Beginnings are beautiful. And you would know this whenever you spot sunrises. Sunrises are the ideal proof of how enriching the beginnings are. The beginning of the day, the first ray of light and the hope that brings along is surely one of the things that would make you believe in the beauty of nature. We don’t observe this phenomenon daily, but still the sun rises every day. With every sunrise we get to experience a new day. How organic it may seem, but it takes one full round of the earth to experience one sunrise.
Have you ever given a thought to any of these ideas? Or have you ever given a thought about where first sunrise in India is observed? This would be an interesting factor for sure. Sunrises are naturally beautiful and there is so much attached to this already. Additionally let me tell you everything about the place of first sunrise in India. Keep on reading this article to know more about this hidden gem.
First Sunrise in India in which State
At the point where three countries India, Myanmar and China meet, a small village called Dong in Arunachal Pradesh experiences the first rays of the sun. This small village in Arunachal Pradesh in the Anjaw district gets illuminated with the sunrays for the first time in India. Located at an elevation of 1240 metres this village is also known as “India’s Land of the Rising Sun”. At the junction of Lohit River and Sati stream, this is the easternmost village in India. We all know that the sun rises in the east. However this is not the easternmost point of India though. Moreover it is the only accessible easternmost location in India. So this place is referred to as the place where the sun rays first hit. This fact was discovered in 1999 and was later confirmed by the Survey of India Officials and the scientists as well.
How to reach India’s first Sunrise place?
To reach Arunachal Pradesh you can take any flight to Dibrugarh from the neighboring nearby cities. You can get flights easily from Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati etc. From there you have to reach Walong. Walong is the site of base camp and the starting point of the trek. From Walong you will have to trek to reach the Dong Village.
At 120 km distance the Tinsukia Station is the nearest major railhead. From there you can take cabs to reach Dong.
You can drive via NH 52 or get buses from nearby cities and towns like Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Guwahati etc.
Best time to visit
Ideally summer time is the best time to visit here. The months during April to July would be best if you wish to visit here. However you can visit here during September- October as well. July to August months are full monsoon months, so avoid visiting the place during that time. Monsoon brings risks in trekking and also landslides might occur, so it would not be safe to travel at that time.
About the Dong Village- The Sunrise Village
Dong village in Arunachal Pradesh was not at all a known site before its discovery in 1999. After successful coverage of the place by the media, this pristine village was all over the place. It slowly started becoming a spot where trekkers preferred exploring. This small village does not have direct accessible roads that can be accessed by vehicles. The only way to reach there is via trek. At the beginning this area was inhabited by three households. However later in the time they relocated to the nearby village Subkung after complaining of water scarcity in Dong.
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Trek to witness the first sunrise in India
The trek to Dong Village is beautiful yet very challenging. It is one of the places where you will have to carry on a night trek to reach the spot exactly before sunrise. Therefore the journey should start around 2 am at night from Walong. It is an 8 km trek that would take near about 90 minutes to reach the sunrise point. On the way you would come across a suspension bridge that is a little challenging to cross in the darkness. But nevertheless it is extremely thrilling at the same point of time.
Furthermore there will also be a bunker that belongs to the 1962 Indo- China War that you will witness. Sunrises are the same at almost every sunrise point. The sun starts illuminating, ditching the darkness. But the feeling of trekking through the night to a certain spot where you know the sun would show up for the first time that day in the whole of India is a thrilling feeling. At around 4 am you can see the first ray of light and then the sun would rise and bring in a new day.
Where to stay near Dong Village
Since Dong village is a secluded village the option for accommodation there is very limited. There are some options for base camping at Walong which is the starting point of the trek. Other than that Hawai, Tezu and Hayuliand have some options for homestays that you can opt for.
Nearby places to visit near Dong Village
Walong War Memorial
This War Memorial is made in the memory of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the country. Located on the bank of the Lohit River, there is a forest around the memorial. You can enjoy the flora and fauna here.
Namti Plains War Memorial
This is a memorable and important spot for the soldiers of the Indian Army. When the Chinese invasion happened in North East India in 1962 many soldiers from Gorkha, Sikh, Kumaoni and Dogra Regiments fought fearlessly for 22 days at a stretch around the Namti area.
This is a hot water spring near the base camp of the trek to Dong Village. It is one of the three hot springs in India where the hot water comes from under the soil. It is said that the water here is medicinal as it can cure skin ailments or skin allergies.
Other than that you can also visit the Namdapha National Park nearby. Another beautiful spot is the Mayodia Pass which offers a beautiful view of snow capped mountains.
Things to remember before starting your journey
Arunachal Pradesh is a restricted area. You cannot access it without an Inner Line Permit. What you need to do is submit an application for a permit from the ILP Website. Only after your permit is approved, you can visit here.
Phone networks are almost non accessible in Walong. So be prepared for network issues.
It is always advisable to carry on the trek via the local guides available there. They would ensure the correct way towards the spot and also ensure the safety and security.
It is not an easy activity to trek during the night. So make sure you are familiar with the basic challenges of trekking already. Because along with the challenges that trekking comes along, here darkness will be an added challenge for you.
You must check the weather conditions before you plan your visit. During extreme climatic conditions the trek would be inaccessible. Also if there is cloud cover then the sunrise would not be well visible.
Few things in life are just special. What makes things special in our lives are the experiences. It is the experiences that will keep alive the memories that we gather throughout our lives. One such experience can be to witness the first sunrise in India. Only the thought of getting the glimpse of the first rays of the sun before anybody else seems thrilling. Alongside, the exciting trekking trail makes the journey even more captivating and breathtaking. With the thrill of reaching the spot during the dark night and the excitement of witnessing the illuminating sunrise is enchanting.
Furthermore, another exciting part would be to return through the same path during the daytime that you crossed in the darkness of the night before. Here you would locate the same place in a different way during the daytime. This journey would be thrilling, adventurous as well as soul stirring. For the longest of times the memory of this journey will be etched in your mind. So if you are an adventure lover then you must visit India’s first sunrise place. Out of the many sunrises that we ignore or notice on a daily basis, this can be the most special one. So do let me know if this trekking and watching the sunrise sounds exciting enough to you. And also do let me know when you are planning to visit the sunrise village in India.