Seijosa & Bhalukpong Circuit is one of the 12 major tourism circuits defined by Arunachal Tourism. This is adjacent to the Tawang circuit but it is more it is a more untouched area dominated by Pankhui (Pakke) tiger reserve. Not too many people focus on this area but it is not that hard to explore as it lies on the borders of Assam.
Bhalukpung is a small town on the Assam-Arunachal border, divided between both states. It is located on the banks of a beautiful blue river which is called Kameng in Arunachal and Jia Bhoroli in Assam. It is a regular stop for people going towards more famous Tawang and is a picnic spot for locals. However, Bhalukpung itself has enough to lure the visitors, especially for nature lovers, and combined with nearby Seijosa which is 80 KMs away.
Main Attraction at Seijosa
This circuit boasts of the Pakke Tiger Reserve, also known as the Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the largest sanctuaries of Arunachal Pradesh. The primary entrance to the sanctuary is through Seijosa, which is another small border town around 80 KMs eastwards from Bhalukpong, on the banks of Pakhui (Pakke) river. Pakhui or Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary is a dense tropical forest that has been declared as a Tiger Reserve. Apart from tigers, it boasts of elephants, gaurs, sambars, barking deers, leopards, langurs, macaques, etc. It is also known for a huge diversity of birds and butterflies. Especially, the hornbill conservation program here has won a lot of praise. At least for different varieties of Hornbill are sighter here namely Wreathed Hornbill, Great Hornbill, Rufous-necked Hornbill, & Oriental Pied Hornbill.
Bhalukpong has other attractions too. You can go for some exciting river rafting session in the Jia Bhoroli (Kameng) river and angling is popular here too. A few KMs of the drive towards Bomdila will take you to Tipi, known for its orchid center. A visit to Bhalukpong is generally combined with that to Tawang and Bomdila circuit.
As a matter of fact, Pakke Tiger Reserve is connected with nearby sanctuaries like Eagle’s Nest, Sessa Orchid Sanctuary, as well asNameri National Park in Assam. All of them are located around the banks of Kameng River and in the ancient times this must have been just one big stretch of wilderness stretching from the Brahmaputra Valley to the mountains of Tibet.
People & Culture of Seijosa
Seijosa is mainly inhabited by Nyishi people, who are among the largest ethnic groups in Arunachal. Their unique culture, apparel, handicrafts and cuisine can be delightful experiences too.
How to Reach Seijosa?
You should find cars going towards Seijosa from Tezpur or nearby Balipara. I have heard that shared cars go from Soibari, which is further ahead but can’t verify it.
Where to Stay at Seijosa?
You have to option of staying at the Forest Resthouse (FRH), some local homestays, or campsites. The last two options have been recently developed in order to promote tourism. The prices are a bit on the higher side for these new facilities. FRHs are generally located deep inside forest, somewhat away from the main town.
Best Season for Seijosa
As usual, winter is the best time for this area as it rains too much otherwise. Novermber to February is ideal for birding while I believer March-April will also be delightful with spring blosooms, especially orchids.
Permits for Seijosa
Just like any other place in Arunachal, you need permits for Seijosa. You can get Arunachal ILP online. You have to mention the districts where the places fall. Do note that Bhalukpong is in West kameng District while Seijosa is in East Kameng DIstrict. So, mention both while aplying for ILP..