It was in the month of October when I was deciding where to go for Christmas and North-east was definitely not in my list of places to go for.
I had decided to go for Kashmir when a random post on Facebook came on my wall regarding the Ziro music festival which took place in September. And there started the conflict in my mind, whether to go for North or North-East. To solve the conflict, I held a voting post on facebook, Kashmir v/s Arunachal and Arunachal IT WAS!
Booked my flight tickets and patiently waited for December to come.
It was 5:30pm in my watch when I arrived in Ziro valley and was already very dark. Realised, sun sets early in North-East. I went to rest after a bumpy ride.
The next day when I woke up I was lucky to meet a local guide while I was having my morning tea at some local tea-stall. And he assisted me to all the tribal Basti’s (village) of Ziro Valley.
I entered Hong Village home to Apatani Tribe and came across many women with nose plugs and a tattoo on their face. When I had earlier googled about why women stay this way it was written that women of Hong village were considered the most beautiful and Nyishi tribe used to kidnap them and for this reason they started tattooing their face to no longer remain beautiful.
When I asked around, Got to know it is a fictitious story!
The truth: It was just a cultural signature.
How the tattoo is done:
It’s done with a thorny plant locally called ‘tipe tere’. The thorny plant is dipped into a paste of soot and pig fat and then the tattoo inked on the face by slowly hitting the thorn in the face with a cane. A painful process!
Most Apatanis worship sun and moon as told by the local guide popularly know as Donyi-Polo. Apatanis who worship Donyi-Polo hang the flag of sun-moon outside their house.
I also visited the other four basti’s of Ziro Valley, including Hari Basti which is said to be the most civilized basti.
How I Reached Ziro Valley:
Jorhat is the Nearest Airport. Took sharing taxi from North Lakhimpur (INR300) till Hapoli Village (New Ziro).
Stayed in Siiro Village (Sirro Resort). You can also try Hibu Tatu’s homestay which is the most famous with a friendly environment. At my time it was booked.
Tip: Book it in advance.
North-East is a notorious place and sun sets early here. It is advised not to step out of the house after 6:00 pm and before 7:00 am because it gets really dark and silent at some places at night.
I loved meandering around Basti’s of Ziro Valley.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading the blog. Have a good time and do add this place in your bucket list when you visit North-East.