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Traveling Challenges and Travel Circuits in Arunachal Pradesh

High altitute mountains make the journey difficult in Arunachal Pradesh
High altitute mountains make the journey difficult in Arunachal Pradesh
View of a rocky mountain terrain from a taxi window in Arunachal Pradesh
View of a rocky mountain terrain from a taxi window in Arunachal Pradesh
A road passing through the last army camp before reaching Sear Sela Pass
A road passing through the last army camp before reaching Sear Sela Pass
A suspension bridge  over Yomgo River near Along
A suspension bridge over Yomgo River near Along

I’ve been travelling for almost two weeks non stop from Shillong, to Assam and now Arunachal Pradesh. I rounded up at Along, and turned back towards Itanagar. After six hours of riding on small mountain roads I thought I had arrived deep into Arunachal at Along, but looking up on the map made me realize I had just scratched the surface. So much more remained unexplored, but from here the going gets tough. 

The difficult mountain terrain makes it even harder. The boundary with Assam is easily distinguishable; Arunachal begins where the mountain begins. So technically Arunachal is a mountain state, there are hardly any plains except for small valleys in the midst of mountains, which also make it difficult to travel from one district to another. Most of the bigger towns and even the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar are near the border with Assam. The accessibility and the transport factor cannot be ignored here. So the majority of Arunachal Pradesh remains inaccessible, or very difficult to reach. There is also the factor of locals not welcoming outsiders. It also very difficult to go to places where there are no hotels, unless you have a good local friend or a guide. Further north or north East of Along, there are many places to explore, but very limited facilities for transport, lodging and food. The real tribal traditions and lifestyle lay hidden in these mountains that are bordered with Myanmar and China. 

The most disappointing thing about traveling in Arunachal Pradesh though is that every time you want to travel to another town, you have to come back towards the Assam plains before crossing into Arunachal again. Driving through the plains doubles the time, but it is less risky and serves well for buses and big vehicles. If you check out the map you’ll see how every time you want to go to some town you have to navigate through the corridors of the Assam plains near Brahmaputra. There are hardly any roads through the mountains. 

Area wise Arunachal Pradesh is the largest State in North-East and sparsely populated. The difficult mountain terrain makes the journey long and tiring- as twice as it would normally be in the plains.  

Arunachal Pradesh is not a destination where you can travel from one end to the other. The mountain terrains are precarious and the road always ends somewhere. The bumpy ride also sucked up a lot of your body’s energy.  So while planning a trip to the State, you could look up for a specific travel circuit and plan accordingly.

Here are the 11 Travel Circuits fairly approved by the Tourism Department of the State:

1. Tezpur-Bhalukpong-Bomdila-Tawang Circuit

2. Itanagar-Ziro-Daporijo-Aalo-Pasighat Circuit

3. Pasighat-Jengging-Yingkiong-Tuting Circuit

4. Tinsukia Tezu-Hayuliang Circuit

5. Margherita-Miao-Namdapha Circuit

6. Roing-Mayudia-Anini Circuit

7. Tezpur-Seijosa-Bhalukpong Circuit

8. Ziro-Palin-Nyapin-Sangram-Koloriang Circuit

9. Doimukh-Sagalee-Pakke Kesang-Seppa circuit

10. Aalo(Along)-Mechuka Circuit

11. Darorijo-Taliha-Siyum-Nacho circuit

I didn’t follow any Travel Circuit and it made my trip a lot harder. My trip started in Salipathar (than towards Along-Itanagar-Bomdila) and ended at Tawang. It was more of an East to West journey with around 60 hours traveling time mostly on Sumo Taxis. 

 

8 Responses to “Traveling Challenges and Travel Circuits in Arunachal Pradesh”

  1. Amar S Deori,Guwahati says:

    A trip to Anini and Mechuka looks very attractive.Hope to make in the first week of January 2014

  2. vijaysingh says:

    I wish to plan Arunachal pradesh tour with family. I can spare six to seven days for this tour. Pl guide which travel circuit should I opt which can cover all the natural places, forests, snow mounted hills etc.

    My cell No. 09825259144

    • moitours says:

      Hi Vijay,
      In 6-7 days it is difficult to cover a huge area because of the difficult road conditions. As for the travel circuit, it’s purely a matter of personal choice. I believe Ziro-Palin-Nyapin-Sangram-Koloriang Circuit is one of the best there is.
      Warm regards and best wishes for your travels.

  3. Alok Dwivedi says:

    I have planned my trip to Arunachal Pradesh by train and that is from
    New Delhi to Naharlagun. So , starting from Naharlagun ,what is the best tourist circuit?

  4. Alok Dwivedi says:

    I have planned my trip to Arunachal Pradesh by train which is from New Delhi to Naharlagun. So, starting from Naharlagun, what will be the best tourist circuit for me?

  5. sankho says:

    I would like to visit tawang …and would like to start and end the tour from guwahati…so what will be the best circuit…? I will have 7 days in my hand..plz suggest

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