Posted on Leave a comment

25 places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh

A treasure trove of natural vistas and man-made marvels, Arunachal Pradesh’s name literally translates to ‘The Land of Dawn-Lit Mountains’. One of the most Northeastern states in India, Arunachal Pradesh shares international borders with Bhutan, Myanmar and a disputed border with China itself. Its capitol city of Itanagar is vibrant and diverse, having historically been a metropolitan rest spot in the mountains for many travellers. While the states culture and atmosphere reflects the serenity of its mountains, the region remains heavily militarised by the Indian army, and all mountain passes in the region are closely motored.

The best way to reach the state is access from Guwahati, both via air and rail. Do note, once you’ve decided where in Arunachal Pradesh you’ll be going, all visitors to the state require a travel permit. All foreign nationals require a Protected Area Permit, which is for $50 and is valid for 30 days. All domestic travellers (Indian passport holders) require an Inner Line Permit, which is for INR400 and can often be picked up the very same day the application is place. On-the-spot permits at Guwahati airport are also available. Be sure to have multiple copies of your permits as they are required as many checkpoints along your journey in the state. Permits for solo travellers have been a little limited.

Like any region that’s primarily focus is not tourism, transportation in Arunachal Pradesh is a little erratic. The main, most popular mode of transport is via SUVs which you can use from area to area, or rent for the duration of your trip. The views one sees on road trips between locations are truly magical. For those with disposable funds, the Mose luxurious option of helicopter transport is also available between the states major cities.

25 places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh:

  1. Tawang
  2. Ziro Valley
  3. Namdapha National Park
  4. Sela Pass
  5. Tezu
  6. Roing
  7. Bomdila
  8. Dirang,
  9. Pasighat
  10. Itanagar
  11. Along
  12. Nuranang Falls
  13. Bhalukpong
  14. Sangti
  15. Changlang
  16. Bumla Pass
  17. Mechuka
  18. Anini
  19. Daporijo
  20. Hayuliang Valley
  21. Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary
  22. Gorichen Peak
  23. Madhuri Lake
  24. Golden Pagoda
  25. Aalo

Tawang

Located high up in the mountains, at an altitude of 3048 metres above sea level, Tawang is nestled amongst the mighty Himalayas. A perfect blend of nature and culture, this snowy, dreamy town is paradise for anyone who visits it. Tawang is known primarily for the fact that it houses the largest monastery in India, as well as the twang War Memorial, a tribute to the soldiers lost during the Sino-Indian War. While reaching there is a feat in itself, once there the town has numerous tourists attractions like Buddhist monasteries, high altitude passes, war memorial and scenic lakes making it a holiday destination like none other!

Best time to visit:

March to June or September to October

Don’t miss out on:

  • Taktsang Gompa
  • White water rafting
  • Tibetan Settlement Market
  • Shonga-Tser Lake
  • Tawang Monastery
  • Jaswant Garh

Ziro Valley

Tucked away in a part of the Himalayan foothills that actually feels like a plain area. Ziro Valley is actually at an elevation of 1500 metres, and is resplendent with greenery, flora, and fauna. The air carries the distinct smell of the pin tress that surround the area, and the village itself consists primarily of farm workers who operate the many paddy fields here as well as quaint hamlets and bamboo huts. Being a World Heritage Site, the region is known as an abode to both adventure junkies as well as those seeking authentic Arunachal culture. The native tribe of the Apatani is warm and welcoming, giving you a glance at their untouched lifestyle.

Best time to visit:

October to March

Don’t miss out on:

  • Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kile Pakho
  • Meghna Cave Temple
  • Pine Grove
  • Tarin Fish Farm
  • Midey
  • Camping

Namdapha National Park

At an elevation of over 4500 metres at its highest, the Namdapha National Park carries a cool, calming breeze through its ebbing and flowing valleys and peaks. A must-visit for wildlife enthusiasts, a walk through the Park is an experience like none other. The third largest national park in India, it’s 1985 sq. kilometres is the native, protected habitat of many endangered species like snow leopard, red panda, and the clouded leopard. The park is known for its biodiversity, opportunities for photography, camping, safaris, and boat rides on its many water bodies.

Best time to visit:

October to April

Don’t miss out on:
– Elephant safari

– Watching wildlife

Sela Pass

Sela Pass can’t be real – the waters so clear blue, the snowcapped peaks an untouched green, and the endless sky above all create a surreal atmosphere that makes you believe you’re in a Photoshopped postcard. At an elevation of 4,170 metres above sea level, the all-year snowcapped mountains and frozen winter lake draw in so many travellers every year. The pass as well as the 101 lakes believed to surround it are also considered sacred land by Buddhists. A destination where the drive to it is almost as picturesque as the location itself, a trip to Arunachal Pradesh is incomplete without the journey to Sela Pass.

Best time to visit:

March to April and October to November

Don’t miss out on:
– Visit Sela Lake

Tezu

A hotspot for tourism in the state, Tezu is a hilly town that has many local attractions like a wildlife sanctuary, museum, botanical garden and the charm of the village itself. Nestled amongst the scenic Mishmi Hills, the town is also known for being the route to every photographer’s dream come true, Glow Lake whose reflective, unbroken waters sit unmovingly against pristine snow-capped mountains.

Best time to visit:

December to July

Don’t miss out on:
– Botanical Garden

  • The local museum
  • Glow Lake

Roing

If you weren’t spiritual before, you may become so once your visit Roing. The sheer beauty of the region’s picturesque contrast between flowing blue waters and skies against the stark grey of its dominating mountains seems other-worldly. Set on the Dibang River, the town’s name in the Adi dialect means ‘cool’ and ‘refreshing’, and the region definitely lives up to its name. The calm aura and colourful sunsets of the town as a must-visit for all travellers seeing solitude, The region also has many archaeological sites that one can enjoy.

Best time to visit:

October to February

Don’t miss out on:

  • Mayudia, Bhismaknagar Fort
  • Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Mehao Lake
  • Sally Lake
  • Nijomaghat
  • Rukmini Nati

Bomdila

A little valley village so green, you almost don’t notice that its inhabited, Bomdila is a quaint village overflowing with not only vegetation but also rich culture and local traditions. The natural beauty of the town set against the snow-capped mountains on the horizon remind you just how diverse how Arunachal’s people and terrain are.

Best time to visit:

April to October

Don’t miss out on:

  • Bomdila Monastery
  • Sissa Orchid Sanctuary
  • Gompas
  • Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Bomdila View Point

Dirang

Sitting on the banks of the River Kameng, Dirang is a popular destination amongst budget-travellers, backpackers, and many other tourists. Seated at an elevation of 1560 metres, the year-round pleasant weather and opportunities for breathtaking valley views make Dirang a coveted destination, with limited accommodation. An interesting activity int he region is visiting and learning about the native tribes, and experiencing the local culture.

Best time to visit:

March to July

Don’t miss out on:

  • Hot water springs
  • Dirang Dzong
  • Sangti Valley
  • Yak Research Centre
  • Kalachakra Gompa
  • Camping

Pasighat

Often called the ‘Gateway of Arunachal’, Paighat is located along the banks of the Siang River Valley  in the Himalayas, and is one of the oldest towns in the state. Founded in 1911, it has always been a hub for travellers, and a location to fill up on resources before continuing the journey ahead. One can enjoy a range of activities here from rafting, fishing, angling and boating to wildlife safari, nature photography and trekking.

Best time to visit:

January to May

Don’t miss out on:

  • Rafting
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kekar Monying
  • Pangin
  • Pasighat Buddhist Temple
  • Bodak Scenic Area

Itanagar

The capital city of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar is the most fascinating melting pot of the cultures that come together to make the people of the stay. Nestled between two hills, Itanagar is rick in flora and fauna. The somewhat haphazardly arranged settlements across the two hills merge into the greenery that surrounds them, masking the hustle and bustle of the city with the calmness od endless green. The city is also know for its lively cultural festivals as well as educational and archaeological sites.

The region’s historical fort, built in the 14th-15th century, is a popular attraction and a significant historical site, uniquely made only of bricks. It also houses the well-known Buddhist centre, Gompa, which has not only amazing opportunities for spiritual meditation but also the best views of the whole city.

Best time to visit:

October to April

Don’t miss out on:

  • Fort Itanagar
  • Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum
  • Ganga Lake
  • Biological Park Itanagar
  • Indira Gandhi Park

Along

Also known as Aalo, is a hamlet with sweeping lush green hills, fragrant orange orchards, and straw-roofed huts that are dotted all along its topography. Originally a tribal abode, Along is a hotbed for folk culture in Arunachal, known also for its hanging bridge and many other such attractions.

Best time to visit:

October to April

Don’t miss out on:

  • Mechuka Valley
  • Ramakrishna Ashram
  • Donyi Polo Temple
  • Patum Bridge
  • Kaying Villages
  • Jirdin
  • hanging bridge

Nuranang Falls

As you take the turn on the ghat towards the falls, it becomes apparent that the suspended dew and misty blue mountains in the horizon are all birthed from the same Mother Nature from which the Nuranang Falls arise. A spectacular visual image, the falls feature rapidly plummeting water from a height of 100 metres, falling to the river below. Already at a height of 6,000 metres itself, the falls are also called Bong Falls, and since they’re quite a hidden gem that not many know about, the area is almost always available for your uninstructed viewing and photographic pleasure.

Best time to visit:

Sunrise or sunset, int he months of June to November

Don’t miss out on:

  • Trekking
  • Hydel Station

Bhalukpong

Located between the Himalayan foothills and the banks of the River Kameng, Bhalukpong is a untouched town with unmatched picturesque beauty The rows of lush green plantations and straw covered huts give it an air of rural life, while the urbanity of the tourism industry here ensures that one can enjoy a comfortable fun vacation here.

Best time to visit:

October to March

Don’t miss out on:

  • Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Tipi Orchidarium
  • Bhalukpong Fort

Sangti

Described as ‘a piece of heaven’ I Arunachal, the Sangti valley is a calm town nestled amongst the Himalayas. The valley is known for its migratory words and rushing river.

Best time to visit:

June to November

Don’t miss out on:

– Visit Thupsung Dhargye Ling

Changlang

With abundant tourist attractions, Changlang is a popular location for history buffs in Arunachal. Besides is steep terrain and colourful grasses, the region is also popular for its vibrant folk culture.

Best time to visit:

October to May

Don’t miss out on:

  • World War II Cemetery
  • Lake of No Return
  • Jongpho-Hate
  • Namdapha National Park

Bumla Pass

An extremely high altitude pass in India (4,633 metres above sea level), Bum La Pass sits right on the Indo-China border, making its to only extremely scenic and beautiful, but also heavily militarised. At all times of year, the region is covered with a thick blanket of pristine white snow, making the region appear as a beautiful black and white image. The lake the sits between the mountains, Sangestar Tso is a popular attraction.

Best time to visit:

Summer months

Don’t miss out on:

  • Sangestar Tso
  • Indo-China Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) points

Mechuka

Also known as Menchukha, the name of this town with the wafting fragrance of pine trees and thorn bushes, literally translates to “Medicinal Water of Snow”.  The region is known for its picturesque opportunities for photograph, visiting the local tribes, and trekking.

Best time to visit:

October to March

Don’t miss out on:

  • Native tribe interactions
  • Siyom River
  • Trekking on the snow-capped mountains

Anini

With agreeable weather thought the year and the raw beauty of the green mountains, Anini is a calming weekend getaway engulfed in a white fog that gives it a unique air of privacy and coziness.

Best time to visit:

December to March

Don’t miss out on:

– Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary

Daporijo

Located beside the River Subansiri, the enchanting aura, ancient temples, endless paddy fields, babbling waterfalls and tall bamboo trees of the quaint town of Daporijo makes it an ideal location for a weekend away from the chaos of busy city life.

Best time to visit:

October to April

Don’t miss out on:

  • Temple ruins
  • Daporijo suspension bridge

Hayuliang Valley

Unlike many others in Arunachal, the Hayuliang Valley sits on the windward side of the mountains that surround it, making it slightly more arid that its surrounding attraction. What the valley lacks in greenery, it abundantly makes up for in entertainment and culture. Literally translating to, “The Place of My Liquor” the valley is known for its nature, culture, and hospitable people.

Best time to visit:

October to March

Don’t miss out on:

– The confluence of River Lohit and Delai

Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary

Better known as Pakke Tiger Reserve, this region is home to a notable population tigers spread across its 862 sq. kilometres. With over 40 species of mammals and big cats, the Sanctuary is an ideal destination for nature lovers

Best time to visit:

November to April

Don’t miss out on:

  • Birdwatching
  • A safari spotting many endangered species: Tiger, Leopard, and Clouded Leopard, Elephant, Barking Deer, and Jackal

Gorichen Peak

A paradise to trekkers to enjoy off-beat location, the Gorichen Peak is located at a whopping 6858 metres above sea level, the highest peak in the state. Popular as a camping location, the land is also believed to be sacred by the native population and provides breath taking views of the lush green mountains below.

Best time to visit:

September and October

Don’t miss out on:

  • Camping
  • Trekking

Madhuri Lake

Located high up, 4632 metres above sea level, the Madhuri Lake (natively called Sangestar Tso) derived its current name as being the shoot location for the blockbuster movie Koyla, featuring actress Madhuri Dixit.

Best time to visit:

April to October

Don’t miss out on:

  • A scenic walk around the lake
  • Photography opportunities
  • The lake-side hot snack vendors

Golden Pagoda

Located in the Namsai region of Arunachal Pradesh, the pagoda is one of the most religion pilgrimage sites in the state. Spread across 20 hectares, the complex of monuments and gardens is a spectacular specimen of Burmese architecture, and the quiet splendour of its gold facia combined with the minimalism and serenity of the monks inside.

Best time to visit:

Throughout the year

Don’t miss out on:

– Minister Market shopping

Arunachal Pradesh may be difficult to get into, but no-one would doubt that its worth it. From satellites above, the state appears as a giant green and white patch in India, and from the ground? Well its not much different. The wild, dose, untouched green forests sit in glorious contrast to the undisrupted snowy peaks of its swooping peaks.

The state lures travellers in with a promise of adventure and solitude, all in one, and it does not disappoint on is promise.

In a state where large-scale operations for tourism packages, hotel chains, over-the-top homesteads have been unsuccessful in set-up, Arunachal Pradesh’s virgin beauty actually makes it the few places in India to enter as a vacationer, but leave as a local.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.