Arunachal Pradesh - Magical & Mystical
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Passage to North East
ArrowArunachal Pradesh - Magical & Mystical
ArrowAssam - home of Brahmaputra
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Magical & Mystical Madhya Pradesh
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Rising from the tropically lush valleys of the Bramhaputra River the serried ridges and peaks of the Eastern Himalayas of Arunachal Pradesh stand vigilant over one of the most compelling holiday destinations in India. The remotest outpost of the northeast states Arunachal's mysterious unspoiled loveliness entices the adventurer with its verdant valleys, misty mountain peaks, swift rivers and the finest sanctuary for some of India's most endangered flora and fauna. Its very isolation due to Inner Line regulations, has been a blessing in disguise a Arunachal still retains intact its centuries old pristine vistas, tribal heritage and exotic vegetation and wildlife. An all year round destination diverse climatic and geographical features.

Strung out along the misty hill tops and deep valleys its picturesque townships and villages are the first in the land to be kissed by the rays of the morning sun giving Arunachal its unique position as literally "the land of the rising sun".

Living in isolated splendour this exciting, new holiday destination shares its remote borderlines with Burma, Bhutan and Chinese (Tibet). Plunging down from rugged peaks are emerald valleys fed by the intricate cobweb of rivers and stream that crisscross this vast land. The mighty Siang River (starting as the Tsangpo in the Mansaorovar in Tibet) fed by thousands of rivers and streams en route through Arunachal is the mighty Bramhaputra River of Assam. Other primary rivers are the Kameng, Subansiri, Lohit and the Tirap and their numerous tributaries, whose turbulent waters and lush regions, with their remote tribal villages, offer tourists limitless opportunities for white river rafting, angling, climbing, trekking and tribal tours.

The land of the dawnlit mountains, Itanagar, Arunachal's capital is also its biggest town. The Jawaharlal Nehru Museum has archaeological finds from Ita Fort to which you can trek up. Housed here is also an interesting collection of arts and crafts, jewellery, textiles, and a variety of tribal headgear, which gives you an insight into Arunachal's tribal culture. Open: Tue-Sun; 10 am - 5 pm. Try the local brew Apong, a rice beer that's drunk warm. You might stumble upon some of the Nyishi tribals who live around here. You'll recognize them by their massive knot of hair rolled into a bun over their forehead, In their headdress they wear feathers of the great hornbill, Arunachal's signature bird. Shop at the craft emporium for local mementos. Just 6 km away is the picturesque setting of Ganga Lake (Gekar Sinyi).

ltanagar doesn't have an airport. However, there are airports at Tezu, Pasighat, Along, Daporijo, Ziro and Lilabari, the nearest. Itanagar is connected by road to the other state capitals in the North East. The convenient railheads are Harmuty (33 km) and North Lakhimpur (60 km). It is best to visit from October to May.

Galo Tribes Dance Arunachal is home to 26 major indigenous tribes primarily migrants of Tibeto-Burman stock, who colonised vacant lands in the longitudinal valleys, from the north and the east. It was difficult for them to spread laterally across the land though skillfully crafted cane bridges helped access on the cobweb of turbulent rivers.

The state is a treasure-trove of ethnic diversity and ancient traditions moulded by its geographic setting. Living in the remotest part of the North East these simple, hospitable people are still moored to the traditional lifestyles. Its major Buddhist communities are located along the northern and eastern peri meters. These include the Monpas and Sherdukpens of Bomdila and Tawang in West Kameng and the Membas (Slang). They belong to the Mahayana stream of Buddhism.

The Monpas are skilled weavers, traders and agriculturists who also make indigenous hand-crafted paper from plants discovered amongst the deep jungles. The gentle Sherdukpens are reputed for their folk dances embellished by folk tales and religious themes. Their Yak dance, Deer dance, Ajilhamu dance and Eagle dance are mesmerising. The Khamtis, Singpos and Tangsas (Lohit and Tirap region) are said to have originally migrated from Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) and follow Hinayana Buddhist practices.

The Apatanis too are known for their weaving and their shawls and jackets make great souvenirs to take home. They also make hand-made paper from the bark of the Daphne Botanica plant found in their jungles. Arunachal is also famous for its colourful masks, agarbatti (joss sticks) and leather items. Tangkha paintings, a beautiful religious art-form whose primary subject is the Buddha, also make for lovely mementos for friends and family.

Arunachal's indigenous versions of archery (MIa Than), wrestling (Glam Nyurri), shot put (Pung Gor), discus throw (Lem Gor) and new games such as Lai and Thipi can be witnessed at the local festivals.

Losar Festival
The Losar Festival is the beginning of the New Year according to the Monpa calendar. This 15- day festival falls in January / February. Its highlights are the colourful Aji Lhamu dance, Lion and Peacock dance and the Yak dance.

Torgya Festival
The Torgya Festival is a 3-day affair. This important festival signifies the destruction of evil spirit and harmful forces and seeks the rule of prosperity and happiness amongst the people.

Saka Dawa
Losar Festival Celebrated in the 4th month of the lunar calendar, the Sake Dawa festival marks Gautam Buddha's achievement of Nirvana.

Dukpa Tse-Shi
The Dupka Tse-Shi Festival celebrates the preaching of the Four Nobel Truths at Sarnath by Buddha. It falls in the 6th month of the Lunar calendar.

Lhabab Duechen
In the 9th month of Monpa, the LhababDuechen, Festival signifies the reincarnation of Buddha as Shakyamuni.

Ganden Ngamchoe
Ganden Ngamchoe commemorates the death Of Tsongkha-pa, the founder of Gelugpa Sect.

Nyukom Yullow
Nyukom Festival of the Nyishis is celebrated on 26th February every year to propitiate the Gods for a good harvest.

Mopin is an agricultural festival of the Galos celebrated on 5th April. Mopin is synonymous with wealth and prosperity.

Solung is the colourful festival of the Adi-Minyong group. The festivities last for seven days and the villagers prepare rice beer and store plenty of meat and vegetables for the joyous occasion.

Reh is celebrated by the Idu Mishmis on 1st February. Mithun, buffaloes, pigs and fowls are sacrificed in the name of different Gods and Deities.

Oriah is an agricultural festival of the Wanchoos, celebrated on 16th February. Festivities last for four to six days and are marked with songs and dances.

Dree is the main festival of the Apatanis. It is celebrated on the 5th of July alter the planting of paddy.

Buddha Mahotsava
Brahmaputra Darshan
Festival ofArunachal

Getting There
By Air
Nearest airport Lilabari (North Lakhimpur) in Assam (60 km from Itanagar)
Alliance Air, Guwahati-Lilabari
Regular bus services are available from Lilabari to Itanagar. For Tawang-Bomdila-Tezpur, Lilabari is the nearest airport.

Helicopter Services
The Arunachal Pradesh Helicopter Service operates daily services between Guwahati and Naharlagun. Helicopter services have also been introduced now connecting many other centres within Arunachal Pradesh.

Services available are: Mainly originating from Guwahati, Dibrugarh (Mohanbari) and Itanagar, these services are available for Tawang, Ziro, Along, Daporijo, Pasighat, Roing, Anini, Tezu and Khonsa.

For operational details, please contact the nearest tourist infor-mation office/information office of Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh.

By Rail
Nearest railhead Harmuty in Assam (33 km from Itanagar).
Trains include Arunachal Express from Guwahati. A more convenient railhead is North Lakhimpur in Assam, 60 km from Itanagar, 407 km from Guwahati. It is also served by Arunachal Express.