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!
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 fish 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!
The largest naturally formed Shivling in the world has been discovered not quite long ago by the people of Arunachal Pradesh in here at Ziro Valley. The Archeological Survey of India(ASI) has made many visits there for observation and many devotees of Lord Shiva have been visiting this place in the recent months to have a view and worship this awesome Shiv Lingam.
A miraculous discovery of Shiva Lingam at the Sidheswar Nath Temple took place on the 1st fortnight of July’2004. According to the Hindu Calendar, it is the month of Shravana, a sacred month to worship Lord Shiva. A Nepalese, Mr. Prem Subha was cutting tree standing at the right of the Lingam. The tree was expected to fell just over it, fortunately, nothing harmed it and the tree landed a few meters away from the Lingam. He felt surprised over it and looked at the rising stone. Suddenly something struck in his mind and realized that it was not a mere stone. It stood clearly visible which appealed him to believe it as Shiva Lingam. Being fully inspired with his beliefs, he started telling the people all about what he had seen and what had happened.
The mystery of this Lingam in Ziro Valley has obviously mentioned in the SHIVAPURANA in 17th chapter of the ninth section (Nava Khand ke Satrahwa Adhyaya) edition 1893 that the tallest Shiva Lingam will appear at a place which will be called Lingalaya and the later the whole will be known as Arunachal.
Now it makes everyone belief about the reality of its appearance. There one can see not only the Lingam but also the image of Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha with trunk turning leftward. It is also said that the goddess of water, the Ganga lives with Lord Shiva. Therefore, the constant flow of water from the base of the Lingam can be clearly seen.
Jungleideas welcomes you to India’s North East to witness an Epitome of Faith ~ the World’s tallest naturally formed Shiva Lingam in the Land of the Legendary Apatani Tribes, Ziro Valley, the State of Arunachal Pradesh, Incredible India!