Ziro Valley, situated at an altitude of 5,500 feet, is a picturesque valley in the eastern most state of Arunachal Pradesh. The sleepy town of Ziro comes to limelight once a year during the Ziro Valley Music Festival. This year the fifth edition of this much acclaimed music fest is scheduled to be held between September 22-25. But before you decide to pack your bags and embark on your Ziro trip, here are some facts you should know.
History of the festival
Started in 2012 by Bobby Hanno and Anup Kutty, this music festival has garnered immense popularity. It is one of the most awaited and sought after music festivals in the country which receives tourists not only from India, but many other countries. In fact, one will see more foreigners dancing to the tunes than Indians! Apart from artists like F 16s, Madboy, Gramlines (this year there are 35 artists performing from across the world), one will be equally awestruck by beautiful performances by the local artists.
Government Permits required
- Indian nationals travelling to Arunachal Pradesh require an Inner Line Permit.
- Foreign nationals need to buy a Protected Area Permit.
- These permits can be obtained from state offices at Delhi, Guwahati or Tezpur.
Scenic Ziro town
Home to the Appatani tribe, this sleepy town turns into a hot property for four days every year in the month of September. The Appatani tribe is a group of peaceful, non-agrarian people who turn into happy hosts for the festival. Like every other place in Arunachal, Ziro Valley experiences torrential rainfall in September. Nights can be cold. One needs to pack enough warm clothing with umbrellas and rain coats, before visiting Ziro.
Where to stay?
Places for pitching tents, tents for rent at the campsite or carrying personal one along, are the best options to stay during the festival. To minimize your costs, it is recommended that you carry along tents as the tents at camp site sell like hot cakes (and at high prices too). Apart from this, there are some hotels including Arunachal Guest House, Hotel Blue Pine, Biiri resort in Ziro.
Things to do around Ziro Valley
If you find your ears buzzing on the tunes from the melodious music, you may want to relax for a bit. Ziro, being nestled among the mighty Himalayas, is an idyllic place for nature trekking, bird watching, and bison watching. If the adventurer awakes in you, try river rafting in the Kample river. Inspire the nature lover in you, by walking along the knee deep waters of the Kample river where the wild bisons (locally called Mithuns) can be spotted. Or you can go cycling to the nearby villages and hilly tracks. If you just wish to indulge in the local way of life, visit the numerous paddy fields around and learn some fish farming.
Visit the Village of first sunrays
Dong Village is the eastern most motorable village of India and it is the first place in India that receives the rays of the sun. If you were to visit this village, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised by the quite laid back attitude of people here. This quaint village can be reached on foot by a 90 minutes trek from Walong. The sunrise can be seen after a 3 KM climb to a mountain very close to where India, China and Myanmar meet.
Note: Dong village is a 17 hours drive from Ziro and 15 hours (600 kms) drive from Itanagar via Dibrugarh in Assam. So if you can spare a day, do visit this mesmerizing place.
Other Places of Interest in Tezu District
Explore the tourist attractions of Tezu here: A Visit to the Hidden Charms of Tezu
Nearest Railhead: North Lakhimpur (in Assam)