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Arunachal Pradesh

Introduction

Arunachal Pradesh is a state of India. It is part of what are called the Seven Sister States of the Northeast of India. Arunachal Pradesh borders the state of Assam to the south and Nagaland to the south east. Myanmar lies to the east of the state, Bhutan to the west, while the McMahon Line separates it from the zone of control of the People's Republic of China to the north. Itanagar is the capital of the state. "Arunachal Pradesh" means "land of the dawn-lit mountains" or "land of the rising sun". Arunachal Pradesh ,one of the most sparsely populated states of India, covers an area of 83743 sq. Kms. This region acquired an independent political status in January 20, 1972, when it was declared as Union Territory under the name of Arunachal Pradesh. The state of Arunachal Pradesh Bill was passed by the Parliament in 1986 and with effect from February 20, 1987 Arunachal Pradesh became the 24th state of Indian Union.

Arunachal Pradesh is a thinly populated hilly tract laying roughly between the latitude 26° 28'N and 29° 30'N and longitudes 91° 0'E and 96° 30'E on the north-east extremity of India comprising roughly 83,573 kilometer square of area.

Geography


Much of Arunachal Pradesh is covered by the Himalayas, although parts of Lohit, Changlang and Tirap are covered by the Patkai. Kangto (7090m), Nyegi Kangsang (7050m), the main Gorichen peak (6488m) and the Eastern Gorichen peak (6222m) are some of the highest peaks in the Himalayas. It is a land of lush green forests, deep river valleys and beautiful plateaus. The land is mostly mountainous with the Himalayan range along the northern borders criss-crossed with ranges running north-south. These divide the state into five river valleys: the Kameng, the Subansiri, the Siang, the Lohit and the Tirap. All these are fed by snow from the Himalayas and countless rivers and rivulets.

Rivers

The rivers have created broad valleys in these areas. Due to the heavy rains, the forests are luxuriant in growth and large game inhabit them. Population is scanty. The Brahmaputra, India's major river enters Arunachal Pradesh from Tibet and flows into Assam from where it goes down to Bangladesh before falling into the Bay of Bengal. The state gets as much as five hundred centimeters of rain fall and this accounts for the large number of rivers and lakes in the region apart from extensive forests. The rivers Kameng, Subansiri, Siang, Lohit and Tirap have divided the plains of Assam into valleys. The terrain mostly consists of submontane and mountainous ranges with the Himalayan range along the northern borders criss- crossed with ranges running north-south. The mountain slopes and hills are covered with alpine, temperate, and subtropical forests of dwarf rhododendron, oak, pine, maple, fir, and juniper; sal (Shorea) and teak are the main economic species.

Agriculture and Irrigation

The shifting cultivation which has come to be known as Jhuming which means collective farming occupies the central position in Arunachal Pradesh in the field of agriculture. This is the form of cultivation that sustains majority of the people in the area which is been practiced from earlier days. Jhuming consist of clearing of a patch of jungle by cutting and burning after a particular number of years called the jhum cycle, dribbling seeds into the cleared patch by the help of a poker. Weeding at least four times, watching and protecting the growing plants from the wild animals and birds and finally harvesting a meager mixed crop, normally just enough to feed the workers - men, woman and children who had put in about 5 to 6 months of hard labour into the patch.

Paddy, millet and maize are the major crops. The indigenous vegetables are sweet potatoes, brinjal, ginger, chillies, pumpkin, cucumber, and local cowpea. Pine apple, oranges, lemon, lichi, papaya, banana and peach walnut, almond etc are also grown in Arunachal.

Industry

The state has several medium industries based on its forest products. Plants to produce cement and fruit processing units have also come up in the state. There are a number of craft training centres and the states handloom industry has made good progress. The people are experts in cane and bamboo basketry work. Wood carving and black smithy are found in certain villages. Iron scrapers, spear head, and Daos required for day-to-day use are made in several villages. To provide training to craftsmen there are two industrial training institutes at Roing and Daporijo.

Minerals

Mineral resources found in the state are clay, marble, lime stone, graphite, pyrite. Arunachal Pradesh Mineral Developmemt and Trading Corporation Limited was set up in 1991 and Namchik-Namphuk coal fields are under APMDTCL.

Climate

The climate of Arunachal Pradesh varies with elevation. Areas with very high elevation in the Upper Himalayas near the Tibetan border enjoy an alpine or Tundra climate. Below the Upper Himalayas come the Middle Himalayas, where people experience a temperate climate. Fruits like apples, oranges, etc are grown. Areas at the sub-Himalayan and sea-level elevation experience a humid sub-tropical climate, with hot summers and mild winters. The state receives heavy rainfall of 80 to 160 inches (2,000 to 4,000 mm) annually, most of it falling between May and September. From mid September to mid December and from mid March to mid June is considered the best time to visit Arunachal when the sky is clear and the cold weather is bearable.

Adventure in Arunachal Pradesh

Bomdila, near Itanagar is the place to visit for all the adventure seekers who would like to indulge in trekking.

Trekking in Arunachal Pradesh

For the wonderful experience of trekking, there are a few destinations in the world that would match the trekking routes of Arunachal Pradesh. The best trekking season in Arunachal Pradesh is from October to February. The most interesting as well as challenging trek in this region is around Tawang Chu. This trek starts from Jong, the bus-head in between Se- la and Tawang. From Jong to Mago, the trek route passes through a wonderful jungle studded with magnificent waterfalls.

Rafting and Angling in Arunachal Pradesh

Rafting and angling are the other adventure sports, popular in Arunachal Pradesh. Here, the mountainous routes follow the river system except in places where the mountainsides are very steep, this gives rise to ample opportunities for adventure sports. Try River Rafting along Kameng (Seppa- Bhalukpung), Subansiri (Taliha- North of Daporijo), Siang (entire course), Dibang (Anini- Assam Border).

Sub-divisions

Arunachal Pradesh is divided into fifteen districts, each administered by a district collector, who sees to the needs of the local people. Especially along the Tibetan border, the Indian army has considerable presence due to the concern about Chinese intentions. Special permits called Inner Line Permits (ILP)are required to enter Arunachal Pradesh through any of it checkgates on its border with Assam.

Districts of Arunachal Pradesh :

Anjaw
Changlang
East Kameng
East Siang
Kurung Kumey
Lohit
Lower Dibang Valley
Lower Subansiri
Papumpare
Tawang District
Tirap
Upper Dibang Valley
Upper Subansiri
Upper Siang
West Kameng
West Siang

District at a glance
Area 83,743 sq .km
Capital Itanagar
Languages Monpa, Apatani, Hill, Miri, Tagin, Adi, Idu, Kampti, Singhpo,Tangsa, Nocte, Wancho, Digaru, Miji
Districts 15
Population
Total 864,558
Male 461,242
Female 403,316
Literacy 41.2%

People

65% of the Arunachalis belong to 20 major-collective tribes and 82 tribes, who had a heritage of a diverse and rich culture, language and beliefs. Most of them are either of Tibetan or of Thai-Burmese origin. Another 35% of the population are immigrants, including 30,000 Bangladeshi, Bodo Hajong and Chakma expartriates, and immigrants from other parts of India, notably Assam and Nagaland.The most notable tribes include the Adi, Nishi Monpa and Apa Tani.

Transport

The state's airports are located at Itanagar, Daparjio, Ziro, Along, Tezu and Pashigat. However, owing to the rough terrain, these airports are mostly small and cannot handle many flights. Arunachal Pradesh has two highways; the 336km National Highway 52, completed in 1998, connects Jonai with Dirak. There is another highway which connects Tezpur in Assam with Tawang.

How to reach

By Air

Nearest Airport is situated at is Lilabari (North Lakhimpur) in Assam, 57 kms from Naharlagun and 67 kms from the capital, Itanagar. Indian Airlines operates direct flight from Calcutta to Tezpur ( 216 kms from Itanagar ) on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. There are helicopter services from Guwahati to Naharlagun.

By Train

The nearest railway station is Harmuty (near Banderdewa check gate) in Assam only 23 km from Naharlagun & 33 km from Itanagar. However nearest convenient railhead is North Lakhimpur in Assam, 50 km from Naharlagun & 60 km from Itanagar.

By Road

Arunachal Pradesh State Transport Corporation operates regular bus-services to various places in Arunachal Pradesh and its neighbouring states. Direct bus-services are there from North Lakhimpur to Itanagar via Naharlagun. Buses run frequently between Naharlagun & Itanagar between 0600-1900 hrs. Itanagar is also connected by daily buses from Guwahati (429km).

Tourist information Centres

New Delhi

Resident Commissioner,
Government of Arunachal Pradesh,
Kautala Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi
Tel : 3017909

Calcutta

Liaison Officer,
Government of Arunachal Pradesh,
Roxi Cinema Hall, Chowringhee Lane,
Calcutta
Tel : 286500

Guwahati

Liaison Officer,
Government of Arunachal Pradesh,
R.G.Baruah Road, Guwahati
Tel : 62859

Lilabari

Liaison Officer,
Government of Arunachal Pradesh,
Lilabari, North Lakhimpur
Tel : 86

Dibrugarh

Liaison Officer,
Government of Arunachal Pradesh,
Mohanbari, Dibrugarh
Tel : 20398

Naharlagun

Director of Information, Public
Relations and Tourism,
Government of Arunachal Pradesh,
Naharlagun
Tel : 4371

Inner Line Permit:

Arunachal Pradesh being a Protected Area, tourists are required to get an Inner Line Permit (ILP)/ Protected Area Permit as follows :

For domestic tourists

Inner line Permits are issued by the Secretary (Political),Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar and respective Deputy Commissioner and Additional Deputy Commissioner of the Districts. These can also be obtained from Resident Commissioner's office/ Liaison Offices located at New Delhi, Calcutta, Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, North Lakhimpur, Jorhat.

For foreign tourists

The foreign tourists can obtain the Protected Area Permit from all Indian Missions abroad, Home Ministry, Govt. of India and Home Commissioners, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar, for a period of 10 (ten) days for a group consisting of four or more persons.

Resident Commissioner,
Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh Chanakyapuri,
Kautilya Marg,
New Delhi 011-3013915,3013956

Deputy Resident Commissioner,
Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh Chowringhee Place,
Calcutta,
West Bengal 033-3341243,2486500

Deputy Resident Commissioner,
Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh Chandmari,
Guwahati 0361- 412859

Liaison Officer,
Govt.of Arunachal Pradesh,
Mohanbari, Dibrugarh,
Assam 0373- 82560,20398

Liaison Officer,
Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh Lilabari,
North Lakhimpur,
Assam 03752- 2186

Liaison Officer,
Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh Shillong-1 Meghalaya
0364-224247

Liaison Officer,
Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh,
Parvatinagar, Tezpur,
Assam 03712-20241

Liaison Officer,
Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh,
Jorhat (Rowriah),
Assam 0376-320724