10 Best Places to Visit in Arunachal Pradesh, India

The wonder of North East India lies in its virgin rain-forests, winding roads of the mountain passes and the indigenous lifestyle. Arunachal Pradesh, the secluded and beautiful state in North East India, promises to inspire the collective body of backpackers and casual vacationers. Arunachal Pradesh is one of the eastern states which is also known as land of the rising sun.

There are many things to do in Arunachal Pradesh. If you too have spring in your feet and you want to soak up the beauty of Tawang instead of reading about it, Arunachal Pradesh is your go-to destination. Not just Tawang, in fact entire Arunachal Pradesh has become one of the highly coveted tourist destinations ever since.

In Arunachal Pradesh, glaciers are found in Greater Himalaya ranges which run along the Tibetan border. All peaks here rise above 4500 meters and are snow covered throughout the year. The area is characterized by the Meerathang Glacier and the Kangto peak which extends beyond the Chinese border and the Gori Chen.

You can taste fresh Bamboo shoots that serve hot chicken, fish, and many other cuisines in the Northeast during the rainy season. What is really captivating in Arunachal Pradesh is the sheer innocence of nature. As pristine as it gets! If you are a solo traveller and you are scouring the internet for leads, visiting Arunachal Pradesh will be the best decision that you will ever make.

We will here under discuss about the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh.

1. Tawang

Tawang is the most popular hill station located in Arunachal Pradesh. It is a place where adventure enthusiasts come to enjoy trekking, hiking, skiing, and a walk between nature. This spectacular town is home to a cascading waterfall, and opulent monasteries. The peaceful landscape makes Tawang one of the best places to visit in India.

The first of these cultural tourist places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh is the ancient eastern pilgrimage route that led to Lhasa in Tibet. This passed through the district of Tawang, where there is the homonymous historical Buddhist Tawang monastery, the Tawang War Memorial and West Kameng which houses the Dirang dzong, the only one in India in a fortified village in the medieval Tibetan style and the capital of Bomdila.

Of extreme cultural, historical and naturalistic interest the Sela pass connects the two districts and was the scene of the Sino-Indian war of 1962. The orchid research and development station in Tippi and two other orchid conservation sanctuaries located in Sessa and Dirang are worth seeing places.

Other significant tourist destinations in Tawang include Jaswant Garh, Tawang War Memorial, Tawang Craft Center, Indo-China border, Brahma-dung-chung Ani Gompa and Urgelling Gompa. We will urge you to visit Bap Teng Kang Nuranang Waterfalls in Tawang too.

Tawang's name rose in popularity after the Tanhai Tanhai song from the movie Koyla was shot there.

2. Itanagar

Itanagar is the capital of Arunachal Pradesh and has a charm that attracts many tourists all year around. Jawahar Lal Nehru museum showcases the rich heritage and culture of the tribes of the State. Lake Ganga (Gyakar Sinyi) is a beautiful picnic spot, 6 km from Itanagar, a green forest lake surrounded by primitive vegetation, masses of orchids in tall trees, tree ferns provides a small taste of the State's magnificent forests.

3. Ziro

Arunachal Pradesh has a hidden gem called the Ziro Valley. Another perfect and unexplored destination for solo travelers is Ziro. It is located in the lower district of Subansiri. The best thing about this place is the aroma of pine grove and orchids that fills the mountain. Also, you can catch a variety of flora and fauna here. You can reach by flying or taking a train to Tezpur.

Eastward after crossing the Deopani bridge in Roing, the main center of the area is Ziro, located in the so-called Apatani Valley, which takes its name from the nearby indigenous settlements along the Kele River. The iconic Apatani Plateau is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful hill stations in Arunachal Pradesh.

You should not miss Ziro Putu too if you are there which is a perfect spot to have a birds eye view of the entire Ziro valley. If you are yearning to indulge in trekking, visit the Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary which is located 32 kms away from Ziro. The trekking route stretches between the bamboo, orchids, ferns and rhododendron forests.

From here the streets to the Kurung Kumey area lead to the softer Himalayan slopes of the settlement of Koloriang surrounded by the reliefs of Hamching and Gilo Domcho (Lulupo to the south). Continuing in north-west direction lead to the Nyegyi Kangsang, one of the major Himalayan peaks on the border between China and India.

Trekking in the trails of Talle Valley will be the experience of your lifetime. You will be familiar with the ancient tribal culture and customs that help maintain the sanctity of the forests. The Apatani people inhabit the three valleys of Pangey valley, Talle Valley and Ziro Valley. Their indigenous culture is the magnet to many tourists across the year.

The little village will make you fall in love at first sight with its greenery and simple life. The underground music scene owes a lot to this place as it has been hosting the Ziro Music Festival every year. Music is the soul what words are to the mind. There are many music lovers in North Eastern parts of India. There are many music festivals like Ziro music festival in Arunachal Pradesh which takes place annually.

Plan your trip around the Ziro music festival to experience the music surrounded by the beautiful hills. The music festival takes place in September, otherwise visit this place anytime.

4. Daporijo

Daporijo is one of the unexplored places in Arunachal Pradesh that is located 160 kms from Ziro. The pristine valleys are inundated with flora and fauna. Also, the main attraction of this place is its ethnic diversity. This is one of the best tourist places in Arunachal Pradesh, undoubtedly. You can also visit the 25 ft high and 22 ft wide Shiva Lingam in Kardo hills.

5. Mechuka

Mechuka is one of the best tourist spots to visit in Arunachal Pradesh and has a natural lake located at high altitude. Next to this on top of the hill, is one of the Buddhist monasteries of the Mahayana sect, older than Arunachal, the so-called, Samtem Yongcha. Mechuka is located in the foothills of the eastern sub Himalayas along the banks of the Siyom River.

A short two-hour flight from Alliance Air to Pasighat from Guwahati is the shortest entrance to Mechuka.

However, the experience encourages you to take the longest road trip considering the possibilities of cancellation of the flight. The rice fields of the Pasighat plains combine with the gradual gradient towards Aalo or Along. After a four-hour trip through potholes and without roads, you will arrive at the new tourist complex built on the banks of the Siyom River.

Clean rooms, cleaner towels, a cold coffee to die for and the jet of Siyom, you are more than prepared for the trip of your life. Then, it's just the mists. As one descends to Mechuka Grass Meadows, a series of tinned roof shelters greet the eye, the colors vary from red to blue and some are original tin. These are the ubiquitous rooms in the valley home that provide accommodation for all visitors. The cabins are insulated against the penetrating cold with walls, floors and ceilings of pine wood.

A dining area with self-service kitchen is available as part of the stay at home and if one is too lazy to cook, then owner Pasang Lakpa and his wife Dorji will provide simple and healthy meals of rice, dal, local vegetables, pork curry Cooked chicken, momos, ting mummies, tomato and chutney of local chili coarsely ground in a mortar and pestle as a contraption made of carved rocks.

Yargyap Chhu, a seven-room home, is located on the edge of a vast field of corn. With the windows of the room that open onto the fields, birdwatchers can even capture photographs of different bird species from the warm breaks in their bed. The undulating hills of the Mechuka Valley are transformed from light green to the darker shade of green and brown with the changing shades of sunlight.

Although the appearance is of lush green meadows where you would want to roll through the grass, these hills and meadows are muddy and always wet due to low temperatures and humidity levels. The humidity stays almost all the year, reason why these hills are more friendly for the horses that for the people. The horses dot the hills and evoke an image of the Wild West countryside with their wild horses, but the Mechuka horses are not wild!

All these horses that dot the field have owners and they have been allowed to graze, laze around and walk around, since they are basically unemployed. It is a case of too many horses and much less work."We have stopped using these horses to transport our resources and ration to the higher mountains, as they refuse to cross the hanging bridges en route, so now it is their human bearers who carry our things and leave these horses unemployed.

So the next time you find an Instagram post from an avid traveler, you can probably tell this story. The influences of the Tibetan culture are strictly represented in the Mechuka Valley, be it religion, festivals or food, we see a bit of Tibet in everything. The momos are a local delicacy made mostly of chicken meat and served without the soup, but with a thick chutney ground from roasted tomatoes and local chiles.

Then you have the momo ting - the momo without any stuffing, it's actually a steamed bun with bittersweet pastry and eaten with almost anything, from fresh sautéed beans to a lamb masaledaar curry. In addition to wheat and wheat that are extensively grown in the valley and that are savored on the plate as rotis, crepes and roasted powder are also grown and eaten with milk or tea for breakfast, millet or Khodo in the local language.

Millet powder is sometimes used to make rotis or bread, but the pillar of millet is like a basic ingredient for the preparation of the local alcoholic beverage, the "Chang". The drink has a flavor similar to that of rice beer, but it has its own character in terms of a unique smell and flavor that are more on the pungent side.

Served in special aluminum strainers and poured constantly into your half-full glass or cup, taking the millet Mechuka Chang plus a wood fire is all it does in almost every night in the valley. The streams that spring from cold, crystal clear water emerge at every step that the road climbs up the hills. These strong jets of water probably join the mighty Siang.

At some point, known as jhoras locally, these streams feed not only reservoirs of drinking water, but also local hydroelectric plants that generate a minimum amount of electricity to light the homes of the valley. For the most part, the water of the stream runs on the surface of the earth and forms deeper rivulets only in certain points of the landscape with the old dancers that provide the connecting link at all times.

These olive-green portable beam bridges, developed during World War 2 by one, Donald Bailey are still widely used in the Mechuka Valley for connectivity. The advantage of Bailey over other bridges is that they do not require special tools for installation and maintenance. The valley of Mechuka extends along vast stretches of corn fields, corn inevitably becomes the basic diet of the people of the valley.

Hiding in a corner of the small town is a chai ka dukan that the owners insist on calling a restaurant. Serving corn pakoras, pork rinds, jalebis and puchkas made from corn. The hole in the dining room on the wall has its own story. When it's cold it's cold and when it's not it's just colder. Winters are hard at sub-zero temperatures and salvation at all times cold is the smoke-filled chai.

The normal milky sweet tea prepared over smoky wood fires served in quaint cups with bright painted dragons makes your day! Dip the crunchy, crunchy biskut into the smoked beer and make sure you have a sense of heavenly comfort while watching the flying ammunition lit in the fire of every room in the house with solid iron gadgets called bukhari, the wood-burning ovens where Warm your toes and roast your potatoes too.

Mechuka as a tourist destination is almost only about the picturesque beauty and a close connection with nature, adventure sports and paragliding are restricted only to the times of the festivals organized, maybe for a week or so in a year. But you can always make friends with the men of the border forces and try to shoot missiles in their fields of practice!

There are also some arduous walks to the old monastery or gompa and Lake Mechuka for the more adventurous travelers. The landscape offers a delight for photographers and bird watching could also be an option. All the roads in the valley are long and winding, and you realize the uncertainty of life.

What emerges in the next turn could be a beautiful mountain stream or an unpleasant road blockade accelerated by landslides, but the spirit of the people of the valley offers the soul to the trip. The valley has only one doctor against almost two thousand people, there are no facilities for medical exams and x-rays.

If a bone is broken, it is likely to be taken in a helicopter by plane if it can pay the price or, otherwise, it will cross all the way to the district headquarters in Aalo or Along and break a few more joints before repairing the broken bone. Even so, the smiles on the faces of the valley are the most beautiful in the world.

If you are not a photographer or a hiker, then the soul is the only reason why you should pack your bags and go to the Mechuka Valley. You can sit for hours watching the rolling meadows of the green grass with the grasslands and lazy horses splashing the scene.

The skies are blue or gray and nothing in the middle, so you can savor the blue skies with specks of caramel clouds or immerse yourself in the fog or mist that invariably opens to the muted tones of sunlight that give it to space and time, a genre that was never felt. Anywhere in the world. In Mechuka your soul reverberates with the sounds of nature.

The bird of dawn calls. the howling winds that arise through the effects of tunnels between the hills, the streams that sprout from the rocks, missile projectiles that fire at a distance and the fluttering of prayer flags. The essence of the valley is in its sounds and you could close your eyes for hours listening to all this while rejuvenating your soul with nature.

Leave your headphones and your luggage, both physical and mental while traveling to Mechuka. It is a place where you realize that there are places in this world where people live with fewer people who have much to offer in terms of living while enriching his soul, which is perhaps the ultimate need of all human beings on this earth.

6. Pemako

Ride the white water rapids in the brimming rivers to easily get from one place to another. You can get a glimpse of the golden mahseer, a great game fish when making your way through Upper Siang, between Yingkiong and Boleng.

Also known as the beyul (meadow), this is for lovers of mysticism and, of course, trekking. The name of the walk itself is translated as the earth hides the shape of a lotus. For this, you must start from Tuting, the last city in which you can go by motorcycle, near the border with Tibet. Take off towards Kuging Village through the suspension bridge.

You will cross some of the most beautiful landscapes of the attached farms and the Yangsang Chu River here. Although it is very necessary to rest one night here, you can take a walk to the town of Mabi the next day. The change in flora is quite evident here, since the subalpine vegetation marks the landscape here.

Another 3 hours of Mabi will take you to Yungchak, where you can leave it for a day and set up your tent right in the rhododendron forest. Start early the next day because you need about 5 hours to get to the next stop that is Kanebenga. Try to stand on tiptoe and from here you can see Chinese villages.

While you spend a night here with the bulbs in the villages that shine at a distance, walk to Pao Limik the next day. While now there will be nothing in terms of vegetation, you will stumble upon small and beautiful lakes in the stretch. Your next stop later is the sacred lake of Danakosha. You will stumble upon small beautiful lakes on the stretch.

After climbing a steep stretch, you will find yourself face to face with the still distant peak of the Titapori mountain. When you cross the five sacred lakes and head to Wangchen Phukpa, you can find an Ibex or Red Panda lounging freely! A quick start the next morning can make you cover both Dungchen Droma and Tashi Droma the next day, taking you through a forest full of orchids to Tashigang Village.

Your next stop after it is the village of Payengdam, where you will find a little-known monastery. Stay here at night, as this is the last stop on the hike before starting the descent. It takes about 20 days or more to complete this walk.

Further north, following the course of the Brahmaputra rises another of the most important Himalayan peaks, Namcha Barwa. This is an incredibly rugged and little visited area where in addition to the presence of local indigenous people, the Tibetan most sacred beyul is found, or secret places that guard the terma, the hidden treasures of Buddhist knowledge.

7. Pasighat

Damro and the surrounding villages of Pasighat have long dominated lists of Indian destinations with their pristine natural beauty, tribal culture and wonders such as the famous suspension bridges of Arunachal. However, in recent years, the area has become popular for farms and agricultural expeditions. In addition to being the cultural source of the Adi Padam tribe, the village of Damro is also popular for tribal delicacies such as traditional pork preparations and Apong, a popular Indian rice beer.

8. Malinithan

Malinithan is a ruined temple site and is another one of the best tourist places in Arunachal Pradesh. It is situated at the foot of the Siang Hills. These rich granite sculptures belong to the 14th century, being Indra more important in Airavat, Surya in Chariot and the huge Nandi bull. The temple dedicated to the goddess Durga in Malinithan is based on the classical tradition of Odisha. Akashiganga is believed to be associated with the legend of Parvati narrated in the eighth century Kalika Purana.

9. Tezu

One of the most important places from a historical-cultural point of view is the so-called Parshuram Kund not far from the city of Tezu. Thousands of pilgrims visit this place from all parts of India every year during Parshuram Kund Mela held in the month of January. Bhismaknagar located in the district of Dibang Valley represents what is best in the tribal and Aryan way of life.

Parshuram Kund, located in Arunachal Pradesh’s Kamlang Reserve Forest and is a much revered site for the Hindus. The place is steeped in scenic beauty and numerous mythological tales are weaved around this Kund. It is often believed that after committing the ghastly sin of mother killing or matricide, Parasuram came to this Kund/water body to bathe and absolve his sins.

There is a temple belonging to sage Parasuram at this place. On the Makar Sankranti day in the month of January, a huge fair known by the name of Parshuram Mela is organized at this place pulling tourists and pilgrims from far and wide.

10. Namdapha National Park

Namdapha National Park is one of the offbeat places in Arunachal Pradesh which conserves the Red Panda population among the 20 other esteemed areas across the nation. In the Eastern Himalayas, Namdapha National Park is the largest protected area and a hotspot for biodiversity.

Located in the Changlang district, Namdapha is famous for its wildlife sanctuary. It is a few kilometers from Miao. For the the truly dedicated wildlife fanatic, a visit to the Namdapha National Park is a challenge. The majestic gaur or mithun, elephant, black bear of the Himalayas, takin, the wild goat peculiar to the Patkoi range, musk deer, slow loris, binturong and the red panda are found here.

How to reach Arunachal Pradesh?

By air: Arunachal Pradesh doesn't have an airport. However, the nearest airport to Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, is Lilabari in Assam which receives flights four days in a week from Kolkata and Guwahati. Furthermore, there are many Pawan Hans helicopters operate from Guwahati to Arunachal Pradesh that ferry the travelers to the place

By Railways: The Naharlagun-Guwahati intercity express scales a route from Delhi to Tawang. There are only two trains of the same run on this network.

By roadways: One can easily reach Arunachal Pradesh by road from Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. There are other neighboring cities such as Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Nagaon from where one can board direct buses to reach Arunachal Pradesh.

What is the best time to visit Arunachal Pradesh?

An indispensable part of the Seven Sisters, Arunachal Pradesh is an amazing place to visit between October and March. Going by the suitable weather conditions, the best time to visit Arunachal Pradesh is from October till April. Throughout this period, winter reigns supreme in the valleys which provides a breather from the scorching heat of the other states.

How to Apply ILP for Arunachal Pradesh?

Arunachal Pradesh is a protected area and all visitors must obtain a permit to enter. Domestic tourists must obtain an Internal Line Permit (ILP) and foreign tourists, a Protected Area Permit (PAP). ILPs can be obtained from the office of the Resident Commissioner of Arunachal Pradesh or from the liaison offices located in New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, North Lakhimpur and Jorhat.

PAPs can be obtained from all Indian missions abroad and from the Regional Foreigners Registration Offices (FRRO) in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. You will need two passport-size photographs while making the request.

This state that is full of culture and effervescence has become perennial favourite of the traveller from an unsung destination because of its Instagram-worthy landscapes. Tucked in the lap of tall Himalayan mountains, Arunachal Pradesh also boasts of rich Buddhist history. The verdant valleys and swift rivers will take your breath away for sure.
Kalyan Panja