Arunachal Pradesh - Introduction @

What Is India News Service
Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Arunachal Pradesh


Quick Information

State Area (Sq. Km.)


State Capital


Major Languages

Monpa, Miji, Aka, Sherdukpen, Nyishi, Apatani, Tagin, Hill Miri, Adi, Digaru Mismi, Idu-Mishmi, Khamti, Miju-Mishmi, Nocte, Tangsa, Wancho

Number of Districts








Growth Rate 1991-2001

26.21 %


13 per

Urban Population

20.41 %

Sex Ratio (Females per 1000 Males)


Literacy Rate

54.74 %


64.07 %


44.24 %


Legislative Assembly


High Court, Guwahati


Sri Shilendra Kumar Singh


Raj Bhawan, Itanagar - 791111, Arunachal Pradesh, 2221432

Office No.

0360-2212394, 2212432, 2212510

Residence No.

0360 - 2212394

Chief Minister

Sri Dorjee Khandu


Office No.

0360-2212456, 2212173

Residence No.




Chief Secretary

Shri Tabom Bam



Office No.

(0360)  2212595, (0360) 2211187, Cell - 9436040003

Residence No.

(0360) 2212444


(0360) 2212446



General Information

Arunachal Pradesh (Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains) is a thinly populated hilly tract on the eastern-most part of India.


Bounded by Bhutan to the west, China to the north and north-east, Myanmar (Burma) to the east and the plains of Assam to the south, Arunachal Pradesh is the home of more than 20 major tribes and acknowledged to be one of the most splendid, variegated and multilingual tribal areas of the world.


Much of Arunachal Pradesh is covered by the Himalayas, although parts of Lohit, Changlang and Tirap are covered by the Patkai.


The climate of Arunachal Pradesh varies with elevation. Areas with very high elevation in the Upper Himalayas near the Tibetan border enjoy an alpine or Tundra climate. Below the Upper Himalayas come the Middle Himalayas, where people experience a temperate climate. Fruits like apples, oranges, etc are grown. Areas at the sub-Himalayan and sea-level elevation experience a humid sub-tropical climate, with hot summers and mild winters.

The state receives heavy rainfall of 80 to 160 inches (2,000 to 4,000 mm) annually, most of it falling between May and September. The mountain slopes and hills are covered with alpine, temperate, and subtropical forests of dwarf rhododendron, oak, pine, maple, fir, and juniper; sal (Shorea) and teak are the main economic species.


Arunachal Pradesh is divided into fifteen districts, each administered by a district collector, who see to the needs of the local people.  Especially along the Tibetan border, the Indian army has considerable control over the territory due to the continuing concern about Chinese intentions.  In the Northern areas and areas near the Indo-Burmese border and Nagaland, where Naga-Christian militant groups have been alleged of harassing the local people, special permits are needed to enter the area.


65% of the Arunachalis belong to 20 major-collective tribes and 82 tribes, who had a heritage of a diverse and rich culture, language and beliefs.  Most of them are either of Tibetan or of Thai-Burmese origin.  Another 35% of the population are immigrants, including 30,000 Bangladeshi and Chakma expatriates, and immigrants from other parts of India, notably Assam and Nagaland.  The most notable tribes include the Adi, Nishi and Monpa.  The literacy of the State rose to 54.74% from 41.59% in 1991. As of today, the number of literates is 487,796.  About half of the state population follow the Donyi-Polo religion.  Another 42% follow Buddhism and Hinduism, with Christians and Muslims accounting for the remainder.


The first ancestors of the tribal groups migrated from Tibet during the pre-historic period, they were joined by Thai-Burmese counterparts later.

Except for the northwestern parts of the state, little is known about the history of Arunachal Pradesh, although the Apatani tribe had legendary knowledge of the history.  Recorded history was only available in the Ahom chronicles during the 16th century.  The tribal Monpa and Sherdukpen do keep historical records of the existence of local chiefdoms in the northwest as well.  Northwestern parts of this area came under the control of the Monpa Kingdom of Monyul, which flourished between 500 B.C. and 600 A.D.  This region then came under the loose control of Tibet, especially in the Northern areas.  The remaining parts of the state, especially those bordering Myanmar, came under the control of the Ahom and the Assamese until the annexation of India by the British in 1858.

Recent excavations of ruins of Hindu temples such as the 14th Malinithan at the foot of the Siang hills in West Siang shed new light on the ancient history of Arunachal Pradesh.  Paintings of the Hindu gods and altars remained untouched for many years.  They attracted many local pilgrims.  Another notable heritage site, Bhismaknagar, suggested that the Idu Mishmi had a local civilization.  The third heritage site, the 400-year-old Tawang monastery in the Tawang district also provides historical evidence of the Buddhist tribal peoples.

In 1913-14, the British administrator, Sir Henry McMahon, drew up the 550-mile McMahon Line as the border between India and China in Shimla, during a conference which also discussed the Tibetan and Chinese borders.  However, the Simla Agreement was signed by the Tibetans and British but not by the Chinese, and the Chinese government rejected the line in 1947, saying that the claim was never approved and pointing to a map in the Encyclopedia Britannica of 1929 which showed the Indo-Chinese border stretching right up to the border of the Assamese plains.  Following this dispute, the Chinese troops crossed the McMahon Line on the August 26, 1959, and captured an Indian outpost at Longju, a few miles south of the line.  They abandoned this in 1961 but in October 1962 crossed the line once again, this time in force, beginning the Sino-Indian War.  After striking toward the Tanglha ridge and Tawang, which is near the Bhutan border, the Chinese later extended their attack across the whole frontier.  Deep inroads were made at a number of points.  However, the Chinese agreed to withdraw back to the McMahon Line and returned Indian prisoners of war in 1963.  The Indian government attributes this to the preparedness of India to defend the plains of Assam, the superiority of the Indian Air Force, and Chinese logistical problems; the Chinese government maintains that political considerations were the only factor in their retreat.

Following that, the entire area changed its name from North East Frontier Agency and became part of Assam.  Arunachal Pradesh gained statehood in 1987 after taking into consideration the security consideration in the east and Sino-Indian tensions, but was not recognized by China.

Manorama Year Book 2007

Home Page

Archives | Links | Search
About Us | Feedback | Guestbook

2007 Copyright What Is India Publishers (P) Ltd. All Rights Reserved.