Tawang Tourism

Tawang Tourism

Tawang Info

  • State: Arunachal Pradesh
  • Famous for/as: Hill
Tawang, the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, is one of the most beautiful places in Arunachal Pradesh. Lying between the latitude 27º45’N and the longitude 90º15’E, the destination is located at a height of around 10,000 ft above sea level. Home to the Monpa tribe, Tawang shares its border with Tibet in the north, Bhutan in the south-west and the Sela range in the east.

It is believed that the place has derived its name from one of the oldest and largest Buddhist monasteries in India, Tawang Monastery. Perched on the edge of the ridge along the western part of this destination, Tawang Monastery is an important learning centre. About 400 years old, the monastery is believed to be home to more than 700 monks. Tawang Monastery was found in 1681 by Merag Lama Lodre Gyatso in compliance with the desires of 5th Dalai Lama, Nagwang Lobsang Gyatso.

'Ta' means Horse and 'Wang' means Chosen. It is believed that the site on which the monastery has been constructed was chosen by the horse, which was owned by Merag Lama Lodre Gyamtso. According a legend, Merag Lama was unable to decide a location to establish the monastery. In order to seek divine guidance for choosing the construction site for the monastery, he was praying inside a cave. When he came out after finishing prayers, he found that his horse was missing. On searching, he saw that horse was standing on a hilltop.

On seeing his horse on the hilltop, he considered this as a sign of divine blessing and finalised that location for construction of the monastery. The construction of this monastery was completed with the help of people residing in the neighbouring villages. At present, those same neighbouring villages are responsible for the upkeep of the monastery.

Tawang Monastery is also popularly known as Galden Namgey Lhatse, which means celestial paradise. Before the construction of this monastery, Tawang was inhabited by the Monpa tribe. At that time, the Monpa tribe was under the rule of the Mon kingdom, which had their kingdom stretching from Tawang up to Sikkim. However, later the entire kingdom went under the control of Tibet and Bhutan.

When India got its independence from Britain, Tawang was severed off from Tibet. In 1962, Tawang was conquered by the Chinese troops, who destroyed some portions of the monastery. For six months, the entire district was under the control of Chinese nationalist troops. However, after a retreat, it went under the control of India. Later in 1984, the district was separated from the West Kameng District.

Owing to beautiful mountains and monasteries along with 100 lakes, today Tawang is one of the most sought out tourist destinations in Arunachal Pradesh. The destination celebrates several festivals throughout the year, which are mostly associated with religion and agriculture of Monpas. Some of the important festivals celebrated in Tawang are Losar, Torgya, Choekor and Dupka Tse-She.

The Losar Festival, one of the most important festivals in Tawang, is celebrated by the Monpa community. It is celebrated for around two weeks, usually in February-March, to herald the Monpa New Year according to the lunar calendar.  The Monpas belong to the Mongoloid stock and form a majority of the population of Arunachal Pradesh. The festival is marked by feasts and spending time with family and relatives. 

Houses are cleaned, lamps are lit, prayers are offered and prayer flags are hoisted. Masked dances, known as ‘chaam’, are performed by Buddhist monks in gompas to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. The festival welcomes the new, ushering in good health, peace and prosperity.

Khapse, a Tibetan biscuit, is prepared during this time. It is made from a dough of flour, sugar and butter which is then shaped into different forms and sizes and deep fried. The most common shape is the twirled rectangular one which is shared with friends and relatives and offered to guests.  Other shapes include discs coated in sugar and long hollow tubes.

Situated in the north eastern corner of the country, Tawang has limited connectivity to the rest of the country by air, rail and road. The nearest airport is at Tezpur in Assam, 365 km away, which has direct flights to Kolkata twice a week. The nearest railhead is at Guwahati, 555 km away, which is connected to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. By road, Tawang can be reached from Bomdila (185 km), Tezpur (365 km) and Guwahati (555 km) through the Sila Pass.

The best time to visit Tawang is during summer, which extends from the months of July to October.
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Travellers from Kolkata, Guwahati

Best time to visit Tawang in the next six months

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Tawang Traveller Reviews

Read 26 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.8/7, 1
out of 195 Tawang reviews 26
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Raj Ail
  • Raj Ail
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 17 photos
  • 6 Reviews

"Dusty & Bumpy Road to the Solitaire Paradise!!"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
They say " You can experiences the Peace in World when your in Peace with your Self ". And not a better place than in the mist of snow capped peaks of Twang. Its add more to the value due to the sacrifice made by our brave jawans during the time of aggregation. You need not to visit each and other place mentioned because the journey itself is like a running movies which each frame changing at each turn. We were just shutter-click happy clicking at each and every peak, mountains, frozen water bodies, pine tree, zig-zag roads & a rare species of humans!!

Tips: Do carry dry foods with you specifically during winter time in case if you get stuck. Also carry good quantity of water as people get dehydrated in cold.

Do ask your driver for the Tyre chain, its a must during snow ( v missed it very much in Sela Pass)

Keep a Day or Two extra for any kind of eventually. (you can visit any of wildlife sanctuary)

And most of all do follow the warning of locals and your Driver don't try to act to smart because they have seen the nature more than us. Do respect their advices.

Book a very good vehicle (we booked Bolero for 4k per day )
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  • 9 votes

Pappu Sumon
  • Pappu Sumon
  • Lives in Golaghat
  • 1 photo
  • 3 Reviews

"Highland with pristine beauty and gorgeous look"

  • 6/7
  • Posted Dec 9, 2014
Money spend was justified after visiting Tawang the landscape design by God himself. Very heavenly with charming people protecting and preserving the highland with pristine beauty and gorgeous look. Would highly recommend the visitors around the globe to plan a tour to this wonderful land of nature.
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  • 9 votes

Deepankar Raychaudhury
  • Deepankar Raychaudhury
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 11 photos
  • 6 Reviews

"Tawang holidays in the incredible N.East."

  • 7/7
  • Posted Dec 4, 2014
A great place for mountain lovers. Will nowhere see such virgin hills (presumably) in a S/S Tour in our country. Ample activities. Visit Bum La pass at 15600 feet (near China border) in one day, a memory that you will remember throughout your lifetime. But take only capable members to this place because of the high altitude and a very bad road conditions. Try to take a sturdy car with an expert driver others can safely take rest in the hotel. People may tell you that they have shaken their hands with Chinese Soldiers and all that - Simply ignore their comments. It is just not possible. Next day, you can visit Madhuri (Sangetsar) lake and PTSO Lake. My advice is to take the two trips in two different days. Stay one more day there to visit the Tawang monastery. Visiting Tawang monastery is a delight - what an atmosphere prevailing over there. NE is really incredible. Our great army men will help you a lot in any kind of trouble like AMS (High altitude sickness). Do not forget to visit Nu-rang (Jung Falls) while returning. Simply mesmerizing. Proud to be staying in our own country, the great India. Do not expect to get VV delicious food over here. After all, you are going for a tour and not for taking great food in a Food Plaza in the plains. But food in H. Siddhartha where we stayed was quite tasty. Be here during October-November to avoid bad road conditions. Can also expect see snowfall in Sela pass during this time.
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  • 8 votes

Aishwaryaa Rai
  • Aishwaryaa Rai
  • Lives in Jaipur
  • 1 Review

"Best place in India to visit, Tawang"

  • 6/7
  • Posted Aug 8, 2014
I had been to Tawang with my friends. We had a whole lot of fun. People there were very nice. I enjoyed the food. The place was very good. It was a great experience. I enjoyed a lot seeing the sights all around. I would like to visit the place again. I love Tawang very much.
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  • 12 votes

Mrinmoy manthan Koch
  • Mrinmoy manthan Koch
  • Highlander
  • 2 Reviews

"Felt like almost near to heaven..."

  • 7/7
  • Posted Oct 28, 2013
Tawang is a place located in the extreme heights of the Himalayan mountain range. Its about 350 km away from Tezpur, Assam. It s not just a place, its heaven on earth. The uniqueness of this place is its delicious food, rich culture, natural beauty at its best throughout the year.
It has a good number of hotels and a tourist lodge. If you want economy you should book the tourist lodge in advance of 20 days-1 month. From 1st week of January, it starts snowing. The roads are covered with thick snow. BRO and Indian army constantly works to keep the snow off the roads.
What more was that, the very first morning in Tawang, I was sitting at the canteen of Tawang tourist lodge, i found myself looking at the portrait of chain of mountains bluish in color, when i looked carefully i found out that it was not a portrait, it was the real world.
You will surely enjoy your trip to Tawang.
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  • 17 votes

Sundar Ganesaan
  • Sundar Ganesaan
  • Lives in Chennai
  • 2 photos
  • 1 Review

"Tawang and Eternal Romance!"

  • 6/7
  • Posted Oct 7, 2013
Tawang is one of the most beautiful and underrated places in the country. I haven't been to Ladakh but having looked at the pictures of a 100 out of 780 friends on Facebook who have travelled to ladakh, I must admit Tawang lakes are as good or even better than the Ladakh lakes.
The best part of the travel was from Bomdila to Tawang (make sure you travel in the mornings) at a place called Sela Pass, this place is so scenic that I haven't seen blue skies any better apart from the cartoon network painted skies.
The water is as pure and white as milk and as a South Indian you would certainly miss your filter coffee after seeing that water
Most of the people in Tawang follow Buddhism as a practice.
Tawang Monastery is the second biggest in the world and is a major tourist attraction, the 6th Dalai Lama was born in Tawang and all these monastries are called as gompas which has a 5 coloured flag hoisted in front of them.
A Buddhist driver took us around Tawang and he gave lots of interesting info about buddhism. Apparently the first son of the family is given to the monastery and he becomes a monk. Also when someone dies in their family the body is cut into 108 pieces and thrown in the river. Also there is a belief that if you go on top of one of the mountains, you can see 108 lakes in Tawang (This number 108 seems to have significance in lot of religions)
The Highlight of the journey was the Indo-China border (McMahon Line) and the Jaswantgarh war memorial, We happened to be there on the 24th Oct 2012 (Exactly 50 years after the 1962 war) which was a sheer coincidence and there was an Army get together and kids from both sides exchanged greetings
Tawang is known in the Bollywood circuit for the film Koyla starring Sharukh Khan and Madhuri was filmed here and the famous Sungester Lake has been renamed as Madhuri Lake
Tawang is very famous for its Momos and you better not miss those hot momos served at Madhuri Lake

Travel - Guwahati to Tezpur (City of Eternal romance) by bus - 5 hours
Tezpur to Bomdila - Lot of private Sumos takes about 8 hours
Bomdila to Tawang - Connecting Sumos about 8 hours
You will have to get the Inner Line Permit to go to tawang and a special permission from the Indian Army at Tawang to go to the Indo-China Border
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  • 17 votes

I. chakraborty Chakraborty
  • I. chakraborty Chakraborty
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 7 photos
  • 3 Reviews

"Amazing Arunachal"

  • 6.5/7
  • Posted Sep 8, 2013
Just brilliant. It is difficult to explain in words how beautiful Arunachal is unless you visit that place. It is simply breathtaking. Since tourism is just starting it is not yet crowded and fully commercialized, so the raw beauty of nature is still available in abundance. It's surely worth the money you spend.

Advisable: Keep a car always with you, hire it for the entire trip. And preferably a TATA Sumo, Maruti Gypsy or any other SUV, not Innova.
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  • 11 votes

Subhrajit Gupta
  • Subhrajit Gupta
  • Highlander
  • 5 photos
  • 11 Reviews

"A Little Paradise"

  • Posted Jun 8, 2013
After a hectic journey through the extremely bad road conditions, when you reach there, you shall forget the entire bad experiences of the journey. It is indeed a paradise. Tawang is a small town with enourmous scenic beauties. Although I did not get snow during this period, the natural beauty made me speechless. Right from Se La Pass, as you proceed along with Nunarang Chu river through Jaswant Garh, Jang (a small town on the way) and then to Tawang the entire area is awesome.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Food : you can get any kind of food there. Even we could manage to get foods without onion & garlic as per requirement of our team members.

Nunarang Falls is awesome. You will wish to spend a whole day there. Jaswant Garh will make you proud to be an Indian. The history of a single rifleman killing 300 Chinese soldiers will spread your chest. The PTSO lake & Madhuri Lake will make you spell bound. The Monestry is one of its kind. But you shall lacking a guide there. If you manage to go to Bum La border, that shall be another experience for you.

Activities & things to do: Apart from Sight Seeing and enjoying natural beauties, there is nothing you can do.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: You shall have to travel to Bhalukpong wither from Guwahati or Tezpur. From Bhalukpong you can reach Tawang on a single day although that is not advisable due to extreamly bad road conditions. Better you take a night halt at Dirang and proceed for Tawang next day. At Se La Pass you might have breathing problem and headache due to 13700 ft height and extreamly low Oxygen content. At Tawang also during late evening you might have breathing problems.
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  • 16 votes

Archana Kamath
  • Archana Kamath
  • 2 Reviews

"Tawang is a remote and..."

  • Posted Apr 30, 2013
Tawang is a remote and incredibly beautiful place. It is off the beaten path of normal tourist routes.The journey to Tawang is breathtaking. Visit the place if you appreciate solitude and simplicity. There are no pubs or discotheques or shopping malls. Long walks are the best way to explore and get the feel of the town.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Restaurants are practically non-existent. We ate all our meals at our hotel. Sight-seeing is plenty and in all directions. Nature offers its best in terms of landscape. Shopping is very basic with small stores selling woollen goods, herbal medicines, groceries etc. The Arunachal Pradesh Emporium is moderately stocked.

Activities & things to do: Long walks !! The locals are very friendly. We ended up visiting a school and spending time with the children there.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: We hired a tourist cab from Guwahati. The town is accessible only by road. Travelling to Tawang from October to February is not adivisable due to extreme cold climatic conditions.
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  • 10 votes

Chinmoy Boruah
  • Chinmoy Boruah
  • Lives in Guwahati
  • 2 Reviews

"Best of Best"

  • Posted Mar 26, 2013
Can't say about the Heaven on earth-Kashmir or of the blue mountains of of western ghats, but if you are somehow there in NE India and got the guts of an adventurer then dont forget to add Tawang in your itinerary. Located in the far east corner of India among the China and Bhutan border its a must visit for any braveheart.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: When in Tawang, be someone of Tawang. Dont miss the journey to Bumla, the end point of India and feel the patriot in you. A visit to the Tsangester lake (popular as Madhuri Lake) is a must in journey list too. Apart from that a trip to Khinjamin would be a nice experience too. And don't miss the feel of sipping hot soup our devouring Thukpa and Momo in the cool evening.

Activities & things to do: When in Tawang, be someone of Tawang. Dont miss the journey to Bumla, the end point of India and feel the patriot in you. A visit to the Tsangester lake (popular as Madhuri Lake) is a must in journey list too. Apart from that a trip to Khinjamin would be a nice experience too. And don't miss the feel of sipping hot soup our devouring Thukpa and Momo in the cool evening.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Tawang could be reached both by air and road. But I would suggest road, as for me the travel itself is a cherished memory and in this way you could travel through some of the most amazing places and be a part of the history. But again the travel is not for some leisure loving and weak heart people. And be extra cautious while travelling in the months of Dec-March.
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  • 11 votes

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