Arunachal Pradesh-Facts and Information, Part-II

This is the second part on Arunachal Pradesh,

Important places of Arunachal Pradesh

Itanagar:

It is the capital of the state. It has been identified with Mayapur, the capital of the Jitri Dynasty of the 11th  century A.D. Itanagar has a beautiful yellow roofed shrine, the new Buddhist temple in a well maintained ground behind a stupa bearing the portrait of a monk. At one side is a tree planted by Dalai Lama. The grounds of the sanctuary manage the cost of a decent perspective on Itanagar town. A temple of Ram Krishna Mission has added a new vista to the state capital as well.

Gekar Sinyi:

This natural lake, located 6 km. away from Itanagar, is a beautiful green forest lake. It is, indeed, a good picnic spot to the picnickers with its serene surroundings.

Itanagar Zoo:

The zoo is situated i8 km. from Naharlagun near Banderdewa police check

post and provides the visitors beautiful glimpses of uncommon Himalayan fauna.

Tawang Monastery:

This world famous monastery is surrounded by mountains, overlooking the Tawang Valley. Five hundred Lamas live in its 65 residential buildings and it is rich in ancient scripture, images and an eight meter high gilded Buddha. The monastery which belongs to the Gelupa or Reformed Sect of Mahayana Buddhist monks is said to be 400 years old.

Bomdila:

It is the base camp of West Kameng locale. It stands at a height of over 2530 metres from sea level offering a good view of Himalayan landscape.

Dirang:

Dirang is between Bomdila and Tawang.  The tourists can visit sheep raising farms, the Apple farms here. A few kilometers from Dirang there is a natural aquifer where individuals go for a blessed plunge to wash away sins and sicknesses and obviously to visit the Kalachakra Gompa.

Tipi:

The orchid research centre in West Kameng district, generally known as the Tipi Orchidarium, is a glass house with over 7500 orchids.

Sela Pass:

It is located at a height of 4,215 meters from sea level. The bleak, craggy and the high altitude lake shimmers crystal blue in clear weather but become grey and ominous when clouds hover over the pass.

Ziro:

The headquarters of Lower Subansiri district is situated at one end of a narrow valley hemmed in by low, pine-clad hills. Ziro resembles certain parts of Kashmir. It is ideal for trekking and hiking and there is limitless adventures awaiting the trekker.

Tezu:

It is the headquarters of Lohit district. It is famous for Parasuramkund, 20 km. from the town. Here a fair is held during Makar-Sankranti, recalling the legend that Parasuram, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, absolved himself of the sin of matricide by washing his hands in this pool. Pilgrims from all over the country come here for a holy dip in the Kund to wash away their sins. There is also a large lake called the Glow Lake which can be reached on foot by one day of climbing up and down the hills. It is ideal for trekking and hiking, river rafting and angling on the river Lohit,

Malinithan:

The holy shrine is situated at Likabali in the West Siang district. It is an ideal place for the tourist to visit the ruins of a big temple belonging to the 14th-15th century. The ruins have been excavated, it includes sculpture of Indra and Airavata, Surya, Nandi Bull and Akashi- Ganga Waterfalls, located 5 kms from Malinithan where people come for a holy bath to wash away sins.

Pasighat:

It is the base camp of East Siang area. It stands on the right bank of river Siang. Siang is the name of stream Brahmaputra in Arunachal. There is a beautiful sanctuary called the Lali Wildlife Sanctuary where wild buffalo, tiger, sambar, deer and wild ducks are found in plenty. It is also an idyllic place for trekking and hiking, river rafting, boating and angling on river Siang.

Daporijo:

It is the headquarters of Upper Subansiri district, situated on the right bank of river Subansiri. It is a beautiful village with a beautiful cave located a few kilometers away.

Along:

Along is the headquarters of West Siang district. Situated on the south bank of river Siyom, it is famous for Mithun and Jersey cross breeding farm at Kamki, 25 km. from the village.

Bhalukpong:

Bhalukpong is the headquarters of Bhalukpong circle, famous for the Tipi orchid centre, 3 km. from here. It offers an idyllic picnic spot on the bank of river Kameng.

Miao:

Miao is a subdivision headquarters. It has a beautiful mini zoo. Many Tibetan refugees are settled here. They are famous for their, colourful woolen carpets of various designs.

Itanagar Zoological Park:

Situated about 6 km. from Itanagar, it is a miniature zoo, offering exhilarating joy to visitors. It is famous for Royal Bengal Tigers, Pythons, Crocodiles, Vultures, Peacocks, Monkeys, Birds, etc.

Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum:

It is built in Itanagar. The museum displays maps of fine art works highlighting the inhabitants, types of houses, festivals, dances, and many others. The museum is also enriched by the portable miniature diorama, projecting aspects of life and culture of different tribes.

Festivals of Arunachal Pradesh

Celebrations structure a basic part of the socio-social existence of the individuals. They are the reflections of the individuals’ way of life. The ethnic tribes follow a very unique type of religious life; Buddhism is one of the most prominent religions in the state. Besides, there are Hinduism, Vaishnavism and different types of tribal religions. Sometimes festivals act as an extension of the religious life. Some of the important festivals celebrated by the people of Arunachal Pradesh are:

Losar:

It is a five-day long festival, celebrated by the Monpas, to welcome the New Year. Religious fags are hoisted atop the houses of the people.

Reh:

Edu Mishmis celebrate this festival, in order to foster peace and prosperity of the people. Priest dance is an integral part of the festival.

OJiale:

Wanchos celebrate this festival during March-April for six to twelve days Villagers exchange bamboo tubes of rice beer as a mark of greeting and goodwill. Pig’s skin is offered to the village chief as a respect

Tamladu:

This festival is celebrated by the Digaru Mishmi tribes. They offer prayers to the God of Earth and Water for protection against natural calamities.

Khan:

In this festival, the priest ties a piece of wool around everybody’s neck and the belief is that, the exchanted thread will bring good luck to each one of them. This festival also signifies an occasion for the reunion of the people.

Sangken:

The key objective of the festival is to realise, in depth, the images of Lord Buddha. It heralds the new year.

Mopin:

This festival is celebrated with much funfare. Smearing rice powder on each other’s faces marks the beginning of the festival.

Dances of Arunachal Pradesh

Dances form a vital element in the zest and joy of living of the tribal people, they vary from highly stylised religious dance dramas of the Buddhists to the martial steps and colourfal performances of the Noctes and Wanchos. During a dance, the people put on their best traditional costumes, decorate their spears and daos, paint new designs and adom themselves with multicoloured beads and ornaments. The dances performed by the tribes can be broadly divided into four groups: Ritual, Festive, Recreational and Pantomime.

Ritual dances form part of a rite performed to secure prosperity of the community, to reap a good harvest, to seek peace for a departed soul or to promote fertility. Festive dances form recreational part of the people during festival. Recreational dances are performed on occasions to inspire the participants to express their mirth through gay rhythms. Pantomimes or dance-dramas narrate a mythical story or illustrate a moral and are mainly educative in purpose.

Below is a brief description of the Dances of Arunachal Pradesh:

Adi: Ponung. Taapu, Eme-relo, Boi-take, Yakjong, etc.

Aka: Niechu dou, Dogoh dou

Apatani: Paktu-Itu, Demindu, Busidu or Amualu, Taktamo, Haruk Handu, etc.

Hill Miri: Boyen or Kuba Tondone, Pojuh, Nifin, Ponung ​Kakong Tokai, Kachang Aluwang, Ka-Fifai dance drama, Ka- Mukcho

Khamba: Troh, Guru Chanji Pantomime, Padi or Sethoh pantomime

Khowa: Gasisiu, Clown, etc.

Miji: Dumai, Jei etc

Mishmi: Idu, Ah-ih, Mesala, Digaru-Beeiya, Nuiya

Memba: Broh dance, Bardo pantomime.

Monpa: Yak, Lion & Peacock,Sonyi-Yalo, Deer pantomime, Ajilamu panto- mime, Broh and other monastic dances.

Nishing: Rikhambada, Northon, Buiya Sodan, etc.

Nocte: Laku Bawang, Mang buong, Ramvan buong, etc.

Singpho: Manglup ceremony and dance.

Sherdukpen: Jam or Bardo, Yak pantomime, Jik Charm or Seeh pantomime Brohpu, etc

Tagin: Si Ome, Nibutamu dance, etc.

Thangsa: Moh festival dance, Sapoloso dance, Wancho Ozele, Hambowshon

Ponung:

This is the dance of the Adis. This folk dance is performed before harvesting, by teams of young girls in perfect rhythmic unison.

Taapu:

This is a war dance of the Adis. It is based on the myth of a struggling life of Tani (man) for survival, which was once attacked by his enemies to crush his supremacy. He was saved from the peril by Gumin Soying who was appointed as his guardian by his divine protectors, Doying

Bote and Kiine Naane.

Eme-Relo:

This is the dance of Gallong Adis that shows the action and movement of the

rivers. It is popular among the womenfolk of the Adis of West Siang district.

Yakjong:

This traditional dance is performed during the Aaran festival which is the New Year festival of the Adis. To spread the message of brotherhood the children go round the village from house to house collecting rice, meat, etc. for feast after the festival.

Beesu-Naayi:

It is a traditional dance resembling monkey dance. The dance is based on a mythology, that there were four brothers-Niinur Bote (a blacksmith). Robo (an evil spirit), Tani man) and Beesung (monkey), sons of Pedong Naane, and there was great secret enmity between the brothers. In one instance Beesung kilied Niinur Bote secretly with an arrow on instigation from Robo.

Kacheng Aluwang:

It is usually performed by the Khamfis of Lohit district during the time of various festivals. This dance depicts their traditional way of receiving a guest

Kakong Tokai:

This dance is performed by Khamtis of Lohit district to hail the guests and

VIPS on various occasions and festivals.

Nechi Dau:

This happy dance belongs to the Aka youths of West Kameng. They sing and dance collectively glorifying the beauty of flowers and omnipotence of the creator.

Pakhu itu:

This dance is performed by the Apatanis who lived in the scenic Ziro piateau known for paddy cultivation, who believed that their first paddy seedlings were gifted to them by the wife of their forefather Abotani. They also believed that the sown seedlings were in danger of being eaten by the three birds Pakicu, Parii and Pagi Yaru. This dance depicts the games played between these birds and children engaged to protect the seedlings

Daminda:

This artistic dance belongs to the Apatanis. It is performed during the Dree festival to celebrate the beginning of rice planting season when the people prey for a good harvest and protection from natural calamities.

Si-Ome:

This popular folk dance is staged by the Tagins of Upper Subansiri district. It is generally performed by the womenfolk during their Si-Donyi festival. The song accompanied by the dance is a prayer to the goddess for bountiful crops.

Rikham Pada:

This medley of dances and songs is collectively performed by one of the largest tribes, the Nishis of Lower Subansiri district during their main Nyokum festival. It is said that these dances were introduced by their migrated forefathers Abotani. The songs and dances are performed to honour various Gods, some songs are in the form of ballads depicting legends of love which were performed by women traditionally to please their husbands. Rikhampada is one of the most popular dances in the state.

Aji Lamu:

It is a popular folk dance among the Monpas and Sherdukpens of Tawang and West Kameng districts. Through this dance, the Tibetan version of Ramayana has been depicted. There are five characters in this move each having a fanciful starting point. They are Jalee, the Chief protagonist, Nyapo the antagonist, Nyarok and two other female characters Lhama and Lhumu. Lhamu was the fairy from heaven who later became the queen of Jale. The dance also depicts the story of Lhamu’s marriage to the King Gepu Chong Norjung represented by Jalee.

Monpa dance:

The dance belongs to the Monpa of West Kameng district. It is performed during the New Year Festival, (Losar) to welcome the guests.

Sonyi-Yalo:

It is one of the famous dances amongst the Monpas of Tawang district. It is performed by both boys and girls to welcome and pay honour to the visiting dignitaries.

Llon and peacock:

This dance belongs to Monpas. The lion dance symbolises that prosperity comes when there is complete harmony and cooperation between all living things on this earth. It depicts the unique friendship between a saint meditating in the mountains and the snow lions and peacock who gives him company and nourishment.

Yak dance:

It is a popular dance of the Buddhist tribes, particularly the Monpas and Sherdukpens. The masked dancers represent the members of a family who have probably discovered the Yak with the help of a magical bird. The Yak is looked upon as the provider of permanent source of wealth and prosperity because it is a multipurpose animal.

Dumai:

This dance belongs to the Miji community of Kameng district. It is performed by the womenfolk to receive visitors in their village.

Jam dance or Bardo:

This dance is widely performed by the Sherdukpens in the Kameng district. The masked dancers dance to the accompaniment of drums and cymbals believing that they can vanquish the evil spirits through the medium of this Jam dance.

Ah-lh dance:

It is basically a priest dance of the Idu Mishmis of Dibang Valley district. The dance depicts the action of a priest who, with his divine powers, tries to discover the cause of sickness of a person and seek solution for its cure. He performed the necessary rites and sacrifices

Mol dance:

This dance is performed during the annual festival of the Moklum group of the Tangsas in the Changlang district. Mol means, to dance, and the festival itself is associated with dancing and merrymaking. The dance narrates the origin of human beings and other objects. The God Farah is prayed for granting peace, prosperity, happiness and long life to all the villagers. The Mol festival falls in the month of April-May, just after sowing of paddy and before the harvesting of millet takes place.

Mesala dance:

It is a sort of death dance. The dance belongs to the Idu Mishmis of Dibang Valley district. They perform this dance when there is any death in tribal wars or fighting. Both the victor and victimized families perform the same ceremony with a view to succeeding either in taking revenge or to prevent any such revengeful action by the other party.

Loku Bawang:

This festival is celebrated by the Nocte tribe of the Tirap district. It is performed in praise of the unity and strength of the village society. The dance also describes the beauty of the Nocte land, its flowers, forests and animals as well.

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