Papum Pare district General information

The Papum Pare District the capital district of Arunachal Pradesh is situated in the North–Eastern part of India. It is located in between latitude 26 55’N and 28 40’ and longitude between 92 40’ and 94 21’. The district headquarter is located at Yupia, which is situated about 20 kms from Itanagar.


The ancient period history of the area is too scanty and fragmentary to give a connected historical account. The archaeological relics of later times discovered in the area do not provide any key to the ancient period of history.   It is in the late medieval period marked by the dominance of the Ahoms in the Assam that the history of the area emerges from vague traditions.
                A series of invaluable chronicles known as Ahom Buranjis, of the Ahoms who ruled Assam for long six centuries from 1228 A.D to 1826 A.D, bear the important literary evidences to the historical developments of the area. During the rule of Ahom dynasty the Nishis did not pay taxes to the King of Assam but accepted his sovereignty and obeyed some of his commands.
During the rule of Ahom King Sukhampha, Khora Raja (1552-1603) the area was brought under the Ahom administration. In 1614 the Ahom expedition in this area ended in a total defeat of the Ahoms. King Pratap Singha (1603-41) granted the Nishis the right of posa, the right to receive payments from certain specified villages in the foothills, provided they paid annual tribute to the king. Katakis were appointed for this purpose. A number of paiks were engaged in the duars or passes to supply the Nishis certain necessities of life. The Nishis were entitled to receive from every ten houses at foothills, one double cloth, one single cloth, one handkerchief, one dao, ten heads of horned cattle and four seers of salt.
            Despite the grant of posa the Nishis could not be prevented from committing raids in the plains of Assam. In 1646, during the reign of Sutyinpha also called Naria Raja (1644-48), a punitive expedition was sent against the Nishis to avenge the outrages committed by them. The expedition failed and a second expedition was undertaken in 1648. This time also the Ahoms were compelled to retreat.
            In 1672 the Nishi rose in revolt and refused to pay tribute to the Ahom King. They raided a village called Taiban in the Lakhimpur district and carried off a number of people. The reigning king Udayaditya Singha dispatched a retaliatory force against the Nishis, ignoring the caution of his Prime Minister. The expedition dragged on for long until it ended in failure and heavy loss of lives.
            Hostilities between the Ahoms and the Nishis continued until the latter came to the terms during the reign of Rudra Singha (1696-1714), the mighty Ahom king. The Nishis agreed to provide 600 soldiers to the Ahom army. However the peace and friendship did not last long. The Nishis committed a series of raids after the death of King Rudra Sangha. However the Nishis were subdued in 1717during the reign of King Siva Singha (1714-1744) and King Rajeswar Singha (1751-1769) imposed a blocked on the passes leading to the hills. Consequently the Nishis led a delegation to the king and gave him presents and returned the e captives taken previously. But the arrest of the representatives by the king resulted in hostility until the restoration of posa to the Nishis. During the Moamaria rebellion, which broke out in Assam in1769 and continued till the early part of the next century, the Nishis made a common cause with the rebels in their bid to over throw the Ahom domination. The rebellion died down quietly.

            After fall of the Ahoms, the Treaty of Yandabo ceded Assam to the British in1826. The British largely followed the Ahoms in regard to Nishis in the nineteenth century. Up to the first decade of twenty century it was the policy of the British to leave the tribes more or less to look after themselves. Under the British government the tradition of collecting posa continued in spite of the government’s effort to discontinue it and make money payments in lieu of it. Since the money had no exchange value in the hills, it was not acceptable to them until 1852. Since then the Nishis stared settling in the plains and started attention to agriculture.

            On the night of 12th February 1872, the village of Amtola, a Nishis village settled in plains near Gohpur was attacked and plundered by two hundred Nishis of the hills. The government stopped the payment of posa since then. From the early part of the 20th century the relationship between the Nishis and the government took a new turn.

            In 1914 the area was a part of the administrative unit called Western Section of North-East Frontier Tract. In 1919 it was renamed Balipara Frontier Tract. In 1946, the Balipara Frontier Tract was divided, for administrative convenience, into Se LA Sub-Agency and Subansiri Area and in 1954; this Tract was bifurcated into two administrative units known as the Subansiri Frontier Division and the Kameng Frontier Division. In 1965, the Subansiri Frontier Division came to be known as the Subansiri District. In 1987 the Subansiri District was bifurcated into Upper Subansiri District and Lower Subansiri District. The Papum Pare District was curved out of the Lower Subansiri District in 1993.

            The first administrative center was opened at Kimin in 1947, at Doimukh and Sagalee in 1949, Naharlogun in 1974, Balijan in1976 and at Mengio in 1979 and Toru and Laiporiang in 1998.The temporary state capital was established in 1974 at Naharlogun and subsequently shifted to Itanagar in 1978.

            Till 1974, the administration of the territory was carried out from Shillong, which was then the capital of the state of undivided Assam and later on the capital of Meghalaya state. It was felt that for the rapid development of the territory, the administrator should come near the people and the search for a site for the capital of Arunachal Pradesh started. The choice for capital finally fell on Itanagar, which was a small village. Initially the capital was shifted to Naharlogun and the foundation stone was laid by the then President of India, late V.V Giri on 20th April 1974.The government had defined the area of the capital complex vide its notification thus.


Area: “The area lies between longitude 93 13’ to 94 and latitude 270 15’ and 2 in the south, 7 in the west and 12 in the east.”
The entire Papum Pare district is mountainous forming a part of the Eastern Himalayas. The area comprises of a cross–section of the foothill region adjoining the border of Assam, the lower hills and the lofty mountain extending northwards. The natural vegetation comprises mainly tropical semi-evergreen and sub-tropical evergreen forests. At lower altitudes the vegetation consists of tall trees, shrubs, bamboo, wild banana, cane and various kinds of creepers, and at higher altitudes it is mostly composed of ferns and rhododendrons.


  The physical features of the district can be divided into two parts –

             Foothill Region and Hilly Region.

            A) Foothill Region:  Strips of level area along the foothills adjoining the northern border of Sonitpur and Lakhimpur districts of Assam form the plain belt of the district. In this area the plain ends and hills begin. The foothill region is covered with dense tropical evergreen forest and receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon. This area forms the agricultural land of the district. Kimin, Balijan, Doimukh and Naharlogun are situated in this area.

            B) Hilly Region: The mountainous area of the district forms the hilly region, which is covered with thick and dense forests. The area has very limited agricultural land and most area except the river valleys. However jhum cultivation is practiced on the gentle slopes in this area.

         The Pare, Panior and Dikrong are the main rivers of the district

A) Panior: The Panior river rises from a high mountain called Khoren Putu lying to the northwest of Sagalee. A tributary called Pareing also feeds the river formed by two streams – Nirpung and Nirke. The Panior known in the plains of Assam as Ranga-Nadi falls into Brahmaputra. The Ranga-Nadi Hydro Electric project is built on this river.

 B) Pare: The river Pare originates from the Senkeng Gekah range lying about 40 km away from Sagalee. It flows to the east for about 50 km before it meets the Nirochi and Pachin rivers. The main tributaries of the Pare river are Pang and Namte coming down from the nearby hillock.

C)  Dikrong: Dikrong drains the southern part of the district. The Par, Nirochi and Pachin rivers form it. It flows from the west to the southeast, and passing through Itanagar region and merges with Brahmaputra in the Lakhimpur district of Assam.                      

The major rock formation in the district can be grouped into tertiary, gondwana, unfossiliferrous sedimentary and metamorphites. The hilly region comprises shales, sandstones, phyllites, quartzite and others. The valleys and low lands have dominantly colluvial and alluvial mixed materials.


 The altitude variation ranging from 170 meters to 800 meters and varied climatic conditions have bestowed the area with three different types of forests:

1.       Tropical evergreen forest

2.       Tropical mixed evergreen forest

3.       Secondary forest

Tropical Evergreen Forest :  The dominant trees forming the upper canopy of primary forest are Terminaliya myriocarapa, dalbergia assamica, altangia excelsa, castonopsis griffithii, quercus lanceolata, q lapacea, alangium Chinese and diospyros taposa. The middle layer is represented by Talauma hodgsonii, calicarpa arborea, and cronron joufra.

                    The third layer comprising small trees and shrubs include Grewia multiflora, rubus insignia, trevasia palmate, boehmeria glomerulifera, livistona etc. The ground layer consists of herbs chiefly Blumea balsamifera, Chloranthus, officinalis, floscopa scandens, calamus teptopaddix, angiopteris evecta etc. Lofty trees are loaded with epiphytic orchids like Liparis longipes, Dendrobium, D Cathcartii and Eria paniculate etc.

Tropical Mixed Evergreen Forests :  It extends from the foothills unto the height of 600 meters comprising mainly Stereosperum, Suaveolens, bombax ceiba, Schima wallichi etc.

Secondary Forest :  The important plants of this area include Dendrocalamus bamiltonii intermixed with Musa sp forming secondary forests and it extends unto 500 meters. Besides, Buddleia Asiatic a, ptris enciformis cyathea spinulosa, Osbekia nutans, Scoparia dulcis, Urena lobata etc. are common component of this forests.


 The various wild animals found in the district are elephants (elephas maximus linnacus), samber (cervus unicolor Kerr), Barking deer (munticus muntjak Zimmerman), and wild boars (sus scrofa linnaeus).

                        The common primates found in the southern region are the macaque (macaca assamenis MoClelland) and Capped langur (Presbytis pileatus Blyth).

                        The insectivorous and rodents are very common. The commom varieties are the long tailed tree mouse (vandeluria oleracia benneth), the house rat. Various types of squirrels viz Palla`s squirrel (calloscirus pallas), giant flying squirrel (petaurista petaurist pallas) and the malayan giant squirrel are also found.


                        The Nishis or Nishings are the local inhabitant tribe of the district. Also the Mikirs, who are the migrants from Assam, form a part of the local population. The Nishis were known as DAFLAS till few decades ago. But the locals felt the term derogatory and thus discontinued using it. Moreover the word originated from the people of plain areas who had the initial contact with the hill tribes.

                        The Nishis belong to the Indo-Mongoloid group of people and their language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family. They believe in the supremacy of the DONYI POLO , the sun and the moon. However, now many people have adopted other religions also.

Tourist Place

Papum Pare district has many places of interest for tourists. This includes Itanagar, Doimukh, Segalee, Kimin. The tourists have to collect Inner Line Permits from designated offices in various places.

Itanagar, situated at the foothills, is the capital of Arunachal Pradesh . The Itanagar township is situated at 350 metres above mean sea level. As a capital town, Itanagar is well connected with the rest of the country by road and air communications. Pawan Hans provides helicopter service between Guwahati and Naharlagun(Itanagar). Deluxe buses are available from Guwahati.

Itanagar has been identified with Mayapur, the capital of the 11th century AD JItri dynasty. At Itanagar, one can find historical fort called Itafort, dating back to the 14-15 centuries, after which it is named. The capital houses the Rajbhawan , the official residence of the Governor has also many worth visiting places in and around Itanagar.

These include legendary Ganga Lake (Gyakar Sinyi). It is a beautiful picnic spot, 6 kms away from Itanagar, a green forest lake surrounded by primeval vegetation, orchids masses on tall trees, tree ferns provides a small taste of the magnificent forests of the state.

Consecrated by the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist temple, a beautiful yellow roofed shrine reflects the extensive Tibetan influence and provides good views of Itanagar and the surrounding countryside. Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum provides a kaleidoscope of Arunachal Pradesh and one can see wood carvings, musical instruments, textiles, handicrafts and archeological finds, while a workshop in the Handicrafts Centre specializes in traditional cane manufacture. It has a library section also. Other important places of interest around Itanagar is Donyi-Polo Vidya Bhawan a Premier Publics School, North-Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology(Nirjuli) - a engineering insitute providing innovative way of education, Arunachal University (Doimukh) and Government Piggery and Poultry Farm (Nirjuli), Indira Gandhi Park(Itanagar). For conducted tours please contact tourist operators.

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