Arunachal Pradesh – Why you must visit ‘Land of Dawn-lit Mountains’

By  |  0 Comments

Why should you travel to Arunachal Pradesh?

If you are a fan of the movie, “The Lord of the Rings”, and wondered if the pristine New Zealand landscape captured in it could ever be seen in India, well, you will find it in Arunachal Pradesh, known as the ‘Land of Dawn-lit Mountains’. Possibly India’s remotest and most unexplored state, Arunachal Pradesh is called the “Frontier state”, as it shares a border with China, Bhutan and Myanmar. In the 1962 war between India and China, this state was right in the thick of battle, but since then there has been an atmosphere of complete peace and tranquility in Arunachal. It is only recently that both the Indian government and the Arunachal Pradesh state governments have been making a concerted push at promoting Arunachal as a prime tourist destination – both for foreign tourists and tourists from other parts of India.

And why not? Arunachal’s natural beauty, with glaciers, snow capped mountains, thick greenery, stunning high altitude meadows, the rich and abundant flora and fauna are simply a sight to behold. And the cross crossing rivers, streams and lakes, with crystal clear water good enough for drinking straight away without fear, make this perhaps the most naturally beautiful region in the whole of India.

Tourists can take advantage of the mountains and peaks of Arunachal Pradesh to indulge in mountaineering, if they are of the adventurous sort. Trekking around the hilly regions, while admiring the natural surroundings and the stunning scenery can be really fun thing to do here. And the rivers of Arunachal? They don’t just flow – they roar! Any visit to the Frontier state which does not involve rafting on its rambunctious rivers is incomplete. Rafting is an incredibly adventurous and fun sport, and there is no better place to do it than in Arunachal Pradesh.

And for lovers of nature, Arunachal’s spectacular collection of the most exotic flora and fauna are a manna from heaver. Arunachal Pradesh has 550 of the rarest orchid species, and several other rare plants. What’s more, more than 60% of Arunachal Pradesh’s land mass is covered with thick greenery.

And what about wildlife? The thick forests of Arunachal Pradesh are alive and brimming with giant elephants,majestic tigers, flighty leopards and other jungle cats, as well as red pandas, white gibbons, the Mithun (which has the scientific nomenclature Bos Frontalis) and the musks. Tourists are well advised to bring their best cameras along and practice their wildlife photography skills when they visit Arunachal Pradesh.

The History of Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh as discussed earlier shares a border with China, and is a part of a long running dispute between the two nations. But peace is almost total here, and the locals consider themselves to be proud Indians. There has never been a militant movement in Arunachal, unlike in the other states of India’s North-East. (The whole of India’s North-East is largely peaceful today as well.)

Arunachal Pradesh is described in the Kalika Puran and the great Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. There is a beautiful, but the dilapidated brick structure surrounding a couple of villages in the hills close to Ron, which are said have been once the abode of Rukmini, the wife of Lord Krishna, one of the most important Gods in the Hindu religion.

The People of Arunachal Pradesh

The people of Arunachal Pradesh are among the friendliest locals that tourists can expect to meet. Since Arunachal is still new to tourism, the people here are naturally curious and very warm and helpful to tourists, always going the extra yard to be of assistance if a tourist is lost or needs directions. The people of Arunachal Pradesh largely follow the Buddhist faith, and it is no wonder that the state is home to some of the loveliest Buddhist monasteries in the world. There are 20 different tribes in Arunachal, and all tribes consider singing and dancing an integral part of their tradition. And tourists would love the handcrafted items made by the tribes, which are made with great care and are really quite cute.

How to get to Arunachal Pradesh?

Getting to Arunachal Pradesh by Air is quite simply the easiest thing to get there from the Indian mainland. But the nearest airport in Arunachal is in Assam, the Lilabari (North Lakhimpur) Tezpur Airport. You can catch a flight to this airport from Kolkata. While not too many airlines operate their flights to this place, it is still quite easy to book your tickets and get to Arunachal quite quickly. From the airport in Assam, you can get to Arunachal by bus or by hiring a local taxi.

If you wish to get to Arunachal Pradesh by train, your destination should be either Harmuty, which is just a half-hour drive away from the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar, or get off any station in North Lakhimpur in Assam and from there, catch a bus to Itaganar.

The easiest way to get to Arunachal Pradesh by road is to get to the Naharlagun bus station, which is at just a 20-minute bus ride away from Itanagar. There are excellent roads that link Naharlagun to several important towns and cities in the North-East such as Shillong, Guwahati, Ziro, North Lakhimpur and Bomdila.

Do you need any permissions to get to Arunachal Pradesh?

Yes. Unfortunately, you need an Inner Land Permit to visit Arunachal Pradesh if you are a visitor from mainland India. If you are a foreign tourist, you are required to register yourself at the nearest local police station in Arunachal. We understand this is a major inconvenience, but the sheer natural beauty and attractiveness of Arunachal Pradesh should make up for the trouble. Read about ILP here.

What is the best time to visit Arunachal Pradesh?

While Arunachal Pradesh has a great climate throughout the year, it’s best to visit between October and March as the climate is cool and pleasant, and there are no rains.

The Festivals of Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh has twenty major tribes and each of these tribes is known to take part in several festivals, which are marked by a rich variety of music and dance. Some of the popular tribal festivals of Arunachal Pradesh are Solung, Mopin, Losar, Boori Boot, Dree, Nechi Dau, Chalo-loku, Longte Yullo,Ojiale, Reh, Sanken, Si-Donyi, Nyokum -Yullo, and Tamladu. The dances are performed to the music created by unique musical instruments such as Guga, a bamboo string instrument, ujuk tapua, a wind instrument made of bottle gourd, reed flutes such as the pupe and tapu.

The Buddhist Mahotsava is a beautiful festival celebrated in Buddhist monasteries, and is held to promote the principles of peace, amity and brotherhood between nations and people. The Siang River Festival is another important festival, which celebrates the river Siang and the communities that live around it. The Ziro Festival is another important festival in Arunachal Pradesh, and is celebrated by the Apatani tribe with great joy, fun and frolic with exotic dances accompanied by great music.

Places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh

Tawang Valley

The Tawang Valley is the most beautiful destination in Arunachal Pradesh. It is a region of giant mountains, nesting vast green fields and villages in their midst. One may find numerous Buddhist monasteries in this region, situated in an atmosphere of complete peace and tranquillity. The Mompa villages that dot the landscape of the valley are quite beautiful as well. Tourists may consider spending a night or two of blissful peace in a one of the villages here.

Namdhapa National Park

The Namdhapa National Park is huge – Spread over a vast thickly forested area of 1985 sq kms. One may find the most exotic flora and fauna here. This park is particularly noted for housing the big cats – leopard, tiger, clouded leopard and snow leopard. Over 500 varieties of birds are present here.

Tawang Gompa

The Tawang Gompa is the second biggest Buddhist monastery not only in India, but in the entire world, which makes it quite special. It is highly fortified and looks astonishing as it is nestled on all sides by tall mountains. The Tawang Gompa is known as well for its huge library which has a collection of a large number of antique books written several centuries ago. The eight meter high statue of Buddha is quite a sight to behold. The best time to visit the Tawang Gompa is during the Buddhist Mahotsava, when the place is decked with colors and there is a feeling of great joy in the air.


Itanagar is the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, and is a traditional North-East Indian town, which is fast emerging as a major urban hub, full of buildings. Tourists should visit the Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum and the Centre for Buddhist Culture, when in Itanagar, as they offer an excellent glimpse into Arunachal Pradesh’s beautiful heritage.

Ziro Valley

Ziro is a stunningly lovely hill station and an quite an ancient town, which has been the traditional abode of the Apatani tribe. It is surrounded by a valley named after the town itself, the Ziro Valley. The Ziro Valley has a very rich biodiversity. Ziro must be visited during the Ziro Festival, which is celebrated by the Apatani tribe amid great fun and frolic, dance and music.


A self-described travel enthusiast...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Interested in Traveling? Join our Newsletter!

Win a Free Tour or a couple tickets to Alfresco Grand! Sign up to win amazing giveaways every month, receive interesting travel articles, news, travel deals. No spam, we send only genuine emails!

This information is kept confidential and never shared with 3rd party.