Carefully tucked away in the lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh is the gorgeous Ziro valley. With India’s least known cuisines, stunning landscapes within reach, and music and cultural festivals and traditions that are yet to suffer from over packaging, Ziro is a place just waiting to be explored. It is home to the tribal Apatanis who are amongst the very few tribes in the world who worship nature.
This veneration of nature manifests itself in their unique methods of sustainable farming and social forestry.
Ziro also provides its visitors opportunities ranging from hiking and trekking through the tallest blue pines in Midey and Bamboo Groove to admiring more than a 1000 varieties of orchids at the Tipi Orchid Research Centre.
We spent the day today, at Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh. Our stay here was hosted by the friendly and very successful local entrepreneur Tage Tabin – in his Ziro Valley resort, which is the best accommodation available in Ziro.
During the day we visited his and his friends’ ancestral homes in Ziro, where their parents and grandparents live in the traditional tribal villages way. We got a taste of the local food cooked the local way – with a local rice brew called Apang.
We spent some time here trying to learn about the local culture, and were surprised to discover that traditional cultures here are disappearing at an alarming rate. For instance, a couple of years back it would be commonplace to see a traditional Apathani lady with trademark tribal nose plugs in the area, today one has to search hard for those who still wear them!
Similarly, it is rather rare to see a Nyishi tribesman with their traditional head gear with a hornbill beak. Unfortunately, laser removal of traditional tribal tattoos is also big business in this area today.
We also met our friend Lawrence who informed us of a unique discovery of a Shiva lingam some kilometers away from Ziro, and the great length he and his people have gone to, preserve and bring it back to life. See the conversation here.
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