Ziro: The Pine-Clad Gentle Hills

 Ziro Valley
The breathtaking Ziro Valley

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Geography
  3. History
  4. Best Time to Visit Ziro
  5. How to Reach Ziro Valley
  6. Places to Visit
  7. Things to Do
  8. Places to Eat
  9. Popular Nearby Places Around Ziro
  10. Hotels & Resorts

Introduction 

Tucked away in the tranquil mountain-scape of Arunachal Pradesh, Ziro valley is indeed a picturesque paradise. The sprawling rice fields, lush forest, rolling hills, the misty ambiance, and the warm local tribal community are what fascinates travelers about Ziro. This charming blend of nature and culture makes for a holistic travel destination, with something in store for everyone.

Ziro Valley

Geography

The quaint and quiet old settlement of Arunachal Pradesh, Ziro is the district headquarter of Lower Subansiri district. It is one of the oldest towns of the state with a population of 12,806 people. The town sits on a plateau, at an elevation of 5538 feet to 8000 feet, surrounded by pine-clad hills and lush paddy fields. The local community engages in terrace farming and fishing and known for their practicing ecologically sustainable methods of sustenance. By efficiently managing every natural resource through traditional practices, they have successfully learned to integrate nature in every part of their lives.

Ziro History

Apatani women
Women of the Apatani Tribe

It’s the history and culture of Ziro that makes this place so fascinating and attractive. The town has been home to the indigenous Apatani tribe, who have spent many generations here, living in harmony with nature and changing times. Their rich traditions and colorful culture are what makes this place unique in its own way. Ziro is known as a UNESCO World Heritage site for the tribe’s cultural contributions through their indigenous art and festivals, like intricate handloom designs, cane and bamboo crafts, vibrant folk music and dance, and their traditional village council structure called bulyan. This historical Ziro culture defines the town as the world knows it today, making it an example of living in harmony with nature.

Best Time to Visit Ziro

 Best time to visit Ziro Valley
[Also Read: Ziro and Ladakh – Two Festivals in Far Flung Corners of India]

The climate of Ziro valley is pleasant and mild all year round, making it perfect for exploring any time you want. The summer months, from April to June, are quite warm, followed by monsoon, when the temperatures drop a little (to 19 degrees Celsius) and it gets wet and misty. The winters, from October to March, are chilly and also good for traveling. Any time is the best time to visit Ziro valley, depending on what your travel goals are.

How to Reach Ziro Valley

Although nestled remotely in the state, the valley is quite well-connected to the neighboring states and other major parts of the country.

By Train

The nearest railway stations for Ziro are at Naharalagun at 100 KM and North Lakhimpur at 117 KM. There are trains also available from Tezpur. If you are traveling from Guwahati, you can take trains to Kathal Pukhuri. From there you can hire a cab or rent a car to reach Ziro.

By Road

When traveling by road to Ziro, there are two options you can pick from –

The journey to the valley makes for a scenic road trip

By car

Itanagar is the nearest major junction. You can book a cab from Itanagar or Jorhat and drive to Ziro. It takes a little over 4 hours to reach from Itanagar via NH13 and makes for a scenic road trip.

By bus

You can also opt for the state-run buses from Itanagar, the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh. There are also state transportation buses from Guwahati to Ziro, available four days a week.

By Flight

Ziro doesn’t have an airport of its own. The nearest airports are Guwahati, Jorhat, Lilabari, and Tezpur, depending on your flight origin and which airport you land at. The town is served by Jorhat or Rowriah Airport, about 98 KM away. From Jorhat, you can hire an airport taxi to travel to Ziro. For international flights, Guwahati is the closest international airport at 440 KM from Ziro valley. From there, you can book a Guwahati airport cab to reach Ziro.

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Places to Visit in Ziro

With a picture-perfect landscape of pine forests and rolling hills, and the rich tribal heritage, Ziro Valley sightseeing is as exotic as it could get.

Meghna Cave Temple
Meghna Cave Temple

Here are the most famous places to see in Ziro hill station:

  1. Meghna Cave Temple – an ancient cave temple dating back 5000 years. It sits at 300 feet, offering panoramic views of the hills and valleys.
  2. Kile Pakho – a hilly ridge a few miles out of the town known for stunning views. The ridge serves as a viewing point for the valley and plateau on one side and the snow-clad Eastern Himalayas on the other.
  3. Ziro Puto – a nearby hillock and an army cantonment. This is where independent India’s first administrative center was established. From here, you can also see the district headquarters of Hapoli, known for Circuit House and great views of the town.  
  4. Dilopolyang Maniipolyang – a twin hillock with expansive grasslands near Talley Valley. It is frequented by most trekkers and hikers, for the pristine nature trails around the grasslands and surrounding forests.
  5. Tarin Fish Farm – a popular fish farming area sitting within pine and bamboo groves. It is known for pisciculture of high-altitude fish using traditional methods.
  6. Bamboo Grove – a highly popular trek destination. The area is known for dense bamboo forests grown amid blue pine and nature trails that take your through the forests and offer stunning views of the hills and valleys.
  7. Tipi Orchid Research Centre – a sprawling land of hills and rainforest, housing 1000+ varieties of orchids. There is also a glass house display of orchids adorned with a pond and a fountain, perfect for photo ops.

Things to Do in Ziro

The beautiful hill town offers numerous options for adventures and activities.

Ziro Festival of Music
Ziro Festival of Music – The Greatest Outdoor Music Gala
  1. Attend the Ziro Festival. A key highlight of Arunachal Pradesh, this annual music festival showcases independent musicians and artists from all over the country. It is also known as the “greatest outdoor music gala”. The festival was initiated in 2012 by musician Bobby Hano and is hosted by the local Apatani people.
  2. Try some of the best Ziro trekking trips to places like Midey and Dolo Mando. Midey is popular for blue pine trees and some of the tallest in the Apatani Valley. Dolo Mando is another scenic hill outside the town, offering great views of the Hapoli town below. The views are spectacular from the top.
  3. Camp in the lap of nature. Surround yourself with exotic birds and misty hills when you camp on banks on the Pange River and enjoy nights under the open sky.
  4. Try river rafting in the Kamle and Siang rivers, which are famous among pro-rafters during high tide. You can also go bicycling in the surrounding trails.
  5. Collect your trip memorabilia from local craftsmen. The Apatani tribe is known for their handloom work and other handcrafted items like bamboo baskets, rugs, jackets, and rugs. There are weekly markets and bazaars selling native fares.
Apo or Apung - Ziro's rice beer
Apo or Apung, the valley’s local rice beer, is served in a bamboo shoot glass

Places to Eat in Ziro

From native dishes to contemporary Indian and international cuisines, the food scene of the valley will not let you down.

Arunachali Cuisine

Here are some of the best places to eat in Ziro:

  • A&C’s Kitchen, M.G Road, Siiring Pakho (Treasury Down) Haopolyang – small eatery serving local dishes.
  • Bliss Bistro, Tri-Junction, Centre Point Complex, MG Rd, Cona County, Hapoli – casual restaurant with café menu, small meals.
  • Good Vibes Café, First Floor, DS Building MG Road, opposite Best Bakers, Hapoli – casual local eatery serving café menu and fast food.
  • Hotel Center Point – restaurant in a lodge serving traditional flavors and Chinese dishes.
  • Hotel Potin, Cona County, Potin – modest diner serving local flavors and homestyle meals.

Popular Nearby Places Around Ziro

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Make the most of your Ziro vacation, visit these interesting places near Ziro:

  1. The Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, 30 KM – Explore the region’s flora and fauna at the Ziro wildlife sanctuary, spreading over 337 square km. It is a leading attraction and houses endangered Himalayan species. You can do a forest trek through silver fir, bamboo, ferns, and orchids or go on an organized safari. 
  2. Ziro Pine Grove, 36 KM – one of the most popular places to visit in Ziro. It is also most frequented by travelers, for its dense pine forests that cover the surrounding hills and provide great hiking and photo opportunities.
  3. Itanagar, 109 KM – the state capital and the nearest commercial district. From museums to palaces, the city is a great place to learn about the regional history and the ethnic tribal culture.
  4. Dhemaji, 187 KM – a small town in northeast of Assam across the eastern border of Arunachal Pradesh. The serene locales of this hamlet in the Brahmaputra basin makes for a quiet time in the nature.

Ziro Hotels & Resorts

To make your vacation truly comfortable and memorable, here are some of the best places to stay in Ziro:

  • Ziro Palace Inn
  • KASA Resort
  • Siiro Resort
  • Biiri Resort
  • Passa Lath Resort
  • Puttu Homestay

A quick summary
Ziro: The Pine Clad Hills of Arunachal Pradesh
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Ziro: The Pine Clad Hills of Arunachal Pradesh
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Tucked away in the tranquil mountain-scape of Arunachal Pradesh, Ziro valley is indeed a picturesque paradise. The sprawling rice fields, lush forest, rolling hills, the misty ambiance, and the warm local tribal community are what fascinates travelers about Ziro.
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An engineer by degree, a writer by passion, I’m a lover of fiction, classics and Shah Rukh Khan. When I’m not busy challenging the status quo, one word at a time, I fancy reading, shoe-hoarding and petting my cat.

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