Tag Archives: Arunachal Pradesh

By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Travel

10 June 2017

ZIRO VALLEY – Arunachal Pradesh’s best kept secret

In the mighty state of Arunachal Pradesh, where the sun’s rays first reach India, where more than 80% of the land is under forest cover, rests the pristine valley of Ziro. This lush valley is home to the Apatanis, a photographer’s muse and a subject of absolute fascination for anthropological and agricultural researchers alike. It has even spiked the interest of UNESCO but is still waiting cold to be declared as a World Heritage Site.

Ziro starts to intrigue you right from its name to the unmistakable facial tattoos and its internationally acclaimed ingenious method of paddy cum fish farming. If you didn’t know these facts yet, then this is probably the time you pause and sigh!

Now, farming practices and anthropology may not interest the casual traveller whose eyes are used to over saturated and photoshopped images of best destinations in the world. So does that mean Ziro’s invitation is limited to researchers and curious backpackers? This article may have the answer to that, and you as a reader will decide.

Lavish green paddy fields cover the valley’s land for the most part of the year and even when harvesting is over, one’s eyes are still treated to the oil painting-like backdrop of the pine trees that occupy the hills around the valley. Barring the roads within Ziro which are as good as non-existent and interrupts your meditative gaze at the beauty on offer, everything else seems to be in a state of artistic trance. Like the blue of the sky, the sun focussing its rays on certain patches of the forest cover with the help of its accomplice the clouds, so that the forest lights up in different hues of green, and to top it all off, the abundance of local brews ranging from plum, peach, kiwi, rice and millet that ensures even teetotallers don’t go back thirsty.

You need to hold steady and not let nature intoxicate you too much, for a walk into the villages of the Apatani people is still pending. This is when you find out how they live, what they eat, who/what do they worship and how is their Hindi so damn good! Walking through a village in Ziro also contributes to your quota of being mesmerised as their homes made of bamboo and pinewood invite you into their black and brown existence. The fascinating aspect of Apatani homes, like many other homes of Northeast Indian tribes, is the centrally located kitchen which is the centre of activity in the house. Every family member, guests and even the pets gather around for a cup of tea or a choice of local brew.Talking about drinking, if you aren’t comfortable eating rice, then you may find it difficult to palpate the locally grown thick rice which acts as a staple meal served three times a day, with generous portions of meat!

 

 

As a consequence of their animistic faith, their belief in the Sun and the Moon and other forces of nature, the people of the valley celebrate a lot of festivals and perform ‘pujas’ which revolves around rituals conducted by the priest and animal sacrifices. These festivals have become of interest to the tourist in the last 5 – 7 years like the Murung puja in January, the Myoko festival in March and the Dree festival in July.

Even though Ziro has been the way it is for centuries with a road connectivity established more than 40 years ago, the recent popularity of the Valley can be attributed to a certain music festival called the Ziro music festival started in 2011 after a touring band got hypnotised by the aura of the valley and decided to come back with more bands. This year the festival is scheduled to take place from the 28th of September to the 1st of October, just in time for the paddy fields to turn golden, right before harvesting. If this piece motivates you then visiting the valley during Ziro Festival might be the best journey of your life.

Words by Nishant Sinha

 

Photos by Javed Photography // ChaloHoppo

 

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By

Inspiro India Official

Blog | Photography

28 March 2016

Rising sun of Arunachal : Lobsang Nima

Arunachal Pradesh is said to be the land of rising sun, Lobsang Nima as the name goes by is no less than a rising sun for his home state and also for his homeland Tawang. Lobsang, who is just 14 year old, has already set a huge benchmark for the youth of his state. He belongs to a heavenly place of Tawang, located at the Indo-Tibet-Bhutan border. Lobsang was discovered by Art for Cause, a charitable trust based in New Delhi when they organized 15 days camp in Tawang district on various creative art fields, which included photography also. Ishu, the founder of Art for Cause and also a photographer and filmmaker discovered his passion and extraordinary vision for capturing the moments. He was than awarded scholarship by the same trust to provide him extensive training in photography during his summer vacations which gave him a lifetime opportunity to travel various places like Ladakh, New Delhi, Dharamshala etc under the mentorship of Ishu who gave him his camera since last December to learn and experiment. Lobsang Nima, who now studies in 10th grade in one of the government school of Tawang, use to do odd jobs to support his family, where mother works in PWD and father just lost his government contract based job, plus he has three more siblings.

 

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Ishu has adopted Lobsang since last year and is taking care of his all expenses and also promoting him as the face of Tawang to make this heavenly land popular through his work. Lobsang now feels great on being recognized as the youngest photographer in whole  Arunachal. Lobsang’s work really surprised   everyone at recently held Tawang Festival where Art for Cause displayed his work.  Art for Cause recently concluded it’s second Tawang Autumn Camp just like last year, but this year Lobsang proudly joined the team as the mentor and taught various kids of his district. At the same camp, he was felicitated by the trust as the official youngest photographer of Arunachal and in upcoming Metropolis festival he will be launched as the youngest photographer from whole North East. Ishu is planning to take Lobsang to either USA or Germany in year to host his first international exhibition for which he needs financial support.

 

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“I see my own reflection in him, he is more like my son and I am sure soon he will even cross my footsteps in photography. He is getting what he deserves. His journey has just started which has no limits”,said Ishu.

Lobsang Nima, now, wants to study outside Tawang for his higher schooling and wants to become professional photographer and  filmmaker to make his family, homeland and mentor proud.

“I still remember Ishu sir said in our very first class that keep your eyes always open, look around and discover, you will never know when an angel will come and change your life. I never thought this can come true and he is no less than an angel for me, I feel safe and happy with him, he can change anyone’s life”,said Lobsang.

 

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Lobsang wants to travel and capture various moments and show people great things. He loves to travel, loves nature, people, street photography and one day wants to try  underwater photography also.