History of Itanagar
The citation of Itanagar dates back from the times of Ramayana and Mahabharata. According to Hindu mythology, Itanagar is the hometown of Princess Rukmini, Lord Parashuram and King Bhismaka. Itanagar was ruled by many tribes like Nyishis, Adis, Miri, Galos and Apatanis. Until the British rule, north eastern parts of Arunachal Pradesh were ruled by Monapas and reminder of the state by Ahoms. During British rule, there were many border issues, Sir Henry McMahon, gave a 550 miles boundary line as solution which was later rejected by the Chinese.
Geography of Itanagar
Itanagar, also known as “The Land of Dawn Lit Mountains” because of its geographical location, situated near the foothills of Himalayas. Itanagar is the first place in India to witness the glowing sun rays. It has an average elevation of 750 meters and population of about 35 thousand. The capital city lies on the western region of state Arunachal Pradesh.
Government and Administration of Itanagar
Administratively Itanagar comes under Papum Pare district and is 22 kms away from district head quarter Yupia. Itanagar Municipal Corporation takes care of the civic administration in the city. The permanent bench of Guwahati High Court is established in Itanagar in July 18th 2000. City contributes one member to Indian Assembly and four members to Arunachal Pradesh Legislative assembly.
Language and Culture of Itanagar
Tibetan culture and traditions have more influences in culture of Itanagar. Presently Itanagar is inhabited by number of tribes like Nyishi, Adi, Apatani etc. 70 % of Itanagar population is inhabited from other regions. Dances of Itanagar are the part of cultural identity of the tribes, which are generally performed in groups. Roppi, Aji Lamu, Popir etc are some of the folk dances of the city. People eat food with very less spices and more fresh vegetables. Nishi is widely spoken followed by Adi, Bengali, Nepali, Hindi, Assamese and English.
Educational Institutes in Itanagar
Venkateswara Open University and Himalayan University are the two Universities in Itanagar. Rajiv Gandhi Government Polytechnic College takes care of engineering studies in the city. North East Homeopathy College is present in the city representing Medical sciences. They are many degree colleges in the city offering different courses.
Transport Facilities in Itanagar
The nearest airport to Itanagar is Lilabari which is around 70 kms away. Regular helicopter services are available from Guwahati. Itanagar was connected only once to Indian Railway in April 2014. The nearest railway station is Harmoty in Assam which is approximately 35 kms away. National Highway 52A passes through Itanagar, which connects city with other parts of the country. Arunachal Pradesh State Transport Service connects Itanagar with major cities of the state and neighboring states. For local transportation Taxi services, Auto Rickshaws.
Tourism in Itanagar
Ita Fort, which has irregular shape, known as Fort of Bricks, is one of the important monuments in Arunachal Pradesh. Itanagar got its name from this fort. Jawaharlal Nehru Museum exhibits the tribal culture of the state. A stupo tree was planted by Dalai Lama, in The Buddhist Temple grounds, which give beautiful view of city. Ganga Lake, locally known as Gyaker Lake is one of the beautiful spot for outing and boating. To reach the lake one had to cross the Jungle and cross forest lake using row boat. Polo Park, botanical garden is located on the top of a ridge. They are many destinations around the city.
Festivals Celebrated in Itanagar
Nyokum is one of the important festivals of Nyishi people, for better productivity, prosperity and happiness of all the people. Dress festival is celebrated by sacrificing of fowls, eggs and animals to satisfy the Gods, to avoid famine. Solung is celebrated in first week of September which extends for five days, is harvest festival, celebrated to seek better corps. Some other tribal festivals in the city are Losar, Reh, Tamladu and Sangken.