Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is the Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains, also known as the Orchid State of India. Geographically, it is the largest among the North-east Indian states known as the Seven Sister States. The state holds the north-eastern position in India. The state is mostly covered by the Himalayas. The land is mostly mountainous with the Himalayas running north-south. These divide the state into five river valleys: the Kameng, the Subansiri, the Siang, the Lohit and the Tirap. All these are fed by snow from the Himalayas and countless rivers and rivulets. The mightiest of these rivers is Siang, called the Tsangpo in Tibet, which becomes the Brahmaputra after it is joined by the Dibang and the Lohit in the plains of Assam. The mountain slopes and hills are covered with alpine, temperate, and subtropical forests of dwarf rhododendron, oak, pine, maple, fir, and juniper; sal and teak are the main economically valuable species. Arunachal Pradesh borders the states of Assam and Nagaland to the south and shares international borders with Bhutan in the west, Burma in the east and China in the north. Itanagar is the capital of the state.

Tha major languages spoken here are Nyishi, Adi, Apatani, Bengali, Nepali (94,919), Hindi, Monpa, Assamese, Wancho, Tangsa, Mishmi, Mishing, Nocte and Others (64,711). An uncertain but relatively large percentage of Arunachal’s population are nature worshippers (indigenous religions), and follow their own distinct traditional institutions like the Nyedar Namlo by the Nyishi, the Rangfrah by the Tangsa & Nocte, Medar Melo by the Apatani, the Kargu Gamgi by the Galo and Donyi-Polo Dere by the Adi under the umbrella of the indigenous religion the Donyi-Polo. A small number of Arunachali people have traditionally identified as Hindus. Tibetan Buddhism predominates in the districts of Tawang, West Kameng, and isolated regions adjacent to Tibet. While the other religions contribute the minority. This is a land of tribal groups like Nishi, Mishmi, Mompa,  Khamti, etc. The land has not yet tasted the effects of complete urbanization. Though it is a land blessed with varied resources, the economy of Arunachal Pradesh has still not attained self-sufficiency. The economy in Arunachal Pradesh depends on agriculture, timber trade and forestry. The climate of Arunachal Pradesh varies with elevation. Areas that are at a very high elevation in the Upper Himalaya close to the Tibetan border have an alpine or tundra climate. Below the Upper Himalayas are the Middle Himalayas, where people experience a temperate climate. Areas at the sub-Himalayan and sea-level elevation generally experience humid, sub-tropical climate with hot summers and mild winters.

History: Neolithic tools found in Arunachal Pradesh indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least eleven thousand years. According to the Arunachal Pradesh government, the Hindu texts Kalika Purana and Mahabharata mention the region as the Prabhu Mountains of the Puranas, and where sage Parashuram washed away sins, the sage Vyasa meditated, King Bhishmaka founded his kingdom, and Lord Krishna married his consort Rukmini.

Northwestern parts of this area came under the control of the Monpa kingdom of Monyul, which flourished between 500 B.C. and 600 A.D. This region then came under the loose control of Tibet and Bhutan, especially in the Northern areas. The remaining parts of the state, especially those bordering Myanmar, were under the control of the Sutiya Kings until the Ahom-Sutiya battle in the 16th century. The Ahoms held the areas until the annexation of India by the British in 1858. However, most Arunachali tribes remained in practice largely autonomous up until Indian independence and the formalisation of indigenous administration in 1947.

In 1913–1914 representatives of China, Tibet and Britain met in India ending with the Simla Accord. However, the Chinese representatives refused the territory negotiation. This treaty’s objective was to define the borders between Inner and Outer Tibet as well as between Outer Tibet and British India. British administrator, Sir Henry McMahon, drew up the 550 miles (890 km) McMahon Line as the border between British India and Outer Tibet during the Simla Conference. The Tibetan and British representatives at the conference agreed to the line and Tibet ceded Tawang and other Tibetan areas to the British Empire. In November 1950, with the PRC poised to take over Tibet, India unilaterally declared that the McMahon Line is the boundary—and, in 1951, forced the last remnants of Tibetan administration out of the Tawang area. The PRC has never recognised the McMahon Line and claims Tawang on behalf of Tibetans. The NEFA (North-East Frontier Agency) was created in 1955. The issue was quiet for nearly a decade, a period of cordial Sino-Indian relations, but the re-emergence of the issue was a major cause of the Sino-Indian War of 1962. NEFA was renamed as Arunachal Pradesh by Late Sri Bibhabasu Das Shastri, then the director of research, on 20 January 1972 and it became a Union Territory. Arunachal Pradesh became a state on 20 February 1987.

Permits: Special permits called Inner Line Permits (ILP) are required to enter Arunachal Pradesh through any of its checkgates on the border with Assam. ILP can either be obtained online or manually from Arunachal Pradesh House in New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, North Lakhimpur & Jorhat.

*(All the above information are from Wikipedia.)

Transport:

Airport: Itanagar Airport, a Greenfield project serving Itanagar is being planned at Holongi. While the other nearest airport for travel to Arunachal Pradesh is Lilabari(North Lakhimpur) Tezpur Airport in Assam.

Rail: It has the first railway line from Harmuti on the main Rangpara North-Murkongselak railway line to Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh. However, the nearest convenient railhead is North Lakhimpur in Assam, 50 km from Naharlagun & 60 km from Itanagar. For other important places, the nearest railway stations are Silapathar for Along, Tinsukia for Tezu, Ruksin (Murkong Selek) for Pasighat, Balipara for Bomdila / Tawang and Margherita for Namdapha.

Road: Arunachal Pradesh has two highways: National Highway 52, which connects Jonai with Dirak, and another highway, which connects Tezpur in Assam with Tawang. Every village is connected by interstate roads. All places are connected to Assam. Interstate services are available from major towns of Arunachal Pradesh to various destinations in Meghalaya, Assam and Nagaland. The state-owned Arunachal Pradesh State transport services and many operators ply these routes. Guwahati is at a distance of around 381 km from Itanagar. Distances of some important places in Arunachal Pradesh from Itanagar are Malinithan, 162 km; Bomdila, 360 km; Dirang, 403 km; Parasuram Kund, 795 km; Namdapha, 640 km; Ziro, 168 km; Pasighat, 280 km; and Along, 335 km.

Local: Every small town has its own bus station and daily bus services are available.

Tourist Interest:

Arunachal Pradesh tourism has been segregated on the basis of circuits:

  • TEZPUR-BHALUKPONG-BOMDILA-TAWANG TOURIST CIRCUIT

  • ITANAGAR-ZIRO-DAPORIJO-ALONG-PASIGHAT TOURIST CIRCUIT

  • TINSUKIA-TEZU-HAYULIYANG TOURIST CIRCUIT

  • MARGHERITA-MIAO-NAMDAPHA TOURIST CIRCUIT

  • ROING – MAYUDIA – ANINI TOURIST CIRCUIT

  • PASIGHAT – JENGGING – YINGKIONG TOURIST CIRCUIT
    TEZPUR- SEIJOSA (PAKHUI)-BHALUKPONG-TIPI-TEZPUR TOURIST CIRCUIT

ILP are available on the basis of the circuits, that are to be visited.

TEZPUR-BHALUKPONG-BOMDILA-TAWANG TOURIST CIRCUIT:

Bhalukpong: The Orchidarium in Tipi, 5 km from here houses more than 300 species of rare and endangered Orchids. Sessa located 24 km from Tipi, is a sanctuary home for over 2600 orchids of 80 different species, nurtured and cultured in their natural environment. The scenic beauty of the place with its evergreen forest and the swift flowing Kameng is a nature lover’s paradise. The river offers an opportunity for white water rafting and angling.

Bomdila: The Bomdila monastery picturesquely located in the verdant greens of pines. The other places of interest are the Ethnographic museum, the crafts centre. Bomdila provides an excellent view of Kangto and Gorichen, the highest peaks of the state.

Dirang: Hot Water Spring, Dirang Dzong, Apple and Kiwi Orchards, National Yak research and breeding centre and the Nuranang Waterfalls at Jung are the primary attraction here.

Sela Pass: The world’s second highest motorable road running along the Paradise/ Sela Lake.

Jaswant Garh: A memorial raised to pay homage to the martyr Jaswant Singh, who hold the invading Chinese for 72 hours, alone, before lying down as a martyr.

Tawang: Nestling in the lap of the Himalayas at 11,500 feet above sea level lies Tawang – the beautiful land of the Monpas. A picturesque canvas of mesmerizing natural grandeur, it fills one’s mind with spiritual bliss. With its cascading waterfalls and glistening snow-white peaks, Tawang brings you closer to Mother Nature. The places of interest are Tawan Monastery, War Memorial, P.T.TSO lake, Sangetser Lake, the 700 year old Gorsham Chorten, the Nuranang fall, Gontse Garden Rabgayaling, Singsar Ani Gompa(a nunnery still being used by the Nuns), a Craft Centres producing very fine woolen carpet and masks in a burst of colors and myriad of designs.

My Journey.

ITANAGAR-ZIRO-DAPORIJO-ALONG-PASIGHAT TOURIST CIRCUIT:

Itanagar: The state capital derives its name from the Itafort. The fort is built of bricks of the bygone era, of King Ramchandra of Mayapur, belonging to Jitari Dynasty. Gaekar Saenyik (Ganga Lake), Museum, University, Polo Centre are among the other attraction.

Ziro: Ziro is a beautiful plateau with the Talley Valley offering a picturesque location among the green paddy cultivated on the terraced hills.

Daporijo: Menga Cave is a Hindu pilgrimage dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Likabali: The Malinithan is the remain of the relic and the ruins of ancient temples. It is believed that on the way to Dwarka from Bhismaknagar, Krishna & Rukmini rested here and Goddess Parvati offered them the choicest flower during their stay.

Along: The Patum Bridge over river Yomgo, the local museum and the Donyi-Polo Dere are other places of tourist attraction.

Pasighat: Pasighat is situated on the bank of river Siang called the Brahmaputra in Assam and Tsangpo in Tibet. Dr.D.Ering Wildlife Sanctuary, at Pasighat, is the home of a host of wild animals like the wild buffaloes, tigers, sambar deer, Honger, Hispid Hore, Bengal florican, Raptors, and migratory water birds and wild ducks.

River Siang: Spot for angling and river rafting.

TINSUKIA-TEZU-HAYULIYANG TOURIST CIRCUIT:

Parasuramkund: It was here that Parasuram washed away his sins of matricide, as recorded in the Kalika Purana. Also known as the Brahmakund, it is a place of pilgrimage for the Hindus.

Walong: It is a War Memorial erected in memory of the jawans and officers who sacrificed their lives at Walong, during the Chinese aggression in 1962.

Dong: Dong Valley is the first place where the Sun sets his eyes on India every day. The valley is located on the tri-junction of India, China and Myanmar borders. A short, 8 km trek from Walong is all it takes to the reach the Dong village, known as the easternmost inhabited place in India.

My Journey.

MARGHERITA-MIAO-NAMDAPHA TOURIST CIRCUIT:

Namdhapa National Park: It is home for the tiger, the leopard, the snow leopard and the clouded leopard. Bison, Sambars, the barking deer’s, a large variety of snakes and the dancing butterflies are the other species seen in the park.

ROING – MAYUDIA – ANINI TOURIST CIRCUIT:

Mayudia: It is situated at an altitude of about 7000 ft. amidst lofty hills, lush green forests and breathtaking landscapes.

Bhismaknagar: It is the oldest archaeological site in Arunachal Pradesh. A magnificent ‘Hill Fort’ made of burnt bricks lies mute spectator to the vagaries of time.

The other places of attraction here are Hinli, Chimri Fort or Rukmini Nati, Mehao Lake, Sally.

PASIGHAT – JENGGING – YINGKIONG TOURIST CIRCUIT:

Dr. Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary: It is a rich habitat for many unique plants, birds and wild animals. The Sanctuary is home also to a variety of animals like the Hog deer, Hispid, Hare, Bengal Floricans, Raptors and a host of migratory water birds.

Mouling National Park: It is home to some of the rarest wild animals such as Takin, Serow, Goral, Clouded Leopard, Black Bear, Leopard, and Red Panda etc. During winter, a large number of migratory birds can also be seen in this park.

Kekar Monying (Black Rock): It is one of the important memorials of the state erected in memory of Adis who fought against the British at this site on 4th December 1911 and who died a heroic death.

The other places here are Komsing, Sirki Waterfalls and Anchal Ghat.

TEZPUR- SEIJOSA (PAKHUI)-BHALUKPONG-TIPI-TEZPUR TOURIST CIRCUIT:

This circuit takes us to the Pakhui Wild Life Sanctuary, one of the largest sanctuaries of Arunachal Pradesh located in the East Kameng district with Divisional headquarter at Seijosa. The Seijosa is a small but beautiful village located on the bank of the river Pakhni (Pakke). The Wildlife sanctuary spreads over an area of 861.95 sq km, declared now as Project Tiger Reserve (Pakke Tiger Reserve). Some of the major wildlife species found in the sanctuary are Tigers, Elephants, Bison, Gaur, Sambar, Barking deer, Leopard, and Hornbills.

Tour Planner:

This tour planner is made on the basis of the location of the destinations. One can make changes as per their interest, convenience and accessibility and duration of the trip.

TEZPUR-BHALUKPONG-BOMDILA-TAWANG TOURIST CIRCUIT: Entering this circuit through Tezpur, the road trip with night halts at desired location may take 4 to 6 days of time.

Hotels: Circuit House, Tourist Lodge, Hotel La, Hotel Sweet, Inspection Bungalow, Hotel Nichu, Hotel Shangrila.

ITANAGAR-ZIRO-DAPORIJO-ALONG-PASIGHAT TOURIST CIRCUIT: Entering the circuit through North Lakhimpur or Banderdewa the trip will take 3 to 4 days to cover all the attractions.

Hotels: Circuit House, Field Hostel, Hotel Donyi Polo Ashok, Hotel Itafort, Hotel Bomdila, Hotel Arunachal, Hotel Subansiri, Hotel Simang, Hotel Chandni, Blue Pine Hotel etc.

TINSUKIA-TEZU-HAYULIYANG TOURIST CIRCUIT: Entering this circuit through Tinsukia, the trip will take 2 to 3 days to cover all the destinations.

Hotels: Circuit House Tezu/ Other Hotels.

MARGHERITA-MIAO-NAMDAPHA TOURIST CIRCUIT: Entering this circuit through Dibrugarh, the trip will take 2 to 3 days to see the attraction.

Hotels: Inspection Bunglow, Tourist Lodge, Circuit House.

ROING – MAYUDIA – ANINI TOURIST CIRCUIT: Entering this circuit either through Tinsukia or Dibrugarh, it will take 2 to 3 days to cover all the major attractions.

Hotels: Circuit House Roing, Inspection Bunglow Sunpura.

PASIGHAT – JENGGING – YINGKIONG TOURIST CIRCUIT: Entering this circuit through Dibrugarh, the trip may require 3 to 4 days to complete.

Hotels: Circuit House and other hotels.

TEZPUR- SEIJOSA (PAKHUI)-BHALUKPONG-TIPI-TEZPUR TOURIST CIRCUIT: Entering through Tezpur, this will require 2 to 3 days.

Hotels: Forest Inspection Bungalow.

While there are multiple other accommodations in every circuit.

All the above information are a summary of personal experience and some gathered from various websites.

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