Changlang In The Lap of Mother Nature

Changlang District is situated on the southeastern corner of the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, near the Myanmar border. Known for its rich biodiversity and scenic beauty, Changlang is a popular tourist destination in North-East India.

As per folklore, the name ‘Changlang’ was derived from a hilltop called ‘Changlangkan’, where the natives discovered an herb that can be used for poisoning fish in the river. Changlang District is bounded by Lohit District and Tinsukia District of Assam in the north, by Tirap District in the west and by Myanmar in its southeast.

Patkai Bum Hills, which are the extensions of the Greater Himalayas reaching up to Nagaland, is the natural barrier between Changlang and Myanmar. Changlang town is the administrative headquarters of Changlang District. The population of Changlang District consists of Tutsa, Tangsa, Nocte, Singpho and the Lisu tribes along with Deoris, Tibetans and Chakma and Hajong refugees.

Tangsas, Singphos and Tutsas are the native tribes of Changlang District. Tangsas reside in the south-eastern Patkai Bum Hills of the Indo-Myanmar Border, Singphos on the plains towards the north of Changlang and Tutsas occupy the western part of Changlang. Tangsa, Assamese, Hindi and English are the most common languages used in Changlang though there are many tribal languages in use that belong to Tibeto- Burman language family. Moh-Mol, Pongtu Kuh and Shapawng Yang Manu Poi are the main festivals celebrated by the Tangsa, Tutsa and Singpho tribes respectively. Changlang District, primarily an agrarian region, consists mostly of hilly areas.

Changlang, which has a gentle slope towards its north-west, exhibits varying altitudes that range from 200 meters to 4500 meters. Rivers like Noa-Dehing, Namchik, Tirap, Namphuk, Dapha, Namphai, Tissu, Tarit, Tara, Tikeng and Tiging are the water resources of the region, most of which eventually merge with River Buri-Dihing. The plains of Changlang often get flooded during the monsoon months as they are situated in the valley of Dihin. Changlang is rich in various species of flora and fauna. The region comprises of the Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests towards Assam and the eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests towards its south-east. The hilly areas and mountain slopes of Changlang are covered by alpine, temperate and subtropical forests. The upper reaches of Changlang are covered in thick foliage of rhododendron, oak, pine, maple, fir, juniper, sal and teak. The highlight of Changlang tourism is the Namdapha National Park.

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Namdapha National Park consists of about 96 species of mammals, 453 avian species and 50 reptilian species along with numerous species of other life forms. Changlang town can be reached from Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Margherita and Miao by road. The nearest airport to Changlang town is situated at Dibrugarh and the nearest railhead is at Tinsukia. November to February is the best time to visit Changlang.

Tourist places in Changlang
The District of Changlang provides numerous sightseeing attractions for the tourists to explore. The most popular ones include The Namdapha National Park, Miao, Tibetan Refugee Settlement Camp, Stilwell Road, World War II Cemetery, Lake of No Return and Nampong.

The Namdapha National Park is the largest national park in the north east India situated at a few km from Miao. It is spread in a total area of 1985 sq. and has a separate camera point and camping site present within its premises. Places like MotiJheel and Gandhigram are also its special attractions. Its most popular feature is its wildlife safari that provides a complete tour of the whole park.

Miao is another popular sightseeing attraction of Changlang. Its main attractions include its mini zoo, museum and the Tibetan Refugee Settlement where colourful woollen carpets are produced. It is also popular for tea farming, oil drilling and opium cultivation.

The Tibetan Refugee Camp is the oldest settlements of Tibetan refugees in the place and is situated at 4 km from Miao. This camp houses 500 families having 2800 members making it the 45th largest refugee settlement of India and 75th in the world. It is also popular for producing carpets.

Stilwell is a historic road and is located in the town of Jairampur in the Changlang District. It was created by Americans during the Second World War and joins India with the Chinese City of Kunming. The World War II cemetery is located at 25 km from the town of Pangsau near the Indo-Myanmar Border and Stilwell Road. It is a burial ground for the soldiers who died in the world war second and most of the soldiers buried here are of Chinese, Kachins, Indian, British and American origins.

Nampong is the threshold of the Indo-Myanmar border and it is the same region through which the historic Stilwell Road passes.

The Lake of No Return is visible from Pangsau Pass and provides a soft landing for the fighter planes that were hit in the war by the enemy planes. As all the planes perished here, the place came to be called as the lake of No Return.

There are also several nearby villages to Changlang that provides a close look to the culture, traditions and people of the place. The most popular ones include Vijoynagar, Jairampur, Ranglum, Kengkho, Jongpho- Hate, and Thamlom Village.

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