Arunachal Pradesh Travel Guide
Arunachal Pradesh is a land of lush green forests, deep river valleys
and beautiful plateaus. The land is mostly mountainous with the Himalayan
range along the northern borders criss- crossed with a range running north-south.
On the eve of the new millennium newspapers carried reports of a small
and breathtakingly beautiful valley hidden in the hills. The reports said
that the valley of Dong, in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh, and not
Katchal of Andaman & Nicobar Islands was marked as the place to receive
the first rays of the millennium sun in mainland India. This fact, further
confirmed by scientists and Survey of India officials promoted a rush
of intrepid visitors to the remote spot, which was dubbed the Sunrise
Arunachal has 26 major tribes and many sub-tribes living in 3649 scattered
villages. Although a number of tribal groups constitue the total population,
the density of population is very less. People are Mangoloid stock but
each tribe has certain distinct characteristics in language, dress &
costume. They have a rich cultural heritage. The People are simple, friendly
and hospitable. Their colourful festivals are manifestations of their
faith and belief.
Festivals form an essential aspect of the socio-cultural life of the
people of the state. As a matter of fact, festivals are the mirror of
the people's culture. Since agriculture is the mainstay of the population
, naturally, the festivals celebrated by the people are closely connected
with their occupation. Such festivals are celebrated at a larger sale
for thanking the Gods for their providence and for saying a prayer a prayer
for a bumper crop. Throughout the year festivals are celebrated by some
tribe or the other. Some of the important festivals are Solung, Mopin,
Losar, Boori Boot, Dree, Nechi Dau, Khan, Kshyat-Sowai, Loku, Longte Yullo,
Mol, Nyokum, Ojiale, Reh, Sanken, Si-Donyi and Tamladu.
Aruachal Pradesh is home to many monuments and archaeological sites.
Which are acting as sources of inspiration for many Historians since long.
These places of worship and pilgrimages such as Parasuram kund, 400 years
old Tawang Monastery, Gorsam Chorten are drawing large numbers of pilgrims
every year. The archeological excavations like Milinithan, Itafort, Bhismak
Nagar, Vijayanagar and Nakshaprabhat etc. are historian's delight.
Perched atop a hill, overlooking the ridge and surrounded by thick clouds,
the legendry 17th century Tawang Monastery is the fountainhead of spiritual
life of the flowers of the Gelugpa sect of the Mahayana School of Buddhism.
The building is about 113 feet long and 80 feet wide and houses valuable
antiquities, book and manuscripts- hand written and printed.
There are four main tourist travel circuits namely:
Tezpur - Bhalukpong - Bomdila - Tawang
This Circuit starts from Tezpur in the plains of Assam and takes you
up to the seventeenth century Tawanag Monastery built on jutting spur
overlooking the wide Tawang valley at an altitude of 10,000 ft. The Sela
Pass en route through a high altitude Lake of simmering crystal blue.
Both sides of the lake are decked with miles of rhododendrons of various
hues. The monastery is a vast complex of 65 buildings housing Lamas and
antique scriptures written in gold letters. The route traverses through
Nuranang which offers snow and rainbow trout fishing. The Sela Pass enroute
runs through a high altitude lake of crystal blue water. Both sides of
the lake are decked with miles of rhodendrons of various hues. Another
important station along the route, consists of Tipi, a botanical station
housing 500 varieties of orchids which grow abundantly in different parts
of Arunachal Pradesh.
Places of Interest
Tawang Monastry, Orchid Sanctuary at Tipi, Buddhist Gompa, Hot Spring
at Dirang, scenic beauty, high waterfalls.
Tinsukia - Tezu - Hzyulyang
This circuit commences at Tinsukia, a road-rail head in Assam, leading
to Tezu, Roing, Parasuramkund and and Hayulyang in the Lohit district
of Arunachal Pradesh. Some 21 kms to the north-east of Tezu, the District
Headquarter, lies Parasuramkund where, according to the legend recorded
in the Kalika Purna, Parasuram washed away the sin of kiling his mother
in the waters of Brahma kund. On Makar Sankranti each year, a mela is
held at the kund where visitors wash away their sins. Roing is known for
the historical fort of Bhishmaknagar built with clay bricks and embellished
with pottery. The Bhishmaknagar Fort was first excavated in 1996-97 which
testifies to the penetration of the Aryan culture into Arunachal in the
4th century A.D.
Places of Interest
Parasuramkund Bhishmaknagar, Mayadia, Mehao lake, boating in Salley lake,
War memorial at Walong, Sunrise Village at Dong valley.
Margherita - Miao - Namdapha
This circuit begins at Margherita, a road-rail in Assam about 64 kms
away. Namdapha National Park is the only park in the world which covers
a range of altitudes of 200 to 4,500 metres. It is also the only park
where four of the cat felines are found : the tiger, the leopard, the
snow leopard and the clouded leopard.
Places of Interest
Namdapha National Park, Miao Mini Zoo, Tibetian camp where colourful wollen
carpets of various designs are produced.
Itanagar - Ziro - Daporijo - Along - Pasighat
This circuit Itanagar - Ziro - Daporijo - Along - Pasighat starts from
the State Capital Itanagar which has Geker Sinyi (Ganga lake), a beautiful
spot for picnic, outing and boating. The Jawaharlal Nehru Museum, The
Ita-Fort (ruins), Buddhist Temple etc enroute Ziro a hill station which
stands at 5754 ft enclosed by blue pine-clad rolling hills. At Daporijo,
the Menga cave (Temple) can give immense satisfaction to the believer
of Lord Shiva. The way to Along and Pasighat is of immense scenic beauty
with beautiful river banks. Most ideal locations are available for river
rafting, angling with splendid picnic spots.
Places of Interest
Itafort, Gekar Sinyi (natural lake), Talley Valley, Menga Cave, D'Ering
Wildlife Sanctuary, Mouling National Park.
In Arunachal Pradesh orchids occur naturally in diverse habitats. In the
rich tropical forests of the Tirap district, clusters of the beautiful blue
vanda (Vanda Coerulea) adorn the trees. Their large blue - violet blooms
are delicately veined. The bamboo orchid, Arundina Graminifolia, a pretty
evergreen species attractive pink - purple flowers is common in open sunny
areas near Tipi where an Orchid Research Centre boasts of a good collection
Species like Dendrobium Gibsonii with its clusters of beautifully formed
yellow flowers having centres of rich maroon and Dendrobium Nobile with
white and purple flowers can be seen on the trees in the forests along
the road from Tipi to Sessa. Sessa, 24 km from Tipi, has an Orchid Sanctuary
which abounds in a variety of species including the beautiful white Coelogyne
Nitida (which grows on moss covered rocks), the tree borne yellow, Cymbidium
Elegans and Dendrobium Chrysanthum (bright yellow flowers with two dark
reddish brown blotches in the centre) which present a magnificent sight
when in bloom.
Arunachal Pradesh is home to a very rich mammalian wildlife population
as the wide variety of altitudinal and climatic conditions have given
rise to different forest types which create corresponding natural shelter
, food etc. to varieties of wildlife. It has two National Parks and four
Wildlife Sanctuaries. It is home to many rare and highly endangered species
of Wild life like Mishmi, Takin, Hoolock Gibbon, Musk Deer, Bharal, Hisbid
Hare, Flying Squirrel and more than 500 species of birds.
Namdapha National Park amongst them has perhaps the widest diversity
of habitat of any of South Asia's protected areas. It is unique, with
it's elevation varying between 200 to 4500 mts. and has all four large
cats, the tiger, leopard, clouded leopard and snow leopard in addition
to lesser feline species like the Golden cat and marbled cat.
Seven species of primates i.e. Hoolock Gibbon, Slow loris, Assamese macaque,
Rhesus macaque, Pigtailed macaque, Stumptaile macaque and Capped langur
are found here.
All the three goat antelopes found in India i.e. Serow, Goral and Takin
are found here. Arunachal Pradesh is the only place in India where Takin
Among the large mammals, Mittan, which is a cross between the wild Gaur
and domestic cattle, buffalo and elephant are all found in the plains
and adjoining hills.
The other high altitude animals include Himalayan Black bear, Red panda
etc. The Musk deer is found in some areas of the state while the bharal
has been reported in the western part of the state.
Among the smaller mammals a large number of rodents(squirrels, porcupine
and rats), civet, mongoose, linsang, shrew and bat species are found here.
More than five hundred bird species have been recorded in Arunachal Pradesh,
many of which are highly endangered and restricted to this state , e.g.
White winged wood duck, sclater monal, temminck's tragopan, Bangal florican
etc. This state has the highest number of species of pheasants with some
ten species at different altitudinal levels. Arunachal Pradesh is equally
rich in reptiles, amphibia and pisces. Pythons and snakes of all colours
and descriptions are found in the forests all almost all the levels upto
the temperate zone.
The invertebrate faunal communities are found in the dense and evergreen
forests of Arunachal Pradesh. Numerous species of butterflies, moths,
beetles and all other kinds of small creatures make Arunachal Pradesh
a paradise for Entomologists and Naturalists.
Arunachal also has more than 500 rare species of Orchids.
| Name of Sanctuary/National Park
|| Divisional Hq.
|| Area in Sq. Kms.
|| Major animals
| WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES
Tiger, Gaur, Sambar Barking Deer, Binturong,
Leopard, four Hornbill species, Pea-cock-Pheasant,
Wild life Sanctuary
Barking Deer, Tiger, Leopard, Serow, Birds,
D. Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary
Hispid Hore, Bengal florican, Raptors, and
migratory water birds.
Gibbon, Tiger, Leopard, Red panda, Elephant,
Gibbon, Tiger,Leopard, Capped Langur, Red
Nest Wildlife Sanctuary
Tiger, Leopard, Sambar, Serow, Goral, Red
panda, Himalayan, Black bear.
Small Cats, Deer.
| NATIONAL PARKS
National Park (Tiger Project)
gibbon, Capped Langur, Red panda, Takin, Musk
deer, Tiger, Leopard, Snow-leopard, Clouded
leopard, rare birds, etc.
Serow, Goral, Clouded Leopard, Black bear,
Leopard, Red panda, Pheasants, etc.
of orchids, Red panda, pheasants, Serow, Goral,
deer, Serow, Takin, Goral, Black bear, Red
panda, Leopard, Monal Tragapan, Kalij and
other pheasants, rare birds.
Arts & Crafts
Arunachal Pradesh is a land of beautiful handicrafts comprising a wide
variety. Artistic craftmanship has been passed on from one generation
to the other and sense of aesthetics has been manifested through a variety
of crafts such as weaving, painting, pottery, smithy work, basket making
From the viewpoint of the art and culture the state may be very conveniently
divided into three zones. The first of these zones includes the Buddhist
tribe; the second occupies the central part (from east Kameng in the west
to Lohit in the east); and the third zone is the eastern part of the territory.
The people of the first zone make beautiful masks. They periodically
stage pantomimes and masked dances. Those of the second zone are expert
workers in cane and bamboo. The cane and bamboo industry of the state
has made a name for itself. The people of the third zone are famous for
their wooden carvings. The Monpa wood carver scoopes out beautiful cups,
dishes and fruit bowls and magnificent ceremonial masks for dances and
pantomimes. Weaving is the occupation of the womenfolk throughout the
territory. They have an excellent sense of colour. The designs are essentially
geometric varying from a formal arrangement to lines and bands. Items
that could make excellent buys are Sherdukpen shawls, Apatani jackets
and scarve, Adi skirts, jackets and bags, Mishmi shawls, blouses and jackets;
and Wancho bags. Crafting ornaments is another art widely practised by
the Arunachalis. Besides multicoloured beads, feathers of birds and wings
of the green beetles are also used as embellishments. The Akas make bamboo
bangles and earings which are occassionally decorated with pokerwork designs.
Paper making, smithy work, carpentry, pottery and ivory work aare the
other crafts practised by the Arunachalis.