Khonsa: A tranquil retreat in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district

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Khonsa is a beautiful hill station in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Myanmar in the east and Assam in the south. Situated at an elevation of about 1215 m above sea level, the residential area of Khonsa is also bordered by two large rivers, the Tisa and the Tirap.

Created in the British era, this place, home to the indigenous Wancho tribe, Noctes, was one of the earliest five districts of the state. The majority of the population in Khonsa is Christians though there are few Hindus and Buddhist of the Singpos. There are some animistic as well.

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Surrounded by natural beauty on all sides such as thick forests of the Patkai ranges, streams, deep gorges and snow-clad hills, it is a paradise to the visitor’s eye. Striking attractions in the area is an Islamic grave with a wishing tree as a pilgrimage center and a large Hindu educational center of the “Ramakrishna Mission“.

Being a border town on the eastern most part of India, Khonsa is an important military base for the Assam Rifles and the CRPF. The view from this place extends over a mountain to the higher mountains in Myanmar and serves as a vigilant point for the security forces.

The spectacular beauty of the place is perfect for people who love quiet adventuring. It is a less crowded place full of natural beauty which makes it peaceful and serene. The Khonsa forests are a haven for untamed creatures—from Tigers, Leopards, Jackals, Wild boars, Bears, Barking deer, Red Panda, Musk Deer, to a variety of Rodents.

For adventurers, Khonsa offers trekking trails that wind through lush forests, past cascading waterfalls, and up to breathtaking viewpoints.

Must visit places in and around Khonsa

Khonsa Museum: This museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts that showcase the rich history and culture of the Noctes.

Kheti And Lajo Villages: These two villages in Khonsa embody the culture and traditions of a bygone era. Within the dormitories of these villages are displayed human skulls collected from the headhunting days, offering a glimpse into the past.

Pangsau Pass: This scenic pass offers panoramic views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks and valleys.

Namdapha National Park: It takes you through the pristine wilderness of one of India’s most biodiverse national parks.

How to Reach Khonsa

By Road: You can find deluxe buses between Guwahati and Dibrugarh/Tinsukia, including night services. From Dibrugarh or Tinsukia, there is a daily bus service to Khonsa. There are also private taxis and buses on this route.

By Train: There’s no direct train service to the town. The closest railway stations are in Dibrugarh (120 km), Tinsukia (110 km), or Naharkatia (70 km) in Assam. You can take a daily bus or taxi which takes about 2 to 3 hours to reach the place.

By Air: The nearest airport is at Dibrugarh in Assam. From Dibrugarh, you can take a taxi or bus. There’s also a daily helicopter service (except Sundays) to the state capital, Itanagar, operated by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh. Once a week, the helicopter also lands at Khonsa helipad from Dibrugarh.

Plan Your Visit

The best time to visit Khonsa is during the winter months (October to March), when the weather is pleasant and sunny. Visitors are advised to obtain an Inner Line Permit before traveling to Arunachal Pradesh.

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