Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh)
Introduction: The hill resort of Itanagar lies in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. There are the mighty eastern Himalayas that border Itanagar from one side. The plains of the Brahmaputra River lie on the southern end of Itanagar.
History: Arunachal Pradesh finds mention in the Kalika Purana and in the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. It is believed that sage Vyas meditated here. Itanagar was called Mayapur during the reign of the Jiti Dynasty that ruled the region in the 11th century. Even during the reign of the Jiti kings, Mayapur was the capital city. The magnificent Ita Fort (ita means brick) dating back to the 14th-15th century, is believed to have been built by King Ramachandra. Description: The entire state of Arunachal Pradesh has been thrown open to tourism recently in 1998. Besides security it was done as an attempt to preserving the centuries old heritage of the tribal communities in the area. The virginal beauty of the state capital, Itanagar attracts several tourists from far and away. The nearest is around two hours away from Itanagar in Assam. But this isolation has proved as a boon as the untouched nature still blooms on its own and not for the tourists. There is no crowd and one can relax with the nature in true sense.
Itanagar Quick facts
Itanagar Geography and Climate
Itanagar is located at 27.1° N 93.62° E. It has an average elevation of 440 metres (1443 feet). Itanagar experiences subtropical and alpine types of climates. Thus, the hill resort neither has extreme cold in winters nor heat in summers. The climate is pleasant all through the year. Itanagar experiences monsoon rains between the months of July and September. On an average the hill resort receives two hundred and sixty six cm of rainfall annually. The best time to visit the hill resort of Itanagar is between the months of October and March.
Best time to visit Itanagar
The best time to visit Itanagar is October to March when cool breezes blowing in from the Himalayan foothills temper the heat and humidity.
North Lakhimpur (60 km), Tezpur and Guwahati, all in Assam are approachable by road. Tezpur and Lilabari (71 km ) is accessible by air. Guwahati is about 394 km from Itanagar. Itanagar is also connected by direct bus services from the following places - Shillong (481km) Tezpur (216km) Dibrugarh (375km) Tinisukia (415 km) Jorhat (245km) Nagaon (275km) Namsai (495km) Itanagar is connected with other major towns in the region such as Agartala, Aizawl, Kohima and Imphal.
How to reach Itanagar by Road
Itanagar is connected by daily bus service from Guwahati and the other cities of Assam. Arunachal State Transport buses are plying throughout Arunahcal, Assam and Meghalaya. Private transport operators also run Deluxe Coaches on many routes.
How to reach Itanagar by Rail
No railway enters Arunachal Pradesh. Nearest Railway station is Harrmoty in Assam. 23 km from Naharlagun and 33 km from ltanagar. The station is served by Arunachal Express.
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How to reach Itanagar by Air
The nearest Airport is Lilabari in Assam, 57 km from Nahariagun and 67 km from Itanagar.
Itanagar Festivals and culture
A number of festivals are celebrated in this capital city of Arunachal Pradesh. Losar is the New Year celebration of the Monpas. It is celebrated for a period of five days. The festival is marked by prayers, hoisting of religious flags atop the homes, reading of Buddhist scriptures, and lighting butter lamps in the houses. Another important festival is Reh, which is mainly associated with the Idu Mishimis. The special attraction of the six-day celebrations is the priest dance. During Tamladu, the Digaru Mishimis offer prayers to the God of the Earth and the God of the Water. The supreme God Jebmalu is also worshipped. Khan is significant because of a ceremony where the priest ties a piece of wool around everybody's neck. During Sangken, people sprinkle water on each other as a sign of merriment, while smearing of rice powder on each other's face marks the beginning of the five-day celebrations of Mopin.
The people: They are the gentle and cultured Monpas of West Kameng who received Buddhism from Padma Sambhava; the Thongi (Sherdukpens) whose chiefs trace their treaty relationships with the powers in the valley to a thousand years back; the Hrusso who for thirty generations have patronised Vaishnava scholars; the proud Bangni-Nishi and the Tagin typifying the ancient Indian ideal of the honourable warrior; the Adis and Mishmis who are eager to build academic careers; the Apatanis with their marvels of wet-rice cultivation; the Khampti in their magnificent ceremonial robes and the peaceful, progressive Nocte, Wancho and Tangsa.
Itanagar Religious Places
The Buddhist Temple: This is a new but beautiful yellow - roofed shrine. It rises from well-rnaintained grounds behind a stupo tree planted by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. The grounds of the temple offers a beautiful view of the Itanagar Town.
Twang Monastery Tawang, famous for a 350 year old Buddhist monastery of the Mahayana sect, was built in the 17th century and is perhaps the highest administrative capital in the world. It is a treasure house of old scriptures, priceless images, painted tapestries, books and collection of gold lettered Buddhist scriptures.
Itanagar Entertainment and Night Life
Bomdila near Itanagar is the place to visit for all the adventure seekers who would like to indulge in trekking. The Bomdila-Tawang area is a good choice for trekking. However, the most interesting as well as challenging trek in this region is around Tawang Chu. This trek starts from Jong, the bus head in between Se-la and Tawang. From Jong to Mago, the trek route passes through a wonderful jungle studded with magnificent waterfalls. May and October are the best time for undertaking adventure activities in Arunachal Pradesh. Some other interesting treks of Arunachal Pradesh are Bomdila-Daimara via Ramlingam and Chakku; Bomdila-Seppa; Along-Mochuka; Daporijo-Taksing; Pasighat-Tuting; Pasighat-Mariang; and Daporijo- Along. Tourists may also undertake river rafting along Kameng (Seppa-Bhalukpong), Subansiri (Taliha-North of Daporijo), Siang (entire course), and Dibang (Anini-Assam border).
Kidding around Itanagar
Rupa: This is a beautiful hill town situated about 18 kms from Itanagar, along the Tenga River and is an ideal picnic spot.
The hill resort of Itanagar offers several handicraft items to its tourists. The local tribes are known to weave exquisite fabrics. Amongst the many items you may pick up the coats, shawls, sashes, carpets and bags. These items are made from cotton, wool or even bark fibre. Besides woven items ,you may buy the traditional handicraft items. There are items in bamboo, cane and wood. Plus you must check out the Tibetan Buddhist paintings or the thankas.
Famous To Eat at Itanagar
There are several quality restaurants that offer good and hygienic food in Itanagar. You may feast on the different types of cuisines available in Itanagar. Tibetan food is available in abundance and is a must eat in Itanagar.
Itanagar Museum and Hill Stations
Ita Fort: This is situated at the heart of the capital city in Papum Pare district. It is a historical fort of an irregular shape, The Buddhist Temple mainly built with bricks, dating back to the 14th -15th centuries . The total brickwork done on the fort comprise of 16,200 cubic mtr. length. There are also three gates on three sides viz; Eastern, Western and Southern, which is said to be built by Ahom rulers. The name Itanagar is believed to be derived from the name of this fort. Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum: Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum provides a brief picture of Arunachal Pradesh and one can see woodcarvings, musical instruments, textiles, handicrafts and archeological finds, while a workshop in the Handicrafts Centre specializes in traditional cane manufacture. It also houses a library section.
Gardens and Parks at Itanagar
Polo Park: An amazing little botanical garden at the top of a ridge overlooks the Itanagar town. One should notice the cane thickets those look a bit like a palm with spines on its stems, but grows as a bush. There is a small zoo, worth a visit.
Lake at Itanagar
Ganga Lake (Gyaker Sinyi): The 6 km drive to the lake from Itanagar takes the visitors through some superbly primeval jungles with bamboo groves, orchid masses on tall trees, which are some of the vegetation which can be identified by the interested travellers. Stopping at the base of a hill, one has to take a flight of steps uphill. At the top of the ridge one looks down on a tranquil green forest lake which one has to cross in a row boat. Today, it is a beautiful spot for outings, boating and picnics.
Itanagar Travel Tips
There is no good travel facility in the city Itanagar. So tourist should make their schedule of travelling by either roadways or airways. Hence, make sure before starting how to get there. Carry first aid kit and other mosquito repellants. While making a trip to adventure places, should be careful to carry mineral water and should eat hygienic food.
Itanagar Tourist Offices
Deputy Resident Commissioner, Government of Arunachal Pradesh Mohanbari Dibrugarh Phone: 20398 Deputy Resident Commissioner, Government of Arunachal Pradesh Parvati Nagar Tezpur Phone: 20241 Deputy Resident Commissioner, Government of Arunachal Pradesh Shillong Phone: 224247 Directorate of Tourism Ganga Market, Sector C Itanagar
Arunachal Pradesh State Coop.Apex Bank Ltd., Itanagar, Subansiri District,H.O. ARUNACHAL PRADESH - 791 11