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Monasteries & indigenous peoples in Arunachal Pradesh round trip | Nordostinidien und Sikkim Reisen - Bild zu Monasteries & indigenous peoples in Arunachal Pradesh round trip

Tour description

Translated from Sanskrit, the name of India’s northeasternmost state, Arunachal Pradesh, roughly means “land of mountains lit by the dawn”. And even if this description gives you a first hint of the beautiful mountain panoramas that you will admire on this tour, the reality is indescribably more impressive. One of India’s most sparsely populated regions, Arunachal Pradesh stretches over 84,000 km², from low-lying subtropical rainforests and cloud forests to eternally snow-covered heights of over 7,000 m above sea level. Just as diverse as the landscape and nature is the culture of this dramatic region, which clearly shows the fine line between the mighty past and the progress of modernity. This sometimes inhospitable mountain world was first settled by indigenous peoples descended from the Tibetans, such as the Monpas and Sherdukpen, who continue to live predominantly in the Buddhist tradition and built some of the most powerful monasteries in India. Between 500 and 700 monks, for example, still live and teach at an altitude of 2,800 m in Tawang Monastery, the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama.

The nearby women’s monastery Ani Gompa shows that the nuns here are also friendly towards Western visitors and are happy to provide an insight into their everyday life. And even though many monasteries used to function as forts and are still known today as dzongs, or monastery fortresses, today it is the smiles of the friendly and warm people that lend warmth to the cold walls and leave the most lasting impression on travelers.

The second part of the tour focuses on encounters with various tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. In the wide valley of Ziro, for example, live the Atapani where a special form of aquaculture is still practised today and the older women have face tattoos and wear nose plugs.
We will round off our round trip through Arunachal Pradesh with a visit to the river island of Majuli in Assam and the land of the Konjaks in Nagaland. Although the Konyaks have renounced headhunting, every visit to their village is nevertheless surrounded by an air of pioneering spirit and a thirst for adventure. Our stay on the river island of Majuli in Assam, surrounded by the flowing waters of the mighty Brahmaputra, gives us an insight into the Mishing tribe’s way of life and the birthplace of Vishnuism.
A tour to Arunacha Pradesh requires a good dose of adaptability! Due to the remoteness, an simple standard of accommodation must be expected. We constantly check the possibilities and will integrate the best options into your travel program.

Bild von Vikramjit Kakati – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

We are happy to tailor your tour to your needs.
Combine your tour with other destinations or activities. For example, combine this tour with a “Meghalaya round trip” or add a luxurious stay in a tea garden or in the Kaziranga National Park in Assam. A visit to the Sualkuchi silk weaving mill or a visit to Hajo with its religious and architectural diversity can also be integrated into your travel program.
Contact us – we will be happy to help you.


  • Lively city life in Guwahati
  • Buddhist cultural heritage, impressive monastery fortresses in the Tawang and Dirang region
  • Beautiful mountain panoramas and natural landscapes – mystical waterfalls, cloud forests
  • Experience the diversity of indigenous peoples, also in the lower regions

Itinerary short description

  • Day 1: Arrival at Guwahati airport (50 m above sea level) and transfer to a hotel. First sightseeing. Overnight stay at ahotel.
  • Day 2: Onward journey to Bhalukpong (165 m above sea level) on the border with Assam and exploration of the town. Overnight stay at a hotel.
  • Day 3: Driving to Dirang (1,580 m above sea level). Overnight stay in hotel.
  • Day 4: Visiting the surrounding indigenous villages, such as Thembang and Sangti. Overnight stay at a hotel.
  • Day 5: Visiting to the Dirang monastery and onward journey to Tawang (2,800 m above sea level). Overnight stay in hotel.
  • Day 6: Visiting the Tawang monastery and meet the monks. On the way back to Tawang visit the women’s monastery Ani Gompa. Overnight stay in a hotel.
  • Day 7: We will visit we visit various villages in the surroundings of Tawang. Overnight stay at a hotel.
  • Day 8: Continuing to Bomdila (2570 m above sea level) with a visit to various monasteries. Overnight stay in hotel.
  • Day 9: Transfer from Bomdila to Seppa
  • Option: Day 9: Transfer from Bomdila to Tezpur (75 m above sea level); Day 10: Return flight from Tezpur to Guwahati
  • Day 10: Driving on from Seppa to Ziro, a pretty valley surrounded by pine-covered mountains. Ziro is the heart of the Apatani tribe. The older women wear special nose decorations and facial tattoos. Older men wear their hair in knots on their heads and have facial tattoos on their chins. The new generation of Apatani men and women, however, have not continued these old traditions since the 1970s. The agricultural tradition that is still practiced includes rice and aquaculture. Overnight stay in a hotel.
  • Day 11: Sightseeing in Ziro. Visiting the villages of the Apatani tribe, the handicraft workshop and the local museum.
  • Day 12: Ziro – Majuli (travel time approx. 5 hours + 30 minutes by ferry) Our journey today ends with an adventurous ferry ride across the Brahmaputra river to the largest inhabited river island in the world: Majuli in Assam. This is where the culture of Vishnuism, which is still alive today, originated. “Belonging to Vishnu” is one of the three most important branches of Hinduism. Here Vishnu is accepted as the supreme all-being. All other gods are subordinate to him or emerge from him.
  • Option: Day 12: Transfer to Gogamukh (travel time 6 hours) in Assam and overnight stay in a camp on the banks of the Subhansiri River; Day 13: Onward journey via Pasighat and across the Siang River. Overnight stay in a guesthouse or homestay; Day 14: Aalo: Excursion to the villages of the Adi Galo tribe in and around Aalo at 300 m above sea level. Walk along the Siyom River and over a suspension bridge to a Galo village on the other side with a view of the pretty hilly landscape. Overnight stay in a guesthouse or homestay; Day 15: Transfer to Dibrugarh airport (travel time approx. 5.5 hours) and then return flight.
  • Day 13: We will take time to visit villages of the indigenous people and discover the Vishnuism culture. The Assamese reformer St. Shankardeva founded Vishnuism monasteries here in the 15th century, so-called “Satras”. We have the opportunity to experience a dance performance and immerse ourselves in the art of mask making. In the afternoon, we visit villages of the Mishing tribe from the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh. The traditional Mishing houses are built on stilts. Mishing are excellent fishermen and are skilled at navigating the boats along the ever-changing banks of the Brahmaputra. Overnight stay in an simple bamboo house.
  • Day 14: Majuli – Mon (travel time approx. 6 hours + 1 hour ferry). We will cross the Brahmaputra again by ferry and then drive to Nagaland. On the way we visit a local market.
    – Mon lies at the heart of the tradition-conscious Konyak tribe. They gave up headhunting a long time ago, but otherwise they live more traditionally than all the other 15 Naga tribes. The Konyak are gifted craftsmen and artists. Beautiful wood carvings, doas (machetes), headdresses and necklaces are evidence of this living tradition. Overnight stay at a hotel in Mon.
  • Day 15: Mon: Today we will visit the village of Longwa where traditions are still lived authentically. Meet the villagers of this Konyak village, which lies on the border between Myanmar and Nagaland. The “Angh” – village chief – watches over 50 villages in Nagaland and Myanmar. Tribesmen with impressive facial tattoos can still be found here today. The village also offers a fantastic panoramic view of the surrounding hills and Myanmar (Burma). Overnight stay at a hotel.
  • Day 16: Mon – Dibrugarh
  • Day 17: Dibrugarh – Return flight to Guwahati, Kolkata or Delhi

Best time to travel

In Arunachal Pradesh, you will experience the best travel climate from October to April, with ideal conditions in the period from October to November and from March to April.

Additional options

  • Shorten this tour by focusing on Arunachal’s cultural heritage in and around Tawang or just visiting the lower-lying settlement areas of various indigenous peoples around Tezpur, Ziro, Daporjio, Aalo and Dibrugarh
  • Combine this tour with our travel module “Assam” and visit the Kaziranga National Park, which is well worth seeing, or switch off for a few luxurious days in a tea garden.
  • This travel module can also be ideally combined with other destinations in northeast India, such as our travel modules “Meghalaya” and “Nagaland