Popularly known as the ‘Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains’, or the ‘Orchid State of India’, a visit to Arunachal Pradesh is sure to leave you spellbound! The state happens to be the largest of the Seven Sister States.
Recently, history was created, when the first commercial flight landed at Pasighat Airport. The airstrip at the Pasighat Airport was laid down around 66 years ago, which for the first time, received a commercial flight. It was an Air Alliance ATR, carrying a motley group of passengers, including the state Chief Minister Pema Khandu.
The Alliance Air flight will operate thrice-a-week, on the Kolkata-Guwahati-Pasighat circuit. Well with commercial flights becoming operational, it is time you visited this beautiful region for a memorable getaway.
A Union Territory till 1972, Arunachal Pradesh became a state only on 20th February 1987. At its highest peak, the topography rises to 7,000 metres. Little wonder then, that the state is home to some of the highest peaks in this region of the Himalayas, like the main Gorichen peak, and the Eastern Gorichen Peak.
There is a network of river valleys that dissect the landscape, and an abundance of lush, green forest cover. A true natural paradise, Arunachal Pradesh has interesting places to see.
Being such a picturesque location, it seems to be the ideal place for a music festival. The Ziro Festival is held each year in the Ziro valley in the state. So book your flight tickets, and head to Arunachal Pradesh to experience these five spots.
The spot where your flight will land, Pasighat, is the oldest town in the state. Located on the banks of the Siang river, Pasighat is 155 metres above sea level and is the capital of the East Siang District.
Pasighat is a paradise for nature lovers.
The massive Brahmaputra flows to this place from Tibet, and the Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary is located here, spread over an area of 190 square kilometres. Travel around 60 km from Pasighat, and you will reach Pangin, the point where the river Siyom meets the river Siang. The meeting point of the two rivers is stunning, due to the colour differences between the two river bodies, and the presence of rare plants and herbs.
Pasighat also houses a Buddhist temple, located near the airstrip, which is of historical importance, as excavators have found pieces of evidence of past cultures from early medieval periods.
This gorgeous district is home to placid lakes and a 400-year old monastery-one of the oldest and largest in India. During winter, Tawang frequently experiences heavy snowfall, and the Sela Pass that rises steeply is often covered with snow year-round.
Do spend time at the Jang waterfall, and visit the handicrafts centre that promotes small-scale local industries.
The journey to Tawang might be arduous, due to the loose tarmac and gravel, but once you get there, the journey will be worth it.
Visiting Tawang district requires a special Inner Line Permit. Get yours from the government, available in Kolkata, Guwahati, Tezpur and New Delhi. The road to Tawang is long and dotted with many local food options. Dig into momos and cream buns while the cold air nips your cheeks.
This charming district headquarters was founded recently, in 1948. The term ‘Roing’ means ‘cool and refreshing’, and this spectacular location is located in the Lower Dibang Valley.
Lose yourself in the perfect natural beauty, and sink into peace and solitude, thanks to the multitude of serene lakes and breathtaking waterfalls.
Roing is a favourite amongst archaeologists, thrill seekers, adventure junkies and nature lovers.
Near Roing is the Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary.
It is a 282 square kilometre expanse of lush greenery, home to a variety of wild animals, including the Bengal tiger, the leopard and the extremely elusive clouded leopard. An interesting fact about the sanctuary is that it is home to Hoolock gibbons, the sole ape species in India, aside from us humans!
This beautiful little village is an undiscovered gem, a small town in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. Hidden away in the state, Dirang is a fascinating place, with the combined influence of Buddhism and Bhutanese culture.
Dirang is usually a stopover for tourists heading to Tawang, yet by itself, it is a fabulous natural beauty.
Just a little outside town, you will find a hot water spring–considered to be a holy place. Rich in sulphur, the spring is known for its medicinal properties. Take a dip and rejuvenate yourself!
For those who wish to explore the region’s wildlife, the National Research Centre on Yaks is located above the main town. The centre, which has a yak farm, also conducts research, to improve the health of the yak population. Go for a long walk along the banks of the river Kameng, where this beautiful little village is located.
Aalo, formerly known as Along:-
This is the place to be if you want an adrenaline rush. Located near the Assam border, the Aalo valley is picturesque and looks serene, but don’t let the quiet fool you! The area is a hotbed of adventure sports. River rafting and trekking opportunities are in abundance here, so test your limits but be careful while doing so!
Along is also home to the Kane Wildlife Sanctuary–an amazing spot if you want a glimpse of wild elephants and deer.
Aalo hosts many festivals, like the Mopin festival and the Yomgo River Festival.
These are celebrated to promote tourism, while making the world aware of the indigenous culture and unique tradition, of the region, via handlooms and handicrafts.
Trek and hike in the high mountains, at various difficulty levels, and steer your raft, while negotiating with the furious white waters of the Siyom river. Venture beyond the known, into unexplored trails, and spend a night camping in the forest!
Arunachal Pradesh is indeed a hidden gem. Well, now that the state airport will be receiving commercial flights, hop onto one, and explore the storied beauty of this region yourself!
Featured Image Credit: Suresh Prabhu (Twitter)
Edited By:- Shruti Singhal.