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Introducing Arunachal Pradesh

The final frontier of Indian tourism, virginal Arunachal Pradesh shows up as a giant patch of green on the country's map. India’s wildest and least explored state, Arunachal – literally the ‘Land of Dawn-lit Mountains’ – rises abruptly from the Assam plains as a mass of densely forested, and impossibly steep, hills, which eventually top off as snow-capped peaks along the Tibetan border. Home to 26 indigenous tribes, from the robust Monpas of Tawang to the artistic Apatanis of Ziro, Arunachal is perhaps the last sanctuary for India's natural and anthropological heritage. Much of the state still remains beyond tourism's reach, but new areas (comprising lush river gorges and craggy mountainscapes) are slowly being opened to visitors.

China has never formally recognised Indian sovereignty here, and it took the surprise Chinese invasion of 1962 for Delhi to really start funding significant infrastructure (the Chinese voluntarily withdrew). These days, border passes are heavily guarded by the Indian military and the atmosphere is extremely calm. In a stark contrast to its neighbours, Arunachal has virtually no history of communal insurgency.

Arunachal Tourism (www.arunachaltourism.com) has additional information.