Administrative set up There are 274 villages and 2 towns in the district. Itanagar, the capital of the state is situated in this district. In Papumpare district, there are two sub divisions- Sagalee Sub-Division and Itanagar Capital Complex Sub-division, which is further divided into ten circles. District headquarter is at Yupia (located at a distance of 22 km from the State Capital, Itanagar). Ten circles are Mengio, Leporiang, Sagalee, Toru, Kimin, Doimukh, Balijan, Tarasso, Naharlagun and Itanagar. Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, is about 300 kms from Guwahati and connected by Pawan Hans helicopter service and luxury bus services.
The physical features of the district can be divided into two parts -
Foothill Region and Hilly Region.
Strips of level area along the foothills adjoining the northern border of Sonitpur and Lakhimpur districts of Assam form the plain belt of the district. In this area the plain ends and hills begin. The foothill region is covered with dense tropical evergreen forest and receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon. This area forms the agricultural land of the district. Kimin, Balijan, Doimukh and Naharlogun are situated in this area.
The mountainous area of the district forms the hilly region, which is covered with thick and dense forests. The area has very limited agricultural land and most area except the river valleys. However jhum cultivation is practiced on the gentle slopes in this area.
The Pare, Panior and Dikrong are the main rivers of the district
The Panior river rises from a high mountain called Khoren Putu lying to the northwest of Sagalee. A tributary called Pareing also feeds the river formed by two streams - Nirpung and Nirke. The Panior known in the plains of Assam as Ranga-Nadi falls into Brahmaputra. The Ranga-Nadi Hydro Electric project is built on this river.
The river Pare originates from the Senkeng Gekah range lying about 40 km away from Sagalee. It flows to the east for about 50 km before it meets the Nirochi and Pachin rivers. The main tributaries of the Pare river are Pang and Namte coming down from the nearby hillock.
Dikrong drains the southern part of the district. The Par, Nirochi and Pachin rivers form it. It flows from the west to the southeast, and passing through Itanagar region and merges with Brahmaputra in the Lakhimpur district of Assam.
The major rock formation in the district can be grouped into tertiary, gondwana, unfossiliferrous sedimentary and metamorphites. The hilly region comprises shales, sandstones, phyllites, quartzite and others. The valleys and low lands have dominantly colluvial and alluvial mixed materials.
The altitude variation ranging from 170 meters to 800 meters and varied climatic conditions have bestowed the area with three different types of forests:
Tropical evergreen forest
Tropical mixed evergreen forest
Tropical Evergreen Forest
The dominant trees forming the upper canopy of primary forest are Terminaliya myriocarapa, dalbergia assamica, altangia excelsa, castonopsis griffithii, quercus lanceolata, q lapacea, alangium Chinese and diospyros taposa. The middle layer is represented by Talauma hodgsonii, calicarpa arborea, and cronron joufra. The third layer comprising small trees and shrubs include Grewia multiflora, rubus insignia, trevasia palmate, boehmeria glomerulifera, livistona etc. The ground layer consists of herbs chiefly Blumea balsamifera, Chloranthus, officinalis, floscopa scandens, calamus teptopaddix, angiopteris evecta etc. Lofty trees are loaded with epiphytic orchids like Liparis longipes, Dendrobium, D Cathcartii and Eria paniculate etc.
Tropical Mixed Evergreen Forests
It extends from the foothills unto the height of 600 meters comprising mainly Stereosperum, Suaveolens, bombax ceiba, Schima wallichi etc.
The important plants of this area include Dendrocalamus bamiltonii intermixed with Musa sp forming secondary forests and it extends unto 500 meters. Besides, Buddleia Asiatic a, ptris enciformis cyathea spinulosa, Osbekia nutans, Scoparia dulcis, Urena lobata etc. are common component of this forests.
The various wild animals found in the district are elephants (elephas maximus linnacus), samber (cervus unicolor Kerr), Barking deer (munticus muntjak Zimmerman), and wild boars (sus scrofa linnaeus). The common primates found in the southern region are the macaque (macaca assamenis MoClelland) and Capped langur (Presbytis pileatus Blyth). The insectivorous and rodents are very common. The commom varieties are the long tailed tree mouse (vandeluria oleracia benneth), the house rat. Various types of squirrels viz Palla`s squirrel (calloscirus pallas), giant flying squirrel (petaurista petaurist pallas) and the malayan giant squirrel are also found.
Jungle fowl, hornbill, dove, parakeet, snipes, swifts, cuckoo, owls, kingfisher, trogon, barbets, woodpeckers, mynas, jungle crow, tree pie etc. are found in the district.
The Nishis or Nishings are the local inhabitant tribe of the district. Also the Mikirs, who are the migrants from Assam, form a part of the local population. The Nishis were known as DAFLAS till few decades ago. But the locals felt the term derogatory and thus discontinued using it. Moreover the word originated from the people of plain areas who had the initial contact with the hill tribes. The Nishis belong to the Indo-Mongoloid group of people and their language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family. They believe in the supremacy of the DONYI POLO , the sun and the moon. However, now many people have adopted other religions also.