Namdapha – the hidden gem in Arunachal Pradesh

The Namdapha National park with its diverse flora and fauna lies in the little township of Miao in the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. From Dibrugarh Airport we drove down to Miao in four hours via Digboi, Margherita, Ledu, Joirampur, Jagun. Enroute we passed through some lovely green misty tea gardens.

Soon we reached our destination, the Namdapha Nature camp where we had planned to spent two nights. We were surprised to see the lovely looking cottages made in local Arunachal architecture style, spread over large area by the side of river Nao – Dihing.  The owner of the property Mr. Phupla Singpo a local resident of Miao was extremely cooperative and shared with us various stories on the locals of Miao and the how tourists from across the world among all odds come so far to witness the view of some extraordinary species of birds and mammals that are perhaps found only in this region of the world.

As per our planned itinerary, on the first day we did not go any far and spent our time on the banks of the Nao – Dihing river which was just next to the Nature camp. We did not see any tourist around and got completely engrossed in the serene beauty all around. To our great surprise in such an isolated area, we spotted the “ River Café “  just around the corner , very nicely built with bamboo and wooden logs. We thought of entering the café to chill for a while , and we met the owner who is a local boy who said that he along with his two friends started this café around two years back.

Our next destination was Deban Forest rest House inside the Namdapha National Park. We though opted to stay in the small cottages that have been newly built inside the same FRH compound.

We knew that the Rest house and the cottages are lit only by solar power and there would be electricity and water scarcity quite often. But getting away from the convenient city life – this is exactly what we were looking for in Namdapha – the unhampered beauty of nature with the sound of the flowing river just outside our cottages and the early morning chirping of the birds and the calls of the Hoolock Gibbons all around.

Early next morning we started our jungle trail with our guide. Unlike other usual national park , in Namdapha one needs to walk down the forest through rocky river beds and cross the river in small boats, climb across bamboo staircase made by locals. Its definitely a little tiring and strictly for nature enthusiasts who looks forward to walk that exra mile to experience the sight of some rare birds in the thick dense forest. The entire Namdapha Nature camping takes around 5 nights, but due to time constraint we completed our jungle trek till the 19th mile and Haldibari.

As we always say that perhaps no trip is complete without tasting the local flavour, so on the last night of our trip, Mr. Phupla had specially brought home cooked local singhpo food served on a special leaf. The dinner spread had sticky rice, sauted green leaf, bamboo shoot soup, chicken stew with bamboo shoot, steamed fish, and a peanut salad.

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