Itanagar , is small and dusty. It resembles a frontier town more than a city. The entire place can be explored in a day and it’s main attraction is the ITA fort or the fort of bricks – The bricks used in the fort; form a total brickwork of 16,200 cubic meters in length and dates back to the 14th-15th Century.

The fort sits high up on a hill and overlooks the Itanagar jail in the valley below. The place is a tourist spot with manicured gardens and long walkways but other than a leisurely ten minutes admiring the lawn and the sections of the old brick walls, there is nothing much to do out there. I started out my day visiting the fort and from there on decided to shit things up a bit by trying a smaller, lesser known and maybe more fun route to Ziro – that the Sumo taxis take from Naharlagun.This road is under construction and bypasses the longer and slightly more scenic road going through north Lakhimpur.

After the right from the mental asylum located by the bridge on the Dikrong river, I began my own mental journey through the dirt road upto Ziro.As you start climbing higher; the road cuts through a forest of broad green leaf and thick over forests growing on the hills around. The road is nothing less than super fun as you climb through craters, dirt , gravel , muck, bulldozers, cranes and over packed sumos. Some would consider it the road to hell but the heavenly part is some truly magnificent vistas and panoramas.

My first stop was at a village called Hoz , its residents work around the small dam project. After a quick break and a check on the motorcycle I made my way further up the crazy road with the forests getting thicker, the clouds lower and more brilliant. I sped on , cutting through the gravel and dirt with absolute enthusiasm, until I reached the top of the hill range, and started to make my back down into the next valley, the scenery slowly shifting from broad leaf forests to sub alpine , interspersed with clumps of bright red Rhododendrons lining the roads. Everything was going superb till I started hearing a heavy knocking sound coming from the chain.

The noise was coming from the chain undoing itself from it’s setting. All the dirt road riding had thoroughly shaken up the T-bird , which I take has been built for the highways and nowhere else.Though a minor glitch, the sound of the chain threatening to break in the middle of nowhere got me thinking what my friend told me about. There are no mechanics around for kilometers in every direction and if your stuck you best know how to fix your bike. While I knew that the chain setting was all that was needed , the thought of something bigger going wrong kept creeping into my mind as I slowed to a crawl and tried to find an open place to fix it.To my luck , as I continued limping , I found a place to stop sorted the problem out and realized having a tool kit handy is one of the essential things to have when touring, even if you don’t know have to use all of the spanners.

Time then for the fun to begin again, and I made my way out the small valley. The Road turned from dirt and gravel to smooth tarmac and curves and loops up the mountain. I cant put it to put words the true beauty of riding those roads , but I will attempt it an few lines –

You enter alongside and below dense green forests of broad leaf, and cloud armadas hanging low in the sky – Winding roads appearing and disappearing through the landscape – bright red Rhododendrons and sub alpine forests merging and changing all along the road into the valley; as the climb goes higher and crests onto the hillocks and meadows of Ziro- A place the Apatani tribe call home.