Arunachal Pradesh History

History of Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh, the north eastern state of India is popularly believed to be existent since the pre-historic days of Ramayana, Mahabharata and different other sacred legends. The historical characters of Lord Parashuram, King Bhismaka and Princess Rukmini are said to be from this region. Owing to the unavailability of corroborating information, the verification of the same could not be done though. However, recorded history of the state can be found in the Ahom chronicles, which dates back to the 16th century. Since that time, Arunachal Pradesh's history can be divided into some distinct periods. The history of the state has witnessed the demands and rule of varied rulers and monarchs. Still Arunachal Pradesh was silent throughout.

Early history of Arunachal Pradesh

During the period in between 500 B.C. and 600 A.D., this area was ruled by the Monpa kingdom. Post that the northern region was controlled by Bhutan and Tibet whereas the other parts were under the supervision of the Ahom and Assamese till British annexation in the year 1858. The then population of the states comprised of people mainly of Tibeto-Burmese origin. Tribes like Bangnis, Daflas and Monpas were the majority.

Similar to any other state, the history of Arunachal Pradesh plays a significant role in attracting tourists. The state's ancient history can even be associated with the excavated ruins of the Hindu temples of Malinithan. Located at the foot hills of Siang, the remains of those temples date back to the 14th century. Though most of them are found towards the state of Assam, still the places are said to be associated with Arunachal Pradesh.

The historical relationship with Tibetans becomes evident from the Tawang Monastery towards the north west of Arunachal Pradesh. This monastery is most likely to be of 400 years old. Earlier the state was popularly called as the North Eastern Frontier Agency (N. E. F. A.), which was constitutionally included within the state of Assam.

Drawing of McMahon Line

The Simla Accord, a treaty in the country was negotiated by the representatives of Tibet, China and Britain in between the period of 1913 and 1914. This treaty drew a boundary of 890 km, which is famously known as the McMahon Line, between the country of India and Tibet. The border line was not accepted by the country of China and thus, was not strictly followed even after two decades of the conference though.

However, in the year 1937, a map was published, which showed the official boundary between Tibet and India. Post that, British administration was founded there in 1944, when they set up their rule from Walong towards the east of this region to Dirang Dzong towards the west. During 1947, when the position of Tibet was changed on the McMahon Line, official announcement about the border was made by the country of India that compelled Tibet not to include Tawang within Tibetan administration. This change of position of Tibet on the McMahon Line claimed some districts of Tibet to be lying towards the south of the border line.

Gaining statehood

After Indian independence, victory was declared by China in the year 1962. That helped the nation to withdraw the border line, which in turn assisted India in getting back its prisoners. Till the year 1965, the External Affairs Ministry as well as Home Affairs Ministry used to administer N. E. F. A. The Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh came into existence, when the region was renamed as Arunachal Pradesh in 1972. Finally, the place gained its statehood on 20th February, 1987, when Arunachal Pradesh got included in the Indian Union as the country's 24th state. However, after 20 years from that time, during the year 2007, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh again thought of starting the barter trade with Tibet, which got closed after the Sino-Indian War of 1962.

Last Updated on : July 11, 2014



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