Pakke Tiger Reserve lies in the foothills of the Eastern
Himalaya in the East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. Pakke is
bounded by the Kameng river in the west and the Pakke river in the
east. The Nameri Tiger Reserve is contiguous with Pakke and runs along
the south. The north is bounded by the Papu river and high mountain
ranges. Pakke is surrounded by key protected areas which include the
Doimara Reserve Forest, Papum Reserve Forest, Sessa Orchid Sanctuary
and Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary – all falling within the Eastern
Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot. The area is rugged and mountainous with
peak altitude at 2,000 meters (6,600 ft) metres above msl .The total
area under the sanctuary is roughly 862 square kilometers.
Pakke falls in the Eastern Himalayan province of the Himalayan
bio-geographic zone and is situated at the
junction of the Palaearctic and Indo-Malayan zoogeographic realms. The
ecoregion is characterized by wide gradients in elevation and high
rainfall resulting in a variety of forest types, which is home to a
rich mix of plant and animal life, and is a biodiversity hotspot.
The area is covered with lowland semi-evergreen, evergreen forest and
Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests. According to Champion and Seth
(1968), forest types include Assam valley tropical semi evergreen
forests, Sub Himalayan light alluvial semi evergreen forests, Eastern
Hollock Forests, Upper Assam valley tropical evergreen forests,
Tropical riverine forests and Secondary moist bamboo tracts.
These forests are characterized by the following species:
Terminalia myriocarpa, Ailanthus excelsa, Duabanga grandiflora,
Canarium resiniferum, Trewia nudiflora, Tetrameles nudiflora,
Sterculia villosa, Macropanax dispermus, Syzygium macrocarpum,
Garcinia indica, Quercus lamellosa, Castanopsis indica, Phoebe
goalparensis, Amora wallichii, Ailanthus grandis, Pterospermum
acerifolium, Dillenia indica, Artocarpus chaplasha, Bischofia
javanica, Albizia procera and Bombax ceiba.
Bamboo species include Dendrocalamus
hamiltonii, Bambusa pallida and pseudostachym species.
Pakke is bird-rich and boasts
about 300 species of birds. The pride of Pakke are the four hornbill
species found here. The most abundant is the Wreathed Hornbill,
although the Oriental Pied is also present in good numbers. The Great
and Rufous-necked are rarer. Pakke also hosts the globally threatened
White-winged Duck amongst other good birds like Jerdon's Baza, Pied
Falconet, White-cheeked Hill-partridge, Ibisbill, Blue-naped Pitta,
Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Green Cochoa,
Crow-billed Drongo, Ruddy Kingfisher, Long-billed Plover, shortwings,
cuckoos, forktails and other specialities.
Birdwatching in Pakke is a bit of a mixed bag. Despite the protection
afforded by the people and authorities, small game hunting is common
and the birds are, as a result, wary and difficult to see well. Things
improve inside the forest, but walking trails is risky without armed
escorts. This limits the birding potential a bit. But it would be very
rare for any birder to return from Pakke without seeing some great
60 mammal species are known to occur here. These include the tiger,
common leopard, leopard, Asiatic black bear and wild dog. Elephants
The Nyishi or Nishi people inhabit the Pakke area. Their language is
said to belong to the Sino-Tibetan family. The main occupation is
agriculture using the shifting cultivation method. Traditionally,
Nyishi plait their hair and tie it in a bundle at the forehead. Metal
skewers are placed horizontally and pass through the bundle. Every
year, from 24th to 27th of February, Nyokum yullo, the harvest
festival is celebrated by the Nyishi tribe and provides a window to
experience the local tradition and customs.
Places to visit in Pakke
Langka Forest Rest House (FRH) – a beautiful place close to Seijosa
where you can view wildlife in comfort.
Khari FRH – Located deep inside Pakke, this is an idyllic place
providing a birds-eye-view of Khari river and the forests surrounding
it. The Rest House itself is great for birdwatching.
Upper Dikorai FRH – Further west from Khari, the drive through the
forest is an adventure! The location of the Rest House provides an
excellent view of Pakke.
View from Langka FRH
Where to stay
Pakke Jungle Camp - The camp is a community-based tourism
jointly implemented and run by
Help Tourism and the local tribal
self-help conservation group named Ghora-Aabhe. Very basic, the Camp
gives you a true wildlife experience.
You can also stay at the Langka, Khari and Upper Dikorai FRH's, but
food has to be carried.
Hotels and tourist lodges are available in Bhalukpong. In addition,
accommodation is available on prior booking at the Tipi Forest Rest
house, 4 km away from Bhalukpong.
Entry and travel
An Inner Line Permit (Indians) or Restricted Area
Permit (Foreigners) is required for entry into Arunachal Pradesh. At
the Seijosa entry gate, the Inner Line Permit needs to be procured for
East Kameng district, while for the Bhalukpong entry gate this permit
needs to be obtained for West Kameng district.
Seijosa is approximately 250 kms from Guwahati and 50 kms from
Tezpur. The main access is through Soibari, which is on the NH-52. The
village of Seijosa is a two hour drive from Soibari over poor roads.
Railway station: Soibari
36 km, Biswanath Charali 47 km and Rangapara 60 km.
Guwahati International Airport - 250kms. Tezpur Airport - 50kms.
Pakke hills from Seijosa
Important Facts and figures
861.95 sq. km.
Altitudinal range: 150 - 1500 m
Between 26°54' - 27°16' N and 92°36' - 93°09' E
Average annual rainfall: 2500 mm
Temperatures: High 37C; Low 12C. Winter November -
The Divisional Forest Officer (DFO)
Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve
Seijosa, East Kameng district – 790103; Arunachal Pradesh.
Phone: (03778) 200016, 200014.
Nameri National park, Tipi Orchid Research Centre and Bichum
November to March
Pakke Tiger Reserve Official site
An ornithological survey in north-east India by AYSEGUL BIRAND and
SAMRAAT PAWAR (PDF)
Kolkatabirds old page
Pakke Pachyderms (PDF)
Battling for Pakke (PDF)
Sanctuary Asia: Pakke – 'Where There's A Bill'
Help Tourism site
Pakke images by Samyak Kaninde
Tiger Reserve - video from Sandesh Kadur
Sumit K Sen
© Sumit K. Sen