Orchid Haven The Sessa Orchid Sanctuary In Arunachal Pradesh

The Sessa Orchid Sanctuary, and the Orchid Research and Development Centre at Tipi, in Arunachal Pradesh, deserve a dedicated trip of their own
The Cymbidium spp., orchid in bloom. Credit www.shutterstock.com / twabian
The Cymbidium spp., orchid in bloom. Credit www.shutterstock.com / twabian

The delicate orchid flower has a permanent home in the sub-alpine and sub-tropical mix of environs of Arunachal Pradesh. A protected area of over 100 square kilometres in the Bhalukpong Forest Division of West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh, has been dedicated to the Sessa Orchid Sanctuary since 1979. It is next to the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, and both are a part of the Kameng Protected Area Complex (KPAC), an elephant reserve.  

Dedicated Pathways

The tour of the Sessa Orchid Sanctuary is best done on the trekking routes developed by the Department of Environment and Forests. These unique routes will take you through deep gorges and valleys, high peaks, and rugged terrain. The sanctuary also has a nursery with specimens of various orchid species. Plus, there is a demonstration farm for cut-flower production of the Cymbidium orchid hybrids. 

Floral Bouquet

You must visit the Tipi orchidarium, formally known as the Orchid Research and Development Centre (ORDC), about 20 kilometres from Sessa. The orchidarium is engaged in the conservation, protection and growing of orchids. Over the course of its research, the ORDC has discovered the following new species Biermannia jainiana, Cleistoma tricallosum, Dendrobium kentrophyllum, Epipogium sessanum, Eria jengingensis, Eria lohitensis, Gastrodia arunachalenisis and Herminium longilonbatum. Note that the nomenclature is based on the named geographical features of Arunachal Pradesh. 

The orchidarium has a nursery of orchids and a tissue culture laboratory. A visit to Tipi will result in a sharp upward learning curve with every aspect related to orchids. You can enjoy the beautiful visuals of orchid varieties such as the Cymbidium spp., Dendrobium spp., Erica spp., Aracus spp., Selogenia spp., and the Agrostophyllum spp., etc. The Cymbidium spp. is one of the most expensive orchids, comparable to the Dendrobium spp. orchid variety. The latter is prized due to its tall floral axis and its many flowers, which have a long life. The inflorescence creates the value of this variety. 

More The Merrier

The Sessa Orchid Sanctuary has more than 200 orchid species, with five new and endemic species. The sub-tropical orchids include the genera Dendrobium, Bulbophyllum, Coelogyne, Eria, Phaius, and Liparis. Several field explorations have yielded 183 species in 55 genera. Of these, 144 are epiphytes (any plant that grows upon another plant or object merely for physical support), and 39 are terrestrials (living on the land rather than in water or air). There are six saprophytic (that live and feed on dead and decaying organic matter) orchid species.  

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by IndiainGermany (@indiaingermany)

Protect And Conserve

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), a consortium of major international and regional organisations, has identified the North-Bank Landscape, which is the north bank of the Brahmaputra River, extending up to the Eaglenest and the Sessa slopes, and the Tawang region, plus the whole of the northeast, as a critical global biodiversity rich area deserving of conservation focus. Additionally, Sessa is within the Conservation International Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot area. Also, Birdlife International has designated Sessa, and Eaglenest Sanctuaries as an Important Bird Area (IBA IN344), with Blyth&rsquos Tragopan, identified as a vulnerable species of the area. 

The Information

Best time to visit Winter

Permits Mandatory. Check this website

How to get there 

By air&nbspTezpur is the nearest airport.

 By railway&nbspBhalukpong is the closest railway station.

 By road&nbspSessa is well-connected by bus and taxis to Tezpur and the capital city of Itanagar.

For more information, check the Arunachal Pradesh Tourism website and here, and the Department of Environment and Forest, Arunachal Pradesh&nbspwebsite

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller