Ziro is a town that is situated in the Lower Subansiri
district of the state of Arunachal Pradesh. It has been a
preferred town for World Heritage Site for a number of years
now. In a meeting of Archeological Survey of India (ASI) on
December 12, 2012 it was shortlisted for inclusion in
Tentative List for further nomination to UNESCO for
inscription in the World Heritage Site. Located in the remote
state of Arunachal Pradesh in India, Ziro is a picturesque
eastern Himalayan town and home to the ever-fascinating
Apatani Tribe. Situated in a valley, the town and it’s
surroundings is a vast backdrop of greenery, filled with pine
forests and rice-paddy farms. The Apatanis who are the major
tribe of the valley, follow the religion of Donyi-Polo which
is the worship of the Sun and Moon. They live animistic lives
of farmers and have several distinctive and interesting
customs, such as the older women of the tribe who have tattoos
in their faces and bodies, and wear huge nose plugs.
Sustainability plays a big role in the lifestyle of tribe, a
example of which are the farms, where along with rice and
paddy, the tribe even harvests fish.
The town is said to be one of the most attractive and pristine
towns in the country. The place has a tribal heritage and many
of the local population belong to the various tribes in the
region. The Apani Tabu tribe is one of the main tribes in the
region and the people of this tribe are very distinctive. The
best time to visit Ziro would be from February to October.
A distinctive feature of the town is the Paddy cum Fish
rearing system of the town. This cannot be seen anywhere else
in the country. These farms are must to see while travelling
to the town of Ziro. The Tarin Fish Farm is also worth to
visit and this is situated around four km from the town of
Hapoli. A hill called the Ziro Puto is situated nearby and one
can witness an wonderful view of the valley from this vantage
There are a few trekking spots which are located near the
place as well. The Talley Valley is the main trekking site and
it is a hot spot of bio diversity. There is a Shiva Linga that
is situated at Kardo and this is also a good place to see.
Ziro is occupied by more than 30,000 Apatani tribal people.
One of the most advanced tribal groups in Arunchal Pradesh
state, they well-known for the conservation and Paddy-cum-Fish
culture which is distinctive amongst the Arunachal tribals.
They also have a unique home bamboo plantations. A visit to an
Apatani tribal home is a must. As per folklore, the women of
the Apatani tribes were so beautiful that they wanted to look
unattractive to males from neighboring tribes. So they were
driven to protect themselves by tattooing and putting
coin-sized nose plugs. Now these system is banned.
Eventhough Ziro is considered as a hill station, it does not
offer too many tourist sights to offer. Five small rivulets
namely Subansiri, Nishi, Apatani, Dafala and Miri flow
nearby.Ziro is well-known for bamboo items, like bamboo
baskets, Apatani handlooms and locally made handicraft items.
Also worth buying in Ziro are colourful rugs, scarves and
jackets. The District Industries Centre, which is situated in
the town of Hapoli stocks cane items and other handloom and
Ziro boasts some peaks also; one is the Salin peak on the old
Apatani trade route to North Lakhimpur. Kile Pakho, one of the
high mountain ridge is just 7 km from Ziro where one can view
the Eastern Himalayas. Ziro is rich in biological diversity
with flora and fauna. There is a Government Handicraft Centre,
from where one can collect hat made of cane or bamboo,
colourful shawls and textiles woven by the tribals. An
extraoridinary crafted metal replica of the mithun is
available from here.
is the district headquarter of Lower Subansiri district and is
one of the oldest towns in Arunachal Pradesh. It was the
headquarters of the undivided Subansiri district which comprises
the present districts of Upper Subsansiri, Kurung Kumey, Lower
Subansiri and Papum Pare. It is situated at 27.63°N 93.83°E at
an elevation of 1688 metres (5538 feet) to 2438 meters (8000
feet). Its cool weather in summer is its major attraction. It is
well-known for its pine clad gentle hills around it and rice
field all around. Ziro is home to the Apa-Tani tribe.
Apa-Tanis have few unique special characteristic features which
differs from other tribes in Arunachal Pradesh and India. Some
of these special characteristic features are:
1) Apa-Tanis are permanently settled in one place whereas other
tribes are wandering in nature move from one place to another in
search of fertile lands. They travel huge area of forests and
settle temporarily for not more than four to five years in one
2) Apa-Tanis cultivate permanent wet land cultivations whereas
other tribes practice dry land cultivations by clearing the
forests by burning the jungles.
3) Apa-Tanis used to practice facial tattoos before; now they
have dropped this custom few decades back.
Climate of Ziro
climatic condition of the district varies from place to place as
well as season to season. The climate is largely influenced by
the nature of landscape depending upon altitude and location of
place. It may broadly be divided into four seasons in a year :
1) Cold weather season is from December to February,
2) March to May is the pre-monsoon season of thunders storms
3) South-West monsoon from June to about the middle of October
4) Second half of October to November constitutes the post
monsoon or the retreating monsoon period and is a period of
In the foot hills or low high belt area of the district, the
climatic condition is moderate in comparison to high belt areas,
where winter is very cold and chill, and summer is pleasant.
December and January are usually the coldest month, and July and
August are warmest months.
Annual rainfall in the South is heavier than that in the
Northern areas of the district. During the monsoon period more
than 70 percent of the rain over the Southern half occurs while
in the Northern portions it is about 60 percent. Variability of
rain fall for the monsoon and the year ,as a whole, are
relatively small. Average Annual Rainfall of the district
Headquarter, Ziro recorded as 934.88 Cms during, 2000.
Relative humidity is always high throughout the year except in
the winter months being slightly less humid. In the cold season,
the sky is abscurred on many mornings due to lifted fog which
clears with the advance of the day generally, fairly clouded in
the period of March to May, heavily clouded to overcast in the
monsoon season and clear or slightly clouded during the post
monsoon season. Winds are usually light strong katabatic winds
down the valleys are experienced as local effect produced by the
nature of terrain.
Tourist Attractions in Ziro
Ziro is one of the most beautiful hill stations in
Arunachal Pradesh, it is known for its beautiful
mountains, hillocks and rivers. Places of tourist interest
in Ziro are-
It is a unique experience to meet the friendly Apatani
tribal folk, who have facial tattoos and wear nose plugs
in their villages. The best villages to visit are, Hong,
Hijo, Hari, Bamin and Dutta. All these villages are within
a 10 km radius and it is advisable to take a local guide
along with you, or you won't be able to see much and might
be made to feel unwelcome by the tribals.
Shiva Lingam at Kardo Forest
Shiva lingam is a 25 ft tall and 22 ft wide in Kardo
forest which is located 4 kms from Hapoli town. Large
number of devotees visit the spot everyday which was
accidently discovered in July 2004.
Tarin Fish farm
It is a high altitude fish farm which is situated
amidst wonderful surroundings where high altitude fish
breeding is done.
The Apatani tribe prepares a special herbal salt that
is distinctive in the sense that it makes their food
habits different in comparison to that of the other
tribes. Tapyo salt is also said to contain a kind of
iodine that preserves the Apatani people from many
Paddy cum Fish Culture
It is a distinctive culture made possible due to
Apatani form of agriculture. In this practice fish is
reared in paddy fields in the channels meant for drainage.
Harvesting of fish is done after 2-3 months.
It was founded in 1956, the museum exhibits a rich
collection of ethnographic and cultural materials related
to the people of Arunachal Pradesh. It has textiles in the
form of artifacts, turquoise, costumes, bags, and coral
jewellery, bone and ivory ornaments, bamboo and cane
household products and a small collection of Dao machetes.
It is a small hill used by the army in the sixties to
set up their cantonment. Also known as Army Putu, this
hillock offers a fantastic view of the valley below. There
is an airstrip amidst paddy fields.
It is a wildlife sanctuary as well as a bio-diversity
hotspot which is situated at a distance of 32 kms from
Ziro towards the north east. Comprising sub-tropical and
alpine forests it has a variety of flora and fauna. The
place offers great trekking opportunities.
It is picturesque grassland with a twin hillock which
is located below natural forests. One has to cross the
Siiro village on the way to Talley valley to get to this
The Apatani tribe celebrates three major festivals
namely Myoko, Murung and Dree. These three festivals are
celebrated during different times of the year with
traditional gaiety followed by animal sacrifices,
community feasting and merry-making.
A groove where one can witness a unique expertise of
farm forestry. Here a one stem bamboo (monopodial) is
grown with blue clad pine. Hikers and picnickers make it a
point to visit this groove.
It is situated at a distance of 3 kms from old Ziro,
this groove is full of pine trees and its scenic grandeur
attracts lots of visitors.
Orchids & Flowers
The climate of Ziro is very conductive for orchid and
flower cultivation. As such one can see various rare
varieties of orchids and flowers here.
It is situated about 2 kms away from Hapoli on the
west of Ziro, this small hill stands as indication to the
legendary love affair of Dolo and Mando. It is very
popular amongst trekkers.
It is a ridge that is situated about 7 kms from old
Ziro. It offers a bird’s eye view of the Ziro valley and
the snow clad Himalayas.
It is a place which is well-known for enormous blue
pine trees and is situated about 2 kms from old Ziro.
How to reach Ziro
Ziro does not have its own railway station and the nearest
railway station is at Tezpur, which is situated at a distance of
300 km. Tezpur is linked to various parts of the country and
tourists can take a bus or hire a taxi to reach Ziro.
State Government run buses are available to Ziro from Itanagar,
the state capital. These buses depart everyday and are
The nearest airport to Ziro is at Tezpur, which is situated at a
distance of 300 km. The airport at Tezpur is linked to Kolkata
and Silchar by weekly flights. Taxis are available at the Tezpur
airport to go onwards to Ziro.