Where it's at
Located at an altitude of 1000ft, Arunachal Pradesh
is a land of untouched natural beauty. A selection of rivers,
vast open green lands and rolling hills give the impression
of this being a mystical paradise. It is perhaps one of the
least populated places in India and provides a peaceful respite
for the traveller.
Besides the endless variations of scenic beauty, Arunachal
Pradesh is the first to greet sunrise in the country. As the
sun rises up, a river of gold flows through this exotic land
of dawn-lit mountains. It's a beautiful place that finds mention
in famous ancient India literature.
Arunachal provides a host of sites of tourist interest. At
the capital city of Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh could
be the place for visiting splendid historical sites or taking
a trek in the greens. Itanagar's main tourist attraction is
the Ita Fort, which was built in the fourteenth century
by King Ramchandra of Mayapur. Another place of interest is
the ancient temple housing sculptures of gods and goddesses
in the Hindu Iconographic School.
History withstanding, Arunachal has a large number of beauty
spots at various altitudes where you may relax and refresh
the body in a pollution-free environment. There are waterfalls,
glades, forest groves suitable for picnics, camping, or relaxing
in a rest house.
Visiting the tribal lands
Arunachal Pradesh is a land of remote villages and unknown
tribal communities. Reaching the tribal areas is not easy,
and for most areas you will require a permit to enter, which
would cost about $50.
Meet the Adi tribe
The Adi is one such tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. They
are believed to have come from southern china in the 16th
century. They reside in the far north and have different sub-tribes,
which differ from each other in many ways and custom. If you
travel far inside the tribal settlement areas, you will find
all these tribes, but visiting all of them in one short visit
might not be possible.
On route to one of the most interesting tribal villages called
the Adi-Pasi, you can see the hanging bridge on the
Siang River. It's a cane and bamboo bridge around 200
- 250ft long connecting to the other hill tribes. The Adis
are experts at making cane and bamboo items. About 500 people
of the Adi tribe come from Adi Pasi. Living in a remote area
like this, the tribe has to be totally self-sufficient. Villagers
cook fish and rats for dinner; in fact rats are a local delicacy
here. Also fishing is a necessary activity among the tribe.
Dances form a vital element in the zest and joy of living
of the tribe; dances are performed on important rituals, during
festivals and occasionally also for recreation. They vary
from highly stylised religious dance dramas of the Buddhists
to the martial steps and colourful performances of the Noctes
and Wanchos. Popir is the indigenous dance of
the Adi tribe. Among the Adis, dance has evolved almost into
an art form mainly for entertainment and recreation. Teams
of young girls in perfect rhythmic unison perform the 'Phoning'
dance of Adis. Nishis and Tagins of Upper and
Lower Subansiri Districts perform similar group dance in colourful