Arunachal Pradesh is situated in the North eastern part of India. The total area covered by the state is 84.000 sq km in area. It has international borders with Bhutan in the west and China in the north and north east. Arunachal Pradesh is the largest are wise state in the Northeasten Region. Arunachal Pradesh due to its large in area is divided into five river valleys : the Kameng, the Subansiri, the Siang, the Lohit and the Tirap. The state is complete mix of communities, its people are friendly, colourful and simple. Its rich flora ranges from the Alpine to the subtropical, from rhododendrons to orchids. Its verdant forest, turbuland streams, lofty mountains and snow clad peaks make it a unique place.
In Arunachal's rich flora and fauna, orchids find a place of pride. Out of about a thousand species of orchids in India, over 500 are to be found in Arunachal alone. These are colourful, spectacular and some bear exotic names such as Sita-Pushpa and Draupadi-Pushpa, which are believed to have been worn by these Goddesses. Arunachal Pradesh Forest Development Corporation has developed an Orchid Research and Development Centre at Tippi in West Kameng district for propogation and conservation of these species. In addition to this Orchidorium at Tippi, two Orchid conservation sanctuaries have been developed at Sessa and Dirang in West Kameng district.
The Wildlife of Arunachal Pradesh is equally rich and varied. Elephants and tigers abound, especially in the grassy foothills and leopards and jungle cats are quite common. The White browed gibbon is found in Tirap and Lohit districts and red pandas and musk in the higher altitudes.
The 'Mithun' exists both in wild and semi-domesticated form. The animal has religious significance and has intimate relation with socio-cultural life of the people. Four wildlife sanctuaries at Pankuli, Loli, Itanagar and Namdapha had been set up in 1979, covering an area of 3000 sq. kms.
There are 26 major tribes and a number of sub-tribes inhabiting this area. Most of these communities are ethinically similiar having derived from the original common stock but geographical isolation from each other has brought amongest them certain distinctive chracteristics in language, dress and customs.
The Adis have two main divisions, (the Bogum and Bomis) and under each there are a number of sub-tribes. The Minyongs, Karkos, Shimongs, Bomdo, Janbos, Paggis, Pailibos, Bogum, Padams, Milangs and so on from one group ; while the Gallong and seven other groups constitute another group of Adis. The Adis by nature are democratic and organised village council called Kebang. Their traditional dance called Ponung is famous in the whole of Arunachal Pradesh. Dances are very popular among them. Adi villages are situated generally on the spurs of hills. Polyandy is unknown but polygyny is practised. Adi women are very good weavers and weave cloth with highly artistic designs.
The Apatanis are settled agriculturists inhabiting the valley around Ziro-the headquarters of Lower Subansiri district. The older men-folk tie the hair in top-knots and tattoo the faces. Wearing of circular nose plugs and tattooing of faces is the most characteristic aspect of ornamentation of older Apatani women. However, new generation of Apatani men and women have stopped this practice of tying hair knot, nose plugs and face tattooing since early 1970s. The Apatani are good cultivators and practice both wet and terrace cultivation. Paddy cum fish culture is very popular among them. Unlike other tribes of Arunachal their economy is stable.
The Buguns or Khowas are gentle, hospitable and affectionate people. They are agriculturist and perform a number of rites and ceremonies for their welfare.
The Hrusso or Akas have a custom of painting their face with black marks. They figured frequently in old historical records. Their popular belief is that they were related with the Ahom Kings.They are keen traders and trade, mainly in cloth, blankets, swords etc. They have come to some extent under both Hindu and Buddhist influence.
The Singphos represent a section of the Kachin tribe of Burma. They live on the banks of Tengapani and Noa Dehang rivers. They are agriculturists and expert blacksmiths. The ladies are good weavers too. They follow Buddhism but at the same time believe in a host of spirit.
Khambas and Membas inhabiting northern part of West Siang are Buddhist by religion. Polyandry is prevalent among them. But it is more in vogue among the Membas. Agricultural activities are popular among them . Millet and Maize are their staple food . They grow cotton and barle also.
Mishmis form the bulk of the population of Lohit, Upper Dibang Valley and Lower Dibang Valley districts. There are also the Khamtis, the Singphos and a few Adi settlement. The Mishmis are divided into three main groups namely- Idus or Chulikatas, Digarus or Taroan and Mijus or Kaman. A section of the Idu Mishmi are also called Bebejia Mishmi . Their women are expert weavers and make excellent coats and blouses. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. By nature they are traders. Since very early days the Mishmis had relations with the plains of Assam. The chief items of trade are deer –musk, wild medicinal plants, animal skins , Mishimi – tita etc.
The Monpas are simple, gentle and courteous people. They are friendly and possess a rich heritage of culture. They dress well in artistically designed clothes. Their communal life is rich and happy. They follow Buddhism and profess Mahayana Buddhism which centre round the Tawang Monastery. Each house has a small chapel attached to it.
The Nyishi are the largest groups of people inhabiting the major part of Lower Subansiri district. Their menfolk wear their hair long and tie it in a knot just above the forehead. They wear cane bands around the waist. They believe that after death the spirit of a dead travels to the 'village of the ancestors'. The Sulungs or Puroik are considered to be one of the oldest of the tribes in the area. Their dress and constumes are simple, and the religion is a form of the primitive ' spirit culture'.
The Sherdukpens are a small tribe. They are good agriculturist but their main interest is trade. Their religion is an interesting blend of Mahayana Buddhism and tribal magico-religious beliefs.
The Tagins are main inhabitant of Upper Sunansiri district. Their main occupation is agriculture. Polygamy is customary among them. Their dress is very simple consisting of only one piece of cloth.
The Khamtis are believed to have migrated from the Shan states of Burma . They are the only tribe in Arunachal who have a script of their own, They are Buddhist ( Hinayana cult) by religion, and bury the dead in a coffin. They include Khamyang tribe.
The Wanchos inhabit the western part of Tirap district, bordering Nagaland. They are a carefree, cheerful and hard-working people. Head hunting was customary with them in the old days. It was connected with many of the social activities of the tribe. Their society is divided into four classes the Wanghams ( chiefs ) , the Wangpana , the Wangaue and Wangaas . They have a strict sense of discipline and the law and order of the society is maintained by a village council. The entire tribe is divided into about forty confederacies of villages. Tattooing is a social custom among them . They believe in the existence of two powerful deities, Rang and Baurang. The women are good weavers but the art is restricted to the members of the chief’s families only. They are expert in wood carving also.
The Noctes inhabit the central part of Tirap to the east of the Wanchos. They are organized under powerful chief-those of Namsang and Borduria,They profess Vaishnavism and are disciple of the Bareghar Satra of Nazira, Assam, Naga Narottam who was a close friend of Shri Ram Dev Ata, the founder- satradhikar of the Brehar satra, , become his first disciple, Noctes are famous as salt producers which is their chief item of trade and barter. They are agriculturists. They also cultivate betel leaves on a commercial scale.
The Yobin, also called Lisus , are a small group of people inhabiting the remote easternmost corner of the Tirap district. They are simple and gentle people having their own culture , religion, faith and beliefs and dialect.
Parashuram Kund, Tawang Monastery, Bomdila, Ita fort, Buddha Vihar, Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Museum, Ganaga Lake, Ziro, Daporijo, Malinithan temple, Pasighat are some of the major Arunachal Pradesh travel destinations.Best Time To Visit Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh has salubrious climate all through the year. The state experiences monsoon rains between the months of July and September. The ideal time to visit Arunachal Pradesh is between the months of October and March.
Arunachal Pradesh has Helicopter Service from Guwahati to Tawang, and the nearest Airport is Tezpur and Lilabari (Assam). Air India operates from Kolkata and Guwahati to Tezpur and Lilabari.
The connectivity of railway for Arunachal Pradesh can be accessed from Rangapara, Harmuti and North Lakhimpur.
Arunachal Pradesh is connected with National Highway 52 and 38 with rest of the country.