Photostory of Dambuk village in Arunachal Pradesh

If you are searching for a bike trail or an off roading experience in that SUV of yours that not many people are aware of, then this patch of road leading to a village in Arunachal Pradesh, deserves a mention. This little stretch of 45 minutes has to be one of the most unique roads in India.  But what makes this road so unique and why should one travel all the way to see it or ride on it? That’s what we, like everybody else thought before we got there ourselves.Let’s answer this with some information we learnt when we set out to explore the area.

Dambuk is a small administrative area in the Lower Dibang Valley of the most unexplored state in the country, Arunachal Pradesh. Comprising mainly of Adis and some Idu Mishmi tribes, Dambuk becomes a prisoner of nature from early April to late October, when two rain-fed rivers – Dibang in the east and Sisar in the west – wall it in with water. (a beautiful description we found from a journalist’s notebook) The only way one gets to visit Dambuk in the summer is on a country boat, a helicopter or on elephant back(as is the traditional way).

But in the winters Dambuk is special.You may not have heard about it and it doesn’t yet feature in the traveller’s list of top places to visit in the northeast of India, but the promise of Dambuk is real. Apart from its sweet oranges which come as cheap as Rs 3 per orange, the Dibang river becomes the main source of entertainment. Its banks serve as the perfect camping spot and its blue waters allow for a rafting experience which can be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone including children. Nights in Dambuk give you the perfect clear sky with a millions stars glowing ambitiously. Photographers can capture star trails with no one to bother them. The local tribes are also very welcoming in nature and you can have a great cultural experience when you visit their homes.

The bottom-line is that it
 is not everyday that you get to visit a geographic location that remains cut off from the rest of civilisation for half the year due to the lack of a motorable land. In winters nature allows you to enter Dambuk. So, are you going to decline nature’s invitation?

The mighty Dibang in all its glory
The Dibang river flowing across Dambuk
The river Dibang flows behind
The sweet oranges that are everywhere in Dambuk.
Orchards and greenery punctuate the drive to Dambuk, till the offroading begins
Orange orchards along the road to Dambuk. Photo credits Sanjay Mosing
Sandy river bank of the mighty Dibang river
The river bank that serves as the perfect camping spot. Photo credits Sanjay Mosing
The Dibang river is also good for angling and catching the Golden Mahsheer
The pebbles along Dibang river. Photo credits Sanjay Mosing
A calm Dibang river.
Dibang river bank. Photo credits Sanjay Mosing
The lifeline of villagers on either side of the Dibang river
A country boat rests on the Dibang river.
Rafting on the Dibang river
A rafting experience known more for the panorama than the rapids.
off roading in Dambuk
The dry river bed that serves as the road during winters.
A bus on a dry river bed on the road to Dambuk
A state transport bus plies on the river bed.