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Along
About Along

Along is a census town and headquarters of the West Siang district of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. It is situated about 150 km from Lilabari which is at the border of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Along is a valley and is very wonderful as far as the picturesque splendor of this place is concerned. It has mountains all around with two rivers flowing through it the Yomgo and Sipu. Both these rivers converge at Puwak Ghat and finally meet the Siang (Brahmaputra) which is one of the biggest rivers in Arunachal Pradesh. The region is also well-known for the works of cane and bamboo. Hats, cane vessels, belts, bamboo mugs , carvings etc are generally found here. Besides these, shawls, jackets and shoulder bags are also common here. There is an airport at Along serving remote areas of Arunachal Pradesh.

Along is a Zone V (Very High Damage Risk Zone) as per the Earthquake Hazard Zoning of India. The city is located on the banks of Yomgo (Siyom) and Sipu rivers which are the tributaries of the Siang river. The city and whole district is prone to landslides that often take place after heavy rains. Along lies in the north-eastern ranges of the Himalayas with an average height of 619 metres (2,031 ft) above mean sea level. The city extends nearly 3.75 kilometres (2.33 mi) from east to west. As of 2001 India census,Along had a population of 16,834.

Majority of Along's population consists of natives of Arunachal Pradesh. Various tribal language like Assamese Adi,Galo, Hindi, and English are the main languages. The main religion is Donyi-Polo which is followed by Christians, Hinduism, and small minorities of Tibetan Buddhists and Muslims.

Along marks a humid subtropical climate under the Kppen climate classification. The climate is mainly cool during winters, and humid during summers. Temperatures typically range from near about 0 C (32 F) to 32 C (90 F) over the course of a year. The average temperature during summer is between 19 C (66 F) and 27 C (81 F), and between 0 C (32 F) and 10 C(50 F) in winter. Monthly precipitation varies between 24.1 millimetres (0.95 in) in November to 487.4 millimetres (19.19 in) in July. It is usually around 35.05 millimetres (1.4 in) per month during winter and spring and around 388.13 millimetres (15.3 in) during June to September as the monsoon approaches. The average total annual precipitation is 2,476.6 millimetres (98 in). Snowfall in the region occurs generally in late November to early January in upper reaches of the district. Along receives snow occasionally.

 
History of Along

Like the rest of Arunachal Pradesh, not much is known about the early history of Along. The earliest records date from the construction of the Samten Yongcha monastery of Mahayana Buddhist 400 years ago. History shows that Along is a part of the West Siang district in Arunachal Pradesh. Along is the district headquarters and has been the place where many tribals have inhabited. Khamba, Adi, Memba, etc. live here. They follow Donyi-Polo. Some of the tribals here have adopted Baptist Christianity. The tribals of the Khamba and Memba follow Tibetan Buddhism.

 
Culture of Along

The people of Along celebrate a variety of festivals.The Yomgo River Festival takes place every year during peak tourist season.It Lasts for 34 days. It is celebrated from January 11 to January 15. This festival is celebrated with a view to promote tourism, indigenous culture and tradition, handloom & handicrafts and also to showcase its rich cultural heritage.The other festivals which are celebrated by the native people of Along are Mopin and Solung. Mopin is a festival that is celebrated to take away all the evil spirits which are believed to bring bad luck. The locals pray so that the nuisance shadows are not allowed and that any kind of natural calamity is avoided. The deity that is worshiped is the deity of wisdom and welfare. This festival is held for five days in the month of April. Locals celebrate this festival before sowing paddy. Popir is a popular dance that is performed during Mopin. It is very graceful dance.Legend has it that the festival considered as Solung, which is the principle festival of the Adis, came into its memorable existence when the Goddess of wealth, Kine-Kane had asked them in person to carry out this worship or 'puja'. Although there is abundance of theories that vouch for its beginning but this one is the most commonly recognized and accepted.Solung is celebrated by the Adi for five days the month of August. The first day or the Solung Gidi Dogin is the day when they prepare for this event. Doreph  Long the Second day is the day of animal slaughters. Binayat Binam or the third day is the day of prayers. Yaktor of Ekoph is the fourth day and on this day arms and ammunition are manufactured. Miri or the fifth day is the day of farewell. The songs that are sung during Solung are the lyrics of Solung Abung that demonstrate the life of humans, animals, plants, etc.

Tourist Attractions in Along

Along is a living example of beauty combined with history. The amazing plantations here capture a tourist's heart .Wonderful scenic surroundings with the beauty of mother nature make this a perfect tourist spot. The tribal in-habitation of the place is very fascinating and the tribes like the Adi (Gallong) are found here. The cultural travel kitty is enhanced by visits of villages like Kaying, Kabu, Jirdin, etc.

Kane Wildlife Sanctuary
Kane Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the West Siang District, which is in environs of Along. The sanctuary extends over an area of 55 sq. km and has varied flora and fauna. Some of the animal species that can be seen in this sanctuary include small cats, elephant and deer. The best time to visit this sanctuary is between the months of October to April.

Mithun and Jersey Cross Breeding Farm
Mithun and Jersey Cross Breeding Farm are situated at a distance of 25 km from Along. The farm is located in the town of Kamaki and is visited by number of travellers, where the Mithun (cross breed of Wild Gaur and Buffalo) and the Jersey cows are cross bred.

Orange Orchids
This is a very wonderful sight that is seen in Along and these orchards with their rich fruits and attractive sights give the tourist a taste of the best. The hygienic climate combined with the scenic valleys in the background, give the tourist a moment to treasure forever.

Puwak Ghat
It is a place where river Sipu and river Yomgo emerge and from there they both jointly finally converge to meet the River Siang. The biggest rivers of Arunachal Pradesh River Siang run through Along.

Malinithan
Malinithan is a recent archeological excavation in the Arunchal Pradesh. It has revealed many of the ruins of big temple from 14th century. This site is of total granite masterpieces at a distance of 150 kilometers from Along.

Darka Village
Darka Village is situated near Along in the district of Sipu River, Hiri River ,West Siang, and Hisum River are some of the main rivers that flow within the village. The village is rich in agriculture and has dense forest, and is occupied by Gola community. Tourists especially visit Darka Village during the Mopin festival, which is celebrated on a huge scale by the natives.

Kamki Hydropower Dam
It is a place where tourists love to come and see how the whole plant works.

Akashiganga
On the way to Along from Likabali, there exists a sacred place which is about 25 km from the nearest railhead at Silapathar in Assam.The name Akashiganga is indicative of a water channel in the hill. It is believed that the this place is related with the legend narrated in the Kalika Purana (8th Century A.D.) that where the corpse of Sati (Parvati) was cut into pieces by Vishnu with his discus at the refusal of Siva to part away with it, her head fell somewhere near Akashiganga. the place is, therefore, held high in esteem as a pithasthan where the devoted Hindus on pilgrimage take a holy dip in a nearby water-pool formed by the falls. The place provide gilmmering view of Brahmaputra River.

River Rafting
Along is situated on the banks of two river ie., Sipu and Yomgo (Siyom). Both Siyom river and Sipu river runs through Along. Both Siyom river and Sipu river ultimately meets the Siang (Brahmaputra) which is one of the biggest rivers in Arunachal Pradesh. Adventure enthusiasts can take up rafting and kayaking on Siyom river.Rafting on Siyom River the magic behind River Rafting also referred, as white water River Rafting is the extreme and long-lasting excitement in the raging rivers. The rivers in the upper Himalayan range are among the best in the world for river rafting sports, with many highs & lows. This variation of the region challenges the body and spirit of the river runner. The river cuts against the rocky banks, crash into rocks, crevices and breaking into white water rapids, foaming, swirling, and falling in a thunderous noise. India has an appealing array of river rafting regions, which suits both amateurs and professionals.

Hanging Bridges
The Hanging Bridges are a local bridge built on the Siang River at Along. They are made of bamboo and cane. The bridge is worth watching and talks about the skills of the locals. Fishing is great fun in the waters near the bridge. Visitors enjoy the exciting walk on the bridge and the wonderful valley view that they get while crossing it. These bridges were built by the local tribes to create a mode of transport amidst the hills. The 60 to 70 meters long bridge is a major connectivity for the tribes to other hilly areas.

Patum Bridge
The Patum Bridge is built over the Siyom or Yomgo River in Along. The 146 meter long cable bridge not only offers comfortable transport but is also a tourist attraction. This is a concrete bridge which is made for vehicle transportation. The view from the bridge where one can see the whole city is amazing. The bridge shines in the night with lights and this makes it look wonderful. During winters the snow clad mountains behind further add to its beauty.

How to reach Along

Along by Rail
Reaching Along via rail is not possible as there is no direct train. The nearest railway station is located in the town of Silapathar.This railway station is just a minor railway station and only one train stops in this station. The train that runs to Silapathar is the Arunachal Express. Air conditioned coaches are not available in this train.

Along by Road
Access to Along by road is made possible by the well-maintained and efficient network of roadways and National Highway 52 that links the town with Pasighat. The transport system within the town is also good and bus or private vehicles can be used to travel from one part of the town to another.

Along by Air
Along has its own airport that offers connections for remote areas of state. The Aalo airport is 23-km from Along and Pawan Hans Helicopter cater their services from Ziro, Itanagar and Daporijo to Along. One can catch flights from other places of India and then catch direct helicopters to Along.

 

 


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