- GENERAL INFORMATION
- FLORA AND FAUNA
- AGRICULTURE & ECONOMY
Arunachal is one of the 29 states of India. Located in northeast India, it holds the most north-eastern position among the other states in the north-east region of India. Arunachal Pradesh borders the states of Assam andNagaland to the south, and shares international borders with Bhutan in the west, Myanmar in the east and China in the north.Itanagar is the capital of the state. China claims the northern part of the state as a part of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Most of Arunachal Pradesh is covered by the Himalayas. Tucked away in the north eastern tip of India, Arunachal Pradesh is home to picturesque mountains, unexplored passes, tranquil lakes and famous monasteries.
The climate of Arunachal Pradesh varies with elevation. Areas that are at a very high elevation in the Upper Himalaya close to the Tibetan border have an alpine or tundra climate. Below the Upper Himalayas are the Middle Himalayas, where people experience a temperate climate. Areas at the sub-Himalayan and sea-level elevation generally experience humid, sub-tropical climate with hot summers and mild winters.
Arunachal Pradesh receives heavy rainfall of 2,000 to 4,100 millimetres (79 to 161 in) annually, most of it between May and September.
Apart from large number of timber species, there are innumerable varieties and kinds of orchids, medicinal plants, ferns, bamboos, canes, wild relative of large number of our cultivated plants, and even plants of biological curiosities, such as parasites, saprophytes, etc. are found. Other important group of plants are Rhododendrons, Hedychiums and oaks etc.
Orchids form a dominant group of plants with their attractive and unique blooms. There are more than 600 species of orchids, 52 species of rhododendron, 18 species of hedychium, 16 species of oak, 18 species of canes, 45 species of bamboo in addition to large number of medicinal and aromatic plants. The State harbours about 52 species of of Rhododendrons, 18 species of Hedychium , 16 species of Qaks, 33 species of Coniters and a large number of fems and lichens.
Arunachal Pradesh is perhaps the only State which has four major cats, i.e. tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) and snow leopard (Panthera uncia). Lesser cats like the golden cat, leopard cat and the marbled cat are also found here. Others are Seven species of primates i.e hoolock gibbon, slow loris, Assamese macaque, rhesus macaque, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque, and capped langur,3 goat antelopes i.e. serow, goral and takin .Among the smaller mammals several Rodents (squirrel, porcupine and rats), Civets, mongoose, linsang, shrew and bat species are also to be found. On higher elevations, animals like goral, Himalayan black bear, red panda, are met with in various parts of the State. Over 500 bird species inhabit Arunachal Pradesh including some endangered and endemic ones like, white winged wood duck, Sclater’s Monal, Temmincks Tragopan, black necked crane, Mishmi wren and Bengal florican.
Jhum cultivation and Terrace farming are the major patterns that the farmers employ to uplift agriculture in Arunachal Pradesh. In Jhum cultivation, lands are prepared by cutting down or burning the unwanted cultivation, while in terrace farming hilly cultivated lands are shaped into multiple terraces to prevent soil erosion and quick runoff of water. The topography and climate of Arunachal Pradesh is conducive for the cultivation of rice, millet, wheat, pulses, sugarcane and potatoes. The agro-climatic conditions also promote Horticulture in Arunachal Pradesh, producing tropical and sub-tropical fruits like Apple, Pineapple, Orange, Pear, Plums, Chestnut, Walnut, Guava, etc. Other major Horticultural products in Arunachal Pradesh are bamboo, spices, aromatic and medicinal plants, ginger, cardamom and mushroom. There are many small scale and handloom industries in Arunachal Pradesh strengthening the economy of the state. Cane and bamboo work, weaving, mat making are some indigenous employments in Arunachal Pradesh. Mineral resources in Arunachal Pradesh includes coal, lime stone, graphite, dolomite, marble, pyrite.
The main religion in Arunachal Pradesh are Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity Donyi Polism. Most of the population of Arunachal Pradesh is of Asiatic origin and show physical affinity with the people of Tibet and the Myanmar. There are dozens of tribes and sub tribes, each with a specific geographic distribution.
Bomdila is a beautiful small town situated at a height of about 8000 ft. above the sea level from where one can see the brilliant landscape and snow-clad mountains of the Himalayan Range. The Buddhist monastery of Bomdila is the repository of culture and is among primary attractions of the area.
Bomdila is the headquarters of West Kameng district located at the height of 8500 ft above the sea level.
It is 5 kms from Bhalukpong and is famous for its orchid museum where one can see about 450 species of orchids. Some of these are rare and endangered.
Jaswant Gadh Memorial
For any soldier of the Indian Army ,the famous memorial of 1962 war between India and China at Jaswantgarh stands taller than even the 14000 ft high Sela Pass along the steep, serpentine mountainous road to monastery town at Tawang in western Arunachal Pradesh.
And for Indian Army jawans and officials, it is a must-visit site to pay obeisance to Rifleman Jaswant Singh, Maha Vir Chakra, of 4 Garhwal Rifle, who laid down his life resisting the Chinese Army’s march for about 72 hours along with two other soldiers during the 1962 war.
Singh was then captured and hanged at the same place where the memorial now stands, by Chinese invaders. The memorial is about 14 km away from Sela Pass.
It is more of a temple than a war memorial for Indian Army soldiers. The temple-like Jaswantgarh memorial has a garlanded bronze bust of Jaswant Singh who is referred as Baba by soldiers, a portrait of the war hero and his belongings including the Army uniform, cap, watch, and belt. The earthen lamp before the portrait of Jaswant Singh burns round the clock.
Se La Pass
Se La Pass is on the way to Tawang. At around 14000 ft high (world’s third highest) it signals the entering into Tawang valley. The beautiful ParadiseLake considered a very sacred lake is also located here. The beauty of this place is hard to be described.
Tawang is both historically and naturally endowed. It is located at a distance of 183 Kms from Bomdila and is situated at an altitude of 3500 metres above sea level. The natural beauty and solitude of Gudpi and Chong-Chugmi ranges, Tawang chu River and Tawang valley are very mesmerizing. Tawang was at part of the Kingdom of Tibet during the medieval times. It was ruled by the local tribal rulers from time to time. It was declared as the off-limits area in 1873 AD. The area around Tawang was the reason of disagreement between India and China after the Independence of India in 1947. Tawang was invaded by the Chinese army in 1962 but they later withdrew.
Tawang Monastery which is an important seat of Mahayana Buddhism is located here. This world famous monastery of the Gelukpa was founded during the 17th century by Mera Lama Lodre Gyaltso who is considered as a contemporary of the 5th Dalai Lama. It is Asia’s second largest monastery and India’s largest which controls 17 Gompas in the region. The highlights of this monastery are the imposing three-storied assembly hall and the 28 ft high golden statue of Lord Buddha. There is also a big library which has an impressive collection of ancient books and manuscripts. The famous Buddhist gold inscribed scriptures Kangyur and Tangyur are preserved here.
Another attraction of Tawang is the Urgyelling Monastery which is considered sacred as it is the birth place of Thangyang Gyatso, the sixth Dalai Lama. Bramadung Chung, Sengsarbu Ani Gompa, Gyanggong Ani Gompa are also well known nunneries and monasteries with the Ani Gompa being one of the oldest in the country.
Encircled by towering cliffs, the Madhuri Lake 42 km from Tawang is extremely picturesque. No body cares that the official name is Sangetsar Lake but since Madhuri Dixit shot some scenes here for the film Koyla it came to be known as Madhuri Lake. The lake is a result of a major earthquake in the area in 1950. The bare tree trunks could still be seen standing out from the lake that was once a forested area. The Lake remains frozen for most of the time.