Profile of Arunachal Pradesh

A peaceful state in north-eastern India, Arunachal Pradesh is known for possessing exceptional scenic beauty. Located in northeast India, Arunachal Pradesh is inhabited mostly by tribes who have their own traditions and languages. Area-wise, Arunahchal Pradesh is the largest state of the North East region of India. It forms a complex hill system of Shivalik and Himalayan origin and is blessed with numerous rivers and streams. With its age old traditions, vibrant culture, fairs and festivals and splendid art and craft Arunachal Pradesh makes an interesting journey.

History of Arunachal Pradesh

The pre history of Arunachal Pradesh remains a mystery with no records, except for some oral literature and historical ruins found in the foot hills dating approximately from the early Christian era. The northwestern parts were under the control of Monpa kingdom of Monyul, which flourished between 500 B.C. and 600 A.D. Subsequently the region came under the loose control of Tibet and Bhutan, especially in the Northern areas. The region then moved to the hands of Ahom and the Assamese until the annexation of India by the British in 1858.

Earlier Arunachal was popularly called the North East Frontier Agency and was constitutionally a part of Assam. The British came to Assam during Anglo-Burmese war in 1824-26 and occupied it the territory. During 1826-61, Arunachal was kept as a non-regulated area. In 1826, the British exercised their control in Assam after the Treaty of Yandaboo concluded on 24th February 1826.

Arunachal Pradesh made an identity of its own in 1914 when some tribal areas were separated from the then Darrang and Lakhimpur district of Assam to form North-East Frontier Tract (NEFT). At the time of India’s Independence, the present territory of Arunachal Pradesh was under the constitution as the tribal areas of Assam. All these districts, i.e. the Balipara Frontier Tract, Tirap Frontier Tract, Abor Hills district, Mishmi Hills district were together named as North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) in 1951.

The NEFA was upgraded as Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh on 21st January 1972 in pursuance of the North-East Frontier Areas Act of 1971. Consequently, the Agency Council was replaced by Pradesh Council which in turn was held on 1978. Finally, the Union Territory was replaced by Pradesh Council which in turn was converted to legislative Assembly in 1975. The first election to 30 members Assembly was held on 1978. Finally, a full fledged state was formed on 20th February 1987.

Drawing of the McMahon Line

Mc mahon Line

In 1913-14, representatives of China, Tibet and Britain negotiated a treaty in India known as the Simla Accord. This treaty objective was to define the borders between inner and outer Tibet as well as between outer Tibet and British India. Sir Henry McMahon, drew up the 550 miles (890 kms) McMahon as the border line between British India and outer Tibet during the Simla Conference. The Tibetan and British representatives at the conference agreed to the line, which ceded Tawang and other Tibetan areas to the British Empire.

However, China though at first didn’t have any issue, but later opposed to the border talks and walked out. Since Tibet was not in separation from China, the Tibetan representative couldn’t agree unless their Chinese counterpart gave their assent. The situation further developed after India’s Independence and the establishment of People’s Republic of China in late 1940.

India then unilaterally declared the McMahon Line as the boundary on November 1950 and it forced the Tibetan administration out of the Tawang area in 1951. The People’s Republic of China never recognized the McMahon Line and claims Tawang on behalf of the Tibetans.
Sino-Indian War

The creation of North East Frontier Agency gradually became a conflicting issue within a decade of its creation. This issue again came up during the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The cause of the war is still disputed by both the Chinese and the Indian sources. During the war in 1962, the People’s Republic of China captured most of the area of Arunachal Pradesh. However, in 1963 Indian prisoners of war were returned in 1963 and China withdrew from the McMohan Line.

The war resulted in a barter trade with Tibet, although in 2007 the State Government showed signs to resume barter trade with Tibet. Arunachal Pradesh was a part of Assam till 21 June 1972; after which it was conferred the status of a union territory and was governed by the President of India. The Union Territory attained its statehood only on 20 Feb, 1987 with its capital at Itanagar.

Geography of Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas in the north-eastern part of India and shares a long international border with Bhutan (160 km) to the west, China to the north and north-east (1,080 km) and Myanmar to the east (440 km).

Most of the terrain of Arunachal is covered by the Himalayas. Nyegi Kangsang, Kangto, Gorichen Peak and the Eastern Gorichen Peak are some of the tallest peaks of the Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh. The parts of Lohit, Changlang and Tirap are covered by the Patkai Hills. The lower elevation parts of Arunachal where it shares the borders with Assam are covered with semi-evergreen forests. The Brahmaputra valley flows through Arunachal and the plains start from around this border.

The northern side of Arunachal where it shares border with China are covered with Eastern and Northeastern Himalayan sub alpine conifer forests followed by Eastern Himalaya alpine shrub and meadows. The Himalayan ranges in Arunachal separates it from Tibet in the north. This Himalayan range extends to Nagaland, making a boundary with Burma in Changlang and Tirap district. The hills here are called Patkai Bum Hills. The mountains of this range are low compared to the Greater Himalayas.

The western part of Kameng district, Tirap district, the upper, lower and lower belts and concentrated pockets of the state are the six topographical regions of Arunachal Pradesh. Arunachal is a meeting point of many geographical regions. The land stretches from snow capped mountains in the north to the plains of Brahmaputra valley in the south. It also shares common boundaries with the states viz. Nagaland and Assam in the south and south-west respectively.


The forests in Arunachal Pradesh are divided into many groups. They are mainly tropical forests, sub-tropical forests, pine forests, temperature forests and pine forests. The Tirap district of the state is rich in tropical forests. These forests include beautiful orchids. Arunachal contains 82% forests, 8% rock and snow, and 10% towns and farmlands. An about 6000 species of plants, 650 birds and more than 80 mammals are found in the forests of Arunachal Pradesh. A large number of butterflies are also available in the forests.

Arunachal Climate

Due to difference in topology and altitude, Arunachal Pradesh experiences different types of climate. The upper Himalayas near Tibetan border and higher altitude regions experiences an Alpine or Tundra climate while the middle Himalayan region has a temperate climate. It also witness snowfall in the winter season. The regions on the sea level experience a humid sub-tropical climate, with hot summers and mild winters. This is the characteristic of the climate of India in most parts.

Facts and figures of Arunachal

Total Geographical Area: 83,743 sq. km
Latitude: 26028' and 29030' North
Longitude: 97030' and 97030' East
Date of Formation: 20 Feb, 1987
Capital: Itanagar
No. of Districts:17
No. of Lok Sabha seats: 2
No. of Rajya Sabha seats: 1
No. of Vidhan Sabha seats: 60
No. of Sub-divisions: 36
No. of blocks: 57
No. of villages: 4065
No. of towns: 17
Largest City: Itanagar
Population (2011): 1, 382, 611
Population Density: 17 per sq. km
Male population: 720, 232
Female population: 662, 379
Sex Ratio: 920 females to 1000 males
Literacy rate: 66.95%
Religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity
Principal language (s): Monpa, Mizi, Aka, Hindi, English
Average Rainfall: 2,782 mm

The people who live in the lesser elevation area enjoy temperate weather. Below the Himalayas at sea-level there is sub tropical weather. The foothill zone of the state has a hot and humid climate. During summer days the foot hills of Arunachal Pradesh marks a climate average 40 degree Celsius. During winter season it becomes 15 degree to 21 degrees. The middle region of Arunachal Pradesh has a cool climate. This region experiences micro thermal climate.

Rainfall is another feature of the climate of Arunachal Pradesh. It receives an average rainfall of 300 centimeters. The rainfall in the state varies between 450-80 centimeters. The state receives an annual average rainfall that ranges from 80 to 160 inches (2,000 to 4,000 mm), most of which is recorded between May and September.

Resources in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is a storehouse of much forest resources. With daunting hills of the Himalayas, the state also has much forest cover in the hills. There are also different flora and fauna species residing in these forests in Arunachal Pradesh. Some of the resources of Arunachal include:
Minerals Resources in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is a store of various minerals. Arunachal Pradesh Mineral Development and Trading Corporation was established in 1991. The main aim of this corporation is to look more new mineral ore and explore them. Graphite, Dolomite, Marble, Limestone, Coal, Lead, Zinc are the mostly found minerals in the state. Gold and Pyrites are also found in some areas of Arunachal.

Forests in Arunachal PradeshForest Resources in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is rich in bio-diversity. According to Department of Environment and Forests of Arunachal Pradesh, 10,185.40 sq kilometer is protected by the department. Arunachal Pradesh has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The entire state is covered with hills and forests. The forests are home to a sizeable population of various tribes who continue to extract resources from these forests for their livelihood. The forests of Arunachal include some 5000 species of plants, about 85 terrestrial mammals, over 500 birds and a large number of butterflies, insects and reptiles. The vegetation of the state falls under four broad climatic categories and can be classified in five broad forest types which are: tropical forests, sub-tropical forests, pine forests, temperate forests and alpine forests.

Flora and fauna in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is rich in flora. The state has large number of timber species, various kinds of orchids, medicinal plants, ferns and rhododendrons. Arunachal has about 600 species of orchids, 18 species of hedycium, 52 species of oak, 18 species of cane and 45 species of bamboo. Hedychiums, oaks and rhododendron are some important plants in the state.

The dense forests of Arunachal Pradesh support such a vast fauna in the state. The state has 25 different verities of mammals. Many national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and forests are located in the state. The state stores four major cats’ viz. tiger, leopard, clouded leopard and snow leopard. Gibbon, Assamese macaque, capped langur, stump tailed macaque, rhesus macaque, porcupine, civets, mongoose, mithun are some of the major animals found in the forests of the state.

Rivers of Arunachal

Brahmaputra is the major river flowing through Arunachal Pradesh. It enters the state from Tibet and flows into Assam from where it passes into Bangladesh before falling into the Bay of Bengal. The state has a number of rivers flowing from upper Himalayas through the gorges and deep hills. These rivers provide river rafting facilities and tourists can often be seen river rafting in the white waters. Some of these rivers include:

Lohit River

Lohit is an important river of Arunachal Pradesh and a tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra River. The river is called the 'river of blood' and is sacred to the people. The Lohit River rises in eastern Tibet in the Zayal Chu range and surges through Arunachal Pradesh for 200 kilo meters and finally disgorges in the plains of Assam. The river has a turbulent flow. The river flows to the Mishmi hills to meet the Siang at the head of the Brahmaputra valley.

The Lohit River comes into India from China and flows near easternmost part of India at a place called Kibithoo. It is a medium volume continuous Class 4+/5 river in its upper alpine reaches and becomes pool drop towards the latter end of the trip. The Indian army uses the Lohit River for various expeditions and training. The Lohit divides the Patkai Mountain range between Myanmar and India from the eastern tip of the great Himalayas.

The Lohit valley is thickly forested. Alpine vegetation here gives way to sub-tropical forests and to some of the densest tropical jungles in India. At the upper reaches are found an abundance of rhododendrons and at the lower are found the beautiful orchids. The forests on the banks are home to many plantations and herbs having medicinal properties like the Mishmi Teeta, the coptis plant known for its medicinal properties. There have been a few raft expeditions in the river. Rafting was first started at the river in 1994 by the Indian army and the first successful kayak descent of the river in December 2003.

The Planning Commission has given investment clearance of scheme ‘restoration of rivers Dibang and Lohit to their original courses at Dhollahatiguli’. The Lohit River is associated with the religious belief of the people. The river is called ‘Lohitya’ in Sanskrit. It is said that Parsuram after committing the sin of matricide bathed in the sacred Brahma Kund. The blood on his hand turned the water red.  Hence came the name Lohitya- reddened by blood. People bath in the Lohit river water to wash their sins.

Kameng River


The Kameng River is the tributary of the Brahmaputra River. It is one of the major tributaries of the Brahmaputra. The river joins Brahmaputra at Tezpur, east of the Kolia Bhumora Bridge in Assam. The Kameng River originates in the Tawang district from the glacial lake below snow capped Gori Chen Mountain. It is 264 km long. The drainage basin of the river is 11, 843 sq km. It is on the India-Tibet border in South Tibet. It flows through Bhalukpong circle of West Kameng district and Sonitpur district of Assam.  The Kameng forms the boundary between East Kameng district and West Kameng district.

It is also the boundary to the Sessa Orchid Sanctuary and the Eaglenest Sanctuary to the west and the Pakhui Tiger Reserve to the east. The Dafla hills are the east and the Aka hills are the west of the river. The Tippi River joins the Kameng at the Tippi village on the Bhalukpong-Bomdila highway. The Kameng River is assessable for river rafting and kayaking. An expedition through the river will take one through lush green rainforests.

Subansiri River


The Subansiri River is the tributary of the Brahmaputra River. It is the largest tributary of the Brahmaputra. Subansiri is known as the Gold River by the locals. The river is known for its gold dust. The Subansiri originates in the Himalayas in China. It flows east and southeast into India, then south to the Assam valley, where it joins the Brahmaputra River in Lakhimpur district.

The Subansiri is 442 km long. The drainage basin is 32,640 sq km large. The maximum observed discharge of the river was 18,799 cubic meters per second and its minimum 131 m3/s. The river contributes to 7.92 % of the Brahmaputra’s total flow. The river is famous for its powerful waves, size and adrenaline-pumping torrents which make it an ideal spot for river rafting.

Dibang River

The Dibang River is the tributary of the Brahmaputra River. It is one of the major tributaries of the Brahmaputra. The river Dibang goes through its middles course across the Lower Dibang valley district. The Dibang and the Lohit River merge and flow along the northern side of the Saikhowa Reserve Forest. The area type of the river is hydro graphic. The region all along the upper course of the river is located in the Great Himalayan Mountain Range. The northern and the eastern reaches border Tibet. The river flows southwards to join the Brahmaputra.

Siang River

The Siang River is one of the tributaries of the Brahmaputra River. The river Siang is regarded as the lifeline of the Northeast. It originates in Tibet. The Siang River in the recent times is reported to have dried up.

Tirap River

The Tirap River originates in the Tirap district and flows through Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The Tirap River has its source at the top of Patkai ranges. One can enjoy fishing and angling in the Tirap River.

Economy of Arunachal


The state of Arunachal Pradesh has a developing economy. Agriculture is the primary driver of economy in Arunachal Pradesh. Crops grown here include wheat, rice, maize, pulses, millet, sugarcane, ginger and oil seeds. Arunachal Pradesh is also ideal for horticulture and fruit orchards. Fruits including pineapple, oranges, lemon, litchi, papaya, banana and peach walnut and almond are grown in the state in scanty. Shifting cultivation which is locally called as Jhum was practiced by most of the tribes but is now less practiced. With application of fertilizers and pesticides and use of high yielding varieties, the production of crops have increased significantly. Forest products are the next most significant sector of the economy of the state.

Arunachal Pradesh has several small and medium scale industries based on forest products. The industries include plywood, rice mills, fruit preservation units and handicrafts.The state has its own mineral development and trading corporation which looks after the fair transportation and exploration of various minerals. Coal, dolomite, lead, zinc, graphite and marble are the minerals found in the state. The Corporation also gives an industrial shape to its mineral products. The hydroelectric power production of Arunachal Pradesh serves a little to the economy. In addition to that, tourism industry also supplements the economy of Arunachal Pradesh. The state is famous for adventurous sports like trekking, mountaineering, river rafting and angling. Arunachal Pradesh is also famous for scenic its beauty.

Culture of Arunachal Pradesh


Arunachal Pradesh is much celebrated for its age old tradition and culture. Arunachal Pradesh is the land of the tribals. People here celebrate numerous fairs and festivals round the year. They have beautiful rituals, dance and music and art and craft that make the state a  colourful cultural one. The people of Arunachal are known as God fearing people having simple way of life and are known to live in peace and harmony.

Tribes in Arunachal Pradesh

The state of Arunachal Pradesh has many tribes with their own customs and identities. These different races and tribes live together in harmony to revive the cultural spirit reflected in the state. The different communities and tribes in Arunachal Pradesh include the Monpas, Sherdukpens, Adis, Akas, Apatanis, Bangnis, Nishis, Mishmis, Mijis, Thongsas, Noctes and Wanchos tribal communities among others. These different communities and tribes have their own fairs and festivals, dance, music, languages, arts and crafts and delicacies. The people also have their distinguished religion, culture, age old traditions, rituals and celebrations. Different tribes of Arunachal are:

Adi Tribe

Adi tribe

The Adi also known as Bokar Lhoba people is a major tribe in Arunachal Pradesh. The tribe has to main divisions- the Bogum and the Bomis. Ponung is a traditional dance of Adis, which is also famous dance in Arunachal Pradesh. Apart from this dance they also practice dances like Delong, Tapu War Dance, Yakjong and others. The Adi women’s are expert in weaving. They traditionally follow the Donyi-Polo religion. They speak the Adi language.

Apatani Tribe

Adpatani tribe

The Apatani known as Tanii is a tribe lives in the Ziro valley in Arunachal Pradesh. Large number of Apatani people follows the Donyi-Polo religion and celebrates the Dree festival. In old days the Apatani peoples wear a circular nose plugs and tattooing in the faces. They practice the sifting cultivation. Paddy cum fish culture is famous among the tribe.

Hill Miri Tribe

hill miri tribe

The Hill Miri is a tribal group in Arunachal Pradesh. An about 9,000 Hill Miri people resides in Arunachal Pradesh. They speak the Miri Language, which is a Tibetian-Burman language of India.

Nishi Tribe


The Nishi or Nyishi is a tribe inhabit in Arunachal Pradesh as well as in Sonitpur district and North Lakhimpur district of Assam. The tribe belongs to Indo-Mongoloid group and their language belongs to Tibeto-Mongoloid group. They practice the shifting cultivation and produce crops like rice, paddy, maize, cucumber, yam and millet. The Nishi men wore a cane helmet surrounded with the break of the Great Indian Hornbill.

Singhpo Tribe


The Singpho people of Arunachal Pradesh live on the bank of Tengapani and Noa Dehang River, as well as in the Kachin state of Burma. An about of 7,200 Singpho people resides in India. The tribe is divided in many clans and they are mainly Theravada Buddhist religion. They plants tea and also dependent on yams and other edible tubers as their staple food. They are also experts in blacksmith.

Monpa Tribe


The Monpa are simple and gentle tribe resides in Arunachal Pradesh. It is a major tribe in Arunachal Pradesh with a population of 50,000. They are rich in heritage and culture. Due to variation in their language, they are divided into six sub-groups. The Monpas belongs to Tibetan Buddhism. The tribe is expert in wood carving, Thangka painting, carpet making and weaving. They practice shifting and permanent types of cultivation.

Te Tagin Tribe

Te tagin

Te Tagin tribe is found in Arunachal Pradesh. They practice the Donyi-Polo religion. Si-donyi and Tagins are two famous festival of the tribe. The Naa and the Mra are the two groups of Tagins. These groups influenced by the Tibetan Buddhism.

Mishmi Tribe

The Mishmi or Deng are an ethnic group resides in Arunachal Pradesh and Tibet. They are mainly divided into three groups- Idus, Digarus and Mijus. The Mishmi women’s are expert in weaving. They are mainly dependent on agriculture.

Bugun & Yobin Tribe


The Buguns, known as Khowas are a gentle, hospitable and affectionate tribe in Arunachal Pradesh. They are mainly agriculturist and perform a number of rites and ceremonies for their welfare. The Yobin or Lisu is a simple and gentle tribe resides in Arunachal Pradesh. They have own culture, religion, faith and belief.

Wancho Tribe


The Wancho are a tribal group found in Tirap district in Arunachal Pradesh. They are a carefree and hard working group. The tribe has a population about 35,000. They speak the Wancho language, which is belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family. The Wanghams, the Wangpana, the Wangave and the Wangaas are the four classes of the Wanchos.

Noctes Tribe


The Noctes are a tribe found in Patkai and Tirap districts in Arunachal Pradesh. The group has a population about 33,000. They are adapted to Hinduism. They are agriculturist. Rice is their stable food.  Noctes are famous as salt producers which is their chief item for trade and barter. 

Sherdukpen Tribe

The Sherdukpen is a small tribe resides West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh. The tribe has a population about 4,200. The Thong and the Chao are the two main classes of Sherdukpen group. They are mainly agriculturist. The tribe adopts the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan-Buddhism.

Khamba & Memba Tribe


The Khamba or Khemba resides near the Tibetan border. They cultivate wheat and maize. They grow cotton and barley also. They are Tibetan-Buddhism and influenced by Donyi-Polo faith. The Memba is a small tribal group found in West Siang and Upper Siang districts in Arunachal Pradesh. They have a population about 3,500. The Membas are agriculturists and grow cash crops. They follow the Buddhism.

Hrusso Tribe

The Hrusso known as Aka is found in Arunachal Pradesh. They practice shifting cultivation. Their language is related to Tibeto-Burman. The tribe mainly animist and follows a variant of the Nyezi-No religion.

NGOs in Arunachal

Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Arunachal Pradesh are an integral part of social welfare and development of the people. NGOs in Arunachal work for the welfare of the people. There are many NGOs in Arunachal which work for the poor section of society, development of the women and children,  rural welfare and so on. Important NGOs in Arunachal are:

All Monpa Welfare Society
Aim: To work for the preservation of the art and culture of the Monpa society.
Cont: 3794-22257

Arunachal Youth Project
Aim: The organization focuses on channelsing India’s youth energy for nation building and human betterment by helping them to develop self-discipline, simplicity, endurance and dignity of manual work.
Cont: 360-2215721

Tribal Area Development Society
Aim: To look after weaker section of the tribal people and upliftment the economy sector of the state and to provide employment opportunity to the tribal people.
Cont: 360 -2246249

Abotani Ashram Welfare Association
Aim: To develop education, health, disability, environment and agriculture.
Cont: +91- 9250071323

Goolong Sisong Education Society
Aim: Provide education, food, shelter and rehabilitation to orphan abandoned children, destitute children and women.
Cont: +91-3803262976

Members Association Social Service
Aim: To develop for poor peoples in health, yoga, gender, vocational training programme and environmental.
Cont: +91-09885602201

Achukuru Welfare Society
Aim: Education and literacy, micro finance, rural development and poverty alleviation, tourism, vocational training, women’s empowerment.
Cont: 03788-255327, +91-9436692986

Abo Tani Educational and Cultural Society
Aim: Art & culture, civic issues, urban development and poverty alleviation, science and technology, sports, education and literacy.
Cont: 03792-223399, +91-9402077045

All Gumsing Welfare Society
Aim: Animal husbandry, disaster management, civic issues, HIV/AIDS, human rights, vocational training, urban development.
Cont: 0379-2224167

Bomi Koto Village Forest Management Committee
Aim: Disaster management, animal husbandry, labor and employment, sports, science and technology, dairying and fisheries.
Cont: 9774-872261
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