Hill station

Seppa In Arunachal Pradesh

Written by Sudhir Kumar

Seppa (formerly known as Salpa) is the headquarters of the East Kameng district in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in India. Sapla means ‘marshy’ land in the local dialect. It lies on the bank of Kameng River and there is a helipad there.

About Seppa :

Seppa (earlier known as Sapla) is the district headquarters of the East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. Sapla means ‘marshy land’ in the local dialect.

Seppa has been a focal point for the Arunachal Government in terms of developing both tourism and more importantly the economy of the place. Agriculture is the main occupation of the resident locals. To develop this further the government has taken a major step in 2001 by distributing 300 weeds, 50 jumpers, 41 tools and 2 rice hullers to the farmers. This has resulted in a tremendous growth of the agricultural output of the area. They now grow crops like wheat, paddy, mustard, maize, potato, ginger, groundnut, chilies, ginger, sea sum, soya beans, fruits like oranges and mangoes including a number of vegetables. Besides agriculture, horticulture and fishing is also a major source of livelihood. There are a number of fish farms in Seppa.

After the tragic fall of the bridge over the Kameng River in Seppa that killed a number of people including children, the Chief Minister had granted Rs 1 crore to build a Suspension bridge over the river.

Attractions Of Seppa In Arunachal Pradesh :

The Seppa is comprised of indigenous tribes like Nishi, Sullung and Aka. The occupation of these tribes is agriculture. To increase the productivity, the administration of the district took giant step a few years back. In 2001, 300 hoes, 50 jumpers, 41 shovels and 2 rice hullers were distributed among the farmers of Seppa. The result has been outstanding. Today, Seppa of Arunachal Pradesh grows a variety of crops like wheat, paddy, mustard, maize, potato, ginger, etc. The horticultural products include groundnut, chillies, ginger, seasum, soya beans and fruits.

Pisiculture in Seppa has also become an important source of income. A total of 16.5 hectares of water body of Seppa is under cultivation of fish. There are as many as 143 domestic fish ponds in Seppa. Apart from that, the Government Fish Farm in Seppa produces 350 kg of fish.

Activities :

Away from commercial activities, one can venture into adventure sports such as – Trekking, hiking, fishing, River rafting and camping.

Tourists can enjoy fishing in the Kameng River and get the fresh fish cooked by the locals.

However sports equipment is not easily available here and hence it is advisable to carry your own equipment.

Mountaineering is fun as the place is full of big and small mountains. The locals are experts in climbing mountains and visitors can take tips from them.

Camping in tents is absolutely wonderful and it gets completely dark in the night with barely any light around. It is cold and with the bon fire burning the ambience seems like a dream come true.

The Arunachal Tourism department is greatly encouraging tourism in Seppa. A good step taken by them was the introduction of River rafting training programs in the Kameng River.

History :

The history of Seppa is clearer when associated with the history of its district. Not much is known except that, historically the territory in and around Seppa was ruled by the Mon Kingdom. After the fall of the Mon Kingdom, the territory was split and was ruled by Tibet and Bhutan.

It was later under the control of the Ahom Kingdom, the rulers of Assam until the late 17th century.

Ahom rulers of Assam did not interfere with the local tribes, except for retaliatory raids into the tribal territory.

Seppahas been inhabited by the tribes for centuries and was administered by the local tribal rulers. In the 18th century when the British entered the area, they gained control over the entire territory.

Post-independence, due to the Tibetan invasion in 1950, a number of Tibetan Refugees arrived here and settled down. During the Indo – China war a number of historical monuments were destroyed.

How To Reach :

Seppa by Air : Seppa has a helipad that has helicopter service from Guwahati. But the helipad is more often used only for VIPs and Aristocrats.

The nearest airport to Seppa is Tezpur Airport in Assam which is about 190 Km away.

The nearest international airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, located at a distance of around 355 km from Seppa.

There is a helicopter service between Guwahati and Naharlagun (Itanagar). Itanagar helipad is about 220 km from Seppa.

From the airport or the helipad, tourists can hire a taxi / cab to reach the city. Plenty of private and government buses are also available.

Seppa by Rail : Strangely, Arunachal Pradesh does not have a railway line. The nearest railway station is Rangapara in Assam which is185 km from Seppa. The station is served by Arunachal Express.

The Tezpur railway station is about 200 km from Seppa and Guwahati Station is about 375 km from Seppa.
From the railway station, tourists can hire a taxi / cab to reach the city. Plenty of private and government buses are also available.

Seppa by Road : Seppa is well connected by roads to the other cities of the state and to Assam. The roads are not very well maintained and hence it is advised to have a sturdy vehicle like a Gypsy, jeep, Innova, Sumo etc.
The inner line check post is located at Bhalukpong, which is the entry and exit point for Arunachal Pradesh and hence it has good road connectivity with other cities of Arunachal.

There are two routes from Itanagar (the state capital)to reach Seppa. One is through Bhalukpong(430km) and one through Sagali (around 210km). The route via Bhalukpong is longer but is a more advisable route as the other one becomes very difficult during rainy season.

Seppa by Bus Route : Seppa has a bus stand of its own and the alternate nearest big bus stand is Bhalukpong which is about 140 km away. Frequent buses are available from Assam and other cities of Arunachal.

Bhalukpong being the entry and exit point for Arunachal, buses frequently move to and fro the city.

The government buses need maintenance and it is advisable to travel by private buses as they are more comfortable. The best option is however to hire a private vehicle with a local guide who has enough knowledge about the place and the security measures to be followed.

About the author

Sudhir Kumar

Leave a Comment