Arunachal, a state which seemed too far from my reach till last month; now I know a lot more about it while travelling from West to East over three weeks. It is true that the best of the places in India are tucked in far away regions. Travelling in the mountains is at times bone-breaking but once you are in Arunachal, it seems like being in a Jurassic Park kind of movie. The evergreen forest, the lush green mountains, the umpteen number of lakes and more importantly living with tribes which are still clinging to old age tradition, are just a few highlights of my travel. But, trust me there is much more in Arunachal if you travel slow. Clearly, three weeks weren’t enough, though a good introduction to landscape, culture and food.
Well, I can’t wait to share some of my favourite pictures and experiences. Here are the glimpses of Arunachal, the land of rising sun-
The landscape of Arunachal always surprises you, specially when a Yak appears from nowhere to drink lake water.
There is no dearth of lakes in Arunachal. The journey from Tawang to Bumla pass has approximately 40 lakes. Among those, the most famous one is Sangestsar Lake, also known as ‘Madhuri lake’ named after the actress Madhuri Dixit after the shooting of movie Koyla with co-star Shah Rukh Khan.
The yellow tinned roof of Tawang monastery can make every photograph ‘picture perfect’. Home of thousands of monks, Tawang monastery is India’s biggest monastery.
Yeah I clearly can’t have enough of these yellow roofs 😉
Ziro, the land of Aapatani tribe and famous for its annual Ziro music festival has some stunning views to offer.
Living in Bamboo houses is a must-have experience in Arunachal. The houses usually have space on ground floor for pigs, and these pigs are fed on human waste. It might be a strange experience at first to see the pigs while you use a toilet; but come to think of it, nothing is wasted here.
The bamboo bridges of Arunachal are indeed architecture marvels. These bridges are built by the villagers without any external financial support. Walking on these bamboo bridges, as the Siang river roars beneath is no less than an adventure of a lifetime.
Arunachal is probably the last state where the tribal life is still flourishing and keeping their traditions alive. Seeing tribes in their beautiful clothes and adorning local hats made of animal feathers is a mesmerising experience.
The progressive social norms of Arunachal celebrates its daughter. I met this little girl Apli Ika, who was carrying newborn baby girl of 5 days old. I talked to the mother of the girl and she said that the girl child is celebrated here. The new born baby is named ‘Inaam doka’, which means ‘good thing happened’. Indeed we all have something to learn from Arunachal.
Arunachal is a land of festivals. They have festivals for harvest, beginning of summer, even a festival to celebrate friendship. I was lucky to be a part of Tawang festival during my stay.
I couldn’t put my camera at rest while travelling in Arunachal and I am sure you wouldn’t either. Have you been to Arunachal or is it in your list? I would like to hear about your experiences of travelling in Arunachal.
Also read about my travels in Meghalaya The Secrets of the Monoliths in Meghalaya