The ‘Land of Dawn’, Arunachal Pradesh holds breathtaking terrains and magnanimously beautiful scenic beauty that’ll make your heartbeat pound like crazy. Arunachal Pradesh was also regarded as India’s NEFA (North East Frontier Region) during British rule.
Arunachal Pradesh is one of India’s most beautiful states and is also one of the least explored. The state is home to various tribes and ethnic groups, amazing culture, and rich history.
From the museums to the endless monasteries, Arunachal Pradesh has something for everyone. Each town and small village in this state has its own taste and own history that they are proud of.
If you are looking to explore the untouched culture and history of this state, we’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of destinations you must visit on your next Arunachal Pradesh tour.
1. Tawang Monastery
The Tawang Monastery is a popular tourist destination in Arunachal Pradesh. It is the largest monastery in India and is home to over 600 monks. The monastery is situated atop a hill in the Tawang district and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Visitors can explore the monastery complex, which includes several temples and shrines, and learn about the history and culture of the monastery. The Tawang Monastery is a must-visit for anyone interested in Buddhism or Tibetan culture.
Tezu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Arunachal Pradesh. From the amazing culture to the beautiful scenery all around, this town has it all.
Tezu is a pilgrimage spot where Hindu people go to purify their souls and wash away their sins. They do this by taking a dip in the holy water of Parshuram Kund. This pilgrimage site is believed to have been there since the time of the Mahabharata.
This town also has a rich history of tribal heritage. Different tribes such as Mishmi, Digaru, Miju, and more live in complete harmony and peace.
It is a truly unique and magical place, and is definitely worth a visit!
3. Ita Fort
There are plenty of things to do at Ita Fort in Arunachal Pradesh. For starters, you can explore the fort itself and learn about its history. The fort is said to be over 1,000 years old and was once an important strategic location for the region. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors.
In addition to exploring the fort, you can also visit the nearby Ganga Lake. The lake was built by Tai Bida to search for his lost gayal. No matter what you decide to do at Ita Fort, you’re sure to have a memorable experience. So why not add it to your travel list and see for yourself?
If you find yourself in the picturesque town of Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh, there are plenty of things to keep you occupied.
This town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the Apatani cultural landscape. The Apatanis are an ethnic group that has been living in the Ziro valley for centuries. They have a very rich knowledge of natural resources and how to manage them conservatively.
While you are there, take a stroll through the town and admire the traditional wooden houses and lush green surroundings. Visit the local market and meet the friendly locals and try some of the delicious fruits and vegetables they offer.
If you are a history lover, this city has a lot to offer. It is full of monasteries, craft centers, museums, and more.
Bomdila is home to a lot of tribes such as Khawas, Sherdukpen, Aka, and more. You can find these ethnic groups all around you living in peace and even enjoying festivals together.
This stunning town also has a thriving local market, where you can find fresh products, handmade crafts, and much more. It’s a great place to bargain for souvenirs and get a taste of the local culture. Whether you’re looking for adventure or simply want to enjoy the culture, Bomdila is the perfect destination.
Another top recommendation for those who want to enjoy the amazing culture and history of Arunachal Pradesh is the village of Dirang.
Visit the Dirang Dzong – also known as the Dirang Fortress. This historic site is well worth a visit, and you can even go inside and explore the ancient rooms and corridors.
Take a hike up to the Gompa Soma Monastery. This beautiful monastery is perched on a hilltop and offers stunning views of the surrounding valley. The hike up is fairly easy, and worth it for the views alone.
You can also visit the local market where they sell completely handcrafted products. If you want souvenirs, these products are a perfect choice.
Tuting is a small town located in the Arunachal Pradesh state of India. The town is situated at an altitude of 2,000 meters (6,600 ft) and is surrounded by mountains.
This town is home to the Tuting Monastery, which is a popular tourist attraction. Other popular tourist attractions in Tuting include the Tuting Zoo and the Tuting Museum.
Bhalukpong is a small town located in the west of Arunachal Pradesh. It is situated on the banks of the River Brahmaputra and is surrounded by lush green forests. The town is a gateway to the Tawang district and is also the starting point of the Arunachal Pradesh Buddhist Circuit.
There are several things to do in Bhalukpong. You can visit the Archaeological ruins that were constructed by the ancient King Bhaluka.
There are a number of Buddhist monasteries and temples in the town that are worth visiting as well.
9. The Golden Pagoda
The Golden Pagoda, near the foothills of the Patkai Ranges, is the perfect attraction for those who are seeking spirituality. You can feel the peacefulness and serenity once you step foot inside.
It has a monastery, a guest house, a library, and a special hall for meditation. Moreover, this generous place offers free medical care for the locals and even an elderly home.
So don’t miss to add this to the list of beautiful historical places you want to visit in Arunachal Pradesh.
Believe it or not, in the past, the only way to reach Mechuka was through an airstrip used by the Air Force to give the locals the necessary supplies they need. Fortunately, they built a modern road that connects to the village.
So, you have a chance to visit this village and enjoy the untouched culture and meet the original locals living there.
The friendly locals will make you feel right at home and there are plenty of great places to eat and drink. If you are looking for a truly unique and memorable experience, then Mechuka is the place for you.
11. Jawaharlal Nehru Museum
If you want to experience Arunachal Pradesh’s true legacy, then the Jawaharlal Nehru Museum is a must-go.
Inside, you will see many facets of tribal culture, musical instruments, handicrafts, traditional art, religious items, and many more items that were used centuries ago. Moreover, there is a workshop inside the museum that shows you the art of creating handicrafts.
There is a small shop inside the museum in case you want to buy handicrafts and bring them back home.
12. Jairampur Cemetery
Jairampur Cemetery, also known as The World War II Cemetery, holds the graves of a thousand soldiers that died during World War II. You can find it in the district of Changlang in Arunachal Pradesh.
Most of these soldiers are Americans, Indians, Chinese, Kachins, and British. A lot of tourists come from all over the world to visit these buried soldiers and watch the effects of war on the area.
The cemetery is being rebuilt and renovated by the government and is totally worth a visit while you’re there.
If you want detailed information about adventure activities in Arunachal Pradesh, check out our article about Best Camping Places for Couples in Arunachal Pradesh
You don’t want to miss the cultural holidays and festivals of Arunachal Pradesh. These are the best times to experience the true culture of the place. Here are some of the best festivals that take place in Arunachal Pradesh:
1. Solung Festival
Solung is an agricultural festival that is held in the month of monsoon and lasts for ten full days. The festival has a different date every year that is decided by the village council.
During this festival, they slaughter pigs and arrange a big dinner for women, children, and neighbors. They do this after giving away some of the meat to their close relatives.
Also, men gather at a place called Mosup to make bows and arrows, then they hang them on all the village’s houses.
2. Dree Festival
The Dree festival belongs to the Apatani tribe and takes place in the city of Ziro. During this festival, they sacrifice different animals for their gods to accept their prayers.
In fact, they have different gods and each is responsible for a certain purpose. For example, they worship the god Danyi to protect mankind and the god Tamu to protect their plants from parasites.
Houses in the village start preparing beer and give it to everyone joining the festival. So why not grab a free beer while you’re there?
3. Nyokum Festival
The Nyokum festival is celebrated by the Nyishi tribe on February 28 each year. If you are into singing and traditional dancing, then this festival is definitely for you.
During this festival, both men and women gather to sing and dance all day long. They create a circle by holding hands in order to perform a traditional dance. Women wear beautiful red and white dresses with floral bands around their heads.
The whole purpose of this festival is to show gratitude for the prosperity of mankind. Similar to other festivals, the priest is the one responsible for all the key rituals.
4. Boori Boot Festival
The word ‘Boori Boot’ means getting together despite all differences including sex, age, creed, and even caste.
This fest is done to celebrate the harvest of crops successfully and to show appreciation and gratitude. It is a three days festival that takes place in the month of February.
People start praying to the gods to protect them from diseases and help them prosper. Then, the priest makes sacrifices on behalf of everyone attending the festival.
You can see people of all ages truly enjoying and having fun during the festival, which is a magical sight to see.
5. Sanken Festival
Sanken festival is one of the most fun experiences you can have in Arunachal Pradesh. It takes place on February 14 and is celebrated by everyone living in Arunachal Pradesh.
Throughout the entire festival, people abstain from all kinds of sins like drinking alcohol, gambling, having forbidden sexual activities, killing animals, and more. Moreover, people stop any kind of manual work and free themselves to enjoy the festival only.
The most fun ritual in this festival is that people need to sprinkle water on each other. You can hear the laughter and see people enjoying themselves from all age groups. Another ritual is bathing the images of Buddha with water.
On the last day of the festival, they arrange a huge feast at the temple of Buddha.
The above-mentioned recommendations are one of the top grossing destinations in the Land of Dawn Mountains. Arunachal Pradesh is a state worth visiting at least once in your lifetime. Since the human interference in this state is less, you can witness the tranquility this state has to offer. You can visit the ethnic groups living there and enjoy the untouched culture.