Civilian-army joint spiritual trek flagged off in Arunachal
A joint trek by civilians and army personnel

Itanagar: A joint team of civilians and army men on Wednesday embarked on a 17-day trek to a sacred place in Arunachal Pradesh from Anini in Dibang Valley district, according to an official report.

Brigadier of 117 Mountain Brigade, Deepak Gaur, and Dibang Valley Deputy Commissioner Minga Sherpa flagged off the trekking expedition with Tine Mena, the first woman from the state to reach Mt Everest, leading the team.

The Army along with the district administration facilitated Ms Tine Mena, Everest Summiteer from the northeast, in leading a pilgrimage cum adventure trek to Athupopu. This will help boost religious & adventure tourism,” Chief Minister Pema Khandu tweeted.

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At 3,500 metres above sea level, Athupopu is a sacred place for the Idu Mishmi tribe of the state. It is located about 220 kilometres from Anini, headquarters of Dibang Valley district, via Malinye near the Indo-China border.

Mythology of Idu Mishmis has it that souls of their ancestors live in Athupopu and after one’s death, the person’s soul is guided to the place by the Igus (priest).

A big stone stands alone in the place and it is believed that a priest, known as Sinerwu, once cried there on getting the news of his mother’s death. The stone still bears the impression of the priest’s palms and his tears, according to believers.

There is also a wild paddy field near Athupopu, believed to be cultivated by the departed souls, the report added.

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