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Anini – The heart of the Dibang Valley

by travelmynation
Dibang Valley

Known as Inini or Inninni, Anini’s history isn’t very well documented. It is a town that isn’t yet connected by proper roads to the rest of India. However, Anini is the headquarters of the Dibang Valley and is famed for stunning cloud movements close to the ground level! An untouched natural beauty, Anini has won the hearts of travelers for its beautiful landscapes, quaint villages, and pristine calmness. It isn’t your typical tourist destination – Anini is for those looking to indulge in rustic travel and experiencing the cultures of the tribals that dwell there.

Anini Dibang Valley
View from Anini village. Pic courtesy - Twitter

Visiting Anini is an experience that’ll leave you spellbound for a long time! The disconnect from the modern world has enabled the town to maintain its rustic vibe and hold on to age-old traditions that seem strange to the modern traveler. Yet, it allures travelers with a certain mystique – of unchartered terrains, different people and cultures of which we hardly know about! Breathe in the misty air, walk through the lush green fields, and talk to strangers as they turn you into friends of the land!

Where is Anini?

It is part of the western front of the Land of the Dawn lit mountains, Arunachal Pradesh. Anini town is nestled below the beautiful Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, an area that has seen growing controversy due to the Dibang Valley Dam project. From Itanagar, you will have to travel 600 kilometers, going parallel to the mighty Brahmaputra to reach Anini.

Anini Dibang Valley
Misty mornings in Anini. Pic courtesy - Holiday
Anini Dibang Valley
Pic courtesy - YouTube

Places to visit in Anini

Anini isn’t a sort of place where you make a list of all the spots you’d like to cover. It’s the sort of place where you let your hair down and immerse yourself in the place. You take a walk around the small, wandering through the streets talking to the locals. The best way to enjoy Anini is to walk along the meandering Dri River, admiring the mighty Himalayas tower over the landscape.

However, here are some best places to visit in Anini.

Mathun Valley

30 kilometers from Anini town is the Mathun valley through which the Mathun River flows. The Mathun River meets the Mipi River and creates a beautiful sight that can be witnessed from the Mipi village. The village is 40 kilometers from Anini and during your trip, you will cross numerous green grass hills flanked by snow-capped mountains.

Dri Valley

Anini Dibang Valley

Dri does look like the ubiquitous destination with green hills and a river through it but it’s so much more than that. Sights of snow-clad mountains and the Dri River carrying the reflections of those mountains is something out of a fairy tale setting! Dri is an amazing destination for those looking to trek into unexplored jungles. The village has an ITBP post beyond which travelers will need to traverse on foot!

Athupopu

A local tribe, the Idu Mishmi tribe, believes in life after death! Their belief says that after a person dies, they are guided by a shaman to a sacred place from where they move on to the next life. Athu-Popu is one of the places where these souls take a break during their trip to eternity. Located at 11,500 feet, Athu Popu features the sacred boulder that carries the impression of a priest’s hands and his tears! It is believed that the priest Sinerwu once cried on this scared stone on getting the news of his mother’s death.

Dibang Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in the Upper Dibang Valley region and bordering the China border, the Dibang Wildlife sanctuary is a bio-diversity spot teeming with wildlife. The forest is home to species like the Musk Deer, Asiatic Black Bear, Tigers, Red Panda, Mishmi Takin, and Red Goral. There are a few lodging options in the sanctuary, however, it is better to stay in Anini.

Hotels in Anini

With a population of just over 6,000 people, Anini is a small hamlet that doesn’t yet feature as a tourist destination. Therefore, the place hasn’t seen any development and you won’t get choices for accommodations. However, you can book your stay at Mishmi Hills Resorts & Hotels, the government circuit house or the Kaji Lodge.

Best time to visit Anini

Even though the weather is pleasant throughout, it is good to avoid going to Anini during monsoons. The roads in the region can be quite unforgiving and the risk of encountering landslides is always high during the rains. However, if you want to see Anini enshrouded by clouds, then monsoons are a good time to be there.

The best time to visit Anini is from November to April as you escape the heat and the rains during this period. The average daytime temperatures will range between 15 degrees to 25 degrees and that’s great for people wanting to explore the outdoors. And it’s a great time to visit the Dibang Valley Wildlife sanctuary as well!

How to reach Anini

Anini Dibang Valley
Roads to Anini. Pic courtesy - Dailymotion

By air: The closest airport is located in Dibrugarh about 380 kilometers away. From the airport, you can hire a cab and head to Anini. Or you could also take a bus that will go to Roing via Tinsukia. From Roing you will have to take a taxi to reach Anini, 225 kilometers away

By road: The region is well connected by roadways from all major towns in the vicinity. To get to Anini, you will first have to set your directions to Roing, a town located 225 kilometers from Anini. From there, you will drive through dirt roads, off-road stretches, and broken tarmac. The journey will take 6-8 hours depending on the road conditions.

By train: The nearest railway station is in Tinsukia, Assam. If you are a budget traveler, you can take a bus from Tinsukia to Roing and then a local bus or shared cab till Anini. Or you could hire a taxi from Tinsukia that will take you directly to Anini.

Note: If you are an Indian National, you are required to obtain an ILP (Inner Line Permit) to visit Arunachal Pradesh. Here is the procedure to get one.  If you are a foreign national, you will have to obtain a RAP (Restricted Area Permit) to visit Arunachal Pradesh.

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