Location :East India
Language : Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, and local dialects.
Significance: Capital City Of Arunachal Pradesh.
Best Time To Visit: Round The Year
Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, is a well planned city and the first Indian soil to greet the morning sun. It has been developed as the capital city because of its convenient location. Many of its buildings are new, light wooden framed and earthquake-proof structures. Itanagar has been identified with Mayapur, the capital of the 11th century AD Jitri dynasty.
Itanagar is incredible and incomparable in natural beauty. The entire state of Arunachal Pradesh has been thrown open to tourism recently in 1998. Besides security it was done as an attempt to preserving the centuries old heritage of the tribal communities in the area. The virginal beauty of the state capital, Itanagar attracts several tourists from far and away.
The hill resort of Itanagar lies in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. There are the mighty eastern Himalayas that border Itanagar from one side. The plains of the Brahmaputra River lie on the southern end of Itanagar.
Itanagar experiences subtropical and alpine types of climates. Thus, the hill resort neither has extreme cold in winters or heat in summers. The climate is pleasant all through the year. Itanagar experiences monsoon rains between the months of July and September. On an average the hill resort receives two hundred and sixty six cm of rainfall annually. The best time to visit the hill resort of Itanagar is between the months of October and March.
There are several sites worth visiting near Itanagar. You may spot the snow leopard and the clouded leopard amongst the other animals at the Namdhapa National Park.
Then there is the beautiful Bomdila. High Himalayas, amazing apples, marvelous monasteries and the crafts centre are the major attractions at Bomdila. Hill town of Rupa on the banks of Tenga River, Tawang, Malinithan, Tezu et al are excellent excursion options from Itanagar.
Bomdila near Itanagar is the place to visit for all the adventure seekers who would like to indulge in trekking.
Itanagar is the capital of India's largest North Eastern state. Here one can find historical fort called Ita fort, dating back to the 14th -15th centuries, after which it is named.
Ganga Lake/ Gyakar Sinyi
The capital houses the Rajbhawan, the official residence of the Governor has also many worth visiting places in and around Itanagar. These include legendary Ganga Lake (Gyakar Sinyi). It is a beautiful picnic spot, 6-kms away from Itanagar, a green forest lake surrounded by primeval vegetation, orchids masses on tall trees, tree ferns provides a small taste of the magnificent forests of the state.
Consecrated by the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist temple, a beautiful yellow roofed shrine reflects the extensive Tibetan influence and provides good views of Itanagar and the surrounding countryside.
Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum
This museum has an impressive collection of tribal art, instruments and religious objects. A visit to the museum is very educative as one can understand the socio-cultural heritage and lifestyle of the people of Arunachal Pradesh from the objects stored in the museum.
There are many beautiful places in Arunachal Pradesh that can be approached from Itanagar. River rafting can also be undertaken in nearby places like Kameng, Subansiri, Siang and Dibang.
Timing: Tuesday To Saturday - 9.30 am to 5.30 pm)
Other important places of interest around Itanagar is Donyi-Polo Vidya Bhawan a Premier Publics School, North-Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (Nirjuli) - a engineering insitute providing innovative way of education, Arunachal University (Doimukh) and Government Piggery and Poultry Farm (Nirjuli), Indira Gandhi Park.
How to get there
Fairs and Festivals
Besides the Statehood Day, the tribes in Itanagar celebrate several festivals. Amongst the major festivals celebrated in Itanagar are Losar, Reh, Tamladu, Khan, Sangken and Mopin.
Shopping in Itanagar
The hill resort of Itanagar offers several handicraft items to its tourists. The local tribes are known to weave exquisite fabrics. Amongst the many items you may pick up the coats, shawls, sashes, carpets and bags. These items are made from cotton, wool or even bark fiber. Besides woven items you may buy the traditional handicrafts items. There are items in bamboo, cane and wood. Plus you must check out the Tibetan Buddhist paintings or the thankas.
Air : The nearest airport from Itanagar is Lilabari airport in Assam which is located at a distance of 67 kms from Itanagar. Lilabari is a small airport and flights operate only from a few destinations.
Rail : The nearest railhead from Itanagar is North Lakhimpur in Assam at a distance of 60 kms.
Road : Bus services are available to Itanagar from Guwahati and other state capitals of north-eastern region.
Where to Stay
The hill resort of Itanagar has several accommodation options that cater to the needs of the tourists. There are several hotels that suit the varying budgets of the tourists to Itanagar. Nevertheless, all the hotels have basic amenities to make your stay a comfortable one. In case you plan to go for a class accommodation while holidaying in Itanagar, it will be better to make reservations in advance.
There are several quality restaurants that offer good and hygienic food in Itanagar. You may feast on the different types of cuisines available in Itanagar. Tibetan food is available in abundance and is a must eat in Itanagar.
It is noteworthy that you need to carry restricted area permit to enter the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Thus in case you are planning to visit the hill resort of Itanagar you must collect the restricted area permit too. You may obtain the permits from the Indian embassies abroad, all the Foreign Regional Registration Offices in India, Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi or Home Commissioner, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar
Some of the other instructions that need to be followed while holidaying in Itanagar are:
No individual tourist is allowed to visit the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
The group of tourists holidaying in Arunachal Pradesh can visit the places in the tourist circuits only
After obtaining the permit the tourists cannot be there in Arunachal Pradesh for more than ten days.
All tourists need to pay fifty US dollars as an entry fee.