If you are looking for the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh, you have come to the right place. I went on an unplanned trip to Arunachal with North East Explorers, ended up falling in love with this beautiful state that was mind-blowing at every stop.
Imagine glacial lakes, stunning gorgeous mountain views, quaint towns, kind and warm locals, fantastic food and more. And that was what my trip was packed with.
So if you are here, probably you are looking to find out more about this unheard state in North East India as you might be thinking about exploring this destination.
Do not worry, because, in this post, I am going to share about the top places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh, the best time to visit, what to expect, and things to do.
Arunachal Pradesh is one of the seven sister states in North East India, known for its splendid Himalayan mountains, fantastic wildlife, abundant natural beauty, rich and unique tribes inhabiting the regions, mountain towns, monasteries, excellent food, national parks and more.
Whether you are planning a short trip or want to go on a long road trip in this state, check this travel guide to Arunachal.
TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH
One of the top places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh is Tawang, the beautiful hill-top town that draws thousands of visitors every year. Tawang is mainly known for the 400-year-old Tawang Monastery, which is the largest Buddhist monastery and the second largest in the world.
Tawang has a lot to offer with something for everyone, so if you are visiting Arunachal for the first time, you should not miss Tawang. From monasteries to viewpoints to waterfalls and hiking trails, you can easily spend a few days traveling in and around Tawang.
Stop at Jaswant Singh War Memorial and Nuranang Falls on the way to Tawang. Shop for unique souvenirs at the market. Taste the best momos and thupkas in Tawang.
Enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of Tawang valley and beyond on secluded hiking trails. No matter what you do or do not, you will love your stay in this beautiful town.
Recommended: 21 Awesome Things To Do In Tawang Arunachal
HOW TO REACH TAWANG?
Due to its remote location, you will need at least a day or two to reach and another two to return even if you opt for the fastest means of transport. Ensure you take this into account while planning your Tawang itinerary.
The fastest means of arriving at Tawang is by taking a flight. The nearest airport to Tawang is Tezpur Airport, also known as Salonibari Airport, located in the neighbouring Assam state, and it is about 390km from Tawang.
There are regular flights from many major Indian cities to Tezpur Airport. Once you reach there, you can book a cab to Tawang, which will take 6 to 7 hours or more depending on the weather conditions.
You can book a flight to the nearest Kolkata International Airport or the international airport of Guwahati, also known as The Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, if you are flying to India from abroad. From either of the airports, you can choose between cabs and buses.
The longest means to reach Tawang is choosing to arrive by roadways. The nearest city to start your journey by road is arriving at Guwahati or, better, Tezpur.
You can get a shared Tata Sumo or Mahindra Bolero from either of these cities or book a private taxi. The upside to the road trip to Tawang is all the fantastic landscapes you will pass by.
The nearest railway station to Tawang is Rangapara Railway Station in Thakurbari, Assam, about 383 kilometres. But only a few trains run to this station, mainly from Delhi to Rangapara.
From this train station, you have to book a private cab which will take around 11 hours to arrive at Tawang.
NAMDAPHA NATIONAL PARK
One of the top places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh if you are a wildlife enthusiast is Namdapha National Park, located in Itanagar, which is the fourth-largest national park in India.
The stunning park is located in Changlang district of the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, near the international border with Myanmar, at the foothills of the snow-clad peaks of the Eastern Himalayas.
The park, spanning over 2000 square meters, has an altitude varying from 200 meters to 4500 meters, offering a wide range of landscapes, from the tropical evergreen forest to temperate broadleaf and mixed forest.
Home to more than a thousand floral and about 1500 faunal species, it is considered a biodiversity hotspot in the Eastern Himalayas. Namdapha was initially declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1972, then a National Park and a Tiger Reserve in 1983.
The national park, falling under the preserved zones, offers stunning panoramic views, excellent opportunities to spot some of the rarest high altitude wildlife, birds, flora, and natural resources in the Eastern Himalayas.
Depending on your preferences and the time you will be spending, you can choose from plenty of unique activities you can enjoy in Namdampha National Park.
Thanks to the vast areas of Namdapha National Park inhabiting varieties of distinct species, the reserve is an excellent place for going on safaris to spot the wildlife up close.
You can join adventurous Elephant Safaris for exploring the park. The journey through the dense, lush jungles is a walk into the wilderness that opens up the road to beautiful valleys comprising streams, waterfalls, and gorges.
If you are lucky, you may spot the primary jungle cats here – a large variety of leopards, including the snow leopards, clouded leopards and tigers.
You may also encounter red pandas, red foxes, the red giant flying squirrel, Malayan sun bear, Indian wolf, Asiatic black bear, many species of civet, mongoose, otter, and marten.
Large animals include elephants, wild boars, musk deer, hog deer, sambar, gaur, Assamese macaque and rhesus macaque.
The national park is home to over 500 species of wild birds. Many bird-watching trails will enable you to witness many rare Himalayan birds and some beautiful migratory birds.
Whether you want multiple-day treks or short hiking trails leading to gorgeous viewpoints, you can choose your adventure in Namdapha. You can get all the information about the different courses from the office.
If you are here when the weather is pleasant during the summer, you can camp overnight amidst the wilderness, which will be a fantastic experience on your Arunachal trip for sure.
If you are in Arunachal during the late spring and summer seasons, you can go boating in the many rivers and streams spanning the vast areas of Namdapha National Park.
The national park also houses a museum known as the Miao Museum, which is worth checking out. It contains an excellent collection of many rare specimens of plants and animals and the history and culture of the tribes, like Lisu, Chakma, Tangsa and Singpho, around the park.
HOW TO REACH NAMDAPHA NATIONAL PARK?
The closest town to reach Namdapha is Miao, a small town connected to other cities and towns via roads. The villages of Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Magherita are closer to Miao. These are the various options for reaching Namdapha National Park.
By Air – The nearest airport is located at Mohanbari, Dibrugarh, 160 km from Miao (entry point) and 182 km from the park entrance. You can rent a cab or get the public bus after flying to the airport.
By Train – Magherita and Tinsukia railway stations are the closest rail connections available. From either of these stations, it is about a 3 to 4 hours drive to the national park by hiring a cab or taking the state transport buses.
By Road – Taking the road is the best way to reach Namdapha, and it is better to hire a cab from Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Magherita towards Miao. It costs around 4000 INR or a little less, which you can negotiate depending on your group size and the vehicle type.
If you are a music lover, you will be aware of the famous Ziro festival held in Ziro valley, one of the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh.
Ziro, located above 5000 feet, is the administrative headquarter of the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh. It is blessed with excellent weather that will allow you to explore the outdoors.
Ziro is not just for music lovers alone. Nestling amidst gorgeous backdrops of the Himalayan mountains, Ziro is known for its stunning valley comprising of rolling hills, bamboo groves, pine trees, beautiful rice and paddy fields that turn the landscapes green, and quiet villages tucked away between the curves of the valley home to thick forests teeming with life.
If you are into hiking, many trails offer fantastic experiences and views of the valleys.
If you are here in September, do not miss adding Ziro to your itinerary to participate in the famous Ziro music festival that attracts thousands of music lovers from around the country each year.
Many local and international artists give their best musical performances, and you get to taste excellent regional cuisines and liquor. Witness the unique rituals and traditional dance performances by the Apatani tribes and meet fellow travelers.
HOW TO REACH ZIRO?
The nearest airport to Ziro is in Tezpur in Assam, from where you can rent a cab or take public transport to get to Ziro.
The North Lakhimpur railway station is the nearest railhead located in Assam. To travel to Ziro from the station, take a government bus or hire a taxi to reach Ziro.
PAKHUI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
If the idea of spotting the Royal Bengal tigers, plan a trip to Pakke Tiger Reserve, a part of Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Arunachal located in the East Kameng District,
Pakke Tiger Reserve lies next to the Pakke River and Papum Reserve Forest on one side, with the Kameng River, Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary and the Shergaon Forest Division on the other side.
The sanctuary established for the protection of the Bengal Tiger is home to over 2000 species of plants, hundreds of birds, mammals, and reptiles. Among the rare species of birds are different species of hornbill and white-winged wood duck. You can also find the flying squirrel among the rare species.
The other notable animals here are clouded leopard, clouded leopard, jungle cat, wild dog jackal, Himalayan black bear, binturong, gaur, sambar, hog deer, barking deer, capped langur, rhesus macaque, Assamese macaque, bison and wild boar.
HOW TO REACH PAKKE TIGER RESERVE?
The closest towns to Pakke Tiger Reserve are Seijosa in the east, Bhalukpong in the west and Pakke Kessang in the north.
Bhalukpong is connected well with Tezpur, Guwahati, Rangapara, Bomdila and Balipara through state buses, shared taxis, or private cabs.
You can reach Seijosa via Guwahati, which is about 4 hours away. From Tezpur, you can book a cab or take a bus run by Arunachal Pradesh State Transport (APST) available daily from Tezpur to Seijosa or Seppa Itanagar.
One of the top places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh is its capital city Itanagar, located amidst beautiful hills surrounded by lush valleys. It is a unique city known for its architecture, history, festivals, and wildlife, offering something for everyone.
Ita Fort, built in the 15th century, one of the top landmarks in the city from which the place gets its name, is worth visiting. Another attraction worth checking out is the legendary Gyakar Sinwi, the Ganga Lake located 7km away from the city.
To learn about the various tribes and their rich heritage and traditions, visit the well-maintained Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum.
Wildlife lovers should not miss Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary and the nearby Namdapha National Park, both stunning parks home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds, and flora.
To enjoy the splendid panoramic views of the mountains and the valleys, head to hilltop Gompa, a beautiful monastery home to a pretty Buddha statue. If you are traveling with kids, head to Indira Gandhi Park, which has lots of greenery and open space.
HOW TO REACH ITANAGAR
The nearest airport to Itanagar is Lilabari airport located close to Itanagar. You can reach here from Guwahati airport or from Tezpur airport too.
The nearest to Itanagar is Naharlagun station located 15 km away.
One of the top places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh is Sela Pass, a high-altitude mountain pass located between Tawang and West Kameng districts in Arunachal. It connects Tawang, located 78 km away, to Dirang and Guwahati, 340 km away.
It is one of the highest mountain passes in Arunachal Pradesh, at about 14,000 ft (4,300 m). Sela Pass is a sacred site in Tibetan Buddhism practised by the locals who believe there are about 101 sacred lakes in and around the pass.
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The pass is home to the gorgeous Sela Lake, a high-altitude Alpine lake, near the pass’s summit on the north side.
If you are here during the winter, you can see the frozen lake, which is drained into Nuranang River, a tributary of the Tawang River.
The Sela Pass does get heavy snowfall in winters. Still, India’s Border Roads Organization (BRO) keeps the pass open throughout the year unless landslides or heavy snowfall may require the pass to be shut down temporarily.
The vegetation is very sparse around the pass, with the areas around the lake being a grazing site for yaks during the summer.
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If you are up for an adventure, one of the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh is Bumla Pass, the highest mountain pass in the state at 15,200 feet (4,600 m).
It is a border pass between Tibet’s Cona County and Tawang in India. It is 37 km away from Tawang and 43 km from the China-administered Tsona Dzong town in Cona County in Tibet.
It is often covered with heavy snow throughout the year. It is one of the most off-beat passes globally, often covered with rich layers of snow throughout the year.
It is an important trading point between Tawang and Tibet and has a historically significant past. It was one of the locations where the Sino-Indian War took place in 1962 when the People’s Liberation Army of China invaded India.
If you want to visit the Bumla Pass, you need to obtain permission from the Indian Army. You can get the permit at the Office of the Deputy Commissioner in Tawang, and the same has to be stamped in the Indian army cantonment of Tawang, which is checked at the many check posts on the way.
Reaching there is a long and adventurous journey, and it is better to head there only when the weather is clear and on SUVs.
HOW TO REACH BOMDILA?
Two airports are closer to Bomdila, Tezpur airport, the nearest domestic airport from Bomdila. And the other is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport at Guwahati, both located in Assam.
The closest railway station to Bomdila is Rangapara North Railway Station in Sonitpur district and Tezpur Railway Station, both in Assam and around 4 hours away.
You can take public transport from either of the stations – buses or shared taxis, or book a private cab to Bomdila.
The most convenient way to reach Bondila is to rent a cab from Guhawati or Tezpur to Bomdila.
From Tezpur, it takes about 4 to 5 hours to Bomdila, while it takes 8 to 10 hours to reach Bomdila from Guhawati.
There may not be a long list of the places to visit in Bomdila, but this little town, set amidst the hills and the valleys in eastern Himalayan ranges, is worth visiting.
Most people quickly stop at Bomdila before moving further into the more popular Tawang and beyond. Still, Bomdila deserves at least a few days as it is one of the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh.
There are some beautiful things to do in Bomdilla, perched atop hills, known for its rich history. Whether you want to soak in the blissful views from the town, go monasteries-hopping, or savour local food, or explore national parks and viewpoints, you got them all in Bomdila.
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BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH
One of my favourite places in Arunachal is Dirang, which certainly ranks at the top among the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh.
This hill town located in the Dirang valley on the banks of the river with the same name is known for its beautiful landscapes, monasteries, hiking trails, war memorial, kiwi and apple orchards, and wildlife.
You can spend a few days exploring all the best attractions in Dirang, as well as plan a trip to nearby Sangti valley and other villages. It is the perfect town to spot native birds, take long strolls, and relax by the river.
Many homestays allow you to experience the local life and taste authentic homemade Arunachali delicacies, including rice beer.
Recommended: Check out the best things to do in Dirang here.
HOW TO REACH DIRANG
Note that no matter how you choose to travel, you will need at least two days to arrive and head back(unless you stay close). So ensure to keep this in mind while planning your Dirang trip.
If you are flying from abroad, there are two international airports that you can access Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, Assam, which is the closest airport. And the other is the Kolkata International Airport, much further, but well connected to many international cities.
The small town of Tezpur in Assam is the nearest railway station to reach Dirang. The distance between Tezpur and Dirang is 190 km, and you can book a cab from the station that takes about 6 to 7 hours to get to Dirang from Tezpur.
Most people planning a road trip arrive via Guhawati or Tezpur in Assam. The distance between Guwahati to Dirang is 350 km, and it takes around 8 to 9 hours to drive from Guhawati to Dirang.
Dirang is also connected to other towns through Arunachal Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation bus services with smaller villages Bhalukpong, Tezpur, Itanagar, Guwahati in Assam, and Shillong in Meghalaya.
The first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when you think of the beautiful valleys in the state is Sangti, which is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh. Located in the lap of the Eastern Himalayas, Sangti Valley is close to Dirang, 15 km away.
It was one of the offbeat locations until recently but has become a part of Arunachal itinerary for many thanks to its gorgeous beauty and all the things it offers to its visitors.
Flourishing rivers, gushing waterfalls, lush fields, apple, orange and kiwi orchids, views of the panorama everywhere, and the rich flora and fauna are all good enough reasons why you should check out Sangti valley.
If you are here during November and December, you will also spot migratory birds that make a home here during the winter months that arrive from Siberia.
Located amidst the Mishmi Hills in Lohit district in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, one of the towns gaining visitors is Tezu, the headquarters of Lohit District, known for its many attractions, outdoor activities, and natural splendour.
The majority of the inhabitants belong to the Mishmi tribes, who are the earliest natives, with their history dating to Mahabharata.
Check out Tezu botanical garden and the Tezu museum located in the town. Among the many places to visit in Tezu, head to the beautiful Dong village located in the Dong Valley at the confluence of Lohit and Sati Rivers.
It is the easternmost village in India and one of the first places to receive the morning sun. You can witness the peaceful sunrise from the mountain tops enjoying the stunning views of the valleys.
Glow Lake is nestling against the backdrops of snow-capped mountains is a high-altitude glacial lake worth visiting. There are a few trails around the lake to hike for beautiful views and a fresh mountain breeze.
Parshuram Khund, one of the sacred pilgrimage sites for the Hindus, is also located close to Tezu, which is worth checking out.
If you want to go camping, experience wildlife safari or do bird watching, head to D’Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the top wildlife sanctuaries in North East India.
The sanctuary houses many wild species, including sambar deer, tiger, elephant, and other mammals, but it is mainly noted for over 200 bird species present in reserve.
One of the underrated places in Arunachal Pradesh that need to be on this list is Pasighat, located on the Siang River Valleys in the Himalayas. Nicknamed the Gateway of Arunachal, Pasighat is the oldest town in the state established in 1911.
It is a beautiful town with a perfect mix of wildlife adventures, natural beauty, culture, and history. The Siang River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, originating in Tibet, provides the perfect opportunities for fishing, rafting, kayaking, and angling.
Some of the places you should check out while in Pasighat are the Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary, the famous Pasighat Buddhist temple and Bodak Scenic Area.
HOW TO REACH PASIGHAT
By Air – The nearest airport to Pasighat is Dibrugarh Airport, about a 4-hours drive away.
By train, you can arrive at the nearest station Murkongselek, about 40 km away.
If you are visiting Aalo, another place to add to your itinerary is Mechuka valley or Mechuka, one of the gorgeous valleys in the state.
Mechuka translates to Medicinal Water of Snow in the local language and is surrounded by the higher Himalayas comprising pine forests; the valley transforms into a magical land of snow during the winter season.
You can learn about the local tribes inhabiting the banks of the Siyom River when exploring the Mechuka valley. It is famous as the venue for the Losar festival, which is one of the best festivals celebrated in Arunachal Pradesh.
It is blessed with abundant natural landscapes comprising the rivers and forested mountains home to many indigenous tribes. Do not miss visiting the iconic landmark, 400-years-old Samten Yongcha monastery atop a hill.
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HOW TO REACH MECHUKA
By Air – The nearest airport to reach Mechuka is in Dibrugarh in Assam.
By Train – The nearest railway station to reach Mechuka is in Silapathar.
Khonsa is one of the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh if you want to experience the culture and traditions of the regional tribes. Khonsa, located in the Tirap Valley, is the Tirap district’s headquarters.
This pretty hill station is surrounded by stunning gorges, lush jungles, waterfalls, streams, and snow-capped peaks, perfect for a holiday in a beautiful Arunachal village.
Do not miss visiting the Khonsa Museum, which will give you peeks into the lifestyle of the Khonsa tribes. From ancient artefacts to handmade textiles, this small but packed museum is the best place to begin to know Khonsa.
Another museum that you will like is the District museum that showcases more about the tribal lives. Visit the nearby villages Kheti or Lajo home to explore the town’s past.
From here, you can next head towards other best places in Arunachal, including the Namdapha National Park, which is 4 hours away, or Miao town, also almost 3 hours away known for its unique Tibetan influenced culture.
Known for being the venue of the festival of the same name, Basar, a small town located in the West Siang District, is one of the best-unexplored places of Arunachal Pradesh that has been gaining more visitors in recent years.
Dotted with green forests, lush paddy fields, flourishing orange, kiwi, pineapple, and apple orchards, Basar is easily one of the best places to enjoy all the state is known for.
There are plenty of hiking trails and caves waiting to be explored in Basar, along with a chance to experience the lives of the native Galo Tribe inhabiting the valley.
Go hiking in the Nguda Pokcho forest area known for its beautiful landscapes and many views. You can enjoy camping near the Hipo or Sipo village in East Siang. Near Padi village, visit Tapen Penru cave, home to thousands of bats.
OFFBEAT PLACES TO VISIT IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH
One of the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh if you are looking to go off the beaten path is Bhalukpong, a small town located on the banks of the Kameng River in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Bhalukpong is known for its stunning natural beauty and serene location surrounded by the Himalayan peaks and the Kameng River, which dominates the valley with its beauty.
If you are a history lover, Bhalukpong is one of the top places to see in Arunachal Pradesh. It is home to Bhalukpong Fort, a famous landmark, where you will find the remnants of King Bhaluka, a former ruler of the region, after whom the town derives its name.
Bhalukong is also one of the fantastic destinations in Arunachal for outdoor activities for everyone, thanks to its location. You can go hiking around the towns, enjoy fishing, angling, camping and river rafting in the Kameng River.
Want to experience the abundant wildlife in the state? Then head to the nearby Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary and Tipi Orchidarium.
October to March is the best time to visit Bhalukpong. If you are in Arunachal during January, do not miss seeing Bhalukpong as the town comes to life with the ‘Nyethidow Festival’, the annual festival of the Aka tribe.
Try momos, thupkas, and other traditional rich dishes influenced by the Tibetan style when in Bhalukpong.
HOW TO REACH BHALUKPONG
BY AIR – The nearest airport is the Salonibari Airport at Tezpur in Assam, located 60km from Bhalukpong. You can take a cab or the public bus after arriving at Tezpur.
BY ROAD – From Assam, you can take the public buses or rent a car to get into Kameng via NH 52 or NH 37.
BY TRAIN – The nearest railway stations are Tezpur Railway Station in Tezpur and Guhawati in Assam, from where you can hire a cab or take a few buses to arrive at Bhalukpong.
Anini is one of the best offbeat places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh to experience the rugged natural beauty of the Eastern Himalayas in the beautiful Dibang Valley district. This quiet mountain town is located atop a plateau between the tributaries of the Brahmaputra river.
Anini is home to the Idu Mishimi tribe, who migrated from Tibet around the 1st millennium BC. It is one of the places in Arunachal where you can absolutely do nothing.
Enjoy the strolls along the river, witness unique birds, check out the lives of the local people to know about their heritage and traditions. You can also plan a trip to the nearby Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, home to abundant wildlife, including leopards.
Among the hidden gems in Arunachal worth checking out is Changlang, located in the Patkai Mountain ranges bordering Myanmar, known for its culture and tradition and splendid landscapes. Unlike the other towns, you can witness the variations in altitudes in Changlang, ranging from 200 metres to 4500 metres.
Hiking is one of the top things to do in Changlang that will lead you to witness panoramic views of the landscapes everywhere.
Many beautiful tributaries of the Brahmaputra flow near Changlang, including Noa-Dihing, Namchik, Tirap, Namphuk, and Dapha, where you can go fishing, enjoy swimming or set up camps.
Visit the Cemetery of World War to know the history of Changlang. Another place worth visiting is the Lake of No Returns, a pretty lake close to Changlang near Nampong, about 12km.
Also visit Jongpho-Hate, a famous Hindu temple housing Lord Shiva dating back to hundreds of years ago. If you want to witness some wildlife, take part in safaris and birdwatching, head to the nearby Namdapha National Park.
Miao is one of the offbeat places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh, which many often overlook, although located close to the famous landmark Namdapha National Park. It is a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and traveling with kids.
Head to this small town on the banks of Noa-Dehing River, Miao, home to Patkai Bum hills, one of the prominent in the Patkai mountain range, from where you can enjoy the splendid views of the horizons in the Changlang region.
Do not miss the Forest museum, the mini zoo, and the Tibetan Refugee Settlement Camp. You can take tours of the tea plantations in Miao.
Check out the beautiful handmade woollen carpets, winter wear and handicrafts prepared by the Tibetans in the refugee camp. If you plan to visit Namdapha, you can base yourself in Miao if camping is not on your mind.
Nampong, located in the Changlang district in the ‘Patkai Bum’ ranges of the eastern Himalayas, is known for its unique history, gorgeous mountainous valleys offering blissful panoramas for its visitors.
It was one of the major venues during WWII due to its close location to the Indo-Burmese border, where it was the main centre to store ammunition and supplies.
You can head to the famous Ledo Road, also known as Stilwell Road, that passes through Nampong, after originating from Assam, which connects later to the ‘Pangsau Pass’, eventually entering the territory of China via Burma.
If you are on a road trip, you can trace this route to Pangsau Pass, an adventurous and historic ride.
You can learn all about the local Tangsa Tribe inhabiting the region, especially during the Pangsau Winter Festival. Many unmarked trails lead to amazing views that you can explore on foot or bikes.
Roing, located in Lower Dibang Valley on the banks of the Dibang River is one of the places you will love if you want a bit of adventure, history, culture, and gorgeous vistas.
Roing is one of the oldest inhabited places in Arunachal, with some excavations revealing artefacts belonging to the Neolithic period.
Visit the 8th-century historical Bhismaknagar Fort, located 30 km from Roing, which is considered the oldest archaeological site found here. It is a well-maintained fort surrounded by a brick wall. The view of the valley from atop the fort is beautiful.
In the interiors, you can find the artefacts recovered from the fort, including wall paintings and pottery, along with some religious items belonging to Idu Mishmis, for whom the fort is a sacred site.
If you have a few days to spare, check out the hilltop resort town Mayudia, located at over 8000 feet, about 56 km from Roing. Mayudia witnesses snowfall during the winter months, transforming the landscapes into a snow wonderland, which is beautiful.
Another pretty lake worth checking out is Sally Lake near the town and the fortress Rukmini Nati.
HOW TO REACH ROING
By Air – The nearest airport is Mohanbari airport, located in Dibrugarh, 150 km away.
By Train, you can arrive at Dibrugarh Town Railway Station, the nearest Roing, over 100 km away.
Along, which is also known as Aalo, located close to the West Siang District, is one of the offbeat places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh that is gaining visitors. Situated at the confluence of the Sipu and Yomgo rivers, Aalo is a perfect destination for outdoor lovers and nature enthusiasts.
Aalo is one of the most stunning tourist places in Arunachal Pradesh, known for its splendid valleys, fruit orchards, and lush greenery.
Some of the notable attractions in Along include the hanging bridge across the Siang River made of bamboo, the nearby local villages and the Patum bridge.
Also, do not miss the Kane Wildlife Sanctuary, known for its many wild species of animals and birds. River Siang is one of the best places for rafting and surfing.
If you are specifically keen on bird-watching, plan a trip to the nearby Eagle Nest Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the best places.
Hayuliang, a small town in the Anjaw district, is one of the places in Arunachal Pradesh off the beaten path, offering many beautiful experiences for those looking to go beyond the tourist trails.
Located on the banks of the Lohit River near the confluence of the Delei River, Hayuliang village sits prettily surrounded by the majestic mountains that greet the clouds.
You can relax and unwind at the confluence of the river, take strolls in the hills, or do nothing at all – anything is possible in Hayuliang.
Since it is about 100 km from Tezu, you can spend a few days here in the village after your trip there.
The village enjoys a secluded location along with fantastic weather thanks to its hilltop location offering the whole expanse for its visitors for hiking, enjoying sunset and sunrises, go fishing, birdwatching, getting to know the local life, or just be.
Another small town worth adding while visiting Arunachal is Tuting on the banks of the river Brahmaputra, close to the vital border McMahon Line in the Upper Siang district.
Like Hayuliang, there are no top places to visit or a checklist of things to do. The whole valleys dotted with dense jungles teeming with life around the town are ideal for walks, hiking, biking, and admiring the stunning views. If you time it right, you may be lucky to spot many rare bird species.
Among the beautiful and worth exploring paths are the Yingkiong-Tuting-Tsitapuri trail and the Yingkiong-Tuting-Devakota trail that passes through river streams, waterfalls, many Buddhist shrines, and local homes.
You can try swimming, fishing and rafting in the Siang River during the spring and summer months. Rafting in this part of the river is adventurous and passes through the gorgeous forest covers home to tall and thick tree species.
You can raft to Pasighat from Tuting, which runs for over 12km, which is a very popular raft route among adventure seekers.
HOW TO REACH TUTING?
Dibrugarh is the nearest airport to reach Tuting, and Murkongselek is the nearest railway station, but both need long drives to arrive at the town. Alternatively, you can rent cabs or take public buses that frequently run from Pasighat.
Although technically it cannot be categorized as one of the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh, hiking to Gorichen Peak is worth adding to your list of adventures if you are a seasoned hiker or mountaineer looking to get atop the highest peak in Arunachal Pradesh.
A sacred peak and a religious site by many locals in the state, hiking Gorichen is not for beginners. If you are an experienced hiker, though, you should try reaching the summit of this stunning mountain peak located between Tawang District and West Kameng District, towering over at almost 7000 meters high.
There are camping options as well, so you can pick your group and get started by experiencing some of the best 360-degree views of the panoramas of the horizon.
If you love a bit of a blend of history, archaeology, nature, and culture, along with an offbeat destination, Bhismaknagar is an ideal choice.
Located in the Lower Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh, Bhismaknagar is a perfect stop for a few days to get outdoors and enjoy the rugged nature via hiking, biking or walking.
This city was founded in the 8th century by King Bhismak, upon whom the town gets its name. In the Hindu Mythology Mahabharata, he is regarded as the father of Rukmini, the first wife of Lord Krishna.
The town is home to a 12th-century fort Bhismak, constructed using burnt bricks, an engineering and technological feat in this remote state area.
You can visit the ruins of this fort when in Bhismaknagar, from where many artefacts were excavated by the archaeologists now available in the museum.
Bhismaknagar is home to a religious site considered sacred by one of the oldest tribes, Idu Mishmis. There are many hiking trails well-marked for short excursions to camp.
HOW TO REACH DIBRUGARH?
The nearest airport is Mohanbari Airport, located in Dibrugarh in Assam, which is 3 hours away. The Tinsukia Railway Station is the closest. If you are coming from other towns in Arunachal, it is best to hire a cab or drive to reach Bhismaknagar.
If you love oranges as I do, make sure to visit this tiny village in the Lower Dibang Valley. Dambuk, a small town known for its tasty oranges, is one of the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh for the fruit and its hiking trails, secluded location amidst stunning landscapes, and the serenity that comes with it.
Apart from relaxing, admiring and taking in the beauty around you, there is not much to do in this pretty village.
However, if you want to enjoy some crowds and music, then plan a trip to Dambuk when it hosts the Orange Music festival that creates a festive atmosphere, bringing in the musicians, food-lovers, and party-goers into one place.
HOW TO REACH DAMBUK
The nearest airport to Dambuk is Dibrugarh Airport. The best way to reach is to get a cab via Roing, or arrive at Dibrugarh and take a bus or a taxi.
Talley Valley, located close to Ziro, is one of the best spots in Arunachal Pradesh to experience an undisturbed ecosystem. Home to many tiny villages, Talley Valley, is a treasure house of wildlife and dense forests.
Check out the Talley Valley Reserve area and the Talley Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the most attractions, home to the elusive clouded leopards.
How about reaching the most remote part of the state? If you dare to go through the long and arduous journey, head to Kaho, a tiny village administered by the Indian Army located near the Indo-China border on the banks of the Lohit River.
This village opens to stunning vistas dotted with snow-capped peaks on all the sides and has only a few households and shops.
Visit the local Buddhist monastery, stay with the locals that host you and bowl you over with their warmth and hospitality. Hike along the hills for watching rare and exotic wild birds and soak in the blissful views.
HOW TO REACH KAHO?
The nearest airport is located in Dibrugarh, over 400 km from Kaho. The nearest railway station is at Tinsukia, where it takes about 5 hours to reach. You will have to rent a car from a bigger town like Dibrugarh or Tezu to get to Kaho as there are limited options.
On the banks of the Siang River is Yingkiong, the headquarters of the Upper Siang District and one of the offbeat places in Arunachal Pradesh.
The tiny hamlet is blessed with a peaceful ambience, with the Siang dominating the vistas. You can get glimpses of the countryside in Arunachal, which is packed with lush fields, streams, lovely homes, and hills.
There are a few hanging bridges worth checking out. You can enjoy fishing, kayaking, and swimming in the Siang River, and if the favour of the current, rafting may be possible.
You can base in Yingkiong to visit the nearby Mouling National Park and Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary, two of the popular tourist attractions home to hundreds of species of animals and birds.
Yingkiong is home to these tribes Adi, Mishmi and ‘Memba. Staying in homestays run by them will give you insights into their rich traditions and unique culture.
HOW TO REACH YINGKIONG?
The nearest airports to Yinkiong is Dibrugarh and Guwahati in Assam. The nearest railway station is Murkong SelekRailway Station, about 3 hours away. It is best to rent a car to arrive conveniently in Yingkiong.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PLACES TO VISIT IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH
Is Arunachal Pradesh worth visiting?
Definitely, if you want to pick an underrated and unexplored state in India blessed with abundant natural beauty, rich and unique culture and traditions, Arunachal Pradesh is one of the best places to travel, offering something for every type of traveler.
What is the best time to visit Arunachal Pradesh?
The best time to visit Arunachal depends on your interests and preferences. Throughout the year, you can see the state except for the monsoons and high winters when the roads are blocked, and heavy rains and snowfall make it impossible to commute and explore.
Plan a trip from March to August or September to November for visiting national parks, lakes, waterfalls, and beautiful towns. For winter experience, December, January and mid-February are the best months as there would be snowfall.
Is Arunachal Pradesh safe?
Although not many are aware, Arunachal is one of the safest places to travel in India, especially for female travelers and solo travelers.
Does its snow in Arunachal Pradesh?
Yes, during the winter months from December to March, several regions in Arunachal Pradesh receive snowfall.
Do Indians need a permit to visit Arunachal Pradesh?
Yes, Indians need an ILP – Inner Line Permit to visit Arunachal Pradesh. Some cities in India provide the ILP online. But you can also apply for the permit online. You cannot enter the state without one, so ensure to secure it online or directly at the offices.
Which language is spoken in Arunachal Pradesh?
The people in Arunachal speak over 50 languages, including the dialects, one of the highest numbers in India.
PS – I explored Arunachal with the amazing North East Explorers, but all the thoughts and opinions are my now.
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TOP TRAVEL TIPS & RESOURCES
Booking Flights: To score flight deals, search on Jet Radar, Kiwi, or 12go.Asia (for Asia planning). Book and fly mid-week, taking red-eyes flights or those in the early mornings for better deals and lower prices. Avoid check-in bags on a budget airline.
Booking Trains: The best websites for booking trains anywhere in Europe are Rail Europe and TrainLine. Both are easy to manage online and track your journeys.
Booking Cars: For the best prices and easy handling of renting a car for road trips and day trips, I’d recommend Discover Cars or Rental Cars, available throughout the world.
Accommodations: I typically use HotelsCombined or Booking.com to book hotels. There are special getaway deals with amazing discounts(over 50%!) for this year on Booking.com, and you can find them here.
I use Hostelworld and Agoda to book hostels as the deposit is low, easy change/cancellation is available and reviews are excellent on both. Depending on the destination, I love staying in VRBOs/homestays.
Travel Insurance: No matter whether it is a short trip or longer trips abroad, I strongly recommend buying travel insurance for international trips. I recommend either World Nomads or SafetyWing for international travel insurance.
Tours: Being a solo traveler, one of the best ways to optimize my time, budget, and super importantly, meet amazing people from all over the world is by joining tours, especially food tours, walking tours, day trips, culture, and history tours.
You will get a local’s perspective, the best opportunities to experience places and people closely. I book using GetYourGuide, Klook, Viator, and Voyagin.
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