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How Much It Costs To Go Backpacking In Arunachal Pradesh


by Wandie Leung



Backpacking in Arunachal Pradesh is an adventurous and memorable experience that allows you to explore the breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich biodiversity of this northeastern state in India. Renowned as the “Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains,” Arunachal Pradesh offers a unique blend of natural beauty, ancient traditions, and warm hospitality.


With its snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, gushing rivers, and diverse flora and fauna, Arunachal Pradesh is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Whether you are interested in exploring remote villages, embarking on thrilling treks, or immersing yourself in the local culture, this enchanting destination has something for everyone.


Before embarking on your backpacking journey, it is important to plan and budget accordingly to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. This article aims to provide you with essential information on the costs associated with backpacking in Arunachal Pradesh, helping you make informed decisions and optimizing your budget.


From transportation and accommodation to food and sightseeing, we will explore various aspects of budget travel in Arunachal Pradesh. Whether you are a solo traveler, a budget-conscious adventurer, or a group of friends exploring this hidden gem, this guide will help you make the most of your trip without breaking the bank.


Keep in mind that the cost of backpacking in Arunachal Pradesh can vary depending on factors such as your travel preferences, duration of stay, and the level of comfort you seek. However, with careful planning and a willingness to embrace the local culture, you can have an incredible experience without splurging.


So get ready to embark on an unforgettable backpacking journey through the mesmerizing landscapes and cultural richness of Arunachal Pradesh. Let’s dive into the details of how to get there, where to stay, what to eat, and the various activities and sights that await you on your adventure.


Getting to Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is a remote region nestled in the eastern Himalayas, offering a sense of seclusion and tranquility. However, reaching this enchanting destination requires careful planning and a bit of effort.


By Air: The easiest way to reach Arunachal Pradesh is by flying to its only major airport, Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, Assam. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach your desired destination within Arunachal Pradesh. Alternatively, you can also fly to Dibrugarh Airport in Assam, which is closer to some parts of Arunachal Pradesh.


By Rail: Although Arunachal Pradesh does not have its own railway station, you can reach nearby stations like Guwahati, Dibrugarh, or Naharlagun and continue the journey by road. These stations are well-connected to major cities in India, and you can easily find taxis or buses to take you to Arunachal Pradesh.


By Road: Arunachal Pradesh is well-connected to neighboring states through a network of roads. You can travel by bus or hire a taxi from Guwahati, Tezpur, or Itanagar to reach different parts of Arunachal Pradesh. However, it is important to note that some areas in Arunachal Pradesh may have limited road connectivity, so it’s advisable to plan your route accordingly.


Permits: To enter Arunachal Pradesh, domestic tourists require an Inner Line Permit (ILP), which can be obtained online or from designated government offices. Foreign tourists need to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) or Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit certain regions of Arunachal Pradesh. It is advisable to check the current permit requirements and regulations before planning your visit.


Transportation within Arunachal Pradesh: Once you’re in Arunachal Pradesh, local buses and shared taxis are the most common modes of transportation. These are affordable options and allow you to experience the local culture and interact with fellow travelers. Private taxis are also available for more convenience, but they can be relatively expensive.


Getting to Arunachal Pradesh may require some planning and coordination, but the journey itself is part of the adventure. As you travel through the scenic landscapes and winding roads, get ready to be mesmerized by the beauty of Arunachal Pradesh.


Accommodation options

Arunachal Pradesh offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. Whether you’re looking for luxury resorts, comfortable hotels, or budget-friendly guesthouses, you’ll find plenty of choices in the major towns and tourist hotspots of the region.


Luxury Resorts: For those seeking a luxurious and indulgent experience, there are a few upscale resorts in Arunachal Pradesh. These resorts provide top-notch amenities, spacious rooms, and stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. While they come with a higher price tag, they offer a level of comfort and relaxation that is worth considering.


Hotels: From mid-range to budget-friendly options, hotels can be found in various cities and towns of Arunachal Pradesh. These hotels offer a range of facilities such as comfortable rooms, attached bathrooms, room service, and sometimes even on-site restaurants. This is a popular choice for travelers looking for a comfortable stay without breaking the bank.


Guesthouses and Homestays: To immerse yourself in the local way of life and experience the warm hospitality of the people, consider staying at guesthouses or homestays. These accommodations are usually run by local families who open their homes to tourists. You’ll get a chance to interact with the locals, enjoy home-cooked meals, and gain a deeper understanding of the local culture.


Hostels: Backpackers and budget travelers will be pleased to find a few hostels in Arunachal Pradesh. These offer dormitory-style accommodations with shared facilities, making it an affordable option for solo or group travelers. Hostels also provide common areas where you can socialize with fellow travelers and exchange stories and tips.


Camping: For those who love the outdoors and want to truly immerse themselves in nature, camping is a popular choice in Arunachal Pradesh. With its picturesque landscapes and serene surroundings, there are several camping sites available where you can pitch your own tent or rent one. Camping allows you to spend the night under the stars and wake up to the breathtaking beauty of the region.


It’s advisable to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, as availability can be limited. Additionally, it’s recommended to check online platforms and review sites to get an idea of the amenities, services, and customer experiences of different accommodations.


Whether you prefer luxury, comfort, or an authentic local experience, Arunachal Pradesh has a wide range of accommodation options to cater to every traveler’s needs and budget. Choose the one that suits you best and get ready to enjoy your stay in this mesmerizing region.


Food and Dining

Arunachal Pradesh offers a delectable culinary experience that is a blend of traditional tribal flavors and influences from neighboring states. From mouthwatering local delicacies to familiar dishes, there are plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds during your backpacking journey.


Traditional Arunachali Cuisine: The state is known for its diverse ethnic communities, each with their own unique culinary traditions. You can indulge in dishes like bamboo shoots (a regional specialty), fish cooked with local herbs, smoked meats, and a variety of rice-based dishes. A must-try traditional dish is Apong, a local rice beer that is brewed in homes and served during festivals.


Indian and Regional Cuisine: If you’re craving familiar flavors, you’ll find a range of Indian and regional dishes available in restaurants and eateries. From North Indian curries to South Indian dosas and Northeastern momos, there’s something for everyone. You can also try Assamese cuisine, which is similar to Arunachali cuisine and offers unique flavors.


Local Markets and Street Food: Exploring the local markets is a great way to immerse yourself in the food culture of Arunachal Pradesh. The bustling markets are filled with fresh produce, spices, and local snacks. Don’t miss out on trying local street food like momos, fried noodles, and various meat and vegetable snacks. These street food delights are not only delicious but also easy on the wallet.


Restaurants and Cafes: In major towns and tourist areas, you’ll find a range of restaurants and cafes serving both local and international cuisine. These establishments offer a more comfortable dining experience with a variety of menu options. While the prices may be slightly higher than street food vendors, the ambiance and convenience are worth it.


Dining Etiquette: When dining in Arunachal Pradesh, it’s customary to eat with your hands, especially when having traditional local meals. However, cutlery is available in most restaurants if you prefer. Also, remember to respect the local customs and traditions while dining, such as removing your shoes before entering certain establishments.


Vegetarian and Dietary Requirements: While Arunachali cuisine includes a wide variety of meats and fish, vegetarian options are also available. You can find vegetable curries, stir-fried greens, and other vegetarian dishes in most eateries. It’s advisable to inform the restaurant staff about any dietary restrictions or allergies you may have, and they will do their best to accommodate your needs.


Exploring the local cuisine is an integral part of any travel experience. So be sure to savor the flavors of Arunachal Pradesh while sampling the diverse range of dishes available. Whether you choose traditional tribal cuisine, local street food, or regional Indian dishes, your taste buds will be delighted by the culinary delights that this beautiful region has to offer.



Getting around Arunachal Pradesh requires a combination of different modes of transportation due to its rugged terrain and diverse landscapes. While it may take a bit of effort, the scenic journeys and unique experiences along the way make it all worthwhile.


Shared Taxis and Buses: Shared taxis and buses are the most common modes of transportation within Arunachal Pradesh. Shared taxis, also known as “sumos,” operate on fixed routes and pick up passengers along the way. These are affordable and convenient for getting around within towns and nearby areas. Similarly, local buses connect various towns and villages, though they may be less frequent and take longer due to multiple stops.


Private Taxis: If you prefer more flexibility and comfort, you can hire private taxis for your travels in Arunachal Pradesh. This option allows you to have a dedicated vehicle and driver, which can be convenient for exploring remote areas or following a specific itinerary. Private taxis can be arranged through tour agencies or found at taxi stands in major towns.


Motorbikes and Scooters: For those seeking a bit of adventure and freedom, renting motorbikes or scooters is a popular option in Arunachal Pradesh. This allows you to explore the region at your own pace and venture off the beaten path. However, be prepared for challenging road conditions, especially in more remote areas.


Trekking and Hiking: Arunachal Pradesh is a haven for trekkers and hiking enthusiasts. Many trails are accessible by foot, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature and experience the region’s pristine beauty up close. Local guides and porters are available for longer treks and expeditions, ensuring your safety and providing valuable insights into the surrounding areas.


It’s important to note that public transportation may be limited in certain areas of Arunachal Pradesh, especially in remote and mountainous regions. It’s advisable to plan your itinerary accordingly and be prepared for longer travel times and fewer transportation options in these areas.


While traveling within Arunachal Pradesh, make sure to soak in the breathtaking landscapes along the way. The winding mountain roads, picturesque valleys, and charming villages will undoubtedly add an extra element of adventure to your journey.


Sightseeing and Activities

Arunachal Pradesh is a treasure trove of natural wonders, cultural heritage, and adventurous activities. From exploring ancient monasteries and tribal villages to embarking on thrilling treks and wildlife safaris, there are endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty and richness of this captivating region.


Monasteries and Temples: Arunachal Pradesh is home to numerous monasteries and temples that showcase the region’s spiritual and cultural heritage. Visit the Tawang Monastery, one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in the world, or the 400-year-old Urgelling Monastery. Pay your respects at the Parshuram Kund, a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site, and marvel at the architectural wonders of the Malinithan and Akashiganga temples.


Wildlife and Nature Reserves: Arunachal Pradesh boasts a diverse ecosystem and is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. Explore the Namdapha National Park, home to endangered species like the snow leopard and clouded leopard. Visit the Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary, famous for its elephants, tigers, and hornbills. Immerse yourself in the lush green landscapes of the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, which houses a wide variety of bird species.


Trekking and Hiking: The breathtaking landscapes of Arunachal Pradesh offer numerous trekking and hiking opportunities. Embark on the exhilarating Sela Pass Trek, which takes you through pristine forests and offers panoramic views of the Himalayas. For a more challenging adventure, try the Daporijo-Ziro trek, where you’ll encounter tribal villages, cascading waterfalls, and stunning valleys.


Cultural Experiences: Arunachal Pradesh is known for its rich cultural heritage and diverse tribal communities. Immerse yourself in the local way of life by visiting tribal villages like Ziro, where you can interact with the Apatani tribe and witness their unique traditions. Explore the tribal markets, where you can buy traditional handicrafts, bamboo products, and handwoven textiles.


Festivals and Celebrations: Arunachal Pradesh is renowned for its vibrant festivals that showcase the region’s cultural diversity and traditions. Witness the grandeur of the Sangken Festival, celebrated by the Theravada Buddhists, or the Nyokum Yullo Festival, a celebration of the Nyishi tribe’s deity. These festivals offer a fascinating glimpse into the local customs, music, dance, and traditional attire.


River Rafting and Angling: The rivers flowing through Arunachal Pradesh provide thrilling opportunities for river rafting and angling. Take on the Brahmaputra River for an adrenaline-pumping rafting experience amidst the scenic landscapes. If you’re an angling enthusiast, head to the Siang River to try your hand at catching the famous Golden Mahseer.


Arunachal Pradesh is a treasure trove of experiences, whether you’re seeking spiritual enlightenment, adventure, cultural immersion, or simply a peaceful escape into nature. Make sure to plan your itinerary accordingly to make the most of your time in this enchanting region.


Trekking Expeditions

Arunachal Pradesh offers a plethora of trekking expeditions, allowing you to explore its stunning landscapes, remote villages, and hidden gems. Whether you’re an experienced trekker or a novice adventurer, there’s a trekking route to suit your preferences and abilities.


Tawang Trek: The Tawang Trek is one of the most popular trekking routes in Arunachal Pradesh. This trek takes you through picturesque landscapes, dense forests, and quaint villages, offering breathtaking views of pristine lakes and snow-capped mountains. The highlight of the trek is the mesmerizing Tawang Monastery, one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in the world.


Siang Valley Trek: The Siang Valley Trek takes you through the rugged terrains of the Siang Valley, offering panoramic views of the mighty Siang River. This challenging trek introduces you to the diverse flora and fauna of the region. Traverse through remote villages, pristine forests, and mountain passes, and witness the fascinating local tribal culture.


Twang-Mago Trek: The Twang-Mago Trek is a thrilling adventure that takes you to the pristine Twang Valley and the majestic Mago area. This trek offers an opportunity to experience the unique Tawang Monpa culture, witness dramatic landscapes, and encounter rare and endangered wildlife. The route is challenging but rewarding, with stunning views of snow-clad peaks and a chance to spot the elusive snow leopard.


Daporijo-Ziro Trek: For those seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures, the Daporijo-Ziro Trek is a must-try. This trek takes you through the remote and lesser-explored regions of Arunachal Pradesh, allowing you to experience tribal life, cascading waterfalls, and lush green valleys. The trek provides an authentic cultural immersion and a chance to interact with local tribes like the Adi, Apatani, and Hill Miri.


Sela Pass Trek: The Sela Pass Trek is a moderate trek that offers stunning views of glacial lakes, soaring peaks, and alpine meadows. Starting from Tawang, the trek takes you through the beauty of the Sela Pass, where you can witness the famous frozen Sela Lake. This route also allows you to visit the enchanting Paradise Lake and the historical Bum La Pass.


It’s important to note that trekking in Arunachal Pradesh requires proper equipment, local guides, and permits. It’s advisable to embark on these treks with experienced trekking companies or local guides who can ensure your safety and provide valuable insights into the region. Additionally, the weather conditions and accessibility of certain routes may vary, so it’s recommended to plan your trekking expedition during the peak trekking season, which is generally from April to October.


Embarking on a trekking expedition in Arunachal Pradesh is an unforgettable experience, allowing you to connect with nature, delve into the local culture, and challenge yourself physically. So lace up your boots, pack your backpack, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime in the breathtaking landscapes of Arunachal Pradesh.


Permits and Entry Fees

When planning a trip to Arunachal Pradesh, it’s important to be aware of the permit requirements and entry fees. As Arunachal Pradesh shares its borders with neighboring countries, a special permit is required for domestic tourists and foreigners to enter certain regions of the state.


Inner Line Permit (ILP): Domestic tourists visiting Arunachal Pradesh need to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter the state. The ILP can be obtained online through the Arunachal Pradesh ILP website, or it can be acquired from designated government offices in the state. The permit is typically valid for a specific duration, and it allows you to visit various regions within Arunachal Pradesh.


Protected Area Permit (PAP) and Restricted Area Permit (RAP): Foreign tourists planning to visit certain regions in Arunachal Pradesh need to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) or Restricted Area Permit (RAP). These permits are required due to security and environmental concerns in the sensitive border areas. The permits can be obtained through authorized travel agents or at designated government offices in Guwahati, Kolkata, New Delhi, or Arunachal Pradesh itself.


Entry Fees: In addition to permits, visitors may need to pay entry fees for specific tourist attractions and protected areas in Arunachal Pradesh. The entry fees vary depending on the destination and the type of visitor (domestic or foreign). The fees contribute to the preservation and maintenance of these sites, ensuring a sustainable tourism experience for future visitors.


It is important to note that permit rules and fees are subject to change, so it’s advisable to check the latest regulations and requirements before planning your trip. Additionally, it’s recommended to carry your identification documents along with the permits while traveling in Arunachal Pradesh, as authorities may conduct random checks.


Permits and entry fees are necessary measures to regulate tourism and protect the natural and cultural heritage of Arunachal Pradesh. By obtaining the required permits and paying the entry fees, you can explore the treasures of this enchanting region while respecting its delicate ecosystems and local communities.


Safety and Precautions

While traveling to any destination, it’s essential to prioritize your safety and take necessary precautions. Arunachal Pradesh, with its remote and rugged landscapes, requires travelers to be mindful of certain safety measures to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.


Research and Planning: Before embarking on your journey, it’s advisable to thoroughly research and plan your itinerary. Understand the topography, weather conditions, and transportation options of the areas you intend to visit. Familiarize yourself with local customs, traditions, and the cultural sensitivities of the region.


Permits and Documentation: Obtain the required permits and carry valid identification documents, such as your passport or identification card, along with your permits. Ensure that you have copies of these important documents stored digitally and keep the originals in a safe place while traveling.


Health and Medical Care: Prioritize your health by taking the necessary precautions. Consult with your doctor to ensure that you are up to date on vaccinations and carry essential medications for common ailments. It’s advisable to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses, including emergency evacuation if needed.


Weather and Clothing: Arunachal Pradesh experiences varying weather conditions throughout the year. It’s important to pack accordingly, including warm clothing for the cooler months and lightweight, breathable attire for the warmer months. Additionally, carry appropriate footwear for trekking and hiking activities.


Communication and Connectivity: In some remote areas of Arunachal Pradesh, mobile network coverage may be limited or nonexistent. It’s advisable to carry multiple modes of communication, such as a local SIM card, satellite phone, or walkie-talkies to stay connected in case of emergencies.


Respect Local Culture and Customs: Arunachal Pradesh is home to diverse tribal communities, each with its own customs and traditions. Respect the local culture, dress modestly, and seek permission before taking photographs of people. Avoid sensitive topics and sacred areas, and always ask for guidance from local authorities or guides when visiting tribal villages.


Stay Hydrated and Carry Snacks: Arunachal Pradesh is known for its long journeys and remote areas where access to food and water may be limited. Stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle and purifying tablets or a water filter. Additionally, pack non-perishable snacks to keep you energized during long travels or treks.


Stay Alert and Follow Safety Guidelines: While Arunachal Pradesh is generally considered safe, it’s important to stay vigilant and follow safety guidelines. Avoid traveling alone in remote areas, especially after dark. Keep your belongings secure and maintain situational awareness at all times.


By observing these safety precautions and being respectful of local customs, you can have a safe and memorable journey in the captivating landscapes of Arunachal Pradesh.


Budget Breakdown

Planning your budget is an essential part of any trip, and Arunachal Pradesh offers a range of options to suit different budgets. Here’s a breakdown of the major expenses to consider when budgeting for your backpacking adventure in this mesmerizing region:


Accommodation: The cost of accommodation in Arunachal Pradesh varies depending on your preferences and the type of accommodation you choose. Budget-friendly guesthouses and hostels can range from INR 500 to INR 1500 per night. Mid-range hotels and resorts typically range from INR 2000 to INR 5000 per night, while luxury accommodations can cost upwards of INR 8000 per night.


Food and Dining: Arunachal Pradesh offers a range of dining options at various price points. Street food and local eateries provide affordable meals, with prices starting from as low as INR 100 per meal. Restaurants and cafes offer a wider variety of cuisines, with meal prices ranging from INR 300 to INR 1000 per person. Dining at upscale establishments may cost around INR 1500 or more per person.


Transportation: Transportation costs include getting to Arunachal Pradesh and traveling within the region. Flight prices will vary depending on your departure location and time of booking. Domestic flights from major cities in India can range from INR 6000 to INR 15000 round trip. Local buses and shared taxis within Arunachal Pradesh are affordable, with prices ranging from INR 200 to INR 800 depending on the distance.


Sightseeing and Activities: Entrance fees to tourist attractions and national parks vary, with prices typically ranging from INR 50 to INR 500 per person. Guided tours and trekking expeditions range from INR 1000 to INR 5000 or more, depending on the duration and level of difficulty. It’s important to factor in these costs when planning your itinerary.


Permits and Entry Fees: The cost of permits depends on the type and duration of the permit required. Inner Line Permits (ILP) for domestic tourists typically cost around INR 100 to INR 400 per person. Protected Area Permits (PAP) or Restricted Area Permits (RAP) for foreign tourists can range from INR 200 to INR 3000 per person, depending on the duration and areas covered.


Miscellaneous Expenses: It’s advisable to set aside a budget for miscellaneous expenses such as local SIM cards, snacks, water, souvenirs, and unforeseen expenses. It’s recommended to keep around INR 500 to INR 1000 per day for miscellaneous expenses, depending on your personal preferences and spending habits.


Keep in mind that these figures are approximate and can vary based on personal choices and the duration of your stay. It’s always wise to have some extra cash or a backup plan in case of any emergencies or unexpected expenses.


By considering these major expenses and planning your budget accordingly, you can have a well-prepared and enjoyable backpacking experience in the enchanting landscapes of Arunachal Pradesh.



Backpacking in Arunachal Pradesh offers a unique and unforgettable adventure, allowing you to immerse yourself in the mesmerizing landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality of this northeastern state in India. From the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas to the lush green valleys and gushing rivers, Arunachal Pradesh captivates travelers with its natural beauty and diverse traditions.


By planning your trip carefully, considering your budget, and following the necessary precautions, you can have a fulfilling and safe journey in this remote and off-the-beaten-path destination. From obtaining the required permits to discovering the local cuisine, treks, and historical sites, Arunachal Pradesh offers an array of experiences that cater to every traveler’s preferences.


Whether you’re exploring ancient monasteries, trekking through pristine landscapes, or conversing with the friendly locals, the charm and allure of Arunachal Pradesh will leave lasting memories. Take the time to savor the delicious cuisine, participate in vibrant festivals, and appreciate the rich cultural tapestry that this region offers.


As you embark on your backpacking journey, don’t forget to embrace the spirit of adventure and openness to new experiences. Arunachal Pradesh, with its untouched beauty and hidden treasures, awaits your discovery.


So pack your bags, prepare your itinerary, and get ready to embark on an incredible journey through the awe-inspiring landscapes and vibrant culture of Arunachal Pradesh. It’s time to create memories that will last a lifetime in this enchanting destination.