Arunachal Pradesh (ArP)
‘Land of the Dawn(-lit) Mountains’.
From Skt: aruṇa , ‘redness’, ‘dawn’ [‘reddish glow in the morning sky’]; Skt: ac(h)ala, ‘mountain’; and Skt: pradēśḥ, ‘province’, ‘region’, ‘territory’.
Surya is the Vedic sun god and Aruna is the name of his charioteer; Aruna manifests himself each day in the reddish glow of the rising sun. Being the most easterly state in India AR is the first to greet the rising sun.
Originally called the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) it became a Union Territory in 1972 and a fully-fledged state in 1987.
A major part of the state is claimed by China and, with the largest proportion of Tibetan Buddhists in India, it has been dubbed ‘South Tibet’.
Arunachal Pradesh is also famous for its orchids: India has a thousand orchid species – 500 of these can be found here, as well as the 100km2 Sessa Orchid Sanctuary nestling in the Himalayan foothills.
Arunachal Pradesh Tourism describes it as the ‘Gateway to Serenity’.
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