Arunachal Pradesh is the largest of the cluster of eight states that comprise the north east. Flanked by China in the north, Bhutan in the west and Myanmar in the southeast, the cultural heritage of Arunachal Pradesh echoes Tibetan-Burmese influences in terms of its languages, architecture, and Buddhist spiritualism. Situated in the lap of the Himalayas, Arunachal Pradesh is a land of idyllic beauty as yet unspoilt by the ravages of tourism. A treasure trove of exotic flora, Arunachal Pradesh is home to over 500 species of orchids. For the thrill seeker, the place offers some of the best river rafting expeditions as well as trekking stretches in the country. Yet, Arunachal remains one of the most unexplored places in India. This is perhaps to its advantage for it has earned Arunachal the distinction of being one of the top 4 tourist destinations in the world by Lonely Planet.
Arunachal Pradesh is steeped in spirituality and ancient history. Being the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama, Arunachal is a sacred place for Buddhist devotees who come on pilgrimage to the many monasteries across the state. Each of these has a fascinating history. Our Tawang tour takes you to some of the most famous monasteries in the region. The tour includes a visit to some of the other attractions like the famous orchid garden in Dirang and a trip to a tribal Monpa village. Best time to visit: Around the year
Northeast India is an ornithologist’s paradise. The abundant forest cover and the many pristine lakes in the region make it a popular choice for migratory birds that come to nest here for the winter before flying back to their native lands of Siberia or Southern China. Every year, groups of avid bird watchers travel to the northeast in search of some rare and exotic birds that can be spotted here. Some of these birds are local and exclusive to their natural habitat. The Bugun Liocichla was discovered and christened at Eagle Nest Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh and is not found anywhere else in the world. Our 11- day Bird Watcher’s Delight tour takes to you Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on a quest to find some of these spectacular bird species. Our journey begins in Guwahati and takes you to Kaziranga, Nameri, Dirang, Sela Pass and Eagle Nest Sanctuary. Get a taste of life in the wild and spend the night in tents with just basic amenities at Lama Camp. Drive to Sela Pass and be mesmerised by the beauty of the land of 101 lakes. This is an intensive trip into the hinterlands of the northeast with the promise of great sightings, enchanting locales and an unforgettable adventure. Best time to visit: November to March
Ziro valley in Arunachal Pradesh is one of the remotest and most beautiful landscapes in India. The valley is home to the famous Apatani tribe, recognised by their trademark facial tattoos and traditional nose pins. Visit a traditional Apatani village and get a close perspective into the rustic lives of these indigenous people. This pristine valley nestled within the mighty Himalayas is home to an exquisite variety of flora and fauna. Our Ziro tour includes a visit to the Talley Wildlife Sanctuary. In addition to its natural beauty, Ziro Valley is noted for its annual music festival, touted as the largest outdoor music fest in India. Stay in tents and enjoy a diverse range of music in an idyllic setting amidst snow-capped peaks and pristine lakes. Ziro Music Festival is like no other- with performers from across the world flocking to this remote hinterland of Arunachal. Meet lots of interesting people as you set up camp at the festival, swing to the beats of the live music and have an unforgettable experience that you’ll want to relive every year Best time to visit: Around the year/ Last week of September for Ziro Music Fest
Are you an avid birdwatcher? Do you travel to remote locales in search of that elusive bird that flew in for the winter? Do you enjoy roughing it out for a week or two, trekking in forests by day and camping out in tents at night? If your answer to all three questions is an emphatic ‘Yes!’ then this Tour is just the thing for you. Ahom’s intensive 14-day Namdhapa- Saikhaowa- Kaziranga Birding Tour takes you on a journey into the three national forests of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Over the course of two weeks we explore the forests on foot, by jeep, by boat and even on elephant-back to find as many species of birds as we can. Our tour begins in Dibrugarh from where we drive to Namdhapa National Park in Arunachal Pradesh. After spending the first six days here, our tour continues to Dibru- Saikhaowa and finally to Kaziranga. Our guides are experienced bird watchers determined to get you the maximum number of sightings. The White-cheeked Hill Partridge, Pale- headed Woodpecker, Blue- Naped Pitta, Snowy- throated Babbler, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, Crested Kingfisher, Beautiful Nuthatch, Northern Lapwing, Black-hooded Oriole, Great Egret, Smoky Warbler, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Spot-billed Duck are just some of the feathered friends you will be meeting on this tour. So pack your bags and let’s go birding! Best time to visit: November to March
The Siang River in Arunachal Pradesh is a hot spot for adventure junkies, offering a wide range of water sports like rafting, angling and kayaking. The river originates in Tibet as the Tsang-po and then flows into Arunachal as the Siang to finally join the Lohit River in Assam. This union of the two rivers forms the mighty Brahmaputra. The Siang is mild in places with some sudden turbulent stretches and includes several Grade IV and V rapids that provide the most thrilling river rafting expeditions. A tour of the Siang valley also introduces you to the Adis, an old indigenous tribe who live in the adjoining hills and forests, in perfect harmony with nature.
Book an 11-Day Subansiri River Rafting Tour with Ahom to enjoy a rafting experience of a lifetime. Translated as the ‘Golden River’, the Subansiri is the largest tributary of the River Brahmaputra. The transboundary tributary flows from Tibet and enters India through Arunachal Pradesh. It continues to flow through the planes of Assam before joining the Great Brahmaputra in the Lakhimpur District, at the confluence in Majuli. The Subansiri is known for its surrounding rocky terrains and lush green forests. The steep, rugged mountains in the upper course of the river make the landscape nearly isolated and extremely difficult to access. The river presents exciting challenges with its enormous rapids and powerful current. The surrounding landscapes of forests, mountains and picturesque tribal villages in the Siang Valley are exquisitely beautiful. The few inhabitants of this side of the Eastern Himalayas have been living in the hills for over a thousand years, and are friendly and welcoming to the adventurers who come their way. On this short but intense trip, you will experience the riverine valleys of Arunachal Pradesh like never before. Get ready for an exciting, adrenaline-powered rafting experience along the upper-course of the Golden River; we promise it’s worth all your efforts!
The Siang River in Arunachal Pradesh is a hot spot for adventure junkies, offering a wide range of water sports like rafting, angling and kayaking. The river has several Grade IV and V rapids for the most thrilling river rafting expeditions. Angling is another sport popular in Arunachal due to the presence of so many rivers. The Siang and Subansiri rivers are ideal for angling as they have an abundance of the endangered fish called Golden Mahseer. Trekking routes in Arunachal Pradesh are aplenty especially on the Himalayan range with hundreds of hidden paths and crevices. An Arunachal Himalayan expedition typically includes a trek to the Mishmi hills with their myriad hues of green. A good northeast adventure tour company can provide a varied catalogue of trips that are sure to set your heartbeat racing.
Ziro valley in Arunachal is deemed one of the most beautiful landscapes in India. This pristine valley in Arunachal is not so easily accessible and remains an idyllic paradise nestled within the mighty Himalayas. Besides the breathtaking beauty of its environs, one of the biggest highlights of Ziro is the annual Ziro Music Festival. This four-day festival sees performers and music lovers flocking to this remote town from around the world. This is one of the best tourist places in Arunachal Pradesh as it showcases the rich music tradition of the place and its confluence with other forms of music. You can stay in camps for the duration of the festival or opt for a home stay with locals.
Arunachal Pradesh is home to some of the oldest temples and Buddhist monasteries in the country. Most Tawang tour organisers offer a visit to the celebrated monastery on their tours. The Tawang monastery is the second largest in the world after the Drepung monastery in Tibet. It was established in 1681 by the legendary Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso and is a holy site for Tibetan Buddhists as the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama. A 400- year old monastery belonging to the Mahayana sect in Mechukha is another popular stop on a Buddhist pilgrimage. Operators of Arunachal tours also include Malinithan and Parasuram Kund on their itineraries. These are holy sites for Hindus and date back to as early as the 10th century.
The wildlife of Arunachal Pradesh is as varied as it is rare. Where else can you spot the red panda, the Himalayan black bear and the exclusive primate Takin? For ornithologists, Arunachal offers a wide variety of local and migratory birds like the Bengal Florican, White Winged Wood Duck, Mishmi Wren etc. Namdapha National Park, Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary, Kane Wildlife Sanctuary are some of the notable wildlife reserves in Arunachal.
Arunachal Pradesh is home to a large community of indigenous people. The Monpas are the largest ethnic group in the region. Adis are an old tribal community that lives in the adjoining hills and forests of the Siang valley, in perfect harmony with nature. The remote Ziro valley is home to the famous Apatani tribe, recognised by their trademark facial tattoos and traditional nose pins. The best Arunachal tours let you experience the rich cultural diversity of the land with visits to some of these tribal villages. See the rural lives of the indigenous people up, close and personal and discover their amazing art like mask making, thangpa and weaving.
Arunachal is blessed with a topography that is as beautiful as it is diverse. Nestled in the Himalayas, Arunachal boasts of several important peaks and mountain passes. Significant among these are the Gorichen Peak (22,000 ft) and the Bumla Pass (over 15,000 ft). There are also several natural lakes and waterfalls that are popular tourist places in Arunachal Pradesh. The PT Pso Lake in Tawang is a favoured stop for Tawang tour organisers. Arunachal also has several natural hot springs. The sulphur in the springs is known to have a healing effect on skin problems. The Mago spring near Tawang is noteworthy.
Visitors to Arunachal Pradesh can enjoy the vibrant fairs and festivals celebrated around the year. These are mostly religious festivals held to appease the Gods for their continued benevolence. The New Year’s festival of Losar is the most important festival of the Monpas and celebrated with much gaiety. The best Arunachal tours give you an authentic taste of the cultural and social life of the region. Gorsam Kora and Saga Dawa are some of the other festivals of Arunachal.
Arunachal Pradesh is truly Heaven on Earth. Its untouched natural beauty has to be experienced first- hand. The best Arunachal tours give you a taste of the varied attractions of this charming hill-state, waiting to be discovered.