Itanagar - A tete a tete with the city :
Location : Northeastern India, Arunachal Pradesh.
Best time to visit : September to March.
Local Transport : Private cars, taxis, buses.
Places to see : The Buddhist temple, Twang Monastery, Tezu Gyakar Sinyi Lake.
Souvenirs : Shawls, bamboo products.
Itanagar - The Tale of the city :
History has it that the capital of Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar and is named after the Ita fort which dates back to the 14th and the 15th century. It finds mention in the Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata and the historical characters like Lord Parashuram and Princess Rukmini are said to be from this region. It is believed that the first ancestors here travelled from Tibet. The Monpa Kingdom of Monyul prospered here between 500B.C and 600A.D. The Ahoms and Assamese ruled here till 1858 when the British took over. In the year 1972 Arunachal Pradesh became a Union Territory and Itanagar became its capital in the year 1974. IN the year 1987 Arunachal Pradesh became a state with Itanagar as its capital.
Itanagar - Down the Ages :
Down the ages, Itanagar is a city with a population of more than 35,000 with an average literacy rate of 69% which is higher than the national literacy average. Predominantly occupied by the Nyishis, Galos, Adis, Apatanis the city is a hill resort in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Thus Itanagar, the hilly resort is incomparable in its beauty and the city lives on tourism since 1998. The city boasts of a lot of old heritage structures which are tourist attractions.
Itanagar - A Rendezvous :
A rendezvous with Itanagar, the capital city reveals that the city located at the Himalayan foothills is under the administration of the Papum Pare district. With an average height of 440m, Itanagar was earlier known as Mayapur and was the capital of the Jitri dynasty in the 11th century AD. The people here are gentle and are very cultured. They are the Monpas who follow Buddhism taught by Padma Sambhava. Also the Hrusso and the Bangni Nishi and Tagin, besides the Adis and Mishmis are some of the tribes found here.
Itanagar - Travel kitty :
Itanagar has a lovely blend of History, beauty and culture. So the travel kitty here is to enjoy all this. One can find the art of the local tribes with their lovely way of weaving beautiful fabrics. So one who comes here can avail of the articles that are made here. They include shawls, woolen coats, bags and carpets. All these are affordable and reasonably priced. The articles are made out of wool, bark fiber and cotton. Arunachal Pradesh is famous for its traditional items of handicraft and also has the best of creations. Thankas or the Tibetan Buddhist paintings are very famous here and these exquisite and rare paintings are found in greater portions of Itanagar. The culture and tradition of this region is the travel kitty and the design and the functional tools are displayed here.
Itanagar - Joie de vivre in the city :
With verdant areas of forest expanse, and a unique collection of flora and fauna, the city of Itanagar intrigues the tourist and he comes here with great expectations. The lovely waterfalls and the beauty of the ambience around is the joie de vivre here. Tourism here has increased because of its increased connectivity. A person coming here would see the following:
Temples And Monuments :
The Buddhist temple : This beautiful structure has a yellow roof and has beautifully maintained grounds. There is a stupo tree. This has been planted by the Dalai Lama. The temple gives a panoramic view of the entire city of Itanagar. The temple is a complete contrast to the lovely lawns that are found here. There is an idol of the Buddha here and there are also other articles of worship of the Buddhist religion. The visitor coming here remains in absolute silence due to the tranquility here and the verdant expanse the forests surrounding the place leaves one hypnotized.
Twang Monastery : This is located at Tawang and is visited by tourists to have a look at the Buddhist monastery belonging to the sect of Mahayana. This is a 17th century construction and is an administrative centre and also the capital of administrative activities. With precious images, scriptures, and tapestries dominating this place it also has a great collection of scriptures of the Buddhist religion. All these scriptures are lettered in gold.
Tezu : This is located near the River Lohit and is a religious place of worship. Pilgrims come here during the day of Makar Sankranti to take a dip here. It is believed that if they take a dip here their sins are washed away. It is also believed that the legendary Sage Parashurama came here and had a dip to wash away his sin of killing his family members.
Gyakar Sinyi Lake : An ideal tourist spot, its scenic beauty is beyond imagination. The idyllic surroundings here coupled with a beautiful atmosphere renders the tourist completely helpless and he falls prey to its beauty. With the beautiful mountains forming a background and the lovely scenery giving its best it is an ideal locale for relaxation. Tall trees dominate this region and there are lot of orchids found here too. The clear waters of the lake and the amazingly beautiful greenery are the main attractions here. Tourists love to take a boat ride here.
Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum : This is a place where the tradition, History and culture of Arunachal Pradesh is showcased. All the varied customs and traditions are shown here.
Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks
Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary : This is a very beautiful place and its sprawling natural zone is a perfect adventure spot. Ecologically safe and a haven for ecologists, it maintains a perfect balance of the ecological system here. The species found here are the slow loris, hoolock gibbon, pigtailed macaque, black bear, red panda, musk deer and the langur.
Namdhapa National Park : This exotic expanse of wildlife in abundance with the background of the majestic Himalayas is known for the lovely snow leopard. Clouded leopards are also famous here and the animals found here are the Himalayan Black Bear, hare, deer, the red panda and other smaller creatures.
Rupa : This is a lovely hill resort set on the banks of the River Tenga and gives the best panoramic view of the city of Itanagar. The winding paths up to Rupa give the tourist the best kind of scenic views and the experience is immeasurable and nostalgic. The verdant virgin expanse is beautiful because man has not occupied much of this land. The tribal villages of Shertukpen are found here and this adds to the beauty.
Ziro : This lovely hamlet is a charming place and has been left completely untouched by man so is even more beautiful. These isolated natural ambience that leave a tourist and a nature lover completely mesmerized give an opportunity to explore the valley of Taley. Besides adventure lovers come here to do river rafting on the River Subansiri. Trekkers also find this an amazing avenue of green expanse.
Ita Fort :This is a place with a great historical importance. It is a 15th century fort and is made of stone.
Itanagar - Entertainment factor :
Arunachal Pradesh is a land of festivals and the city of Itanagar with its tribal population ensures that it is always in the limelight with a good entertainment factor. Losar is the New Year festival of the Monpa tribe. This festival is celebrated for five days and has a lot of prayers, reading the Buddhist scriptures and also has flag hoisting celebrations. Also butter lamps are lit in the houses.
Reh is another festival which is celebrated by Idu Mishimis. It is held for six days and has the priest dance as its main and important feature. Again the Digaru Mishimis celebrate the Tamladu festival. This is a nice festival devoted to the Earth God and the Water God. Jebmalu is believed to be the Supreme God and is worshipped.
Khan is another beautiful ceremony where a piece of wool is tied around everyone’s neck. Sangken is a festival where water is sprinkled on each other as a sign of celebration. Mopin is a festival where people celebrate by smearing rice powder on faces.
As a person leaves this place, he thinks, “Capital power capital beauty, capital experience.”