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East India - Arunachal

 

Andaman and Nicobar         Arunachal Pradesh        Assam        Bihar        Manipur        Meghalaya

Mizoram      Nagaland      Orissan      Sikkim     Tripura       West Bengal

Itanagar           Naharlagun          Bomdila          Namdapha National Park

 

Right at the top of north-eastern India, crowning its six clustered sisters like a protective helmet, is Arunachal Pradesh, the `Land of the Dawn-lit- Mountains.' This is the first Indian soil to greet the morning sun. Dawn first  illuminates Arunachal's border with China: a long border which stretches all   the way from its east, over to its northern boundaries and down to its north- western edge where it merges with Tibet. To its west is Bhutan and on its  southern end it touches Assam, Nagaland and Burma before sweeping up to China.
 

GENERAL INFORMATION :
 

Altitude :

Naharlagun - 200 metres

Itanagar - 750 metres.

Climate (Degree C.) :

Summer - Max. 40, Min. 18

Winter - Max. 12, Min. 5.

Rainfall :

266 cms

266 cms

Best Season :

October to April.

Clothing :

Summer - Cottons; Winter - Woollens.

Languages spoken :

Indigenous languages, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali & English.


How to get there

  • Air : The nearest airport is Lilabari (North Lakhimpur) in Assam, 57 kms from Naharlagun and 67 kms from Itanagar, served by Vayudoot. Indian Airlines operates direct flight from Calcutta to Tezpur ( 216 kms from Itanagar ) on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

  • Rail : The nearest railway station is Harmuty (near Banderdewa check gate) only 23 km from Naharlagun & 33 km from Itanagar. However nearest convenient railhead is North Lakhimpur in Assam, 50 km from Naharlagun & 60 km from Itanagar. Stations are served by No.9 and No.10 Arunachal Fast Passenger Trains and other local services.

  • Road :
    (DISTANCE BETWEEN ITANAGAR AND NAHARLAGUN IS ONLY 10 KMS)

    Itanagar is connected by road to: GUWAHATI- 381 km (Gohpur 79 -Ballipara 110 -Mission Charali 17 -Orang 53 -Baihata Charali 90 -Guwahati 32), SHILLONG- 481 km ( Guwahati 381 -Shillong 100 ), AGARTALA- 980 km (Shillong 481 -Badarpur 211 -Agartala 288), AIZAWL- 901 km (Badarpur 692 -Silchar 29 -Aizawl 180), KOHIMA- 350 km (North Lakhimpur 73 -Jorhat 69 -Dimapur 134 -Kohima 74), IMPHAL- 495 km (Kohima 350 -Imphal 145).
    (ITANAGAR IS 1,539 KMS FROM CALCUTTA)

  • Bus : Arunachal Pradesh State Transport Corpn. operates regular bus-services to various Places in Arunachal Pradesh and its neighbouring states.
    Fares from Itanagar : To Guwahati- Rs.80 (day service), Rs.90-100 (night service), Shillong- Rs.120 (night), Namsai- Rs.145 (night), Miao- Rs.135 (night), Tinsukia- Rs.140 (night), Dibrugarh- Rs.130 (night).
    (Fares from Naharlagun to the above places : Rs. 5 less than the above fares).
    Private coach operators viz. Blue Hills Travels P.Ltd., Network Travels, Green Valley Travels and Blue Night Travels operate their services in different routes touching Itanagar.

  • Local transport : A very few number un-metred tourist taxi/auto are available. Tourist deluxe buses for group tourist can be hired from the Director, Department of Tourism, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Naharlagun, Tel.: 4371, 4115. A few other transport agencies in town rent out tourist cars and coaches. Cycle rickshaws are the most common local transport in Naharlagun.
    Taxi charges : Rs.150 + fuel charges between Naharlagun and Itanagar or Rs.30 per seat (6 persons).

  • Bus : Direct bus-services are there from North Lakhimpur to Itanagar via Naharlagun.
    Buses run frequently between Naharlagun & Itanagar between 0600-1900 hrs.

  • Cycle Rickshaw : Only in Naharlagun. Charges Rs.2 to 8 depending on distances. For sight-seeing: Rs. 300 + fuel charges for a full - day - sightseeing in and arround Itanagar / Naharlagun.

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WHAT TO SEE AT NAHARLAGUN

Polo Park : An interesting little botanical garden atop a ridge overlooking the town. Visitors should notice the cane thicket: it looks a bit like a palm, with spines on its stems, but growing as a bush. There is also a small zoo. Handicrafts Centre run by the Industries Department offers a good range of shawls, carpets, carved caskets & the beautiful cane & bamboo work in which the north-east excels. Behind & to one side of the showroom, is the workshop where cane is trimmed, cut and woven by tribal artisans with great skill.
Pachin River: This rivulet providing a fine fishing spot passes by Naharlagun.

Zoo : 18 kms from Naharlagun and near Banderdewa police check post. Providing glimpses of uncommon Himalayan fauna.
 

AT ITANAGAR

The Buddhist Temple: A new, but beautiful, yellow-roofed shrine, it rises in well-maintained grounds behind a stupa bearing the portrait of a monk. At one side is a tree planted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The grounds of the temple afford a good view of Itanagar town.

Ganga Sekhi Lake: The 6 km drive to the lake from Itanagar takes visitors on a rugged road through some superbly primeval jungles : bamboo, orchids massed on tall trees, tree-ferns are some of the vegetation which can be identified by the interested traveller. Stopping at the base of a hill, one has to cross a bamboo bridge floored with a bamboo mat spanning a culvert. This leads to a flight of steps cut into the red clay of the hill. At the top of the ridge one looks down at a serene, green forest lake which one can cross in a row boat. A beautiful picnic spot.

Tourist Information Centre

Government of India Tourist Office, Sector-C, Naharlagun, Tel.: 371.Director of Information, Public Relations and Tourism, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Naharlagun, Tel.: 371.
Government of India Tourist Office, B K Kakati Road, Ulubari, Guwahati 781007. Tel.: 31381.


Travel Reservation:

  • Air : Indian Airlines City Office, D K Road, North Lakhimpur, Tel.: 66 (N L P) Airport, Tel.: 91 (N L P).

  • Rail : Railway out-agency at the state Bus Station in Naharlagun. They have a small quota on the 155 DN Tinsukia Mail, 902 DN Trivandrum Mail, 60 DN Kamrup Express and the N.E. Express. Railway Station in North Lakhimpur, Tel.: 128 (N L P).

  • Bus : State Transport Bus Station, Tel.: 221 (NLG), Naharlagun.

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Tourist Sport : Itanagar

The Brahmaputra draws many of its tributaries from the densely forested mountains of Arunachal; the Siang, the Dibang, the Lohit and the Noa Dihing are some of the rivers which drain the rain from some of Arunachal's northern and eastern ranges and pour them into Brahamputra. The Subansiri and the Bharali perform similar duties for the south.

The interpid explorer can paddle up these rivers and journey...if he has not been deterred by falls and rapids on the way...as far as China, where the Siang begins, if he trusts the roads, he will be able to reach the headquarters of the ten districts, but not very much further. No railway enters Arunachal. But Indian Airlines and Vayudoot do serve Tezu, Ziro and Pasighat. It's, in other words, India's largest north-eastern state, and also its remotest. And this is the beauty and the wonder and the compelling fascination of unknown Arunachal Pradesh.
 

But on the two hour journey from the airport in Lilabari, Assam, to the capital of Naharlagun(Itanagar), the fascination grows slowly. Lilabari is a plains town and Naharlagun gives the impression of a plains town. But the 10 km drive from the 200 metre high Naharlagun to the new capital in the hills, Itanagar at 750 metres, is enchanting.

The road winds through that magical country where tropical evergreen rain forests meet temperate Himalayan jungles. Tree ferns spread their greenfronds to great heights; jungle giants tower into the sky; there are burgeoning thickets of bamboo; and thick mats of creepers cover everything with undulating bedspreads of green.

The visitor should stop at the far side of the bridge that spans the Pachim  River. There is an attractive village below and to the right of the road leading to Itanagar. Most of the houses are built at ground level but at least one is on stilts. Such variations could be the result of cross-cultural influences between the twenty major tribes who speak many different languages. According to one account of some of these varied people: There are the gently and cultured Monpas of West Kameng who received Buddhism from Padma Sambhava; the Thongi (Sherdukpens) whoes chiefs trace their treaty relationships with the powers in the valley to a thousand years back; the Hrusso who for thirty generations have patronised Vaishnava scholars; the proud Bangni-Nishi and the Tagin typifying the ancient Indian ideal of the honourable warrior; the Adis and Mishmis who are eager to build academic careers; the Apatanis with their marvels of wet-rice cultivation; the Khampti in their magnificent ceremonial robes and the peaceful, progressive Nocte, Wancho and Tangsa.


The people of Arunachal are the greatest attraction of this beautiful land. And even in the capital at Itanagar, the visitor comes across Nishi warriors wearing their 'bopiah' hornbill caps, carrying their 'chokh' bearskin bags with their 'oyjo' knives in their monkey-skin 'burkhey' scabbards. But the visitor should not be misled by their appearance.

As a community's level of civilisation is judged by its health, its urge to fulfil its social responsibilities and its emotional stability, the tribals of Arunachal Pradesh are highly civilised. According to Dr. Parul Dutta, Director in the Tribal Culture Research Department , the tribes are in good health and well-nourished, there are no land disputes, and when an entire village burns down the whole community gets together and with great good cheer, rebuilds it as a community effort. Administrators who have worked in this state contend that in spite of the fact that the police have jurisdiction for only 5 kms. around the District Headquarters, crimes in villages can be concealed for only three days because the prople are virtually incapable of telling lies and they have very clear ideas of justice.

These, then, are in unspoilt people of Arunachal. And in dealing with them, the Government of India has taken the words of Jawaharlal Nehru to heart. India's first Prime Minister said: "I felt that we should avoid two extreme courses, one was to treat them as anthropological specimens for study and the other was to allow them to be engulfed by masses of India's humanity... We must always remember that we do not mean to interfere with their way of life but want to help them live it".

Itanagar captures the spirit of this desire to minimise the conflicts that arise when a traditional society is guided into modernity. The capital is a scatter of light, earthquake-proof, woodframe buildings rising up the slopes of a green hill. Traditional huts are scattered amongst the more recent constructions and the residence of the Lt. Governor crowns one peak while a new Buddhist temple crowns the other. Between them lie the administrative offices, shops, the bazar and thatched huts. It's all very low-profile and unassuming and even the most diffident tribal from the remotest village is unlikely to feel uneasy when he comes to the capital.
 

Thus, when the visitor decides to visit this town he should realise that there is a very good reason for such a frontier state to have such a frontier town as its capital: Itanagar.

Itanagar has been identified with Mayapur, the capital of the 11th century AD JItri dynasty.

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Bomdila

Starting at the airport of Tezpur in Assam. Th road passes through low wooded slops about 60 kms beyond Tezpur. Anglers or those who want a brief rest should wait till they encounter the broad spread of the Bharali river as it emerges from the mountains into the wooded upper plains. On the banks of the river, at an elevation of 190 metres is Tipi, a glass house with over 7,500 orchids. From here the road is farely steep as it soars up to the small headquarter of the West Kameng district Bomdila at a height of over 2530 metres.
It has a tourist lodge, a Craft centre, Apple orchards and Budhist Gumphas. There are also views of Himalayan landscapes and Snow clad ranges. Bomdila is a good place to rest over nights.
 

How to raach :

  • Air : Nearest airport is Tezpur(160 kms) served by Indian Airlines on Tuesday and Saturday.

  • Rail : Bhalukpung (M.G) is the nearest rail station(100 kms).

  • Road : Bus services of APSTC and ASTC are availabe from Guwahati, Tezpur, Tawang and Itanagar.

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NAMDAPHA NATIONAL PARK

For the truly dedicated wilderness and wildlife fan, a visit to the Namdapha Natioanal Park is a challenging goal. An unique feature of the park is that it is the only one park in the world in which four of the great felines are found viz., the tiger, the leopard, the snow leopard and the clouded leopard. It is also an ideal for trekking and hiking.
 

ENTRY FORMALITIES

For Indians :
Indian tourists intended to visit Namdapha National Park need an Inner Line Permit which can be obtained from the following authorities :-

  • The Resident Commissioner, Arunachal Bhawan, Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri,New Delhi- 110 001. Tel: 301-3956.

  • The Liaison Officer, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, 4-B, Chowringhee Place, Calcutta- 700 013. Tel: 248-6500.

  • The Liaison Officer, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, R.G. Baruah Road, Guwahati- 781 021. Tel: (0361) 26544.

  • The Liaison Officer, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Mohanbari, Dibrugarh, Assam. Tel: 398 (Dbrugarh exchange).

The Inner Line Permit can also be obtained from The Secretary (Political), Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar- 791 111or, from The Deputy Commissioner of Changlang district.
For Foreigner :

Individual foreigner visiting Arunachal Pradesh require Restricted Area Permit from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt.of India (F-1), Lok Nayak Bhawan, Khan Market, New Delhi- 110 001. Tel: 619709. Group tourists consisting of at least 4 (four) members can obtain the R.A.P from

  • All F.R.R.O at Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay, Madras;

  • Chief Immigration Officer, Madras;

  • The Commissioner Home, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar- 791 111.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area of the park :
Altitude : 200 metres to 4500 metres.
Temperature (deg C): Summer- Max. , Min. ; Winter- Max. , Min.
Clothings : Summer- cottons, Winter- woollen.
Languages spoken : Tangsa, Singpho, Assamese, Hindi, English.
Best season : October to April.
 

HOW TO GET THERE

  • Air : Nearest airport Dibrugarh (140 kms) is connected with Calcutta by Indian Airlines as well as pvt. airlines.
    Fare: Calcutta - Dibrugarh Rs.2865 (J), Rs.2065 (Y).

  • Rail : Nearest railway station Margherita is connected by local passenger train with Tinsukia which in turn is connected with major cities of India.
    Fare (Approx): Calcutta - Margherita (via Guwahati-Tinsukia) Rs.1025 (I) Rs.315 (II).

  • Road : Good motorable roads connect Miao (entry point of the park) to Dibrugarh (140 kms), Tezu (182 kms), Sibsagar (199 kms), Guwahati (561 kms) etc.

TOURIST INFORMATION

  • Assistant Director (Tourism), O/o the D.I.P.R., Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Naharlagun, Tel: (03781) 44115.

  • Govt. of India Tourist Office, Sector- C, Naharlagun- 791 110. Tel: (03781) 44328.

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  Information provided by Department of Tourism. Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Government of India.
 

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