Things to keep in mind before traveling
- Every tourist visiting Arunachal Pradesh needs to obtain an Inner Line Permit(FOR DOMESTIC TOURIST) and a Protected Area Permit(FOR FOREIGN TOURIST) which can be collected from Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati or Tezpur airports.
- The weather in the north-east is pretty unpredictable, so be prepared to have delays due to the bad weather.
- Locals are friendly and helpful. Be patient as not everyone will know fluent Hindi or English.
- Sometimes cell phone networks don’t work well in remote areas, so inform your family or friends about your whereabouts whenever possible.
- Don’t forget to carry some ready to cook food packets or instant noodles if you’re strictly a vegetarian.
- Carry extra batteries, power banks and most importantly warm clothing.
- Keep at least a couple of extra days in hand in case of any problems like landslides and bad weather on your way.
Owing to its mostly mountainous terrain, Arunachal Pradesh doesn’t have its own airport. If you want to fly to Arunachal, you have two options, North Lakhimpur’s Lilabari Airport and Guwahati’s Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, both in Assam. Out of these Lilabari is the closest one to Itanagar, Arunachal’s capital city. It receives flights four days of the week, mostly from Guwahati and Kolkata.
The distance of 72 km between Lilabari Airport and Itanagar can be covered in 2 hours. You can get on a state transport bus or hire a taxi, both of which are easily available outside the airport. But, if you’re looking for better connectivity and more flight frequency, Guwahati Airport is the better option. It receives flights from all the major cities around the country like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. But Guwahati to Itanagar by road is around 315 km which would take about 8 hours to cover.
A flight from Guwahati to Lilabari Airport would take much less time but cost a bit more than a bus or a taxi. Guwahati Airport also handles international flights from countries like Thailand, Nepal, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.
A train journey not Arunachal Pradesh is a fest for the eyes, and you will come across some of the most beautiful sights along the way. The mountains may slow you down but offer some breath-taking vistas in the bargain.
At 15 km the Naharlagun railway station in Arunachal Pradesh is the closest one to its state capital, Itanagar. It was started in 2015 and handles few trains as of now like the New Delhi – Naharlagun Arunachal Express and Naharlagun – Guwahati Intercity Express. Once you alight at Naharlagun, you can easily find state and private buses which will take you to Itanagar. You can also hire a taxi, although it will cost you more.
At 34 km, the Harmuti Railway Station in Assam is a bit farther away, but has more trains passing through. It will take you 1 hour 15 minutes to reach Itanagar by road by bus or taxi. But the best way to reach Arunachal Pradesh by rail is to come into Guwahati Railway station and continue onwards by train to Naharlagun. Guwahati enjoys the best connectivity in the region with the rest of the country. You can reach Guwahati from major cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata.
Trains and aeroplanes might be the fastest ways to reach Arunachal Pradesh, but a road trip is the most interesting one. The winding mountain roads will challenge your driving skills and awe you with stunning vistas. The unreal scenery seems straight out of a picture postcard. The twisting roads add an element of drama while snaking sinuously over the mountains and through the valleys.
The state-owned Arunachal Pradesh State Transport Service (APSTS) has its headquarters in Itanagar. It runs its bus service to some major district headquarters like Tezpur and Guwahati in Assam, Shillong in Meghalaya and Dimapur in Nagaland. Every town and village in Arunachal Pradesh has its own bus station, so you won’t be left stranded.
Apart from buses taxis are the only other form of public transport. If you’re driving yourself, you will find many options. National Highway 52, NH 15 and NH 415 are the national highways that run into Arunachal Pradesh. You can reach Itanagar from Banderdewa, North Lakhimpur, Tezpur and Guwahati.
October and April are the best months to visit Arunachal Pradesh which are the winter and the spring months for the state. Arunachal is located at a high altitude, and so has pleasant weather throughout the year. During the summers (April to June) temperature might be too high to explore during the peak daytime hours. July to September is the monsoon season in the state when the terrain transforms into a beautiful green paradise, but many tourist attractions may be closed due to heavy rainfall.
|Summers||March to june||20 °C – 32 °C|
|Monsoon||july to September||28°C – 32°C|
|Winters||November to February||2°C – 18°C|