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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Itanagar – A Landscape of Dawn Lit Mountains

ARUNACHAL PRADESH, situated at an altitude of about 1500 meters, is in the north eastern part of India & is nearly about 84,000 sq. km in area and has a long international border with Bhutan to the west (160 km), China to the north and north-east (1,080 km) and Burma to the east (1,440 km), ITANAGAR is the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh, rising from the tropically lush valleys of the Brahmaputra River, the serried ridges and peaks of the Eastern Himalayas, Arunachal Pradesh is one of the most compelling holiday destinations in India. When the sun first strikes India, it shines upon Arunachal’s wild jungles and tribal communities. The name Arunachal means “Land of rising sun”.

Arunachal Pradesh, a panaromic beauty - the land of the rising sun.

Arunachal Pradesh is a sprawling mountainous territory, a land of mighty rocks and luxuriant forests, gentle streams and ragging torrents. It presents a breath-taking spectacle of nature in all her glory, raw and un-spoilt and untamed in wild profusion of flora and fauna, customs, language and dress. Itanagar is the Capital of this beautiful place and this is an enchanting city that enthralls you with its mystique appeal.

Young and beautiful damsels of Arunachal Pradesh.


Itanagar is dwarfed by the towering presence of the snow covered peaks of Himalayan ranges from the North eastern side while the plains of River Brahmaputra stretch its arm from the southern sideThis city is scattered with light, earthquake-proof wooden-framed buildings rising up the slopes of green hills. Traditional huts are strewn amongst the more recent constructions. The residence of the Governor is situated at one peak while a new Buddhist Temple is located at the other peak. Between them lie administrative offices, shops, daily bazaars and thatched houses. A long walk on the city streets and by-lanes will overwhelm you the exquisite wood carvings, creatively performed traditional musical instruments and intricate textile patterns. The Handicraft Centre provides an insight into the fine art of cottage cane industry.

Eye-captive places of Itanagar :
Ita Fort :
Ita Fort is situated at the heart of the Capital city. It is a historical fort of an irregular shape, built mainly with bricks, dating back to the 14th-15th centuries. The total brickwork done on the fort comprises of 16,200 cubic-metre length. There are also three gates on three sides viz; Eastern, Western and Southern, which are said to be built by Ahom rulers. The name Itanagar is believed to be derived from the name of this fort.


The Buddhist Temple :
This is a beautiful yellow-roofed shrine. It rises from well-rnaintained grounds behind a stupo tree planted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The ground of the temple offers a beautiful view of the Itanagar town.

Ganga Lake (Gyaker Sinyi)
The 6-km drive to the lake from Itanagar takes the visitors through some superbly primeval jungles with bamboo groves, orchid masses of tall trees, which are some of the vegetation which can be identified by the interested travellers. Stopping at the base of a hill, one has to take a flight of steps uphill. At the top of the ridge, one looks down on a tranquil green forest lake, which one has to cross in a row boat. Today, it is a beautiful spot for outings, boating and picnics.

Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary :
The Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary in Itanagar is one of the major tourist attractions in the city. Located in a sprawling zone the luxuriant Sanctuary is a biologists and tourists delight. The Sanctuary apart from the wide variety of trees and foliage also represents a perfect balance of the ecological system. The Sanctuary is home to a variety of species from the animal and bird kingdom such as the macaque (rhesus, pigtailed, stump tailed and Assamese) hoolock gibbon and Capped langur, slow loris. Rare species of antelopes the serow, goral and Mittan the wild gaur are also housed here. The Musk deer, Himalayan black bear, red panda and porcupines are worth a mention here. Also on display are around 400 species of birds.

Polo Park;
An amazing little botanical garden at the top of a ridge overlooks the Itanagar town. One should notice the cane thickets; it looks a bit like a palm with spines on its stems, but grows as a bush. There is a small zoo, worth a visit.

Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum;
Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum provides a brief picture of Arunachal Pradesh and one can see woodcarvings, musical instruments, textiles, handicrafts and archeological finds, while a workshop in the Handicrafts Centre specializes in traditional cane manufacture. It also houses a library section.

Shopping in Itanagar:
The hill resort of Itanagar offers several handicraft items to its tourists. The local tribes are known to weave exquisite fabrics. Amongst the many items you may pick up are the coats, shawls, sashes, carpets and bags. These items are made from cotton, wool or even bark fiber. Besides woven items, you may buy the traditional handicrafts items. There are items in bamboo, cane and wood. The Tibetan Buddhist paintings (Thankas) are a rare and exquisite art form and are easily available at Itanagar


Best Time to Visit :
The climate of Arunachal Pradesh varies with the altitude. The southern part of the State has hot and humid sub-tropical climate. The central region is cooler while there is alpine climate in the higher altitudes. Rainfall is uneven and continues throughout the year though the wettest periods of the year are the months of May to September. Best time to visit Itanagar is April to October.

A picturesque place tucked into the North Eastern tip of India, Itanagar greets you to relax in its beautiful hills and dales, to enjoy its salubrious climate and to meet its simple and hospitable people. So, when you plan your trip to Itanagar make sure that you can explore the other mysterious and exquisite places of Arunachal Pradesh. And discover the interesting traditions of ancient lifestyles, lived out against one of the most diversified ecological settings of the country. With its verdant valleys, lofty mountain peaks, shimmering rivers and some of India’s rare and endangered flora and fauna, Arunachal Pradesh offers plethora of attractions for you

How to Reach ?
1) By Air:
Air India operates direct flight from Kolkata to Tezpur (216-km from Itanagar). A small airport in Lilabari (North Lakhimpur) in Assam is 57-km from Naharlagun and 67-km from Itanagar and is served by Vayudoot.

2) Helicopter Sevices:
Arunachal Pradesh Helicopter Service operates regular helicopter services between Guwahati and Naharlagun. Helicopter services are also available from other destinations of Arunachal Pradesh to Itanagar. Pawan Hans Helicopters has three flights a week between Itanagar and Guwahati.

3) By Rail:
The nearest railway station is Harmuti – 23-km from Naharlagun and 33-km from Itanagar. However nearest convenient railhead is North Lakhimpur in Assam, 50-km from Naharlagun and 60-km from Itanagar.

4) By Road:
Arunachal Pradesh State Transport Corporation operates regular bus-services to various places in Arunachal Pradesh and its neighbouring States. Direct bus-services are there from North Lakhimpur to Itanagar via Naharlagun. Buses run frequently between Naharlagun and Itanagar.









Fast facts-

Area 110 sq km
Population 16,545
Languages Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, and local dialects
Religion Hindus (56.62%), Others (43.38%)
Maximum Temperature 27.50°C
Minimum Temperature 13.50°C

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