Department of Environment and Forest

GOVERNMENT OF ARUNACHAL PRADESH
GOVERNMENT OF ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Tourist Information


ARUNACHAL PRADESH - The Land of Bio Diversity. Arunachal Pradesh is one of the Asia’s most Biologically diverse and intact forests Eco-system. Arunachal Pradesh is very rich in Agro-Biodiversity having the origin of a number of plants. The conservation activities for Biodiversity are a holistic approach for both Govt. department and the Society as a whole. To preserve and conserve the unique biodiversity in general and beautiful flora and fauna of the State in particular, the Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh has constituted 9 (nine) Wildlife Sanctuaries, 2 (two) National Parks and one Biosphere Reserve comprising 14,639.48 Sq.Km of area which accounts for 18.18% of the Geographical area of the State of Arunachal Pradesh under PA networks. Let us nurture the spirit of conservation.

Land of Rising Sun……… Arunachal Pradesh Pristine Luxuriant forest cover makes the State of Arunachal Pradesh one of the Bio-diversity hot spots. Fascinating Wildlife like Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Musk deer, Hoolock gibbon, Elephant, Hornbill are in possessions in addition to many more. Ethnic mosaic of Tribal Communities with traditional culture, life style and colorful festivals. Pollution free, clear environment with flowing gorges, waterfall and rapids -makes heaven on earth. Custodian of many plant and animal species in wilderness open to expedition and research and many more. These valuable resources are dutifully and beautifully conserved through Peoples’ Participation for sustainable development of the Land of Arunachal Pradesh.

A Land of Untouched Forests
Introduction: India’s northeast state of Arunachal Pradesh is one of Asia’s most Biologically diverse and intact forest eco-system. The Forest eco-system of Arunachal Pradesh forms a link between the forests of neighboring countries like Bhutan, China (Tibet) and Myanmar. Ten of the sixteen districts of the State of Arunachal Pradesh have altitudinal variation forming Bio-diversity zone of Tropical, Sub-tropical, Temperate, Sub-alpine and Dry-alpine. Such an immense biological diversity found in Arunachal Pradesh largely due to the fact of the point of convergence for the Indo-Chinese / Indo-Malayan tropical lowland flora and the sino-Himalayan / East Asiatic flora and the Western / central Himalayan flora (WWF 1995; IUCN, 1995). Land area of Arunachal is 2.54% of total land area of India and custodian of 23.52% of flowering plants representing 76.93% families of India. Table below will give the information of the richness of floral diversity of Arunachal Pradesh.

Dominant families Monocots of Arunachal Pradesh

SL No

Arunachal Pradesh

No. of spp.

1

Orchidaceae

545

2

Poaceae

153

3

Cyperaceae

96

4

Liliaceae

64

5

Araceae

60

6

Zingiberaceae

55

7

Commelianeae

44

8

Dioscoreaceae

25

9

Smilaceaceae

25

10

Arecaceae

21

Arunachal Pradesh has a large network of protected areas covering an area of 9,527.995 sq.km, which constitutes 18.48% of recorded Forest area. However, in addition to this there are one Biosphere reserve i.e. Dibang Dihang Biosphere Reserve covering an area of 5112 sq.km, two tiger reserves as Namdapha Tiger Reserve and Pakke Tiger Reserve as one Elephant Reserve named Kameng Elephant Reserve. More elephant habitat areas are under the proposal to be covered under Elephant Reserve. There are more areas outside the protected areas, which should be targeted to programmes and projects for Bio-diversity conservation by alleviating rural poverty and uplifting the quality of life of the rural population. There is a necessity to evaluate the outcome of the programme and project implemented in the rural economy and benefit to the rural population by a feed back process. The success in preserving the Bio-diversity rests on a strong commitment of the institution of Government, Non-Government organizations, Research organizations and Social institutions.

Agro-biodiversity Arunachal Pradesh is very rich in Agro-Bio-Diversity having the origin of a number of plants. Diversity of rice germ plasm in Arunachal Pradesh is enormous. Out of 7925 collections made by Assam Rice Collection series, ICAR and National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, 1866 collections are from Arunachal Pradesh (Gupta et al 1995 that is 24% of total germ plasm. The rice varieties, grown in Tawang area at an elevation of 3,000 mtrs have the Japonica characters of globose grain, narrow and dark green leaves, thin calm and is thermo-sensitive. The different varieties of rice are available at different locations as Gumuni Bor Dhan, Bogi Hali, Kala Hali, Lawduby, Kala Bor Dhan, Amru Johe, Bondhu Bora, Hol Pora, Boria Bhhonga, Ronga Lahi, Talsi Bora, Khamti Lahi, Boga Lahi, Kala Joha, Poki Kola, Poki Lahi Khawingkhat, Lakshmi Hali, Bahadur, Borgha, Khawnoo and Khawaan. The Japonica characters become less prominent towards eastward. Different germ plasm of crops found and can be documented from Arunachal Pradesh are, Maiz, Chilies, Yams, Colocasia, Beans, Cucurbita. In addition there are about 32 varieties of Bamboo spp. have been documented and established. The exploration of the floral and faunal diversity of Arunachal Pradesh is in very primary stage. Total research activities under Institutional support are necessary, where the universities, NGOs, Research Organization can play a vital role. It is a challenging task due to inaccessibility and difficult hilly terrain.

Socio-cultural diversity The socio-cultural diversity of Arunachal Pradesh adds more color to this field of Bio-diversity. No conservation movements can achieve its goal in isolation from its society and people. The population density in average of the state is about 13 per sq.km. But the concentration of the population is more at lower elevation and plains. There are twenty-five tribal communities in Arunachal Pradesh like Aka, Adi, Apatani, Bagni, Bokar, Digaru, , Hill miris, Idu, Khamba, Khamti, Memba, Mishmi, Miji, Miju, Monpa, Nishi, Nokte, Sherdukpen, Singphu, Solung, Tagin, Tangsa and Wanchu etc. They have their own dialects and life style. As a result the communicating languages are Hindi, English and Assamese. They have very colorful festivals and culture. The different festivals of the tribal communities are given below in a tabular form in alphabetical sequence.

Tribal Community

Name of the festival

Month

Adi

Solung / Mopin

Sept. /April

Apatani

Dree

July

Bagni

Nyokum

Feb

Digaru

Tam Ladu

Feb

Hill Miris

Bori Boot

Feb

Idu

Reh

January

Khamba

Lossar

Feb

Khamti

Sangken

April

Memba

Lossar

Feb

Miji

Khan

Feb. / March

Miju

Tarnladu

Feb

Monpa

Lossar

Feb

Nishi

Nyokum

Feb

Nokte

Chalo-laku

Nov

Sherdukpen

Lossar

Feb

Shingpho

Shapwang Yawng-Manawpoi

Feb

Solung

Gomkum Gompa

April

Tagin

Si-Donyi

Jan

Tangsa

Moh-Mol

April

Wangchu

Oriah

Feb

Tutsa

Pongtu

April

The land of Arunachal Pradesh has a link with ancient culture of Indian heritage, right from the era of Vedas, the Ramayan and the Mahabharat. The people of the land were named as Kirats in these scriptures and took part in the war of Kurukshetra. The kalika puran has a mention about this land. Lord Krishna came over here to steal Rukmini – the beautiful daughter of famous king of Vidarbh – Bhismaka. Such historic sites are Bhismaknagar, Malinithan, Ban’a Jail, Hari-Hari’s war, Bhalukpong and Deulpani, linked with the legends of the great country. It is a land of indigenous people belonging to the Tibeto-Burman origin. People here are simple and bold. Their rich culture reflects during different festivals which are observed with great pomp and show. Mithun (Bos frontalis) a semi-domesticated wild buffalo, which is so valuable and precious in the tribal culture that without this animal no social function or festival can be performed. The trophies of the Mithun head are placed in very high place in the traditional culture of the tribal society. The dances on the festival occasions are attractive, rhythmic and emotional and are folk in nature. The dresses are very colorful. They have their own religion as Donyi-Poloism, which is a belief in Sun & Moon. Some are the followers of Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. Priests play a vital role in the social and religions function. They are very good in cultivation, wood crafting, and weavings etc. They prefer boiled food and main food is rice. The community wise tribal population as 1971 population census is given below in a tubular statement. Animal sacrifice like Mithun, Pig, Goat and Chicken is done. An interesting act is performed like the reading of the liver of scarified chicken and to forecast on various aspects of society & prosperity of the community. It’s really a subject of occult science and I heard that such forecasting matters a reality. There are so many other practices that are followed in the traditional tribal culture. The social institution like Kebang still has the control key of the society with them. The history records that the Mughal Power failed to enter this land after trying seventeen times fiercely with their heavy forces. The Britishers could enter the land only after 1826, making an agreement with the king of Assam. They settled their administration here.

SL No

Major Tribal Community

Population

1

Adi

82,357

2

Aka

2,257

3

Apatani

10,949

4

Bongri

26,436

5

Bokar

2,472

6

Digaru

5,149

7

Hill Miris

2,533

8

Idu

2,237

9

Khamti

2,556

10

Khamba

1,139

11

Memba

2,497

12

Miji

2,079

13

Miju

7,719

14

Monpa

21,982

15

Nishi

35,089

16

Nokte

19,353

17

Sherdukpen

1,154

18

Shingphau

983

19

Solung

1,519

20

Tagin

24,283

21

Tangsa

10,396

22

Wangchu

23,393

Apatani Man

Shiva Lingam discovered at Ziro, Lower Subansiri District Tallest Shiva Lingam in the World: 25 feet high & 22 feet Width

The basic data of Arunachal Pradesh of present in given below

1. Area: 83,743 sq.km
2. District: 16
3. Sub Divisions: 36
4. Circles: 143
5. No. of villages: 3,646
6. Population as per 2001census: Males: 5,73,951 Females: 5,17,166 Density of population: 13 per sq.km Sex ratio (Male : Female): 1:0.9 Literacy:52.74%
7. Principal Agricultural/Horticultural products: Rice, Maize, potato, Apples, Oranges, Pineapples, Pears etc.
8. Major Mineral Resources: Limestone, Dolomite, Graphite, Coal and oil, Quartzite, Brine Oil, Yellow Ocher, Marble.
9. Wildlife (Animals): Elephant, Tiger, Leopard, Jungle Cat, White Browed Gibbon, Red Panda, Musk deer, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Wild dog etc.
10. Birds: Hornbill, White winged wood duck, Green Pigeon, Pheasants etc.
11. Wildlife Sanctuaries: 10
12. National Parks: 2
13. Biosphere Reserve: 1
14. Higher Educational Institutions : Universities : 1, Science and Technology Institution : 1, Colleges : 8
15. Health centers: General Hospital : 3, District Hospital : 11
16. Major Industry : Oil, Sericulture, Weaving, Handicraft & Distillery

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: Although archaeological evidence has shown that palaeolithic and neolithic man inhabited this region, there is a long gap in the known history of the area till the 10th century AD, when relics of the penetration of the culture of the Brahmaputra Valley exist in the form of ruins of forts and temples dating upto the 16th century. In 1914 hill areas of the northern districts of Assam were separated from the plains to form the North East Frontier Tract. The tract was divided over a period of years, into administrative units called, from west to east, Balipara Frontier Tract, Lakhimpur Frontier Tract, Sadiya Frontier Tract and Tirap Frontier Tract. In 1954 these units were reconstituted and renamed as the Kameng, Subansiri, Siang, Lohit and Tirap Frontier Divisions. The Tuensng Frontier Division, Earlier included in the then NEFA, was amalgamated into the present Nagaland in 1957. In 1972, The Frontier Divisions which had in the meantime been renamed as districts, were formed into the Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh. In line with the renaming of units, the system of political representation was stepped up from a Pradesh Council to a Legislative Assembly. Further reorganization of the various districts took place in 1980 and 1984, resulting in bifurcation of the earlier units for administrative convenience. There are now 10 districts, each under a Deputy Commissioner. Zilla Parishads, Anchal Samities and Gram Panchayats at the various levels function as Advisory bodies for development work.

PEOPLE AND CULTURE: The Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh is noted for its many and varied tribal peoples, constituted into 20 major tribes speaking over 50 main dialects. There are the gentle and cultured Monpas of West Kameng who received Buddhism from Padma Sambhava; the Thongji (Sherdukpens) whose chiefs trace their treaty relationships with the powers in the valley to a thousand years hack; the Hrusso who for thirty generations have patronized Vaishnava scholars; the proud Bangni-Nishi and the Tagin typifyuig the ancient Indian ideal of the honourable warrior; the Adis and Mishmis who are eager to build academic careers; the Apatanis with their marvels of wet-rice cultivation; the khampti in their magnificent ceremonial robes and the peaceful progressive Nocte, Wancho and Tangsa. A broad breakup, districtwise, of the tribes. The Monpas and Sherdukpens of Tawang and West Kameng Districts as well as the Membas and Khambas of East and West Siang are Buddhists who have been influenced greatly by the Lamaistic from of Mahayana Buddhism. Their religion is bowever an interesting blend between Lamaism and the traditional tribal beliefs. The Nishis, Adis Tagins, Apatanis and other tribes believe themselves to be descendants of “ABO-TANI”, claimed to have been the first human being on earth. It is in the fitness of things that the land inhabited by these tribes has been named “Arunachal” as they are worshippers of the Sun and Moon, called Donyi-Polo, which is also the name of their faith. Whereas theBuddhist tribes specialise in terrace cultivation, carpet making, yak and sheep breeding, the apatanis, settled in Lower Subansiri District are famous for wet-rice cultivation and a stable agricultural economy. The tribes of the East and West Siang districts, classified under the general term “Adis” have a highly ordered and organized system of functioning in their villages. Their best-known institution the Kebang, is a mix of a Panchayat and a community-meeting, its forte being the spirit of democratic participation shown by all members of the village community. They are also well known for weaving a highly artistic lungi-type skirt, the ‘gale’. The South Eastern portion of Arunachal is inhabited by the Noctes and Wanchos. The Noctes,many of whome are Vaishnavas, have a long tradition of contact with the neighbouring plains people. In the Southern part of the Lohit district and Western part of the Tirap district live the Khamptis, Singphos and Tangsas who are followers of the Hinayana form of Buddhism. The Khamptis are good craftsmen, enterprising traders and expert agriculturists. While some Buddhist tribes maintain written records, mainly in the form of religious nooks, most of the Arunachalis have preserved their traditions and cultural continuity in the form of versified recitation memorized and handed down from generation to generation. All the people of this Territory, whether Buddhists, or followers of the Donyi-Polo or other faiths, have highly developed sense of music and rhythm. The dances vary from classical- type, high stylised religious dance dramas of the Buddhists to the martial steps and colorful performances of the Noctes and Wanchos. Among the Adis, dance has evolved almost into an art form mainly for entertainment and recreation, the songs relating to the daily activities of the people. This is the famous ‘Ponung’ performed by teams of young girls dancing in perfect rhythmic unison. Similar group dances in colourful costumes exist among the Nishis and Tagins of Upper and Lower of Wubansiri Districts.

ARTS AND CRAFTS: The elemental colours of the terrain and the rich and earthy life of the people of Arunachal Pradesh has been captured in their handicrafts. The weavers loom set up for making of carpets, gales or jackets may be seen in all its variations in almost every village home. Monpa carpets, Adi skirts and highly decorative Mishmi hags and shawls and jackets are now being popularized in outside markets. Buddhist tribes specialise in carving and painting of religions and semi-religious motifs on wood, while intricate patterns are woven out of the cane amongst the eastern tribes of Tirap district. These peoples are also famous for their wood and bamboo carved figurines.

PLACES OF HISTORICAL AND TOURIST INTEREST: Wildely scattered archaeological remains found in many districts of Arunachal Pradesh testify to its rich and varied cultural heritage. Important ruins so far discovered are Bismaknagar Palace in Dibang Valey district and Malinithan in the foothills of West Siang. The famous Parusuram Kund in Lohit district, a Buddhist stupa in Tirap district and Bhalukpong in West Kameg district reveal the long-standing influence of various religions on the people of this area. The ruins at Bismaknagar dating from the 12th to 16th centuries or perhaps even earlier, shown mingling of the tribal and Aryan ways of life. The Malinithan site overlooking the Brahmaputra Valley dates around the 13rh-14th centuries is noted for rich sculpture and abundant masonry. Granite images of Kartika, Surya, Ganesh and the Nandi Bull have been discovered at Malinithan. At the capital at Itanagar a historical fort dating also to the 14th/15th centuries has been found, identifying the site of Itanagar with the Mayapur of King Ramachandra who ruled over this area during that period. In the western part of Kameng district there are many old Mahayana Buddhist Monasteries, the most famous of which is Tawng Gompa, (Monastery), built in the 17th century AD. This monastery consists of a hug complex situated on a commanding hilltop, with 65 residential buildings and the main temple structure. It still contains a wealth of old scriptures and records, beautifully illustrated religious books, some of them in Sanskrit, and priceless images and ‘thangkas’. Due to concentration on vital development activity, tourism and tourists have not yet really been introduced into Arunachal Pradesh. From the mountain peaks on the international border to the dense jungles of the foothills there are endless variations of scenic beauty, peoples and culture forms. There is potential for development of almost every possible kind of tourist activity ranging from fishing and boating to high altitude trekking, from visits to hill station district towns like Tawng and Bomdila to roaming the orchid-filled forests of the lower slopes. The Arunachal Pradesh Government has now planned to introduce facilities to enable people from other parts of this country to share the splendors of the area. The Government of Arunachal Pradesh and the people of Arunachal Pradesh have a lasting and firm commitment to participate in tune with the rest of the nation in peaceful and constructive development and progress, while seeking to preserve and enrich their traditions and Socio-cultural heritage. In this task the Government and people have confidence that they will be encouraged and assisted already achieved higher levels of economic growth and technological advancement.

Conservation activities in Arunachal Pradesh: The conservation activities for Bio-diversity in Arunachal Pradesh are a holistic approach for both Govt. department and the society as a whole. The Department of Environment & Forests does the management of Protected area and Biosphere reserve. The approach is on the “involvement of local communities in conservation of Forests and Wildlife’s”. Some of the activities are given below to disseminate of the information of activities of the Forest Department. There are eight Wildlife Sanctuaries, one Orchid Sanctuary and two National Parks in the State, Arunachal Pradesh. This includes an area of 9,527.995 sq.km. There is no such threat to these protected areas by the dispersed population of the State. Most of the protected areas are away from any villages and the people of the State are in a habit of living in such areas without interfering the conservation projects. Almost all the protected areas are in rugged terrain and inaccessible geography, which has added more protection to all these protected areas. The protected areas like Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary, Namdapha National Park, Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary and Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary have fringe population where some activities have been initiated by involving the communities in conservation of wildlife and wildlife habitats. There is an established relation between the Park / Sanctuaries authority and village Forest Development Council, an institution formed by the private agencies and there exists a very good and workable relation. There are about 4(four) such VFDC in Seijusa and they use to render their support and help to the WL managers. His Holiness Tsang Gyatso World Peace Park (Biosphere Reserve) has been declared in Tawang, West Kamang District by involving the communities in conservation of Wildlife and Wildlife habitats.

Salient Points:

1. Activities like habitat improvement, welfare for the people of fringed areas.
2. Participation / contribution of the people of fringed area in protection and conservation.
a) Habitat Improvement activities.
1. Raising fuel wood / fodder plantation.
2. Organizing Nature camp.
3. Horticultural activities.
b) Welfare activities for people in fringed areas.
1. Organizing medical camp.
2. Conducting Education tour with the villagers.
3. Veterinary facilities to their livestock like immunization of cattle etc.
4. Poultry farming for economical up-liftment of villages.
5. Providing safe drinking water facility.
6. Distribution of 1st aid kits.
7. Creation of fishpond.
8. Supply of CGI sheets.
9. Construction of a community hall.




Nyishi Woman

Traditional Ornaments

The potentiality of the state as regards to Biodiversity is immense and the Foresters, Conservationist, Environmentalists, and other scientific institutions are very optimistic towards the possibilities to link nature and culture in innovative ways to promote conservation of Biodiversity of the Eastern Himalayas in general and Arunachal Pradesh in particular in the service of mankind.


Department of Forests & Environment, Government of Arunachal Pradesh.
Site Designed, Developed and Hosted by National Informatics Centre. Site owned and maintained by Department of Forests & Environment, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh