Changlang district General information

The Changlang district is located in Arunachal Pradesh, located south of the Lohit district and north of the Tirap district.


 Changlang District covered with picturesque hills lies in the southeastern corner of Arunachal Pradesh, northeast India. It has an area of 4662 sqr. Km and a population of 1,25,334 persons as per 2001 Census. According to legend the name Changlang owes its origin to the local word CHANGLANGKAN which means a hilltop where people discovered the poisonous herb, which is used for poisoning fish in the river.
    A Scenic beauty from Margerita-Changlang road
A scene from Changlang - Margherita road

Changlang District has reached the stage in its present set up through a gradual development of Administration. Prior to 14th November 1987, it was a part of Tirap District. Under the Arunachal Pradesh Reorganization of Districts Amendment Bill, 1987,the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, formally declared the area as a new District on 14th November 1987 and became 10th district of Arunachal Pradesh.


The District lies between the Latitudes 26°40'N and 27°40'N, and Longitudes 95°11'E and 97°11'E .It is bounded by Tinsukia District of Assam and Lohit District of Arunachal Pradesh in the north, by Tirap District in the west and by Myanmar in the south-east.


Except Miao, Diyun, Bordumsa and Kharsang circles and a few narrow strips of flat land in some parts of Changlang, Jairampur, Vijoynagar, Nampong and Namtok circles, the whole district is hilly area. The hills ranging from 200 to 4500 metre in height generally slopes down towards northwest. The highest peak in the district is Daphabum (4500 metre) above sea level.


Changlang district is having 335 Villages with a total population of 1,25,334 persons out of which 65,759 Males and 59,575 Females as per 2001 census. The sex ratio indicates 905 Females per 1000 Males. The literate population was recorded as 51.98 percent of the total population. The decennial growth rate of the population during 1991-2001 was recorded 30.84 for the district.

During 1981 census population of the area was 62,211 persons. The figure has gone up to 95,530 persons during 1991 census and in 2001 census, it is 1,25,334 persons. This reveals an increase of 33,319 persons (53.56 percent) in 1981-1991 and 29,804 (31.20 percent) during 1991-2001. This is really an abnormal growth. The District in not predominantly inhabited by the Arunachal Pradesh scheduled Tribe population. Although during the fifties and sixties the indigenous tribal formed the majority, the ratio of tribal population to the total population has declined after seventies. The proportion of Arunachal Pradesh tribal population in 1981 and 1991 were 36.02 percent and 35.60 percent respectively of the total population. It is generally accepted that the abnormal growth of population in the district has been caused not by natural growth but due to sharp increase in non-tribal population by immigration from Bangladesh, Nepal and Tibet. There has been influx of vast number of Chakma and Hajong refugees from Bangladesh, which remained a continuous current till today. Other reasons for high growth rate are migration of labour forces from other neighbouring states and establishment of Government offices, institutions and industries in the District.
The district Headquarter, Changlang and Sub-Divisional Headquarter Jairampur are declared as urban and whereas, rest of the area of the district are still considered as rural.


The aboriginal inhabitants of Changlang District are the Tangsas, Singphos and Tutsas. The Tangsa tribe is comprise of a number of Sub-Tribes, namely Muklom, Havi, Longchang, Mossang, Jugli, Kimsing, Ronrang, Mungrey, Longphi, Longri, Ponthai, Sangwal, Tikhak, Yungkuk, Sakieng and Thamphang. They occupy the southeastern hills of the district along Indo-Myanmar border and Namchik basin.
    A Pangsa Dance
A group of Pangsa youths performing their Traditional Dance at Jairampur, Changlang district

The Singphos occupy the plain foothills area of northern part of the district under Miao, Bordumsa and Diyun circles. The Tutsas live in the western part of the district under Changlang and Khimiyong circles. Other tribes who have migrated to the district are Noctes (APST), Lisus (Yobin), and Deoris. The Tibetans, Chakmas and Hajongs came as refugees.


 As far religion is concerned, each tribe has its own traditional religious belief and practices. The Tangsas and Tutsas belief in existence of a supreme being called ‘Rangfrah’. Besides they also believe in a number of deities and spirits. However recently many of them have came under the influence of Christianity and Buddhism. The Singphos are Buddhist by religion but they have not given up their own traditional beliefs of their ancestors as they had adopted the Buddhism as their religion.
    Dance performing during Mol festival
A Traditional Dance performing during Mol festival at Changlang

The housing pattern of all the tribes and Sub-Tribes are similar. Platform (Machang) types of houses are generally preferred. The floor of the houses are elevated about four to five feet high from the ground. The houses are of single room system with two fire places (Chullas). They cook and sleep in the same room. However, in modern days some people construct house keeping separate provision for fire places and living rooms.

The Tangsas and Singphos have democratic form of social life. They do not have kingship system. All village disputes are settled by the Panchayat i.e. Gaon Buras.

The main occupation of the indigenous people of the district is agriculture and allied activities. They also rear domestic animals like Cattle, Pig, Goats and Poultry birds.

The most of the indigenous population lives in the villages. They are living through farming and allied activities such as government jobs, agricultural labourer, government contract works, casual workers under government departments, trade in local products etc. There is no direct interference in preservation of traditional customs. But with the spread of education and socio-economic development, aged old traditional customs and economic pattern of the inhabitants are changing gradually. Today, one can see many tribal youths particularly educated group instead of working in agricultural have switched over to business deals, contract works, government jobs and others, which offer them good income. However, majority of the population are living hand to mouth particularly in the interior areas where road communication and other developments have not yet reached.
The major festivals are Moh-Mol,Pongtu Kuh,Shapawng Yang Manu Poi.


From vegetation point of view, the area is very rich. Most of the plants are of tropical and sub-tropical wet evergreen and semi-ever green variety in the lower reaches, mixed deciduous forest in the middle and temperate forest in the hills. But most of the wooded area of easily accessible is not virgin forest due to frequent destruction of forests for shifting cultivation by the local people. The valuable timber species available are Hollock (Terminalia myriocarpa), Hollong (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus), Mekai (Shorea assamica), Jutuli, Dhuna, Michelia Champaka, Oak, Betula and so on. One of the rarest and endangered Orchids, Blue Vanda found in Namdapha.


Wild life of Changlang District is rich and varied. Among the important animals Tiger, Clouded Leopard, Elephant, Gaur, Sambar, Malayan Sambar, Hog Deer, Wild Bore, Lesser Panda, Slow Loris etc. The Hoolock Gibbon, the only ape in India is now found in the Namdapha National Park. Besides, there are a large number of arboreal animals, mainly 5 species of monkey and 6 species of squirrels including the giant flying squirrel.

There are a great variety of birds. The most common bird is the great Indian Hornbill. Other interesting birds are Kaleej pheasant, Fragopan, forest Eagle, Monal pheasant, Peacock, Bulbul, Wood Pecker, Dove, Pigeon etc. White winged wood duck, a rare and endangered species is also occasionally seen in the Namdapha forests. During winter, migratory birds such as ducks, gees, teals, swallows, wagtails, finches and others also visits the rivers, streams and pools.


The climatic conditions in this District vary from place to place due to mountainous nature of terrain. The altitudes also varies from 200 meters to 4500 meters over the peaks from sea level. Places like Miao, Kharsang, Jairampur, Bordumsa and Diyun, which are located in lower elevations and in the valleys, experience hot and humid climate in summer during June-August. In the hill areas the climate is moderate and pleasant. December to February months are cold. January is the coldest month when the average maximum and minimum temperature is about 22.0 degree Celsius and 13.0 degree Celsius respectively. August is the hottest month during which temperature may occasionally exceed 30.2 degree Celsius. The average maximum temperature is about 26.96 degree Celsius and minimum 18.63 degree Celsius.

Rainfall is also very much influenced by the terrain. There is sharp difference in the quantity of rainfall at different places. The annual rainfall ranges from 3800 mm to 4866 mm. The major rainfall is received during June to October.


The major Rivers are Noa-Dehing, Namchik and Tirap. Other Rivers are Namphuk, Dapha, Namphai, Tissu, Tarit, Tara, Tikeng, and Tiging. Most of the rivers after winding through the hills and valleys come down to the plains and join Buri-Dihing River. The Noa-Dihing River, which originates from Patkai Range flows east to west through the entire northeastern and northern stretch of the District. The Tirap rises from a high peak between Laju and Wakka and flows Southwest to Northeast passing through the Changlang town ultimately meet Buri-Dihing near Lekhapani in Assam. These rivers become turbulent during the monsoon and cause a great damage to agriculture fields in the area but at the same time increases the fertility of the soil by depositing silt along their courses.
    Noa-dehing River
Noa-dehing River

The administrative setup is based on single line administration which aims to keep close co-operation amongst various developmental departments with the district administration and thus, to work together for the speedy development of the area.

The Changlang district has four Sub-Divisions namely Changlang, Miao, Jairampur and Bordumsa. Changlang Sub-Divisions covers four circles, namely Changlang, Khimiyang, Namtok and Yatdam. Miao Sub-Division covers three circles namely Miao, Kharsang and Vijoynagar. Jairampur Sub-Division covers three Circles, namely Nampong, Manmao and Jairampur and Bordumsa Sub-Division has got only two circles Bordumsa and Diyun. Total, there are tweleve Circles in Changlang district.

The Deputy Commissioner being the overall in-charge of the district maintains law and order with the help of administrative officers and police forces. Moreover, the villagers have their own customary administrative systems in the form of traditional village councils consisting of the Gaon Buras and members.

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