In the largest north-eastern state of India, Arunachal Pradesh, there is a hidden paradise known as the Ziro Valley. Apa Tani tribe lives and thrives here. Ziro remains to be the perfect place to relive in and reconnect with nature. Among the pine trees, layered paddy fields and the gorgeous backdrop of Eastern Himalayas sits this exotic valley. The tribe here worships nature god and earn their livelihood by making handicrafts and handloom products besides wetland cultivation.
❝ Curled beneath the eastern ramparts of the Himalayas broods a wildland of unnamed peaks and unexplored forests: the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.❞
– Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent.
While the tranquillity of this charming town makes it a soul seekers paradise, its the epitome of scenic beauty. It also entices innumerable nature lovers and photographers. The place is also great for adventure seekers too. Whether you want a soul-captivating trekking experience, a jungle camping fun or wildlife exploration, Ziro covers you in all aspects.
How to reach here?
Tezpur airport is the nearest airport from Ziro. Although there are no flights connecting Tezpur from Delhi or Calcutta, Guhawati remains to be the closest option. From here, you can hire a taxi till Ziro.
As there are no train stations in Ziro itself, you can take a train to Guwahati. After reaching Guwahati, board a train to Tezpur. From there, hire a taxi to Ziro. Trains are also available to Kathal Pukhuri from Guwhati.
Road travels provide you with breathtaking views of the town and scenic backdrops of the nearby towns. After taking a flight to Guwahati, the safest option is to take a taxi to Ziro. Government buses are also available. The roads are nice and have immense scenic beauty to offer. Buses also run by the state government from Ziro from Itanagar, the state capital. These buses depart every day and are reasonable.
The weather of Ziro Valley
Ziro lies on 1571 m above sea level. The climate of Ziro is pleasant and cool throughout the year. Summer begins from the months of April through June, temperatures ranging from 6.3°C and 28.1°C. The monsoons prevail from the months of July to mid of October. Rainfall last long and the weather conditions remain damp for a long time. Winter starts from the month of November and lasts till March. December to February are the coldest months in here.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the hidden paradise of Arunachal is from March to October. The lush greenery and the clear skies make it look picturesque and magical. Spotting bird and animals are sure to excite anyone! Early winters is another ideal time to visit – October to November when the valley is wrapped in snow.
Best places to visit
1. View from Kile Pakho
Located around 7 km away from Old Ziro, Kile Pakho serves as a viewpoint. On this hilltop, you can witness the marvelling beauty of Himalayan range and the lush green fields as far as eyes can see. Climb on the top of the cliff to get an entire view of the plateau of Ziro on the other side. The unique setting of nature of snow-clad mountains and plateau on opposite sides will treat the photographers and nature lovers. Visit the place for some once-in-a-lifetime scenes!
2. Pray at the Meghna Cave Temple
This temple remains to be one of the most popular tourist spots in the town. Over 5000 years old, Meghna temple dedicated to Lord Shiva sits at 300 ft above sea level. It was rediscovered in the year 1962. The architecture and carvings of the temples will definitely leave you in awe! The 10 minutes climb to the temple will truly be an uplifting encounter.
Majestic mountains presenting flourishing greenery to your eyes and the beautiful river flowing below give you the most wonderful experience. Make sure to have your camera on to capture every moment of this journey.
3. Wander in the Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
Covering an area of 337 sq km Talley wildlife sanctuary houses a large variety of flora and fauna. Ranging from sub-tropical to alpine forests, Talley Valley boasts to be one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in India. It’s dense and you will walk through the bird sounds which emanate from the thick forest cover. On the ground, you can see a variety of mushrooms.
The endangered clouded leopards are also found here. The sanctuary has a spectrum of flora as well which includes silver fir trees, ferns, orchids, bamboo and rhododendron. An excellent place for trekking, sight-seeing and clicking many beautiful pictures.
4. Visit the tallest Shivalingam
World’s largest self-formed Shivalingam is found around 4 km away from Hapoli Town, near Ziro. It is a giant stone 25ft. and 22 ft width curved in the shape of big Shiva Linga. Locals believe that you can see images of Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha and Lord Murugan with tree trunks nearby. There are mythological tales associated with this place.
Adorned by Sfatic garland, million of devotees offer their prayers here. This destination is perfect with quietly flowing rivers of Subansiri, Apatani and Dafla and Miri. The ethereal and spiritual experience of trekking through the hills to reach here should be on the top of your list!
5. Trek to Dolo Mando
A trek to this hilltop offers you to witness the hidden paradise of Arunachal, Old Ziro and Hapoli Town. Famously known as the romantic spot because it represents the legendary love affair between Dolo and Mando. Apart from the towns, you can also identify different aerodrome, rice farms and the mountains around Ziro Valley.
A delight for photographers, Dolo Mando is a must-visit!
The Famous Music Festival of Ziro
The most happening music festival in the laps of the green valley of Arunachal, the Ziro Music Festival. It is an outdoor music festival that showcases the talent of independent artists of India. This festival brings together many musical talents of India and a diverse audience to witness it. Ziro Music Festival is a perfect blend of vibrant culture, music and art.
Initiated in 2012, by Bobby Hano and Menwhopause guitarist Anup Kutty spans over four days. Hosted by the members of the Apatani tribe in Ziro. Along with a musical treat, the audience gets an accommodation facility in camps near the venue. Go camping, meet amazing artists and enjoy the euphoria of the festival!