Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is a thinly populated hilly tract lying on the north-east extremity of India comprising roughly 83,573 square kilometers. Itanagar is the capital of the state. The state is part of India, although China still holds a territorial claim over portions of the state.

Photo:<< Tawang Monastery is the 2nd largest monastery in the world, next only to the one in Lhasa. The color yellow denotes the sect which is the most prevalent here. Tawang is situated at about 9500+ feet and is located in Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Arunachal Pradesh is next to the state of Assam to the south and Nagaland is to the south east. Myanmar lies towards the eastern side of the state, Bhutan towards the west, while the Line of Actual Control separates it from China to the north.

The People of Arunachal

Most of the people living in Arunachal Pradesh are either of Tibetan or Thai-Burmese origin. The tribe consisted of the Daflas, Bangnis, the Monpas and they were influenced by Buddhist ideals. Another 16% of the population are immigrants, including 30,000 Bangladeshi and Chakma expatriates, and immigrants from other parts of India, notably Assam and Nagaland.

Although a number of tribal groups constitute the total population, the density of the population is only 8 per sq. km. There are as many as 25 tribal groups that form the population in the state. There are six main towns and over 3250 villages in the state, divided, working west to east around the state, as follows:
  • Tawang and East and West Kameng Monpas, Shedupens, Akas, Khowas, Mijis, Nishing and Sulungs.
  • Upper and Lower Subansiri Nishing, Apatanis, Hill Miris, Tagins and Na.
  • East, West and Upper Siang Adi, Membas and Khembas.
  • Lohit and Dibang Districts Khamtis, Singphos, Meyors, Zankharings.
  • Changlang and Tirap Noctes, Wanchos, Tangsas and Lisus.
All the individual tribes have a rich cultural heritage and have been unspoiled due to the remoteness of this area which has been closed until now. During the 200 years of British rule in India the British Government controlled the area from the outside, and in 1947 there were only 105 miles of road in the state. Arunachal Pradesh is one of the few states in British India which Christian missionaries were not allowed to enter, unlike Nagaland and Mizoram.

Buddhism in Arunachal

Photo:<< Tawang Mon wall painting

Of the indiginous Arunachalee today there are several religious groups. There are the animatist/naturistic religions, Buddhist tribes, Hindu tribes, some Christians and a tiny minority of muslims.

Buddhism of both the Mahayana and Hinayana sect is practiced among the tribes of Tawang and West Kameng, West Siang and Lohit. The centre of Mahayana Buddhism in Arunachal is Tawang monastery, founded 370 years ago and now one of the largest in asia.

The Hinayana sect has its headquarters at Chowkam. These Buddhist tribes have a written history and set places of worship. They have an organised priesthood and sophisticated ritual and liturgy, temples, images, sacred texts and an organised priesthood.

What to see

The widely scattered archeological remains at different places in Arunachal bears testimony to its rich cultural heritage. Arunachal Pradesh, a serene land tucked into the North Eastern tip of India, invites you to relax in its picturesque hills and valleys, enjoy its salubrious climate and meet its simple and hospitable people, with their glorious heritage of arts and crafts and colourful festivals that reflect their ancient faith in the inexorable power of nature. Today tourism forms an important source of revenue for the state economy.


The climate during the summer is hot and humid at the lower altitudes and in the valleys covered by dense tropical forests, particularly in the far eastern section, while it becomes exceedingly cold at higher altitudes.

The rainfall is amongst the heaviest in India, with the annual average being more than 300cm! Therefore, as can be expected, the vegetation varies greatly in relation to the elevation, ranging from a wide belt of tropical rain forest along the foothills and the low lying areas, to tropical and sub-tropical at higher altitude.

More information:

2) Wikipedia

Places of Interest