The Ziro Valley in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh in India is a magical place where golden fields meet blue and grey skies.
Last year we visited Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh (a state that is called the land of the rising sun) when it was hosting the annual Ziro Festival of Music. During our stay there, we wandered the villages, only to be mesmerised by the magical golden landscapes with tales and legends of its intriguing people – the Apatani tribals. Tentatively listed as a UNESCO Heritage site, Ziro Valley is truly an example of a distinctive home to a culture that is extremely unique in itself.
We walked around the valley and were greeted by an ever-changing skyscape, with clouds appearing and disappearing by the minute. Some bamboo houses here and there, village structures that we had read about and the glorious Donyi-Polo flag were to be seen. The Donyi-Polo flag, as a symbol of sorts, represents the animist beliefs of most of the community members in Ziro, whose close relationship with nature is well reflected in how they conserve it and interact with it.
Breathing in the fresh air of the valley whose landscape is slowly changing with concrete roads making way through its natural setting, we hardly missed the buzz and noise of the city we came from. Needless to say, the greens, yellows, browns, blues and greys that inked the landscape painted a canvas that remains etched in our minds.