Capital : Itanagar
Area : 83,743sq km
Population : 8,64,558
Density of population : 10 per sq km (lowest in India)
Growth of population : 24.20%
Administrative language : English
Languages : Apatani, Monpa, Miji, Hilmari, Hindi and Bengali
Birth rate : 23.8 per 1000
Mortality rate : 6 per 1000
Literacy rate : 41.59%
Religion : Tribals and Animists: 38.26%, Hindus 37.04%, Buddhists 12.88%, Christians 10.29%, Muslims 1.38%, Jains: 0.01%.
Located at the farthest point in the northeastern part of India , Arunachal Pradesh occupies a strategic position amongst the northeastern hill states of the country. Known as the Land of the Down-lit Mountains , it shares its borders with Bhutan in the west, China in the north and northeast, and Myanmar (former Burma ) in the east and southeast. Assam lies to its south. A sparsely populated state, it does not have railway links with the rest of the country. However, air services connect mainland India to some of the important towns in this state. In terms of area, it is the largest state in the northeast of India .
Arunachal Pradesh is mainly a tribal society. The tribes make up for nearly 64% of the total population of the state. The tribal population is primarily of the Mongoloid and Tibeto-Burmese stock.
Some of the more important tribes are the Apatanis, the Khamptis, the Padmas and the Miris. Tribal customs bind the tribesmen together into a solid community. Festivals play a big role in their lives. The more important ones are Losar, Khan, Mopin and Mol that are marked by merrymaking and processions, and have all and sundry joining in the celebrations.
Though Arunachal Pradesh had been inhabited since the dawn of Indian civilisation, our knowledge of its ancient political, social and cultural history still begs the question. There are fleeting references to the area in the Puranas (sacred Hindu texts). However, it is only in the 16 th century that its history gained in coherence from legend and tradition. At that time, it came under the rule of the Ahom rulers of Assam. The year 1838 saw the establishment of British dominion over the area. Before the Indian independence, the state was known as the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA). Later, in post-independent India, it was made a Union Territory. In 1971, the name NEFA was changed to Arunachal Pradesh. By the State of Arunachal Pradesh Act, 1986, it was elevated from the status of a Union Territory to that of the 24 th state of the Indian Union.
Agriculture and Industries
Being a tribal society,of India Arunachal Pradesh is a rural economy. 88% of the state's population lives in the rural areas. Agriculture is the mainstay of the people. Apart from rice that is the staple crop of the state, maize, pulses, millets, potatoes, oilseeds and sugarcane are also grown. The physical features of Arunachal Pradesh are very conducive to shifting cultivation. The state offers great potential for tourism besides industrial development as it has far-flung forests, hydroelectric resources and huge deposits of minerals. Apart from Tirap, Upper Subansiri and Dibang Valley are rich in coal deposits. The Namchik-namphak mines in the Tirap district have geologically proven reserves of nearly 90 million tonnes. The pretty little town of Rupa in the West Kameng district is rich in dolomite mines. of late, cottage industry in the state has witnessed a remarkable growth. Weaving is the main handicraft of the state.
A Desired Tourist Destinatioin
Arunachal Pradesh is endowed with great scenic beauty and has immense potential for tourism. Amongst the places in the state that are of interest to tourists, Bomdila, and the Tawang monastery immediately come to one's mind. Itanagar, the capital of the state, is also an important tourist destination. Malinithan in West Siang district and Bismaknagar in Dibang Valley are significant archeological sites. Namdapha National Park in Changlang is quite a draw for wild life lovers.