The Border between cultures.
The district of Changlang is blessed with abundant natural diversity and it has an untouched charm to it much like most of the northeast. It is the eastern-most point of India, lying on the Indo-Burma border. It was originally a part of the Tirap district and was declared as a new district in the year 1987. Its name is derived from the word 'Changlangkan' which is a herb found on the hilltop that was used by locals to poison fish in the river. This place holds in its soil the legacy of the Second World War. The entire district is a hilly region except for a few strips of land. Changlang is a land of high cultural diversity and is home to a number of indigenous tribes and migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar. The dominant tribes in the region are the Tangsa, Lisu, Chakma, and Singpho. The tribes follow a democratic system of social life, and all disputes are settled in the Panchayat or as they locally call it 'Gaon Buras'.
There is a good amount of rainfall, though majorly influenced by terrain at about 3800-4800mm. The major rainfall is received in the months between June and October. Owing to the terrain, even the climate is not very steady.
Culture and Heritage
Each tribe has its own deities and traditions. The prominent deity of Tangsas believe in the existence of a supreme being called 'Rangfrah', but also worship several other deities and mother nature. A strong influence of Buddhism and Christianity can be seen in the traditions of these tribes. Though the main occupation of the tribes is agriculture, they also rear cattle and other farm animals. Most youngsters get educated and take up skilled employment and government jobs.
Some of the notable festivals of the indigenous tribes are:
The Moh-mol festival is a festival to celebrate agriculture and harvest. it also marks the formation of new relationships and forms ground to bid ritualistic farewell to departed souls. This is celebrated with a lot of vigor and extravagant displays of the tribal jewelry, attire and other music and dance practices are seen.
The Pongtu Khu Festival, is one of the oldest festivals celebrated for the onset of rainy season. The word 'Pong', means winds, and the 'tu' means retreating, as to welcome the rain-filled clouds. Many sacrifices and colorful dances are characteristic of this festival.
Top things do in Changlang
How to reach
The best and most convenient way to reach Changlang is by road and by hiring a private taxi. The ride can be rough because of the hilly terrain, but the views make it worthwhile.
Note: To enter the area 'Inner line permit' is required.
How to Reach by Flight
Though the nearest airport to Changlang is Mohanbari, it has extremely limited connectivity. The one major airport that is relatively close to the district is that of Kolkata. From here, you could take a bus or hire a private taxi.
How to Reach by Train
Tinsukia Railway station is the nearest railway station to Changlang and is located 95 kilometers away. There is low to moderate connectivity of railways. From there, a taxi or even a shared taxi can be hired.
How to Reach by Bus
There are decent roads and buses that connect Changlang to Miao and Tinsukia.
How to Reach by Road
The roads that lead to Changlang are decent and the best option is to hire a private taxi as it is most convenient and a safer option on the hilly terrain.
How to travel within
Start from Kolkata or Tinsukia in the late afternoon to Changlang. The views of sunset and the Patkai-Bum ranges can be truly breathtaking. Once you reach, check into the Namdapha Jungle Camp and enjoy a restful sleep in the lap of nature.
Begin the day by touring the national park and tiger reserve, followed by a visit to the lake of no return and Jairampur cemetery, to pay homage to the martyrs of the Second World War. Also, visit the Stilwell road and the village of Miao for some local shopping. If you are lucky you might get to cross the border and visit the Burmese markets, this is allowed on only certain days in a month with permissions from the armies.