Top 20 Must See Destinations in Arunachal Pradesh
The literal meaning of Arunachal Pradesh is a “land of the dawn-lit mountains”. Located in the eastern most part of the Indian Territory, this wonderful holiday getaway is home to verdurous valleys, and unprecedented aestheticism. Gushing waterfalls, crystal clear lakes, and picturesque mountain tops enhance the astounding scenic beauty of this treasure trove of unmatched allure.
Surprisingly the natural beauty of this tranquil destination is unspoiled and there are lands which are purely virgin. Devoid of the maddening chaos of the mundane city life, Arunachal has a tranquil environment and salubrious weather that adds to its serenity. The avid travelers must take a trip to this distant North-Eastern State to explore the hidden gems to the fullest.
So, whether you are an energetic adventurist or a spiritual enthusiast, you will have a host of options to choose from on your magical journey to Arunachal Pradesh. Welcome to the Indian abode of virgin sun rays! To introduce you to the breathtaking beauty of Arunachal Pradesh we have prepared a list of top 20 places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh that will unveil the secrets of one of nature’s last frontiers.
If you want to have a look at the historical sites set on an emerald green meadow, Tawang is the ideal place for you. The entire Tawang region is nestled amidst Gudpi and Chong Chugmi ranges and bathed by the water of Tawang Chu River. Tawang Monastery is an around 113 feet long and 80 feet wide edifice which is a famous Buddhist temple. The interior of the building is stunningly beautiful and a 28 feet high golden statue of Lord Buddha is worshiped here. Indo-China border is another significant tourist spot in Tawang. Jaswant Garh, Tawang War Memorial, Tawang Craft Centre, Brahma-dung-chung Ani Gompa, Urgelling Gompa are some of the important sightseeing places. Madhuri Lake and Pangateng Tso Lake exude enchanting view. Do not forget to have a glimpse of Bap Teng Kang Waterfall and Nuranang Falls. The best time to visit Tawang is May. 2-3 days tour will be enough to explore the land up to the brim.
How to reach: Tezpur is the nearest airport while Rangapara is the nearest rail station. Bus and taxi services are available on demand.
Bomdila is an attractive summer vacation getaway in Arunachal Pradesh. This wonderful getaway is located at a height of 8000 ft above sea level. Idyllic destination for family outing, Bomdila will indulge you to get closer with your loved ones. Stroll across the land to have a glimpse of the snow packed Himalayan peaks and clearer views of Kangto and Gorichen Peaks. If you are adventurous enough you can trek through the hills of different levels or simply stroll through the long quiet trails of the luxurious slopes. The most important sightseeing spot in Bomdila is Bomdila Monastery which is rich in art and craft. The Local Craft Centre displays samples of local craft of Bomdila. If you are ready to take a short tour, visit Sessa Orchid Sanctuary where 2600 orchids of 80 species are cultivated. To witness the orchid cultivation more closely trekking routes are developed which is truly amazing.
How to reach: One can reach here without any trouble, as the vicinity is well connected with major cities of North-East. Tezpur is the nearest airport while Rangapara is the nearest rail station to Bomdila.
Ziro is an ideal place for trekking in Arunachal Pradesh. It is situated on a plateau and known to be one of the most beautiful hill stations in Arunachal Pradesh. The native tribal people of this place spend an easy lifestyle where the perplexities of mundane city life hardly bother them. The undulating terrains are perched with deep green forests which add to its scenic view. Walking through the pine forest edging the paddy field will soothe your strained nerves. Along with its own attractions, Ziro is the gateway to a number of other attractive tourist spots. Kardo Hills, Talley Valley, Talley Wildlife Sanctuary are the best of them. Ziro Putu is a perfect spot to have a bird’s eye view of the entire Ziro Valley. Do not miss the 25 ft high and 22 ft wide Shiva Lingam at Kardo Hills. Talley Valley is located 32 km away from Ziro and offers the best trekking route by the bamboo, orchids, ferns, and rhododendron forests. Talley Valley Reserved Forest and Talley Wildlife Sanctuary are situated at an elevated level and rivers like Karing, Subansiri, Sipu, and Pange flow through them. Apart from being home to the endangered snow leopard, Ziro is home to many other rare and exotic animals making it a wildlife lover’s delight.
How to reach: Tezpur is the nearest airport to Zero, whereas, North-Lakhimpur is the nearest Railway Station.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar is the state capital and a well connected city. The township is situated at an altitude of 350 m above sea level. Apart from the state administrative headquarters, the city presents a number of rich architectural wonders. The historical Ita Fort is made of special bricks and is significant from a socio-cultural point. For a simple holidaymaker to an archeologist, this place can be of great value to be explored. The legendary Ganga Lake (Gyakar Sinwi) is a famous picnic spot in Itanagar which is 6 km from the heart of the city. Jawaharlal Nehru Museum is a wonderful repository of indigenous tribal culture of Arunachal. Gompa Buddha Vihar is an astounding yellow roofed shrine. One can have a glimpse of the surrounding countryside from the gompa premise. Buy some local artifacts, wall paintings, herbal dyed yarns and bamboo/cane-made attractive utility items from Craft Centre and Emporium. Polo Park, Indira Gandhi Park, and Zoological Park are some of the evening leisure walk spots.
How to Reach
By Bus: Regular luxury bus services are available from Guwahati. It will take approx 11 hours to reach.
By Air: From Guwahati to Naharlagun (Itanagar) Pawan Hans Helicopter Service is available for making the travel convenient, whereas Tezpur is the nearest airport.
Pasighat is at a distance of 270km from Itanagar and known to be the oldest town of Arunachal Pradesh. It is the headquarter of East Siang District and situated at a height of 152m. Siang River, the main tributary of Brahmaputra flows by Pasighat. The snowcapped mountain peaks, rock-strewn mountains and a variety of flora and fauna present abundant options to explore natural wonders. Pasighat-Jengging-Yingkiong-Tuting Tourist Circuit is the best option to have a look at the main attractions of Arunachal Pradesh. Siang River is a prime destination to enjoy water sports, especially river rafting. This expedition is quite challenging and begins at Tuting in Upper Siang. Do not miss to visit the Daying Ering Wild Life Sanctuary which is a popular sightseeing spot in Pasighat. It is also the confluence point of Dihang and Lohit rivers with the Brahmaputra. Jengging is 195km away from Pasighat and known for Mouling National Park where rare species of animals are found roaming in their natural environment.
How to reach: Bus services are available from Guwahati, Lakhimpur and Itanagar. The nearest airports are Lilabari of North Lakhimpur, and Mohanbari of Dibrugarh.
Whether you are planning for a tour with your better half or with your buddies, the diverse land of Roing will present you ultimate satisfaction. This picturesque valley is situated on the bank of Dibang River. Geographically this tranquil tourist spot is located in the Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh. Nehru Van Udyan is a breath-taking forest park set on the riverbank at Deopani. While going from Roing to Bismaknagar, you can see the vibrant orange orchards.
The gateway to Arunachal, Bhalukpong is only 56 km away from Tezpur Town. Located in West Kameng District, this is a historical place where one can look back to the days of the Mahabharata. Nestled amidst the dense forest and rinsed by the Kameng River, the region is a popular picnic spot. For the adventure lovers, there are abundant scopes to explore the region to the fullest. Different levels of trekking can be enjoyed here. You can enjoy rafting on Kameng River or get involved in angling on the bank of this mighty river. Have a glimpse of Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary which is very close to Bhalukpung. If you are visiting the place in March, you can enjoy the local Nyethidow Festival.
How to reach: Nearest airport is Tezpur/ Guwahati. Tezpur is the nearest railway station. Bus and taxi are available from both the stops.
Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary
If you are passionate enough about wildlife photography and want to take the best clicks of big cats flaunting their might in the open air, Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary is the paradise for you. Located on the foothills of the Himalaya, this is a wonderful land rich in flora and fauna. There are 2000 species of plants, 40 species of mammals, 300 species of avi-fauna, 36 species of reptiles and 30 species of amphibians in this place. Some of the members of this forest are globally threatened species. The most important animal of this sanctuary is the tigers as it is a famous tiger reserve forest as well. Three types of big cats: common leopard (Panthera pardus), (Panthera tigris), and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) are found here. Other than that five smaller cats – jungle cat, leopard cat, golden cat (Catopuma temmincki), fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus), and marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) are also found in this reserve forest. For witnessing the activities of multihued butterflies, May to October is the best time.
How to reach: This location is accessible from Tezpur as well as Bhalukpong very easily. Nearest airport is Tezpur and Rangapara is the nearest rail station.
Namdapha National Park
Being the largest protected area in the Eastern Himalayan sub-region, Namdapha National Park is the largest national park in India in terms of area. The park covers an area of 1,985 sq km of which 177 sq km is in buffer zone and 1808 sq km in the core area. The park is bordered by Dapha Bum Range, Patakai Range and an important tiger reserve forest. It is set on different levels of altitudes perched with unique varieties of flora. From subtropical broadleaved forest to alpine meadows covers the area with lush green carpet. The wildlife repository is rich in rare species of animals like Asiatic Small Bears, Eurasian Otters, Wolves, Clouded Leopards, Dholes, Red Foxes, Tigers, Red Pandas, Musk Deer and Fishing Cats. For birders, it is a paradise, as more than 500 species of birds are available here.
How to reach: Accessing the location of Namdapha is an easy task for every traveler as the destination is well connected with other parts of the country by air, rail and roads. Dibrugarh is the nearest airport from Namdapha. Tinsukia is the nearest rail station.
Tezpur is the nearest major city to Arunachal Pradesh, the land of natural wonders, and Sela Pass is the connecting point of Arunachal Pradesh to the rest of India. While moving towards Tawang, one has to go over this mystic motorable pass. It is 2244 m high from the sea level and a wonderful trek to be explored by the bikers and other trekking fans. The blue water natural lake, snowcapped mountain peaks and scarce grass coating portray the landscape of this stunning getaway. Strolling on the pass turns pleasing when moving clouds touch you with its freezing feel.
How to reach: Guwahati is 340 km from Sela Pass and Tawang is situated at a distance of 78 km. State transport buses are available to Bomdila or Dirang from Guwahati.
Located at a distance of 42km from Bomdila, Dirang is an attractive hill station in Arunachal Pradesh. An ideal place to spend quality time in the lap of Goddess Nature, Dirang has enormous options to explore vividly. The region is located at an elevation of 4910 ft above sea level and on a picturesque valley in between two major getaways- Bomdilla and Tawang. The land of kiwi and apple orchards is cooled by the freezing river air. It is the base camp of trekking and bird watching at Mandla. There is a historical fort atop the hill and the remnants of the fort bears evidence of the glorious past of this area. Other than its own attractions the neighboring areas of Dirang are also famous in terms of their natural view. Visit the Regional Apple Nursery and Kiwi Firm. Sangty Valley is 7km away from Dirang where black-necked crane comes from Siberia to breed.
If you are an avid bird watcher and photography is your passion, do not miss Sangti. The calm and serene location perched with gurgling river water and deep greenery attracts picnic lovers from distant lands of the neighbouring plains. During winter season, black-necked cranes come from the distant lands of Siberia for breeding. Have a look at their activities and stroll across the unbound meadows of tranquility. If you are lucky enough, you can see light snowfall during the winter days. The weather is salubrious and pleasant across the whole year.
If you are heading to the mystic land of Arunachal Pradesh in January, remember to participate in the Makar Sankranti Mela at the site of Parasuram Kund. A famous Hindu pilgrimage known for its magnetic natural ambience, Parasuram Kund is located 13 miles north-east of Tezu. Well connected by road from Tinsukia and Dibrugarh this holy place should be visited during November to February for witnessing the best views. Take a dip in the holy water of Brahma Kund for attaining penance.
Another must-visit tourist spot in Arunachal Pradesh is Tezu, the headquarter of Lohit District. Well connected by road from Tinsukia, this is the land of picturesque landscape. Undulating hillocks, gushing blue water, and rocky mountains make it an ideal getaway. Add to that the local Mishmi tribe and you will get to know about a completely different world. There are a numbers of tribes in this district and many of them are yet unaware about the complexities of city life. During festive season their traditional games, dances, and sports are ideal option for merrymaking. Riding (elephants), rafting, angling, mountaineering, hitchhiking, etc. are the entertainment options in Tezu.
How to reach: Direct Arunachal Pradesh state transport (APST) bus service connects Tinsukia with Tezu. Nearest Airports are Dibrugarh and Guwahati.
One of the less trodden and splendid getaway close to Tezu is Hayuliang. Just like many other holiday options in Arunachal Pradesh, it is also a small yet spectacular destination to explore and relax. The confluence of Lohit and Delai Rivers is an attractive element of this place. 100 km from Tezu, this town has a salubrious weather and a pleasant and cool environ. The tiny settlements are nestled amidst lofty hills where tranquility hardly goes away. There is a government inspection bungalow in this spot where you can enjoy a comfortable stay. But, you need to take permission from government offices in advance.
How to reach: From Tezu, you can hire private vehicles.
327km from Itangar and 160km from Ziro, Daporijo is one of the unexplored getaways of Arunachal Pradesh. The main attraction of the city is its rich variety of flora and fauna and its ethnic diversity. Calm and cool environ and pleasant weather makes it an ideal retreat for each city dweller. This splendid town is the District Headquarter of Upper Subansiri District and located at an elevation of 600 meters above sea level. This location has a numbers of astounding trekking trails and nature walks. The Subansiri River which is close to the city is ideal for rafting and angling. The Meghna Cave Temple of Lord Shiva is a quiet spot to feel the freshness of nature. There are certain hill caves and attractive hamlets close to the town which are ideal for one day trip.
How to reach: Nearest airport is Lilabari and Silapathar is the closest rail station. Bus/ taxi service is available from both the sites.
297 km from Itanagar, Aalo is a picturesque valley at the confluence of Sipu and Siyom River. Surrounded by hills and beautiful orange orchards, this is another exotic nature getaway in Arunachal Pradesh. This is the headquarter of West Siang District and offers all basic amenities. For sightseeing or nature walks, there are places like Ramakrishna Mission Campus, Patum Bridge, Bagra Village, Donyi Polo Temple etc. The Kamki Hydrpower Dam is 25km from Aalo and a beautiful place to visit. Siyom hanging bridge is a 70m long bamboo and cane bridge. If you are zealous enough, go for rafting under this bridge.
How to reach: From Itanagar, hire a private vehicle and you can reach here without any trouble.
One of the most famous getaways in Arunachal Pradesh, Mechuka is an administrative township near the Indo-China border. Located at an altitude of 1829 m above sea level, it is a perfect getaway for unlimited enjoyment. The Siyom River runs through the valley adding serenity to its scenic view. A series of unexpected events welcome tourists once they reach at Mechuka. Enchanting Buddhist Gumpas set amidst the open meadows enrich the glow of diverse landscape. Mainly inhabited by the people of Memba Tribe, this is a wonderful hill station which has both historical and religious significance. 400 years old Samten Yongcha monastery is located on a hill top overlooking the undulating terrains. One can witness a few age old statues which are well preserved till date. If you are visiting the place in February, try to be here during Losar Festival, a five days New Year celebration. Mopin Festival starts from the 5th day of April and continues for 5 days. Spend your holidays on any of the luxurious accommodation. Just you need to book them in advance before your arrival to the city. Enjoy rafting and angling in Siyom. Different levels of trekking and hiking can be experienced here. If you are enthusiasts enough, try camping in the forests of Mechuka.
How to reach: Nearest airport is Lilabari and Simen Chapari is the nearest railway station.
The land of bio-diversity, Changlang is a gorgeous hill town which exhibits varying altitudes ranging from 200 meters to 4500 meters. There are a number of rivers in this region like Noa-Dehing, Namchik, Tirap, Namphuk, Dapha, etc which serve as the water resources of the region. The Cemetery of World War is the great way to look back to the past. Lake of No Returns is a mystic water body which offers a stunning view. Other sightseeing spots are Tibetan Refugee Settlement Camp, Namdapha National Park, Moti Jheel, and Miao Reserve Forest etc.
If you are an avid adventure lover and want to explore the quiet and untamed land of Nature God, Tuting in Arunachal is an ideal spot for you. Less trodden trekking trails, wonderful meadows, fierce rafting levels guarantee adrenaline rush. If you want to get indulged in more trekking, embark on the Yingkiong-Tuting-Tsitapuri trail or the Yingkiong-Tuting-Devakota trail. There are numerous shrines that are located on the route of these trails which will give an insight into the religious importance of the place. For water rafting, Siang River is the ideal place. The ever challenging voyage will start from Tuting and runs through the gorges of Nigguing and Marmon where thick and tall forest covers the river bank. Tuting-Pasighat is a 10 mile stretch of thrilling rapids with different names such as Moing Madness, Zebra Rock and Pulsating Palisi.
How to reach: Dibrugarh is the nearest airport and Murkongselek is the nearest railway station to Tuting. However bus and taxi are available from Pasighat.
Finally, let me accept the truth that every corner of Arunachal Pradesh is enchanting and distinctive. But, capturing all the enchanting beauty of this mystic land in one single trip would be a challenge. Also, while exploring the secret gems of this mesmeric getaway one may miss out on some key attractions if not properly guided. To extract the maximum out of your trip to the top getaways in Arunachal Pradesh, you need to choose the most reasonable package. Consult with one of the leading tour operators in the country Tour My India and get a head start.