Itanagar is the capital of the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Set in the foothills of the Himalayas, the city is home to medieval Ita Fort and the Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum, which exhibits textiles and handicrafts. The nearby Gompa, a yellow-roofed Buddhist temple, was consecrated by the Dalai Lama. West of town is Geker Sinying, also known as Ganga Lake, surrounded by forests, orchids and ferns
Talley Valley is a wildlife sanctuary as well as a bio-diversity hotspot located at a distance of 32 kms from Ziro towards the north east. Comprising sub-tropical and alpine forests it has a variety of flora and fauna, many of which are endangered. The place offers great trekking opportunities.
Pasighat is the headquarters of East Siang district in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Situated at 155 meters, Pasighat is the land of the mighty Siang and indigenous hanging bridges. Round cane rings, swinging strings, shattered wooden pavements dangling above the mighty Siang makes it a picture perfect moment of thrill and adventure.
Ziro is a town and the district headquarters of the Lower Subansiri district in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is included the Tentative List for UNESCO's World Heritage Site for the Apatani cultural landscape
Shivlinga At Kardo Hills
The serene hills of Kardo is home to a 25 ft tall and 22 ft wide Shiva lingam, one of the largest Shiva lingas unearthed in the recent past. It was accidently discovered in 2004. A large number of devotees throng the spot everyday.
It is 327 km from Itanagar and 160 km from Ziro and is the headquarters of Upper Subansiri district situated by the side of the Subansiri River. Daporijo is a small scenic town where one can see suspension bridges over Subansiri River made from bamboo and cane – a testimony of rich tribal craftsmanship.
Malinithan: A place of relics on stones with ruins of temples and valuable sculptures is associated with the mythological legend of Lord Krishna. The site has a temple ruin dating back to 10th & 14th century AD of rich sculptural and architectural value. Beautifully designed and decorated basement of temple, divine images, icons and deities
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|
High Altitude Fish Seed Farm, Tarin, Ziro located on a high altitude and is surrounded by pine and bamboo groves. The Tarin Fish Farm is situated at a high altitude in the Bulla village of Apatani tribes. Fish Farm is a popular tourist attraction where breeding of high altitude fishes is done. In this process, two crops of rice and one crop of fish, Ngihi, are raised together.
The Apatanis practice the paddy-cum-fish cultivation or farming in an area of 200 kms in Kamala Valley, Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh. The Tarin Fish Farm is one of the best sites in Ziro where this particular type of farming is practiced.
The paddy cum fish cultivation procedure is one of the major attractions of Ziro, as this is rare and not seen and practiced a lot. The Apatani tribals of Arunachal utilize the land to its best, where rice-fish culture in the valley is done. In this unique practice two crops of rice (Mipya and Emoh) and one crop of fish (Ngihi) are raised together.
The High Altitude Fish Seed Farm, covering an area of 7.4 hectares of land was established at Tarin (near Ziro town) under NEC in 1985-86. Total water area covered is 3.0 hectares and total effected water area covered is 2.75 hectare. Total number of ponds under farm are 74. Out of which 46 numbers are nursery ponds, 16 are rearing ponds and 12 are stocking ponds.
Talley Valley is a wildlife sanctuary as well as a bio-diversity hotspot located at a distance of 32 kms from Ziro towards the north east. Comprising sub-tropical and alpine forests it has a variety of flora and fauna, many of which are endangered. The place offers great trekking opportunities. Talley Valley Reserved Forest and Talle Wildlife sanctuary is situated at an elevated level with rivers like Pange, Sipu, Karing and Subansiri flowing through the Reserved Forest and Sanctuary. It is home to highly endangered species like clouded leopard. Pleioblastus simone is a bamboo variety only found in Talley Valley.
Menga Cave is a natural cave dedicated to lord Shiva. It is famous place of worship which draws large number of visitors and Pilgrims especially during Makar Sankranti and Shivratri.
Malinithan: A place of relics on stones with ruins of temples and valuable sculptures is associated with the mythological legend of Lord Krishna. The site has a temple ruin dating back to 10th & 14th century AD of rich sculptural and architectural value. Beautifully designed and decorated basement of temple, divine images, icons and deities – animal motifs and floral designs, carved columns and panels have been unearthed. It is believed that on the way to Dwarka from Bhismaknagar, Krishna & Rukmini rested here and they were offered choicest flowers by Goddess Parvati. Malinithan was a cultural centre of North-East India in the remote past.