Ziro Valley: A cultural wonderland in Arunachal’s Lower Subansiri district

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Ziro is an old and silent town having lush and fertile fields in the ‘Land of Dawn Lit, Arunachal Pradesh. Situated at a height of 1500 metres above sea level in the Lower Subansiri District, it is the last outpost bordering China.

This place, famous to the outsiders as hosting ground for one of the largest music festivals in the North-East, the Ziro Music Festival, possesses natural beauty and unadulterated landscapes.

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The mighty pine hills, beautiful rice fields, rivulets, elevated patches, bamboo huts, and picturesque trails within the lush green jungle, rich in flora and fauna, offer a refreshing experience for people seeking adventurous and silent retreats.

Beautiful rivers like Apatani, Subansiri, Miri, Dafla and Nishi meander through the valley adding picture perfectness to the area. Vast stretches of elevated green grasslands have pleasant weather throughout and form an ideal location for picnic parties and outdoor camping.

More than just a tourist hotspot, Ziro Valley which has been added in the tentative list of the World Heritage Site is a site of ecological, historical and cultural significance. To be honest, Ziro is not for luxury travelers, but is rather for those wanting to learn about the nature, tradition and culture of the Apatani tribes.

Lovingly known as the Apatani Valley, it is home to around 50 thousand legendary Apatani tribes. The Apatani tribes living in the place are non-nomadic following agrarian practice for their livelihood. Most of them follow the Donyi-Polo (Sun-Moon) religion, while there are also Christians among them.

They are a nature-loving population who have devised a method of permanent wetland cultivation by creating terrace paddy-cum fish fields deploying poly-culture practices and proper water management techniques.

One unusual and unique feature of this tribe is that their women have facial tattoos and wear nose plugs called ‘Yaping hurlo’. Though this tradition is not followed by the present generation, its history dates back to the times when Apatani girls used to be kidnapped by other tribes, which eventually led to the practice of making themselves less attractive using facial tattoos and nose plugs.

Ziro valley is popular for the Ziro Music Festival which was first began in 2012. It is a four-day annual music festival held in September hosted by the indigenous Apatani tribe.

In the field of education, this area is well-developed and up-to-date having impressive literacy rates. Ziro is also known as the schooling center of Arunachal Pradesh as it has a large number of schools.

Ziro Attractions

Kile Pakho: A scenic ridge offering panoramic views of the Ziro Valley and the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. The trek to the ridge is relatively easy and is rewarded with breathtaking vistas.

Tarin Fish Farm: A unique fish farm nestled amidst bamboo and pine trees in Bulla village. The farm practices sustainable fish farming techniques, integrating fish rearing with rice cultivation.

Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary: An enchanting sanctuary home to diverse flora and fauna, including endangered species like the clouded leopard and Malayan giant squirrel. The sanctuary also offers opportunities to spot Indian muntjac and Asian palm civets.

Tipi Orchid Research Centre: A haven for orchid enthusiasts, showcasing the rich orchid diversity of Arunachal Pradesh. The centre conducts research and conservation efforts to protect these delicate flowers.

Dolo Mando: A hilltop offering panoramic views of the Ziro Valley and the surrounding mountains. The hilltop is known for its tranquility and offers a perfect spot for meditation and reflection.

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