Lower Subansiri district General information

Lower Subansiri is an administrative district in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in India. The district headquarters are located at Ziro. The district occupies an area of 10,135 km² and has a population of 98,244 (as of 2001).


 The name of the District is derived from the Subansiri River, a tributary of Mighty Brahmaputra, that flows through Raga Circle of this District. Till 1914, the District was a part of Lakhimpur District of Assam. By the Government of India Notification of 1914, the area covered by this District became a part of Lakhimpur Frontier Tract of the “North East Frontier Tract”. In March, 1919, by another public Notification, the Lakhimpur Frotier Tract along with Western sector was renamed as the “Balipara Frontier Tract”.

In 1946, the District area was curved out of the Balipara Frontier Tract in the name of “Subansiri Area” with its Headquarter at North Lakhimpur. In 1954, Subansiri Area was renamed as the “Subansiri Frontier Division” and its Headquarter was later transferred to Ziro. Like other parts of NEFA, the District was also under the Ministry of External Affairs and over-all Incharge was a Political Officer.

On 1st September, 1965, the Ministry of Home Affairs took over the Administrative charge of NEFA from the Ministry of External Affairs, and the Subansiri Frontier Division was renamed as Subansiri District, and Political Officer was redesignated as Deputy Commissioner, Addl.Political Officer as Addl. Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Political Officer(I) as Assistant Commissioner, Assistant Political Officer(II) as Extra Assistant Commissioner and Base Superintendent as Circle Officer respectively.

On 13th May’1980, Subansiri District was bifurcated into Lower and Upper Subansiri District. Upper Subansiri District was formed by covering the area of the then Daporijo Sub-Division, and rest of the area of erstwhile Subansiri District was placed under Lower Subansiri. Finally on the 22nd September, 1992, Lower Subansiri District was again bifurcated, and Papumpare District was formed.


Lower Subansiri District covers approximately an area of 10,135 Sq.km. The topography of the District is mostly mountainous terrain, where the Hill Ranges varies approximately from 1000 to 1600 metres above sea level. A greater part of it falls within the Higher mountain zone consisting of tangled peaks and valleys. Nature has gifted the heart land of the District in the form of magnificent plateau at about 1564 metres above sea level, where District Headquarter, Ziro is located.


The forest of the District are rich in valuable species of trees and different varieties of shrubs, cane and bamboo grow plenty, and the exquisite floral treasures of wilder species may often be found in the shadowy recesses of the Forest. The Forest of the District has got great economic values and various types of wild game. The District is also rich in wild fauna such as tigers, panthers, leopard, cats, bear, boars, antelopes and barking deer etc. beautify this nature’s Zoological Garden.


One of the main river of this District is Kamala. The origins of the river is from snow ranges of China(Tibet), which flows towards South-East and meets the Subansiri river at Raga Circle. The Subansiri river, at one time was famous for its gold dust flows through the District and leaving the District at Dollungmukh Circle. It ultimately joins the mightly Brahmaputra in plain of Assam. Khru, Panior, Kime, Panya, Selu, Pugo, Persen, Rein Sipu, Pange, Kiile etc. river are also worth mentioning.


The climatic condition of the district varies from place to place as well as season to season. The climate is largely influenced by the nature of terrain depending upon altitude and location of place. It may broadly be divided into four seasons in a year :

(1) the cold weather season is from December to February,

(2) March to May is the pre-monsoon season of thunders storms follows by,

(3) the South –West monsoon from June to about the middle of October and

(4) the second half of October to November which constitutes the post monsoon or the retreating monsoon period and is a period of transition.

In the foot hills or low high belt area of the district, the climatic condition is moderate in comparison to high belt areas, where during winter is very cold and chill, and in summer is pleasant. December and January are generally the coldest month, and July and August are warmest months.

Annual rainfall in the South is heavier than that in the Northern areas of the district. During the monsoon period more than 70 percent of the rain over the Southern half occurs while in the Northern portions it is about 60 percent. Variability of rain fall for the monsoon and the year ,as a whole, are relatively small. Average Annual Rainfall of the district Headquarter, Ziro recorded as 934.88 Cms.during, 2000.

Relative humidity is always high throughout the year except in the winter months being slightly less humid. In the cold season, the sky is abscurred on many mornings due to lifted fog which clears with the advance of the day generally, moderately clouded in the period of March to May, heavily clouded to overcast in the monsoon season and clear or slightly clouded during the post monsoon season. Winds are generally light strong katabatic winds down the valleys are experienced as local effect produced by the nature of terrain.


As per 2001 census, the Lower Subansiri District has recorded a population 0f 98,244 comprising 49,542 males and 48,702 females of which 85,860(43,062 males (+) 42,798 females) are rural population spread over 595 villages and 12384(6480 males (+) 5,904 females) are Urban population. The average size of population of CD Block is found to be 8,256. The District population accounts for 9.62 percent of total population of the state. The average density of population per sq.km.is 10 for the district as compared to 10 persons for Arunachal Pradesh.

Lower Subansiri District ranks eight in population size and third in area (Approx. 10,135 sq.km.) among all the thirteen district of Arunachal Pradesh. Out of 3 (nine) CD Blocks, Ziro-II CD Block stands highest in rural population followed by Nyapin and Ziro-I CD Blocks.


The Apatani practice aquaculture alongwith rice farming on their plots. Rice - fish culture in the valley is an unique practices in the state where two crops of rice [ Mipya and Emoh] and one crop of fish [ Ngihi] are raised together.


Integrating aquaculture with agriculture assures higher pruductivity and year round employment opportunities for farmers.The plots utilised for rice cum fish culture is mainly based on organic fertilisation with a varieties of animals excreta such as poultry dropping [ Paro pai], pig excreta [ Alyi ekha ],cow dung [ Sii ekha] and wastes of plants such as rice husks [ Piina], waste product of local beer [ Poi] and ashes from household burnt [ Mubu ] and remains of burnt straws [ Muyu] after the harvest is over. And compost fertiliser like decomposed straws [ Liisi], weeds [ Tamih] and stalks [ ankho].
The Apatanis utilise varieties of domestic waste products to their paddy field to enhance crops productivity which in turn enhance soil fertility as well as feed to fishes. They left a heaps of rice bran, poultry dropping , pig excreta and many other household wastes during the month of December and January where transplantation for the next season begins.

The rice field (Aji) can be utilized for fish culture in the following two ways.Fishes can be reared from the month of April to September when the paddy crops grow in the field. At present it is being practised at Ziro .The fish culture can also be taken up from the month of November to February after harvesting of paddy crops is completed and transplantation for the next season begins.The culture of fishes in paddy fields, which remain flooded even after the paddy is harvested, may also serves as an occupation for the unemployed youths.

In recent year, however, the use of insecticides, pesticides, weedicides, and fungicides, many of which even in minute quantities, are highly toxic to aquatic life. There are other possibilities that too is the time when paddy fields retain water,but for off season for paddy crops; here,fishes alone can be grown. However,the present trend leaning heavily towards multiple cropping of culture practices.In other words,wheat can be substituted in place of rice during the month of October to February at Ziro.Moreover,fishes can be reared not only along with the common carp-species but also with other species such as Catla-catla (catla),Labeo rohita (Rohu),Cirrihnus mrigalo (Mrigal) when the paddy crops grow in the fields. In this, stocking density maintain at the rate of 5000 fingerling/ha. species ratio of surface feeder 25%,colunm 30% and bottom feeder 45%.

Paddy field is suitable for fish culture at Ziro bacause of having strong bund (Agher)in order to prevent leakage of water, to retain upto disired depth and also to prevent the escape of cultivated fishes during floods.The bunds built strong enough to make up the height due to geographical and topographic location of the paddy field. Bamboo mating done at the base of the bunds for its support. On the bunds, millets [ sarse] cultivation is a common practice in Apatani pleteau. Hence, leaving no portion of paddy plots is left unutilised. But till now, horticulture cum fish farming has not been taken up. In this practices, the bunds can be utilised for several varieties of vegetables, like cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes,radish, pumpkin, cucumber, beans, brinjals chillies, gingers etc.

Apatanis used paddy fields channel [ Siikho/Parkho/hehte] for water management , constructed at the middle of the paddy fields that divides the paddy field perpendicular and horizontally bisect at a point. The parkho provides the rearing space for fishes and provide shelter during the sunny day. It is important to note that Apatanis paddy field has two outlets [ hubur] and one inlet [ hubur] Former oulet is used for over flow of water and latter one which remains at the bottom meant for draining of the water for harvesting paddy crops and fishes.

Lack of poor management, pond culture at Ziro is somewhat lacking. This could be improved by providing organic fertilisers as done in paddy fields. In other ways, integrated with animal husbandry, poultry would pave better result. In this practices, cow dung and poultry litters can be used as organic manure for fish ponds.

Presently riverine [ kley] aquatic wealth is still virgin at Ziro. The species of fish found in the riverine such as Schizothorax [ Ngiyi Ngilyang], Eels [ Tabu Ngiyi], Nemaucheilus [ Ribu], Dorikona or weed fish [ Ngi papi], murrels at the lower reaches of Tabyu kley and others and monsoon migratory fishes [ Ngiira] which is found during the heavy flood during the summer season. Other species such as Prawn [ Nyanpo tassing] unwanted species like Nato neta [ yato pano] , water beetle [ Yassi anii/chunyi]and other aquatic bugs which occur plenty during the summer.

In order to catch fish in river, in olden days, Apatanis used local made gear Tajer,Takhung and barju to get total catch sometimes by diverting the river water into other ditches. Frequently, they used herbal poisonous plant to kill fish { Tamoh]. At present , they used chemical substanes like bleaching power, other explosive materials, and electrolites which is most discouraging in the fieldof pisciculture practices as a result of unwanted meant of practices leads to the death of valuable food organisms of the aquatic environment. Further, it causes imbalancing of ecological niche and thereby damaging the river bank. It is encourageable that some of NGOs have already formed unaminously local conservation Acts to stop such unwanted practices of fishing e.g. for increasing fish production in a sustainable manner, conservation of aquatic life, biodiversity is a necessary prerequisite.

Tourist Place

# Best season to visit :: March to November.
# Language Spoken :: Apatani, Nyishi, Assamese, Hindi & English.
# How to reach :: By Bus/Taxi from Itanagar/North Lakhimpur.
# Nearest Railway Station :: North Lakhimpur/ Harmuti.
# Nearest Airport :: Tezpur/Lilabari.
# Where to stay ::

    * Govt. Accommodation
          o Circuit House
          o Guest House
          o Inspection Bungalow
    * Private Accommodation
          o Pine Ridge Hotel
          o Hotel Blue Pine
          o Hotel Hill View
          o Hotel Centre Point.
          o Hotel Jumolhari

# Clothing: Heavy woollen in winter & lighter woollen in summer.
# The place is ideal for trekking & hiking.

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