Far East Tribes of Arunachal

19 Days
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  • Itinerary
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Arunachal Pradesh “the land of the dawn-lit mountains” is one of India’s last unspoiled wilderness paradise. A wealth of fascinating cultures, peoples and tribes – plus a staggering five hundred species of orchid – are found in its glacial terrain, alpine meadows and subtropical rainforests.

You start your journey in Eastern Arunachal. Located high up in the mountain ranges of the Himalayas, at 3500 meters above sea level, is the holy town of Tawang – the land of the Monpas; a tribe that has a culture which is a mix between indigenous beliefs and Mahayana Buddhism.

Proceed to Ziro where you will get a chance to meet the people of the Apatani Tribe who have one of most fascinating of cultures. Some of the women wear intriguing huge nasal plugs and have tattoos on the faces and bodies. The Ziro valley is famous for rice cum fish cultivation, where the Apatanis have managed to grow rice and at the same time harvest fish in the farms – an example of sustainable living at its best.

In the Daporijo area, you will meet the fierce Tagin Tribe who are equally fascinating. It is in these remote lands that the turquoise River Subansiri makes its way from China to flow into the mighty Brahmaputra River. The river is a great place to fish some fighter freshwater fishes such as the elusive Golden Mahseer. The river also offers a beautiful rafting experience through some spectacular scenery.

The journey will continue east into Along area, which are the territory of the once warrior Adi Tribe. The Adis live in beautiful bamboo houses and practice terraced rice farming. A walk through these high Himalayan and remote fields is a memorable and peaceful experience. They form great frames for landscape photography.

From the Adi heartland, the road will join the mightiest of all northeastern rivers, the Siang, which after traveling thousands of miles through Tibet eventually becomes the mighty Brahmaputra River when it touches the plains. The Siang on its downhill course in the Pasighat area forms some formidable landscape of gorgeous mountains of farmlands, tribal villages and rainforests. The Siang is great for angling and is considered one of the toughest challenges when it comes to white water rafting and kayaking. You will also come across the Mishmi Tribe in the Siang Valley who are one of the oldest of Arunachal’s tribes. They along with the Adis have much folklore about the Siang River, interesting tales of magic, sorcery, Buddhism and nature.

The tribes have modernized but you can still see the cultural aspect in their villages, where people keep proudly their tradition. The most interesting aspect of the tribes is the Donyi Polo traditions to please the almighty and trying to cure the evil of their life hood through their process of sacrificing animals. On the other hand the Bodics or the Buddhism believers are quite different to the non bodics. This tour will take you through such a land where you will be enthralled by every aspect of life.

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Day 1

Arrival in Guwahati - Nameri NP

Welcome at the airport and road to Nameri National Park on the foot hills of the Himalayas and bordering Arunachal Pradesh. If early arrival, you can enjoy a nature walk in the afternoon. Night in hotel or resort. Many activities can be organized around the park: angling, rafting, hikes...

Day 2

Nameri NP - Dirang

After breakfast, you go to Dirang. In Bhalukpong, which is the border between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, you will ask permission to enter Arunachal. The journey is along a very scenic road traversing forested hills and crossing over the Nichephu pass to the Tanga valley. Traversing the Tanga valley, the road climbs through a series of hairpins to the town of Bomdila, located at 2800 m height pass of same name. En route, stop at Tipi to visit a greenhouse of orchids with more than 7,500 flowers. You will also stop in the temple of Nag Mandir in Dedza. Visit the village inhabited by the ethnic Rupa of Shertukpen. Lunch at Bomdila and will continue to Dirang. Night in hotel.

Day 3

Dirang - Tawang

After breakfast, visit the hot springs of Dirang and then drive to Tawang, the birthplace of Mahayana Buddhism. On the way, you can visit the quiet Nyukmadung Village. To reach Tawang, you will go through the Sela pass (4170 m). Night in hotel or guest house. Option: Bailey Trail Trekking (8 to 11 days) or Nagigi Trekking (8 days)

Day 4


Walk for 30 minutes from the market in Tawang town and enter the Tawang monastery compound. Founded in AD 1680, Tawang Monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in India. Situated at an elevation of 3300 meters, the mesmerizing Buddhist citadel comprises 65 residential buildings which are home to 450 lamas. A centre for Buddhist cultural studies and a library with an invaluable collection of 400-year-old manuscripts are also found inside the compound. Also pay a visit to the museum and butter lamp house. Visit a craft center and emporium and shop for authentic woven goods and garments. Drive to the outskirts of Tawang town and visit Urgelling Monastery which was built around AD 1487. Almost two centuries later Tsangyang Gyatso, H.H. the 6th Dalai Lama, was born here in 1683. Pilgrims can burn incense and perform a candle lighting ceremony in which conical terracotta lamps are used. Next visit Khinmey Gompa which will impress with its kaleidoscope of glorious colors. Drive back to Tawang town for lunch. Visit the Ani Gompas or nunneries of Tawang are steeped in the same time-honoured Tibetan Buddhist traditions as their larger all-male counterparts. Night in hotel/homestay. Option: Explore villages around Tawang by walk (2/3 days)

Day 5

Tawang - Zemithang - Tawang

For a day trip, drive to Zemithang, an interesting and scenic village of the Monpa tribe (who are Buddhists), located very near to the border with China. You will also visit the Gorsam Chorten and the Pangchenpa tribe which is migrated from China. Return to Tawang by sunset. Night in hotel.

Day 6

Tawang - Bomdila

After breakfast, you go to Bomdila. En route you pass Nuranang Falls, the memorial of Jaswant Garh (in memory of the Indochina war) and the Dirang Ta Dzong (Tibetan old prison). Night in hotel or guest house.

Day 7

Bomdila - Itanagar

Today you drive to Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal, a modern enclave built where reside the ruins of the ancient capital of the fourteenth century. In the afternoon, stroll through the local markets. Night in hotel.

Day 8

Itanagar - Ziro

Morning visit of the Itafort, the museum and the Mahayana and Hinayana monasteries. Later on drive along the Ranga River, you quickly enter the extensive foothills of the Himalaya. The mountain road cuts through densely forested hills and slowly keeps gaining altitude till we reach the Apatani plateau. En route, visiting Nyishi tribes. Night in hotel/homestay. Option: Trekking in the Nyshyi Hills (7 to 9 days)

Day 9


After breakfast, drive to the Shiv Mandir and then come back to the valley. After that you can visit the high altitude fishing farms where they grow fishes in the paddy fields. Then visit Hong and Dutta (Apatani villages) and the craft centre where you could do some shopping as well. Drive up to the view point near old Ziro and enjoy the view of the valley from top. Night in hotel or homestay.

Day 10

Ziro - Daporijo

Departing early in the morning, we descend from the Ziro plateau and drive along the Kamla River valley through dense jungle country, passing picturesque villages of Nishis and the Hill Miris tribes. You will visit Muri Mugli, a Hill Miris tribe, and if road conditions are good we will continue another eight miles on a mountain dirt road to Noori, a small traditional village of the same people. The Ghansi sect of the Miris that we encounter here are of short stature, scantily dressed with a sleeveless jacket and loin cloths. They will usually carry woven cane knapsacks and a dao (broad sword) along with bow and arrows. The Panibotias, another sect of the Miris that you will meet, are just the opposite: tall, well-built people. Continue driving to Daporijo on the banks of the Subansiri River. Daporijo is the junction of three important tribes; Hill Miris, Tagins and Adi-Gallongs. Night in hotel. Option: Siyum - Mechuka Trek (8 days)

Day 11

Daporijo - Along

Early morning visit Lida village of Adi-Gallong tribes. A short drive brings us to Tajipara, another Adi-Gallong village. Continue to Along. Rest of the day, visit the local market and museum. Night in hotel.

Day 12


Spend the day exploring verdant villages around Aalo of the Adi Gallong Tribe such as Kabu, Jirdan an Kayin. Visit homes and interact with the villagers to gain more insight about the inter-relation of animist cultures present in Arunachal Pradesh. In Kabu cross a cane hanging bridge. Night in homestay/hotel.

Day 13

Along - Damro

Today, you visit several villages in Along area and head to Siang river to cross a 70 m bamboo bridge. You continue Northupto Yamne River. On the way, visit Adi Minyong, Adi Simong and Adi Karko villages. Night in Circuit House/ Village Camp.

Day 14


Visit the original village of the Adi Padam tribe and witness their age-old customs. The longest hanging bridge in Arunachal Pradesh at Damro sways gently over a silvery slash of the Yamne River as Adi Padam herders head to the forests with their mithun. A domesticated form of the gaur (Indian bison), these semi-feral bovines recognize their master’s call and lumber forth for salt. Night in Circuit House/ Village Camp.

Day 15

Damro - Pasighat

After breakfast, drive to Pasighat. On the way, visit the tribal villages of Pado, Sili, and Bodak. In the afternoon you get to visit the Pasighat museum and handicraft centre. Night in basic hotel.

Day 16

Pasighat - Dibrugarh

Drive upto Oiramghat where we enter Assam to take the ferry across the braided flow of the Brahmaputra. Keep an eye out for freshwater dolphin during the winter months! After reaching the other side of the Brahmaputra, drive to Dibrugarh. Evening walk around town. Night in hotel.

Day 17

Departure from Dibrugarh

Transfer to the airport. End of our services.