Cross the Brahmaputra River which separates Assam from Arunachal Pradesh and get ready to experience biodiversity on a scale seldom seen before.
The road from Bhalukpong to Tawang starts at a sub-Himalayan elevation and snakes steadily upward through sub-tropical, temperate and alpine forests. It is India’s second highest motorable road and reaches a height of over 4000 meters where the habitat is above the tree line.
Just as the climate varies with elevation, so does the flora and fauna on display in this remote and enticing arcadia. Being the home to so many species of wildlife, it comes as no surprise that Arunachal Pradesh has emblazoned some of them in the state’s insignia.
Over 500 species of orchid thrive in the more temperate zones of Arunachal Pradesh and the delicate Foxtail is the state flower. Highly revered, the Great Indian Hornbill is the state bird whose brightly coloured beak is often used to adorn tribal headpieces. And the hulking mithun, the state animal, plays a central role in ritual tribal ceremonies.