India > Trekking > Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh is the northeastern tip of India with its borders touching China, Bhutan and Burma (Myanamar). Its endless variations of scenic beauty are the first to greet sunrise in the country. The state is proud of having more than five hundred rare species of Orchids. Its rivers are ideal for angling boating, rafting and its rugged terrain is suitable for trekking, hiking and holidaying in a serene atmosphere. The sixth Dalai Lama was born on the soil of Arunachal Pradesh and the 13th found refuge and safety here.
The picturesque and hilly terrain, Arunachal Pradesh is cris-crossed by innumerable mighty rivers and rivulets. Once described as the 'Hidden Land' it has now opened its doors to outsiders. The mountain eaks show a great variation, ranging from 6,400 -1,829 m. The striking feature of the topography is that the mountainous routes follow the river system except in places where the mountain sides are very steep. These offer perfect opportunities for trekking and other adventure sports. So long closed to visitors, the terrain and the environment is totally untouched. What could be more inviting to adventure-loving people?.
The southern flank of the Arunachal Himalayas is visible from the plains. This part of the range includes peaks as secluded as Kangto, among the highest and unconquered peaks in the world. A thick jungle has kept these summits virtually off limits to mountaineers. Geographical seclusion has made the people of these valleys self-contained.
The best season is from October to February. For the energetic leisure seekers keen to undertake a rare wilderness experience, few destinations in the world would match the dimensions of Arunachal Pradesh.
Nearest Airport is Tezpur. There are daily flights by Indian Airlines from Kolkata. The nearest railhead is north Lakhimpur in Assam 60 km from Itanagar.
Itanagar is connected to the other state capitals in the North East. Guwahati is 381 km, Shillong 481 km, Imphal 495 km, Kolkata a bit far at, 539 km. There are regular bus services with the state as from Itanagar to Bomdila.
Certain tourist routes have certain new routes have been opened. The first of these routes originates at Itanagar and links up to Ziro in the center of the state 150 km away, at an altitude of 1754 m in the resplendent Apatani plateau. The trail pushes farther east and north, crossing Sunansiri river at Daporijo to reach Along. Here, we meet the peripatetic harbinger of Mansarovar, the Siang, still within its white water section. In 1991, an Indo-Japanese team rafted the length of the river in India, putting in near Geling in west Siang district, just a few km short of the Indo-Tibetan border. The final section of this circuit goes down to Pasighat and re-enters north Assam before returning to Itanagar.
Day excursions include Ganga lake, the state museum and a ride on the elephant back to the salubrious camp on the nearby Dikrong river.
Se La Pass
The western most district is west Kameng, named after the Kameng river which drains the basin of Groi Chen and Kangto peaks. From the inner line check post at Bhalukpong, 52 km from Tezpur the road winds through the Tipi Orchidariurm to Bomdila. It crosses the crest of the Se La Pass at 14,000 ft finally reaching the Mahayana sect Buddhist monastery at Tawang. These are the environs of the Bailey trail the old border trade route over Tukung La from Tibet, first used in 1913 by the British surveyors.
This circuit covers the well-known Namdapha National park in the Tirap district near the east end of the state, not far from the Burmese border. The designated entry and exit point on this circuit is the railhead at Margherita, also reached by National highway 38 from Tinsukia. Coaches continue up to Miao for entry into the park. Unique in that its elevation varies between 200 and 4500 m, the park is also unmatched as the home to four large cats : tiger, leopard, clouded leopard and snow leopard.
Using Pasighat as the base, where the Brahmaputra enters the plains, a reasonably good road meanders up-river through thick forest. Neat settlements at Yembung, Pangin and Boleng lead to the Siamang bridge, 110 km from the base. The route is a photographer's delight. Here also lie promising tracts for catch and release mahaseer angling. Again for Pasighat, aside from the Dibrugarh ferry, there is another access via the 415 km drive from Tezpur roughly parallel to the north bank of the Brahmaputra.
Indian nationals intending to visit any part of the state may obtain an inner line permit from the Arunachal Government office at Delhi or Itanagar. For the permitted areas, the total time allowed to foreigners is 10 days. The usual stipulations of entry permit, group six and advance application also hold good. These can be filed with any Indian mission overseas, foreigner's registration offices, the home commissioners of the state in Itanagar or its resident commissioner in Delhi.