Tourism in Itanagar

Fast Facts

Altitude 750 m above sea level
Languages Bengali, Assamese, local dialects, English
Best Time to Visit October to April
STD Code 0360

The capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar is a well-planned town. Together with the town of Naharlagun, situated about 10 km away, it forms the state's administrative hub. Cradled between two hills, the Governor's residence on one and a Buddhist temple on the other, many of the buildings in Itanagar are new, light, wooden-framed and earthquake-proof structures. Consecrated by the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist temple, a beautiful yellow-roofed shrine, reflects the extensive Tibetan influence and provides good views of Itanagar and the surrounding countryside.

Best Time To Visit

The climate of Itanagar is very pleasant. Although there is a lot of humidity and considerable heat during summer, a mild breeze blows during the day that keeps the entire area cool. During winter, it witnesses snowfall between December and January.

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, brick), dating back to the 14th-15th century, is believed to have been built by King Ramachandra.

Tourists Attractions

Itanagar is a very beautiful hill station. As one approaches the town, one is awed by the beauty of tropical evergreen rain forests meeting the temperate Himalayan jungles. On one peak is the residence of the Governor while on the other there is a new Buddhist temple. The slopes are occupied by the shops, bazaar, old huts, and new administrative buildings.

The yellow roofed Buddhist Temple stands atop a small hillock and is surrounded by well-maintained gardens. The main shrine is behind the stupa. Of special note here is the tree planted by the Dalai Lama.

Gayker Sinyi (also known as Ganga Lake) is a small lake situated amidst dense forests about 6 km from Itanagar. It is a beautiful picnic spot, surrounded by primeval vegetation, orchids in full bloom atop tall trees, and bamboo groves.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Museum has a wide collection of tribal art, instruments, and religious objects that depict the socio-cultural heritage and lifestyle of the people of Arunachal Pradesh. There is also a rich section on archaeology.

The Polo Park is in Naharlagun. It is situated on a small ridge and has interesting botanical specimens and a small zoo.

Itanagar Sanctuary (7 km) was established in 1978 on 140 sq. km of land. Of semi-evergreen forests, the sanctuary has a small tiger population and visiting herds of elephants.

Tourists may also undertake river rafting along Kameng (Seppa-Bhalukpong), Subansiri (Taliha-North of Daporijo), Siang (entire course), and Dibang (Anini-Assam border).

Places Around Itanagar

The Orchidarium at Tipi has a collection of over 7,500 orchids. Here scientists create new hybrid varieties of orchids using the latest techniques of biotechnology.

Ziro is situated about 150 km from Itanagar at an altitude of 1475 m. It is located in an extremely picturesque valley called Apatani Plateau surrounded by pine-covered mountains.

Rupa, 18 km from Itanagar, is a beautiful hill town situated on the banks of the Tenga River and is an ideal picnic spot.

Fairs & Festivals

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.

How To Reach

The nearest airport is Lilabari in Assam, 57 km from Naharlagun and 67 km from Itanagar. Another airport is at Tezpur. The nearest railhead is North Lakhimpur in Assam, which is only 50 km from Naharlagun and 60 km from Itanagar. Itanagar is connected with other major towns in the region such as Agartala, Aizawl, Kohima, Guwahati, Imphal, and Shillong. We would provide you all India tourist permit vehicles for the local transportations and also for the intercity drives too.

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