Named after the hornbills or ‘Paga’ in Nyishi language, Pakke Paga Festival was first proposed in 2014. The first edition of the festival was held in Seijosa, Arunachal Pradesh, in January 2015 and then happened again in 2017 and 2018. This unique festival has helped in creating awareness about the state, its people, cultural and wildlife heritage; along with potentially boosting tourism in the area providing greater incentives for the local community as well.
The fourth edition of the festival is going to take place in January 18- 20, 2019, at Seijosa in East Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh. It’s going to be absolutely mesmerising as always; with the event unfurling at the beautiful locale on the banks of the Pakke River; a view of the Tiger Reserve in the backdrop and wreathed Hornbills flying overhead in the evenings on their way back to the roost sites in villages.
You can expect the local Nyishi community living in and around Pakke Tiger Reserve, hard at conserving hornbills in Pakke and surrounding areas in the other villages. They have realised the importance of hornbills and other wildlife in Arunachal Pradesh and the need to reduce hunting of these magnificent birds. The festival therefore, creates interest and awareness among travellers and locals about the cultural and wildlife heritage of Arunachal Pradesh.
Arunachal Pradesh is one of the richest biodiversity hotspots in India, but the fact that you can adopt a hornbill nest and be an integral part of their conservation, is taking things a notch higher. This shows how far they have come in terms of playing protectors to their fauna. They have something called the Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme, a Nature Conservation Foundation initiative in collaboration with the state Forest Department and the Ghora Aabhe Self Help Society and as per the adoption programme, the urban citizen can do his bit by choosing to adopt a hornbill nest at INR 6,000 which will be regularly monitored and protected by the dedicated members of the Ghora Aabhe Society, a local body of elderly villagers.
There’s much else for festival goers; activities like jeep safari, birding and nature walks that will be no less than a treat for all wildlife enthusiasts. The nearest airports from here are Tezpur (60 km) and Guwahati (280 km). You can take direct cabs from there to Seijosa.