Arunachal Pradesh or ‘land of the dawn-lit mountains,’ (also known as the ‘orchid state of India’ or ‘paradise of botanists’) is on the north-east tip of the country and the first place to greet the rays of the sun. Over 80% of its area is covered with evergreen forests, interspersed with rivers, streams, gorges and snowy peaks. A naturalist’s dream, this one-time “hidden land” boasts an amazing assortment of flora and fauna.
So little is known about its Himalayan peaks that few have been named, let alone climbed. With its magnificent Buddhist Temples, unexplored passes, tranquil lakes, jungles teeming with life-forms that scientists are yet to catalogue, and delicately tattooed and pierced tribals living in the forest; the state offers and a dose of limitless adventure. (Lonely planet has listed it among top four special regions in the world.)
A few quick facts:
- Arunachal Pradesh shares borders with Bhutan, Burma (Myanmar) and China.
- Over 500 varieties of orchids can be found here.
- Its climate ranges from sub-tropical in the south to Alpine in the north.
- It is inhabited by 26 major tribes and over 100 sub-tribes.
- With only 13 persons per sq km, it has the thinnest population density in the country.
Capital: Itanagar (Naharlagunj)
Places of interest: Tawang Monastery, Urgelling Monastery (birthplace of Dalai Lama), Namdapha National Park, Mouling National Park.
Airport: Tezpur (365 km)
Road: Bomdila(180 km)
Official website: arunachaltourism.com