offers a variety
of spellbinding tourist attractions. More than 60 percent of the land is
covered with evergreen forests, rivers, streams, gorges and the snowcapped
peaks of the Himalayas. The pristine tribal culture, an incredible variety
of flora & fauna and four wildlife sanctuaries make it a traveler's
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Arunachal Pradesh, one of the most sparsely populated states of
India, borders China, Bhutan and Myanmar. There are five major rivers -
Kameng, Subansiri, Siang , Lohit and Tirap. The mountain ranges follow the
river systems. Home to a complex mix of communities, its people are
friendly, colorful and simple.
Arunachal Pradesh offers a variety of flora, which ranges from the alpine
to the subtropical, from rhododendrons to orchids. Its verdant forests,
turbulent streams, lofty mountains and snow-clad peaks make it a unique
place offering the tourist numerous opportunities for rafting, hiking and
Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, is a beautiful historic city
also known as the 'Land of the Dawn Lit Mountains'. It is located to the
east of Tawang and has been identified with Mayapur, a city of the 14th or
15th century A.D. The new township has modern buildings, bazaars and
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Important attractions include the old Brick Fort (Ita fort), Buddhist
Monastry, Jawaharlal Nehru Museum, Ganga Lake (Geykar Sinyi) and Zoo. On the
banks of the Bharali river, at an elevation of 190 mtrs is Tipi, an
orchidarium with over 7500 orchids. On display are some of the finest
species with names like the Dainty Lady's Slipper or the more formal
Arunachal has the largest range of orchids in India. At Tipi, scientists
are creating new, hybrid species using the latest techniques of
biotechnology. 40 kms. away from here is the Orchid Park at Sessa.
The journey onwards is most adventurous and perhaps the most difficult.
Bomdila, the headquarters of the West Kameng District is at a height of 2530
mtrs. It offers wonderfully panoramic views of Himalayan landscapes and snow
clad ranges. The scenery is spectacular but there is a tingling sense of
fear too as it is a long way down!
There are apple orchards and Buddhist monasteries. The area has many
Buddhist monasteries called `Gompas' and there is also a crafts centre
producing very fine carpets of colourful designs. Around the area are good
trails for trekking enthusiasts.
A 10 km. drive from Bomdila takes you to Tawang, a Buddhist pilgrimage
site, where the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetans, goes to
preach and pray. The most striking building in this Buddhist village is the
tall Central Monastery - the Tawang Gompa.
The 400 year old monastery dominates the valley with a grand view of the
Himalayas. The Tibetan influence here is unmistakable with the elaborately
painted wooden windows and other motifs. Prayer flags flutter in the breeze.
A 8 mtr. high gilded statue of the Buddha is here, along with numerous
ancient Thankas or traditional paintings and manuscripts.
Losar, (Feb-March) the main festival is fixed in consultation with the
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The people have a tradition of artistic craftsmanship. A variety of
momentoes like paintings, woodcarvings, carpets, shawls etc. are available.