Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh: Itanagar is located in Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh state. The beautiful picturesque city is cushioned on top of low flat hills. Itanagar is located at 27.1°N 93.62°E at an average elevation of 440 meters (1443 feet) above sea level. Geographically, Itanagar is divided into two parts - Itanagar and Naharlagun both at a distance of 10 km from each other. The area is irrigated by the tributaries of River Brahmaputra.
The Papum Pare district is bounded by Lower Subansiri on North East, East Kameng on its West, Assam on its east and south. Yupia is the district headquarters which is located about 20 km from the state capital Itanagar. The district is mainly inhabited by the Nishi tribes and the Mikir tribe who migrated from Assam.
The Papum Pare district is a hilly area that is a part of the Eastern Himalayas. The district can be divided into Foothill region and Hilly region. Pare, Panior and Dikrong are the main rivers of the district.
Itanagar derives its name from the Ita Fort built in the 15th century. Ita means "brick in the local tribal language".
Itanagar is the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh state and is known as 'the Land of the Dawn Lit Mountains'. The area is one of the first places to see sunrise falling on the mountains that makes it completely special. The unspoilt beauty of the place makes it an exotic holiday destination.
The city is a bunch of hills, valleys, scenic beauty and traditional unexplored natural beauty beyond imagination. The enchanting tea gardens, apple orchards and farms add to nature's spectacular creation. Itanagar is a photographer's delight where you can click some unmatched pictures of nature and its unmatched beauty.
Itanagar reflects a considerable influence of Tibetan culture in their lifestyle including their costumes and religion due to a large number of Tibetans who had settled here.
The area is majorly inhabited by the tribes such as Adis, Akas, Apatanis, Bangnis, Nishis, Mishmis, Mijis, Thongsas etc. The majority are the Nyishi tribe. The main languages spoken here are English, Aptani, Hindi, Assamese, Nishi and Adi.
The locals have conserved the old tradition of the place with great devotion. Their houses are also the traditional wooden huts rather than modern concrete buildings
Over a period of time people belonging to various cultures have begun to reside in Itanagar. This blend has given the name "Mini India" to the place.
The major occupation of the residents is farming and agriculture. Rice, Maize, Millet, Wheat, Mustard are majorly cultivated here.
Shopping at Itanagar includes handicrafts like Wall painting, traditional costumes made of natural vegetable and herbal dye yarns, and attractive utility items made of cane and bamboo, Tibetan Buddhist paintings (Thankas). A few famous shopping centers to buy them are Craft Centre & Emporium, Akash Deep Market & Legi Complex.
Itanagar is a place to enjoy adventure sports such as Trekking, Rafting, paragliding, mountaineering and Angling. September to February is an ideal time for trekking. Itanagar - Ziro - Daporijo - Pashighat is a beautiful and popular trekking route at Itanagar. The trek gives an amazing sightseeing to tourists from where they can view the beautiful hills and valleys. There are a trekking clubs which organize safe and healthy treks over the mighty Himalayan peaks. Comfortable walking shoes, water proof warm jacket, woolen / tennis socks, stockings, sunglasses, headgear, water, food, torch, first aid box, umbrella and rucksack are the essentials that one needs to carry while going on this expedition. Local guides and tour operators are available to guide visitors to the right path of trekking.
Festivals at Itanagar:
The famous festivals of Itanagar are:
Losar - This is the New Year celebration of the Monpas that is celebrated for five days. The festival includes prayers, hoisting of religious flags on top of houses, reading of Buddhist scriptures, and lighting butter lamps in the houses.
Reh - This is a festival of the Idu Mishimis that is celebrated for sixdays. The main attraction of this festival is the priest dance. The festival includes offering prayers to the Earth God and Water God. The priests tie a piece of wool around the neck and dance.
Mopin - In this festival of five days celebrated from 5th April, people sprinkle water on each other depicting happiness. They also rub rice powder on each other's face.
The nearest big town is Harmoti in Assam which is about 33 km from Itanagar. Harmoti is a major hub to reach Arunachal Pradesh.