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Arunachal Pradesh Dibang Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
The Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Upper Dibang Valley sub-district of Arunachal Pradesh, which also happens to be the north-easternmost part of India. Spread over an area of 4149 sq km, the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary is extremely rich in biodiversity and scenic beauty alike.
The region exhibits a varying altitude from 1800m to 5000m and includes the upper foothills as well as major parts of the Eastern Himalayan Mountains. The vast area of the Sanctuary is riddled with perennial streams that eventually empty into the Brahmaputra River, down south.
The Valley of Flowers and the alpine Kahaiwhite Lake, at the foot of the highest peak in the region, are popular tourist attractions.
The Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary was created in 1980s bordering the Mouling National Park. Later in 1998, both of these areas were included into the Dibang Biosphere Reserve, created and regulated as per the guidelines of UNESCO.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The climate at Upper Dibang Valley is cool and often reaches freezing temperatures during winter. The summers are pleasant and winters are interesting too, the heavy monsoons however, shut down all the activities of the region and travel is arduous. The best time to visit Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary is from November to May.
How to Reach
The nearest airport to Anini is 200km away at Tezu, Anini can also be reached directly with the Arunachal Pradesh Helicopter Service. It is better to reach the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary via Roing (243 km from Anini), which is easily reached via the airport at Dibrughar in Assam.
The closest railway to Roing is Tinsukhia (100 km) in Assam, from where one has to go by road to Anini and then to Dibang Sanctuary.
Following the National Highway 37, from Dibrughar to Tinsukhia and then the Sadiya Ghat, one can easily reach the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary.
There are over 190 species of birds found in the Dibang Sanctuary. Some of the rare and indigenous species include Blyth's Tragopan, Sclater's Monal and Temminck's Tragopan. Some of the other rare birds are Wedged Billed Wren-Babbler, Japanese Bush Warbler and Rufus-Tailed Babbler.
The Dibang Sanctuary has a spectacular collection of frog species, from the low-lying dense evergreens until the 2000m mark. Sadly, there has not yet been a comprehensive recording of these amphibians. A wide variety of snakes, with most being non-poisonous, are documented. The Indian Rock Python, Cobra (King and Nala), Viper and species of Krait have also been reported in the region.
These are the largest group of animals in the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary. Various species of the same family inhabit the Sanctuary at the same time, which is a rare occurrence. Animals like Tiger, Panther, Leopard, Jungle Cat, Clouded Leopard, Snow Leopard and marbled Cat are among the carnivores. The most significant herbivores include the Takin, Musk Deer, Blue Sheep and Red Panda. Other smaller mammals like the Macaque, Sloth Bear, Otter and a newly discovered Flying Squirrel, are also found here.
The Dibang Sanctuary hosts over 45 species of moths, butterflies other insects.
There are currently a few trekking programs run by the Forest Department and the Biosphere Reserve that include the Valley of Flowers and the Kahaiwhite Lake and measure a distance of around 60 km.
Where to Stay
The town of Anini, which is the district headquarters of the Upper Dibang Valley hosts a number of government and private accommodations and there are Forest Rest Houses in the Sanctuary too. Many tourists prefer to stay at Roing, the more prolific neighbor of Anini.
- Since the state of Arunachal Pradesh as many internationally disputed areas and the Dibang Valley is a part of the sensitive Indi-China region, prior documentation and permits are necessary.
- For Indians, an Inner Line Permit or a Restricted Area Permit is essential, which can be obtained in New Delhi or offices in Kolkata and Assam.
- Foreigners are needed to obtain a Protected area permit from Indian Foreign Offices in their respective countries.
- All the visitors to the Dibang Biosphere Reserve need permission from the Regional Forest Office.