All about Ziro Valley and Ziro Music Festival - TheUnexplored Blog

June 16th, 2023

All about Ziro Valley and Ziro Music Festival

Ziro Valley and its Inhabitants

Ziro Valley is a paradise secretly tucked away in the Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh.It is known for its lush paddy fields, gurgling stream, bamboo groves, pine trees and beautiful bamboo houses inhabited by the Apatani Tribe.

The pristine valley is declared a World Heritage Site by the UN as it is the cultural heritage site of the Apatani tribe.

The Apatani tribe is renowned for its unique customs, traditions, and sustainable agricultural practices. One of their distinguishing features is the distinctive facial tattoos and large nose plugs adorned by the older women of the community. This ancient tradition is believed to have originated as a means to deter neighboring tribes from abducting Apatani women, thus preserving their cultural identity.

The Apatani people are deeply connected to nature and have developed an ingenious method of rice cultivation known as “paddy cum fish culture.” They have created an intricate system of irrigation channels and fishponds within their terraced fields, fostering a harmonious relationship between agriculture and pisciculture. This sustainable farming technique has not only ensured food security for generations but has also helped preserve the ecological balance of the valley.

Ziro Valley and the Apatani tribe offer a unique opportunity for travellers to immerse themselves in a world untouched by modernity. As visitors traverse the lush paddy fields, interact with the friendly locals, and witness the captivating rituals, they are left with a deep appreciation for the Apatani tribe’s harmonious way of life and the unspoiled beauty of Ziro Valley.

Ziro Music Festival

The serene valley in the breath-taking landscapes of Arunachal Pradesh comes alive every year with the enchanting melodies and vibrant rhythms of the Ziro Music Festival.

Started in the year 2012, by Bobby Hano and Menhopause guitarist Anup Kutty , Ziro     Music Festival spans for four days and is hosted by the members of the Apatani tribe in Ziro.

This annual extravaganza celebrates the vibrant music scene of India while providing a unique platform for artists to showcase their talent against a breathtaking backdrop.

Delightful Experience:

The Ziro Music Festival offers an immersive experience that combines music, art, and nature. As you enter the festival grounds, you are greeted by the soothing sounds of acoustic guitars, drums, and melodious voices, floating through the crisp mountain air. With gorgeous hills serving as the backdrop, it offers both the artists and the spectators a picture-perfect setting.

An Eclectic Lineup:

The Ziro Music Festival has a diverse programme that includes both well-known and emerging performers from different genres. From indie rock and folk to blues and electronic music, the festival caters to diverse musical tastes. Renowned Indian bands and solo performers, as well as talented local musicians who incorporate their traditional tribal melodies into contemporary sounds captivates attendees.

Cultural Exchange:

Beyond the musical performances, the Ziro Music Festival provides a platform for cultural exchange. The festival welcomes attendees from all walks of life, encouraging them to immerse themselves in the local culture and traditions. Visitors can explore the nearby villages, interact with the Apatani tribe, taste the traditional cuisine, and witness age-old rituals. This integration of music and culture creates an enriching experience that fosters a deep appreciation for the local community and its heritage.

Nature’s Playground:

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Ziro Music Festival is its location amidst pristine natural surroundings. The Ziro Valley is a haven for nature lovers, with its rolling hills, dense forests, and gushing rivers. Festival-goers can take a break from the musical performances to embark on adventurous hikes, explore the verdant landscape, and even camp under the starlit sky. The harmonious coexistence of music and nature makes Ziro a destination that nourishes the mind, body, and soul.

Community Spirit and Sustainability:

The Ziro Music Festival is not just about the music; it is a celebration of community and sustainability. The organizers place a strong emphasis on eco-friendly practices, ensuring minimal impact on the environment. They promote waste management, use renewable energy sources, and encourage responsible tourism. Moreover, the festival creates opportunities for local artisans and entrepreneurs to showcase their crafts and products, fostering economic growth within the region..

Things to Note

  • Accommodations like hotels, camps, and homestays are available in Ziro, book them in advance.
  • Food stalls selling veg and non-veg items and local delicacies are there inside and outside the venue.
  • Carry cash with you although online options are available these days.
  • For the early bird offer, book your tickets in advance.
  • There is a possibility of rain. Ziro has had some precipitation almost every edition, therefore carry some rain gumboots, a poncho or raincoat and some warm clothes for the evening.

When one decides to experience the Musical extravaganza, the Ziro Music Festival. There are some official permits one requires to be a part of the festival.

These include:
1. Inline Permit:
Indian citizens, need Inline Permit or ILP to enter any place in Arunachal Pradesh. The ILP can be acquired either online or can be obtained from the Government Authorities of Arunachal Pradesh. One can apply Online for ILP.

2. Protected Area Permit:
All foreigners travelling to Arunachal Pradesh require PAP or Protected Area Permit. This can either be acquired from All Indian Missions abroad or the All-Foreigners Regional Registration Officers or the Home Ministry, Govt. of India or Home Commissioner, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar.

How to Reach Ziro Valley?

By Air

There are no direct flights to Ziro, the closest airport is in Donyi Poli Airport (Hollongi Airport), Itanagar around 100 kms away.

Also, you can fly to Guwahati Airport and travel to Ziro from there.

By Rail

Naharlagun is the closest Railway station, which is around 3 hours away from Ziro. You can board an overnight train from Guwahati to Ziro.

By Road

Taking a taxi from Guwahati to Ziro will take you about 7 hours via NH27 or NH15. You can also take a bus from Itanagar to Ziro.  You can also opt for shared cabs from North Lakhimpur.

Must Visit Places while visiting Ziro Valley

  • Nearby Villages: When in Ziro explore the nearby villages and interact with the friendly Apatani tribe. Learn about their traditions, visit their unique stilt houses, and admire the intricate handcrafted bamboo artifacts. Indulge in local cuisine at traditional eateries (don’t miss to try the local wine, Apong)
  • Midey: Known for having some of the tallest and bluest pine trees in the Apatani Valley, Midey offers fantastic trekking and photography possibilities.
  • Dolo Mando: This picturesque hill, located outside the town, provides stunning views of the Hapoli town below.
  • Meghna Cave Temple: The temple dates back 5000 years and is devoted to Lord Lakulisha, the 28th manifestation of Lord Shiva. At 300 feet in elevation, it provides sweeping views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
  •  Kile Pakho : A picturesque steep peak a few kilometres outside the town. The ridge provides a viewpoint that allows one to view the valley, plateau, and snow-covered Eastern Himalayas on each side.
  • Ziro Puto: A nearby tranquil hillock and an army cantonment in Ziro provide breathtaking views of the Apatani valley. It is the location where independent India’s first administrative centre was created in 1960. The area is the ideal retreat to escape the city’s noise and bustle and unwind in awe-inspiring settings.
  • Tarin Fish Farm: The Tarin Fish Farm  surrounded by Pine Grove and Bamboo Grove, is situated at a high altitude in the Bulla village. The visitors can see the breeding of high altitude fishes. One can also see the process of raising the two crops of rice (Mipya and Emoh) and a breed of fish (Ngihi) together which is practiced followed by the Apatanis tribes.
  • Dilopolyang Maniipolyang: This location is a pair of hillocks near the Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. With its calming and breathtaking vistas, these picturesque meadows will make you fall in love with nature like never before.
  • The Talley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary: Talley Valley is a well-known wildlife reserve in Arunachal Pradesh, spanning 337 sq. km. It boasts a wonderful variety of subtropical and alpine woods, including ferns, bamboo, rhododendron, orchids, and silver fir trees. One of its species of bamboo, Pleioblastus simone, is unique to Talley Valley. If you’re fortunate, you could get to witness clouded leopards. The location is also ideal for participating in trekking.
  • Bamboo Grove: It is well-known for its dense bamboo forests, which are surrounded by blue pine trees, and for its nature paths, which wind through the forests and provide breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
  • Ziro Pine Grove: One of the most visited locations in Ziro is the Pine Grove. Due to the extensive pine trees that blanket the hills in the area and offer fantastic hiking and photo possibilities, it is also the destination that tourists visit the most.

Attending Ziro Music Festival is a transformative experience that leaves an indelible mark on one’s heart and soul. The harmonious blend of music, culture, and nature creates an atmosphere of pure enchantment. It is a celebration of diversity, fostering connections and friendships that transcends boundaries. The Ziro Music Festival proves to be more than just a destination; it is a journey of self-discovery and artistic exploration.

If you seek an extraordinary adventure where melodies come alive amidst pristine landscapes and cultural immersion, then the Ziro Music Festival is an experience you cannot afford to miss. It is a celebration that redefines the power of music and its ability to unite.

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