Discover Arunachal Pradesh

Monthly Archives: June 2014

Located on the outskirts of Tawang town, Urgelling Monastery was built around AD 1487. Almost two centuries later Tsangyang Gyatso, H.H. the Sixth Dalai Lama, was born here in 1683. Miraculous deeds were attributed to him, one of which is recounted on a plaque outside the temple. It reads, “Legend has it that at the time of leaving for Tibet, Tsangyang Gyatso planted his walking stick and prophesied that he would once… Read More

Morel mushrooms feature prominently in the local cuisine of Bomdila. Dried and smoked, they impart a note of finesse on various gravies, sauces and soups. At first glance, sweet peas and mint seem unlikely to ignite a fire of flavour. But topped with a swirl of rich morel cream, this soup suddenly tastes sophisticated and delicious. Planning a summer garden party or picnic? Hungry eyes are guaranteed when you pull this out… Read More

This iron chain suspension bridge or Chag-Zam is estimated to be almost 600 years old. Spanning more than 100 meters across the Tawang River, it represents a rare and remarkable architectural achievement. Of several dozen such Chag-Zam bridges said to have been constructed in the Eastern Himalayan region, only four remain intact today with this being the only one of its kind in India.

It was a cool afternoon and the sky above the valley was lined with lacy clouds. Through the open window I watched as we drove by green hillsides plump with orange and kiwi groves. Curiosity and anticipation were tangled inside me, like I already knew something big was coming. Our car turned up a rough road and stopped at the edge of a meadow. A flock of tawny sheep was being led… Read More

For the devotees of Tibetan Buddhism in Arunachal Pradesh, prayer wheels are a means of spreading blessings and spiritual well-being. They are commonly found and accessible to anyone who wishes to set the wheels in motion. Each cylindrical wheel has a long scroll of paper wound around its inner axle which is imprinted many times over with the mantra, “Om Mani Padme Hum”, a prayer entreating the Compassionate One to bestow the… Read More

We could hear the waterfall through the trees well before it came into view. A stairwell led us downward, our anticipation growing in unison with the rumbling that neared. We left the last landing and made our way across the shoulder of the riverbed strewn with boulders polished smooth by the waters of time. We stood before the falls, a thundering multi-tiered cascade spitting spray at us almost like a living thing;… Read More

Walking down Main Street in Bomdila, I felt nostalgia well up in me like a spring. The timbered houses and pots beaming with flowers, the crisp breeze and cobalt sky were all reminiscent of distant places in the Alps. But instead there I was, in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, and the similitude was comfortable as a plush old recliner. About half way into the stroll, we turned into a covered… Read More

Tibetan Buddhism makes use of eight symbols of good fortune to embellish sacred art and architecture and also to decorate secular household objects. These auspicious motifs are said to represent offerings made by various deities to the Lord Buddha upon his enlightenment. Whether they appear on a temple wall hanging or on quotidian items, these signs are seen as part of the spread of Buddha Dharma across society as a whole. Photographed… Read More

On the road which winds its way upward from Sissa village, a waterfall suddenly emerges from a narrow opening in the ravine looming to the left. The lucent stream flows like the veil of a wanton angel, caressing a hundred meters of rock face before gliding into a pool below. Hidden from view both before and after that one particular bend, it pays to make one’s way more slowly so as not… Read More

Cooking in Arunachal Pradesh is decidedly different than on “mainland” India. Recipes here rarely call for flame-hued chillies, glowing yellow tumeric powder, brick-red mustard seeds or other dried spices. Rather, fresh organic herbs, leaves and tubers are used to add color and aroma to the cornucopia of curries, soups, dals, pickles and chutneys found across the state. Moreover, food is often steamed so nutrients are sealed in and flavors linger pleasantly on… Read More