Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh is a northeastern state of India. It is one of the two primary regions (along with Aksai Chin) claimed by both China and India. The state is not recognized by the People's Republic of China, nor its northern boundary, the McMahon Line. Instead, China calls the area South Tibet pinyin: Zngnn), and puts the area nominally under the jurisdiction of three counties of Tibet Autonomous Region: Cona County, Mdog County, and Zay County.


Formed Assam 20 February 1987
Language none predominant
Capital Itanagar
Governor (Indian appointed) Vinod Chandra Pande
Chief Minister Gegong Apang
Area 83,743 km²
Population
 - Total (2001)
 - Density

1,091,117
13/km²
Literacy: 54.74%
List of country calling codes 91 40

Arunachal Pradesh, formerly called NEFA (North East Frontier Agency), was part of state of Assam until 1987. It was given the statehood status after taking into consideration the security consideration in east and Sino-Indian tensions.

The population of Arunachal is 1,091,117 according to 2001 census and is scattered over 12 towns and 3649 villages. The State has the lowest density of 13 persons per sq. km. As against decadal growth rate of 21.34% at the national level, the population of the State has grown by 26.21% over the period 1991-2001. The sex ratio of Arunachal Pradesh at 901 females to 1000 males is lower than the national average of 933.

Total literacy of the State rose to 54.74% from 41.59% in 1991. The number of literates is 487,796. There are 20 major tribes and a number of sub-tribes inhabiting the area. Most of these communities are ethnically similar, having derived from and original common stock but their geographical isolation from each other has brought amongst them certain distinctive characteristics in language, dress and customs.

Broadly the people may be divided into three cultural groups on the basis of their socio-religious affinities. The Monpa and of Tawang and West Kameng districts follow the lamaistic tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. Noted for their religious fervour, the villages of these communities have richly decorated Buddhist temples, locally called 'Gompas'. Though largely agriculturists practising terrace cultivation, many of these people are also pastoral and breed herds of yak and mountains sheep. Culturally similar to them are Memba and Khamba who live in the high mountains along the Tibetan borders. Khamptis and Singphos inhabiting the eastern part of the State are Theravada Buddhists. They are said to have migrated from Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) long ago and still using ancient scripts derived from their original homeland.

The second group of the people are Adi, Aka, Apatani,Khowa, Bangnis, Nishi, Mishmi, Miji, Thongsa etc., who worship Sun and Moon God namely, Donyi-Polo and Abo-Tani, the original ancestors for most of these tribes. Their religious rituals, largely coincide with phases of agricultural cycles. They invoke nature deities and make animal sacrifices. They traditionally practice jhumming or shifting cultivation. Adi and Apatanis extensively practice wet rice cultivation and have a considerable agricultural economy. Apatanis are also famous for their paddy-cum-pisciculture. They are specialised over centuries in harvesting two crops of fish along with each crop of the paddy.

The third group comprises Nocte and Wancho,adjoining Nagaland in the Tirap District. These are hardy people known for their strictly structured village society in which hereditary village chief still plays a vital role. The Nocte also practise elementary form of Vaishnavism.

There are about 20 Major tribes with a number of Sub-Tribes in Arunachal Pradesh. However, the number of the number of standard tribes varies between 66 to 115 over the past few years until recently. Today, the state itself has counted that there are 82 standard tribes.