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Rupa, Itanagar Overview

Lying at a distance of approximately 20 kilometres from Itanagar, the quaint hill station of Rupa is a must visit during a trip to Arunachal Pradesh. Untouched my mankind, Rupa lies on the banks of Tenga and provides tourists with the most brilliant sights. Verdant greenery, bright blue skies and crisp mountain air make this destination the perfect specimen of the beauty of the region. The best way to explore the meandering ways of Rupa is to take a morning or evening time drive when the sun is slightly dancing over the horizon and paints the valley in kaleidoscopic colours that glisten through the thick forest cover.

Rupa is best known for its charming grasslands and gently rolling mountains that make up for the perfect weekend getaway. In addition to the scenic beauty that Rupa holds, a number of other attractions are also situated nearby. Rupa Monastery is situated here which is a monastery in the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism. Visit Shertukpen, which is a tribal village in the city and a unique way to experience the culture and lifestyle of locals. Explore the Guru Rinpoche Cave which is also situated nearby.

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History of Rupa

The history of Rupa has its mark in not only India but in Tibet as well. The first mention of the town is found somewhere around the 7th century in relation to the king Tsongtsen Gambo of Tibet. Many people were displaced from Rupa during the 1962 Indo-Sino war, after which resettlement occurred when peace was back in the valley. Today, Rupa has a pristine and calm atmosphere which is very welcoming to tourists.

Main Festivals in Rupa

The main festivals that are celebrated in Rupa are in the village of Shertukpen, where a vivid celebration of colour, dance and music marks the festivities. Local festivals like Lossar, Chhe-Kor and Khik-Saba are celebrated with great vigour and gaiety. Lossar is Tibetan New Year which lasts over a period of 15 days, but the main festivities are held over the course of the first three days. However, preparations for the same are started way in advance when families thoroughly clean their homes and decorate the rooms with fragrant flowers and auspicious hand-paintings. Khiksaba is another major festival celebrated in the winter months when people dress in traditional clothing and perform ritualistic dances. 

Chillipam Gomba in Rupa

One of the most renowned attractions of Rupa is the Chillipam Gompa or Sang-Ngag Choekar Dargyeling Monastery, which overlooks a paranomic view of the surrounding valley. Built in typical Chinese-Tibetan manner, the monastery is a delicately designed edifice that is covered in colourful mosaics and paintings that narrate the stories of the Gods. The eight auspicious signs of Tibetan Buddhism also embellish the Chillipam Gompa, where you will also find young monks chanting blissful mantras.

How To Reach Rupa

The nearest railway station is Bhalukpong. One can also commute to Guwahati railway station to travel from the rest of the country. Rupa in Itanagar is a 6-7 hour drive from Guwahati.

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