Discover Arunachal Pradesh


Located about 25 kilometers from Tawang near the Indo-Tibetan border, Gomkhang village is home to Tsering Topgey and his unique organic nursery. The 68-year-old dedicates himself full-time to cultivating wild medicinal plants, to practicing Tibetan medicine and to creating awareness about the need for conservation. As a young man working as a nurse in the Indian Army, Topgey accompanied Tibetan healer Tenzin Chotala on long treks in the Tawang hills to assess… Read More

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 Ani Gompas or nunneries of Tawang are steeped in the same time-honoured Tibetan Buddhist traditions as their larger all-male counterparts, the monasteries. Devoted to the study and practice of Lord Buddha’s teaching, the nuns known as ‘Anis’ commit their lives to helping others. Coming from a Western society which generally views random acts of kindness by strangers with suspicion rather than with faith, it was only after moving to India that… Read More

Founded in AD 1680, Tawang Monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in India. Situated in Tawang town at an elevation of 3300 meters, the mesmerizing Buddhist citadel comprises 65 residential buildings which are home to 450 lamas. A centre for Buddhist cultural studies and a library with an invaluable collection of 400-year-old manuscripts are also found inside the compound. While Tawang Monastery itself is sometimes shrouded in mysterious fingers of cloud,… Read More

Picture an azure sky, fields of green and a trio of pinnacles shimmering in the morning sun. This was our first glimpse of Khinmey Monastery. But no sooner had we shaded our eyes to see them better, the road wound away and the three golden spires slid out of sight again. We drove on in silence, transfixed by the panorama. The history of medieval Arunachal Pradesh is captured in monastic manuscripts and… Read More

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

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.

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

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

In Arunachal Pradesh, roughly 13% of the population are devotees of Tibetan Buddhism and are settled largely in the districts surrounding their spiritual center in Tawang. In Tibetan mythology, the Lungta is a creature which uses the pace of the wind and the might of a horse to carry prayers from Earth up to heaven. On an everyday level, the Lungta or ‘windhorse’ is associated with positive energy and often appears as… Read More