Thursday, September 17, 2009

Trekking though Western Ring Road

As we come out of the Hija village, the green of the Apatani rice paddy greet us as usual. This road used to be a narrow track just some years back.

We meet these young fishermen as we step on the beginning of the Western Ring Road from Neñchañlyañ. The newly carpeted road amidst paddy fields gives an unusually pleasant sight.

Keiñlya used to be an isolated village with hardly two or three houses. With excellent road connection now, it is developing into another beautiful village.

A pine plantation. A signboard warning the hunters. These are the traditional practices the Apatanis are known for.

The 'ring' road beyond Keiñlya village.

We walk on enjoying the nature we miss in our everyday life. Wui tanyi, siitii byako, tare, different varieties of ferns, a giant mushroom.

Even a man-made structure like a stack of firewood is enjoyable. Especially so, when it is followed by an impromptu jungle lunch.

Too soon, we come out to the other end of the ring road towards Supyu.

We pleasantly discover a giirii in one of the aji agers. As we look further, lots of giiriis. Good sign, I think. Some hope. I recall the those times when every boy in the village used to walk the aji lenda trapping pai piitas. I thought this is already a thing of the past. These giiriis indicate that there still are some pai piitas around.

Welcome to another great trekking route in the Ziro valley!


  1. which bird is pai piita?

  2. @Anonymous. No clue as to the English name. They are black and white bird which used to swarm the valley this season.

  3. oh..small sparrow sized, pure black white feather like zebra and wags tail as it walks or sits?


  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Got it, Buru. I think pai piita, or aji pai piita, refers to the White Wagtail (Motacilla alba), a small passerine bird commonly seen in paddy fields which, as the name indicates, typically wags its tail while walking (its walks rather than it hops). Plumage is basically a mix of white, black and grey. Photos and description here:
    Kanno, pls tell me if I'm wrong.

  6. @PB & Buru. The picture in the link looks like pai piita to me - based on my extremely remote memory. I have saved some pictures and intend to show it some elder people to confirm. Thank you for looking around.

  7. hmm PB...just looking at the wagtail makes me nostalgic of childhood!
    BTW PB, someone suggested that the 'weasel' shown in your blog is called Pako taww in Galo--it is not.Pako tai( also called pako-tani)is the common tree shrew

    it regularly gets trapped in 'girii' as shown in picture, and not so good taste:))


  8. Hi Dr. Kano

    The road you have been to is not Western road in perse. It is a PMGSY Road from Nenchalyang to Sululya. The carpeting is done under this scheme.
    Western Ring, that is being constructed, connects Hija siya road from yaasi boo to kiilya and Sibbey in Hapoli to Hija siiya road further in the jungle.
    Truth be spoken, there is nothing novel in the WESTERN RING ROAD, except for few kilometres of road connecting these already built roads.
    The authority concerned have taken a short cut route without giving any new dimensions to the connectivity required to exploit really required forest wealth or necessity of road for dispersal of population.
    Only consolation is that there is an attempt, albeit half heartedly.

  9. Sulu, I think you are right. However, the road we took is the western ring road at present - may be still not a complete ring, but an arc. I have seen the works being carried out between Yasibo and Siibey - it will then be a semi-circle, may be.
    I am personally not in favor of any road cutting through the middle of any jungle as all our jungles are our watersheds. A road at the 'foothills' running between the hills and the outskirts of the paddy fields/lyapyo are more acceptable.
    Thanks for your inputs.

  10. @buru & PB, I'm getting back with more findings about pai piita. Pai piita is actually paddyfield pipit (Anthus rufulus) not the black and white wagtail. The black and white ones are called chilyu in Apatani. I am sorry about my confusion and misleading informations.

  11. Hey guys, the giirriis & pai piitas draws nostalgia with no hope of return of Jinjing Taying, a kind of 'Dragon fly' at Ziminziro in practical sense.And am not in to their zoological name.But the Western ring road ? Not surely of the other part of our planet!but surely of Ziminziro & Kanno, I hope to take a "nature walk "with you once to the full half circle to find 'Byoyu si'a salty spring, myochie & to Kardo on way to Siibe- ..Hapoli. Keep up!