TribalArunachal Pradesh holds the easternmost point of India and is a region that is relatively untouched by the rest of the country. As a frontier for the country, Arunachal Pradesh stays a little unvalued due to the security concerns pertaining to it. But those who know it and discover it feel like they’ve come across a hidden gem. You can say, it is a haven to those who wish for a tourist-like destination without the tourists itself. The locals cherish the unexplored treasures by themselves. The tribal culture of Arunachal Pradesh is fascinating and an important contributor to understand how community living works. Furthermore, the state weaves together its history, tribal culture, and its imperishable nature serving as a rich contribution to India’s cultural heritage. Its impregnable and preservative spirit stays true as now Arunachal stands Covid-19 free. In a matter of time, one can go back to spinning the wheel of the local lifestyle while feasting on the beauty of Arunachal riddled with lakes and snow-capped mountains. Falling in love with Arunachal is quite easy but staying at home warrants a reminder. We’ve prepared a list of usual and offbeat things to do here post lockdown.
Although the cases are zero in Arunachal – it is better to be cautious than sorry. So, remember to maintain your budget with the staggering economic and social distancing while doing any of it.
BEST OFFBEAT THINGS TO DO IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH
To those who seek an adventure characterized by pleasant and fun activities, this article is a perfect guide for you. We have featured activities for those discovering Arunachal Pradesh for the first time and to the locals who’ve missed the daily Arunachal lifestyle. The list features things you can do over a weekend or plans you can note for a getaway. This will give you a peek into what it’s like to live and engage with this beautiful place.
Have Some Oranges In Dambuk Town
Fresh and locally-produced fruits are highly nutritious and ripe. The town of Dambuk with its 35-year history of orange cultivation provides high-quality oranges to its locals. So how about a bite into these rich fat oranges post lockdown? But the locals aren’t the only ones with their hands on it, Dambuk’s oranges have broken its regional barriers as it provides nationally and internationally. Until 2015, the town of Dambuk had no internet or mobile connectivity yet its cultivation work has echoed throughout the world. For those plagued by the anxiety of chemically induced fruits, these mandarins offer a fresh break.
It is the 10th least populated district in the Lower Dibang Valley inhabited by the tribes of Adis and Idu Mishmi. These two tribes are well known for their orange cultivation. Moreover, the Khasi mandarin of Dambuk owing to its juiciness and sweetness is highly sought after. The oranges are usually sold at ₹5-10 per piece and they can also be bought in a handmade basket for ₹200. Despite its traditional lifestyle, Dambuk hosts exciting Orange festivals with international performers, competitions, tribal performances and local food. Organic oranges with a scenic background is the simplified description but words will fail you as you enter Dambuk Town.
Explore The Quaint Tribe Culture In Anini
The unexplored town of Anini is nestled in the Dibang Valley district with its land kissed by the clouds. Anini peeks through the heavy mist beckoning you into her lush green land. This town is a drug for those who love to explore remote areas with a rich history, specifically, tribal. Anini is inhabited majorly by the Idu Mishmi tribe. The town is interposed between two tributaries of Dibang River – Dri river and Mathun River. It emanates a calm aura due to its pristine beauty and pleasant weather. Anini has several tribe villages called the New Anaya, Hunli, Ranli and more. Further on, It is an ideal place for exploring the colourful tribal culture post lockdown that doesn’t seep into mainstream knowledge. The history of Anini is obscure but it is said to have started from the migration of the Idu Mishmi tribe from Tibet in 1st century BC.
The lack of interference from outsiders makes this a gem untouched and a sanctuary to relax in. Moreover, the town is also in close proximity to Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary that holds rare mammals such as the Mishmi takin, Red panda, Musk deer, Asiatic Black Bear and more. Anini is 235 kms away from Roing, Arunachal Pradesh. You should opt for a drive from Roing as the journey has a spectacular view of the landscape – usually covered with snow during winters.
A Road trip For Snow To Mayodia Pass
Road trips are such a thrilling escape from the usual drone of your lifestyle. (which you definitely need post lockdown) Arunachal’s seclusion from the rest of India creates a major appeal for those who wish to experience the serenity of a place without its commercialization getting in the way. The best part about it is that you can travel hours just to see snow in a different area but still be mesmerized by it because no two places are the same. Snow is fascinating to both locals and tourists alike. The cold dampness brought by snow on hilly areas has a distinct charm to it. Therefore, to those who seek snow must visit its abode – Mayodia Pass. Not only does it offer snow but the canvas of the area is painted with a very blue sky and a deep green vegetation.
Furthermore, Mayodia Pass is the highest point during the route from Roing to Anini at 2655 meters. It serves as a to-go option when one wishes to see snow. The combination of snow, blue sky, and green vegetation gives it a majestic yet homely vibe. The weather is fickle as you may see the sun shining down on you but in a matter of seconds, you could find the area wet with rain.
Note: there are limited options for accommodation at Mayodiya. We suggest Hotel Maya or a homestay. If not, you can book an accommodation at Hunli which is around 40 mins away.
Drink Apong – Rice Beer
Trying out the local beverage after the post lockdown exhaustion is a way to celebrate. We believe that you should celebrate with the best and tasty local alcoholic beverage available – Apong. In addition, as a cause of celebration, you can take a trip to Pasighat which offers the best of Apong. Not only does Pasighat offer the best rice beer, but it is situated near the Siang River. So, it is the perfect scenery to drink to with the refreshing freedom at hand!
Apong is the traditional drink made from fermented millet. It can also be made from rice which dubs it as ‘Rice Beer’. Traditional rice beer is an indispensable part of the tribal lifestyle. The appeal of these rice beers comes from its aroma and soothing taste different from the commercialized drinks that the rest of the world buries itself in. These beers are a lifestyle rather than as a means of commercial production. Apong is an intrinsic part of the tribal way of life in Arunachal linking cultural values to its origin. Moreover, you can’t help but crave that unique and varied taste of the rice beer post lockdown. After washing down the beer, you can also head towards the bridge hovering over the Siang River for a beautiful view of the mountains.
Catch Your Own Trout Fish
The sport of angling is popular in Arunachal Pradesh due to its simplicity and the abundance of water bodies available. The state offers various opportunities to go out and catch your own Brown Trout or the Golden Mahseer. This is the best way to enjoy the environment and the freedom to go out post lockdown. Angling is a fascinating reminder of the flourishing ecosystem within the state of Arunachal. An ecosystem that went about its way as humans remained at home. One of the best rivers to practise your angling skills is the Subansiri River. The clean and clear water body accompanied with the bewitching environs makes for a fun activity. Subansiri River makes for better bites and the abundant oxygen in the water makes for a good catch. It is with utmost respect and duty that we must carry out this activity.
Angling is the perfect activity to beat that cooped feeling that has been festering for months. The lack of avid anglers makes it an activity that cherishes solitariness. Angling at this river is challenging due to the large fishes inhabiting the fast-flowing river. Another alternative is the Siang River in Pasighat.
Note: aside from the Inner Permit for Indians and the Protected Area Permits for foreigners, people have to obtain a separate permit for angling or fishing. Additionally, remember to release Golden Mahseer back into the water after the catch. It is an endangered species.
Hike A Jungle In Talle Valley
The hiking trail in Talle Valley holds key to a lot of significant information regarding Arunachal Pradesh. It gives you insight regarding the ancient tribal culture and customs that prioritise the maintenance of the sacred forests. The sanctity of the forest is pivotal to their way of life. The trail covers three valleys – Pangey Valley, Talley Valley and Ziro Valley. Apatani people inhabit these valleys who practice several customs centred around the preservation of the biodiversity around them.
In addition, the Talle Valley trek offers a magnificent view of the thick forests, rolling grasslands and sloping mountain valleys. You may check out “IndiaHikes” for a good hike in Talle Valley. All three valleys during the trek are extremely striking and promises an insight into the diverse flora and fauna of the region. The hike starts from Ziro Valley, home to the Apatani, and finally leads you to Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. The trek will take you through the unexplored forests of the valleys rich with fauna and will also include interaction or stays with the Apatani who is one of the most intelligent and progressive tribes renowned for their agricultural practices.
Walk A Trail Through A Mustard Field
Mustard Fields are a vibrant sight to behold – the abundance of yellow with a dash of green here and there evokes happiness within you. Lockdown has confined our sightseeing merely to the four walls around us but the sight of mustard fields is a reminder of the beauty that Arunachal has to offer post lockdown. Mustard Fields are not a destination of tourism but an offbeat destination for those who wish to explore the simple nature of the state. The land of Bhalukpong will shift the green landscape into one filled with bright yellow mustard fields. This small town is the abode of mustard fields, orchids, tigers and historical ruins. The town attributes its name to its ancient King Bhaluka.
Kameng River flowing through the town splits itwhich makes it an ideal spot for picnics and sightseeing. Another site for Mustard Fields is the Lohit District where plantation and agriculture is pivotal to the lifestyle. People use the lands for various agricultural crops including mustard. You can trail off into the fields and watch farmers as they go about their daily activities. The romanticization of mustard fields from Bollywood is not lost on us. The beauty of the peppy yellow flowers dancing in the wind brings forth a childlike wonder in all of us.
Hang out with local tribes
26 major tribes and 100 subtribes populate Arunachal Pradesh. The most populous of which are the Adi and Idu Mishmi tribe. These two tribes are extremely hospitable and provide great insight into the culture that prevails within the state of Arunachal Pradesh. There are various other tribes stretching across the state such as the Nissi, Aka, Monpa, Apatani, Sherdukpen, Tangsa, Sancho and Nocte. They, including the rest of the tribes, contribute immensely to the rich socio-cultural lifestyle of the state. The best way to interact with the tribes is to opt for homestays that will allow you to experience their life firsthand.
Moreover, another fun way to hang out with the local tribes is via the festivals. Despite its traditionalist image and way of life, Arunachal Pradesh does mix in a bit of modern fun into its lifestyle. The well-known festivals held in Arunachal are the Dambuk Orange Festivals, Solung Festival and the Ziro Music Festivals. Both locals and tourists from all over the world attend these in a spirit of social unison aimed at experiencing a vibrant culture. The Solung Festival is an ideal way to experience the thukpas and Apong produced by the local tribes of the region. This is the best way to interact with the Adi tribe who conduct various traditional events and participate in contests.
Finally, the Dambuk Orange Festival is another great way to hang out with the local tribes as it introduces you to tribal performances and tribal food. You can also attend the Losar Festival, which is the new year festival celebrated by the Monpa tribe – this will give you a great introduction to the culture of tribes in Arunachal Pradesh. Ziro Valley Music Festival is an enriching experience that seamlessly weaves the beauty of nature with the symphony of music. Locals and tourists from around the world attend this festival, creating a socio-cultural exchange.
Check Out Wooden Bridges
The wooden bridges represent the creative integrity and the resourceful lifestyle that the tribal people lead. The hanging bridge standing over the Lohit River is a prime attraction to locals and tourists as well. The use of bamboo and ropes to create a secure bridge is a source of fascination for many. The bridge spans over 60-70m and will leave you stumped. Nevertheless, the bridge itself doesn’t solely contribute to the attraction of the area but the greenish-blue untamed river that catches your eye as well.
The hanging bridge is a lovely spot to see the Lohit River gurgling down the crease of the hill with fishes hopping up and down the stream. The stunning colour of the river fixed between two mighty pieces of land flecked with little vegetation will elate your heart. Moreover, the bridge is a nice place to hang-out with your friends. The quiet atmosphere, the beautiful bridge and the mesmerizing river make a great location to catch up with your friends for a long time. Another wooden bridge you can see is the Bamboo Bridge over the Siang River. It is another traditional bridge made from ropes and bamboo. Tribal people have created these bridges for better transportation across the hills. They make for lovely walks and some quiet nature time post lockdown.
Go On A Red Panda Spotting
To spot the Red Panda, you can pay a visit to the Namdapha National Park in the Changlang District. There are several areas in India aimed at the protection of this species and the Namdapha National Park is one of 20. The National Park is 6 hours away from Dibrugarh Airport. Furthermore, it is the third-largest national park in India so do not miss visiting it! The National Park is one of the best spots to see the Red Panda. The Red Panda is native to Southern China and Eastern Himalayas that includes Tibet, Nepal, India, Myanmar and Bhutan. It is an endangered species that has lost its habitat due to deforestation and farming. This fascinating mammal is slightly bigger than a cat in size and usually leads an inactive lifestyle during the day. They are usually solitary in nature and reside within trees for most period.
Despite their inactive lifestyle, they’re extremely skilful and acrobatic in nature. Scientists have classified it as a relative of the Giant Panda and the raccoon. A visit to Namdapha National Park is one you wouldn’t regret.
On another note, Woovly requests the countrymen to stay inside their houses and follow the guidelines issued by the government. In these times of need, please help the needy and do whatever is under your capabilities to help the country.
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