Peach: A village that glows in the sun

Dream destination for countryside vacationers

Tourism

June 9, 2022

/ By / New Delhi

Peach: A village that glows in the sun

Peach is surrounded with bountiful of green paddy fields during the month of September (Photo: Binam Jerang)

Peach village is a small village of Arunachal Pradesh that is home to a tiny population of Nyishi tribe, numbering barely over 3,000. Though not well-equipped to cater to visitors, and little known to people outside, Peach charms visitors with its bountiful natural resources.

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The first time I stumbled upon the tiny village of Peach, about 83 km from Itanagar, was when we were on our way to a small town called Sagalee in Papum Pare district. Amidst a gentle drizzle, as the windshield wiper went up and down on the windshield, we watched as the car in which our director was travelling, came to a halt in the midst of the highway  and soon the director told us that our guide had informed about a small village situated near-by that would perhaps be an ideal fit for the location that we had been hunting for in order to shoot the film that we were working on.

As we got off the highway and drove towards the crooked, muddy and cramped road that bumped on far too many stones, I looked past the window and saw an iron bridge that was small in length but enormous in height. It stood above a strong, vigorous river that looked as if it would sweep you away the moment you got caught in it.

Peach village

Little thatched houses and green paddy fields covered either side of the path

Once we crossed the bridge and drove ahead for some 10 minutes, we came upon a well-constructed road ahead of us. This took us by complete surprise and were taken aback when we found it was smooth and inhabited attributes that were completely different from the bumpy, and slippery roads that we had driven on to get there. By now, the rain had come to a complete stop and as we looked ahead of us, I heard gasps and disbeliefs including my own in the car, for there stood in front of us, the greenest and perhaps one of the most charming little villages that I had ever encountered.

Our guide informed that the village was called ‘Pech’, but later on, when I came upon a board that had information about the village inscribed upon it, I saw that it was actually named ‘Peach’. I asked Lez, our guide, about it but he said that it was how the locals had always pronounced the village, long before it was even inscribed in literature.

Clouds descending upon the mountains in Peach (Photo: Mankap Nokwoham)

Since the main occupation of the village is agriculture, the village was surrounded with bountiful green paddy fields that swayed gently with the cool breeze from the rain and shone brightly in golden and green hue later as the sun emerged. Little thatched bamboo houses with tin roofs were erected on either side of the well-maintained road and across the bamboo fences one could occasionally see small gardens with colourful flowers planted at the front of their houses. I had to pull back the urge to pluck some of the lovely red roses growing in full bloom in one of those gardens.

As I got off from the car and walked around the little village, I came upon a beautiful old Baptist church that reminded me of the small lovely churches that one usually sees in English villages in period films. Many of the villagers there were Christians, so when I enquired about the church from a villager, he told me that the church dated back to 1969, which was years before Arunachal Pradesh had become part of India, and since then has been well maintained by the villagers.

As we went further inside the village, far from the open spacious plain paddy fields, up towards the higher spaces, we came across patches of small bamboo groves growing along the sidelines of the road and small occasional waterfalls that were highly likely to have been created because of the rain.

Perhaps what caught my attention about the village was how despite having been situated far from the more advanced cities and its neighbouring town Sagalee, the small village unlike other interior villages of the state had proper infrastructure with electricity and piped water. Indeed, I thought if one wanted a vacation in the countryside, Peach would be the perfect destination to do so.

So, I asked the villager if there was any means through which tourists could stay in the village. He told me if the tourists had any connection with any of the villagers then they could stay in their houses. But if not then they would have to stay in the IB or circuit houses built for guests and visitors 10 km away from the village in Sagalee and ask someone in these guest houses to arrange for vehicles for transportation. Though there is high chance for tourists not to have to go through this, since the people here are known for their hospitality. So, if requested politely they may provide you with accommodation in their homes itself.

A striking glimpse of the sun rise in Peach (Photo: Nima Geychan)

A few days later when I came back to the village again with a few colleagues early in the morning, before daybreak, I witnessed one of the most striking views as the sun rose, peeking from behind the mountains that the village was surrounded by, and I knew at the moment that I really needed a picture of me along with this scene. You, too, will feel the same if you get the chance to see this magical scenery and feel that it was worth the effort to wake up early in the morning. On the same day, the very river that I thought was frightening on the first day, was not so anymore and instead was gentle and welcoming, completely different from back then.

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