Formed from the erstwhile North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) region the state of Arunachal Pradesh is one of the most unexplored and underrated regions in India. A state known for its splendid mountainous valleys, gorgeous landscapes dotted with glacial lakes, rivers, streams, abundant wildlife, wealthy indigenous tribes, and plenty of unique places to be explored. From its history to culture, find out all the mind blowing Arunachal facts that will give you glimpses of this beautiful land and its people.
The 1st sun can be seen in Arunachal Pradesh?
Dong village in Arunachal Pradesh which is known as the easternmost village in India witnesses the first sunrise in the country.
In Dong, the sun, on an average, rises at 5.50 am and sets at 4.30 pm during the winter season, which is almost an hour prior to other places in the country. To catch the first rays of the sun, you can either start in the wee hours of the morning, i.e., 3 am or, alternatively, you can camp at the plateau overnight and wait for the sunrise.
Where is Dong Situated?
Dong village is a valley, situated further east than Katchal in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, which the Royal Greenwich Observatory said would see the first sunrise in India at the turn of the millenium.
It was for the first time in 1999, when it was revealed that Dong experienced the first sunrise in India and as a result Arunachal Pradesh was named as ‘India’s Land of the Rising Sun.’
Dong Village lies at the junction of the Lohit River and the Sati (or Sai Ti) stream at an elevation of 1,240 metres (4,070 ft). The village can be reached on foot from Walong in a 30-minute climb.
Speaking of population, the village is not very crowded. According to the 2011 Census of India, the village had 15 residents across 4 households. 6 were male and 9 were female. The children attend school in Walong. The local people grow rice and maize and raise pigs and chickens.
Citing the remoteness of the hemlet reaching Dong can be a difficult task. One cannot drive to the place as it doesn’t have any motorable roads which are feasible to ride or drive. The village is situated at the peak where tourists climb at 3 am to see the sunrise.
On the way one is likely to come across a signboard that proclaims Dichu as the easternmost motorable road in India, but it no longer stands true since the suspension bridge to Dichu has been destroyed a few years ago.
The trek to Dong begins from Wafl8ng after a 20-minute drive. Dong is very strategically located at the confluence of the rivers Lohit, an unrecognised tributary of the Brahmaputra, and Sati.
Due to scarcity of water, the Dong village was abandoned. Today, what stands still are the terraced fields of Dong village that have become overgrown with shrubs. But from the top, you can overlook Burma and China across a beautiful, panoramic view of the rivers and meadows underneath.
Places to visit near Dong:
National Plains War Memorial: Traces of tragic bloodshed which took place in 1962, occurred on and around the Namti hills, which till date holds a special place in the Indian history.
Walong War Memorial
The Walong War Memorial was erected in memory of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives on a noble mission to save their motherland from foreign invasion.
It is quite close to the car park from where the trek to Dong starts, the natural hot water spring of Tilam is located. The warm waters make a lovely spot to visit during winter months.