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Arunachal Pradesh: The Land Of Rising Sun With A Diversity Of Tribal Cultures

Indian State Arunachal Pradesh
(Source - KBK News Graphics)

States and UTs

Arunachal Pradesh: The Land Of Rising Sun With A Diversity Of Tribal Cultures

The state has lush green forests, deep river valleys and high mountains.

Arunachal Pradesh, the “orchid state of India”, is a veritable paradise for botanists. As it celebrates its Statehood Day on Tuesday, here’s a look at what it is all about.

The state is spread over an area of 83,743 sq. km.  It shares its borders with two Indian states,  Assam and Nagaland. It shares international boundaries with China in the north and north-east, Myanmar in the east and Bhutan in the west.

The total length of these international orders is 1,630 km. Arunachal Pradesh along with Sikkim and West Bengal shares the maximum number of international borders (with 3 countries).

Quick Facts

  • Capital – Itanagar
  • Districts – 20
  • Population – 1,383,727
  • Assembly seats – 60
  • Lok Sabha seats – 2
  • Rajya Sabha seats – 1
  • Literacy rate – 66.95%
  • Sex ratio – 920 

Political Background

Prem Khandu Thungan was the first Chief Minister of the state. The current incumbent is Prema Khandu, son of former state Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu. He has been the Chief Minister since 16 September 2016. The state Governor is Brigadier (Dr) BD Mishra.

History And People

Arunachal Pradesh, which was earlier known as the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA), was declared a Union Territory on 20 January 1972. It became a state on 20 February 1987.

On the 32nd  Statehood Day, Prime Minister  Narendra Modi conveyed his best wishes to its people.

The Chief Minister was quick to respond.

Governor BD Mishra conferred the Arunachal Ratna, the state’s highest award, posthumously to Havildar Hangpan Dada, who had received the Ashok Chakra earlier.

Israel’s Ambassador to India, Daniel Carmon, conveyed his best wishes by sharing some fascinating photos on Twitter.

State Exclusives

According to the official website of the state government, Arunachal Pradesh “is inhabited by the world’s largest variety of ethnic tribal groups and subgroups numbering over a hundred and each tribe speaking their own-language and dialect”.  

  • The name Arunachal means “Land of Rising Sun”.
  • Arunachal Pradesh is a part of the ‘Seven Sisters’ along with Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Tripura.
  • It is the largest state by area among these seven.
  • Arunachal Pradesh has the lowest population density among Indian states.
  • More than 30 languages are spoken in the state. 

Cultural Heritage

  • English is the official language of the state. Other languages like Bengali, Assamese, Nyishi, Adi, Apatani, Miji, Mohpa and Dafla are also widely spoken.
  • The people of the state practice Jhum cultivation, or slash-and-burn agriculture.
  • The major rivers of the state are Siang, Subansiri, Lohit and Kameng.
  • Popir, Cham, War Dance, Aji and Lama are some of the prominent folk dances of the state.
  • Solung, Lossar, Reh, Mopin, Dree and Nyokum are the important festivals of Arunachal Pradesh. 


Tawang, a popular tourist destination, has the largest Buddhist monastery in India. Parsuram Kund located in Lohit district attracts devotees from all over the country, especially on Makar Sankranti.

Bomdila, Namdhapa National Park and the Ita Fort at Itanagar are some other tourist attractions.

Trade And Industry

The economic activities of the state revolve around:

  • Agricultural produce like rice, maize, wheat, pulses, millet, potato and sugarcane.
  • Fruits including apples, oranges and pineapples.
  • Handlooms and Handicraft industries.
  • Plywood industries and sawmills.
  • Minerals like coal, dolomite, lead, zinc and graphite.
  • Breeding of livestock like mithun, yak and sheep.

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