Discover Arunachal Pradesh

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In Arunachal Pradesh, there is a strong connection between people, the land and the bounty it provides. In the absence of wide scale commercial farming and supermarkets, it is common to grow some hand-planted produce in one’s own back yard. And wild-harvested foods are plentiful too – without being considered exotic. Here, going to the forest to pick some naturally growing greens is like tapping into any other food source. Coming back… Read More

Tangkha painting is a traditional form of Tibetan Buddhist art. Learning this craft can take three years and is part of a monk’s education. Monks who have left monastic life can continue painting Tangkhas in craft centers like the one we visited in Bomdila. In the workshop we met Tenzin, a former monk who once studied in Bomdila Monastery. He sat cross-legged near a window through which a shaft of pale sunlight… Read More

Think of bananas and tropical images may first spring to mind. But bananas also grow in Bomdila, at an altitude of 2200 meters, and cooks here have devised a clever way of using their huge leaves. These have a light grassy scent and cooking food wrapped in fresh banana leaves infuses it with some of that subtle flavor while sealing in delicious juices. There is no fat added making this a very… Read More

My home in Bomdila is perched on a steep hillock that overlooks an entire valley. There is a small door in the stairway which when swung open lets the grandeur of the panorama beyond rush into view. Cloud vapour materialises, rolls and floats ethereally upward. Lungta prayer flags flutter between evergreens that stud the mountainside and tidy rows of potted azaleas, snapdragons and orchids bloom in welcome. At the bottom of the… Read More

Did you know? Arunachal Pradesh is one of only four states in India which has yaks. The roughly 7000 animals are reared and herded by semi-nomadic Brokpas at altitudes above 2000 meters. In high alpine communities, the yak is a multipurpose animal of high economic significance delivering hide, dung, meat and milk. Cheese made from the raw milk of yaks grazing on verdant pastures dotted with herbs, roots and wildflowers is simply… 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

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