Lohit is an administrative district in Arunachal Pradesh. It is one of the untouched places in India. The area has a huge stretch of forests and river valleys, relatively undisturbed by human activity. The clear night sky lulls the area into a peaceful slumber every night and the crooning rooster wakes them up. The region has a vivid cultural history but the natural beauty surpasses all. Tributaries of the transnational river Brahmaputra drains the region. After all mother nature, still, cannot comprehend the invisible lines we have created.
The area finds mention in Hindu epics like Mahabharat. The district is named after the Lohit river that is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘red‘. The reason for the peculiar nomenclature is the eccentric nature of the river. During the transition period, the river takes up reddish hues reflecting the sands beneath. Thus, like the morning sky, the river turn from a vibrant array of red to blues.
The area has really basic facilities. Untouched by tourists, the area neither has good roads nor does it have five-star lodging facilities. Thus, a trip to Lohit would not be one of laid back Sundays but more like take charge Thursdays. The area is a delight for backpackers who would wish to put up their camps on an unplanned route. The wandering spirits might find it fun to interact with the tribal people, who are one with the nature. For the less foolhardy, the area has government lodgings like the circuit houses and some privately-owned lodges. The basic facilities in the area make the trip different from the usual vacation one takes. The whole point of the trip is, to step out of your comfort zone to experience something unique.
Do not forget to take into account the many festivals that are celebrated in the area. They are the quickest way to get a glimpse into the life of the local people.
1. Parshuram Kunda
The place has mythical significance and has tales from Mahabharat about the angry saint Parshuram. Last year alone about 30,000 devotees visited the area. A dip in the kunda here on Makar Sankranti is said to cleanse you of all your sins. The area also has a temple dedicated to lord Parshuram. The area is as scenically serene as it is religiously significant.
2. Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary
Kamlang wildlife sanctuary has numerous birds and animals. The area is lined with pristine Alpine trees, bamboos and shrubs. The sanctuary has various varieties of big cats like leopard, tigers, clouded leopard and snow leopard. The glow lake is a panoramic site inside the sanctuary. The lake reflects the mighty snow laden mountains that surround it.
3. Dong Valley
The first rays of the sun touch India here. The sunlight illuminates the tranquil conjunction of three countries namely, India, Myanmar and China. Dong valley is an eight-hour trek from the Walong army camp. This was the place where many Indian soldiers laid their lives when China invaded the lands in 1962.
4. Buddha Vihar
The Buddha vihar has a shrine of Lord Buddha and the adjoining monastery houses the many monks in the area. The monastery, like all the other places in the area, is surrounded by lush green forest. The green of the forest is in sharp contrast to the golden architecture of the buildings. Devotees come here to offer their prayers as also to find answers to question in the tranquil environment of the monastery.
5. Birding and Backpacking
The area has a wide variety of birds that can be seen even while travelling from one place to another only if one has the eye. The forest setting interspersed with the many villages makes the area an ideal location for camping and trekking. The local people act as both guides and porters. You would get a firsthand experience of the agricultural tracts and the indigenous way of living. Conversation with the locals and trying to understand their culture and stories of survival in the forest is as important part of the trek as the sites. The many rivers draining the area also make it an important white water rafting site. Do test the waters if you are in the area.
A holiday to Lohit would be like no other. It would be a part of that travel story that would frequent dinner table conversations. It would be that rare experience, you were impulsive or brave enough to take. The scenic setting of the area and the mixture of the Hindu, Buddhist and tribal culture would be an image engrained in your memory. Before the trip, do not forget to procure the Inner line permit.
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