Arunachal Pradesh - The Land of Dawn Lit Mountains

If you want to experience a calm environment, amazing sights which can control your breath, sky hugging mountains, serene early morning rays of the Sun touching your face and brightening your eyes, wonderful fresh green sheet spread all over then, Arunachal Pradesh is the place for you.

Arunachal Pradesh lies in the North-East part of India. The word Arunachal Pradesh means the “land of dawn-lit mountains” in Sanskrit and its literal meaning is ”land of Rising Sun” in reference to its position. The Pradesh is also called the “Paradise of botanists” and the other name given to state is “Orchid State of India” as well.

On 20th February 1987, it was declared as an independent state. It is the largest state in north-east India among the Seven Sister States, with lush green flora and very less explored.

History

Many pages of the history of the state are still unturned, though it is believed that in the Himalayan region people are living from the past 11,000 years. In accordance with the ancient history of India, it is said to be the region where “Parshuram” the sage washed away sins and it was the meditation point of sage “Vyasa”. Once, it was the kingdom of king “Bhishmaka” and the place where “Lord Krishna married Rukmini”. Its name is also mentioned in the ancient epics of Indian mythology like “The Puranas” and “The Mahabharata”.

Before the British came to India in 1858, Arunachal Pradesh was ruled by different kings like the Ahoms and the Sutiyas, Monpas, and Sherdukpens.

After independence, considering the typical circumstances, India decided and announced the McMahon Line as the boundary of the state in November 1950, so in 1951 the Tibetans had to vacate Tawang. North-East Frontier Agency (the earlier name of the state) was established in 1954. The Ministry of External Affairs used to administrate the NEFA until 1965 and then the Ministry of Home Affairs administrated it. It became a Union Territory in 1972 but in 1987 it was declared to be the 24th state of India.

Geography

The state covers a total area of 83,743 km2. A huge part of Arunachal Pradesh is captured by the Himalayas, whereas, the Patkai Hills cover some parts of Changlang, Tirap, and Lohit. Some of the highest peaks in this region of the Himalayas are the main Gorichen peak and the Eastern Gorichen peak, Nyegi Kangsang and the Kangto peak. The mountainous area divides Arunachal Pradesh into five river valleys i.e. the Tirap, the Lohit, the Siang, the Subansiri and The Kameng. The state is separated from Tibet by the Himalayan range which extends up to the Eastern Arunachal.

Climate

Being a mountainous region, Arunachal Pradesh experiences different climates at different elevations. Very high areas experience the tundra climate, temperate climate is experienced in the middle Himalayan region and at the lowest elevation of the Himalayas at the sea-level, sub-tropical climate persists when summers are hot while winters are mild.

From May to September, the state receives heavy rainfall which makes the forest wealth Arunachal Pradesh richer.

Best Time to Visit

The climate of Arunachal Pradesh varies from region to region. Higher elevations have a much cooler climate than middle and lower elevations. The best time to visit the state is in summers, it is never too hot in summers and nights become cooler too. So one can enjoy sightseeing in the bright Sun as well which obviously enhances the color of the scenario.

Traditions and Festivals

The population of Arunachal Pradesh is a mixture of many tribes. People migrated from other states of India to stay here and lead a happy and peaceful life. Thus, many festivals are celebrated here and are different in their own unique way. These festivals are tribal, harvest, and spiritual. Diwali and Holi are also celebrated here by the people who came here and settled from other parts of the country. Some of the festivals celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm are:

  • Loku
  • Dree Festival
  • Nyokum
  • Ziro Festival of Music
  • Siang River Festival
  • Pangsau Pass Winter Festival
  • Solung
  • Lossar Festival
  • Boori Boot
  • Sanken 

Vegetation

Due to different climatic conditions at different elevations of Arunachal Pradesh, five types of forest vegetation can be found in the state like tropical, sub-tropical forests, temperate forests, pine forests, and alpine forests.

A variety of flora is present in the state. Different forest regions give birth to different vegetation. The climate also supports the forests and vegetation to grow.

“Orchid Paradise” is the perfect term used for a place like Arunachal Pradesh where you can find about 600 different beautiful species of orchids. Surprisingly, these do have different names but some have extraordinary names such as, “Sita-Pushpa” and “Draupadi-Pushpa” and for the reason behind this...they say that Goddess Sita (Ramayana) and Draupadi (Mahabharata) used to wear these as their ornaments. Undoubtedly, around 150 special species of these plants are used for ornamentation and have commercial importance.

Over 500 species of plants in Arunachal Pradesh are used as medicinal plants and the demand is increasing day by day as people are becoming more aware of herbal products these days.

Feather and Fur

Arunachal Pradesh is blessed with a variety of fauna. About 25 species of mammals, rare and endangered species of animals and colorful birds are the life of the forests here. Elephants, wild buffaloes, and gaur are found at the foothills.

The only state where four major cats live tiger, leopard, clouded leopard and the rare snow leopard.

Species of the lesser cats like the leopard cat, golden cat, and marbled cat are also found here. Primates with their seven different species like, capped langur, stumped-tail macaque, slow loris, Assamese macaque, hoolock gibbon, rhesus macaque, and pig-tailed macaque also feel comfortable in the lap of nature here.

Arunachal Pradesh is the only state where all three variety of antelopes found in India i.e. goral, serow and takin inhabit.

The low grasslands also enjoy the presence of hispid hare or caprolagus hispidus, which is a highly endangered species of hare.

Rodents also inhabit here. Himalayan black bear, goral and red panda occur in the higher elevations including some rare species like Sclater’s monal, Mishmi wren, white-winged wood duck, etc. Over 500 species of beautiful birds are found in Arunachal Pradesh.

The great Indian Hornbill, an extraordinary bird with a very large beak, inhabit here too. It has been declared as the state bird of Arunachal Pradesh as well.

The ‘Mithun’, an animal with a religious significance exists here.

The forest department of Arunachal Pradesh manages two National Parks and nine Wild Life Sanctuaries:

National Parks

  • Namdapha National Park
  • Moulinga National Park

Wildlife Sanctuaries

  • Dibang
  • Kamlang
  • Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Daying Ering
  • Pakhui
  • Mehao
  • Kane
  • Eagle’s Nest
  • Sessa Orchid Sanctuary (with a variety of orchids and some wildlife too)

Sights you can't afford to miss

  • Mehao Lake (Roing)
  • Sally Lake (Roing)
  • Dr. D. Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary (Pasighat)
  • Geshila Peak (Tawang)
  • Tsachu Hot Spring (Tawang)
  • Geykar Sinyi (Yupia)
  • Banga Jang Lake (Tawang)
  • Lake of No Return (Changlang)
  • Bap Teng Kang Waterfall (Tawang)
  • Sessa Orchid Sanctuary (Bomdila)
  • Indira Gandhi Park (Itanagar)
  • Eagle Nest Wildlife Sanctuary (Tawang)
  • Pangateng Tso Lake (Tawang)
  • Madhuri Lake (Tawang)
  • Sela Pass (Tawang)
  • Nature, Waterfalls, and Parks
  • Bum La Pass (Tawang)
  • Nuranang Falls (Tawang)
  • Ganga Lake (Itanagar)
  • Nagula Lake (Tawang)
  • Gorichen Peak (Tawang)
  • Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary (Yupia)
  • Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary (Pasighat)
  • Namdhapha National Park (Ziro)
  • Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (Ziro)
  • Orchid Research Centre (Ziro)
  • Sangti Valley (Dirang)
  • Dolo Mando (Ziro)
  • Polo Park (Yupia)
  • Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary (Tezu)
  • Kampona Pond (Roing)

Landmarks, Monasteries, Temples and more

  • Dihang Biosphere Reserve (Roing)
  • Tarin Fish Farm (Ziro)
  • Regyaling Gompa (Tawang)
  • Orchid Research Centre (Ziro)
  • Taktsang Gompa (Tawang)
  • Urguelling Monastery (Tawang)
  • Shiva Linga (Ziro)
  • Buddhist Gompa (Yupia)
  • Buddha Temple (Itanagar)
  • Gyangong Ani Gompa (Tawang)
  • Gompa (Itanagar)
  • Dirang Dzong (Fort) (Dirang)
  • Urgelling Gompa (Tawang)
  • Jaswant Garh (Tawang)
  • Tawang Monastrey (Tawang)
  • Tawang War Memorial (Tawang)
  • Bomdila Monastery (Bomdila)
  • The Golden Pagoda (Namsai)
  • Bomdila View Point (Bomdila)
  • Tawang Craft Centre (Tawang)
  • Ita Fort (Itanagar)
  • Brahma-dung-chung Ani Gompa (Tawang)
  • Pangsau Pass
  • Apple Orchards (Bomdila)
  • World War II Cemetery (Changlang)
  • Stilwell Road (Changlang)
  • Mayodiya Pass
  • Pine Grove (Ziro)
  • Rukmini Nati (Roing)
  • Kabak Yabi's Residence (Itanagar)

Kind-a-Adventurous?

  • GO Fishing
  • GO Mountaineering
  • GO Trekking (The Bailey Trail Trek)
  • GO River Rafting
  • GO Hiking

Economy, Finance, and Business

Arunachal Pradesh is an agricultural state, so, its economy depends a lot on its agriculture. Secondly, the forests of the state possess a total land area of 61,000 km2. The forest products also help in the economic growth of the state.

Tourism is serving a lot for the economic growth and development of Arunachal Pradesh. The natural sights of the state are attracting tourists to visit the state. One can avail facilities of rafting, hiking, fishing, trekking, and mountaineering, etc. There are many popular routes for trekking on the high peaks of the Himalayas in this region.

Thus, Arunachal Pradesh has a serene, untouched beauty of nature and has a lot of scope of development.

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