If you could plan just one trip this year, make it the one to Ziro Festival of Music in Arunachal Pradesh. The ninth edition of this festival is back after a hiatus of two years (we all know why) and is all set to be held in the picturesque valley of Ziro from September 29 to October 02, 2022.

It is the perfect setting to dive into your deeper self, connect with nature and rejuvenate with music. You would be ecstatic to witness how the festival site is surrounded by lush multi-hued paddy fields, the Eastern-Himalayan range and the ever-welcoming locals. Ziro Valley is home to the Apatani tribe, who also host this festival.

Credit: Shiv Ahuja

The four-day festival is going to be the first post-COVID music festival in India. All kinds of travellers will have something to enthrall themselves with – artists from around the world, from rock and jazz to classical and folk, cultural events from the region, workshops, art installations and not to forget, a diverse food experience. Our personal favorite is the locally made rice beer that is served in handmade bamboo glasses. This part of Northeast India has remained unexplored and doesn’t fall short of nature’s bounty. This could be the perfect opportunity for you to visit the border state and experience the culture & hospitality that it has to offer. 

Credit: Shiv Ahuja

The music festival is known for its two stages made entirely out of locally-sourced bamboo. Eco-friendly and waste management practices are followed throughout, along with a no single use plastic policy. Children, too, are welcome at the festival and all under-12 get free entry. There are a series of workshops – storytelling, dance & movement, poetry and art, to keep them engaged. This community-led festival has been warm, intimate and life-changing for many of our readers in the previous years. 

The journey to Ziro is as beautiful as the location:

  • The closest international airport is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, Assam. You can reach Guwahati early in the day – visit the Assam State Museum, stroll around in the grounds of the recently opened Heritage Centre, take the ropeway over the river and watch the sunset by the banks of Brahmaputra River. 
  • The next step is to take an overnight train from Guwahati to Naharlagun in Arunachal Pradesh. The train leaves Guwahati at 2115 hours and reaches the stop early in the morning. 
  • Thereafter, it’s a 3-4 hour cab ride till the festival site, when you can breathe in the fresh air, absorb all the greenery or take a quick nap before the crazy starts. 
  • Don’t forget to apply for the Inner Line Permit, (or the Protected Area Permit if you are a foreigner). Arunachal Pradesh is a protected state, and everyone—including Indian citizens—need a permit to enter the state. This is not a complicated process, so don’t worry. You simply need to fill out the required form available here. The document then needs to be presented to authorities when you enter the state. 
Credit: Shiv Ahuja

Accommodation options include camps, homestays and hotels. You can check the official festival website www.zirofestival.com to make the bookings. 

Now you’re all set for the most beautiful music festivals in India and the unique experience that it offers. Don’t forget to have fun, make new friends along the way and create memories that will be worth a lifetime. 

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  1. The fact that Ziro Festival music is a community led initative is commendable. What I love about Ziro Music festival or other such festivals in Northeast is that it is always a combined representation of local culture and modern music. I am yet to visit the festival though. Hopefully, I can go this year,

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