Perched on the north-eastern shoulder of India is a gem that mesmerizes many a traveller for life. Arunachal Pradesh, literally the “land of dawn-lit mountains”, can captivate, enthrall and cleanse a sore eye and a tired mind. It is the land of simmering thukpa soup and momos, of vibrant orchids and pine bamboos, of gushing rivers, lakes and snow peaks, and a landscape so surreal that it leaves you wondering if you are on Earth at all. Right from spiritual revelations to adrenaline rushes, Arunachal Pradesh is simply an exquisite treasure box waiting to be opened.
The state brims with culture, history and natural wonders at every nook and corner, yet there are certain places which one cannot afford to miss. Here are the top 5 places you should make a beeline towards, as soon as you reach the dawn-lit mountains of Arunachal Pradesh.
The capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar is a great place to experience the first splash of the state’s diversity and vibrancy. The picturesque town throbs with history, natural beauty, and dynamicculture. Grab your momos here, and look out for gorgeous local handicrafts; Sherdukpen shawls and Monpas carpets are definitely pretty souvenirs. The historic Ita fort is a rich architectural and socio-cultural centre. To explore the unique tribal culture, a trip to the Jawaharlal Nehru museum is a must. Be it an adventurous traveller or a simple vacationer, Itanagar has something for everyone.As the world slowly discovers Arunachal Pradesh, the state is blooming and blossoming in its entire splendor. If you are in Itanagar, you are in the thick of it.
Carved skillfully by nature, the Tawang valley sits dreamily between Tibet, Bhutan and the Sela range of West Kameng. Watered by beautiful lakes and the Tawang Chu River, Tawang easily takes your breath away. The valley is blessed with stunning landscapes which exude a sense of deep calmnessthat both exhilarate and soothe your senses at the same time. The 400-year-old Tawang monastery, one of the largest monasteries in India, is an experience for the soul. The deep tranquility of the place in itself is a novelty for many travellers, and stays with you long after you have returned home. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Tawang takes your vacation to a completely different level altogether; it takes you to solace, to purity, to a new you.
If snow-capped mountains are your thing, Bomdila should be on your cards. Nature has been extraordinarily generous towards Bomdila; it has bestowed abundant beauty on this town. The small town is nestled 8000 feet above sea level and nurtures pretty apple orchards against a stunning backdrop of sunlit, snow-capped Himalayas. A fresh, cool climate graces Bomdila, making it an ideal spot for both tranquil vacations and exciting holidays. Easily accessible from Bomdila is the Sessa Orchid Sanctuary where gorgeous orchids of around 80 species are cultivated. The idyllic town will redefine your idea of beauty and leave you dazzled, yet content.
Tired of travelling in the mountains? Head for Ziro. Also known as the Apatani plateau and declared as a World Heritage site, Ziro offers green paddy fields, cozy pine forests and enchanting bamboo groves stretching towards the mountains you just descended from. Ziro is known as a trekkers’ and wildlife lovers’ paradise, and along with its local feast of treks and wildlife sightings, it also serves as a gateway to other attractions such as the Talley Valley and Kardo Hills. The local culture of Ziro is interesting as well and their rituals and festivals are an enriching experience to look out for.
5. Namdapha National Park
With all of its tranquility and solitude, Arunachal Pradesh also has the thrill factor. To get a taste of the thrill the state has to offer, head towards the Namdapha National Park. It is the largest national park in India in terms of area, covering an area of 1985 sq km. The park is spread over a stunningly varied landscape ranging from an altitude of 200 meters to more than 4500 meters. The diversity is richly reflected in the flora and fauna; forests range from sub-tropical to alpine, while animals range from wolves, leopards and tigers to Eurasian otters and musk deer. If you are a bird-watcher, this is the place to be:more than 500 species of birds can be sighted. The sheer beauty of the place combines with exciting activities such as trekking and camping making it an unforgettable experience.