Teetering on the far eastern side of the Indian peninsula, Arunachal Pradesh is one of the most picturesque states in the country. The land of snow-clad peaks, mountains engulfed in clouds, unending pristine valleys, cascading rivers and pure bliss, Arunachal Pradesh is slowly but steadily gaining prominence on the Indian tourism map. 

Apart from exploring its pristine natural beauty, Arunachal Pradesh state is also known for its vibrant culture, friendly locals, retaining the age-old traditions of the tribal communities that have lived there for several centuries and joyful festival celebrations. 

Speaking of festivals, one of the most important days for the locals in the state is the Arunachal Pradesh Foundation Day. It is an annual event that is celebrated on 20th February. The day marks the formation of the state of Arunachal Pradesh and is also commonly referred to as Arunachal Pradesh Day. 

History of Arunachal Pradesh Foundation Day

During the British colonial era, Arunachal Pradesh was part of Assam and the region was called NEFA (North East Frontier Agency). The region was mostly peaceful even after India gained independence from the British. Things changed in 1962 when a war broke out between India and China. During the war, China took over a large area in the northeast region. After the war, in 1972, the Indian government changed NEFA into a Union Territory, and the region was renamed Arunachal Pradesh.  It was an important step by the Indian government and became a stepping stone for Arunachal Pradesh to become a state. Later, in 1987, on 20th February, Arunachal Pradesh became a full-fledged state. That is why it is celebrated as the state day of Arunachal Pradesh. 

Significance of Arunachal Pradesh Foundation Day

  • Celebrating tribal communities and their culture

Arunachal Pradesh is one of the few states in India with a significant population of indigenous tribal communities, and the local culture is a mix of all the tribal community cultures. There are about 26 main tribes in the state, each with its unique traditions. The representatives of these communities showcase their customs to the world through dance, songs, performances, and food during the Arunachal Pradesh Day celebrations.

  • Nature’s wonders

If you are a nature lover, Arunachal Pradesh is your Mecca. More than 750 species of birds and 200 species of animals call the region their home. The whole state is like one big wildlife sanctuary with no boundaries. The Arunachal Pradesh Foundation Day festival celebrations honour these animals and thank nature. 

  • Competitions and fun activities

Arunachal Pradesh Day celebrations are replete with cultural events that reflect the state's glorious history. The region also organizes many fun activities, including music and dance competitions. 

It is a public holiday in Arunachal Pradesh, and most schools and banks remain closed. Many archaeological sites are scattered all over the state, and you can visit them on statehood day. 

As a tourist from outside Arunachal Pradesh, the foundation day is the perfect occasion to admire the pristine natural beauty, experience the local culture, interact with the locals, watch beautiful performances, and indulge in delicious local foods. 

Interesting Facts about Arunachal Pradesh

  • Arunachal Pradesh has the lowest population density of all the states. It is also the largest of the seven north-eastern Indian states, aka the seven sisters. 
  • The state's name is mentioned in the ancient Hindu literature such as Mahabharata, Ramayana and Kalika-Purana. 
  • The largest monastery in India, Tawang Monastery, is located in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Arunachal Pradesh is also known as the land of the rising sun as the Dong Valley in the state, which is located at an elevation of 1240 metres, receives the first sunrise in the country. 
  • The state of Arunachal Pradesh holds an important place in Indian mythology. As per Hindu legends, the region has witnessed many important events. The great Parshuram atoned for his sins, and Lord Krishna married Rukmini here, which make the place rich in cultural heritage. 
  • The Ita Fort is located in Itanagar, the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh. It is one of the most important historical sites in the state. The name of the fort, which literally translates to the fort of bricks, is believed to be constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries. 

The Arunachal Foundation Day is a landmark day in the history of Arunachal Pradesh state, and the locals celebrate the day with great fervour, zeal and enthusiasm. It is a great opportunity for you to know about the state's rich history and observe and experience the region's rich culture. 


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