Kongmu-Kham, which means the Golden Temple in Tai Khamti language, popularly known as the Golden Pagoda at Namsai district of Arunachal Pradesh, was built in 2010 to promote spiritual tourism in the region. Since then, the place has become a major tourist destination in the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh.
As per official reports, the Golden Pagoda at Namsai receives more than one lakh tourists – including both domestic and international tourists. Built with the initiative of Arunachal Pradesh deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, the Golden Pagoda witnesses an average of 7,000 visitors in weekends during the peak season. Most of the international tourists, which accounts for 40 per cent of the total visitors to the temple, are from South East Asian countries – mostly from Thailand and Myanmar. Most of them are religious pilgrims which come either to participate in cultural or religious activities.
A Thai research team from Mahidol University, Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Thailand visited the Golden Pagoda at Tengapani (Noy-Cheynam) recently. The team is in Arunachal Pradesh to study the tribal cultures of the Northeast state.
In his interaction with them, deputy chief minister Chowna Mein highlighted the vast tourism potential of Arunachal Pradesh. “Ours is a dynamic state with numerous tribes and sub-tribes having their own distinct identities, cultures and dialects living together for ages peacefully. Despite the challenges faced with the advent of modernity, every community is preserving their age-old cultural heritage yet respecting each other’s culture, customs and traditions,” he said.
Mein added that the state of Arunachal Pradesh symbolizes a unique example of ‘unity in diversity’ which according to him is ‘the beauty of the state’.