Arunachal Pradesh, a serene land tucked into the North Eastern tip of India, invites you to relax in its picturesque hills and valleys, enjoy its salubrious climate and meet its simple and hospitable people, with their glorious heritage of arts and crafts and colourful festivals that reflect their ancient faith in the inexorable power of nature. 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.
Arunachal Pradesh finds mention in literature such as the Kalika Purana and in the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. It is believed that sage Vyasa meditated here and also that the remains of the brick structure, scattered around two villages in the hills north of Roing was the palace of Rukmini, the consort of Lord Krishna. The sixth Dalai Lama was born on the soil of Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal Pradesh became a full-fledged state on February 20, 1987. Till 1972, it was known as the North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA). Administratively, the state is divided into three districts. Capital of the state is Itanagar in Papum Pare district. Itanagar is named after Ita Fort, meaning Fort of Bricks' built in 14th century A.D.
Flora & Fauna
In Arunachal's rich flora and fauna, orchids find a place of pride. Out of about a thousand species of orchids in India, over 500 are to be found in Arunachal alone. These are colourful, spectacular and some bears exotic names such as Sita-Pushpa and Draupadi-Pushpa, which are believed to have been worn by these Goddesses. Arunachal Pradesh Forest Development Corporation has developed an Orchid Research and Development Centre at Tipi in West Kameng district for propogation and conservation of these species. In addition to this Orchidarium at Tipi, two Orchid conservation sanctuaries have been developed at Sessa and Dirang in West Kameng district.
The Wildlife of Arunachal Pradesh is equally rich and varied. Elephants and Tigers abound, especially in the grassy foothills and leopards and jungle cats are quite common. The White browed gibbon is found in Tirap and Lohit districts and red pandas and musk in the higher alltitudes.
The 'Mithun' exists both in wild and semi-domesticated form. The animal has religious significance and has intimate relation with socio-cultural life of the people. Four wildlife sanctuaries at Pankuli, Lolit, Itanagar and Namdapha had been set up in 1979, covering an area of 3000 sq. kms.
Fairs & Festivals
Festivals are an essential part of the socio-cultural life of the people. The festivals have a connection with agriculture and are celebrated with ritualistic gaiety either to thank God for the providence or to pray for a bumper harvest. Some of the important festivals are Mopin and Solung of Adis, Lossar of Monpas, Sherdukpens and Boori-Boot of the Hill Miris,Myoko& Dree of Apatanis, Sidonyi of Taging, Nyokum of Nishis, Reh of Idu Mishmis etc. Animal sacrifice is a common ritual in all festivals. Dances are vital elements to express the zest and joy of life of the tribals. They vary from highly stylish religious dance dramas of the Buddhists to the martial steps and colorful performances of the Noctes and Wanchoos. The 'Ponung' dance of Adis is performed by teams of young girls to perfect rhythmic unison. Similiar group dances are performed by the Nishis and Tagins of Upper and Lower Sanansiri Districts.
People & Lifestyle
There are 26 major tribes and a number of sub-tribes inhabiting this area. Most of these communities are ethinically similiar having derived from the original common stock but geographical isolation from each other has brought amongest them certain distinctive characteristics in language, dress and customs.
Broadly the people have been divided into three cultural groups on the basis of their socio-religious backgrounds. The Monpas and Sherdukpens of Tawang and West Kemeng districts follow the lamastic tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. Noted for their religious beliefs, the villages of these communities have highly decorated 'Gompas' . Though largely agriculturist, many of these people are also pastoral and breed herds of Yak and mountain Sheep. Culturally similiar to them are the Membas and Khambas who live in the high mountains along the northern borders, Khamptis and Singphoos inhabiting the eastern part of the State are Buddhists of Hinayana sect. They are said to have migrated from Thailand and Burma long ago.
The second group of people are the Adis, Akas, Apatanis, Bungnis, Nyshis, Mishmis, Mijis, Tangsas etc. who worship the Sun and Moon God. Their religious rituals largely coincide with the phases of agricultural cycles. They invoke nature deities and make animal sacrifices. Adis and Apatanis extensively practice wet-rice cultivation and have a considerable agricultural economy. Apatanis are also famous for their paddy-cum-fish culture. They have specialised over centuries in harvesting two crops of fish along with each crop of paddy.
The third group comprises Noctes and Wangchoos, adjoining Nagaland in the Tirap district. These are hardy people known for their structured village society in which the gereditary village chief still plays a vital role. The Noctes also practise elementary form of Vaishnavism.
|Zero / Ziro
|Nunneries of Tawang
|Fishing and Angling