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Itanagar
About Itanagar

Itanagar is the capital of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Itanagar is located at the foothills of Himalayas. It comes administratively under Papum Pare district. The capital houses the Rajbhawan , the official residence of the Governor has also many worth visiting places in and around Itanagar. Itanagar is located at 27.1N 93.62E. It has an average height of 750 metres.

Interesting places around are historical fort called Ita-fort which dates back to the 15th century legendary Ganga Lake or Gyakar Sinyi and the new Buddhist temple known as Buddha Vihar set apart by the Dalai Lama.Itanagar is the capital of Arunachal Pradesh which is scattered with archeological sites of great historical value. There are also institutions of great socio-cultural significance.

The city is named after the irregular shaped Itafort (the fort of bricks) which is a centre of attraction located within the heart of Itanagar. The bricks used in the fort with total brickwork of 16,200 cubic metre length dates back to the 14th-15th Century. According to some scholars, these bricks are similar with those made during the supremacy of Ramachandra of Mayapur who was a king of the Jitari Dynasty.

Itanagar has been the capital of Arunachal Pradesh since 20th April 1974. Itanagar is located at the foothills. The township is located at 350 metres above mean sea level. It comes administratively under Papumpare district. The Nishis or Nishings is the major tribe in Itanagar area. However, Itanagar can be called as mini India, as people from all over the country, live here in harmony.

Other important places of interest around Itanagar is Donyi-Polo Vidya Bhawan a Premier Publics School, North-Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology(Nirjuli) - a engineering insitute providing innovative way of education, Arunachal University (Doimukh) and Government Piggery and Poultry Farm (Nirjuli), Indira Gandhi Park.

Itanagar has been identified with Mayapur, the capital of the 11th century AD Jitri dynasty.Itanagar is presently occupied by a number of mixed tribes (Adi,Apatani,Nyishi being the most predominant among many other tribes).Important economic activities include farming and agriculture.Itanagar features an oceanic climate with dry, mild (however, cold for Indian standards) winters and cool, wet summers.

 
Festivals of Itanagar

A number of festivals are celebrated in Itanagar.

Losar Festival
Losar is the New Year celebration of the Monpas. It is celebrated for a period of five days. The festival is marked by prayers, hoisting of religious flags atop the homes, reading of Buddhist scriptures, and lighting butter lamps in the houses.

Dree Festival
Dree Festival is an Apatani agricultural rite. It involves the sacrifice of fowls, eggs and animals to the gods Tamu, Metii and Danyi Pilo (Sun and Moon God). The purpose of the festival is to appease these gods so that famine can be avoided.

Nyokum Festival
Nyokum is a festival which is celebrated by the Nyishi people of Arunachal Pradesh. The Word Nyokum has been derived from two words - Nyok means land (earth) and Kum means collectiveness or togetherness. Therefore, the Nyokum festival may be interpreted as inviting all the Gods and Goddesses of the universe, with the Nyokum Goddess as the principal deity, to a particular venue at a particular time and is normally worshipped by the people irrespective of caste, creed or class for better productivity, prosperity and happiness for all human beings on earth.

Reh Festival
Reh festival is mainly connected with the Idu Mishimis. The special attraction of the six-day celebrations is the priest dance. During Tamladu, the Digaru Mishimis offer prayers to the God of the Earth and the God of the Water. The supreme God Jebmalu is also worshipped. Khan is significant because of a ceremony where the priest ties a piece of wool around everybody's neck. During Sangken, people sprinkle water on each other as a sign of cheerfulness, while coating of rice powder on each other's face marks the beginning of the five-day celebrations of Mopin.

Solung Festival
Solung Festival is the prime festival of Adi in the first week of September for five days or more. It is a harvest festival performed after the sowing of seeds and transplantation, to seek for future bumper crops.

Tourist Attractions in Itanagar

Tourist Attractions in Itanagar are-

Ganga Lake
Ganga Lake is a beautiful natural lake locally known as Gekar Sinyi (Confined water in the Nyishi dialect) which is bounded by a landmass of hard rock. Primeval vegetation, orchids masses on tall trees and tree ferns contribute to its popularity as a picnic spot. Boating facilities and a swimming pool are available at the site.
From here tourist places like Bomdila, Parshuram Kund (in Lohit district), Malinithan (in west Siang district), Bhishmak Nagar (in Dibang Valley) are also easily accessible by mini bus or share-taxi.

Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the major tourist attractions in the city, this sanctuary is an animal lover's delight. The park is home to many species of animals, birds and plants, such as macaque, hillock gibbon, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, red panda, apart from being home to over four hundred species of birds.

Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum
It provides a kaleidoscope of Arunachal Pradesh and one can see musical instruments, textiles, wood carvings, handicrafts and archeological finds, while a workshop in the Handicrafts Centre specializes in traditional cane manufacture. There is also a library within the museum complex, which is open to the public.

Polo Park
This is a beautiful botanical garden and has evolved as a popular tourist attraction in Itanagar. The park also has a mini zoo, which houses reptiles, rabbits, and guinea pigs.

Ganga Lake
The Ganga Lake, also known as the Gyaka Sinyi is a striking lake which is a famous tourist attraction in Itanagar. The lake is set in the middle of a lot of greenery and is also known as the forest lake.

Craft Centre & Emporium
Craft Centre & Emporiumis Situated at Itanagar, here one can see and buy local artifacts like wall painting, traditional costumes made of natural vegetable and herbal dye yarns, and attractive utility items made of cane and bamboo.

Ita Fort
Ita Fort is one of the most significant historical sites in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The name literally means "Fort of bricks"( brick being called "Ita" in the Ahom language). The Ita Fort at Arunachal Pradesh was constructed as early as the 14th or the 15th century. The fort has an uneven shape, built mainly with bricks dating back to the 14th-15th Century. The total brickwork is of 16,200 cubic metre lengths which have been identified by some scholars with Mayapur of Ramachandra, a king of the Jitari Dynasty. The fort has three different entrances at three different sides, which are western, the eastern and the southern sides. Jawaharlal Nehru Museum, Itanagar is also known for showcasing tribal culture of the state.

Indira Gandhi Park
Indira Gandhi Park is a popular park located at Itanagar.

Zoological Park (Zoo)
Zoological Park is located at Chimpu, the park has a variety of fauna including avi-fauna species.

Gompa Buddhist Temple:
Consecrated by the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist temple, a beautiful yellow roofed shrine reflects the extensive Tibetan influence and provides good views of Itanagar and the surrounding countryside.

Apart from these tourist attractions, Itanagar is also popular for trekking options for adventure lovers. The Itanagar-Ziro-Daporijo-Pashighat is a beautiful trekking route which begins in Itanagar and is gaining popularity among tourists.

How to reach Itanagar

By Rail
The nearest railway station to Itanagar is at Harmuti in Assam, which is situated at a distance of 52 km from Itanagar. There are regular taxi services from Harmuti to Itanagar and they charge Rs.500-600 for the journey. Harmuti is well connected to other cities in the North East. - See more at:

By Road
Itanagar has a good road network and there are overnight express buses which connect Itanagar to Guwahati. Apart from these, the Arunachal State Transport Corporation run government buses which connect Itanagar to other cities in the North East as well.

By Air
Lilabari in Assam is the nearest airport to Itanagar which is located about 67 km from Itanagar, Lilabari is well connected by flights from Guwahati. Pawan Hans has helicopter services between Itanagar and Guwahati three times a week. There is also helicopter service between Guwahati and Naharlagun (Itanagar)

 
 


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