Arunachal Pradesh has eluded me for a long time. Finally, after much discussion and figuring out a plan and finding the right time to do it, I’m off to Arunacahl Pradesh tomorrow! I’m traveling with both my parents and our itinerary looks something like this :
13th April Indigo flight Delhi to Dibrugarh
Night halt at Dibrugarh ( After lunch, I plan to figure out what the closest, busiest market place is at Dibrugarh and then I plan to plonk myself down at one of the street corners or pavements and photograph some Assamese street style! )
14th April Dibrugarh to Likabali / Lekhabali
This will involve driving from Dibrugarh residence to the bank of the Brahmaputra River, getting onto a raft ( it’s a huge ass raft ) and crossing the river, getting to the other side ( I’m told the raft takes about an hour or two to make the crossing ). A vehicle will await our arrival and drive us to the Likabali residence, where we will spend the night. Depending on how the day goes, I also plan to scope out some #EyesForStreetStyle material here. The river crossing means we will be crossing over from Assam into Arunachal Pradesh.
15th April Likabali to Along
Night stay at Along – it’s the biggest town before we hit our final destination and I don’t really know what to expect except the locals will get friendlier and sparse and I will begin to see more local fashion and weaves and food.
16th April Along to Mechukha / Menchuka
This will be the longest drive-on-the-road part of the journey and while Arunachal Pradesh finally has black-top roads, I’m not sure what condition they’re in. The temperature will also drop drastically and the scenery should get more green and less population along the way.
Mechukha is where we have friends and family waiting for us and we will be spending 7-8 nights i a valley surrounded by tall mountains, some of which are even covered with snow. There’s a shallow river that runs through the village and there isn’t much to do within the village except this one really old monastery ( If only you could hear me say that – I’m so DONE with monasteries. ). I will plan and execute my shoots for NICOBAR, PostFold and House of Tuhina and use the surrounding scenery. And I have a couple of other labels I’m carrying me that I plan to wear during the trip and stay. My Dad has been suggesting that he could always photograph for me when no one else is available and this time, I intend to take him up on that.
I was also day-dreaming about a photo shoot on the raft but I’m not sure they allow that and whether the raft will even look like a “raft”. We’ll see. I will be adequately prepared in either case.
Flight back from Dibrugarh – Calcutta – Delhi is on the 28th and after a couple of days of snoozing, I should be back to work like nothing has changed. Except, I will have lived in Arunachal Pradesh for a small part of my life, which will be great.
At Mechukha, I’ve been told I must not expect any mobile phone connectivity and definitely zero internet connectivity in any form. I’ve also been told the power supply is only via generators and is up for 3-4 hours per day, if that. The weather forecast currently shows a bit of rain and 13 degrees Celsius day temperatures. I’m carrying a lot of thermal inner-wear and I’m prepared for no photographs of stars and the night sky attributable to the mostly cloudy weather. BUT! Clouds = massive natural soft-box for free!
I will be photographing quite a bit, hopefully, but I probably won’t be visible online much. See you soon!