Arunachal Pradesh is the last outpost in India. Bordering Tibet and Yunnan in the Northeast this place has really a feel of being the end of th world. I have hardly ever seen a place in the Himalayas so untouched from man as it is in Arunachal Pradesh.
The tribes are more Tibetan-Burmese much more than Indian, therefore you don´t feel very much that you are in India. The whole province is mountainous and the mountains basically are part of the Himalayas even if you don´t see the Snow capped mountains.
Access is fairly difficult as it is in most provinces in the Northeast. The permit takes ages and you have to be on an organised tour sometimes even with a military escort.
We didn´t feel threatened at any time and had no bad experience with the people at all. The tribes in this area really still live in a fairly intact communal live but are mostly dressed in a western sort of style. But as further east you go the less developed and traditional are the people.
The most interesting tribes are the Apa-Tani. The women uniquely getting a piece of wood in their nose once they are married. Yes and the purpose is to make them ugly…..they want that….and yes they are! Nowadays you find mostly old women having that for the young ones this seems to be not the uptodate fashion. Well it looks defintely interesting…. at least when you don´t need to marry one of these women.
At some point our car broke down, suspension break, and that in the middle of nowhere. Next village 100 km away. Well fortunately these guys can fix a car with mother nature. A guy showing a up took a piece of wood and some old tyre and for the next 10 hours we could continue with an average speed of 10km/h. Finally we made it and in the next village there was someone having a new metall suspension.
On our way back we sailed down the Brahmaputra one of the largest rivers I have ever seen. In Monsoon times the river bed is several kilometers wide whil at the time we where there we got stucked in our overloaded ferry. So we had to get off the boar and had to push the whole boat with huge ropes to get it out from the sand.
Here is a gallery with photo from this beautiful and unknown spot by Michael Runkel: