Discover Central Arunachal Pradesh
Pasighat - Aalo - Daporijo - Ziro
"The austere serenity of Shangri-La..." describes James Hilton in his 1933 novel, Lost Horizon, "allured by a land of milk and honey in a hidden valley in the Himalayas." Over the years, this has led explorers to venture deep into the Himalayas, scouting one valley after another, and founding their own perceptions of a paradise on earth. For some, this search brings them to Arunachal Pradesh.
Arunachal Pradesh, due to its easternmost location on the map of India, is called "the land of dawn-lit mountains". The entire terra firma falls under the eastern Himalayan landscape, a land of supreme natural beauty and rich in ancient traditions. The altitudinal and climatic variation of the state results in a variety of landscapes and forests which harbors one of the planet's last great biodiversity.
An experiential road trip through the mountains of central Arunachal Pradesh, blessed with bountiful rain and forests – you will travel across the tribal belt of the state which is inhabited by followers of Donyi-Polo; worshipers of the Sun & Moon. In the spectacular landscaped valley of Ziro, you will meet the Apatanis, peaceful hill people who still give importance to their ancient customs and sustainable ways of life. Conservation, productivity, and respect for nature are at the core of their culture. Even today, the elderly tribeswomen can still be seen in their traditional dresses, bearing tattoos, and wearing large nose plugs. In Ziro, your stay will be at a homestay with a local family, thus giving you a deeper insight into the mysterious lives and culture of the Apatani people.
In the mesmerizing and lush Subansiri Valley, you will come across the Tagins. Smoking skillfully handcrafted pipes and wearing intricate cane hats, they appear proud, like kings of their land. In the Siang Valley, in the most splendid Himalayan countryside, you will meet the Adi sub-tribes, a warrior tribe justly proud of ambushing British advances many a time during the colonial era. Here, the Siang River forms a mighty valley as it enters from the high plateaus of Tibet after having traversed about a thousand miles from its source, the holy Mount Kailash. The Adis have built complex bridges of cane and bamboo to cross the Siang. Sustainable as they are, they have inspired many early explorers like W Robinson who wrote, "The skill in constructing these bridges is really surprising, and is such as would not discredit to the more civilized nations." The Adis are also one of the few tribes who do not practice shifting cultivation, carving beautiful terraced farms in the mountains. In Tibetan Buddhism as well, the Siang is considered a very mysterious entity, a beholder of the Beyul of Pemako; the most important of Buddhist paradisiacal realms.
This region of central Arunachal Pradesh remains the last frontier of ancient traditions and forests, a treasure trove in terms of diversity of natural and cultural elements. A responsible low-scale approach to tourism acts as an inspiration to preserve the richness of the area, bringing steady income directly into the hands of local guides, property owners, and artisans, and thus encouraging them. Local festivals are promoted during some months when communities come together in glory and respect to the ways of their ancients.
Day 1 | Dibrugarh - Pasighat
Upon arrival at Dibrugarh Airport in the morning, you will drive to Pasighat (2-3 hours) which is located overlooking the mountains. The drive will be scenic, crossing the mighty Brahmaputra River to its north. Evening at leisure with a campfire. Your stay will be at a quaint riverside campsite with standard amenities.
Day 2 | Pasighat - Aalo
After breakfast, leave for Aalo (6-8 hours), home to the various Adi sub-tribes and situated near the Siyom River. The drive will be exceptionally scenic crossing through the valley of the mighty Siang River, known famously as the Brahmaputra. The Adi sub-tribes have since long lived and thrived in this mysterious valley, carving beautiful terraced farms at places. En route visit Adi Minyong villages such as Yaksi and Panging which is one of the largest Minyong villages with more than five hundred houses. The majority of women here are into traditional weaving. The evening will be at leisure. Your stay will be at Reyi Homestay with standard rooms.
Day 3 | Aalo
Spend the day exploring verdant villages around Aalo of the Adi Gallong Tribes such as Kabu, Jirdan, and Kayin. Visit homes and interact with the villagers to gain more insight into the inter-relationship of animist cultures present in Arunachal Pradesh. Enjoy a cultural dance performance of the Gallong tribe. In Kabu, cross a cane hanging bridge which is famous for its native ingenuity. The evening will be at leisure at Darka Village, one of the largest Gallong settlements.
Day 4 | Aalo - Daporijo
After breakfast, you will leave for a scenic drive through bad roads to Daporijo (7-8 hours), located at the heart of the Subansiri Valley where the Tagin people live. En route, you will visit villages for cultural interactions. The Gallong houses are peculiar as they are built on stone without the use of nails. Evening at leisure. Your stay will be in Hotel Singhik with fairly standard amenities.
Day 5 | Daporijo
Spend the day driving upstream of the very scenic Subansiri River and visiting villages of the Tagin tribespeople and observing their way of life and traditional culture. Evening at leisure.
Day 6 | Daporijo - Ziro
After an early breakfast, leave for Ziro (8-9 hours), a splendid valley surrounded by farms and pine-conifer filled forests and home to the Apatani Tribe. The drive will be scenic, through the tropical forested areas of central Arunachal Pradesh and crossing scattered tribal settlements. Evening at leisure. Your stay here will be at Siro Homestay with comfortable rooms.
Day 7, 8 | Ziro
Spend the two days exploring Apatani villages such as Hong, Hari, and Dutta, and a nearby Nishi village if time permits. In these villages where the Apatani build houses adjoining each other, you will get a closer interaction with the locals, especially the tattooed elders who still live a very traditional life. You can also go on day hikes to more remote Apatani villages and visit the unique Apatani farms. An interaction session with an Apatani shaman is possible. Visits to the local market can help you learn more about the Apatani culture, customs, eating habits, attires and ornaments. Evenings will be at leisure. You may also taste their ethnic cuisine over dinner.
Day 9 | Ziro - Dibrugarh
After breakfast, return to Dibrugarh (7-8 hours), thus returning to the plains of Assam. En route, visit a village of the Nyishi tribespeople. Evening at leisure. Your stay will be at Gymkhana Clubhouse with good modern rooms.
Day 10 | Dibrugarh
After breakfast, leave for Dibrugarh Airport as per your flight schedule. Tour ends.
With a small town open atmosphere, The Gymkhana Clubhouse in Dibrugarh is run by enthusiastic town folks and provides splendid modern rooms and amenities such a pool and a gym. The charming clubhouse which was built in 1923 consists of a restaurant and a well stocked boutique barroom.
Homestays are important in promoting sustainable tourism. Your stay in Pasighat will be at the cute little Kham Homestay run by a local Buddhist Khampti tribal family with cozy rooms and hospitable hosts.
The beautiful Reyi Homestay is one of the best places to stay in Aalo. The host is warm and hospitable. The property is expansive with plenty of flowers and nature. The rooms are airy and very comfortable. A perfect hideout amidt the loving Adi tribespeople.
In a town as remote and badly administered as Daporijo, Hotel Singhik comes as a savior, a business hotel offering clean modern rooms and standard amenities.
Homestays are important in promoting sustainable tourism in Ziro, the land of the ancient Apatani culture, while also engaging visitors to have an authentic experience of staying with an Apatani family and learning about their ways. The rooms are simple, airy, clean, with fairly standard amenities.
Why travel with us?
Our itineraries are one of a kind, curated from our own personal travel experiences, from choosing the best logistically correct routes to the most interesting stay options.
Our tour guides are native to the region, and bring you an insider view into the life and culture of Northeast India, sharing with you authentic local experiences and fostering friendships.
experts in tours
When travelling with Greener Pastures, you can be assured that you are in the hands of experts who are knowledgeable and passionate about the region. Expect hassle-free, easy-going, and insightful travel.
By choosing us, we share together a pledge towards responsible tourism, and share a belief that travel has the power to positively transform local livelihoods, cultures and environment.
The tours listed in this website are our own well-researched itineraries that come with a great degree of flexibility and customization. Each tour is therefore individually costed around your requirements and budget. This provides you with a sense of choice and reliability, and also helps us meet customer expectations much more closely, making your travel experience all the more memorable.
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Greener Pastures must receive notification of cancellation in writing, email or phone call. At the time we receive the request, refund will be based as follows:
1. Cancellation more than 15 days prior to departure = 75% refund of deposited advance amount.
2. Cancellation less than 15 days prior to departure = 25% refund of deposited advance amount.