Dong Valley: Explore the Land of India’s First Sunrise

Dong Valley
Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: @holidayscout

Dong Village, nestled in the Dong Valley of Anjaw district, Arunachal Pradesh is a serene and remote destination known for its unique location as the easternmost village in India. With its proximity to the intersection of India, China, and Myanmar, Dong Village offers a truly unique experience for tourists. It was found that Dong experience the first sunrise in India. That is why it is known as “India’s Land of Rising Sun”.

In addition to its stunning natural beauty, Dong Village is also one of the easternmost places that is accessible by car, making it a convenient and accessible destination for tourists. Dong Valley, in particular, is a hidden gem that has recently gained popularity among tourists. This region boasts of scenic landscapes, lush forests, and pristine rivers that offer a serene escape from the bustling city life.

The valley is known for its rolling hills and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The lush green forests, interspersed with sparkling streams and rivers, make for a perfect place for nature lovers to explore.

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Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: @the_thing_big

Despite its current state as a deserted village, the original Dong village offers breathtaking panoramic views of rivers and meadows and even a glimpse into neighboring Myanmar. Though the lack of water drove its inhabitants to seek new homes, visitors can still journey to this serene location for a unique and unforgettable experience. As per the 2011 Census of India, Dong village had a population of only 15 residents spread across 4 households. The local residents engage in agricultural activities such as growing rice and maize, and also rear pigs and chickens for livelihood.

The tri-village area of Dong, Walong, and Kibithu is a remote and challenging destination to reach. The lack of basic amenities and infrastructure such as roads, hotels, electricity, and water has deterred many tourists from visiting the region, resulting in a predominantly day-tripper demographic. However, for those who are up for the adventure, the journey to this serene and untouched corner of the world is a unique and unforgettable experience.

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Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: @uhandique

Things to do in Dong Valley

Trek to Dong Krong to catch a glimpse of the first rays of the sun on Indian territory
For a breathtaking view of the first rays of sunlight on Indian soil, embark on a trek to Dong Krong, perched atop the mountains. The only mode of transport to reach this picturesque location is through a hike, but the breathtaking vistas make every step worth it. Early risers make their way to the lush, misty grasslands of Dong Krong as early as 3 a.m. to catch the sunrise around 4:30 a.m. each day, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

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Relax your feet in the hot springs
Nestled on the west bank of the Lohit River and beneath a foot suspension bridge lies a hot spring that is naturally heated by underground volcanic activity. A short walk down to the riverbank reveals serene, crystal-clear pools of hot water, perfect for a relaxing soak for your feet. Although the pools are not large enough for bathing, they offer a tranquil escape to immerse your feet and soothe any aches or pains.

Visit the village, of Kibithu 
Kibithu is an isolated, underdeveloped village 18 km from Dong, located near the border with China and accessible by road. The picturesque hamlet boasts breathtaking mountain landscapes and lush green pine forests surrounded by agricultural lands. The top of the village offers a glimpse of the Chinese Army bunkers across the border. However, it should be noted that Kibithu is prone to landslides and only accessible by vehicle a few days a week.

Best time to visit Dong Valley

For the optimal travel experience, it is recommended to plan your visit to Dong Valley during the months of April to July. This period offers the best weather conditions and the ideal conditions for sightseeing and exploring the scenic beauty of the valley.

How to get to Dong Valley:

By Air:

The closest airport to Dong Valley is located in Dibrugarh, which is 400 km away. From there, visitors can take a bus or taxi to Tezu, and then continue on to Dong.

By Road:

While roads in the region are generally passable, the journey can be a bit of a backbreaker. The road conditions between Tezu and Dong can range from broken tarmac to gravel roads and off-road stretches, making it essential to travel in a vehicle with good suspension. Shared Sumos are available for hire in Tezu, and the journey to Dong takes approximately 10 hours.

By Train:
The closest railway station to Dong Valley is the New Tinsukia Junction, which is located approximately 300-350 km away. This station operates on the Lumding-Dibrugarh section and serves not only Tinsukia but also the surrounding areas. Upon arriving at the station, it is recommended to book a taxi or utilize other local modes of transportation to reach Dong Valley.

Arunachal Pradesh is a restricted area and visitors, other than natives, must obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter the state. An Inner Line Permit (ILP) can be obtained through the official website of the Arunachal Pradesh Inner Line Permit Management System. More details about the ILP have been in one of our previous posts

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