3 reasons why Talle valley trek in Arunachal is a must-do
“On November 2014 I travelled with an assignment to explore a trek in Arunachal Pradesh. After 14 days of exploration I found a trek in Ziro known as Talle Valley trek. The moment I finished the trek I knew that it could be an excellent trek in future. It has all elements that you can expect from a trek. The highlights would be walking through the rain forest of Arunachal, forsaken camping places and close interaction with Apatani tribe “, says Soumya Mitra, our Trek Leader who explored this trail in November 2014.
The ancient Apatani Tribe of Ziro Valley
It’s the land of ancient tribes. Their customs and traditions are as heady as their welcome drink Apam – a sweetly fermented rice beer. And Ziro is the hotspot of their culture. This is strikingly different from the surrounding areas of this land because of its wide, well-made roads, large expanse of paddy fields and a pot pourri of cultures and traditions that rise to a hilt in this town. Since the time it started hosting an annual four day music festival, Ziro started attracting music lovers and artists from all over the world. When you’re here, don’t forget to try the farm fresh oranges, pineapples and kiwis sold around this place.
But apart from the cultural hoo-ha that surrounds Apatanis, there’s another reason why they are of utmost importance as far as Talle Valley trek goes. Apatanis play a pivotal role in preserving biodiversity in Talle Valley. Yes, Apatanis are known for their highly evolved agriculture and pisciculture.
While they value their traditions, they also keep nature close to their hearts. And so they have ‘taboo periods’. These are time lines when hunting or entering the forests is prohibited. Failure to comply by taboo rules earns strict punishment by way of isolation and food restrictions. And this is one of the prime reasons why forests of Talle Valley have preserved certain species that have been wiped out from other parts of the country.
Three valleys and two rivers
The Talle Valley trail winds up and down mountains, valleys and across rivers. On this trek, you cross the Pangey Valley, Talle Valley and Ziro Valley. All three are picturesque, surrounded by robust, green mountains.
A trek through biodiversity zone
The trek dips into the Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary that’s spread over 337 square meters. Welcome ferns and Hollong trees stand tall as the trek begins. These are typical vegetation found in tropical rain-forests. As the trek climbs, white bamboos emerge. And gradually, the thick canopy of leaves give way to delicately clustered deciduous trees like pines and silver firs.
Under the diverse canopy thrives a long list of endangered species of flora and fauna. Pleiublastus simone, a partially white coloured bamboo is found only in Talle Valley. And clouded leopard is one of the popular endangered species found in this biodiversity zone. These forests are crowded by lichens, orchids and ferns that aren’t found on other treks in India.
Talle Valley trek is a bird watcher’s paradise. With a wide colour of wings hovering and fluttering from amidst rainforest, pines and bamboos, you see different birds peeking out of every nook of this trail. Crested kingfisher and common green magpie are a couple of species to look out for.
Whom is this trek meant for?
Are you planning on going for your first Himalayan trek? Look no further. Talle Valley is a perfect fit. The highest altitude you reach on this trek is 9000 feet However, trekking in the dense sub-tropical and alpine forests of the north east is a unique experience since it is predominantly a jungle trail. It should not be taken too lightly. Prior trekking experience is helpful but not mandatory. There are chances of seeing snow in Talle Valley.
How difficult is the trek?
The terrain of Talle Valley presents an opportunity to hike at ease. Each day covers a minimum of seven kilometres. But the maximum altitude rise is not more than 2500 feet. This provides a chance to explore the pristine forests at leisure. As the gradient of the Talle Valley trek is moderate, fewer parts that will tire you out. This makes long walks through the forests enjoyable. We grade the Talle Valley trek as moderate.
How to prepare for the trek
From Day 2 to Day 5, you will be covering a trekking distance of 33 kilometers. In this trail, there are sections where you gain and lose altitude. On Day 3, you gain an altitude of 2800 feet and lose an altitude of 1000 feet on the same day. This requires endurance and it’s highly recommended that you prepare for this section by jogging everyday and working on different aspects of strength training to enhance your cardiovascular fitness.
Inner Line Permit (ILP):
For this trek, it’s mandatory for everyone to obtain the Inner Line Permit, including Indian citizens. It will be available on all the Railway Stations, through which you enter Arunachal Pradesh. The counter is open 24/7.
It is best to apply and obtain the ILP from the Naharlagun Railway Station. At the counter, please mention that you’re applying for an ILP to visit the Lower Subansiri district.
Post the completion of the trek, if you wish to visit Kibo Village in Aalo Valley, you have to obtain a separate ILP for the same. While applying for the same, please mention that you’re applying for an ILP to West Siang District.
Shortly, it can also be obtained online. Here’s the official link.
For an ILP, Indian Citizens should carry a Government Photo Id Card like Aadhar Card, PAN Card and Passport. Driving License is not accepted. The cost per person is Rs.410/-
Citizens of Pakistan, China and Bangladesh should apply for No Objection Certificate from the Central Government, New Delhi. After getting the NOC, you can apply and get the Protected Area Permit from the Commissioner Office at New Delhi.
All other foreign nationals can directly apply for the PAP – Protected Area Permit from the Commissioner Office at New Delhi, Itanagar and Guwahati. The cost per person is $50.
Lifestyle and Geography of Ziro Valley:
Here are some snapshots that captures the lifestyle and geography of Ziro Valley. It’s interesting to note the Apatani Tribe live only in Ziro Valley. Most of the locals here speak Hindi fluently.
The main religion practiced in this region is Danyi-Pilo (pronounced as Donni polo), which literally means the sun and the moon, which are worshiped for sustaining everything in the world.
The Apatanis practice agriculture and fishing for self-sustenance and not commercially to preserve the Valley’s ecological balance.
Ziro is located in a valley, surrounded by densely forested hills. Hapoli is the biggest town in Ziro but it’s not a popular holiday destination when compared to Dolo Mando, Kile Pakho, the blue pine forest and sacred groves.
The Trek Itinerary for Talle Valley:
Base Camp : Ziro
Day 0: Train journey from Guwahati to Naharlagun; Train Number: 15617 – GHY NHLN I C EXP –Depart 21.20 pm – Arrive 5.00 am (Travel Time: 7 hours 40 minutes)
Day 1 : Drive from Naharlagun to Ziro – 100 km. Transport: Transport from Naharlagun Ziro can be arranged by us at an extra cost. Participants are expected to share the cost of the cab (approximate cost Rs. 4000 to Rs.5000 per vehicle, one way from Naharlagun to Ziro. No service tax is applicable on transport cost.
Pick up Time: 6.30 AM
Pick up Point: Naharlagun Railway Station
Day 2 : Trek from Mani Polyang to Pange Valley ( 5577 feet) – 9 km
Day 3 : Trek from Pange Valley to Talle Valley (8100 feet) – 10 km
Day 4 : Trek from Talle Valley to Pangey Valley river camp (5250 feet) – 7 km
Day 5 : Pange Valley river camp to Hong village (6480 feet) -7 km
Day 6 : Drive from Hong to Ziro (5577) – 4 km. Drive from Ziro to Naharlagun – 100 km. Train journey from Naharlagun to Guwahati -363 km (Train No: 15617 – GHY NHLN I C EXP).
Transport: From Ziro to Naharlagun, the cost of a Sumo vehicle is Rs. 5,500 one way, shared by the trekkers). The amount is to be paid directly to our transporter. No service tax is applicable on transport cost. Indiahikes only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport.
Please note that you will be staying at a home stay in Ziro and Hong Village. The stay on all other days is in tents (3 per tent).
Talle Valley Trek Guide
Day 1: Drive from Guwahati to Ziro
Ziro is a town located in the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh. It is famous for its lush green paddy fields. It was also in the news for featuring in the shortlist for getting inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ziro township has a hospital, telephone exchange, court, post office, vegetable market, more then 10 medical shop, more than 4 semi wholesaler ration shops.
The three airports close by are are Guwahati (460 kms), Dibrugarh (260 kms) and Lilabari (130 kms). The nearest railways station is Naharlagan, which is at a distance of 100 kms.
The journey to Ziro will be planned in such a way that you arrive at Ziro no later than 5 pm. You will camp at Ziro for night. Homestays are available. The following morning, the trek begins from Mani Polyang, a picturesque little village in Ziro.
Day 2: Trek from Mani Polyang to Pange Valley
- Altitude gained: 5577 feet to 6200 feet
- Distance covered: 9 kms
- Average time taken: 5 hours
- Trail type: Tropical rain forests, rivers
Post breakfast, begin the trek from Mani Polyang, a picturesque little village in Ziro. The trek starts through the Talle valley forest sanctuary with the Pange river flowing beside you. It is a 9 km easy, flat walk to Pange valley with an altitude gain of roughly 700 feet. The trail mostly passes through tropical rain forests scattered with bamboo trees and ferns. Peacefully grazing mithuns and birds will give you company throughout the trail.
In about 5 hours you will see the PWD guesthouse on your right and a forest bungalow to your left. This is the landmark for your first campsite. Your campsite will be setup at Pange Valley for the night. If you’re trekking on your own, you can arrange for accommodation at the Bungalow by taking permission from the DFO in Hapoli.
Day 3: Trek from Pange Valley to Talle Valley
- Altitude gained: 6200 feet to 9000 feet; Altitude loss: 9000 feet to 8100 feet
- Distance covered: 10 kms
- Average time taken: 7 hours
- Trail type: River banks, rhododendron, bamboo forests and villages
Today’s trek is long and tiring, as you climb from 6200 feet to 9000 feet and descend to 8100 feet, to reach the campsite. The trail stretches on the left hand side of the Pange river.
After about an hour’s walk, the trail begins to ascend. It is a steep climb for close to three hours and it takes you through two clearings that open up to spectacular mountainous views of Nimapema of Bhutan.
The strenuous climb ends at the highest point of this trek at 9,000 feet, where rhododendron forests thrive. There are multiple paths leading to the villages below from this point. Take the path which descends through bamboo forests and the villages in order to reach the camp site. The entire day’s trek will take you about 7 hours covering a distance of 10 km. Camp for the night at Talle Valley, surrounded by lush green mountains.
Day 4: Trek from Talle Valley to Pange Valley River Camp
- Altitude gained: 8100 feet to 5250 feet
- Distance covered: 10 kms
- Average time taken: 7 hours
- Trail type: Wild flower beds, river banks, lichens and alpine forests
Begin the fourth day with a gradual descend alongside the river for ten minutes. There is a point on the trail known as Tragopan point. It lies two hours ahead of Talle Valley. On this day, you’ll be treated to an assortment of colourful wild flowers and lichens. The morning light’s narrative amplifies the beauty a notch higher.
The flora and fauna in the valley will captivate your attention. As this trail is easy, it gives you ample amounts of time to pause and take in the beauty around. In this 6-7 hour trek, you descend from 8,100 feet to 5,250 feet. Camp for the night along the Pangey river.
Flora and Fauna – Talle Valley
Day 5: Trek from Pange Valley river camp to Hong village
- Altitude gained: 5250 feet to 6480 feet
- Distance covered: 7 kms
- Average time taken: 5 hours
- Trail type: Wild flower beds, river banks, lichens, alpine forests
On the last day of the trek, you ascend from 5,250 feet to 6,480 feet, though not at a stretch. The trail gradually ascends, followed by a couple of hours of gradual descend. It it’s a climb all the way to Hong village, where the trek ends. You will cover a distance of 7 km in 5 hours to reach Hong valley.
Explore the village and meet the local Aptani tribes of region.Camp for the night at Hong village. The landscape is starkly similar to the European country side.
Day 6: Drive from Hong to Ziro
Pick-up will be arranged from Hong village to Ziro. It is a quick 20-25 minute drive from Hong to Ziro (4 km).
Side – Excursion:
Tao Tibe is av village which is inhabited by only one old couple and has beautiful views of the surrounding forests. By walk it is about 40 minutes away from the Siiro Resort(Ziro). Move in the direction of Old Ziro, take the road which goes left, around 200 metres from the hotel, head into Tarin fish farm, walk past the pools of water there and walk up the steps you see on the left, leading into the hills. The steps eventually give way to an opening that leads to the top of a hill, overlooking the Tao Tibe village below.
After the trek, you can also visit Kibo village in Aalo Valley. The picturesque valley is located in Menchkha, which is a 8-hour drive from Ziro Valley. This quaint village located further north is famous for hosting the Arunachal Pradesh festival.
How to get fit for the Talle Valley trek
The Talle Valley trek is an easy to moderate trek. There are no technical sections to walk on. You will be covering an distance of 33 kilometers over four days of trekking. This is no easy feat and warrants the required preparation.
On Day 4, you gain an altitude of 2800 feet and lose an altitude of 1000 feet on the same day. This requires a decent level of fitness and cardiovascular endurance. You should be able to enjoy this trail through the thick forest without struggling. You can begin your preparation by jogging everyday. Ideally, you should be able to jog 4 km in 25 minutes four days a week for five weeks before your trek commences. It takes time to be able to cover this distance in the given time. Start slow and increase your pace everyday. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too.
The trail is mostly under forest cover and you will need to watch your step as you descend. This can be harsh on your knees and thighs. The muscles on your legs need to be strong enough to endure this patch. To strengthen your legs do around 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set.
Trekking with a backpack requires some effort and agile muscles. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed.
Working out indoors
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.
What to take on the Talle Valley trek
- Trekking shoes: You will need trekking shoes with good grip. Sports shoes will not be comfortable enough. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes. You can get Forclaz 600 from Decathlon.
- Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential- especially during months of April and May.
A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their t shirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
- Three warm layers: You will need at least three warm layers (two lights layers such as fleece and woollen and one padded jacket) for this trek. Add another layer during winter season.
- Three trek pants: Wear one pair and carry one pair.
- Two collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Again, wear one and carry one.
- Thermals (Optional): Those who are more susceptible to cold can carry thermals to wear at night.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. There might be snow at the upper campsites regardless of the season. So carry a pair of sunglasses.
- Suncap: The sun is intense at higher altitudes and a sun cap is absolutely essential to keep your face and neck safe from sunburns.
- Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woolen hand gloves. One pair of water proof gloves.
- Balaclava: You may use woolen scarves instead as well.
- Socks (2 pairs): Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woolen socks for the night.
- Headlamp LED torch: Mandatory
- Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.
- Daypack (20 litres): If you are offloading your backpack, you will need a smaller backpack to carry water, medical kit and some light snacks.
- Toiletries (Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste)
- Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
- Two water bottles: 1 litre each
- Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
- Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
- Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
- Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
- Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
- Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
- Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
- Gauze – 1 small roll
- Band aid – 10 strips
- Cotton – 1 small roll
- ORS – 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray (aches, & sprains)
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.)
- Medical Certificate – Download PDF
- Disclaimer- Download PDF
If you’re shopping or packing for the trek, you can download this quick and simple checklist for offline use.
Trek fee: Rs. 9,950/-
*Service tax at 9% is payable on the trek fee
- Accommodation during the trek
- All meals – vegetarian
- Trekking permits and forest camping charges
- Trekking equipment (tents, sleeping bags, ice axes, ropes, etc.)
- Safety equipment (first aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretcher, etc.)
- Services of an expert trek leader (qualified in basic/advanced mountaineering courses)
- Services of an expert trek team (guides, cooks, helpers, porters/mules)
- Transport to and from the base camp (Guwahati Ziro to Hong and Ziro)
- Food during transit to and from the base camp
- Backpack offloading charges – Rs 1200. Charges will vary for last minute on slope offloading. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kgs. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
- Personal expenses of any kind
- Anything apart from the inclusions
Terms & Conditions
1. Cancellation: If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.
In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please e-mail us at email@example.com. Cancellation requests are not taken over phone.
The cancellation charges are as under:
- Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
- Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
- Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.
Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (bank charges) from the total fee you have paid.
2. The trek fee includes all costs of the trek from the start at the Ziro base camp to the end at Hong.
3. Pick up: Trekkers are picked up from at 6:30 am. Usually, trekkers are clubbed together with other participants to make a group. The group travels together to in shared cabs.
4. Transport: Transport from Guwahati to Ziro and return from Hong to Ziro can be arranged by us at an extra cost. Participants are expected to share the cost of the cab (approximate cost Rs. 5,500 per vehicle, one way). The amount is to be paid directly to our transporter. No service tax is applicable on transport cost. Indiahikes only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport.
5. Backpack offloading: Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason a trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.
Backpack offloading charges – Rs. 1200/- plus service tax of 9%. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs 335 per day plus service tax of 9%. Partial offloading is not allowed.Charges will vary for last minute on slope offloading. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kgs.
No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
6. Emergency during trek: In a trek a medical emergency or any other emergency may arise. If for any reason you are sent down from the trek then Indiahikes will make arrangements for your return to the base camp or nearest road head. A staff will accompany you. He may not be a trained personnel.
Evacuation or dealing with emergencies is extremely difficult in the mountains. It is time consuming as well. A normal trek of 2 hours may take 6 hours in an emergency (a sick person is not easy to evacuate). Doctors do not go along with a team. Doctors are not available at the base camp or nearest road head either. Indiahikes trek leaders are trained to administer first aid and know how to deal with issues related to the mountains. However, they are not doctors.
Registering for this trek is an understanding that you have read up on the difficulties of high altitude trekking and understand the risks. You have also understood what AMS, HAPE and HACE are. You have taken efforts to educate yourself and you are in a position to manage your own altitude related emergency.
7. Fitness:A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Your body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Cardiovascular training before a trek is critically important. Training must include strength and flexibility workout. We have laid out the eligibility criteria here. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training. Indiahikes has the right to reject candidates who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp. .
8. Non-liability: Indiahikes is not responsible for any loss/damage of your gears/equipment or other belongings on the trek.
9. Payment: Payment for the trek can be done online through credit/debit card or net banking. Cheque/draft or cash is not accepted.
10. Drinking and smoking during the trek is strictly prohibited. If found flouting the rules, your participation on the trek will be cancelled with immediate effect.
11. Safety Protocol:
a. While our itineraries are designed to allow for adequate acclimatisation, most treks in Indian Himalayas climb quickly, which is called forced accents. Unavailability of camp sites and the Indian Himalayan terrain are the reason for this. There are chances that you will feel the effects of altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation while on this trek. Please be aware that your trek leader may deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, and arrange for you to descend to a lower attitude.
b. Our trek leaders will conduct routine health checks at all camps to measure oxygen saturation, pulse and blood pressure. Indiahikes reserves the right to exclude any trekker from climbing higher on the trek without refund if the trekker’s vital readings are below accepted norms for that altitude. These norms are available with Indiahikes trek leaders.
c. This is a high altitude trek with rough, rocky and snowy terrain. It is important that you are a fit and confident walker in mountain terrain, able to manage ascents and descents by yourself within a reasonable time. Indiahikes reserves the right to turn around a trekker if in the opinion of our trek leader they are unable to complete the itinerary without requiring exclusive assistance. Please realistically self-assess your fitness and suitability for this trek before registering.
Talle Valley is predominantly a dense jungle trail. The terrain harbors several wild animals like bears, apes and clouded leopards. It’s highly dangerous to stray from the trail and wander into the wilderness. Do not leave your campsite at any point in time.
How to get to the base camp – Ziro
The best way to get to the base camp – Ziro is to take a flight to Guwahati and then a train to Naharlagun.
Upon your arrival at Naharlagun Railway Station, private cabs can be arranged by Indiahikes to take you to Ziro (cost to be shared by trekkers).
Nearest Airport to Ziro: Guwahati – 460 km
Train from Guwahati to Naharlagun:
15617 – GHY NHLN I C EXP –Depart 21.20 pm – Arrive 5.00 am – 7.40 hrs
Private taxis are available from Guwahati to Naharlagun, which will approximately cost Rs. 4000–5000.
Transport: Transport from Naharlagun Ziro can be arranged by us at an extra cost. Participants are expected to share the cost of the cab (approximate cost Rs. 4000 to Rs.5000 per vehicle, one way from Naharlagun to Ziro. No service tax is applicable on transport cost. Indiahikes only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport.
- Naharlagun to Ziro is approx 100 km
- It will take 3 ½ hrs to reach Ziro from here
- Share taxi available from Naharlagun to Ziro, charges are 400/- per person
- Private taxi will cost approx 4000-5000/- (sumo type vehicle)
- There is train running from New Delhi to Naharlagun every Sunday.
Inner Line Permit:
For this trek, it’s mandatory to obtain the Inner Line Permit. You can apply for some the Inner Line Permit from Naharlagun Railway Station. It will be available directly in all the Railways Stations that you’re entering Arunachal Pradesh. The counter is open 24/7.
“It’s only been a week. Yet it already seems like a dream! We had a TERRIFIC trek. Our walks seemed never ending through the dense and mystic forests but in retrospect it was such fun! Most of all, my warmest and heartfelt admiration and thanks to our Trek Leader Ankit and his wonderful team for enduring each one of us without complaining! And being most helpful, encouraging, calm, an