When one talks about Arunachal Pradesh, the mind instantly conjures up images of the lush green hills, the dense forests and the rich heritage. The largest in area of the North-East states, not many know this but Arunachal is home to thirteen ethnic tribes who live in harmony.
The land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains has hidden and unexplored jewels nestled between the peaks. Amidst the pristine landscape, is a village Ozakho inhabited by a tribe called Wanchos.
Twelve hours away from Guwahati, I reached Ozakho, the unscathed hamlet in Arunachal Pradesh and had the opportunity to explore the lifestyle and the being of the Wancho tribe. My ignorance made me curious and their reality overwhelmed and gratified my curiosity.
The tale of Ozakho:
In an unexpected but delightful twist of fate, I met Ngamnon Joham, a student from Shillong who was well acquainted and had toured the regions around with her friends. As our conversation proceeded, I asked her to tell me her travel tales. That is when she narrated the unheard tale of Ozakho and the Wachos.
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“In July, I got a call from few of my friends in Guwahati who wanted to visit the much acclaimed Ozakho. They had heard about its natural beauty and the warmth and hospitality of the people there. I was more than happy to be their tour guide-cum friend and give them a sneak-peek of what I call Heaven on earth.” Expressed Joham with a smile.
“After a week, we headed off from Guwahati . We boarded a bus to Tinsukia, Assam and then we marched on to Longding which cuts off the motorable road towards Ozakho. There was a nip in the air, despite high summer, but nothing could dampen our spirit as we all moved forward with smiles on our face and the fun of youthfulness. Despite the drizzle, my friends had their eyes caught with the most wondrous view, nature and nothing else: the spectacular country atop the range around high hills; undulating hills and rolling meadows gently fill either side of a small pathway as it snakes towards Ozakho. Truly, the land of the rising sun, we all thought aloud.
As we continued our journey on foot to Ozakho village, the metalled road ended abruptly. Suddenly there was no road, only rocks and boulders! We waded across a pathway to continue on foot for a gruelling 4 km trek.
Finally, we arrived at our destination of discovery: Huts that looks as if we were into a whole different world and the clouds as if you can touch them. Enervated though we were, all the exhaustion was forgotten at the hearty welcome we received.” Added Joham.
What makes the place different?
As from what I understood, not that I visited the place personally, but from how Joham and her friends described the village. Ozakho is no different to the other villages in most of the hillocks of Northeast India. But what makes it different was the eye for discovery and the thrill for adventure that the group of friends took upon themselves. Ozakho does vaunt the surrounding hills, the valleys and definitely the traditional huts which is a rare sight these days.
Nonetheless, the village seem more of a place to enjoy nature and not to forget, the hospitality was the talk of the group when they got back.
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