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<< Indian Himalayas << About Himalayas >> << Culture Travel >> << Culture Arunachal Pradesh >>

Culture Arunachal Pradesh

Broadly the people may be divided into three cultural groups on the basis of their socio-religious affinities. The Monpas and Sherdukpens of Tawang and West Kameng districts follow the lamaistic tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. Noted for their religious fervour, the villages of these communities have richly decorated Buddhist temples, locally called 'Gompas'. Though largely agriculturists practising terrace cultivation, many of these people are also pastoral and breed herds of yak and mountains sheep.

Culturally similar to them are Membas and Khambas who live in the high mountains along the northern borders. Khamptis and Singphos inhabiting the eastern part of the State are Buddhists of Hinayana sect. They are said to have migrated from Thailand and Burma long ago and still using ancient scripts derived from their original homeland.
The Tibetian influence is clearly seen in the Gompas - Budhist shrines with elaborate carved wooden buildings, golden Buddha statues, old scrolls and the mask dance. They produce beautiful painted masks, thanka paintings and carved furniture.The middle and the lower valleys are populated by the worshippers of Donyi-Polism - the Sun and the moon gods and the forces of nature.

The Adis, l Galos and the M ishmis have structured social organisations, traditional justice systems and intricate weaving & bamboo handicrafts. Life in the difficult mountains has produced an independent & hospitable people with a srong sense of justice.

The Brahmaputra darshan will showcase the tribal culture by dance displays, handicrafts & food festivals, traditional sports & village shows.

The second group of the people are Adis, Akas, Apatanis, Bangnis, Nishis, Mishmis, Mijis, Thongsas etc., who worship Sun and Moon God namely, Donyi-Polo and Abo-Tani, the original ancestors for most of these tribes. Their religious rituals, largely coincide with phases of agricultural cycles. They invoke nature deities and make animal scarifices. They traditionally practice jhumming or shifting cultivation. Adis and Apatanis extensively practice wet rice cultivation and have a considerable agricultural economy. Apatanis are also famous for their paddy-cum-pisciculture. They are specialised over centuries in harvesting two crops of fish along with each crop of the paddy.

Travel in Arunachal Pradesh

Right at the top of north-eastern India, is Arunachal Pradesh, the `Land of the Dawn-lit-Mountains.' The area is one of the most pristine in India, with a dazzling array of flora and fauna, in a habitat that combines glacial terrain, alpine meadows, and sub-tropical rain forests. More that 90 per cent of the state is densely forested. Arunachal Pradesh stands as a guard on the north easternmost part of India. It borders Myanmar on the east, Bhutan in the west and China in the north and North East. On the south the State shares interstate boundaries with Assam and hills of Nagaland in the south-east. Part of Eastern Himalayan ranges, it covers an area of 83,743 Sq. Kms.

Arunachal Pradesh sits atop Assam, with Bhutan to its' west, and Myanmar on the east. This is the first Indian soil to greet the morning sun. Dawn first illuminates Arunachal's border with China: a long border which stretches all the way from its east, over to its northern boundaries and down to its north-western edge where it merges with Tibet. Most of Arunachal Pradesh has primary jungles, deep gorges and villages in really remote places. The changing colors provide a constant reminder of diversity and cheerful spirits.

Arunachal Pradesh is the largest state in the north-east region. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people. The principal crop is rice, and other important crops include maize, millets, wheat, pulses, potato, sugarcane and oilseeds. M o r e  I n f o.

Tourist Places Arunachal Pradesh

Kameng Division is located in the western-most part of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Bhutan on its west.  The northern-most top of Kameng Division comprises Tawang district inhabited mostly by the Monpa tribe.  It is known as Monyul, the land of Mon (the lower land). During the Indo-China war in 1962 this region was temporarily occupied by the Chinese army. The district is subdivided in the local traditional 'Cho', a group of 3-12 villages.  The Cho is further subdivided into 'Gachungs' which comprises a single large village or a group of small hamlets. Every village has its 'Gaon' Bura'.

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