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.
Naharlagun - 200
Itanagar - 750
Climate (Degree C.)
Summer - Max. 40,
Winter - Max. 12,
Best Season :
October to April.
Summer - Cottons;
Winter - Woollens.
Languages spoken :
languages, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali & English.
How to get there
: 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.
: 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
(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)
: Arunachal Pradesh State Transport Corpn. operates regular
bus-services to various Places in Arunachal Pradesh and its
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
(Fares from Naharlagun to the above places : Rs. 5 less than the
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.
: 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).
: Direct bus-services are there from North Lakhimpur to Itanagar
Buses run frequently between Naharlagun & Itanagar between 0600-1900
: 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
: 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
18 kms from Naharlagun and near Banderdewa police check post.
Providing glimpses of uncommon Himalayan fauna.
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
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.
: Indian Airlines City Office, D K Road, North Lakhimpur, Tel.:
66 (N L P) Airport, Tel.: 91 (N L P).
: 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).
: 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
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
Itanagar has been
identified with Mayapur, the capital of the 11th century AD JItri
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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 :
: Nearest airport is Tezpur(160 kms) served by Indian Airlines
on Tuesday and Saturday.
: Bhalukpung (M.G) is the nearest rail station(100 kms).
: 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.
For Indians :
Indian tourists intended to visit Namdapha National Park need
an Inner Line Permit which can be obtained from the following
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
The Inner Line Permit can
also be obtained from The Secretary (Political), Govt. of Arunachal
Pradesh, Itanagar- 791 111or, from The Deputy Commissioner of
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;
The Commissioner Home,
Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar- 791 111.
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,
Best season : October to April.
HOW TO GET
: 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).
: 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).
: Good motorable roads connect Miao (entry point of the park)
to Dibrugarh (140 kms), Tezu (182 kms), Sibsagar (199 kms), Guwahati
(561 kms) etc.
(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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Department of Tourism. Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
Government of India.