Thursday, January 21, 2010


The Pange river is known for its abundance of fishes. That apart, It is today the seats of the forest range officers - both wildlife (of Talle Wildlife Sanctuary) and territorial (Hapoli Forest Division). Pange is located at a small valley formed by the Pange river and is 7 kilometers from Manii Polyang. A fair-weather road connects it to Hapoli.

It is more fun trekking to the Pange camp than to drive. One can see different varieties of birds and listen to their calls. By the roadsides are colorful wildflowers, wild fruits and different species of trees - big and small. It is sheer pleasure to walk on the rustling dry leaves fallen on the ground and occasional short-cuts. Once one reaches the camp, an easy walk of two hours is amply rewarded.

The Pange river meanders down by the bushes on both banks and over slippery stones. One can sit on the bank for hours together enjoying the cold breeze, watching the water struggling through the rocks and occasionally spying some fishes in the deeper water.

Welcome to Pange.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Supyu Yalañ

When Pengu Miilyobo fell, the various parts of his body were scattered all over the Ziro valley. I had a chance to visit again the place where his head and chest lie.

This monolith, believed to be the head of the mighty Pengu Miilyobo, is commonly known as the Supyu Yalañ. Much water has gone down the Supyu Kiile which quietly flows beside this stone, but it has not changed as far as I can remember. It used to be an important landmark on the way to far away fields like the Layonii or hillocks like Puntii. It still is.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Helipad at Talley Valley

First there were plans to establish the summer capital of Arunachal Pradesh. Then an attempt to build a helipad. Talley Valley has weaved many dreams, all unrealized till today. In fact, the plan to establish the summer capital, more than twenty years back, was carried out in real earnest. The road was built during that time, and it was actually the only time vehicles reached the valley. Some people were selected and encouraged to settle down in the valley, though all of them came back to Ziro one by one. The sites where their houses had once been and where they tried cultivation can still be seen in Talley Valley.

Some ten years back again, works were carried out to construct a helipad in Talley Valley. What remains today is a patch of clearing and stacks of stones. Bamboos have started closing on in the patch from the surrounding areas. Saplings of sugar pine (niiri piisa) have started sprouting up as well. It will not be long when this clearing will be engulfed in the wilderness.

Oh, yes, good for the animals!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Muruñ Piilo

Subu and Muruñ are two occasions which are perfect examples of the people turning a crisis into an opportunity. One may have these occasions as any other ritual to propitiate the God, but they are always observed with an air of festivity. Other reason for performing these rituals, especially by a person who has done well in the society, may be a kind of thanks giving.

The main features of these festivals are supuñ-niiñ, mithun sacrifice, penii (in case of Muruñ) and hiirii khaniiñ. Supuñ-niiñ has become an occasion to display one's ornaments, dresses and handicrafts mostly by the female members of the family. The young people gets a chance to test their agility and strength during Mithun sacrifice. Penii is the climax when everybody goes in a procession around the world (supuñ paker) of the Apatanis. People can be seen dressing up themselves any way they like. A kind of fashion show.

For whatever reason and in whatever way these festivals are observed, they are great occasions to preserve and promote the Apatani culture and practices.