Discover Arunachal Pradesh

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It was a mild morning in May with barely a wisp of cloud in the cobalt sky over Tawang, a perfect day for our visit to Mukto, a village inhabited by Monpa tribals who are known for their traditional papermaking craft. When paper was first made in the Himalayas cannot be dated back exactly, but archaeological finds indicate that it has been used for writing Buddhist manuscripts for over a thousand years…. Read More

The craft of cheesemaking came to Arunachal Pradesh together with Tibetan Buddhist culture over 2000 years ago. Nomadic herdsmen once stored milk in animal skin bags where it was allowed to ferment, a step in the process which remains very similar today. Raw cow’s milk from animals that graze on pristine pastures and the seasoned hands of cowherds or Brokpas are all that go into the making of ‘Moo Chura’, the ultimate… Read More

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

Every year, during the first five days of April, the Adi Galo tribe celebrates the Mopin festival. Mopin is thought to bring wealth and prosperity to households and to the Gallong community as a whole. It is also believed that the festival drives away evil shadows and spreads God’s blessing of universal happiness. During Mopin, Adi Galo villages come alive with dancing and chanting of rhythmic songs. The village folk don their… Read More

The greatest culinary gift of the streams, pastures and forests of Arunachal Pradesh is an abundance of fresh produce. The Monpa people of West Kameng district live in close connection with nature and have a deep knowledge of both farmed crops and wild edible food resources. Being non-vegetarian, the meat of both wild and domesticated animals like fish, yak and chicken is also used in the preparation of traditional Monpa cuisine. The… Read More

Amid sweeping views of pine-clad mountains and glacier-blue skies, the road from Dirang to Tawang climbed steadily upward away from civilization. After several switchbacks, a small grey milestone pointed to a steep and bumpy track which we followed at foot speed for several minutes until Nyukmadung village came into sight. The rough road ended, lest cars break the magical atmosphere of backwoods simplicity, swaying grain fields strewn with flowers and picturesque stone… Read More

Across Arunachal Pradesh, women practice traditional methods of weaving and textile production in home industry with great dexterity. A means of expressing and preserving their tribal identity, skills are passed from one generation to the next with care and enthusiasm; and the results are as varied and enchanting as the colours of a rainbow. In West Kameng district, the tribal dress worn by Monpa ladies includes the ‘shingka’, a light red sleeveless… 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