• Mini Guide to Itanagar & unique look at market

Mini Guide to Itanagar & unique look at market

We were in Itanagar Arunachal Pradesh during our Holiday Scout tour as the Arunachal Pradesh capital is a great stopover between the Tawang side of the state and heading into Ziro Valley or to the East. The roads don’t actually connect through the state across the North, as Arunachal Pradesh tourism is sort of new (but growing!), so you have to drive back to the main highway often.

itanagarone of the many quiet kids (the child kid, and the goat kid!) I met on my travels

itanagar

itanagar marketRoadside Maggi was a staple and I didn’t mind one bit, in fact I bought some for the house back in Goa I like it so much!

itanagar

itanagar

itanagar

itanagar

Hotels in Itanagar

We stayed at the brand spankin’ new Pybss Hotel. After roughing it in the cold up in Tawang it was heaven to check in at this hotel which had a hot shower, a DOMINOS and Baskin Robins across the street, the softest beds, and real coffee instead of instant for breakfast. I would have been happy to stay another night. Out of 3 hotels in Itanagar on Tripadvisor this is #1. We did have to switch from our first room because the shower wasn’t working but all was well after that. The bottom level has a strange smell as well, so take an upper tier room.

itanagar

Getting to Itanagar

It’s a 7 hour drive by car (or 12 hours by bus) from Guwahati where most people fly into, as it’s the “gateway to NE India”. There is no Itanagar airport, but there are some flights (not daily) to Lilabari in Assam which is just under 70 km away from Itanagar.

There are helicopter services to Itanagar and all over Arunachal Pradesh but it’s often called the second Bermuda Triangle as so many helicopters crash or go missing. I don’t recommend taking one even though they are only about 3,000 Rs.

itanagarsome women we saw fishing on our way to Itanagar

itanagar

itanagar

What to see in Itanagar

There are a few things to see, but just to be clear this isn’t really a tourist attraction. It’s more a stopover point.

  • There is a Gompa Buddhist Temple called Buddha Vihar which was consecrated by the Dalai Lama 14th.  

itanagar

itanagar

  • A popular lake called Ganga Lake also called Gekar Sinyi, the Indira Gandhi Park which we only drove by. It’s a place for families to picnic and have weekend get-togethers surrounded by nature.
  • The 15th century Ita Fort which literally means Fort of Bricks. 
  • Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum which was sadly closed on a Sundays and Mondays!
  • There is also the Rajiv Gandhi University Itanagar 

itanagar

itanagar

itanagar

itanagartoilet situation 

Itanagar Market

I always think one of the best ways to find out about a place is to tour the local market and I was surprised by some of the things I found in this one! We wandered through and in the end the only thing I bought was a Dairy Milk candy bar – ha ha, but I did get some great photos.

itanagar market

itanagar market

itanagar market

itanagar marketsome creepy crawlies, all still alive

itanagar market

itanagar marketthose are rats on a stick guys! There was also mithun jerkey (kind of like yak)

itanagar market

itanagar market

 

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2016-10-13T09:47:11+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Hippie in Heels, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

6 Comments

  1. Renuka April 27, 2016 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    I didn’t really know much about Itanagar. It’s a good, informative post for someone like me who plans to visit Arunachal Pradesh this year.

  2. Indie April 28, 2016 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Oh, so interesting post!

  3. Morgan May 21, 2016 at 1:00 am - Reply

    Wow! What an amazing trip! It’s always so fun and exciting to explore new places and expose yourself to different cultures. It looks like you really took advantage of some great opportunities here. Cool pictures! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Rachel Jones May 23, 2016 at 11:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks Morgan – it was a really cool trip and definitely saw new things!

  4. Pradipta January 17, 2017 at 11:08 am - Reply

    I have heard local people from Arunachal, Nagaland, Manipur also eat snakes, rats, squirrels, dogs, cats and spiders. Somebody also told me that in Nagaland people force dog to eat enough rice and then poor dog vomits. That vomit they eat after some process. Don’t know whether it is correct or not. India is truly incredible.I lived in many parts of the country but never been to NE. (Pradipta from kolkata, India)

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