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Also known as the ‘’land of the dawn-lit mountains’’, Arunachal Pradesh is one of the prominent states of Indian Republic located in extreme north east. Assam and Nagaland are the neighboring states and Bhutan, Burma and China are the international borders of Arunachal Pradesh. Itanagar is the capital city of this state. Known for its unique habitat, mountains and glaciers, roaring rivers, lush green meadows, amazing tropical forests, floras and faunas, this state of incredible beauty is the home to myriad tribes. Having its mention in the Kalika Pura, this place was believed to be the reverence and penance ground for Vyasa.
Spread across 83,743 sq kms of land, Arunachal Pradesh is the first Indian state to welcome the rising sun. One of the largest states in the north east, Arunachal Pradesh has given shelter to many migrants across the country thereby elevating its economic condition and cultural tie-ups! The dense jungles of Arunachal Pradesh are home to more than 500 different exotic varieties of orchids and other rare flowering plants comprising sixty percent of the total area. The state is also famous for exploring adventure sports like hiking, mountaineering, rafting and other eco-tourism tours. With two national parks and seven wildlife sanctuaries, Arunachal Pradesh has a charming ecological environment that’s perfect to lure any nature and wildlife lover!
Donyi-polo is an ancient religion of Arunachal Pradesh, many people still follow it. Buddhism and Christianity come next. Though in minority, Hindus also stay here. In few years, Arunachal Pradesh has made significant progress in education with 1174 primary schools, 55 higher secondary schools, 274 middle schools and 7 colleges providing graduation degree to the aspirants.
An inner line permit is required for any Indian to enter this state, and it takes three weeks to get processed. Defense areas are restricted. Foreign nationals need a permit (valid for ten days) from the Home Ministry which also takes three weeks to be issued.
The dishes of Arunachal Pradesh vary from one region to another. Majority of their dishes have tribal influence in it. Non veg dishes are mostly liked by the locals in Arunachal. People prefer to cook nutritious meals using minimum spice with edible herbs. Fermented bamboo shoots is a very common ingredient in their meal.
Rice is the main cereal and it’s mostly taken with vegetables, fish or meat. The rice is prepared in different ways to make Dung Po and Kholam. Among vegetables, lettuce is most commonly used along with coriander, ginger and green chillies in preparing different dishes. Pasa and Ngatok are popular and authentic fish soups of this region made of raw fish.
Among fast food, momos, paratha sabzi, alu chips, thukpas, zan, gyapa khazi and khura are widely consumed. Road side shacks sell a wide variety of delicious street food in Arunachal Pradesh. Monpa is a traditional cuisine of this state where lot of chillies and fermented cheese are added to give it a highly tangy flavor!
Rice beer is a famous drink of this state. Made of fermented rice and millet, this alcoholic drink is not to be missed if one is really keen on tasting authentic local flavors!
Festivals play an important role in the socio-cultural strata of Arunachal Pradesh. Home to countless tribes, animal sacrifice plays a dominant role in all festivals majorly with the non-bodic tribes. Some of the well known festivals of Arunachal Pradesh include Siang River Festival, Ziro Music Festival, Lossar festival celebrated by the Monpa tribe, Pangsau Pass Winter Festival, Loku of Nocte tribe, Mopin and Solung festival of the Adis, Nyokum of the Nyishi Tribe, Dree festival of the Apatani tribe and others.
Dol Cholom is an important dance festival of Arunachal Pradesh which is celebrated to welcome spring. The dancers wear striking masks and display an eye-catching costume! Ponung is a dance festival participated by young girls of Adi tribe. Chaams is a monastic dance of the lamas and you are lucky if you get a chance to witness it! Various ritualistic dances are only performed by men. Buddha Mahotsav is an important celebration of Buddhists in Arunachal Pradesh.
Arunachal Pradesh is also known for its rich culture. The handicrafts of this state truly portray its skilled craftsmanship. These god fearing people indulge in celebrating different music and dance festivals all through the year. On special occasions, the locals of Arunachal Pradesh have their own intrinsic rituals and customs rightly followed. Majorly peace loving, people of Arunachal are community oriented and share their joys and sorrows with each other.
Having twenty major tribes, the population of this state can be widely divided into Buddhist tribes, worshippers of sun god and moon god and the followers of Hinduism and Christianity. Music is a significant feature of its culture accompanied by Guga, ujuk tapau, reed flutes, ponu yoksi and other authentic instruments. Songs are mostly folk songs and fable based describing mythology and history of the state. Visit Wancho to view some of the best wood carvings like Buddha image, miniature, different figurines’ etc.
The state is one of the store-houses of rich craftsmanship. Ornament making is one of the widely practiced craft of Arunachal Pradesh. Bamboo and cane craft is another major handicraft locals indulge in. Exquisite artifacts are created with bamboo and cane. Even jewelry, baskets, cane belts and smoking pipes are immensely popular.
Masks and pantomime are quite popular with the Sherdukpens and the Monpa tribes. These tribes also excel in wood carvings. Carpets, shawls, Sashas, shoulder bags and coats made from goat and human hair and bark of trees are the common fibers used in weaving industry. Pottery craft is another field which many Arunachalis are hugely involved in. Earthen ware, vessels and striking vases are the specialty of pottery making in the state.
Monpa tribes are majorly into carpet making, Wancho’s are into wood carvings while Adis, Apatanis and Hill Miris are into bamboo and cane crafts. Pasighat market, Itanagar and different government emporiums are the main shopping destinations for authentic Arunachal handicrafts in the state. Different home decors, souvenirs, wood carving items, masks, bead ornaments, necklaces, cotton bags, cane stools, bamboo headgear, Mishmi cotton shawls, Apatani jackets and Thangkas of Buddhist deities are the souvenirs that one must take back home!
A state with multiple tribal population and even more (306) sub tribes, Arunachal Pradesh has its distinct dialects like Dafla, Monpa, Mishri, Nocte, Adi Gallong, Nishi, Wancho and others. These are the most widely spoken languages of this state. Besides the vernacular language, locals understand English, Hindi, Deori and Assamese as well.
Adi tribes are mostly settled in the lofty altitudes of the Himalayas, Siang and Dibang valley and Upper Subansiri region of Arunachal. They speak Adi language. People of the Monpa tribe speak Monpa language.
By Road: Dibrugarh is 168.6 kms to Lohit through AT road. One can hire jeep from the airport to reach Lohit.Tezu is linked to Tinsukia and other places in Arunachal via bus services. From Tezu one can also hire jeeps to reach Lohit.
By Train: Dibrugarh is the nearest rail head.
By Air: Dibrugarh is the nearest airport.GET DIRECTION
Most eating joints are within 25 kms of Lohit.
From October till April are the best times to explore Lohit!
Kamlang wildlife sanctuary – It’s one of the key attractions of this place. This sanctuary is the home of many exotic flora and faunas. Besides this enchanting land has lot to offer! Also don’t forget to witness the Losar Festival!
Tezu: It’s a small town with beautiful rivers and valley to explore!