Upper Siang

Upper Siang District with geographical area of 6188 Sq. KM, a veritable treasure house of nature in its full splendour with simple and hospitable people, has 11 Administrative Circles with a total population of 33, 146 persons as per 2001 Census. It is bounded by Tibet region of China in the North, Dibang Valley District in the East, West Siang District in the West, and East Siang District in the South. It is inhabited by Adi, Memba, Khamba and Idu Mishmi tribes who have been harmoniously living in the cradle of nature since time immemorial with colourful festivals / rituals like Solung, Aran, Reh, Lossar, Dihang, etc. The village is the lowest administrative unit having its own traditional administrative system in the form of Village Council called "Kebang".

Upper Siang District is a mountaineous region endowed with rich natural resources and biodiversity, deep gorges and fast flowing streams and rivulets, which form the tributaries of the mighty Siang River. The Siang River flows through the heart of the district running into Indian territory at a point near Gelling in the Indo-China border. In the early days of geographical exploration, the Siang River was referred to as the "Missing Link" - the unexplored channel that formed link between the Tsangpo of Tibet and the Brahmaputra of Assam. In the Tibetan Cosmogony, it is a horse mouth river with sense of emerald flowing East, and there is a belief that those who drink its water will become as sturdy as horses.

There have been radical changes over the years on all developmental fronts. However, the long isolation and inaccesibility of the areas due to communication bottlenecks pose formidable constraints to the efforts for socio-economic developments. The economy of the people is mainly agriculture, which provides direct employment to the 70% of the population. A large mammal called ESO (Mithun) is a majestic animal, which is indigenous to the people.


MARIYANG & PEKIMODI CIRCUIT: Mariyang is the homeland of Padam, Pasi and Millang Communities located at 52 KMs from the district Headquarter, Yingkiong. It is also accessible via Pasighat - Ranaghat road, crossing the river Siang by boat. It is situated at a hillock overlooking the confluence of the river Yammeng and Yamne. Apart from scenic beauty, one can go and see the Damro village, which is known to be the largest village of Upper Siang District (10 KMs from Mariyang). Pekimodi, which is famous in Adi folklore is 34 KMs away from Mariyang. The Padams, Millangs and Pasis are having a rich traditional culture. Solung a festival is celebrated in the month of September. During this festival, a traditional dance form namely Ponung is performed by the village belle.

TUTING - GELLING CIRCUIT: Gelling is the last Circle HQ, which is attached to the International Boundary of China. The famous MacMohan Line touches this circle. It is 34 KMs from Tuting. Half of the road has been converted into all weather road by BRTF and rest half is to be covered by foot track. River Tsangpo enters here from Tibet and is locally named Tsang Chu, which is further named river Siang in the South and Bramhaputra in Assam.

Memba, a Nyingma Sect. of Mahayana Buddhist inhabits Gelling Cricle. Lossar, Torgya, Dhruba and Tsobum are the main festivals of Memba's. The festivals are celebrated according to the Buddhist Calendar. During these festivals, BARDOH CHAAM popularly known as Mask Dance is performed at the Gonpas. Dancers wear the mask of animals. The prime theme of the dance is to depict victory of good over evil and also to show the importance and preservation of all living creatures.

There is a 3 hours trekking from Gelling to Bishing where a series of beautiful cataract falls down from mountain above 300 feet. The remnants of Kapangla Pass is still present near Gelling. Earlier, this pass was the main trade route for Adis and Tibet.

YINGKIONG - EKODUMBING - RIUTALA CIRCUIT: Ekodumbing (Riutala) is under Simong territory. During the month of October and November the people of Simong arrive here in group to collect EMO (Aconite), which is used for hunting. Many rare species of animals like Takins, Muskdeer (Sikung), birds like PEDE, TANE, SIKO (all local names) can be seen here, medicinal plants like NYODO (Coptis tita), TALAP (a type of wild garlic), etc. are found here.

Now a days the place has acquired religious importance for the Buddhists. They call Eko Dumbing as Riutala and regard it as a paradise of AWALOKESHWARA, which means the paradise of CHENRISI, the Dalai Lama. It is three days foot march via Simong village and 6 days via Tuting - Tashigaon and Singha. The Buddhists Pilgrims from far flung areas arrive here in the month of August and September to offer their prayers.

Riutala is a hill which is interspersed by many lakes. From this river Sipit, Yammeng, Simong Patang, Tangam Patang have originated. Around this place there are many caves which give shelter to pilgrims. The scenic beauty of Eko-Dumbing is breathtaking.

YINGKIONG - TUTING - DEWAKOTA CIRCUIT: NAY DEWAKOTA : Nay means holy place / shrine. Dewakota means abode of God derived from Sanskrit. It is surrounded by Nyigong (Yangshang Chu) river and is located on a plateau. It is 40 KM (Approx.) from Tuting and accessible only by porter track. The natives believe that Guru Rimpoche has kept many sacred treasure / script (TER) at Dewakota, which are yet to be revealed and deciphered. There are many holy spots like SINDURA, Guru Durpuk and numerous caves which were said to have been used by Guru PADMA SABBAWA. The caves can accomodate more than 100 pilgrims at a time. They are opened only during winter season, during rest of the year, the caves remain submerged under Yangshang Chu river. It is believed that those who visit Dewakota for 3 times will attain heaven and also wipe off all past sins.

The Membas of Gelling and Khambas of Singha believe that the present pilgrim places like Dewakota, Riutala, Pema Shree, Dakar Tashi and Jachung were engraved by Lord Guru Rimpoche or Guru Padma Sabbawa - the Second Buddha. These holy spots were later discovered and unravelled by His Holiness TERTON NYANGGOE.

YINGKIONG - TUTING - TSITAPURI CIRCUIT: Tsitapuri is yet another pilgrimage centre under Yingkiong - Tuting Circuit of Singha Circle. Tsitapuri is believed to be the paradise of Lord Guru Rimpoche. A spectacular sight of this place is that there are more than 108 lakes in it. Lake Danakhosa is one of them, from where river Nyigong (Yangshang Chu) and Jeying Chu originate. Buddhist people believe that those who are fortunate or have pure heart witness different wild animals and a Gompa with a queue of Lamas with their prayer wheel and beads in their hands on the island. The lake is surrounded by barren mountain valleys covered with snow throughout the year.

MOULING NATIONAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY: Mouling National Park was established in 1982 with an objective to create a favourable habitat for plants and animals. It is located in the right bank of river Siang covering an area of 483 Sq. KM. This park is a reserved house for diverse flora and fauna. The vegetation of the area varies according to the altitude. Temperate alpine and coniferous forest at the upper reaches whereas the lower area is covered with tropical evergreen forest. Ornamental plants like foxtail, orchids are abundant in this area.

The park has also an impressive area of animals and birds. Many endangered species like takins, snowclouded leopard, golden languor, hornbill, monal scalater, serrow are spotted here. And many more species are there which are yet to be identified and recorded. One can venture into this park during winter season by seasonal trekking path from Bomdo and Ramsing villages.

Inside the sanctuary, there are many attractive waterfalls. Dabung Waterfall and Nirbung Waterfall are two of them. This park is thoroughly a dreamland for trekkers and animal & bird lovers.