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Arunachal himalayas

General Info
   Kangto Massif
 ·  Namcha Barwa Massif

Flora and fauna



The Himalayas - where earth meets sky
Indian Himalayas - Arunachal

Kangto Massif
One zone of mountaineering interest is the least known of all Himalayan areas. It is the first great mountain range in the Arunachal Himalayas as one moves from east to west. Visible from the distant plains of Assam and the Meghalaya hills, from where it was observed, the high range of the Kangto Massif lies in a gigantic S-curve running roughly west-southwest and east- northeast between the passes of Tulung La and Keshong La in the region.
Arunachal Himalayas is virgin territory. (Real Audio)
Arunachal Himalayas is virgin territory.

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Balukpong river in lower Arunachal. Credit: Karamjeet Singh
Balukpong river in lower Arunachal
Credit: Karamjeet Singh
The MacMohan line -- the border between India and China -- runs more or less along the crest. To the south lies high rain-sodden, thickly forested ridges of the lesser Himalayas, which makes access from the Indian state of Assam rather difficult. The access from Tibet is considerably easy.

Major peaks in the Kangto Section are Gori Chen (6,538 m), Kangto (7,090 m), Nyegyi Kangsang (7,047 m) and Takpa Shiri (6,655 m). The Takpa Siri is a holy mountain just north of the border, near the Tibetan village of Migyitun. Its circumambulation is said to have religious merit, much like that of the famous Kailas. However, its height is disputed, and it might well be no higher than 5,800 m rather than the 6,655 m which is the official figure.

It is the Kangto Massif which traps the rain bearing monsoon clouds and the resulting water forms Kameng -- a major river and one of the main tributaries of the Dihang, which is the name by which the Brahmaputra River is known in the region.

The catchment areas of these mighty rivers have extremely dense vegetation. They receive heavy rains and are rainforests. These largely unexplored forests harbor a tremendous variety of flora and fauna -- the reason for Arunachal Pradesh's incredible biodiversity.

These areas are inhabited by less than friendly tribals. Till the 1930s, it had little allure except to the hardy botanists who were attracted by the incredible diversity of Sikkim's floral wealth. After India's independence in 1947, this area may have been expected to improve accessibility, but the Indo- China war of 1962 put paid to any such hopes.

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