Arunachal Pradesh Tourism and Travel Guide

If you are a traveller seeking to explore an offbeat location which is yet to be populated by seasoned tourists, Arunachal Pradesh is the perfect destination for you as well as your family. Get to know about the lifestyle and traditions of indigenous tribes residing in various pockets of this state. When it comes to wildlife, Arunachal Pradesh has it all — from the best for safaris and wildlife photography to a rich variety of flora and fauna. Go for a full day jungle safari in the national parks offered by Arunachal Pradesh tourism and encounter exotic species. With lush evergreen forests spread across the region, Arunachal Pradesh tourism also boasts of numerous trekking routes that you can opt for to add a sprinkle of adventure to your trip, for example the Talle Valley trail. Attend the Ziro Music Festival and escape into a new world of music and nature. Peek a little into the history of India at Sella Pass, Tawang, known for an Indian soldier who fought foreign invaders. There are many other hidden gems nestled in between the Himalayan peaks, forests, fruit orchards and waterfalls. With such unadulterated beauty, Arunachal Pradesh tourism can prove to be a real boon to the travel industry in India. If this description of Arunachal Pradesh tourism intrigues you, keep reading this Arunachal Pradesh travel guide to know more about what you can expect from this marvellous northeastern state.
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Best Time To Visit Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh tourism can be enjoyed throughout the year. The beauty of the rolling hills, green valleys and untouched landscape is unchanging and draws travellers in every season. The peak season for Arunachal Pradesh tourism, however, is from October to April. Winter begins in October and lasts till February. The state is a winter wonderland in these months, covered with an abundance of snow from which its greenery peeks out. It is a good time for adrenaline junkies to explore Arunachal Pradesh tourism as well. Although the temperature can drop low during these months, many tourists plan a trip in these months as well. Several festivals take place during this period, for example, the Ziro Festival of Music in September or October, the Siang River Festival in December, the Pangsau Festival in January and Nyokum Yullo in February. March onwards, spring rolls into the state culminating into a pleasant summer that lasts from May to June. Spring is an ideal time for sightseeing and spotting the exotic wildlife offered by Arunachal Pradesh tourism. The weather is pleasing throughout the day to accommodate packed Arunachal Pradesh tourism itineraries. However, during peak summer, days can get hotter and make it difficult to spend too much time outside at a stretch. Monsoon, that is from July to September, washes down the state and adds to the vibrance of nature’s viridescence. Since the weather is highly unpredictable in these months as clear skies can be crowded by voluminous clouds without warning, tourists often avoid opting Arunachal Pradesh tourism during the monsoon. 

Inner Line Permit to visit Arunachal Pradesh

In order to explore Arunachal Pradesh tourism, Indians from other parts of the country need to obtain an inner line permit to enter the state. Foreigners, on the other hand, require a Protected Area Permit. The restriction is imposed in order to avoid the negative impacts of tourism in protected areas. It is quite easy for one to get the permit online. You require any one of your official identity cards such as your PAN card, driving license, voter’s ID card, passport or Aadhar card. In addition, you also need to upload a passport-size photo. If you plan to travel in a group, you may only submit one identity card for the permit, but you will have to upload every member’s passport-size photograph. You can get an approved permit for as many districts that you would like to explore on your trip of Arunachal Pradesh tourism. You will get a response around four to five hours after you submit your application. In case your application gets rejected, you will be informed about the reason which you can fix in your next attempt. If you do not want to get the permit online, you can head to a Deputy Commissioner’s office in Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Tezpur, Dibrugarh, North Lakhimpur, Jorhat and all the Deputy Commissioner offices of Arunachal Pradesh. The cost of the permit is Rs 100, both online and offline. You could also reach out to a travel agent to obtain the permit for you, however, that would cost you more. It is recommended for you to get the permit online if you are planning your Arunachal Pradesh tourism itinerary.

Top Attractions In Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh tourism is one of the wonders of the Northeast that people from near and far can’t help but be drawn to. A place full of beauty, culture and history, tourists are always busy with the Arunachal Pradesh tourist places. Once done with Arunachal Pradesh sightseeing, take some time to recuperate in nature’s laps. Every corner of the state is blooming. The state has mythical significance as well as it was mentioned in Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Kalika Purana. Many people of faith are attracted to Arunachal Pradesh tourism as it is believed that Ved Vyasa used to meditate here. Whatever your reason for visiting the state may be, your experience of Arunachal Pradesh tourism is bound to make you feel as if you are in a heavenly environment. Add the following places mentioned in this Arunachal Pradesh travel guide to your bucket list.

 

Ziro

In recent years, Arunachal Pradesh tourism has gained a lot of mainstream attention due to the Ziro Festival of Music. With pleasant weather throughout the year, it is an inclusion in about every traveller’s Arunachal Pradesh tourism itinerary. The pine hills, rivulets and lush paddy fields are characteristic of the area and add to its peaceful charm. An epitome of tranquility and home to the tribal group of the Apatani tribe, the place is a paradise for travellers. What makes this tribe unique is that the women have facial tattoos. This tradition was practised with a belief that the women of the tribe were so beautiful that a face tattoo would prevent men from surrounding tribes kidnapping them. Although you can visit the place any time of the year, you should try to line up your plans for Arunachal Pradesh tourism with the Ziro Festival of Music that takes place in September or October. A four-day event, it is an outdoors festival that showcases musical acts from different genres, such as indie, rock, fusion and more. The attention it has been receiving has enabled its shortlisting to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

 

Itanagar

The capital of the state, Itanagar is more of an administrative centre pitstop for travellers than a full-fledged destination to explore under Arunachal Pradesh tourism. Nestled between the hills, the architecture of the city is practically designed to withstand earthquakes. Therefore, you will notice that the buildings in the city are made with light, wooden-framed structures. Itanagar also has a Buddhist Temple which has been consecrated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It is the centre of the evident Tibetan influence in the area. From the temple, you get a sweeping view of the well-planned city and its rustic countryside. The capital has a history of holding eminence. Itanagar used to be known as Mayapur in the 11the century and used to be the capital under the reign of the Jiti Dynasty as well. The city’s namesake, the Ita Fort, has been standing tall since the 14th century, and is said to be constructed by King Ramachandra. It invites many travellers on their trip of Arunachal Pradesh tourism. 

 

Tawang

Popular for having some of the most beautiful monasteries in the world, Tawang is one of the gems of Arunachal Pradesh tourism. The picturesque town of Tawang is located on the eastern ranges of the Himalayas, and is thus perfect to enjoy scenic views engulfed in greenery. While the natural beauty is enough to hold travellers’ attention, the place also has a rich historical and religious significance. One of Arunachal Pradesh tourism’s highlights is the monastery here, which is 400 years old and is among the biggest in the country. Many people visiting Tawang on their trip of Arunachal Pradesh tourism are on a pilgrimage to visit the holy monastery. The monastery holds importance within the Buddhist culture. It also showcases a 18 feet high gilded statue of Buddha. Tawang is also known for being the birthplace of his Holiness the 6th Dalai Lama. The history of Tawang also contributes to its charm. The town used to formerly be a part of the kingdom of Tibet. It has been an area of conflict due to disagreements between the Government of India and the Government of China, but it is a peaceful area now, fit to be included in your Arunachal Pradesh tourism itinerary. Once you are done ambling about the small town, you can head to the outskirts to go trekking and hiking. 

 

Bhalukpong

This is one of the places under Arunachal Pradesh tourism that travellers visit purely for the serene ambience and natural beauty. It makes for a breath-taking and relaxing treat. The view of the undulating hills and the Kameng River gushing through the forest is bound to soothe you and immerse you in the simple life of the town. Complementing this place’s immense natural beauty is the vast number of activities on offer by Arunachal Pradesh tourism. From hiking, trekking, fishing, angling and camping to river rafting – you have a host of adventurous options to choose from to add a spark of thrill to your trip of Arunachal Pradesh tourism. The city’s locals hail from different tribes, all equally welcoming, hence interacting with them and learning about their different cultures and lifestyles is an interesting way to engage with the spirit of Arunachal Pradesh tourism. The Pakhui game sanctuary can be visited from this small hamlet as well, where you will come across a range of species of birds and animals. 

 

Roing

Among the top Arunachal Pradesh tourist places is Roing – a town marked with snow-peaked hills with rivers flowing down them, lakes, waterfalls, archaeological sites and a population that welcomes visitors with warmth. If you are a snow-lover, Mayodia Pass is the place for you as it is heaped with snowfall for the better part of the year. For a better experience of the wildlife and nature, head to the Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, only a few kilometres away from the main town. There are a number of sites in and around Roing that were made as far back as in the 8th century. Some of the interesting places on offer here under Arunachal Pradesh tourism are Bhismaknagar Fort, Nijomaghat and Rukmini Nati. To complete your trip of Arunachal Pradesh tourism, keep in mind to include this extraordinary place in your plans. 

Activities And Things To Do In Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh tourism has had a low-profile, but it has begun to be recognised by travellers from around the world to be a treasure trove of sights and experiences. While the majority of Arunachal Pradesh tourism’s attraction lies in its natural beauty and places to see, they are accompanied by a variety of things to do that facilitate a more immersive journey of exploring Arunachal Pradesh tourism. The opportunities Arunachal Pradesh tourism offers to travellers to have a memorable trip are endless. This Arunachal Pradesh travel guide has put together a comprehensive list for you to pick from while planning your Arunachal Pradesh tourism itinerary.

 

Immerse in the unique culture

Arunachal Pradesh tourism has a special place in travellers’ memories owing to the immense diversity within the population of the state which does not affect the deep connections that they are able to form with people across tribes. Two-third of the state is inhabited by the indigenous groups, that include about 26 major tribes and over 100 sub tribes. The Nissi (Nishi or Dafla), Sherdukpen, Aka, Monpa, Apa Tani, and Hill Miri are among the main tribes in the western part of the state. The biggest tribal group in the state is the Adi, which inhabits the central region. The northeastern hills are populated by the Mishmi tribe. Other tribes such as the Wancho, Nocte, and Tangsa are settled in the southeastern districts. While these groups may share some characteristics, each of them are proudly distinct from one another. When exploring Arunachal Pradesh tourism, try to engage with the locals and participate in their traditions and lifestyle for a different experience of Arunachal Pradesh tourism. The diversity in population also contributes to the organisation of a host of festivities. Some festivals that are highlights of Arunachal Pradesh tourism are Pangsau Pass Winter Festival celebrated in January, Nyokum, Losar Festival and Siang River Festival celebrated in February, Dree Festival celebrated in July, Solung celebrated in September and Ziro Festival of Music that takes places in either September or October. Ensure to plan your Arunachal Pradesh tourism keeping the festivals in mind!

 

Attend the Ziro Festival of Music

One of the most sought-after outdoors music festivals in India is situated nowhere other than Arunachal Pradesh itself! Ziro Festival of Music is a showcase of independent artists of the country and a celebration of music. The festival pertains to several genres. Not only is this festival a thrilling getaway for music lovers, but it has also brought Arunachal Pradesh tourism into the limelight and supports many locals in the area. The four-day festival has been instrumental in shining light on new talent as well as established artists and bands such as Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley, Louw Majaw, Sha'air n Func, Indus Creed, Peter Cat Recording Co, Menwhopause, Guru Rewben Mashangva, and Barmer Boys. Visitors can camp at the accommodation facilities arranged by the organisers near the venue of the festival. The festival takes place in September or October in Ziro Valley, one of the most magnificent destinations under Arunachal Pradesh tourism. Attending this event is a must and will significantly enhance your experience of Arunachal Pradesh tourism. 

 

Go for adventure sports

The state is rooted to nature and remains largely forested, which means that there are a number of outdoor adventure activities organised for Arunachal Pradesh tourism. Trekking is a popular activity here you could indulge to get your adrenaline rushing. The trails here are slightly challenging so absolute beginners should avoid doing it without guidance. Two of the most well-known trekking routes are Se La Pass and Margherita railhead. Other than that, you will find many smaller trails that you can go hiking on. The best time to go trekking is from October to February. Aside from trekking, water sports such as river rafting and angling are adventurous sports that you should partake in. You can go river rafting along the Kameng River in the Tawang district, the Subansiri River from Taliha to the north of Daporijo, the Siang River and the Dibang River, from Anini to the Assam border. You can go camping while exploring the destinations under Arunachal Pradesh tourism too. Some of the best places for camping are Chandu, Bomdila and Tawang. If you are attending the festival of Losar, you can also participate in archery as it is tradition to host a competition on the sport during the celebrations of this festival. 

 

Visit India’s largest monastery

The Tawang Monastery is the largest in India and the second largest in the whole world. It is hence unsurprising that it is a significant pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Over 400 years old, this monastery used to be a part of Tibet but was later handed over to the British Raj. Sitting atop a mountain that enjoys a delightful view of the town, the monastery is a sturdy structure made to withstand external force. It is called Galden Namgey Lhatse, which translates to mean celestial paradise in a clear sky. Upon your visit here, you will realise how the name fits the monastery. It is home to a lot of ancient Tibetan texts and artwork and it also holds the knowledge of Tantric Buddhism. The interiors are vibrant yet simple. An important spiritual structure, when in Tawang, do not miss adding this to your Arunachal Pradesh tourism checklist.

Where To Stay In Arunachal Pradesh

While you can find a number of accommodation spaces offered by Arunachal Pradesh tourism, you will not be able to find luxury options here. Far-flung in the northeastern corner of the country, the state still remains vastly unexplored. As mentioned earlier in this Arunachal Pradesh travel guide, even the tourists’ entry is closely monitored and there is an emphasis on staying rooted to nature and tradition. Therefore, the hotels and the guesthouses offered by Arunachal Pradesh tourism are not over the top. You will also find lodges provided by Arunachal Pradesh tourism that are quite affordable. Many of them do keep in mind to provide the essential amenities for the comfort of the visitors. There are no well-known travel hostels in the area yet as well. Some of the top places to put up on your journey through Arunachal Pradesh tourism are mentioned in this Arunachal Pradesh travel guide below. 

 

Mid-budget hotels under Arunachal Pradesh tourism

  • Waii International Hotel, Itanagar
  • Hotel Pybss, Itanagar
  • Vamoosetrail Menchukha, Mechuka
  • Vamoosetrail Dirang
  • OYO 69938 Blue Pine, Itanagar

 

Budget hotels under Arunachal Pradesh tourism

  • Hotel Gayki Khang Zhang, Tawang
  • Hotel Neha, Tawang
  • Hotel Panchieng, Bomdila
  • Doe-Gu-Khil Guest House, Bomdila
  • Pine Ridge Hotel, Itanagar
  • Arunachal Guest House, Ziro
  • Ngunu Ziro Homestays, Ziro

Cuisine And Best Places To Eat

Owing to the diversity of the population of the state as well as the topography, the food on offer by Arunachal Pradesh tourism differs across regions. The staple items of the cuisine, however, are rice, fish, meat and a number of green vegetables. There are multiple varieties of rice as well. In fact, the state’s most famous ingenous alcohol beverage, apong, is a rice beer, made of fermented rice. Another popular snack is boiled cakes of rice wrapped in leaves. Among vegetables, lettuce is the preferred choice, which is cooked by boiling ginger, coriander, chillies and salt. Many wild herbs and bamboo shoots are extensively used in the preparation of the meals. The local food here is generally boiled or smoked, and fried dishes are not preferred. The bans on hunting have now eliminated the use of wild birds and animals that were once devoured by locals. However. there is no dearth of thrilling food options that you will come across while exploring Arunachal Pradesh tourism. For example, you can have a taste of silkworms and rats cooked by the natives of Ziro. If such food is not for you, you do not need to worry as there are plenty of other dishes for you to savour on your trip. Some of the most popular dishes that this Arunachal Pradesh travel guide recommends are pika pila, a pickle made by the ApaTani tribe with bamboo shoots, pork fat and chillies, lukter, dry meat with chilli flakes, pehak, a spicy chutney made of fermented soya bean and chura sabji, a gravy made of fermented cheese. If you are a lover of momos, it is worth choosing Arunachal Pradesh tourism just to try a variant of the appetizer. 

 

While exploring Arunachal Pradesh tourism, make a stop at the following restaurants to have a taste of the Arunachalese cuisine. Aside from the local dishes, you will be able to find restaurants that offer familiar cuisines as well. 

  • The Dragon, Tawang
  • E&K’s Restaurant, Naharlagun
  • China Valley Restaurant, Pasighat
  • Elegant Restaurant, Bomdila
  • The Bar and Restaurant, Itanagar
  • Chillies Restaurant, Itanagar
  • Naruka Restaurant, Roing
  • Alpine View Hotel, Ziro

 

Trying the local food is one of the essential components of Arunachal Pradesh tourism that will make your journey unique. Any Arunachal Pradesh travel guide will recommend you to set some time apart to unleash your inner gourmand and delve into the cultural delicacies of the state.

How To Travel In Arunachal Pradesh

Travelling within the state can be a bit difficult for those used to travelling comfortably. Since the area is hilly, most road trips will be bumpy. For commuting, you can either take the buses run by Arunachal Pradesh State Transport Department or book yourself a seat on a shared sumo jeep. The vehicles are often cramped, so be mentally prepared for some amount of discomfort before undertaking a journey in Arunachal Pradesh. Taking the bus would be cheaper, but travellers prefer taking the sumo to travel within the state. Sumos are slightly more expensive, but the overall money spent on travelling within the state would not amount to a lot. 

Typical Costs In Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh tourism, still off the radar of commercialisation, retains its simplicity. Travelling here, therefore, is not a luxurious affair. As mentioned earlier in the Arunachal Pradesh travel guide, getting a permit costs only Rs 100 to Indians. Since the state is situated in a far-flung corner of the country, the most expensive endeavour would only be reaching it. Within the state, if you are taking a sumo jeep to travel, you will have to shell out a couple hundred rupees for every ride. A backpacking trip with a low budget can be managed at about Rs 1,000 per day. This entails about Rs 200 to Rs 400 spent on food and drinks per day, Rs 700 to Rs 1,200 spent on accommodation per day and Rs 500 to Rs 750 on car rides to go from one destination to another. The upper limit of expenses depend on your prerogative, but since most things and activities to do here are cheap, you will be able to manage to have a low to mid-budget trip. You could also book an Arunachal Pradesh tour package. A week-long Arunachal Pradesh tour plan with all the essential inclusions and an experienced guide could cost you around Rs 20,000 to explore Arunachal Pradesh tourism.

FAQs 

How many days do I need to explore Arunachal Pradesh?

Most Arunachal Pradesh travel guides recommend travellers to take at least a week to explore the state and get a taste of what it has to offer. The state is vast and the experiences it offers innumerable, hence there is no limit to how many days you can spend here as there is a lot to uncover in the state. 

 

What are the things I should pack for a trip to Arunachal Pradesh?

If you are travelling in winter, you should carry woolen clothes to keep you warm. Even if you are travelling in any other season, make sure to carry some warm clothes as some areas may be colder than others and nights tend to be cooler in the state as well. Make sure to carry your identity proofs and Inner Line Permit as it is necessary for entry into Arunachal Pradesh.

 

Suggest three tips for planning a trip to Arunachal Pradesh.

  1. It is recommended to obtain the Inner Line Permit for Arunachal Pradesh online. Although as mentioned earlier in the Arunachal Pradesh travel guide, you can get it offline as well, but it would be easier for you to submit your application online.
  2. Prepare yourself mentally for a bumpy ride and keep your things safely in your bag as the transportation within the state can be crowded. The trips can be long so carry the basic medicines as well. 
  3. Include as many festivals that you can in your Arunachal Pradesh tourism itinerary.

 

Which are the lesser-known places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh?

Some of the offbeat places under Arunachal Pradesh tourism are Dirang, Tenga Valley, Dong, Anini and Dambuk.

 

How do I reach Arunachal Pradesh?

The nearest airport to Arunachal Pradesh is the one in Tezpur, Assam which is well connected with Kolkata and Guwahati. Otherwise, you can take a flight to Kolkata and Guwahati from any city in India and head to Arunachal Pradesh by road. The Harmuti train station in Assam is an hour away from Itanagar, which is the closest railway station to enter the state. The most preferred way to travel here is by road.

Written by Shruti Mishra, an in-house writer at Tripoto. She feels most at home on the road and finding intriguing stories in the mundane is her forte.