Arunachal Pradesh, the largest of the Northeastern states is considered one of the most underrated tourist destinations although it has so much to offer than just the lofty mountains, glacial lakes, many rivers, and rich flora and fauna. Here are some interesting facts about Arunachal Pradesh that you probably didn’t know.
1. Arunachal Pradesh was earlier known as NEFA ( North-East Frontier Agency)
Arunachal Pradesh was carved out of the erstwhile NEFA (North-East Frontier Agency) which was originally a Union Territory of India and became a full-fledged state on 20th February 1987.
2. Arunachal Pradesh is often called the “land of dawn-lit Sun”
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The “land of dawn-lit mountains” is in reference to its geographical position in the country as it receives the first sunlight. Dong, the easternmost village in Arunachal witnesses the first rays of the sun in the country.
3. Arunachal Pradesh is the most linguistic enriched region.
The state is inhabited by 26 major tribes and over 100 sub-tribes with over 30 languages spoken in Arunachal.
4. State with one of the highest percentages of land area under forest.
The recorded forest cover was 66,964 sq km which constitutes 80 % of the state’s geographical area. Area-wise, Arunachal Pradesh has the second largest forest cover in the country only behind Madhya Pradesh.
5. Arunachal Pradesh has a long-standing disputed border with China
China does not recognize India’s sovereignty over Arunachal. So, Indian travelers need to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) while foreign tourists need to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to enter the state.
(Details on how to obtain an ILP and PAP are discussed in one of our earlier articles)
6. Tawang Monastery is the largest monastery in India and the second largest in the world
The 400-years-old Buddhist monastery in Tawang is the largest in India and the second largest in the world only after Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
7. Dhola Sadiya Bridge – the longest river bridge in India
Arunachal Pradesh shares Dhola–Sadiya Bridge, also referred to as the Bhupen Hazarika Setu, with neighbouring Assam which is the longest river Bridge in India. It connects neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh Assam. The bridge spans over 9 km in length and reduces the travel time between the two states from 6 hours to just an hour.
8. A heaven of wildlife parks
Arunachal Pradesh has eight wildlife sanctuaries, one orchid sanctuary, and two National Parks. It is home to a thousand species of birds and over 500 species of mammals spanning over a vast span of rich Himalayan biodiversity.
9. Namdapha National Park is home to all four major cats
Namdapha National Park, a UNESCO Heritage Site is the largest protected area in the Eastern Himalayas that houses all four major cats- Tiger (Panthera Tigris), Leopard (Panthera Pardus), Snow Leopard (Panthera Uncia), and Clouded Leopard (Neofelis Nebulosa) and numbers of Lesser cats. Namdapha National Park is also the 4th largest National Park in India.
10. Home to Parshuram Kund, a Hindu pilgrimage site
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Parshuram Kund is a sacred Hindu shrine located in the lower reaches of the Lohit river. Thousands of devotees take a holy dip in its water each year on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.
11. The Orchid State of India
Arunachal Prades is often known as the Orchid State of India with at least 700 species of orchids.
12. Least Populated state in India
Arunachal Pradesh has the least density of population in the country with just 13 persons per sq. km.
13. English is the official language of the state
Along with Nagaland, English is the only official language of Arunachal Pradesh.
14. Mithun is the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh
Mithun, also known as ‘Cattle of Mountain” is the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh. Although it is also the state animal of Nagaland and found in other parts of India, around 89.7 percent of the animal is recorded in Arunachal alone.
15. Leading producers of many fruits
Arunachal is one of the leading producers of many fruits in India such as apple, kiwi, oranges, and pineapples.
16. Ziro Music Festival
Ziro, home to the unique Aptani tribe is a place filled with natural beauty and it hosts the Ziro Music Festival every year.
17. No airport in Arunachal Pradesh
Due to difficult terrain, Arunachal is one of the few states in India with no functioning airport. One has to fly to any of the nearest airports in neighbouring Assam.
Arunachal Pradesh is indeed a fascinating state and must be on the bucket list of every travel enthusiast. If you think we have missed out on any interesting facts, let us know in the comment section below.