Arunachal Pradesh is a north easterly Indian state located in India. Itanagar is the capital of the state. It is one of the eight north eastern states of India.
Indian tourists require ILP (Inner Line Permit), which can be acquired from any of the AP Houses situated in New Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati. The ILP is provided for each of the sectors (1. Bomdila, Dirang, Tawang; 2. Itanagar, Ziro; 3. Namdapha, Changlang). One can get the ILP for any one of the above sectors.
Foreign tourists require a Restricted Area Permit which CANNOT be acquired at AP House in Guwahati. It can be acquired in New Delhi or Kolkata. In Guwahati travel agents can arrange this permit for private groups of 2 or more people. Rhino Travels charges $75 per person to do so. (Current as of May 2014)
Restricted Area Permits will be required to be presented at official checkpoints and at every hotel/lodge. You will be required to leave a physical copy of the permit with each official so be sure to take plenty of copies with you.
ILP and RAP can be obtained from Naharlagun railway station on arrival by train. Charges for domestic tourist is 400 INR and for foreigners its 3200 INR.
ILP can now be obtained online for Self/Group. The charges are INR100 per person (as on Nov. 2017).
People of Arunachal Pradesh understand Hindi and English. There are more than 306 sub-tribes and more than 36 major tribes in Arunachal Pradesh. Since there is no common language, most of the people communicate in Hindi, apart from their own tribal dialects.
The nearest airports are Guwahati and Dibrugarh, if you are traveling to the western part of Arunachal.
Arunachal State Transport runs buses daily from Guwahati to Bomdila and Itanagar. Buses depart from the Assam Interstate Bus Terminal at 6-7 am.
You can also access Bomdila and Itanagar by shared vehicles from Tezpur (Assam). One can go to Tezpur by state transport buses. From Tezpur, shared vehicles are available every morning from 5:30 am. Make sure you book a nice seat with a reputed travel agency. Dont forget to request your driver to halt at Sela pass. Its covered with snow during winter seasons with a nice picturesque view. The roads are maintained by Border Road Organization (BRO); there is the possibility of land slides in the rainy season.
If you are visiting Namdapha, then the nearest airport will be Dibrugarh (Assam). There are no direct flights to Itanagar and the nearest airport is Tezpur. There is a helicopter service available from Gauhati to various destinations like Pasighat and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. The service is operated weather permitting. The fares are reasonably priced. There are no public taxis operating at the Helipad in Tawang. If you want to trek from the Helipad to Tawang town make prior arrangements for road transport before boarding the flight.
Arunachal Pradesh State Transit (APST) does run some government bus service, however they operate mostly in the plains area and are often infrequent and unreliable. The timetable on the APST website lists services that do not exist and should not be relied upon when planning your trip.
The main mode of transport is shared Sumo taxi. These taxis operate a private network between villages in the same sector. Sumos carry 10 (sometimes more) people and generally leave each morning around 5.30 am (check with the Sumo counters the night before to be sure).
It should be noted that the road network in Arunachal Pradesh is not overly developed and it is often not possible to move directly between one village or another. You will often have to return to the plains Itanagar, Pasighat or even Tezpur (Assam) instead of going directly from town to town.
Ziro Valley the headquarter of lower Subansiri district "the land of Apatani and the land rituals". Still many of the Apatani older men and women do have a tattoo on their face and beautiful nose plug. To see the real rituals festivals tourist must come in the month of January and March every year. Apatani has very rich in its culture and traditions as well as beautiful unique landscape for the photographer.
Bomdila is a great option for adventure sports activities in Arunachal Pradesh. It is famous as trekking destination for trekking lovers. Best time to for trekking in arunachal Pradesh is from October to February. Rafting and Angling, both are also famous adventure sport activities possible here.
Pashighat is one of the oldest cities of Arunachal Pradesh. This is an ideal place for tourists who wish to experience the suzerainty of the nature. This city is the entrance point for the Arunacahl Pradesh. This places is perfect for the natural photography.
Places to visit around Tawang include
Rafting Brahmaputra is counted as one of the best rivers for rafting in world. This river gives an amazing and exciting, life time memorable rafting expedition experience into North-East part of India. The Tsang Po River flows in the east side of Tibet, passing through great Himalayan. This river also passes through the Namche Barwa, highest unclimbed mountain and then reaches to Arunachal Pradesh. Brahmaputra river rafting is an challenging activity in which one can experience the “ Zebra ock” and “ Roaring Rikor”. Tourists can also set their camp on beaches in the night time. This journey also includes a ride at Dibrugarh on the Brahmaputra River also the densely forested river valley from the plains of Pasighat.
Subansari River Rafting Subansari River is also known as the “Gold River”. This river is the biggest tributary of the Brahmaputra River and flow through rainforest in the Arunachal Pradesh. This river flows around 170 km in Tibet, around 250 km in the east part of the Himalaya and around 86 km in the Assam before it joins the great Brahmaputra River. Kameng River Rafting: This River was known as the Bhareli River, before it got renamed to Kameng. This river flows on the India-Tibet border, in India it flows from Arunachal Pradesh. This is one of most challenging river for the river rafting in India.
Woven Goods Weaving is the traditional occupation of womenfolk throughout, the territory. They are very particular about colours and have a beautiful sense of colour combination. Common colours are black, yellow dark blue, green, scarlet. The designs are basically geometrical type varying from a formal arrangement of lines and bands to elaborate patterns of diamonds and lozenges. These designs are sometimes enhanced by internal repetition and other decorations. A few of the woven products that deserve a mention are Sherdukpen shawls, Apatani jackets and scarves, Adi skirts, jackets and bags, Mishmi shawls, blouses and jackets and Wancho bags and loin cloths.
Cane and Bamboo work Cane and bamboo industry of Arunachal Pradesh is of very high standard. Hats of different sizes and shapes, various kinds of baskets, cane vessels, a wide variety of cane belts, woven and plains, elaborately woven brassier of cane and fibre, bamboo mugs with carvings, a variety of ornaments and necklaces are some products worth purchasing. The technique of basketry is same throughout. Traditional basketry is beautiful not only because of the fine texture but also because of the unusual shapes.
Carpet Making is the specialty of the Monpas. They weave lovely colourful carpets with dragon, geometric and floral designs. The choice of colour and the colour combination is unique. Though originally they wove carpet for local use, it has now become a high demand item of trade. With increase in demand, there has been an increase in large scale production.
Wood Carving Wood carving is a tradition with some of the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. The Monpas, Khamtis, and Wanchos excel in craft. Monpa woodcarvers make beautiful cups, dishes, fruit bowls and carve magnificent masks for ceremonial dances and pantomimes. Wooden masks are also carved by the Khambas and Membas of West Siang. The Khamptis make beautiful religious images figures of dancers, toys along with other objects. Very beautiful wood carvings are made by the Wanchos of Tirap. With the departure from the traditional fixed form, symmetrical postures are bieng replaced by assymetrical ones, relief works are often experimented with various themes.
Ornament making is another craft widely practiced in Arunachal Pradesh . Besides beads of various colours and sizes, blue feathered wings of birds and green wings of beetles are also used in decoration. The Akas make bamboo bangles and ear ornaments which are sometimes decorated with pocker work designs. Most of the ornaments are made of beads. The Noctes and Wanchos weave them into very attractive patterns. Silver ornaments are a speciality of the Mishmis. The Idu Mishmi women wear silver fillet necklaces with lockets and beautiful earrings.
Paper maché, smithy work, carpentry, pottery and ivory work are popular purchases . The Monpas make hand made papers that are used for writing religious prayers and hymns. The Nishing smiths still make brass ornaments, dishes and sacred bells. Pottery is the occupation of the women folk. This craft is practiced by the Noctes, Wanchos, Nishings and Apatanis. There are a number of craft centres used to provide locals with income, shops have been set up where local boys and girls are imparted training in these centers. The rich heritage of arts and crafts of Arunachal Pradesh is sure to add colour to the cultural heritage of the country.
Tibetan delicacies like Thukpa, Momos or simple and delicious Paratha-Sabzi eaten hot from the roadside shacks on cold misty days are a treat! Most restaurants in Tawang serve these. A small shack called Annapurna serves delicious Alu (potato) chips.The traditional Monpa cuisine use a generous amount of chilies and fermented cheese which has a strong flavor and is not for the faint-hearted. Some traditional Arunachal dishes are the famous Momo, widely eaten in the northeast and other Himalayan regions.
Don't miss Apong (a rice beer)
Arunachal Pradesh is the safest state in north east India.
The people of Arunachal Pradesh are not very religious and stay away from any kind of vices.