Do you know a place that is yet to be explored by the locals and has the highest potential to be the next TOP DESTINATION of Arunachal Pradesh?
Introducing Anini, a slice of unchartered haven in Arunachal Pradesh. Located in the Dibang Valley of Arunachal Pradesh, Anini is a distant land. A highly unexplored destination of the easternmost state of India, Anini is a promised land. Home to the Idu Mishmi Tribe, Anini in Arunachal Pradesh is the well-kept secret of Northeast India.
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ANINI IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH
Kissed by the clouds, Anini flaunts an abundance of serenity. Imagine waking up to the high-scaled mountains, the sound of pristine rivers, and profound silence around. In other words, I found myself transported to another world. Moreover, it gave me a sense of belonging there.
What is more celebratory about the place is its remoteness. It certainly makes Anini in Arunachal Pradesh a destination worth putting on your bucket list.
Flanked by snow-capped mountains, unscalable hills, dense forests, hidden lakes, and unhindered views of picturesque valleys, Anini can sway you with its mystic charm.
Moreover, the best part of exploring a remote destination like Anini in Arunachal Pradesh is that you become one of the early travelers from the outside world to get a chance to experience it raw. In fact, Anini is yet to come under the tourist’s radar.
If you are smitten by popular destinations like Tawang and Mechuka, then, Anini will take you by surprise. The offbeat destination has immense potential to become the most sought-after destination for nature lovers, culture enthusiasts, adventure lovers, and backpackers.
In addition, the uncountable nature trails can make Anini the most preferred destination for trekkers and hikers in Northeast India in the years to come.
WHERE IS ANINI?
Anini is the headquarters of the Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh. Around 225 km from Roing, one needs to cross Mayudia Pass followed by Hunli to reach Anini. It took us more than 10 hours to reach there.
The far-flung Anini was off-limit for outsiders a few centuries ago. In fact, the difficult road condition is one of the major reasons why Anini is cut off from the popular tourist destinations of the state.
The road from Hunli is not for the faint-hearted people. My heart was pounding loudly while being driven on one of the most dangerous roads. The strenuous and twisting road to Anini gives you the most thrilling travel experiences of your life. Because the highway is under construction, it makes the journey quite long and tiresome.
In spite of the current road condition, the unmatched scenic beauty of the Mishmi hills and the crystal clear river accompany you throughout. In other words, the untrodden path often takes you to compelling destinations and Anini is a true example of this.
Even though you are bound to travel in the difficult terrain to reach Anini, the spectacular landscapes make it worth taking the plunge. As a result, each turn makes your jaw drop in awe of the placidity all around.
HOW TO REACH ANINI?
There is no direct bus, train, or flight to Anini. So, the only way to reach Anini is to take your own vehicle or one can opt for Somo service from Roing, which is the headquarters of the Lower Dibang Valley.
There is a Chopper service from Itanagar to Anini which can be availed in case you want to avoid taking a tedious and long road trip to Anini from Roing.
Dibrugarh > Roing > Mayudia Pass > Hunli > Anini
The nearest airport is Mohanbari Airport in Dibrugarh in Assam. So, one has to travel by road to Roing from Dibrugarh and avail Somo service to Anini.
The Nearest Railway Station is Tinsukia in Assam. You can opt for a local bus service till Roing and take a shared Somo or a hired cab to reach Anini by road.
Anini is well connected by road from Assam. You have to reach Roing, the hill town in Arunachal Pradesh to start your road trip to Anini. It is approximately 225 km from Roing and it will take more than 8 hours by road to reach your destination.
WHERE TO STAY IN ANINI
Anini has a few recommended accommodation options for tourists. But, there are no hotels in Anini town. Though, Anini does have tourist lodges and homestay options for travelers. I had stayed in the circuit house in Anini which I found to be quite a decent stay. The food at the circuit house is worth mentioning.
Find the name of the accommodations for your future travel, mentioned below:
Tourist Lodges in Anini
1. Aliney Tourist Lodge
2. Anini Tourist Lodge
3. Rajen Linggi Lodge
Homestays in Anini
2. Theko Tayu Homestay
3. Kalandi Homestay
ILP/PAP PERMIT FOR ANINI
To visit Anini in Arunachal Pradesh, you need an ILP (Inner Line Permit) for domestic travelers. For international tourists, PAP (Protected Area Permit) permit is needed. Read the COMPLETE GUIDE TO APPLY ILP & PAP HERE.
If you are traveling during COVID-19 times, there are new rules in place by the state government of Arunachal Pradesh. You can check the below-mentioned pointers to start with…
1. Only pre-booked package tours, exclusively through local tour operators of Arunachal Pradesh will be allowed to operate in the current situation. So, contact a local tour operator to plan your trip to Arunachal Pradesh and it will include your customized itinerary, vehicles, accommodations, sightseeing, and airport pick and drop.
2. All tourists must have a valid Covid-19 negative certificate, not more than 72 hours prior to the date of arrival. Therefore, make sure that you have the report ready before applying for ILP/PAP.
3. Also, it is highly advisable that the tourists should strictly follow social distancing norms and maintain physical distance.
WHICH ARE THE TOP PLACES TO SEE IN ANINI?
Anini has everything to lure travelers. Whether it’s the unsurpassed charming surroundings, unending green grazing lands, pretty villages, and picture-perfect valleys, Anini is a secluded paradise for nature lovers and trekkers. In other words, the swift wind, and cloud-laden sky make Anini one of the best places for slow travel.
There are a few unmissable places in Anini that should be on your list. In addition, if you’re a trekker, the lake trek is a must-do in Anini.
Anini View Point
To have a bird’s eye view of the Anini town, a visit to the viewpoint of Anini is a must. A short drive up in the hills takes you to the top point of the hills from where you have an aerial view of the entire town and the valley. Encircled by the towering hills and distant snowy mountain range, the view certainly gives a great sense of wanderlust.
The eye-teasing views of Anini will make you stand in awe of the mesmerizing destination. So, don’t miss the sunrise from Anini viewpoint. It looks outstanding.
Visit Dembuen Village –The Last Village of Dri Valley
Imagine a village with a backdrop of towering mountains, dense forest, a pristine river, and a handful of inhabitants. Located in Dri Valley, Dambeun village is the last village (Dri Valley) on Indian terrain which has the last motorable road to the ITBP base camp.
There is no road after the check post. So, one has to trek through thickly forested areas to reach further. The civilians are not allowed beyond the ITBP checkpost.
The drive through the Dri Valley offers one of the most scenic drives in Anini. There is nothing for miles except eye-arresting visuals. The untouched beauty of the valley commands your undivided attention. The quaint villages, hilly terrains, iron bridges over the Dri River, and bamboo forests accompany you throughout your journey.
Roll down your window and let the wind play with your hair. The mystic charm of the place lured me so much that I returned to the valley for the second time during my trip.
Located approximately 32 km from Anini town, Dembuen village is one of the must-visit places in Anini. Inhabited by the Idu Mishmi tribe, the village is located in the most gorgeous location. The Dembuen village has a handful of people and the houses there are scattered. The small farmland, granary, and traditional huts are a common scene in the village.
Their granary has a typical style and it is mostly built outside their main house. Unlike the Galo household, there is no separate entrance to the house for females.
Spend Time With The Idu Mishmi People
Anini is dominated by an Idu Mishmi tribe. The distinct cultural identity of Idu Mishmi is one of the major draws to the valley. I had a great opportunity to spend some quality time with an Idu Mishmi couple in their house and apparently, their house is the last house in Dembuen village.
The best part of the visit to the household was that it gave me a rare opportunity to have a close look at their traditional lifestyle and also be aware of the cultural fabric of the Idu Mishmi tribal community.
The Idu Mishmi is a sub-tribe of the Mishmi tribe. They believe in animalism, unlike others. The skulls of Mithun, Yak, Buffalo, and other animals are hung in their house. The head of the family usually does the animal sacrifice on various occasions.
I was surprised to know that the Idu Mishmi tribe always has two kitchens, one for males and the other for females. Unlike others, female members are not allowed to enter the male member’s kitchen. They are still practicing age-old rituals.
I was quite fascinated by their hunter getup and the things they carry while going hunting in the dense forest. The sustainable backpack, traditional hat, dau, and other essentials gave me a sense as to how they are one with nature and have great survival instincts.
However, the young generation of Idu Mishmi is not interested in hunting these days as they prefer to go out for higher education. I found it to be a considerable change in the mindset considering their traditional way of life.
Meeting the adorable Idu Mishmi couple literally made my day. Even though we couldn’t communicate due to the language barrier, it never came between the love and warmth they showered upon me. So, if you are a culture enthusiast like me, spending time with the Idu Mishmi tribe should be on your list.
Visit Alynie Village: The Largest Village of Anini
Don’t miss visiting the largest village in Anini. The picturesque Alynie Village is only 20 km from the town. The village has around 55 houses and the total population is 300. Inhabited by the Idu Mishmi tribe, Alynie is dotted with traditional houses with a backdrop of snow-covered mountains.
It makes all the difference when you are welcomed by the locals and offered traditional lunch in their house. The best part of my lunch platter was that it had a few traditional dishes of the Idu Mishmi tribe.
I always love visiting the traditional household of locals and I had the perfect opportunity to experience the hospitality of Idu Mishmi. Eating local cuisine sitting by the fireplace in a Chang Ghar (Stilt House) was an experience to cherish forever. The joy of meeting a granny in Alynie was one of the few memorable moments for me.
SHOPPING IN THE LOCAL MARKET
If you like collecting souvenirs and local products, you can visit the local market in Anini town. One can get the best quality woolens like sweaters, jackets, caps, etc., even in the tiniest shops of Anini market. Moreover, I was quite surprised to find a bakery in the market as well. I couldn’t imagine a bakery in a remote land like Anini.
GO FOR TREKKING
There is no dearth of hiking trails in Anini and around. The virgin land is blessed with the best of nature. In addition, Anini has recently got a lot of attention for the Seven Lakes Trek. The highland trek has been getting a lot of limelight for the right reason.
The untouched beauty of these lakes up in the mountains compels you to take the untrodden path in Mishmi hills. The pristine calmness and vast wilderness have been giving wanderlust to travelers lately.
As I traversed through the vast land, I was told that there was another 3-Lake hiking trail which is at a moderate level. This newly discovered trail leads you to the densely forested hills and can be completed in 3 days.
The best part of these trails is that they have not been explored by the outside world till now. The path is only taken by the locals so far. Imagine walking on a path not trodden by many and experiencing unseen parts of Anini with your naked eyes.
PARAGLIDING IN ANINI
I was in Anini on invitation by Arunachal Pradesh Tourism with the Association of the Paragliding Association of Arunachal and Holiday Scout. The PAA (Paragliding Association of Arunachal) was scouting perfect spots for Paragliding in different locations in Arunachal Pradesh and Anini was one of them.
The Paragliding Association of Arunachal has been doing great in providing a national platform for the Paragliding community in Arunachal Pradesh. Moreover, the association has also been encouraging both males and females to become paragliding experts from the region.
So, the best part of traveling with a group of paragliding experts is that you get to learn the nuances of this adventure sport and realize how paragliding can open new avenues in promoting tourism in a big way.
While doing test flights in Anini, there were 9 successful take-offs and landings recorded which was absolutely commendable. It will certainly open an excellent adventure tourism opportunity in Anini in the coming days.
The president of the PAA (Paragliding Association of Arunachal), Mr, Vijay Sonam, and the Paragliding Expert from Sikkim, Mr. Raju Rai from Adventure Zone are two stalwarts who made this happen in a remote location like Anini.
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