NORTH EAST INDIA - ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Arunachal Pradesh, the 24th State of the Indian Union is known as the “Land of Rising Sun”. Arunachal Pradesh becomes a full-fledged State on February 20, 1987. Till 1972, it was known as NEFA. It was given the Union Territorial status on January 20, 1972 and renamed as Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal Pradesh is surrounded by Bhutan in the west, China in the North and North East and Myanmar in the East. Assam and Nagaland States flank its South border. Arunachal is the largest State areawise, in the northeast region.

It is a land of lush green forests, deep river valleys and beautiful plateaus. The land is mountainous with Himalayan ranges along the northern borders crossed with mountain ranges running North South. These divide the State into five river valleys viz. the Kameng, the Subansiri, the Siang, the Lohit and the Tirap. The largest valley among them is Siang. Arunachal Pradesh covers an area of 83,743 Sq. Km. and its Capital is Itanagar. Administratively the State is divided into 15 districts, which are as follows.

DISTRICTS

HEADQUARTERS

 

Tawang

Tawang

 

West Kameng

Bomdila

East Kameng

Seppa

Papum Pare

Yupia

Lower Subansiri

Ziro

Upper Subansiri

Daporijo

West Siang

Along

East Siang

Pasighat

Upper Siang

Yingkiong

Lohit

Tezu

Lower Dibang Valley

Roing

Dibang Valley

Anini

Changlang

Changlang

Tirap

Khonsa

Kurum Kurume

Yangte

 

The climate varies from hot and humid in the foothills with heavy rainfall. It becomes progressively cold to northwards to higher altitudes. Trees of great size, plentiful climbers and abundance of cane and bamboo make Arunachal evergreen. Tropical rain forests are found in the foothills and the hills in the east on the border with Myanmar and northernmost border is covered with alpine forests.

The people inhabiting this picturesque state are very colourful and hospitable. They are fond of singing and dancing through that they give artistic expression to their sense of order, rhythm and joy. Dance to them is something more than mere recreation and it is closely associated with their customs and the way of life.

There are over twenty-six major tribes, which are again divided into several sub-tribes. Each tribe has its own tradition, ways of life, myths, dialects, costumes, dance and art forms. The principal tribes of the State are Monpa, Apatani, Nishi, Tagin, Galong, Sherudukpen, Adi, Padam, Khampti, Mishmi, Wancho, Nocte, Hill Miri, etc. Broadly, the people may be divided into three cultural groups on the basis of their socio-religious affinities. The Monpas and Sherdukpens of Tawang and West Kameng districts follow the lamaistic tradition of Mahayana Budhism. Culturally similar to them are Membas and Khambas who live in the high mountains along the northern borders. Khamptis and Singphos inhabiting the eastern part of the State are Budhists of Hinayana Sect. The second group of the people are the Adis, Akas, Apatanis, Bangnis, Nishis, Mishmis, Mijis, Thangsas etc. who worship the Sun and the Moon God, namely Donyi-Polo and Abo-Tani, the original ancestor for most of these tribes. The third group comprises Noctes and Wanchos adjoining Nagaland in the Tirap district.