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.
one of the many quiet kids (the child kid, and the goat kid!) I met on my travels
Roadside 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!
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.
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.
some women we saw fishing on our way to 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.
- 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.
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.
some creepy crawlies, all still alive
those are rats on a stick guys! There was also mithun jerkey (kind of like yak)
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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.
Awesome you’ll really love it there :)
Oh, so interesting post!
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!
Thanks Morgan – it was a really cool trip and definitely saw new things!
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)