The easternmost points of India

We start with this map (which appeared in the Economist some time ago ) to see the various disputed areas involving India, Pakistan and China.

Disputed areas

While the LOC in Kashmir is basically a result of Pakistan grabbing whatever it could in 1947-48, the borders with China are somewhat more complicated, involving treaties by various entities controlling Kashmir, the former NEFA and Tibet over the past two centuries.

There is even a small disputed area called Bara Hoti on the border between Uttarakhand and Tibet, but nothing much happens there. China claims most (but not all) of Arunachal Pradesh; the dark green part of the map is the undisputed part of that state. And Tawang was supposedly governed by Tibet until 1951 before India occupied it.

That bit about Arunachal is necessary to understand this extract from the Wikipedia article on “Extreme points of India”:

East
(disputed, administered)
Kibithu in Anjaw district Arunachal Pradesh Tibet, China 28.01744°N 97.40238°E [4][8]
East (undisputed) Near Kumki, in the Changlang district Arunachal Pradesh Kachin State, Myanmar 27.12622°N 97.16712°E [9]

Kibithu is in the disputed part of Arunachal while Kumki is in the smaller undisputed part.

You can click on the coordinates to get the location on Google Maps or other sites. The first one seems to be wrong as it shows a point in Myanmar. The second one shows a point in India near the border although no place name is given.

This map of Arunachal Pradesh may also be helpful:

Arunachal 2011

You can see Kibithu north of the better-known Walong in Anjaw district.

The place Kumki is not shown here, but would be east of Vijoyanagar (which, like Walong, has an Advanced Landing Ground which can handle medium transport aircraft such as the AN-32 and C-130J ).

As Wikipedia has got it wrong, let us explore Walong and its surroundings in Anjaw district on Google Maps:

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.1383739,97.0662292,11z?hl=en

We have

Walong listed as a cantonment and town, at longitude 97.0167 E

Dong   listed as the easternmost village in India, at longitude 97.04117 E

Kibithu listed as one of the easternmost towns in India and the easternmost             roadhead in India, at longitude 97.0156 E which is west of Walong and Dong.

Also note the tri-junction of India, China and Myanmar about 20 Km west of the Walong-Kibithu route, apparently without any inhabited place in between.

However, the curiously-named village of Dong would  be the easternmost civilian inhabited place in India-even though it consists of 3 huts. In spite of its remoteness it does attract a small number of tourists. Walong is reachable by road via Tezu (which was once served by Vayudoot flights, and now may have Pawan Hans helicopter services run by the state government). Otherwise one can start from Mohanbari airport or Tinsukia railway station.

As a formality, we also visit the “undisputed” easternmost point in the vicinity of Vijoyanagar in Changlang district:

https://www.google.com/maps/@27.1925253,96.9753302,11z?hl=en

There does not seem to be any civilian inhabited place between Vijoyanagar and the Myanmar border. This has a longitude of 96.9939 E which is west of Walong and its neighbours. Changlang district has numerous places of tourist interest (including the Miao sactuary) which can be reached from Mohanbari airport or Tinsukia railway station.

However, life in Vijoyanagar is hard, as you can read here: https://yobindreams.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/non-existence-of-road-inflicts-miseries-a-story-of-vijaynagar-changlang-district/

That is based on an article written in 2009. Perhaps things have improved since then.

Fortunately the western and southern extreme points of India are not so remote, as we will see later.

 

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The ding and the dong

You would probably not think much of dings and dongs except in the context of bells (and American slang). However, the disambiguation feature of Wikipedia tells us about several other dings and dongs:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ding

There are a couple of examples from India which Wikipedia did not catch-such as the small railway station of Ding in Haryana:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/@29.4609337,75.2582959,15z

It is served by a number of trains (mainly slow passenger trains) between Hisar and Bathinda.

You may also have heard of Ding as a derogatory term for Anglo-Indians. The internet has an explanation for this, apparently from a blogger from Tamil Nadu:

http://www.samosapedia.com/e/dingo

Not sure if that was to be taken seriously. However there is a traditional Anglo-Indian dish called ding ding, which is called jerky in other countries:

http://bridgetwhite-angloindianrecipes.blogspot.in/2014/08/ding-ding-savoury-sundried-meat-crispies.html

The dong has many more meanings including names and places, and even a large company based in Scandinavia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dong

Dong is a common name in China and Vietnam, where Pham van Dong was one of the architects of their victory over the US: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ph%E1%BA%A1m_V%C4%83n_%C4%90%E1%BB%93ng

Then there is the Vietnamese dong, which until recently was the least valuable world currency unit. More recently the thinly traded Iranian rial has taken this position.

At the moment the US dollar will get you over 22,400 VND (Vietnamese dong). while the Indian rupee will get you over 330. Even the Indonesian rupiah will get you 1.6 VND. The most valuable currency unit is the Kuwaiti dinar, which will get you 3.29 US dollars, 221 Indian rupees or…73,800 Vietnamese dong.

And Dong is the easternmost village in India. Its population fits into three huts. You still have to travel about 20 km further east to reach the tri-junction of India, China and Myanmar.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dong,_Arunachal_Pradesh

This map shows its location more clearly:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/@28.0680455,96.7613483,10z

There is no railway line anywhere in that area, though there are stations such as Dongargaon and Dongargarh:

This station used to have a large steam shed earlier. It lies in Chhattisgarh on the main line from Mumbai to Kolkata.

Then there is the more common American usage for the dong, which needs no explanation.