Sangti Valley in Arunachal Pradesh is a place that travellers often just pass by and never consider to make a stop. Only 15 km away from Dirang, this underrated destination has a lot of surprises, so next time make a point to spend a day and explore everything that it has to offer.
Escape to Nature
The road leading to this valley is nothing less than the breath-taking countryside scenes that you see in the movies. Home to rivers and mountains, Sangti Valley is a hidden spot where you can experience Buddhist culture and learn the subtlety of living side by side with nature. The best time to visit is around September when it’s not too cold, or in the winters around November-January, if you want to catch a glimpse of the rare black-neck cranes.
Since Sangti Valley is still not a very popular tourist spot, there aren’t any luxurious hotels to spend the night. But if you really want to experience the local hospitality, spend a night or two at ‘Letro Homestay’, which costs INR 1500 per night. And if you wish to indulge, spend INR 3000 per night and stay at one of the luxurious tents. The tents are positioned by the riverside, so you can sit and relax, listening to the sound of the river and take in the mountains right next to it. You can also go rafting, if the weather permits.
Fruit Farms, and Lunch by the Riverside
The early morning view of the valley is stunning with clouds floating right over the ground. You can start the day by having breakfast at the homestay. They serve ‘puri sabji’ for breakfast with tea. If you ask the owners, they will take you to explore the apple and kiwi gardens located up a hill. You can buy bags of fruits at a reasonable price. From up on the hill, you have a bird-eye view of the whole valley, which is mesmerizing. The trek might get difficult if you’re not well prepared, be sure to wear proper shoes and carry water.
After the short trek, you can come back to tent/room. Freshen up and visit the sheep farm located around 1-2 km away from the homestay. You can choose to walk to the sheep farm or you may even book a car from the homestay. Furry adorable herds of sheep will definitely make your day.
Return to the homestay by lunch time and enjoy a fully organic lunch. After you have had your fill, you can either visit the hot-spring, or you may visit the Buddhist Monastery.
There aren’t many shops or any cafes for you to chill at, like in the cities, so the only choice in the evening is to stay at the homestay. You might think that there’s not much to do at the homestay but fear not, the owner will provide you with homebrewed traditional drinks such as ‘aara’, ‘barchang’, ‘marchang’, or sweetened rice beer with some local corn snacks or ‘chakna’ to go along. The owner and, at times, his family will give you company. One of the best things about the valley is the amicable behaviour of the locals towards travellers or visitors, which helps invoke a sense of a ‘home away from home’.
You can spend the night walking around the fields near the homestay or sit around a bonfire near the river. You should make a point to try the scrumptious homemade fish dumplings. Mr Letro or Letro uncle, as he is popularly known, will surely encourage you to take part in a karaoke session that will liven up the night.
A day in this shrouded valley is enough for you to experience all that it has to offer, and also take a well-deserved break from the concrete jungle you are used to.