Pelang Sangri: The living rocks

[Donik Lamang]

Arunachal Pradesh is a state filled with natural wonders, often undiscovered or known only to the locals, which can, with exploration and necessary development, pave the way for greater tourists’ footfall in the state.

Pelang Sangri (‘Living Rock’ in Nyishi), situated in Yangte circle of Kra Daadi district, is one such natural marvel that deserves greater publicity and exploration.

Pelang Sangri is a group of rocks, magnificently and intriguingly erected on a little plain land on the thigh of the Tane Giabe hill and the adjoining Bungliso stream, 7 kms from Yangte, towards the Tali road. Situated at a height of 1,700 metres above sea level, Pelang Sangri can be reached via a short trek of around 1 km from the road between Yangte and Tali.

This group of six standing rocks, the smallest of which is around 4 metres and the biggest around 14 metres, mirror a scene of an ongoing local parlay in appearance. One can vividly picture these grand standing rocks as being an old family discussing a grave matter, or enjoying a feast, except that they have been accursed into rocks for eternity.

Several stories surround this mystic structure; local village heads tell how the villagers never trespassedthese rocks prior to 2013, out of fear of being possessed by the forest spirits called Yakso and Yapam. These spirits are believed to possess trespassers and seclude them into the confines of the deep forest, never to be found again or alive. The villagers recount numerous stories of such possessions or ‘Yapam joha’ in the vicinity of Pelang Sangri.

The villagers tell of how earlier only the largest of the rocks was visible while the rest of the rocks were covered under sharp thorny creepers and cane, which are aplenty in the area even today. The villagers also tell of the mesmerising view of the standing rocks during full moon, when the rocks shine remarkably under the moonlight.

The largest of the rocks is deemed to grow every year, and hence the name Pelang Sangri (The Living Rocks).

Various objects of interest have also been routinely discovered in the area encompassing these rocks,such as a strikingly beautiful polishing stone (star rock), where tigers have been sighted sharpening their claws. Various rare animals, such as a black python, have been reported to have laid eggs near the rocks, and a large species of frog, locally termed arba barung, reside around the area.

The rocks are monolithic in nature and have astounding features that have long piqued the curiosity of visitors. One of the rocks possesses an imprint which uncannily resembles a sketch map of Yangte valley. Another one of the rocks possesses marks that resemble female organs. Most interestingly, one of the rocks display sonorous properties, wherein hollow sounds emanate when tapped. All of the rocks are sharply pointed and boast of extremely sturdy geological properties, which can be a treasure trove for further geological research.

During a visit to Pelang Sangri, Kra Daadi Deputy Commissioner Sunny K Singh, accompanied by numerous administrative officers, on 19 May assured to work towards generating greater publicity and development of this marvelous natural monument,and urged the villagers to maintain the pristine nature of the rocks.

Pelang Sangri is a gem of an undiscovered tourism potential in Kra Daadi district in particular and Arunachal in general. With wider publicity, Pelang Sangri can become another popular tourism site in Arunachal. (The writer is DACO and DIPRO (i/c), Kra Daadi)