mARGHERITA MIAO-nAMDHAPA vIJOYNAGAR
THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN
This circuit begins from Margherita in Assam and the entry point in Arunachal is at Namchik. Miao is the sub-divisional headquarters with the splendid natural beauty of Noa-Dihing river and green surroundings. Mini Zoo, Forest Museum, Wildlife Library, and Tibetan Refugee Camp are the other places of interest.
Namdhapa National Park
Namdhapa National Park is the 15th Tiger Reserve in the country spread over 1985 sqkm. It is the only National Park in the country where four of the felines i.e. tiger, leopard, snow leopard and clouded leopard are found. Bison, Samber and barking deer and a variety of snakes inhabit the park
Vijonagar, comprises of sixteen villages having a population of about 4500 people near Indo-Myanmar border which is located in Changlang District and is Air maintained due to non existence of road networks.
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|
Miao is a ADC headquarter with splendid natural beauty of Noa-Dihing river and green surroundings, Mini zoo, forest museum, wildlife library and Tibetan refugee camp are the places of interest
Lake of No return: the famous lake called the Lake of No return in Myanmar side which can be viewed from Pangsau pass is 12Km away from Nampong. During World War II, large numbers of Aircrafts were reported to have perished into this lake. Perhaps, the lake served the allied pilots for soft landing into the lake water during return mission when the aircrafts got hit by enemy or out of mechanical snags in the Aircrafts.
The pilots had chosen this lake for emergency landing in case of imminent air crash and therefore, many aircrafts were reported to have crashed in to the lake.
The historic Stilwell’s Road, which was constructed by the Americans during the Second World War from Ledo in Assam, India, which is one of the rail-heads of the Bengal-Assam railway in the valley of the Upper Brahmaputra during that time to Burma Road connecting to Kunming, China passes through Lekhapani, Jairampur, Nampong and Pangsau pass, India-Burma (Myanmar) border. It winds up the passes of 9000 feet Patkai Range and emerges at Shindbwiyang and then Myitkyina. It crosses the broad bowl of the Upper Chindwin, threads the Hukawng and Mogaung valleys, and goes down to Bhamo and to the Burma road which connects Kunming, Yunnan province, China.
Originally it was called ‘Ledo Road’; later it was name after the General Joseph Warren Stilwell (1883-1946), Chief of Staff to Allied Forces in China-Burma-India theatre for defence of Burma (Myanmar) from Japanese forces under the Generalissimo, Marshal Chiang Kai-shek, Supreme Command of the forces of the United Nations in China, including such parts of Indo-China and Siam (Thailand) as might become accessible to the troops.
The recently unearthed large Burial-ground with about 1,000 graves of allied soldiers believed to be mostly of Chinese, Kachins, Indian, British and Americans soldiers who died in Second World War is located at Stilwell Road ( Ledo Road ) in the Jairampur-Nampong road, Changlang district, Arunachal Pradesh, India. The hidden cemetery covered with thick jungles midst of the bank of Namchik River and on the Stilwell Road ( Ledo Road ), 6 km from Jairampur town, 39 km from Ledo and 24 Km before reaching Pangsau Pass ( Hell Pass ), India – Burma (Myanmar) border. The Army has cleared the area and found about 1,000 graves within an area of about three acre. The boundary was enclosed by concrete posts with entrance on three sides. The graves are arranged in five Lines and several rows. A large grave, possibly a mass burial, is in the centre. The bricks were from Ledo AR&T Co’s brick fields, and others marked as B&C-119 and IR.N!C9 were being used.
Choephelling Tibetan Refugee settlement camp located at a distance of four kilometers from Miao Township under Changlang district, is one of the oldest settlements for Tibetan refugees. The camp boasts of producing superior quality carpets, a larger portion of which goes to the global market. The raw materials mainly cotton yarn (Rs.150/Kg) and wool (Rs. 200/Kg), procured from Panipat in Haryana and some quantum from New Zealand, are exotically weaved to international standard and sold at Rs. 190 per square feet in the global market.
There are 26 high skilled women weavers and six male counterparts in the carpet industry, which on an average earns around Rs. 20 lakh annually as informed by the settlement officer of the camp.
The camp is inhabited by 500 families with 2800 members, is one of the 45 settlements in India, of the 75 all over the world. A beautiful Buddhist monastery in the mid of camp is one of the major attraction for the tourist.