Ziro Valley

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We left Daporjio at about 5.30 am to reach Ziro by 11.30 ish. Wonderful drive through hills, forests and fog. Ziro at a plateau at a height of of about 1500 metres. We drove into Ziro from the road that you see on right of pic. I was floored to see these rice fields.

View of Ziro town from a hillock in old Ziro called Ziro Putu. It is the best place to get a view of the town. Even in Sept Ziro was chilly during morning and evening, pleasant during the day. To enjoy Ziro walk around - could be 8-12 kms in a day. Ziro is inhabited mostly by the Apatani tribe. Ziro is about six hours drive from Itanagar.

Pic taken from Ziro Putu - you see a runaway ie sparingly used today. Apatani tribe is famous for ladies with facial tattoos and nose plugs as you shall see later. The traditional houses are made of bamboo and the newer ones of concrete. Whilst walking thru the village saw lots of locals with cars who had come for a prayer ceremony.

About 30 minutes from old Ziro is a Shiva Lingam in Kardo forest. It is 25 feet tall and 22 feet wide. U see a side view. To see pics of Shivalingam Click here

Pic from Ziro Putu - rear view. The earlier pic was of old Ziro. Ziro is famous for paddy-cum-pisciculture. Terrace paddy fields present a unique system of poly-culture and water management. In the rice fields there is water where fish breed as well. We had lunch at one of the VKV Ziro teachers home - he offered us fish from his farm.

U see me with a Apatani couple. Lady sports a tatoo and nose plug. Every lady I saw had beads ka strings round their neck. The man reminded me of a Sardar. They grow long hair, collect it in front and then pass a knitting needle through it. Originally lady sported tattoss to look ugly so men from other tribes did not abduct them. That is not the case now. Today mainly 60 plus ladies sport sport tattoos so they are in great demand with tourists. My guide gave the lady Rs 100/ in lieu of liquor bottle. Note the house. We shall be showing pics of tribal homes separately.

Students of Vivekanand Kendra Ziro. The school has 583 students and is from class 2-10. It is affiliated to C.B.S.E. U see girls in class. When I saw the school looked like a scene out a Karan Johar movie in Switzerland. Very beautiful. During interaction with students found them, particularly girls, very bright. Initially they were shy but on day two they treated me like a friend, in fact pulled my leg a bit for e.g. Sir Sir, how did you become so tall? To see pics of Children of Arunachal Pradesh Click here

The Church is very active in Ziro. Whilst searching for the Shiva Lingam walked into the Don Bosco School at Hapoli town where a function was being held to celebrate 50 years of the Church in Ziro. As I walked down from school entrance to function there were hoardings like what you see in picture. Was told that conversions had gone up substantially in the last ten years. Major functions in the village are celebrated on a platform called Lapang. Once a tribal converts he is not allowed to use the platform. Saw Churches of other denominations as well.

Amongst the most beautiful places that I visited during Arunachal Pradesh Yatra is Mayudia. It is a hill station i.e. 56 kms from Roing in Arunachal Pradesh. Drive was super, thru dense forests and fog. It is at about 8,000 feet. Best time to visit is Nov to March. Go after it snows there. To see pics of Mayudia Click here

Pic of Monastery at Bomdila i.e. enroute from Tejpur to Tawang. Most people spend the night at Bomdilla. I would suggest stay at Dirang instead - it is very cold in Bombdila, hotels expensive and fewer places to eat then Dirang. Drive from Bhalukpong to Tawang is an experience of a life time, must do atleast once. To see pics of Tawang War Memorial Click here

Close to where we were staying heard some loud music. Walked closer it was a Music Festival I think organised by the Tourism dept. Was hoping to hear local music but disappointed to hear western music (not that I do not like it). Cross like structures that you see (cement color) are used for kiwi cultivation.

A view of the sky after sunset. Did not do but was told the 170 kms drive from Ziro to Koloriang (inhabited by Nyishi community) is a traveller''s dream come true. Its wooden hanging bridges are exciting to walk on. Of all the places I visited in Arunachal, from a touristy perspective loved Ziro, Mayudia, Tawang and Bomdila in that order. Visit the Craft Centre to buy local garments.