Oldest town of Arunachal Pradesh

Pasighat Town

The oldest town of the Arunachal Pradesh, Pasighat is celebrating centenary year of its foundation. It is the gateway of Arunachal Pradesh, which was established in 1911 by Britishers. The town is the headquarter of the East Siang district. The State government has planned to celebrate its centenary programme in big manner. The town has interesting history.

According to district information and Public Relation officer, Mr. Onyok Pertin, earlier Pasighat was a place of Dibu-Marang people before the advent of Adis. According to history, one Baling of Yirang clan fought with another Baling of Dibu-Marang clan and after prolonged fight both died together at present Sibo-Korong. In Adi word ‘Sibo’ means ‘die together’, Korong means river or stream. One Luyi Perme lived above the present Tigra village and left the place for left bank of Siang River. Thereafter, Adis from different hilly areas of upper belt settled at Sikel, Romkang, Balek, Roing, Tikra, Rasam, Mongku, Kelek and so on. Scholars say that the present Pasighat was known as ‘Paklek’ or Paglek Pigo originated from Kopak (BANANA). By using the last syllabi of KOPAK -PAK + LEK =PAKLEK was invented. In Adi rhapsody, present town is addressed as ‘Ane Paklege Didume’.

Few believe the town was named as ‘PASIGHAT’ after the advent of Britishers during the first decade of 1900 or the first expedition of Noel Williamson. They say ‘Pasighat’ is originated from the word ‘PASI’, a sub-tribe of Adi. Some of the oral historians claim that when Noel Williamson came here, he met one ‘Komli’ of ‘Regon’ clan who was rafting ‘Suppi’ (a country boat) on Siang River (present Komlighat) .While interacting, he informed his name was Komli Regon and belonged to ‘PASI’ near the Ghat (River yard) and later KOMLI REGON’ was named as Komlighat and the place as Pasighat.

A new era of development and social change emerged in the area with the leadership of modern educated group of people beginning from legendry Late Dr. Daying Ering followed by younger generations. In between 1960-80s, many intellectuals of Adis left footprints in various fields like politics, social, cultural, literary, religious and government professions not only from Bogong area, but many others areas who also settled at Pasighat choosing modern and advanced city life.

Establishment of premier educational institution like J.N. College in 1964 was the turning point in the history of Pasighat which is also considered as a source of inspiration for the entire state. It produced numerous politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, academicians, journalists, rulers and social workers.

Starting the journey with two primary schools – one at Balek and other, the present I.G.J. Govt HS School during 1947, the town has now two Higher Secondary Schools, four Secondary Schools, numerous middle and primary schools and various private and voluntary institutions. There are also few colleges namely as- J.N. College, Doying Gumin College, College of Horticulture & Forestry. The AYUSH and Polytechnic Colleges are under process.


Pasighat was founded in 1911 A.D. by the Britishers as a gateway to administrative convenience of the greater Abor Hills and area north. Primarily it was a settlements of Pasi and Minyong communities who are still living in the villages in and around Pasighat. Year 2011 (January) marked 100 years of its existence and this occasion was celebrated in the DSA ground Pasighat (in February last week) after having extended the function more than half a dozen times, thereby creating a mass public irritation.

Cognizance of Pasighat emerged due to the Anglo-Abor War that was fought in 1912. This necessitated the first ever administrative Head Quarter being established here at Pasighat with an Assistant Political Officer posted. In the post-Independent Era, Pasighat is credited with the first Airfield (near Paglek, P.I Line) established in 1946. The 1st Agricultural Institute in Arunachal Pradesh was also established at Pasighat in 1950. Other forms of later infrastructural development includes the famous (1) General Hospital (estb.1954, although some claim it as old as the town itself), (2) Co-operative society Ltd (1957), (3) Nurse Training Centre (affiliated to General Hospital), (4) The first ever College in Arunachal Pradesh Jawaharlal Nehru College (established: 4th July 1964) and also (5) the first ever All India Radio Station in the State in 1966.

The early proponents for the shifting of capital from Shillong (the then NEFA), underlined Pasighat as the obvious choice under the new preference. One of the strong reasons given by the officials was the above leading relative infrastructural development in the whole of the State. However, because of the then over-crafty chumps and the self crowned top dogs, the privilege was lost with a serious distaste to the present capital Itanagar. Since that catastrophe of 1974, Pasighat has failed to yield its lost tempo of modernization; nevertheless it has embarked as the new intellectual hub of the whole State.

The only renown development in Pasighat that came after the 1974 catastrophe was in the form of the College of Horticulture and Forestry Central Agriculture University established on 7th March, 2001.


Pasighat is located at 28.07°N 95.33°E.[2] It has an average elevation of 153 metres (501 ft). The area experience tropical humid climate during summer and dry mild winter. The place is known for receiving highest rainfall in a single year. In fact Pasighat and area around it receive heavy rainfall every year during monsoon season starting from May till September. The unique trough like features surrounded by high hills on all three sides make this place ideal for attracting rain bearing cloud which comes in from Assam plain. The rain bearing wind gets obstructed by the hills and brings heavy downpour. Winter is marked by cold dry local seasonal wind which blows throughout the winter. This factor contributes in making this place fog free even in winter. Bhramaputra emerges from the foothills under the name of Dihang or Siang. It enters India as Dihang west of Sadiya town in Arunachal Pradesh.Flowing southwest, it receives its main left bank tributaries, viz., Dibang and Lohit; thereafter, it is known as the Brahmaputra. Then it races across the Pasighat [north of Assam] heading for the Assam plains as the mighty Brahmaputra.


Agriculture is the main occupation of local people. Rice is the main foodcrop produced in the area. There are several large tea gardens in the vicinity of the town which attracts workers from all over the region. Lumbering was a big sustaining industry till the Supreme Court clamped down on the industry during nineties. There is also a bit of tourism in Pasighat, being the oldest town in Arunachal Pradesh. Agriculture, Horticulture, and tourism continues to be the main source of economy for the town.


As of 2001 India census,[3] Pasighat had a population of 21,972. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Pasighat has an average literacy rate of 64%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 71%, and female literacy is 56%. In Pasighat, 15% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Pasighat is predominantly inhabited by the Minyong Adi people who are known for their colourful Ponung dance and war dance called Taapu. Pasighat is also ideal for adventure sports activities. The Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary is 13 km away and is worth visiting. The archaeological site of Malinithan (100 km) is linked to the legend of Lord Krishna and his wife Rukmini. The dismembered head of Sati (Parvati) is said to have fallen at Akashiganga (100 km according to ancient Hindu myths. This is a highly sacred place for Vaishnavites.

Distance from city Pasighat to 25 biggest cities of country: India

Distance (Km)
 Pasighat – Bombay   2 503 km
 Pasighat – Delhi   1 773 km
 Pasighat – Bangalore   2 490 km
 Pasighat – Calcutta   929 km
 Pasighat – Madras   2 283 km
 Pasighat – Ahmadabad   2 343 km
 Pasighat – Hyderabad   2 095 km
 Pasighat – Pune   2 430 km
 Pasighat – Surat   2 399 km
 Pasighat – Kanpur   1 491 km
 Pasighat – Jaipur   1 928 km
 Pasighat – Lakhnau   1 428 km
 Pasighat – Nagpur   1 811 km
 Pasighat – Indore   2 045 km
 Pasighat – Patna   1 050 km
 Pasighat – Bhopal   1 873 km
 Pasighat – New Patna   1 050 km
 Pasighat – Ludhiana   1 910 km
 Pasighat – Thana   2 478 km
 Pasighat – Agra   1 708 km
 Pasighat – Vadodara   2 314 km
 Pasighat – Gorakhpur   1 920 km
 Pasighat – Nasik   2 360 km
 Pasighat – Pimpri   2 432 km
 Pasighat – Faridabad   1 764 km

Distance from city: Pasighat to Top 10 cities of the world

Distance (Km)
 Pasighat – Berlin   7 084 km
 Pasighat – London   7 975 km
 Pasighat – Los Angeles   12 276 km
 Pasighat – Moscow   5 492 km
 Pasighat – New York   12 370 km
 Pasighat – Paris   7 966 km
 Pasighat – Peking   2 261 km
 Pasighat – Rio De Janeiro   15 788 km
 Pasighat – Sydney   8 979 km
 Pasighat – Tokyo   4 177 km
 Pasighat – Prague   7 065 km

4 Responses

  1. pasighat lack good electricity department who can handle the needs of people. why there’s always power shortage, power cut off, sometimes no electricity for a month. It is one of the major problem there’s a need for good peoples to accomplice this need. we are waiting for the day when there will be no problems, scarcity of light in pasighat!

  2. Pasighat is a beautiful town except the erratic behaviour of the electricity department. 72 hours Pasighat bundh had some effect on the regular supply. But it is not sufficient.

  3. very very informative. Thank u.

  4. not only pasighat is inhabited by minyongs majority…pasi tribe (sub tribe of adi) were first to discover pasighat as called pasi+ ghat pasighat

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