Did you know? Dong, a small village in Northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh gets the first sunlight in India

Dong, Arunachal Pradesh | photo: Draco Ajay Chetia (Facebook)
North-East India has many things to offer. But most importantly, certain places, which are so unique that you will get goosebumps when you reach there. Most of these places are unexplored or untouched by modernism. Still, they hold such powerful energy, that you will be rejuvenated instantly upon arrival. Here is a place, in the North-eastern state of India where the locals get to see the sun before anybody in entire India. We are talking about the easternmost village of India which is accessible by vehicle, called Dong, in Arunachal Pradesh. Just to rule out any confusion, the last village on the India-China border in Arunachal Pradesh is Kaho, India, which lies just north of Kibithu on the banks of Lohit River.

Dong is situated at a confluence of Lohit and Sati rivers and is the easternmost village which is said to receive the first sun rays in India. At an altitude of 1240 metres, Dong is placed at a strategic location of tri-junction of three countries namely, India, Myanmar and China. The village can be reached on foot from Walong in a 30-minute climb. From the peak at Dong, one can see the sun sometimes even at 4:30 A.M.

It can also be considered as one of the least inhabited villages as according to the 2011 Census of India, the village has 15 residents across 4 households out of which 6 are male and 9 are female.

Given the remoteness of the place, reaching Dong or its adjacent areas can be an arduous task. The nearest town is that of Tezu-the headquarters of Lohit district. From Tezu to Walong, it's a ten-hour ride in a shared Sumo through some pretty bad roads. If you ever travel to Dong, you'll come across a signboard that proclaims Dichu as the easternmost motorable road in India, but it no longer stands true since the suspension bridge to Dichu has been destroyed a few years ago. That's why the easternmost motorable road in India presently ends at a military barrack in Kibithu. Kibithu boasts of the end-point of the easternmost road in India.

From Walong, after a 20-minute drive, the trek to Dong begins. The trek is quite steep and takes about one and a half hours from where your car is going to drop you. Dong is very strategically located at the confluence of the rivers Lohit, an unrecognised tributary of the Brahmaputra, and Sati. Despite this, you'll be shocked to know that the village that used to exist at Dong has been abandoned primarily due to the scarcity of water. Today, what stands still are the terraced fields of Dong village that have become overgrown with shrubs. But from the top, you can overlook Burma and China across a beautiful, panoramic view of the rivers and meadows underneath.

If you ever plan to visit Dong:

  1. Do note that the last petrol pump is at Khupa town, which is around 125 kms before Kibithu.
  2. You can stay for a night at Hawai, district headquarters of Anjaw and 75 kms from Kibithu.
  3. Do visit the Walong War Memorial, where Indian Army jawans stopped around 4000 Chinese troops in the Indo-Tibet war. It is roughly 20 kms before Kibithu.
  4. Also visit the Namti Plains War Memorial.
  5. Visit the Kibithu Helipad, from where you can clearly see the Chinese army camp.
  6. Visit Tilam, a hot water spring, 7 kms before Walong.
  7. To visit Arunachal Pradesh, an Indian would require ILP and a foreign tourist would need NLP. Get all the details Here.

Distance of Dong from:

  1. Guwahati - 800 kms
  2. Tezpur - 700 kms
  3. Tinsukia - 370 kms
  4. Roing - 300 kms
  5. Tezu - 200 kms
  6. Parsuram Kund - 200 kms
  7. Walong - 7 kms
  8. Kibithu - 17 kms