A Travel Guide to Itanagar

Itanagar Airport Directory (HGI)
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Nestled in the foothills of the majestic Himalayas, Itanagar is an excellent destination to enjoy a relaxing holiday surrounded by the beauty of nature. The capital of Arunachal Pradesh is home to historical, cultural, and natural wonders that can hold the interest of travellers from all walks of life. With a serene atmosphere and vibrant culture, this idyllic city attracts thousands of visitors around the year. 

Best time to visit Itanagar

Although the weather in Itanagar is pleasant throughout the year, the best time to visit is during winters from October till April. Summer months are April till June, and the city experiences monsoon from July to September. 


How to reach Itanagar

By air: The newly inaugurated Donyi Polo Airport is the closest airport to Itanagar, situated 25 km away. It is the first Greenfield airport in Arunachal Pradesh. You can easily reach the city by booking one of the many available IndiGo flights to Itanagar.

By train: Naharlagun Railway Station in Arunachal Pradesh is the closest station to Itanagar; situated at a distance of around 15 km. 

By road: Itanagar is connected to many nearby cities through a network of well-maintained highways. You can catch one of the many regular buses from Banderdewa, Tezpur, North Lakhimpur, and Guwahati to reach the city.

Getting around in Itanagar

Local buses, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws, and taxis are the most common means of transportation for getting around in Itanagar.

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Places to visit in Itanagar

  • Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum: Inaugurated on 1 January, 1990, the Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum in Itanagar is one of the best places to visit for history buffs. Reflecting the culture and history of Arunachal Pradesh, it has an extensive collection of handicrafts in addition to several archaeological displays. It also hosts a handicraft workshop, and features an art gallery and a library.
  • Ita Fort: Listed amongst the most prominent historical sites in Itanagar, Ita Fort was constructed in the 14th-15th century. Primarily built from bricks, Ita Fort literally means ’Fort of bricks’ as brick is called ‘Ita’ in Assamese language. It features an irregular shape and unique architectural style.
  • Ganga Lake: Surrounded by lush greenery, diverse vegetation, and towering peaks, Ganga Lake or Gyakar Sinyi is an excellent place to unwind. Located 6 km from the city, you can also enjoy picnics and boating here.
  • Gompa Buddhist Temple: A calm and serene place, the temple is the area's major centre for Buddhist culture. The Gompa Buddhist temple is perched atop a rocky hill. It features a colourful gate, yellow-roofed shrine, and white stupa with intricate golden carvings. With a backdrop of lush green hills, it offers incredible views of the entire town.
  • Polo Park: A botanical garden, the Polo Park features an extensive variety of orchids, cane, and other plants. The Park also has a mini zoo and a centre where visitors can buy traditional artefacts and handicrafts.

Places to eat/what to eat in Itanagar

  • Orange Tree Diner and Restaurant: It is an all-day diner that serves high-quality food made from locally-sourced ingredients. It is known for its range of breads, chutneys, and sauces.
  • Asian Flavours Restaurant: With spacious interiors and a cosy atmosphere, Asian Flavours Restaurant serves Asian cuisine. It is famous for its salt and pepper winglets, and honey prawns.
  • Mughal Garden: True to its name, Mughal Garden is a great option for those who love Mughlai cuisine.
  • The Marquee Restobar: It serves a wide range of delicious delicacies, the most popular being its delectable chicken and seafood. It offers great ambience and music, along with good food.

Shopping places in Itanagar

Itanagar has many bustling markets for you to explore and buy everything indigenous to Arunachal Pradesh. Some of the popular places to shop are: 

  • Ganga Market 
  • Akashdeep Market 
  • Legi Shopping Complex
  • BB Plaza

What to buy in Itanagar

  • Thangkas: Tibetan Buddhist paintings, Thangkas, are made on cloth with gold or vegetable dyes. You can buy Thangkas from the many handicraft centres, emporiums, and markets in Itanagar.
  • Bamboo and cane items: All the souvenir shops in the city are full of various bamboo and cane items like flower vases, chairs, lamps, crafted bamboo mats, lamps, and wall hangings. The delicately woven bamboo items serve as a reflection of the local artisans’ skills.
  • Wood carved products: Another popular buy amongst travellers visiting Itanagar are the intricately carved wood sculptures and figurines. These are available in plenty in the city’s markets. Additionally, wooden cups and dishes make for amazing gifts for your loved ones.
  • Woollens: When in Itanagar, be sure to check out the high-quality woollens like shawls, caps, and sweaters.

Where to stay in Itanagar

  • Cygnett Inn Trendz: This budget-friendly hotel features modern, well-appointed rooms equipped with a number of amenities to make your stay comfortable. The hotel has six restaurants offering delicacies across cuisines, and two lounges for the perfect relaxation.
  • Waii International: Offering the beautiful view of the mountains, this hotel is known for its hospitality and top-notch amenities. Located close to most tourist attractions in the city, the hotel offers a swimming pool, multi-cuisine restaurant and bar, bakery, and salon/spa.
  • Hotel Obsidian Blue: Surrounded by lush green mountains, this hotel features spacious and beautifully furnished rooms that offer breathtaking views of the city. Offering a range of amenities, it has a large banquet hall, rooftop bar, free parking, and in-house dining.
  • SC Continental: This hotel is one of the top choices when it comes to staying in Itanagar. It is situated in close proximity to several of the city’s major attractions. The hotel offers a wide range of facilities such as on-site restaurants, bar, meeting rooms, and a business centre. 

Places to visit near Itanagar

  • Ziro: Known for being Arunachal Pradesh’s oldest towns, Ziro is a stunning hill station and home to the Apatanis, one of the oldest tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. It is surrounded by amazing views, expansive rice fields, and towering pines. Located around 110 km from Itanagar, it is situated at an elevation of 1500 m above sea level. Ziro is a must-visit for nature lovers and adventure seekers. This gorgeous destination is home to several incredible attractions such as Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Ziro Putu, Meghna Cave Temple, Shiva Lingam, and Tarin Fish farm.
  • Tawang: Sharing borders with both Bhutan and Tibet, this idyllic place oozes tranquillity and charm. Situated at a distance of around 447 km from Itanagar, Tawang holds special religious and cultural significance. Surrounded by mountain ranges, you can visit many of the beautiful lakes in Tawang. It has several amazing tourist places such as Tawang Monastery, Taktsang Gompa, Sela Pass, Shonga-Tser Lake, and Nuranang Waterfall. It is also an excellent destination for adventure activities like trekking, hiking, and mountain biking.
  • Aalo: Amidst the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh’s West Siang district, Aalo is situated along the banks of rivers Sipu and Yomgois. It is at a distance of around 365 km from Itanagar and is surrounded by valleys, making it a great destination for a vacation. Places to visit while in Aalo are Patum Bridge, Kazu Village, Donyi Polo Temple, Cable Bridge, Hanging Bridge, and Kamaki Hydropower Dam.
  • Bomdila: Located at a distance of around 270 km from Itanagar, Bomdila is a picturesque town known for its scenic views and woollens. Flaunting dense forests, snow-clad peaks, and gorgeous orchards, it serves as an excellent retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Bomdila is an excellent destination for trekking, hiking, forest camping, and mountain biking. Tourist attractions you must visit include the Bomdila Monastery, Bomdila View Point, Upper Gompa, Lower Gompa, Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, and RR Hill. 
  • Daporijo: Located along river Subansiri, Daporijo is a small village situated around 276 km away from Itanagar. It is home to expansive bamboo rainforests, waterfalls, ancient caves, and the many paddy fields. It is an excellent destination for adventure enthusiasts interested in participating in activities like river rafting, hiking, and trekking. When in Daporijo, you can explore attractions such as Kamala Reserve Forest, Daporijo Good Shepherd Church, Sigem Daporijo Reserve Forest, and Daporijo Museum and Craft Centre.

Festivals in Itanagar

  • Nyokum: Observed by Arunachal Pradesh’s Nyishi tribe, Nyokum festival is dedicated to Goddess Nyokum. While the festival is focused on cultivation, locals also pray for prosperity and happiness. The name is derived from ‘Nyok’ meaning ‘land’ and ‘Kum’ signifying ‘togetherness’. While there is no idol worship, a structure, called yugang, is made of bamboo for the prayers. Everyone is dressed in traditional clothes for the festival.
  • Dree: This important agricultural festival of the Apatani tribe is celebrated annually on the 5th of July. With the celebrations starting a day prior, the festival is dedicated to five Gods whose idols are made of bamboo by the priests for worship. The celebration features performances of traditional folk songs and dances, along with a feast.
  • Losar: A popular festival in Arunachal Pradesh, Losar is celebrated by the Monpa tribe to mark the beginning of spring, and the first day of the lunar calendar. The name is derived from ‘Lo’ which means ‘year’ and ‘Sar’ signifies ‘new’. This three-day festival is celebrated to ward off evil spirits, and welcome the new year filled with prosperity and happiness. Typically falling sometime between January and March, the festival is observed with full pomp and enthusiasm.
  • Solung: Observed by the Adi tribe, Solung is celebrated in the first week of September, after the sowing of seeds, for good harvest and prosperity. You can witness the history and culture of the community, especially with the performance of the traditional Ponung dance. The festival is celebrated in three parts - Sopi-Yekpi (prayers and offerings), Binnayat (offerings to Kine Nane, the goddess of crops), and Ekop (protection against evil spirits).

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