You have come to the right place if you are looking for some interesting facts about Arunachal Pradesh. One of the most underrated destinations in India, Arunachal is a Himalayan state known for its splendid mountainous valleys, gorgeous landscapes dotted with glacial lakes, rivers, streams, abundant wildlife, wealthy indigenous tribes, and plenty of unique places to be explored.
Thanks to its secluded location and limited access to the world, significantly less is known about the state. Hence, I decided to bring together some fantastic facts about Arunachal Pradesh in this post.
From its history to culture to its towns, find out all the mindblowing Arunachal facts that will give you glimpses of this beautiful land and its people.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ARUNACHAL PRADESH
Let us look at some of the interesting facts about Arunachal Pradesh.
The Land of the Rising Sun
Arunachal Pradesh is nicknamed India’s land of the rising sun as the lovely Dong Village. Here is the first place in India that receives morning sunlight.
Largest State in the North East
One of the exciting facts about Arunachal Pradesh is that it is the largest of the seven sister states in Northeast India, spread over 83,743 km.
Long-Running International Borders
Arunachal has an international border of over 1600km with China in the north, Myanmar in the east, and Bhutan in the west.
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Eastern Most State
Arunachal is the most eastern located state of India.
Continuing with more interesting geographic facts about Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Nagaland are its neighbours.
Eastern Most Village
Arunachal is home to the easternmost village of India, Dong Village, located in Dong Valley of Anjaw district bordering China and Myanmar.
Land of Dawn-Lit Mountains
The meaning of the name Arunachal translates in local language to the Land of Dawn Lit Mountains because of its location in the east, where you can witness beautiful sunrises atop the hills.
A permit is required for tourists.
You need an inner line permit even if you are an Indian citizen to explore Arunachal Pradesh, which only allows you to spend 15 days.
Houses India’s largest monastery
Arunachal is home to the largest monastery in India, the 400-years-old Tawang Monastery located in Tawang. It is also the second-largest in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
Home to the longest river bridge
Arunachal has the longest connecting river bridge in India, the Dhola Sadiya bridge, running between Assam and Arunachal. The bridge built across the Lohit River, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, runs for over 9km, reducing the travel time between the states from six hours to an hour.
One of the top green states
Arunachal Pradesh has forest cover up to 82% of the state. The forests of Arunachal Pradesh cover one-third of the habitat area within the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, home to a thousand species of birds and over 500 species of mammals spanning a diverse terrain of the mountains comprising highland plateaus and ridges to the higher altitude glacial regions of the Great Himalayas.
A land of wildlife parks
There are eight Wildlife Sanctuaries, one Orchid Sanctuary and two National Parks in Arunachal Pradesh, housing some of the largest wildlife collections.
Home to all four major cats
Namdapha National Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site and the largest protected area in the Eastern Himalayas, located in Arunachal, is the only national park in India home to all the four significant cats – Snow Clouded Leopard, Tiger, and Leopard.
Among the famous tiger reserves in India, Arunachal Pradesh is home to two of them – Pakke Tiger Reserve located in East Kameng district and Namdapha National Park, in Changlang district, which is the 5th largest National Park in India.
The Brahmaputra and its tributaries form the primary resource of water, which are Dibang, Lohit, Subansiri, Kameng, and Tirap.
There are over 40 named mountains and a hundred unnamed in Arunachal Pradesh. The highest mountain is Kangto at over 7000 meters, which lies between Arunachal and Tibet in the Eastern Himalayan mountain range. The Gorichen Peak at 6,500 meters is the 2nd highest peak in the state.
As per 2014 GDP data, Arunachal is third from below, placing it as one of the poorest states in terms of the economy.
Agriculture is the primary source of the economy. And the traditional method followed, known as Jhum, is practised in most regions even to this day. Some of the things grown include rice, millet, pulses, potatoes and oilseeds.
Arunachal is also one of the leading producers of apple, kiwi, oranges, and pineapple.
The state also fairs low in the literacy rate, third from below, with only close to 67%, much below India’s average speed.
The state is home to over 26 tribes and at least a hundred sub-tribes.
Arunachal Pradesh has twelve tourist circuits that offer travellers a diverse range of cultural, ethnic, geographic, and wildlife experiences.
FACTS ABOUT ARUNACHAL PRADESH HISTORY
If you want to know about the state’s ancient history, there is not much before the 16th century, although you can find some historical documents maintained by the local tribes.
The Arunachali tribes belong originally to modern-day Tibet, as recorded by the documents available from the Monpa, one of the oldest tribes in the state.
Monpa kingdom was not only the dominant tribe but also took control over the whole of today’s Arunachal and parts of Tibet under their rule that lasted between 500 BC and 600 AD.
The power then shifted to kingdoms in Tibet and Bhutan, occupying the state at different points later.
Another kingdom, the Sutiya, came to prominence, conquering portions of Myanmar and different regions in Arunachal, which lasted until the annexation of India by the British in 1858.
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Arunachal Pradesh was earlier known as North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) during the British rule in India and constituted a part of the state of Assam.
The state was formally included after the Simla Accord of 1913-14 between Chinese representatives, Tibet and Britain, when the McMahon line was the boundary between British India and Outer Tibet.
The McMohan line extends for 890 km from Bhutan in the west to 260 km east of the Brahmaputra River in the east along the ridge of the Himalayas.
Although the Chinese government disputes its legal status, it is the effective boundary between China and India.
After independence, the Indian government connected the local tribes for the first time, bringing them under the central government administration in 1948.
The state was declared a Union Territory in 1972, finally becoming a full-fledged state in 1987.
During the Indo-China War of 1962, China had conquered most of Arunachal’s towns except Tawang before retaliating during the cease-fire.
One of the historical landmarks in Arunachal is the War Memorial in Tawang, which was built as a tribute to over 2500 Indian soldiers who gave up their life in the 1962 Indo-Sino War.
During the second world war and the Vietnam war, the Dirang Fort, a 17th-century historical fortress, located in the beautiful town of Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh was used as a shelter bunker and a prison respectively.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ARUNACHAL PRADESH CULTURE
Parshuram Khund, located in Lohit in Arunachal, is one of the sacred pilgrim sites in North East India. It is a holy flowing water reservoir in the lower reaches of the Lohit River located in the Lohit district in the Brahmaputra river valley.
Here the legend states that the Lord Parshuram washed away his sins of killing the Kshatriyas by taking a bath here. Today it attracts thousands of devotees, including people from neighbouring Nepal who arrive in large numbers to take a holy dip in the river on Makar Sankranthi.
The state animal of Arunachal Pradesh is Mithun, and the state bird is Hornbill.
The state flower of Arunachal is the Foxtail orchid, and the state tree is Hollong.
Linguistically richest state
Arunachal Pradesh, being home to at least 50 distinct languages and many dialects, is one of the linguistically wealthiest states in India.
Arunachal is home to one of the ancient temple ruins at Malinthan, which is believed to have been constructed between the 10th and the 14th century.
The state is one of the highest rainfall receiving regions, with an annual rainfall of over 3000mm.
Itanagar is the capital city of the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The town was named after Ita fort in the 14th-century AD.
Arunachal is nicknamed the Orchid State of India or the Paradise of the Botanists as it is home to at least 700 species of orchids, one of the few states with such a vast number of species.
Not many know about one of the exciting facts about Arunachal Pradesh regarding food and drinks. The state is known for many delicious cuisines belonging to many tribes and the liquor prepared at homes.
Rice is the staple food of Arunachal Pradesh, while meat, especially pork, wild boar and fish, are significant parts of the diet.
Do not miss trying Apong or rice beer prepared from fermented rice or millet is a popular beverage in Arunachal Pradesh as an alcoholic drink.
Although only a tiny portion of the landmass is suitable for farming, Agriculture is practised by more than half of the population. Some of the important crops grown in the state include maize, millet, wheat, pulses, oilseeds, cereals, and potatoes.
Arunachal is one of the leading producers of many fruits in India. Dambuk town in Lower Dibang Valley is nicknamed the Land of Oranges.
Arunachal is the largest producer of kiwis and the second-largest producer of cardamom in India.
Houses second-highest mountain pass in the world
Sela Pass, a high-altitude mountain pass located in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, is the world’s second-highest motorable road. This 4170-meter high pass connects Tawang with Assam and is one of the most adventurous roads for travelers.
The Sela Pass is regarded sacred by the Buddhists who believe in over a hundred hidden lakes in the area.
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Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh, known for the Ziro Music festival celebrated here, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as the home of the unique Aptani tribe, the village’s inhabitants. This secluded town is blessed with gorgeous landscapes and lush mountainous valleys making it one of the best places to visit in Arunachal.
Arunachal Pradesh is divided geographically into five river valleys – the Kameng, the Subansiri, the Siang, the Lohit, and the Tirap.
The Aptani women and the nose plugs
One of the essential tribes in Arunachal is the Aptani tribe located in the Ziro valley. The tribe is known for its beautiful women, but more than that, it is the strange culture that drew the world’s attention until then.
Until 1970, it was a mandatory custom for the women of the tribe to wear huge nose plugs known as hurlo and get face tattoos at a very young age to avoid the attention of the men of the neighbouring tribes that wanted to marry these beautiful women.
MORE FUN FACTS
English is the official language here.
The official language of Arunachal is English, with only two states in India known for this. The other Indian state where English is the only official language in Nagaland.
But Arunachal has the highest number of regional languages spoken in any Indian state.
A state with no functioning airport
There is no airport in Arunachal Pradesh, and you need to fly to any of the airports in Assam, its neighbouring state.
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