Itanagar Tourism: 8 Best Places to Visit


Itanagar stands as a mesmerizing destination nestled amidst the lush green hills of Arunachal Pradesh with its blend of natural beauty, rich heritage, and warm hospitality. This enchanting capital city and its surroundings offer a plethora of captivating sights and experiences for travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure. From serene monasteries and ancient forts to breathtaking landscapes and vibrant local markets, Itanagar and its neighboring regions boast a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be explored.

Geographic Location of Itanagar

Nestled at the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, Itanagar is a city in the Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh. The city’s physical features are divided into two parts – the Foothill Region and the Hilly Region. The foothill region experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season and is covered by dense tropical evergreen forests, which serve as the agricultural land of the region. On the other hand, the mountainous hilly region is adorned with thick forests and has limited agricultural land, where locals practice jhum cultivation, preserving their traditional ways of farming. This unique blend of landscapes and cultural practices makes Itanagar a captivating destination with a natural charm of its own.

Culture and Festivals

Itanagar’s culture is greatly influenced by Tibetan traditions, which can be seen in the local food, clothing, and rituals. Tourists visiting the city will be captivated by the region’s rich traditions and cultural heritage, which adds a unique charm to the place.

A typical village of Nyishi community

With a significant population of the Nyishi tribe, Itanagar offers an extraordinary cultural experience for tourists. The city’s festivals are the heart and soul of its rich cultural heritage. When planning a cultural tour of Itanagar, make sure to check the dates of its major festivals, such as ‘Losar’, ‘Mopin’, ‘Reh’, and ‘Nyokum’.

Each festival belongs to a different ethnic tribe in the region, but they all share the same vibrant spirit and enthusiasm, featuring colorful folk dances, acrobatic performances, and unique religious rituals. Witnessing these celebrations is truly a spectacle to behold, providing an unforgettable experience of the region’s cultural extravaganza.

Best Places to Visit in and Around Itanagar

Itanagar and its surrounding regions offer fantastic opportunities for adventure sports enthusiasts. Besides angling and rafting, trekking is an incredibly popular activity in the area. The Itanagar-Pashighat trail, passing through Ziro and Daporijo, is a well-known trekking route, providing exciting trekking experiences for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike.

Ita Fort

Ita Fort

Ita Fort is a significant historical site in Itanagar. Its name, derived from the Assamese language, means “Fort of bricks” (as “Ita” refers to brick). The construction of Ita Fort dates back to the 14th or 15th century, showcasing an irregular shape predominantly built with bricks. Covering a total brickwork length of 16,200 cubic meters, the fort is believed to have been constructed by the rulers of the Chutiya kingdom, which held sway over the region during that era. With three different entrances on its western, eastern, and southern sides, Ita Fort is a captivating historical marvel that reflects the rich heritage of the region.

Gompa Buddhist Mandir

Gompa Buddhist Mandir

Gompa Buddhist Mandir is situated atop a hill just above the Nehru Museum. A lovely gate at the hill’s base leads to a spiraled road that ascends to the gompa. Although it’s close to the main road, the gompa appears somewhat secluded from the rest of the town due to this small hill that stands out in the hill station. The gompa itself sits atop the hill, marked by a small yet colorful entrance gate. Adjacent to the main gompa, a white stupa adorned with golden carvings adds to the beauty against the backdrop of green rolling hills. One can wander around the back of the gompa to get a complete 360-degree panoramic view of the entire city.

Jawaharlal Nehru Museum

Jawaharlal Nehru Museum

Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum, located in Itanagar, serves as the state museum of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Over the years, it has gained prominence as a significant tourist attraction in the state capital. Within its walls, the museum showcases various aspects of tribal life in Arunachal Pradesh, displaying items such as traditional clothing, headdresses, weapons, handicrafts, musical instruments, jewelry, and other cultural artifacts. The museum houses archaeological finds that shed light on the region’s history. The museum’s Handicrafts Centre also operates a workshop for crafting traditional cane products, and visitors have the opportunity to purchase tribal handicrafts from the museum shop.

Polo Park

Polo Park

Situated atop a hillock in the Naharlagun region, Polo Park is a charming botanical garden that has grown into a popular tourist spot. Its vast collection of flowers and orchids makes it an enchanting sight for visitors. The park’s main attraction lies in the thickets of cane, which add to its allure. Adjacent to the park, there is a small zoo where reptiles and various animal species, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and snakes, can be observed. Additionally, the industries department operates a Handicrafts Center within the park premises, offering a delightful range of shawls, carpets, intricately carved caskets, and exquisite cane and bamboo works for those seeking unique souvenirs.

Gekar Sinyi (Ganga Lake)

Ganga Lake

Ganga Lake, also known as Geker Sinying, is a serene lake situated in the western part of the Itanagar capital complex. People come here to enjoy the recreational atmosphere and capture the picture-perfect views of the lake. The surroundings boast natural beauty, offering an unpolluted and peaceful environment. The lake holds many mythological rumors, adding to its mystique and allure. Encircled by lush greenery and majestic mountains, Ganga Lake provides a tranquil retreat where one can spend a peaceful afternoon amidst the soft whispers of the breeze and the warm sunlight. It serves as an excellent spot for picnics, outings, and even boating, making it a must-visit location for both locals and tourists alike.

Itanagar Wild Life Sanctuary

Itanagar Wild Life Sanctuary
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Situated in Naharlagun, the Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts. The sanctuary is particularly renowned for its impressive variety of orchids. As a prominent wildlife reserve, the Itanagar Sanctuary is home to a rich biodiversity. Among the animals residing within its borders are Tigers, Leopards, Clouded Leopards, Asian Elephants, Gaurs, Sloth Bears, Barking Deer, Marbled Cats, Capped Langurs, and Slender Lorises. Visitors can also spot the state bird, the Hornbill, which is a common sight in the sanctuary. Additionally, the sanctuary is home to the white-winged duck.

Indira Gandhi Park, Itanagar

Indira Gandhi Park

Indira Gandhi Park in Itanagar offers a serene setting for relaxation, exercise, and yoga practice, making it one of the city’s top attractions. The park features a delightful array of plants and trees, along with well-maintained grassy areas and paths, perfect for spending peaceful moments. Whether you’re looking to organize a picnic, go for a run or walk, or simply unwind, this park provides an ideal space. Additionally, the park hosts various government events, fairs, and festivals, adding to its vibrant atmosphere and making it a popular spot for both locals and visitors.



Situated approximately 20 kilometers away from Itanagar, Rupa is a picturesque hill station that should not be missed when exploring Arunachal Pradesh. Nestled on the banks of Tenga, Rupa offers visitors awe-inspiring views of untouched natural beauty. The hill station is renowned for its captivating grasslands and gently rolling mountains, making it an ideal choice for a perfect weekend getaway. Rupa also boasts other attractions nearby. One such attraction is the Rupa Monastery, a significant monastery in the Gelugpa School of Tibetan Buddhism and the tribal village of Shertukpen. Also worth exploring is the Guru Rinpoche Cave, located nearby, adding to the charm of the region.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit this place is from October to March, as the refreshing cool breeze from the Himalayas brings a revitalizing atmosphere that leaves tired city dwellers with an unparalleled soul-reviving experience.

How to Get There:

Donyi Polo Airport
Image via Facebook (Kiren Rijiju)

By Air

Travelers can take advantage of the regular helicopter service from Guwahati to Naharlagun for a convenient and swift journey. The Donyi Polo Airport, also known as Hollongi Airport, serves as a domestic airport, located just 14 km from Itanagar, providing easy access to the city. IndiGo, a prominent carrier in India, has announced new flight routes connecting Mumbai-Silchar and Delhi-Itanagar via Kolkata, offering more travel options for visitors to reach this captivating destination.

By Rail

Located just 15 km away from the city, the well-connected Naharlagun railway station serves as the closest railhead to the city. Travelers can enjoy convenient transportation options with readily available taxi and bus services, making it easy to reach the captivating city of Itanagar from the railway station.

By Road

Itanagar boasts an excellent network of roadways, with well-paved highways, including National Highway 415, leading to the city. This connectivity extends to major towns in the region like Dimapur, Aizawl, Kohima, Guwahati, Imphal, and Shillong. For travelers’ convenience, the Arunachal State Transport Corporation operates buses connecting Itanagar to all other major cities within the state and the neighboring region.

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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