There is an unusual and ethereal charm attached to the Himalayas and Arunachal Pradesh is a mindblowing testimony of that. Not very extensively explored, this land offers travelers an experience full of thrill and adventure. The perk of visiting this land is that you won’t be caught up in a cluster of tourists. Arunachal is a mixed bag when it comes to people. You will find people from different states of the country here. It is a mixture of religions, a home to the tribal culture, and a liberal state. There is a great amount of untapped potential in terms of exploration, here!
Summers in Arunachal Pradesh are quite hot, while monsoons can be a barrier in traveling due to the hilly terrain, hence winter season is the ideal time, say from October-April.
Rich in natural heritage and mesmerizing in every aspect, Arunachal Pradesh is a blessed land. If you seek peace and solace, or you love adventure activities, or you are the religious type- this state is a must visit for all the globetrotters!
This waterfalls make for an exquisite sight. The water drops from a whooping height of 6000 feet and is a sight to watch and reckon. Completely surrounded by nature somewhere around 40 kms from the beautiful town of Tawang, this one definitely makes it to the top of the list.
The Sela pass is another popular destination that happens to be a high altitude mountain pass and serves as the lifeline of Arunachal Pradesh connecting Tawang with other states and highways. Coursing through an elevation of more than 4100 meters, it is a must stop enroute Tawang as the whole drive is a like a drive to heaven.
An utmost holy pilgrimage centre mostly familiar to the people of Northeast India, Parashuram kund is deep seated on the Brahmaputra Plateau on the lower reaches of the Lohit river in Arunachal Pradesh. Dedicated to Lord Parashurama who is said to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Hindu Mythology talks about how Lord Parashuram travelled all across India and finally took a dip here for atonement of his sins.
Devotees from all across the world visit this kund during the Makar Sankranti and the Annual mela. As the kund is enveloped generously with natural beauty in the form of hills, forests and rivers, being here will make you forget about the harsh realities of life.
This Golden Pagoda is a Buddhist pilgrimage center constructed in Burmese architectural style that silently overlooks the plains of Arunachal Pradesh at the foothills of the Himalayas. Beautifully lit during sunset, this place is visited by 100s of monks from across countries to understand the teachings and practices of Dhamma talks regularly.
The Tawang war memorial is a structure dedicated to the memory of martyrs of the Sino-Indian war of 1962. The structure is designed closely to that of a stupa and is nestled in near Tawang- Chu valley. The memorial is locally called the ‘Namgyal Chorten’ and has the name of 2420 soldiers etched on it. You can also enjoy a light and sound show in one of the two halls of this memorial.
Ita fort is located in the capital Itanagar and as a matter of fact lends its name to the capital, “Ita” meaning bricks, hence the name “Itanagar”. One of the most important historical sights of Arunachal Pradesh, this fort of bricks dates back to the 15th century and reflects the aura of the ancient era at its best.
Nestling on a mountain top, the Tawang monastery is actually the 2nd largest monastery in the world and is the largest one in entire Asian continent. You could say, it is one of Tawang’s best kept secret, only that it’s not anymore. This monastery is related to the Mahayana sect of Buddhism and dates back to the 17th century also hosts the famous Georgia festival each year. Interestingly, there is a statue of Buddha along with a temple within the monastery. If you wish to experience spiritual vibes at its best, attend the 4 am morning prayer here.
If hiking and trekking is your drug that keeps you going, then Arunachal Pradesh has a lot to please your soul. Trekking to the Talle valley would be a rewarding experience. The trek goes through the forests, touching the areas where tribes live, you will get to witness three valleys on this trail- Pangey valley, Talley and the very famous Ziro valley. The trek starts from Ziro, and you can easily reach Zero from Guwahati on a train and the remaining distance on a taxi.
If splish-splashing is your kind of adventure sport, then rafting in the Kameng River is mandatory. Rafting here is some serious thrill, as there is an initial portion of trekking involved as well. It takes around 5 hours to reach the town of Seppa in Arunachal Pradesh both via bus and taxi from Itanagar.
Once there, rafting begins in the white waters. The rapids of this river are marked Grade four, hence the sport here is done with necessary safety equipment and under an expert’s supervision.
For travelers and especially adventure seekers, camping is a prerequisite for everything else and Arunachal Pradesh has probably more than you could probably dissolve at one go. An attractive campsite here would be the Daporijo town.
Buy the Wangcho bag- this is a trademark handicraft of the Wangcho tribe from the Tirap district. The bag is handmade from acrylic yarn and cotton and is something you wouls want to add to your collection.
This is another dose of adventure that you can indulge in Bhalukpong. activity, worth indulging in. Bhalupkong- Tawang is a popular route for biking, You can rent a bike and just push off on a trail full of twists and unexpected cuts. So, if you claim to be from the daredevil squad, this one you will love!
If you really are interested in making the most of your Arunachali experience, then tasting the traditional rice and Thupka meal is a must. Since Arunachal Pradesh borders with Tibet, its cuisine is highly coloured and influenced by Tibetan flavours.
If you are still craving for more, you got to relish their juicy momos. And the next best thing would be thupka, a kind of noodle soup, which is luscious and sweet-savory.
Rice is the staple diet of the people here, but the variety of rice is different from that consumed in the rest of the country. Another exquisite thing to taste is the Tibetan bread called momoloco.
This might be an offbeat idea, but ‘offbeat is in vogue’. Living with the locals will give you a first-hand experience of what life in the hills of Arunachal Pradesh is actually like. A fireplace, typically local food, and the personal connection with the people is all worth it!
As cute as they can be, red pandas are a rare sight anywhere in the world. But you can spot one, in and around the Namdapha Park in Arunachal. If you have time, you definitely need to catch a sight of them!
If you are on a trip, and you missed out on the shopping portion, then you’ll surely regret it all your life, especially when it is in Arunachal. The Tibetan settlement market is just the right place to start. Make sure to tick at least 50 percent from this list that follows- arts, ornaments, handicrafts, woven items like jackets, shawls and scarves, cane and bamboo items, and interesting wooden carvings.
When it comes to celebrations, Arunachal Pradesh and festivals goes hand in hand. Losar festival, which is a specialty of Mechuka village. Mechuka lies towards the Tibetan border and is home to beautiful monasteries. Aalo is the district headquarters and the gateway to Mechukha and is well connected to the capital, Itanagar and the adjacent state-Assam by both road and air.
One popular festivity, that is a trademark of Arunachal Pradesh is the Solung festival. This is the largest festival and is popular amongst the ‘Adi’ tribe people. It marks the celebration of the harvest period, and the tribal people brew fresh rice beer, with meat and other dishes.
Apart from these three popular festivities, there are several other festivals that you can be a part of -the Ziro music festival, the Mopin festivity, Boori Boot festival, the Dree, the Nechib Dau, and many more. Being a part of any of these festivals will really expose you to the culture and traditions of Arunachal Pradesh in totality.