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Tourist places in Arunachal Pradesh

Discussion in 'Arunachal Pradesh' started by VinduGhadia, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. VinduGhadia

    VinduGhadia New Member

    I am interested in going to Arunachal Pradesh but I would first like to know about the tourist places in Arunachal Pradesh. I think it would only be worth going if there are things to see there, otherwise, there is not much point.
    I would also be able to plan the trip well and know how many days should be spent there and if need be create an itinerary.

    So members please list the tourist places in Arunachal Pradesh

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi, welcome to the forum!


    The land where the sun first rises... The home of over 100 tribes... The land where monasteries and mountain views unite... Have any clue yet of which part of India this is? It's none other than Arunachal Pradesh, one of the seven sister states of Northeast India. While Arunachal Pradesh boasts of all these beautiful features and more, it remains one of the lesser explored states in the country. Perhaps this has to do with its location, a bit isolated close to the borders with Bhutan, China and Myanmar. Plus, travellers also need an Inner Line Permit (Indians) or Restricted Area Permit (Foreigners) to enter the state from its borders with Nagaland and Assam. But all these efforts are worth it, because the whole state is so pristine, from the environment, to the cultures and even up to the traditions.

    Tourist Places in Arunachal Pradesh

    Some cities to explore...

    1. Itanagar - We begin the list with Itanagar, the bustling capital of Arunachal Pradesh. For those coming in from the neighbouring state of Assam, Itanagar is easily accessible from there. However, road conditions are pretty average, though you'd pass through beautiful stream crossings and lush jungles. Despite being the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar is quite different from other metro cities. Life here is slow paced, greenery is still abundant and there are only a few modern amenities, though they are expanding and increasing as of the time being. As such, there's not much chaos and you get to view the more modern aspect of the state when you visit Itanagar. The picturesque Ganga Lake is a popular attraction of the city, a serene water reservoir, filled with rain water from the hills and forests that surround it. Though the approach to reach the lake, hilly and rough terrains, can be very challenging, the beauty of the lake makes up for all of it. Plus, you can enjoy boating in the lake, or even strolling around its pebbled paths. Ita Fort, built during the 14th century by Jitri King Ramachandra, literally meaning the Fort of Bricks, is another must visit attraction here. The fort is mostly in ruins, but you can still view a side of the wall with its bricked facade. There's also the Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum, showcasing the culture of the tribes of the region. Artefacts like dwellings, textiles, weaponries, handicrafts and even housewares can be viewed inside the museum. So before you venture into the tribal regions of Arunachal Pradesh, you can get a brief overview of the tribal beliefs and culture from this museum. And finally, don't forget to visit the Buddhist Gompa of Itanagar. This fairly new structure, almost 26 years old, has a bright yellow roof that contrasts with the green surroundings. It has a Tibetan style of architecture and features a good view of the valleys because of its location upon a hillock.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Ganga Lake, Ita Fort, Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum and Buddhist Gompa
    2. Tawang - Tawang is perhaps the most popular tourist destination in Arunachal Pradesh. A number of Buddhist monasteries and lakes line the city, but the most popular attraction here is the Sela Pass. This pass is usually a day trip away from Tawang, where you'd cover the nearby Sela Lake as well. Though the distance of the pass isn't too far from Tawang, the roads are too treacherous that it requires careful and slow driving. But if you'd like to enjoy snow, this pass usually has snow-covered landscapes all-year round. Further, the lake en route to it is also very picturesque, pristine as any lake can be, it remains covered in ice during winter though. In the city proper, Tawang Monastery is a famed attraction, being the second largest monastery complex in the world. The monastery has a white facade with bright yellow roofs, while the interiors are very elaborate. The main hall has many paintings, depicting the life of the Lord Buddha. It also has its own museum, where ancient artefacts made of gold, bronze and other kinds of materials can be found. Truly the pride of Tawang, the monastery is set upon a huge expanse of land, where you can enjoy the clash of Tibetan and Indian cultures. Other monasteries that one can visit around Tawang are the Urguelling Monastery and Taktsang Monastery. The Tawang War Memorial is also a must visit, a memorial dedicated to the brave Indian soldiers who died during the Indo-China War of 1962. The names of the soldiers who died for the war are all engraved in the memorial stone and there's usually a daily light and sound show that one can watch here to learn more about the history of the war. Equally important is the Jaswant Garh, a memorial dedicated to Jaswant Singh, the man who singlehandedly fought the Chinese soldiers at the last phase of the Indo-China War of 1962. Finally, an excursion that one can make is to the Bum La, also known as Bum Pass, where you can also visit the enchanting Madhuri Lake en route.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Sela Pass, Sela Lake, Tawang Monastery, Urguelling Monastery, Taktsang Monastery, Tawang War Memorial, Jaswant Garh, Bum La and Madhuri Lake
    Tawang Monastery (Image from Shikhar Travels)

    A bit of history and religion...

    3. Mechuka - Mechuka is a small village close to the border of India with China, located in the northern part of Arunachal Pradesh. Mechuka has only been regarded as a tourist destination in recent times. Blessed with natural beauty, as the Siom River flows within the region, the undulating views of the valleys, Mechuka is as picture perfect as a postcard. Add to that, the 400-year old monastery, the Samten Yongcha Monastery is also located here. In fact, Mechuka was put on the tourist map because of this attraction. Because Mechuka is located right at the foothills of the Himalayas, this provides for the perfect backdrop of the monastery. Think of it as a less touristy version of the Tawang Monastery, with the usual Tibetan flair, such as colourful exterior flags and sloping roofs. The collection of ancient masks and statues are also worth exploring. It is located upon a hillock too so it has amazing views of the distant peaks. The Mechuka Lake is another attraction of the village, a high-altitude lake with serene blue water, though it requires a bit of a safari to reach. You can even trek to reach the lake though this activity is not for the faint-hearted individuals. All around Mechuka, you can find numerous streams and waterfalls that can tickle your nature fancy. Cross one of the bamboo bridges too, experience being a local transporting your goods from one place to the other. All these experiences can make for an unforgettable trip when in Mechuka.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Samten Yongcha Monastery and Mechuka Lake
    4. Bomdila - Bomdila is passed through en route to Tawang and sometimes missed by a traveller because it is not often advertised as a tourist destination. Bomdila is a small village, with only a few tourist infrastructures since it was just recently that the region was known for tourism. Life here is a bit laid-back but you can definitely enjoy the experience of interacting with the locals, since staying here means staying in a local guest house. The Bomdila Monastery, established in the middle of the 19th century, is the prime attraction of the region. Though the monastery is just a small one, it exudes serenity and tranquility. The monastery has a white facade, with accents of gold and brown. You can also witness young monks here playing or studying, which can be very interesting to watch. The Bomdila View Point is also located just nearby the monastery. Here, there are several view points where you can clearly enjoy the view of the nearby valleys and distant Himalayan peaks. About 10 kilometres away from Bomdila is the Chilipam Monastery, en route to Rupa. This monastery is located upon a hillock too, set upon a vast expanse of land, and over three storeys high. The monastery has bright yellow roofs and typical Tibetan architecture. There are other monasteries around Bomdila, aptly named Upper Gompa, Middle Gompa and Lower Gompa, according to their locations, that one can explore.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Bomdila Monastery, Bomdila View Point, Chilipam Monastery, Upper Gompa, Middle Gompa and Lower Gompa
    Chilipam Monastery (Image from Chalo Arunachal)

    Of wildlife and nature getaways...

    5. Ziro - Ziro Valley is known as the home of the Apatani tribes, which is one of the numerous tribes in the state. What sets them apart is their use of sustainable farming, as well as the famous nose ring of the women in their tribe. Ultimately, Ziro Valley has been gaining worldwide attention because of the mentioned tribe and of course, the Ziro Music Festival. While some purely reach the valley to get to know more about the tribe or join the fun festival, not many travellers venture to explore the vast wildlife and natural beauty of the region. The Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is a sure nature and wildlife getaway that would delight the adventure seeker. Enveloped in lush forest coverings of pine and fir trees, interspersed within are numerous streams too, this wildlife sanctuary has numerous trails that one can undertake in. A variety of orchids, rhododendrons and plants also lend their hues to make the sanctuary even more enticing. Animals like clouded leopards, tigers, golden cats, Asiatic black bears and pangolins reside here too. You can also trek to reach the Kile Pakho, a hillock from where one can view the Ziro Valley on one side and Himalayan ranges on the other side. Other trails around Ziro that you can take are in the Dolo Mando, Ziro Puto, Pine Grove Forests and Midey. You can even trek to reach the ancient shivalinga, once a part of the Siddheshwar Nath Temple, located upon a hillock. And finally, approachable only by off-road vehicles, the Tarin Fish Farm is another must visit here. The fish farm is unique in itself, as it is located at a high altitude, wherein two types of rice and one type of fish are cultivated together.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Kile Pakho, Dolo Mando, Ziro Puto, Pine Grove Forests, Midey, Former Siddheshwar Nath Temple and Tarin Fish Farm
    Ziro Valley (Image from Gauraang Pradhan)

    6. Changlang - Near the border of Arunachal Pradesh with Myanmar is the district and town of Changlang. It is here that one can gain access to the evergreen rainforest sanctuary of the Namdapha National Park. Yes, you don't need to reach the Amazon just to experience the thrill of exploring rainforests because Arunachal Pradesh boasts of its very own rainforest. A biodiversity hotspot, the national park is still yet to be exploited by commercialism. In fact, it's hard to get into the core area of the national park since the safaris are usually at the buffer zones. But the truth is, the flora of the national park is enough to keep you captivated. You may constantly spot butterflies and even hear birds chirping from a distance, but spotting large animals like leopards, tigers, Asiatic black bears and wolves can be harder. If every you visit the national park during winter, spotting migratory bird species can be easy though. You can also venture into the nearby village of Miao, where you can enjoy nature trailing in its pristine forests. This is also the place of Tibetan settlements where you can buy a few woollen carpets, supposed to be the best of its kind in the region, for souvenirs.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Namdapha National Park and Miao Forests
    Where tribes dominate...

    7. Tezu - Tezu is a little known tourist destination in Arunachal Pradesh. The main tribe residing in the region is the Mishmi, subdivided into three more classifications, namely: the Idu tribe, the Digaro tribe and the Miju tribe. The Mishmi tribe originated from Myanmar, before migrating to the northeastern region of India, particularly in the Lohit River area of Arunachal Pradesh. You can find the Mishmi tribe and sub-tribes in most areas in Tezu and around it. What sets this tribe apart from the other tribes is their prized value for silver, much more than any other mineral. Silver ornaments are usually seen in the elders of the tribe, which showcases just how well travelled and important the member of the tribe is. Aside from this, the Mishmi tribe celebrates festivals with such fervour, one of which is the Reh Festival, which is specifically celebrated by the Idu tribe. During this festival, men and women dress in their best attires, tribal music is played all around and there's a feast of delicious food which all the members of the tribe share with one another. Another unique aspect of the tribe? Well, they grow opium, not for resale or anything, but mainly for their own use. Thus, you would be able to see the pink poppy fields admits all the other crops that they grow. This is mainly because opium smoking is integral to the culture of the tribal members.
    • Tribe - Mishmi (Idu, Digaro and Miju)
    • Related Thread - n/a
    8. Daporijo - Next is Daporijo, a village in the central part of Arunachal Pradesh. On the village and its outskirts, you would find the Tagin tribe. This tribe is believed to have originated from Tibet, in contrast with the Myanmar originated tribes of Tezu. They are also sun and moon worshippers, the religion is also known as Donyi Polo. The Tagin tribe, especially the menfolk, were once vicious hunters, killing not only animals, but even unknowing men who wandered off in the region during ancient times. Thankfully, this practice is not done anymore so you can enjoy a visit to the tribal regions. Though not all members of the tribe wear their traditional one-piece clothing anymore, they have held on to other old-world practices such as smoking in a pipe, sustainable living and farming. They also celebrate festivals with such fun and enthusiasm, like the Si Donyi Festival. This festival, celebrated during the month of February, is a harvest festival, dedicated to the the Gods of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Aside from music and food, the festival sees to it that an appropriate priest, called the nyibu, can officiate the festival.
    • Tribe - Tagin
    • Related Thread - n/a
    Tagin Tribe in Daporijo (Image from Linda De Volder)

    Some places for the offbeat travellers...

    9. Sangti - Sangti is a small hamlet located close to Dirang, on your way to Tawang from Bomdila. You can easily take a detour to reach Sangti before going to Tawang. Just a picture a lone hill station, surrounded by the Himalayan ranges, with hundreds of birds during winter season. Although not yet on a typical tourist circuit for travellers of Arunachal Pradesh, Sangti has been gaining attention now because it's definitely a haven for the bird watchers and nature lovers. En route to Sangti, you'd find cattle farms, with views of the animals grazing on lush grasses. The Sangti River flows amidst the valley too, which gives it a more charming appeal. Make sure you reach the region during the months of October to February, as these are the months when the migratory birds flock to the region. You should reach the marshy areas near the river, where you can spot migratory bird species though the black-necked cranes are the most commonly spotted ones, which migrate here from China. You can cross the bridge amidst the river as well to view the Fruit Orchards around the village, comprising mainly of apple, apricot, orange and kiwi fruits.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Sangti River (For Bird Watching) and Fruit Orchards
    • Related Thread - n/a
    Sangti (Image from Chalo Arunachal)

    10. Kibithu - Last on the list is one of the easternmost villages of India, Kibithu, located on the border of India with China. Interestingly, this area was also part of the Indo-China War of 1962, which is why it is still heavily guarded by the Indian army. Though the whole area has this heavy vibe to it, the surroundings are picturesque, filled with fruit orchards, stunning views of the mountains and streams of water all along. You can approach the Indian Army Camp, and view the nearby Chinese camp by climbing a hillock. If you're feeling very adventurous, you can climb the Foot Suspension Bridge of the river as well. It might be hard to look down, but make sure you do so, as this old rickety bridge has gaps in some places where you might fall if you don't look carefully. Though there's not much to do in Kibithu, you have that boasting power to say that you have reached one of the easternmost villages of India, right at its border with the disputed territory with China. Plus, you can give your regards to the brave soldiers who are stationed at this point of India, where facilities are very less, dangers are high and where they protect the country from possible attacks.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Indian Army Camp and Foot Suspension Bridge
    • Related Thread - n/a

    Scenic snow-capped mountain views, salubrious climate almost all-year round, unexplored terrains, all these can be found in Arunachal Pradesh. The hurdles of obtaining a permit and deciding on your transportation options are all worth the effort. Arunachal Pradesh has this blend of Indian, Tibetan and Tribal cultures, which makes it a unique destination itself. Truly, the land of the dawn lit mountains can mesmerise you and leave you wanting more! Enjoy and have fun on your trip in Arunachal Pradesh.