Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
Santanu Roy, , Posted Date: 18th March 2012
Our trip to the exotic Arunachal, the extreme North-eastern frontier of India was the culmination.....
Our trip to the exotic Arunachal, the extreme North-eastern frontier of India was the culmination of many sleepless researching and meticulous planning and budgeting.
Our round trip from Guwahati to Tawang and back to Guwahati took us six days and these six days mostly saw us on the roads jumping and bumping our way through the dusty terrains from one breathtaking curve to the other. Sometimes, the myriad shades of green canopied the mountain sides and at other times the white veil of clouds shrouded the mountain tops. At times, the roads would travel downward grazing the river banks only to climb upwards to cross mountain after mountain and at other times it would lose its way unmindfully in the dense clouds only to unfold before our eyes beauties galore. One waits in breathless anticipation what treasures of natural beauty would remain unexplored round the next turn, beauty many a times explored by human eye, yet unexplored.
Amidst this luxurious green harmony lay discordant defense areas every here and there, reminding us every now and then of the scathing touch of mankind.
On our way back from Tawang, the season’s first flakes of snow greeted us. Though locals at Tawang grumbled it was an untimely snowfall, yet we felt it could not have been more timely. As we gradually slipped and skidded down the road past Sela Pass in our Tata Victa, at every bend of the road, a spine chilling uncertainty awaited us, as we continued to freeze inside the car. As the day drew to an end did we reach the safety of the dry and dusty tracks and the next day saw us entering the hum drum of city life – Guwahati once more.
Our tour itinerary went thus:
Chennai to Guwahati (rest for the day; as we hailed from Chennai, we gave ourselves a day at Guwahati before proceeding towards the Arunachal.)
Day 1, Guwahati to Bomdilla (On the way orchidarium at Sessa, night halt at Bomdilla Tourist Lodge).
Day 2, Bomdilla to Tawang (On the way Bomdilla monastery, hot water spring at Dirang, halt at Dirang valley for refreshment, halt at Sela Pass, world’s second highest Pass at 13,000 ft. where we get to see two crystal clear lakes in the lap of the rugged stone strewn mountains. At that height, one might feel a little scarcity of oxygen. After crossing Sela, next halt at Jung water falls, renowned for its breath taking beauty, then last stop at Jashwant Garh Memorial built in the memory of Shri Jashwant Singh, who laid his life fighting in order to stop the Chinese Army from crossing Indian border in 1962. Halt at Tawang Tourist Lodge that can be booked beforehand over telephone).
Day 3, A visit to Sangetser Tso better known as Madhuri Lake. On the way to Madhuri Lake there is yet another beautiful lake, the PT Tso and various other nameless lakes which caught our attention for each of their individual beauty. The Madhuri lake is perhaps the epitome of beauty, quietitude, and calmness.
Day 4, Visit to Tawang Monastery, War Memorial, and the local market ( We were advised to visit the Bumla Pass, a defense controlled area, noted for its stunning beauty. It required yet another permit other than the Inner Line Permit or ILP. Due to lack of time we could not make it.)
Day 5, Return to Bomdilla from Tawang.
Day 6, From Bomdilla back to Guwahati.
We were aided in our tour plan by sites like www.indiamike.com, www.holidayiq.com, tawang.nic.in, arunachalpradesh.nic.in and Himalayan holidays etc. Furthermore, the District Tourism Officer at Bomdilla Mr. Riggio (Contact no. 03782-222221) also helped us plan our conveyance. We contacted the Managing Director of Himalayan Holidays Mr. Tsering Wange (Contact no. +91-9436045063) who also helped us plan the tour and he provided us with the conveyance, a Tata Victa driven by Mr. Samar Das (Contact no. +91-9436604623/+91-9957777182), an young, confident and safe driver.
The Tourist Lodge at Bomdilla (Rooms ranging from Rs. 400 – Rs. 600) cannot be booked from before, but generally rooms are available. In case it is booked there is yet another Guest House, the Doe-Gu-Khil Guest House near Gaden Rabgye Ling Monastery better known as the upper Gompa, which is very good though a bit costlier ( Contact no. 03782-223232/223643/223644). Tourist Lodge at Tawang (contact no. 03794-222359, Contact person Mr. Dasrath Baitha). There are also Tourist Lodges at Dirang and Bhalukpong).
Besides, we also contacted other authorized tour operators Mr. Abhijeet (Contact no. +91-9903303311/+91-9432013811) and Mr. Trideep (Contact no. +91-9864041840).