Listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Ziro Valley has been in the news for all the right reasons. It is finally that time of the year again when Ziro Valley comes alive with amazing Indie music reverberating through the air. It is also hailed as India’s Greatest Outdoor Music Festival. While ‘greatest’ is quite a subjective category, we can certainly vouch for the fact that it is one of the coolest festivals around. If you haven’t heard about the Ziro festival, now’s the time. Read on!
What is Ziro Festival?
Founded by Bobby Hano and Menwhopause guitarist Anup Kutty in 2012, the Ziro Festival is an annual outdoor musical extravaganza. It is a one-of-its-kind celebration of the amazingly eclectic independent music scene in India. What started as a platform to promote regional musicians, now draws participation from various national and international bands. You can expect a variety of genres at this music fest, for there is jazz, pop-funk, fusion, hip hop, grunge and more. Plus, great food and a chance to explore the region.
Ziro is located in Arunachal Pradesh and is quite famous on the world map for its pristine environment, stunning natural beauty, picturesque locations and of course the Apatani tribe. Although the unique mix of soulful music and immaculate mountains is reason enough to pack your bags and head to Ziro, we will furnish 8 more reasons why!
1. Turn on, tune in and drop out
For the times you wished to get away from the overcrowded cities for a few moments of peace and solace, this is it. This valley is as far away as you can possibly get, making it the perfect place to connect with yourself amidst the peaceful landscape, intriguing culture and good food.
2. No crazy crowd or unlit warehouses
For those of you who hate being surrounded by too many people at music gatherings, Ziro Festival is perfect for you! At Ziro, you can enjoy the harmony of music and the paddy fields without constantly feeling
3. An unforgettable trip to the North-East
If you don’t go for the music, go for the people. And if not for the people, then go for nature! Ziro could well just be a good excuse to pack those bags. Come here to witness nature’s magic, music will only add on to what nature has perfectly crafted for your eyes.
4. Save all that money and try unwinding on a budget?
Enter the Ziro Festival of Music—a place where you can have a wholesome holiday without burning a hole in your pocket. In fact, you can take the entire trip (minus air tickets, of course) in under INR 15,000.
5. Enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals
Ziro Festival is organized by the locals largely. It is truly a community-led event. The locals are warm and welcoming, and Apatani culture is incredible and enlightening. Ziro Festival beautifully shows us how music can connect people from different demographics and socio-economic backgrounds.
6. Get to meet and interact with the local tribe, the Apatanis
When in Ziro, meet people from the Apatani tribe, who are known for their unique nose piercings and facials tattoos. If you get invited for a meal, don’t decline the offer. Talk to them, eat with them. The vibe is not just at the venue, but in the surrounding villages as well
7. Relish some authentic North-Eastern delicacies
While roasted rats, bats and grasshoppers may churn your stomach, their pork and chicken preparations are perfect for our urban palettes. For vegetarians, there are some nice veggie soups, dim sums and butter fried preparations to keep the tummy happy.
8. Abandon your Kingfishers and Heiniken, try some home-brewed beer
What is a music festival without beer? Here you have multiple options of local brews to choose from. From kiwi, pineapple to plum you name it! Now all you have to do is choose your favorite spot and chug these beers in bamboo mugs. Drink Responsibly and never drink and drive.
What to expect this year at Ziro Festival of Music?
Start Date: 26 September 2019
End Date: 29 September 2019
Tickets: You can buy tickets from their official website here
Artists performing: Acid Mothers Temple (Japan), Amrit Rao & The Madrascals (Tamil Nadu), Antikvariniai Kaspirovskio Dantys (Lithuania), Chochung Dema (Arunachal Pradesh), Dreamhour (West Bengal), HarmoNOnium (Maharashtra), Jyoti Hegde (Karnataka), Karma (Uttarakhand), Lucky Ali (Maharashtra), Lunch (Korea), Matajiwa (Indonesia), Nion (Meghalaya), Ouzo Bazooka (Israel), Rounak Maiti (Maharashtra), Siyom Ensemble (Manipur), Still Waters (Sikkim), That Boy Roby (Punjab), The Root-Less (West Bengal), This Cord (Mizoram), Trance Effect (Nagaland), Zokova (New Delhi). Now you know what to expect in 2019!
How to Reach Ziro Valley Festival?
Hire a Savaari taxi from Guwahati or Jorhat (approx 470 Km). It will take 7 hours for you to reach via NH27 & NH15 (the road conditions are pretty good). Government buses are also available from the same.
There are daily trains from Guwahati to Kathal Pukhuri costing around INR 750-1100. It takes 8 hrs to reach Kathal Pukhuri. From there you can hire a taxi till Ziro. Ziro doesn’t have a railway station. Trains are also available from Tezpur.
Tezpur airport is the closest airport and it is 280 km from Ziro. There are no direct flights from Delhi or Kolkata to Tezpur and take a lot of time to reach. Most of the flights are via Guwahati. You can book a flight to Guwahati as it is connected to all the major cities. From Guwahati, you can hire a taxi to Ziro and continue with the same taxi to explore the city.
For all domestic travelers, Innerline Permit is a must if you want to travel to Arunachal Pradesh. The Inner Line Permit can be obtained from Resident Tourism Office, Guwahati International Airport, Assam Paryatan Building in Guwahati, Arunachal Bhawan at Delhi, Arunachal Bhawan at Kolkata, or Naharlagun Railway Station for a fee of 200. You’ll also need to submit 2 photographs and furnish a proof of identity.
For all foreigners traveling to Arunachal Pradesh, a Protected Area Permit is a must. They can obtain the Protected Area Permit from All Indian Missions abroad, All Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRRO) at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai, Home Ministry, Govt. of India and Home Commissioner, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar.
Explore Places around
Blessed with an unmatched scenic grandeur and hiding in its store are a number of enticing trekking trails, which make Ziro a perfect destination for trekkers and hikers satiate their adventurous desires; ‘Dolo Mando’ situated atop a hill near the valley is a must-visit hiking destination and offers breath-taking vistas of old Ziro town fringed with verdant forests and the snow-laden Himalayas.
In case one is looking for a camping experience in Ziro, the best thing to do here would be to set up a camp near the ‘Pange River’ basin.
Holidays in Ziro are absolutely considered incomplete without embarking on an interesting sightseeing tour in the city, visiting its famous tourist places which include the 5000 years old ‘Meghna Cave Temple’, ‘Sidheshwar Nath Shiv Linga’, ‘Tarin Fish Farm’ and ‘Pine Grove’.
For the shopaholics, there are a couple of tribal markets to explore in the valley; Ziro’s bamboo & cane items and beautiful Apatani handlooms are some of the best in the region and make for a perfect buy.
Are you excited to be a part of this festival? If you are all about good music, plan a trip to Ziro with your friends this autumn.