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Thread: Central Arunachal Self-drive Exploratory Expedition, end March 2012

  1. #6
    Ziro, Lower Subansiri, to Koloriang, Kurung Kumey, 180 km approx

    Next day is our journey to the new and one of the most remote districts of Arunachal, Kurung Kumey. A map and some brief history to familiarize.

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    The name of the district is drived from Subansiri river, its stream twin river Kurng and Kumey. The Subansiri river is the triburaty of Brahmaputra river, that flows from Tibet.By a Govt. of India Notification of 1914, the area covered by this district become a part of the " Northern Section" of the "North East Frontier Track" within which entire British subject was regulated by a Inner Line in 1919. This Track was renamed as the "Subansiri Frontier Track" with the name of Kimin Sub-Agency and its Headquarter continued to be at Lakhimpur-Kimin.

    Now presently the district headquarter has been shifted at Koloriang which was setup temporarily at Palin with its camp office at Ziro.

    Src: Official Website of Kurung Kumey District, Arunachal Pradesh, India

    People: The district is dominated by Nyishin tribe,the Nyishi tribe is belong to Abu Tani family as per the history of the Nyishi clan. There are many tribes belong to Abu Tani familyin other districts, they are Apatani in Lower Subansiri,Galo in Upper Subansiri, Tagin in Upper Subansiri.

    Many years back(Before 1950), the sub-tribe among Nyishi,war against each other for power,property and fame which lead them to darkness and very slow development in the community.

    The Nyishi tribe people are master tribe in the district. They have a mother tongue Nyishi which they basically used. Mostly spoken other languages are English,Hindi,Assamese. The Nyishi tribe has no written script.

    There is another tribe called Puroik(Sulung), they have been living under help and support of Nyishi tribe. They became slave of the Nyishi tribe. Puroiks are located in nearby villages of Nyapin,Koloriang,Sarli and Damin. They live in isolated places like jungle.

    In Nyishi mythology, the Puroiks are the sons of God Wind.

    Culture: Nyokum Yullo is the main festival of the district which is celebrates during the month of February. Solung festival is also followed in th eupper region of the district i.e. Koloriang, Sarli.

    Rikam Pada and Buya is the main dance of the region. It is performed to welcome the guest and show the culture of its community.

    The Nyishi people has rich ornaments called Tassand(Beads),Rurh(Sword),Lakte(Metal Ornament).

    Religion: The region belief in Doni-Polo God which is the God of Sun & Moon. The tribe performs different worships for diffrerent purpose.

    Yullo Oyi for the welfare of the family which worship to God of family protector.

    On the other hand Sotung is worshipped to revenge or avenge the enemy by sending Sotung Oyi (Evil Spirit) to destroy the soul of the enemy which is belief as powerful black magic in the community.

    Years back, it has performed, now govt. has prohibited the Sotung Oyi practices which creates problems in the society.

    Early morning from Ziro, we are now headed towards Koloriang through some most remote forest lands and roads.
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    With only few transportation options for those going in the day, we picked up this local gentleman in full attire, he took a lift till Palin around.
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    And the journey continued..
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    Entering Kurung Kumey district and entering details in the check post
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    And we moved forward through some amazing forest lands...
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  2. #7
    A great chat always ensures with whoever takes lift with us and it was informative as we discussed about local customs and knowledge with the gentleman
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    And of course a tea break where everyone seems to know each other
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    And again the journey continued through fantastic rolling hills as we entered Koloriang, the district HQ [DHQ] of Kurnung Kumey
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    Again with no booking, went to the DHQ and was told situation was dicey as contractors and some district officials were staying, was told to go to the new and the old circuit house to try. And the 2 rooms of new circuit house were full
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    And finally just got the single room that was empty in the old circuit house.
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    And the small town looked beautiful in the evening light from the circuit house location
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    Evening time chatted up with the local caretaker who was quite amused and amazed by clear picture of his without a flash
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    Early morning at 4:30 am as the town sleeps we head off along the track lighted up by Phillips & Hella as we return back to Ziro. An early morning start was done so that we could explore Ziro again, particularly the local festival that is going on over there.
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    Checking out of Kurnung Kumey district, what a drive it was - remote, desolate, great interactions with the people and of course great vistas.

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  3. #8
    Koloriang to Ziro - contd..

    One of the reasons for starting so early from Kurung Kumey was to reach Ziro before noon, have lunch, and then explore more about the local festival of Apatanis - one of the major tribes of Lower Subansiri district.

    The festival is known as Myoko, celebrated mostly in March and one of the main festivals of the Apatani community.

    After all the hours of tropical forest journeys, for most tourists Ziro/Hapoli comes up as an welcome change, a beautiful valley, fertile and flat. Numerous rice fields scatter around the fringe villages and at least a couple of days must be kept to know and travel this place better.

    The Apatani practice aquaculture alongwith rice farming on their plots. Rice - fish culture in the valley is an unique practices in the state where two crops of rice [ Mipya and Emoh] and one crop of fish [ Ngihi] are raised together. Integrating aquaculture with agriculture assures higher pruductivity and year round employment opportunities for farmers.The plots utilised for rice cum fish culture is mainly based on organic fertilization.

    Ziro rice fields would look fantastic just during the sowing season of end April with all the green paddy fields and that is when the aquaculture is also done. We were in end March and as such the fields were just being prepared for sowing.
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    One of the major festivals of the Apatanis residing in the beautiful district of Subansiri is the ‘Mloko' or ‘Myoko', which is generally celebrated in the month of March or in other words ‘Mloko Polo'. In order to celebrate ‘Mloko', all the Apatani villages of the plateau are divided into three major groups namely i) Hong, ii) Hari, Reru, Tajang, Kalong, and iii) Hija, Mudang-Tage, Duta, Michi Bamin for all social and religious purposes. The ‘Mloko' festival is celebrated by one of these three groups in a particular year whereas the other two groups join the festivity of the host group; the following year, it is the turn of the second group to celebrate the ‘Mloko' , and after that the third group, and so on.

    Preparation for the ‘Mloko' festivals begins over many weeks which includes purchasing of sacrificial animals, collection of fire-wood etc.

    Know more about this festival through insightful article: Festivals of Apatanis

    We headed of to the villages surrounding Hapoli to know more about this festival
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    Hari is among the most authentic Apatani villages. The others are Hong, Hijo, Bamin and Dutta
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    Elderly Apatani woman - facial tattoos and nose plugs
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    Myoko festival at Bamin village, Ziro, Arunachal
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    All relatives and friends gather up and a great feast ensures watered down with liberal doses of Apong [!]
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    Preparation for the ‘Mloko' festivals begins over many weeks which includes purchasing of sacrificial animals, collection of fire-wood etc. However, the main attraction of the ‘Mloko' is the erection of the poles which infact is used for a game of acrobatics which is performed on strong cane ropes, making the pole of swing. This particular sport performed during the ‘Mloko' is very popular among both the sexes. Sometimes, even the elderly men and women show their skills and techniques. The poles meant for this sport which is known as ‘Bobo' are carried to the village by the common effort men of the individual words and is erected close to the ‘lapang'.

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    In search of aqua pisciculture, went to the Govt. Tarin fish farm, which was a disappointment, nothing much there
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    The day ended with a trip to the Govt. handicraft centre
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    Tomorrow we leave Ziro and Lower Subansiri district for Daporijo in the the adjoining district of Upper Subansiri. Daporijo is just a transit town in true sense, but then the journey again through pristine forests and of course again a trip to a remote place called Nacho, in the northern most part of the district.


  4. #9
    Ziro, Lower Subansiri to Daporijo, Upper Subansiri

    Upper Subansiri district was formed when Subansiri district was bifurcated into Upper and Lower Subansiri districts in 1987.

    District headquarters are located at Daporijo. The important towns are Daporijo, Dumporijo, Taliha, Nacho, Siyum, and Maro.

    Members of the Tagin, Hill Miri and Galo are found in the district.

    Languages spoken include Tagin, the dominant language, Hills Miri (now Nyishi) and Galo, also in the Sino-Tibetan language family and spoken in the western part of the district - Wikipedia

    Towards Daporijo next day, early morning. Of course this is a milestone everyone has a picture of. Zero at Ziro!
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    And soon leave the valley of Ziro and move along the road as it cuts through the tropical forest landscape and far flung small tribal villages.
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    Stopped enroute this most unexpected well maintained wayside restaurant at Raga, Lower Subansiri.
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    Stopped here for a tea and breafast break, and also noticed a developing front flat - tyre change time!
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    The AR govt. cafeteria is located mainly due to the scenic view point, known as Kamrak view point
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    As always in our trips, some great help and interaction with the local people - one of the restaurant guys helped me out as I had missed out on the puncture kit [!].
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    And then again the journey continued...
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    Nearing Daporijo after a 180 km travel from Ziro
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    And again due to the sudden departure for the travel, maintenance was done on travel itself - changed both the front bushes at a local garage in Daporijo. The bushes were long overdue to be changed as they had gone a huge pounding during the Kashmir-Zanskar travel and then during this trip till here
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    Again a few tense moments as we had landed in Daporijo on a second Saturday, which was half holiday and the DC office was closed. We located one official's house out in the town, who went that extra mile and gave the permission to stay at circuit house. We were relieved to say the least, there are no standard hotels in Daporijo. Safari VTT-TMT at the circuit house.
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    Daporijo town as the day ended. Tomorrow again this travel takes the expedition form as we travel northwards to the upper reaches of the district - we travel towards Nacho of Upper Subansiri
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  5. #10
    Daporijo - Taliha - Siyum - Nacho - Daporijo [250 km approx round trip]

    So next day just like the Koloriang trip to the remote Kurung Kumey district, this time we go northwards to another new and remote location called Nacho.
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    Location of Nacho circle [marked as "A"], Upper Subansiri district, in Arunachal Pradesh
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    Daporijo-Taliha-Siyum-Nacho Tourist Circuit.

    Taliha Siyum & Nacho all the three destinations are located on the hill slopes by the side of the Subansiri river. It gives immense pleasure for adventure seekers while driving from Daporijo, the district HQ of upper Subansiri to Nacho all along the Subansiri river. The natural settings are the best for white water sports and other adventure activities.

    Contact Deputy Commissioner, Daporijo-03792-223223

    For more info : Arunachal Tourism

    Just beyond Daporijo, while going towards Along, the road bifurcates - the left turn going towards Nacho and the straight road over the bridge is more common road to Along. We take the left road towards Nacho, 110 km from this diversion.
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    This is again way off tourist circuit, as we head along the desolate road to those mountains and beyond as early morning mist covers River Subansiri
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    River Subansiri at Upper Subansiri district
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    Always been fascinated by these high-hanging bridges of Arunachal, today was the day they will be tried out!! But that's later.
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    And the journey continued...
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    Again most cheerful locals, they were amazed and bemused to see a vehicle from Kolkata driving around these parts. Breakfast and tea over here.
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    And still the journey continued...
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    And of course an elderly gentleman came on board and we had again a great chat of their times and lives.
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    As said was looking for a rope-and-stick bridge to try out, but this would have been a bit too much for as a first try!!
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    A fantastic remote, desolate drive among tropical forests and we stopped as and when needed, as we neared Nacho.
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