bhalukpung), Subansiri (Taliha- North of Daporijo) and Dibang (Anini- Assam Border).

Arunachal Pradesh is the perfect destination for wildlife enthusiasts as there are several naturally well endowed sanctuaries as well as national parks. Some of the notable one are: Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary, Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Kane Wildlife Sanctuary, Mouling National Park, Dr,D.Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary, Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, Dihang-Debang Biosphere Reserve and Namdapha Wildlife Sanctuary. The wildlife of Arunachal is so varied that you will spot creatures which you normally won’t see in other parts of the country. You can see animals like Red Panda, Himalayan Black Bear and Goral etc. For bird enthusiasts, the list includes exotic and dazzling species like White Winged Wood Duck, Bengal Florican, Temmincks Tragopan, Mishmi Wren and Sclater’s Monal etc. The rare and endangered species of wildlife thrive in the seven wildlife sanctuaries and two national parks within the state.


Get to know About

There are more than 80 Mongoloid and Tibeto-Burmese tribes and sub-tribes and they have their own language, customs, clothes and headgears! Major tribes include Adis, Apatanis, Daflas, Monpas, Mishmis, Wangchu, Noktey, Akas, Nishis and Sherdukpens. The culture of Arunachal Pradesh is truly varied in the sense that the state has 26 major tribes including sub-tribes. Every tribe has their own unique set of traditions and customs. Arunachal’s cultural lifestyle is dominated by colourful festivals. Since agriculture is the mainstay here so people generally celebrate festivals as a mark of thanksgiving to the Almighty for giving them a good harvest. These festivals also showcase the artistic skills of the various tribes. To experience the cultural festivals of the state, one should visit Ziro district which is very popular for festivities.

The classical dance form of kuchipudi is native to a small town near Vijaywada. It incorporates elements of myths and the Hindu religion and is performed to Telugu music and Sanskrit chants. 

Tribal dances, as everywhere else, are filled with grace and rhythm. The most well known is the dhimsa of the colourful Lambadi tribe. The Veernatyam captures the energy of an enraged Shiva, the Destroyer God in the Hindu divine trinity. Performed with vigour by the Veermusti community who believe they are his descendents, the dance expresses Shiva’s rage against his wife, Sati. Butta Bommalu is performance by masked dancers. The vivid masks are made of dry grass, wood husk and cow dung. 

The puppet theatre ‘Tholubommalata’ is a dramatic presentation of episodes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

If you are a summer loving traveller and prefer to carry less clothes then summers is the perfect time to visit Arunachal Pradesh. It makes an ideal summer vacation for family, honeymooners and even for solo travellers. Despite the fact that, the journey may be quite tiresome and sweaty due to hot weather.  Although summer happens to be an offseason you can visit refreshing local sites like amazing wildlife reserves, beautiful waterfalls, holistic temples and monasteries and more. During Monsoon, it is advice not to visit Arunachal Pradesh during this season due to heavy showers and landslides. Winter season would be an ideal time as the weather is comfortable and it is the perfect season to go for sightseeing expedition.

Seasons Months Temperature
Summers April to June 20°c - 35°c
Monsoon July to Sep 18°c - 29°c
Winter Oct to March 8°c - 15°c

Arunachal Pradesh is mainly inhabited by tribal people and thus features a rich tribal gastronomy. As you move toward the eastern side of Arunachal people are dependent on bamboo and other leafy vegetables which are strictly boiled. Fried food is not very popular as people like to eat either boiled or smoked food. As you move toward the town of Tawang and places closer to the country of Tibet you’ll notice that dairy products are more in use. The people closer to the city are more dependent on the normal day to day products. The cuisine here is nutritious and healthy and can the food cooked by the tribal people make extensive use of herbs and fresh indigenous spices. The staple food is rice along with fish, meat, green vegetables and herbs. They love fermented soy beans, fermented meat and fish, bamboo shoots, phoi hom (indigenous scented spice leaves) and pickles.  Lettuce is the most common and preferred vegetable of all, prepared by boiling it with ginger, coriander and green chillies and pinch of salt. Boiled rice cakes wrapped in leaves is a famous snack.

The traditional Monpa cuisine is the most popular in Arunachal Pradesh. Thukpa is a traditional dish common among Monpa tribe. It involves a generous use of chilly and fermented cheese. The smooth and soothing butter tea is their traditional beverage. The mouth watering delicacies include Momos, Zan, Khura, Thukpa, Gyapa-Khazi. Other dishes that you can try out are Khatzi, Pua, Kyola, Kharang.Bak-Tza Margu.  Apong or rice beer made from fermented rice or millet is a popular beverage in Arunachal Pradesh, as an alcoholic drink. There are different varieties of rice beer with different flavours. 

A land of rich cultural heritage, Arunachal Pradesh is a shoppers’ paradise as the state offers a diverse shopping experience to its visitors. The markets of Pasighat and Itanagar are the main destinations for shopping in Arunachal Pradesh. 

The Arunachal Pradesh State Government Emporia offer a range of decorative items and souvenirs reflecting a culture rich in cane and bamboo handicrafts, wood carvings and woven carpets. Traditional wood carvings depicting male and female figures, mother and child or hunters are common. Masks made of papier mache or wood are other favourite items among tourists. 

While shopping in Arunachal Pradesh don’t forget to buy bead ornaments and woven grass necklaces, as they are unique to the region. They are made by the Wangcho women of the Tirap district. They also make acrylic and cotton bags. Products of utility include cane murhas (stools), bamboo headgear and carry bags apart from other furniture. Besides these, each of the 30 large tribes of Arunachal Pradesh have their own handloom designs, which is evident in their skirts (Gale), shirts (Galuk) and Mishmi cotton shawls. Do look out for Monpa wood dishes, Sherdukpen shawls, Apatani Jackets, scarves and Adi skirts as well. The most beautiful souvenir to carry back home though would be the richly-coloured Thangkas of various Buddhist deities, adorning the monasteries and Lhagangs or family chapels of Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal Pradesh has a lot of handicraft items which are exquisite and rare to find. During your tour to Arunachal, you will be left with a wide range of choices. Crafts such as weaving, painting, pottery, smith work, basketry, woodcarving, cane & bamboo work, carpet making etc. are found among the people of Arunachal Pradesh. Popular purchases include ornaments made of silver or gold, bamboo bangles crafted by Akas and decorated with beads, beautiful dishes, cups and fruit bowls carved from wood, exotic masks similar to the real faces, weaved clothing items and locally made carpets by the women of Monpas tribe.

By Air : There are no flight services to Arunachal Pradesh. The nearest airport to Itanagar is Lilabari (North Lakhimpur) Tezpur Airport in Assam (226 km away from Kolkata) which receives flights from Guwahati.Few low cost airlines and full service carriers operate regular flights to these airports from all prime cities of India. Both airports are well connected to Itanagar and Naharlugan cities in Arunachal Pradesh by taxis and buses.

 

By Rail : The nearest railhead is Harmuty, which is only 33 km from Itanagar. But the most convenient disembarkation point is North Lakhimpur, which is 60km distance from Itanagar. The Arunachal Pradesh Express serves Harmuty. Super fast and fast passenger trains will bring you to North Lakhimpur from Guwahati (Assam). Guwahati is extremely well connected to the rest of India. Taxis and buses link both railway stations to Itanagar.

 

By Road : There is excellent network of roads links Naharlagun with other important places like Shillong, Guwahati, Ziro, North Lakhimpur and Bomdila. You can drive into Itanagar and Naharlugan from neighbouring Assam and Meghalaya and expect a mix of reasonably good motorways and ill-maintained tracks. Tezpur (Assam) also has a direct and frequented road to the tourist spots of Bomdila and Tawang. This is hill country and a roller coaster ride. It’s a good idea to rent a 4WD with a chauffeur as self driving is difficult in this region; also stopover and breakdown infrastructure is negligible. .