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Mystique & Magic of Arunachal Pradesh

By Ally Dutt

"Arunachal Pradesh will rise from the east as a new star and become one of the best regions of our country." – Dr. Manmohan Singh

Arunachal Pradesh, the north-easternmost state in India has often been described as the most visually stunning and magical state of India – a land of mist-cloaked hills and ridges, thick jungles, gentle tribes, and ancient traditions – but restricted to outsiders. It has rich wildlife, colourful festivals, and an irreplaceable heritage. Community-based conservation projects in the Tsangyang Gyatso World Peace Park, Dihang Dibang Biosphere Reserve, and Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary are a part of the growing network of wildlife sanctuaries across the state.

It is not only a Biodiversity Hotspot - it is also a part of the Greater South Asia Language Hotspot. Several spoken languages in this region remain little known to science. The world's highest and one of its greatest rivers, the Brahmaputra, which begins its journey just short of the sacred Mansarovar Lake in western Tibet, enters Indian territory through Arunachal Pradesh. The English-language poet and novelist Mamang Dai, film maker Moji Riba, Associate Laureate of Rolex Award for Enterprise for safeguarding the heritage of people of Arunachal Pradesh Padamshree Lama Thupten of Manjushree orphanage, and Everester Tapi Mara are also from this idyllic part of the world.

The North-East region of India, made up of seven states, comprises about 8% of India’s land-area and only 3% of its population. Arunachal Pradesh is the largest state among the "seven sisters" sharing most of its land boundaries with international neighbours, and the remaining with Assam and Nagaland.

Known post-independence as NEFA (North East Frontier Agency), the area was constituted into a Union Territory and renamed Arunachal Pradesh in 1972, and granted statehood in 1987, making it the 24th State of India. Travel permits are still required for travel to Arunachal – essentially to protect the cultural and tribal identity of indigenous population by preventing influx of illegal immigrants.

A Biodiversity Hotspot

Tribal Heritage

The road to Tawang

Vijaynagar – the Last Frontier


About the Author

Aloke Dutt Is OSD to the Governor, Arunachal Pradesh. He is a keen photographer and an avid reader. A few of the images published with this article were taken by him during his numerous journeys within Arunachal.

Read the entire feature in the print edition of
The South Asian Life & Times




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