The State of Arunachal Pradesh is among the 29 States of India and holds the North Eastern most position in the Country. The most picturesque among the Seven Sister States of India, Arunachal Pradesh is a land of undulating hills and valleys, simple and hospitable people and Indigenous arts and crafts. A Land of colorful festivals, the name Arunachal Pradesh means the Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains. In Sanskrit, it is also referred to as the Orchid State of India.
Arunachal Pradesh is a land of breath taking natural beauty with its snow clad peaks, towering mountains, roaring rivers, high altitude meadows and vast unspoiled sub-tropical forests. Arunachal Pradesh shares its International borders touching China, Bhutan and Myanmar. Arunachal has been endowed with a natural landscape that is awe inspiring and majestic with only a few other places in the world that come close its raw and rugged beauty. Arunachal Pradesh can surely be called as the wildest frontier of India. Falling almost entirely under the Eastern Himalayan landscape, Arunachal Pradesh is indeed a land of unmatchable natural beauty, heritage and ancient traditions. The forests of Arunachal Pradesh are considered to be among the best bio-diversity hotspots across the World!
Himalayan rivers and their major tributaries meander across the State of Arunachal Pradesh covering valleys which have remained disconnected from the rest of the modern world due to poor infrastructure and densely populated mountains giving Arunachal Pradesh its unique identity of rough and rugged natural beauty. Nine major rivers flow across the State that harbors a wide variety of flora and fauna. Across the single State, inhabit over a group of 40 tribes and their sub tribes who speak fairly over 90 languages. The rich culture and heritage of the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh makes the State one of the most sought after destinations for any offbeat traveller.
The first rays of the sun greets India in Arunachal Pradesh at Dong Village which is why Arunachal Pradesh is called the land of rising sun in India. Arunachal Pradesh is predominantly tribal and sparsely populated. There is a strong Buddhist presence in the region that border Bhutan with splendid relics of Buddhist art an architecture. Arunachal Pradesh shares its borders with China in the north, Myanmar in the east and the kingdom of Bhutan in the west. Almost 80% of the state is covered with a canopy of impenetrable deciduous forests.
Location, Climate and Biodiversity of Arunachal Pradesh ~
The State of Arunachal Pradesh is mostly surrounded by Mountain ranges. The Himalayan Mountain Range covers most of the State barring exceptions at Lohit, Changlang and Tirap districts that are covered by the Patkai hills. Kangto, Nyegi Kangsang and the Eastern Gorichen peak are some of the highest peaks of Arunachal Pradesh. The State is divided into five (5) 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. The mightiest of these rivers is Siang, called the Tsangpo in Tibet, which becomes the Brahmaputra after it is joined by the Dibang and the Lohit in the plains of Assam.
The climate of Arunachal Pradesh varies with elevation. Areas that are at a very high elevation in the Upper Himalaya close to the Tibetan border have a cold climate the year around. Below the Upper Himalayas are the Middle Himalayas, where people experience a moderate climate and the areas at the sub-Himalayan and sea-level elevation generally experience humid, subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters.
Arunachal Pradesh receives heavy rainfall of 2,000 to 4,100 millimeters (79 to 161 in) annually, most of it between May and September. The mountain slopes and hills are covered with alpine, temperate, and subtropical forests of dwarf rhododendron, oak, pine, maple, fir, sal and teak.
Arunachal Pradesh has one of the richest bio geographical province of the Himalayan zone which is also classified as the biodiversity hot-spot. The State is endowed with diverse forests and magnificent wildlife that harbors over 5000 plants, about 85 terrestrial mammals, over 500 birds and a large number of butterflies, insects and reptiles. The vast forest cover of Arunachal Pradesh, as mentioned earlier, harbors a wide range of varied fauna species. Arunachal Pradesh is the only State in India where seven (7) of the wild cat species are found together viz. tigers, leopards, clouded leopards, snow leopards, golden cats, leopard cats and the marbled cats. The Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh is one of the best bio-diversity hotspots in the World and is home to the big four cat species. Some of the most unique primate species of India viz. Hollock Gibbon, Assamese macaque, pig-tailed macaque, slow lorris, rhesus macaque, stumped tailed macaque and the capped langur have made the forests of Arunachal Pradesh their home. Migratory bird species flock to various destinations of Arunachal Pradesh during the winter season making the State one of the most sought after destinations for bird watching in India. Rare bird species to be spotted in Arunachal Pradesh are the Indian Hornbill, Bengal florican, Mishmi wren, White winged wood duck, Termincks tragopan, etc. Smaller mammals like the squirrel, porcupine, civets, mongoose, shrew, bats, etc. are also to be spotted in Arunachal Pradesh. The higher altitudes are home to unique and exotic species like the Himalayan black bear, Red Panda and the Goral.
Most of Arunachal, including the Himalayan foothills and the Patkai hills, are home to Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests. Arunachal is also home to a large number of medicinal plants and within Ziro valley where 158 medicinal plants are being used by its inhabitants.
People of Arunachal Pradesh ~
The State of Arunachal Pradesh is home to many distinct ethnic groups, most of which are in some ways related to the peoples of Tibet and the region of western Myanmar. Arunachal Pradesh can be roughly divided into a set of semi-distinct cultural spheres, on the basis of tribal identity, language, religion and culture ~ the Tibetic area bordering Bhutan in the west, the Tani area in the centre of the state, the Mishmi area to the east of the Tani area, the Tai/Singpho/Tangsa area bordering Myanmar, and the “Naga” area to the south. Arunachal Pradesh is home to over 26 indigenous tribes and over 100 sub-tribes. Having a rich cultural heritage, these ancient tribes have dwelled Arunachal Pradesh for the past several hundred years preserving their age old customs and religious practices. The presence of a large number of tribes in Arunachal Pradesh has resulted in over 90 languages being spoken across the State.
The major Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh are ~
- Tai Khamti
- Tai Phake
These tribes of Arunachal Pradesh are mostly an agrarian community. Unadapted to the major transformations of the modern world, these tribes mostly living in the remote areas of Arunachal Pradesh have been successful in preserving their age old religious beliefs, practices and customs. The tribal dresses and ornaments of the people of Arunachal Pradesh are very exquisite. For instance, the Apatanis of Arunachal Pradesh are characterized with special facial tattoos and nose plugs. The Miri men wear unique headgears while the women wear special blouses made of cane. Most the the people of Arunachal Pradesh are expert in handicrafts of bamboo and cane and weave out exquisite products made of bamboo. The unique bamboo bridges of Arunachal Pradesh are a sight to behold! The tribes of Arunachal Pradesh celebrate many traditional festivals which are characterized by different dance rituals and colorful rituals.
Arunachal Pradesh celebrates some unique festival across the year; Losar Festival (January/February) celebrates the Tibetan New Year. Losar Festival is celebrated generally for 5 days and on the 5th day evening people clean their homes to welcome the new year and say goodbye to the previous year. Losar Festival has a major influence of Buddhism, therefore during the festival days Buddhist scriptures are read. Losar is celebrated with great pomp and vigour at the Largest Buddhist Monastery in India ~ the Tawang Monastery. The Torgya festival of Arunachal Pradesh celebrated at the Tawang Monastery is again a three day celebration and it signifies the destruction of evil spirits. The Saka Dawa festival marks Buddha’s transition to nirvana and is celebrated in the fourth month of lunar calendar. The Choekhor festival of Arunachal Pradesh is the festival of harvest and crop. It is celebrated in the seventh month of Lunar calendar with huge pomp and show.
Rice is a staple diet across Arunachal Pradesh and is usually served with vegetarian and nonvegetarian delights. The food habits of the people of Arunachal Pradesh have a tribal influence. The most famous traditional drink made from fermented rice or millet is Apong. The prominent feature of the cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh is indigenous herbs and meat.
Places of Interest in Arunachal Pradesh ~
- Tawang ~ Home to the Largest Buddhist Monastery in India, Tawang is surrounded by snow clad mountains the year around. Other places of interest at Tawang are the Madhuri Lake and the Jung Waterfall. Tawang also has many centers of Handicrafts and Handlooms
- Sela Pass and Jaswatgarh ~ Among the highest motor able passes in India, the Sela Pass provides a majestic view of the Snow Clad mountains of Arunachal Pradesh
- Bomdila ~ Has a famous Monastery and is a hub of Handicrafts and Handlooms of Arunachal Pradesh
- Dirang and Sangti Valley ~ a Bird watcher’s paradise
- Itanagar ~ the Capital of Arunachal Pradesh
- Ziro Valley ~ the Land of the Legendary Apatani Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh and home to the World’s Tallest naturally formed Shivalinga
- Daporijo ~ the Land of the Tagin Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh
- Namsai ~ Home to the Golden Pagoda Temple
- Walong ~ the Land where India fought China in 1962
- Dong Village ~ First rays of the Sun in India are received at Dong Village
- Kibithu ~ the Eastern most part of India
- Mayodia ~ Covered with snow clad mountains, Mayodia provides a picteresque view of the Patkai mountain range of Arunachal Pradesh
- Anini ~ Home to the Adi tribes of Arunachal Pradesh
- Miao ~ Center of Tibetian settlement in Arunachal Pradesh
- Namdapha National Park ~ Home to the Big Four (4) Cat Species and the 3rd Largest National Park of India
- Jairampur ~ The World War II cemetery at Jairampur is the only one in India that has burials of soldiers of the Chinese Army
- Nampong ~ Host to the Pangsau Pass Winter Festival
- Pangsau Pass ~ the Border of India and Myanmar. Every month on the 10th, 20th and 30th, Indian Nationals are allowed to cross the border and travel to the market at Myanmar
- Stilwell Road ~ Built by the American Army during the World War II under the able guidance of General Vinegar Joe Stilwell
- Lake of No Return ~ Dubbed as the Bermuda Triangle this Lake shot into fame during the World War II when Aircraft of the Allies disappeared mysteriously in the Lake.
On the banks of the Bhoroli river in Dirang lies Asia’s third largest orchid garden popularly known as Tipi. At Tipi orchard in Arunachal Pradesh, around 500 species of orchids can be seen. Bomdila, a breathtakingly beautiful town with an awesome view of the snow capped mountains of the Eastern Himalayas is the headquarters of west Kameng and has a large number of apple orchards. Sela Pass, the second highest pass in Arunachal Pradesh runs through a small ride along the paradise Sela lake. Most visitors to Arunachal Pradesh visit to sight the Buddhist Monasteries here. Tawang, popularly termed as the Land of Monpas is famous for the Tawang Monastery, which is the largest Buddhist Monastery in India and the second largest in the world after Potala in Tibet. The picturesque Ziro Valley is a tourist’s delight with its stunning landscapes and the Apatani tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. The Namdapha National Park is a famous tiger reserve accessible from Dibrugarh via its entry point Miao. The majority portion of the Namdapha National Park is mountainous and across its flows the majestic river Nao Dehing, Deban and the Namdapha rivers which paves way for a rich diversity of flora and fauna here at Namdapha National Park. This park in Arunachal Pradesh is home to the big four cat species of the likes of the tigers, the leopards, the clouded leopards and the snow leopards. An important pilgrimage center of Arunachal Pradesh is Parashuram Kund which is believed to be the place where Parashuram washed away the sin of killing his mother in the waters of Brahma Kund. The tribal hamlet of Tezu is located close by dominated most;y by the Mishmi hill tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. Other places of interest across Arunachal Pradesh are Bhalukpong, Mechuka, Pasighat, Along, Roing, Mayodia, etc. Arunachal Pradesh is haven to explore Buddhism with many Monasteries being home here.
Among the northeasternmost State of India, Arunachal Pradesh is one of the most beautiful States in the Country. The first rays of the sun in India, touch the soil of Arunachal Pradesh at a tinsel village of Dong and hence the name Arunachal Pradesh in Sanskrit translates to the ‘Land of the Dawn Lit Mountains’. Many other feathers dawn the hat of Arunachal Pradesh in it being the Orchid State of India, the Paradise for all Botanists and also it being the largest among all the north eastern States in India. Arunachal Pradesh is one of the North East States that enjoys a temperate climate around the year and can be visited across the year. Covered with snowy mountains, steep cliffs, gorgeous rivers and glorious waterfalls, Arunachal Pradesh harbors a very diverse biodiversity. The widely scattered Archaeological remains across Arunachal Pradesh stands a testament to its rich heritage and glory. Some of the main Archaeological State of Arunachal Pradesh are Tawang Monastery, Malinithan Temple, Likabali, Dirang Dzong, Ita Fort, Dimachung-Betali, Bhismaknagar Fort, Tezu Fort, Bolung Fort, Gomsi Fort, Rukmini Fort, Naksha Parbat ruins, etc.
The State of Arunachal Pradesh is situated in extreme north east corner of India with close proximity to the border of China. Arunachal Pradesh is nearly 84,000 sq km in area and has a long international border with the Kingdom of Bhutan to its west, Republic of China to the north and north-east and Republic of the Union of Myanmar to its east. Arunachal Pradesh stretches from snow-capped mountains in the north to the plains of Brahmaputra valley to its south. Arunachal Pradesh is the largest state area wise in the north-eastern region.
The State of Arunachal Pradesh is a place of lush green forests, deep river valleys and beautiful plateaus. The land is mostly mountainous with Himalayan ranges along the northern borders criss-crossed with mountain 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 rivers are fed by snows from the Himalayas and countless rivers and rivulets except Tirap which is fed by Patkai Range.The mightiest of these river is Siang, called Tsangpo in Tibet, which becomes Brahmaputra after it is joined by the Dibang and the Lohit in the plains of Assam.
High mountains and dense forests have prevented intercommunication between tribes living in different river valleys of Arunachal Pradesh. The geographical isolation thus imposed has led different tribes to evolve their own dialects and grow with their distinct identities. Nature has endowed the Arunachal people with a deep sense of beauty which finds delightful expression in their songs, dances and crafts.
Arunachal Pradesh is the Easternmost State of North East India and is a Land of rich culture and ancient heritage. The first rays of the Sun in India falls on the Lands of the State of Arunachal Pradesh and hence this State is often referred to as the Land of the Rising Sun in India. Nestled in the Border between the countries of India, Tibet and China, Arunachal Pradesh is among the most picturesque of the Eight Sister States of North East India!
Arunachal Pradesh has been bestowed and endowed with natural landscapes that is awe inspiring and majestic with only a few other places in the World that come close to its raw and rugged natural beauty. Surrounded by the Himalayan Mountain Range and criss crossed by the Siang and Lohit Rivers, Arunachal Pradesh enjoys a mild and temperate weather condition across the year, with snowfall to be sighted across the places of Sela, Tawang, Mechula and Mayodia. Being located in the Himalayan Zone, Arunachal Pradesh is a Biodiversity hotspot harbouring over 5000 plants, 85 mammal species, 500 avifauna species and a large number of reptiles and butterfly species.
Being a land of a large number of residing ethnic groups, the primary inhabitants of Arunachal Pradesh are the Monpas, Nishis, Apatanis, Noctes, Wanchos, Singphos, Adis, Tangsas, Tai Phakes, Chakmas, Buguns and the Mishmi Tribes.
Festivals of Arunachal Pradesh ~
1| Losar Festival ~ Tawang Monastery ~ Tawang ~ Arunachal Pradesh
Celebrating the Tibetan New Year ~ Losar Festival ~ Tawang Monastery ~ Late February/Early March every year
Losar is the Tibetan word for ‘New Year’. LO stands for the semantic field ‘Year, Age’; SAR holds the semantic field ‘New, Fresh’. Losar Festival is a festival of the Buddhist Community in Tawang and it marks the Monpa New Year which is celebrated with great Splendor and Grandeur every year during the End of February or Early March at the Largest Buddhist Monastery in India ~ the Tawang Monastery.
The Losar Festival is believed to ward off evel spirits and welcome the arrival of the New Year filled with happiness and prosperity. Although the Losar Festival is celebrated every year on the first day of the first month of the Tibetian Lunar Calendar, the dates vary each year. The local people are busy with cleaning, painting and decorating their houses. The local Monpa community houses are adorned with different decorations and offerings are made known as LAMA LOSAR.
On the New Year’s eve, a traditional noodle soup is made which is known as Guthnk. It contains dumplings made of flour and water. The dumplings are stuffed with each of nine different fortune symbols that determine the fortune of the person for the next year. They also make offerings to the households shrine to pay homage to the Lord. This day is restricted to the immediate family only. On the second day, people move out of their homes and visit their friends and relatives. They exchange greetings and wish one another ‘Tashi Delek’ meaning Good Luck! In the evenings, people light torches and move around their homes warding off evil spirits from their abode. The third day is marked by visits to the Monastery, Shrines and Stupas. On this day, the Monpa people also donate clothes and foods to the Monks of the Monasteries.
2| Tawang Festival ~ Tawang ~ Arunachal Pradesh
The Tawang Festival ~21st to 23rd October every year
In the land of early sunrise, on India’s eastern most frontier, with China to its northern side, the land of Thunder Dragon Bhutan, to its southwest, and Myanmar to its Eastern side. Tawang is situated at 10,000 feet above sea level with snow capped mountains, monasteries & waterfalls. A place where you might not find Nirvana, but the Experience will surely be like that if not less. Tawang is a place for those who search their Souls. With an initiative of showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the state, the festival also promote adventure tourism. It’s the festival, where you will not only witness the rich culture of Monpas the prime inhabitants of Tawang, but also of all other tribes of the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Tawang Festival was introduced in 2012 as a tourism festival after celebration of Buddha Mahotsova since 2004, with a three-day routine including cycling expeditions, cultural shows, Ethnic Fashion Show and a lot more.
In this festival, a mega fair is constructed to showcase the brilliant culture of the monastic tribes. With religious chants by monks from the Tawang monastery, folk dances, tribal dances, and other forms of culture it is sure to get peace and entertained. The Celebrations resonate the Eastern skies as colorful culture spills to the streets, there is an opera which in act street plays based on Buddhist stories of ancient times. In the land of Last Shangri-La that only creates magic but engulfs one in an unending bond, one can surely be at calm and enjoy the warm hospitality of the people of Arunach Pradesh.
What you can do when you are visiting Tawang ~
- You can visit the tallest road pass, the Sela pass.
- Take a tour of the famed Tawang monastery (Largest in India)
- Visit the popular Songa-Tser lake or see the Tawang War Memorial
- Try the roadside delicacies like Momos and Thukpa’s
3| The Ziro Festival of Music ~ Ziro Valley ~ Arunachal Pradesh
To what is described as India’s Greatest outdoor Music Festival, the Ziro festival of Music is held every year in the month of September at the tinsel town of Ziro in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Situated at around 115 kms from the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar is the small town of Ziro. Even though this town is far atop the hills but people from across the world know Ziro as the place the hosts India’s largest outdoor Music Festival – ‘the Ziro Festival of Music’. Although this may suggest Ziro as a modern place where the parties and festivities cease to come to an end but it’s completely the other way around. Ziro is a quaint and silent place that is home to the ‘Apatani’ tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. It is only during September when the festival is held you see people from across the world coming to dance to the tunes of the renowned artists both local and global to an atmosphere very similar to ‘Sunburn Festival’ across the various Tier I cities of India!
The Ziro Festival of Music showcases the independent music scene in India. The festival was founded in 2012 by Bobby Hano and Menwhopause guitarist Anup Kutty, and has featured artists like Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley, Louw Majaw, Sha’air n Func, Indus Creed, Peter Cat Recording Co, Menwhopause, Guru Rewben Mashangva, and Barmer Boys among others. The festival is spread over four days and is hosted by members of the Apatani people in Ziro.
Ziro is primarily home to the ‘Apatani’ Tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh –friendly, simple and hospitable people with an interesting culture and legacy. They are a non-nomadic, agrarian tribe who share a responsible relationship with nature. ‘Apatani’ people cultivate permanent wet land cultivation instead of dry land cultivation which involves burning forests. Ziro valley is lush with paddy farms and is known for its unique paddy cum fi sh cultivation where using traditional irrigation methods, farmers rear fish in the knee-deep water. Keeping them company are the adorable, shy, and harmless Indian Bison. Around here, they are called ‘Mithun’ and considered auspicious and are very tasty too!
Back in the olden days, there was a strange custom of facial tattoos for ‘Apatani’ women and you can still see a few old women with tattoos. A highlight of this place and people and shy to pose for a picture and hence do ask for their permission before you take pictures.
4| Dree Festival ~ Ziro Valley ~ Arunachal Pradesh
Situated at around 115 kms from the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar is the small town of Ziro. Even though this town is far atop the hills but people from across the world know Ziro as the place the hosts India’s largest outdoor Music Festival – ‘the Ziro Festival of Music’. Although this may suggest Ziro as a modern place where the parties and festivities cease to come to an end but it’s completely the other way around. Ziro is a quaint and silent place that is home to the ‘Apatani’ tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. It is only during September when the festival is held you see people from across the world coming to dance to the tunes of the renowned artists both local and global to an atmosphere very similar to ‘Sunburn Festival’ across the various Tier I cities of India!
The ‘Dree Festival’ is an ‘Apatani’ agricultural rite. It involves the sacrifice of fowls, eggs and animals to the Gods – ‘Tamu’, ‘Metii’ and ‘Danyi Pilo’ (Sun and Moon God). The purpose of the festival is to appease these Gods so that famine could be avoided. This rite is observed by the ‘Apatanis’ in Arunachal Pradesh, the ‘Apatanis’, who inhabit a tranquil pine clad valley called Ziro at the core of Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh, are famous for their unique practice of wet rice cultivation. One would wonder as to how the early ‘Apatanis’ had brilliantly discovered the magnificent irrigated rice cultivation without help of scientific technologies. Rice is the staple food of the ‘Apatanis’, as such for its bumper harvest the nature God and goddesses are prayed during the ‘Dree’ Festival from 4 to 7 July of each year.
Although ‘Dree’ is the festival of the ‘Apatani’ Tribe, it has gained in popularity amongst other tribes in Arunachal Pradesh as well. The festival takes place on July 5 each year; however celebrations associated with the festival begin from July 4 itself. ‘Dree’ is the biggest festival of the Ziro Valley and is celebrated to ensure a good harvest. During the festival, people offer prayers to their Gods and seek the blessings of the four mighty Gods who are thought to bring in peace, prosperity and fruitful harvest to the Ziro Valley. Traditional dance is performed and as a symbol of good harvest cucumber is distributed to all. Women brew wine and people also savor various delicacies and rice/millet beer.
5| Pangsau Pass Winter Festival ~ Nampong ~ Arunachal Pradesh
Pangsau Pass Winter Festival ~ a Conglomeration of the Legendary Tribes of two Nations ~ India & Myanmar
Amazing Arunachal Pradesh Tourism welcomes you to the International Border of India and Myanmar at the Pangsau Pass ~ the host to the famous Pangsau Pass Winter Festival of Arunachal Pradesh (January 20th – 22nd every year).
Located on the plains of the Lush Green Patkai Mountain Range, Pangsau Pass offers one of the easiest routes to Burma from the Assam plains through Jairampur town of Arunachal Pradesh. Also known as the Hells Pass from the era of the World War II, this Pass gradient came into limelight from the construction of the famous Stilwell Road (built by the American Army under the able guidance of General Vinegar Joe Stilwell) through it along with the presence of the Lake of No Return. The memoirs of the World War II can be seen here at War Cemetery at Jairampur (the only War Cemetery in India with burials of soldiers from the Chinese Army). A 2 hour drive by road from Margherita (the Coal Queen of Assam) across the scenic view of the Tirap River and the Patkai Mountain Range will reach you to the Pangsau Pass.
The Pangsau Pass Winter Festival is a global village event organized every year at Nampong in Arunachal Pradesh. Pangsau Pass Winter Festival is the Second most popular Tourism festival of Arunachal Pradesh organized and supported by the Department of Tourism ~ a Festival that is sure to allow you to fall in love with the moment, the place, the people, the food, and just about everything!
Pangsau Pass Winter Festival is a platform to showcase the rich Culture and Heritage of the Indigenous Tribes across the borders of the two Nations with a special focus on the Tangsa Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. This Festival provides a platform to promote their Indigenous Traditions, Culture, Handlooms, Handicrafts, Food habits, etc. It is a change for the tourists from across the World to savor their rich Tribal Cuisines and Local Beverages. In short, the Pangsau Pass Winter Festival unearths the magnificent isle of Culture of the Tribes, their Cuisines, the Exotic Countryside and Ethnic extravaganza of Arunchal Pradesh and Myanmar at Nampong and the Pangsau Pass.
6| Golden Pagoda Festival ~ Namsai ~ Arunachal Pradesh
The Golden Pagoda Temple at Choukham is a major tourist destination in the Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh. Known as ‘Kongmu Kham’ in the local Tai-Khamti language, Golden Pagoda is one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in North East India after the Tawang Monastery.
The Golden Pagoda Temple complex is built in Burmese architectural design with a beautiful garden around it.The temple complex has a shrine hall which has a huge Buddha statue in meditating pose inside it.On four corners of the outer base of the main shrine are a bell,Vasundri or the witness to the offerings made in the temple, a monk and four deties. The Golden Pagoda complex houses a spacious shrine hall,a meditation hall,a multipurpose hall,a guest house,a library,a monastery to accommodate around 100 Bhikkhus and living quarter for the monks.
The Golden Pagoda Temple is host to the 2 famous festivals of the Tai-Phake Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh namely the Kathina Chibar Dena and the Poi Pee Mau Festival.
The Kathina Chibar Dena/ Poi Khating Festival (Golden Pagoda Festival- Namsai Arunachal Pradesh)
The majestic Golden Pagoda at Tengapani hosts the month-long Poi Khating Festival or Kathina Chibar Dena Festival from November 5. Buddhists in China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka celebrate it with traditional fervour. The followers at family level or community level weave new cloth manually and dye it overnight for offering it to the revered monk as per tradition. The Hindi substitute is ‘kathin’ or ‘kathina’ for the difficult process, ‘Chibar’ for making the cloth and ‘dena’ for offering, hence the name Kathina Chibar Dena Festival is into being. Tengapani which houses the Golden Pagoda is ready to celebrate the festival, where Buddhists from all over the country, particularly from North Eastern region take part. Aimed at promoting the rich cultural heritage of Tai Khamti, the centre is contemplating to reform its Khamti script.
Poi Pee Mau Festival (Tai Khamti New Year)
The annual New Year celebration of the Tai Khamti community in India is held at the festival ground in Nalung, near the Golden Pagoda of Namsai district. The Poi Pee Mau festival is celebrated by the Tai people worldwide marking the advent of a new year as per their lunar calendar. The attraction of the day is the traditional boat race where teams compete in the initial rounds in wooden boats which are manually crafted. The boats are a unique feature in this part of North Eastern India. The culture, cuisine and colourful Tai Khamti way of life are being showcased in the fest. Apart from the cultural displays, the delicious food is something to look out for. Poi Pee Mau – is the celebration of the advent of a new dawn for the community to usher a fresh era of socio-cultural development.
It usually takes place in November or December. The common platform in the form of Poi Pee Mau Khamti provides the youth with relevant change of mind-set and helped them see the brighter side of life. The Poi (festival) has in the true sense made the younger generations more acquainted with at least the names of different games and sports disciplines, and also rescued the Tai Khamti culture from the threat of possible extinction. The celebration of Poi Pee Mau is designed in such a way that it gives a platform to develop and display the talents of the budding artists and writers of the society. It gives exposure to the tourism potentiality of the area to the outer world and helps the unemployed youth get employment under the tourism sector.
It also sustains the prospects of tourism and ultimately helps in strengthening the society, the state and the nation as a whole. It represents the cultural ethos, providing sustenance to it and ultimately promotes tourism and provides continuity to customs, tradition and culture.
So why wait?! Plan your visit to India’s Land of the Rising Sun at the Amazing Destinations of the State of Arunachal Pradesh, Incredible India!
Phone: +91 7086009708
Majestic Mountains and beautiful valley at Mechuka ~ Mechuka ~ Arunachal Pradesh ~ India