The capital of the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar is scattered with light, earthquake-proof, wooden-framed buildings balanced on the slopes of verdant hills. In Itanagar, traditional huts are strewn among the more recent concrete buildings. The residence of the Governor regally decorates one peak while a new Buddhist Temple sits atop the other. Between them lie the government and administrative offices, shops, daily bazaars and thatched houses. Itanagar is a pretty town surrounded by lush greenery and gushing waterfalls. So travel to Itanagar for that one-of-a-kind experience.
How to Reach Itanagar?
By Air : Fly into Tezpur Airport or Lilabari. Both airports are well connected to Itanagar by taxis and buses.
By Rail : The nearest railhead is Harmuti, 33km from Itanagar, but the most convenient disembarkation point is North Lakhimpur, 60km from Itanagar. The Arunachal Pradesh Express serves Harmuti. Super fast and fast passenger trains will bring you to North Lakhimpur from Guwahati (Assam). Guwahati is extremely well connected to the rest of India. Taxis and buses link both railway stations to Itanagar.
By Road : One can drive into Itanagar from neighbouring Assam and Meghalaya and expect a mix of reasonably good motorways and ill-maintained tracks. Direct buses are available from Guwahati, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Tinsukhia and Nagaon in Assam as well as Shillong in Meghalaya to Itanagar.
Best Time to Visit Itanagar
The best time to visit Itanagar is between October and March, much like most places in Arunachal Pradesh. These months experience a cool breeze blowing in from the Himalayan foothills which temper the heat and humidity.
The avoidable months to travel to Itanagar are again the treacherous monsoon between July and September. The winters remain cool and if you're lucky you might get some snowfall during this period.
Things to do in Itanagar
Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh is a normal hill town and things to do are limited to visiting the sprinkling of Buddhists temples, a museum that chronicles the heritage and traditions of its people and charming picnic spots.
The outdoor activities are trekking into the surrounding hills and going further afield to nearby towns like Bomdila and Tawang.
Places Near Itanagar
Some of the places near Itanagar that you can visit are Bomdila, Tawang, Namdapha and Pasighat.
Bomdila and Tawang are beautiful destinations only a few hours away from Itanagar. Chauffeur driven 4WDs are available on rent at Itanagar. At an altitude of 8500 ft, the Himalayan landscape of Bomdila is snow-clad for most of the year. The apple orchards and the Buddhist ‘Gompas’ are added attractions. It is accessible by air and by road. You will need woollens even in summer.
From Bomdila, take the mountainous road up to Tawang at 12000 ft. On the way, you’ll drive past the Sela Pass, the second highest pass in the world. Tawang has a 400-year-old Buddhist monastery, which has an 8ft statue of the Buddha and ancient scriptures of the Buddhists inscribed in gold.
The Namdapha National Park is renowned for the four cats - snow leopard, clouded leopard, tiger, and the leopard. Home to the rare ‘hoolok gibbon’, it is spread over an amazing range of altitude from 200 mts to 4500 mts. It is accessible by road from Tezpur (Assam) and the best time to visit is between October and April.
Ziro is a hill station 150 kms from Itanagar with high altitude fish farms, pine and bamboo groves, terraced farms, and crafts centres. You can rent a car or a 4WD to take you to Ziro from Itanagar.
Take a trip to Pasighat an ideal place to visit if you love fishing in the back of beyond with no disturbances whatsoever. You can rent a 4WD that will take you this small town from Itanagar. The River Siang that skirts the town is swarming with fish of all kinds, especially the Mahaseer. The locals will show you how to dig out the worms that are the most effective bait. Bamboo poles make good fishing rods and can easily be hired from the locals for a small sum of money.
While in Pasighat, take time out to visit the Daing Ering Wildlife Sanctuary that boasts of tigers apart from hispid hares and buffalo.
Hotels in Itanagar – Choice is Yours
There are numerous hotels in Itanagar ranging from 3-star, 4-star and 5-star deluxe to budget hotels.