Arunachal Pradesh Tourism

Arunachal Pradesh Tourism

About Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is India's easternmost state and lives up to its name (Arun = dawn, Achal = land) by being the first to meet the rising sun in the country. It borders China on the north, Myanmar on the east and Bhutan on the west. Set in the Eastern Himalayas, the state is covered by hill elevations ranging from 50m to 7000m, the whole cut across by a number of rivers and their valleys. The five major rivers are Kameng, Subansiri, Siang, Lohit and Tirap. There are 61,000 sq km of forests of pine, oak, maple, fir and rhododendron in order to protect which the timber industry has now been banned in the state.

 65% of the Arunachali's belong to tribes, mostly of either Tibetan or Thai-Burmese stock with diverse cultures and languages. Some important tribes are the Adi, Nishi, Monpa and Apatani. There are almost equal numbers of aninimists and Hindus, followed by Buddhists and Christians. They practise shifting cultivation, grow crops and fruits, and make bamboo and cane handicrafts.

Border security considerations restricted entry into Arunachal till recently. The state offers less by way of infrastructure but more in terms of unspoilt areas.

Arunachal can best be understood as a western, a central, and an eastern belt. Westernmost Arunachal can be seen as the Bomdila-Tawang circuit (accessible from Tezpur in Assam) covering the 13,700-feet high Sela Pass and Sela Lake. Tawang monastery has been, for almost 400 years, a center of the socio-religious life of the Monpa people and a fortress-like protector of the resident monks. It contains priceless paintings and ancient manuscripts.

Towards central Arunachal, capital Itanagar is the base of the Nishi tribe and is a good point to access picturesque Ziro, home of the Apatani tribe and another scenic location, Pasighat.

On the extreme east is the Tezu-Namdapha circuit (accessible from Dibrugarh in Assam). At 2000 sq km, the Namdapha National Park covers valley heights of 200m and snowy peaks of 4500m. It is the only natural habitat to hold the four big cats: Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and Clouded Leopard.

Popular destinations in Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh Traveller Reviews

Read 9 state reviews
with average rating of 5.8/7, 1
out of 63 Arunachal Pradesh reviews 9
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Kanwal Preet

  • Tourist
  • Kanwal Preet
  • Lives in Ludhiana
  • 13 Reviews
  •  38266 readers

"Tenga valley and Chillipam monastery"

  • 5.5/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
If given a choice between mountains of J&K, Himachal and Arunachal, bet me Arunachal is THE choice. Lush green mountains, waterfalls and many more. We went from Guwahati to Bhalukpong (Assam Arunachal border) where we halted for a night and next day we moved towards Tenga Valley. The drive was amazing. In the month of Sept it was cool winds touching your body and giving a pleasant touch. Chillipam a colorful monastery on top of Tenga mountains and most importantly it created a trip to remember.
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Suketu Shah

  • Connoisseur
  • Suketu Shah
  • Voyager
  • Lives in Ahmedabad
  • 93 photos
  • 16 Reviews
  •  21948 readers

"Best for one who love nature and adventure"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted Nov 2, 2014
We loved nature and adventure, travel from Ahmadabad to Guwahati by Kamakya express train, we rent taxi from Guwahati to return 12 days up to Kaziranga by Enova and Aasam Meghalay by indigo(41000 +3000 Tawang top+1500 majuli fair)1st day reached Nameri (9.00 to 14.00 )stayed at Jia bharoli , good service and food, good cottages ,second day reached Dirang (8.00 to 14.00), required woolen clothes,stayed at Awoo resort, excellent room, good service and food, 3rd day reached Tawang (8.000 to 15.00) visited Jasvansinh Gudh memorial and sell pass full of snow, place of heaven, visited Tawang old monastery , stayed at Dolma Khangsar Gh, beautiful room, lovely nature of host,4th day visited Tawang Maduri Lake, Bumla pass border , lady monastery (gompa), war memorial, by private taxi of Tawang ,cant reached at Madhuri Lake because of heavy snow fall. Excellent place, must visit. 5th day return from Tawang to Bomdila stayed at doe Gukha Monestry GH, excellent calm place, good room and service. Sixth day visited Kaziranga, stayed at Prashanti cottages, good room and service, Seventh day visited Kaziranga national park, temple, hill top. Eighth day visited Majuli Island, reached by fery, satra dance and facing homemade, must visit, Ninth day way to Shilong-Meghalaya. Tenth day visited Shilong local sightseen, Eleventh day visited Cherapunji, cave, Clean village.
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Kunal Gore

  • Scout
  • Kunal Gore
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 1 Review
  •  4831 readers

"Best place to relax in nature's beauty"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted Sep 2, 2014
Best place to visit. Instead of going to Switzerland and other destinations this is for sure the one, which we should definitely visit. It is one of the best places for adventure and a romantic destination as well. Because of its greenery and the food.
Food: India is known as a country of flavours. And this place is another one to simply justify it. With its local food everyone would enjoy the beauty of flavours and the ambiance of the nature's lap.

Travelling with holiday IQ has been of good and best support.
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Sangeeta Das

  • Scout
  • Sangeeta Das
  • Group tripper
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 1 Review
  •  7166 readers

"Journey to Bhalukpong-Bomdila-Tawang-Dirang during October,2011"

  • Posted Jan 31, 2012
An unique place in the Himalayas. Arunachal Pradesh is the state with diversified flora-fauna and various tribes. This is the place for people having interests in various fields, - history, international politics, anthropology, botanists, ornithologists and last but not least - the nature lovers.
As you enter the state in Bhalukpong, coming by road from the plains of Assam, - you will find yourself in the foothills, with wider river valleys and dense evergreen forests. Until you reach Tawang via Dirang and Bomdila, - you will experience the journey through all the ranges and valleys of the mighty Himalayas from south to north, with changing geographical aspects. Tawang is the second highest town of India (after Leh), which is situated in the highest ranges of the area. If you travel beyond Tawang, towards the China border to visit the Bumla Pass and the Sangetser Lake, - you will found yourself above the snowline where beauty of the permafrost grounds are enhanced by the multi-coloured flora. After crossing the Sela pass and the Paradise Lake you will find yourself in the paradise.....

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Special foods : Tibetan cuisines including momo and thukpa and chhang.
Sight-seeing : Bhalukpong - river Kameng, Tipi Orchidarium, (can visit nameri and Eagles nest and Pakhui sanctuaries).
Bomdila - Craft centre, ethnographic Museum (beside the stadium), upper and lower monesteries, and RR hills (from here in the early morning Kangto and Gorichen peaks are visible).
Dirang - hot spring, and the beautiful river side. (warning : do not went to look for the Yak Research Centre - which has no existence!)
Tawang - Tawang monestery, war memorial, various markets, craft center and emporium ( those are closed on holidays), Anni gumphas ( one easily reached by road, another you have to trek down the odd angled hill path), Bumla pass (where you may set your foot in China), Takshang gumpha, Sangester Lake, PTso Lake and the numerous lakes on the way.
Shopping - Tawang is the place for all your shopping. Mostly 'made in China' products are easily available here and the prices are not so much high as expected in high altitude remote towns.

Activities & things to do: Off-route from the known way, you can visit the Rupa village and Chilipom monestery - in between Bhalukpong and Bomdila - bifurcation from the Tenga valley.
Here you are in the lands of the Indian Army. You are surrounded, protected, helped and controlled by them. Your movement and photography are so - highly censored !

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: To visit these places in Arunachal, one requires to obtain ILP (Inner Line Permit), which is issued from (in Kolkata) Arunachal Bhawan, Salt Lake (opposite to Salt Lake Telephone Exchange).The authority insists for going there physically. In case of family or group, any one of the visitors may represent others. Do not forget to take original address proof and photocopy and two copies of passport photos for each one. They took 7 days to process the same and reach there after 2pm on the given date. Keep authorization letter from others to collect the ILP. Those who wants to proceed for Bumla Pass, from Tawang, requires a seperate permission from DC Office, Tawang - which is again to be endorsed by Army official at War Memorial, Tawang. These precess needs almost half days engagement . The DC office at Tawang remains closed on Saturday and Sunday (a very tourist un-friendly practice). We faced this trouble and found a sincere helping hand at Tawang Tourist Lodge. Alternatively one can approach the Army Brigade Head at Tawang for an exceptional permission to access to Bumla Pass.
For entering Arunachal for Bomdila sector, the first check post is at Bhalukpong. There is an office who can issue ILP. So, we Indian citizens who land up there without prior ILP, do have a possible recourse if properly explained at the check post. This is what we were told, but no first hand idea how effective is this procedure.
Our plan was to take a SUV for the trip from Tezpur, as drivers from this place are more conversant with east AP roads. So, we compared rates and finally struck deal at Rs. 2500/- (Scorpio-dry/day). Since fuel is difficult to measure at hills unlike 1 ltr./ 10 km., the car owner charged flat 150-170 ltr diesel for the whole trip. Due to very bad condition of road (blasting and road widening procedure was going on in those days), car charges are pretty high compared to plains, where per day dry charge is Rs. 1500/-. The distance we covered during our stay is around 900 km. (off course we stayed for 11 days and cover Sangetser Lake, Chilipom monestery, Anni gumpha etc.). Those who wish to have budget tour, should better avail daily Sumo service or bus service from Tezpur. Share sumo service is upto Tawang and fare is Rs. 650/-. If you wish to get down at some mid points - then for onward journey afterwards you have to book the seat in advance. The condition of public transport is pretty bad in this sector.
Private accomodations in Bomdila, Dirang and Tawang costs higher compared to service and amenities. Govt. Tourist lodges are rather infra-structurally better, but maintenance wise quite poor. Cost is significantly lower.
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Subhrajyoti Basu

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  • Subhrajyoti Basu
  • 9 photos
  • 3 Reviews
  •  8482 readers


  • Posted Nov 11, 2011
One of India's best visiting place. Nature here is at her best. Can't be described in words. The nature here is a treat to your eyes. Our jawans here are doing their best to protect this land from China. Hats off to them. if you visit this place which is a must, you will surely whisper in the air, 'Incredible India'.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Indian & Chinese food are available but bit costly. Main tourist attractiona here at Arunachal Pradesh are Bhalukpong( Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border and gateway to Arunachal Pradesh), Bomdilla, Dirang & Tawang, Sela pass(above 15000 ft abv sea level and Bumla Pass(india China border above 16000 ft above sea level). Local handicrafts here are plenty for shopping and good news for the drinkers is that you will get liquor bottles half in price than what you gets in your state. Plenty of liquor shops.

Activities & things to do: Just watch & feel the nature who is at her best here. Hire a good big car like bolero or tata sumo(spacio), book hotels in advance very much during season( except rainy season) as numbers of hotel here is less. load your camera & handycam.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: To visit Arunachal Pradesh, start from Guwahati or from Tejpur. you will get plenty of flights & rail coming to guwahati, capital of assam but fewer ones for Tejpur. so it is better to start from Guwahati. At Guwahati you will also find plenty of hotels of any budget but at Arunachal hotels are bit costly. At Assam you can visit famous 'kamakhya mandir', Kaziranga forest(famous for rhino), pobitora forest, manas forest. cruise along Brahmaputra river and watch sunset here. From Guwahati hire a car (bolero or tata sumo spacio) and travel to Bhalukpong(gateway for Arunachal Pradesh) from here you need to make inner line permits, so government approved photo identity is a must for every visitor alongwith 2 to 3 copies of passport photographs. From Bhalukpong travel to Bomdilla then to Dirang and lastly to Tawang. On the way from Dirang to Tawang you will have to cross sela pass(above 15000 ft above sea level). At Tawang you must visit Bumla Pass(India-China border). Arunachal Pradesh is a safe place to visit. It has no night life. Avoid travel during night, hire only big car for transportation. the driver will act as guide. The places mentioned above is fully controlled under military supervision. so photography is prohibited at many places. Have a safe journey.
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Rini Choudhury

  • Scout
  • Rini Choudhury
  • Lives in Kolkata
  • 1 Review
  •  7975 readers

"Arunachal - Paradise ruled by cheaters"

  • Posted Oct 27, 2010
I have returned from Arunachal Pradesh just two days back. The scenic beauty there is just heavenly. Being a regular traveller I must admit that I have never seen such rustic and unspoilt beauty of Nature before. Surrounded by the lush green lofty mountain ranges of the gigantic Himalayayas and washed by the fast flowing Kammeng river and innumerable springs and beautiful lakes like the Sela lake and Madhuri lake (where Madhuri Dixit shot for the film `Koyla`), Arunachal is a feast for the eyes of the adventurous nature lover. I said `adventurous` because the road condition of this heavenly place needs serious repairing.The military looks after the roads and the Govt is painfully negligent about the horrible road condition. The tour operators, hotel owners and travel agents are, amazingly, the same. They are cheaters, liers, grabbers and opportunists. Exceptions may be there, but sadly, I didn`t meet any of them. The military officers at the Bumla border (India-China border) are exceptionally helpful and friendly. Their life is real tough at an altitude of 15,300 ft, but their patriotism and dedication towards India make them overcome their hardships. Otherwise, how can they look so happy and contented at such a lofty, cold and remote place like Bumla? The natural scenery there is absolutely heavenly - I have never seen the iced caps of the snow covered peaks so close at hand. My son played with snowballs and became quite popular with the soldiers as he gallantly expressed his desire to become like them when he grew up.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: Food is really not up to the mark if one expects real flavours of Bengali, Punjabi or even South Indian dishes. Chinese and Thai food like Chowmien, Momos and Thukpa preparations are really good and worth trying. Food charges are extremely high. A veg thaali comprising of a small quantity of rice, two hard chapatis, a small bowl of stale veg curry, some watery daal and a microscopic pickle can cost you Rs 120. We had to eat this derogatory food at The Nature Inn at Bomdila. The places worth visiting are the Bumla border, Madhuri lake, Sela lake, War Memorial at Tawang, Tawang Monastery, Dirang valley, Tipi orchid research centre where we saw an insectivorous Pitcher plant, the Jiyabharli river at Bhalukpang and, of course, the magnificent roadside scenary in spite of the dangerous road conditions. Shopping should preferably be done at the Fancy Bazaar of Guwahati.

Activities & things to do: One should be very careful about hotel bookings as the hotel owners have a tendency to sell your booking to someone else if, due to horrible road conditions, you reach there late.This happened to us twice - once at Dirang and next at the Shipyang hotel at Bomdila. Ample woollen clothes should be taken as it is very cold after Bomdila at this time of the year. The homoeo medicine Coca-6 is very good for high altitudes. Also smelling of camphor, which has natural oxygen, helps at the high altitudes of Sela pass or Bumla border. We received heavy snowfall on our way back from the Bumla border. This is a common after the 15th of Oct. After we came down there was an avalanche and road to Bumla was closed. We were lucky to get the heavy snowfall and return safely, but there is always the possibility of getting caught in a snowstorm or blizzard or an avalanche. So enough dry food and drinking water to last for at least 3/4 days should be taken to cope with such situations.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: There are trains and flights to Guwahati. From there, either a car, preferably a jeep with very good tyres and brakes can be taken to reach Tawang after a one night halt at Bomdila or, if pocket permits, one can avail the helicopter service from Gwahati to Tawang in just 90 mins (Rs 3000 per head). Please make sure that the driver who is taking you to such a tough and tedious trip has got at least a few days rest before. The travel agencies continuously send the same driver in that route without giving him even a day's rest. This happened to us and on the way our driver almost fell asleep. This is extremely dangerous and can cause deadly accidents to the tourists. So please check whether your driver is physically fit or fresh or not. Before going to Arunachal you will have to get an Inner Line Permit which is issued at Arunachal Bhaban at Salt Lake.
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  • Tourist
  • sam
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 3 photos
  • 1 Review
  •  8018 readers

"northeast india at its best"

  • Posted Sep 28, 2008
Visiting the north eastern states of india had been my wish since my childhood as i was always very keen on indian geography and wondered why these seven sisters are soo isolated from the mailnland india.. finally after making a lot of research work and convincing my parents about their safety concerns we moved to this paradise undiscovered.we covered parts of meghalya,assam and arunachal pradesh.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: People don’t know about the beautiful north eastern Indian states, people even don’t know about their existence and others think those are the most terrorised states of India.

But I found all these things wrong when I insisted my family to tour to the north-eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. To my surprise there are also direct flights from mumbai to guwahati{by kingfisher airlines}. When we landed up in assam we were amazed to see beautiful green plains of assam full of greenery. The tea gardens of tezpur just took my breathe away. The wildlife of kaziranga, just insisted me to forget that there is a place in the world called Africa. I found the people of assam the most hospitable people I have ever seen. After assam we carried our happy feet to feel the neighbouring Meghalaya . We visited a border town of Noongooch to feel the traditional khasi culture. We also visited a bustling capital of Meghalaya, Shillong and also cherrapunjee[sohra]. Meghalaya can be called the ‘scotland of the east’ because of its extensive natural green grasslands and deep forests, a great place to visit for the bird watchers and tourists. On our way to Arunachal we made a point to take a halt at eco camp at the nameri national park in assam. This place is really crafted with good perfectionism, amazing bird watching sight, amazing river rafting experience, and the best of accommodations to live in for the nature lovers.

At last we entered to the most unexplored paradise of mother india, the state of arunachal pradesh, rightly called as the land of rising sun of india, by dr. Manmohan Singh. The beauty starts from the time you enter the state [one requires permission to enter arunachal pradesh] and goes along with you from bhalukpong’s lush green jungles to dirang’s beautiful valleys, from sella’s frozen lakes and snow-clad mountains to tawang’s large monastery and beatiful landscape. Arunachal Pradesh, best visited during the month of april-may is a complete package of forests, greenery, frozen lakes and snowclad himalayas which will make you feel proud about India – we got it back from china after fighting bravely against them in sub-zero temperatures. To feel the indo-sino war you can visit the war memorial at tawang and also can visit the Indo-Tibetan border via pangong-tso,a beautiful frozen lake with amazing beauty around it.

I think that we have visited a paradise which we all are unaware of. Just don’t think much and pack your bags and start exploring the unexplored gigantic north-eastern india..


Shillong, meghalaya hotel tripura castle
Nameri,assam the eco camp
Bhalupong,assam the tourist lodge ,assam tourism
Dirang,arunachal pradesh hotel pemaling
Tawang,arrunchal pradesh hotel tawang inn

Activities & things to do: Just activate your eyes to see a unknown and beautiful paradise of india

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: One can book a customised tour from mumbai, guwahati or dibrugarh to avoid any hotel booking problem. Though all the places mentioned above are safe to visit, personal safety is highly recommended. Respect the tribes of these areas, to avoid any problems. Recommended to take a single vehicle with good ground clearance (eg tavera}from guwahati or dibrugarh with a knowledgeable guide and driver .enjoy the paradise.
Travel in small groups of not more than 8 people to avoid delays in your programme.
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  • Scout
  • camper
  • Highlander
  • Lives in Bangalore
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  • 3 Reviews
  •  14142 readers

"Tawang : The switzerland of India"

  • Posted Dec 31, 2007
My wife and I were looking for a travel destinaiton not atypically 'honeymoonish' for our post marriage holiday and after considering and researching a lot of 'not-so-well-known' destinations we decided upon visiting Bomdilla and Tawang in Arunanchal Pradesh(AruPra). The reasons which gave these places an edge over others were :

1) It requires an Inner Line Permit (ILP) from AruPra government to visit it and although this is quite a simple task and is easily obtainable with minimal documents, It does act as a level 1 filter and wards off the typical and loud 'touist'.

2) The entry to AruPra is via Tezpur and Guwahati in Assam and the news of disturbances due to ULFA in Assam acts as a level two filter.

3) The time of the year being early Feb for our trip, some of AruPra is snowbound and inaccessible, and people who do not take to winter
and/or snow very kindly like to abstain from visiting this part of the country.

We reached Guwahati from Kolkatta and took the 4 hour bus ride to Tezpur. After spending the night at Tezpur and enjoying some traditional Assamese fish preparations, we took a passenger Tata Sumo to Bomdilla which is around 8 odd hours from Tezpur. What one needs to keep in mind while making trip plans here, or in any hill area for that matter, is that the distance in kms between any two places is by no means indicative of the time one will take to travel between them. It is completely dependent on the terrain and a 100 km distance might even take 8 hours to cover !

We chose to travel in a passenger Sumo as opposed to a reserved vehicle to get some local flavour and we were lucky to have an interesting mix of people.There were three Tibetiean women who had a shop in a village near Bomdila and had come for picking up stock for their shop and were the source of entertainment throughout the trip with their quips.

As we left behind Tezpur and entered AuPra, the decreasing population density was quite evident.

Five seemed to be a crowd for the second row seat initially in the vehicle but as we ascended and as the air became colder it felt quite comfortable.When we reached Bomdilla at around 5:00 pm, it had almost gotten dark and the wind was chilly. We checked into the only hotel in Bomdilla and were the only guests there. We were provided with a heater in the room and it would have been impossible to survive without one.
The next morning was clear and bright and it was good to be in the sun. The room balcony had a beautiful view of a big playground with stands in chineese style architechture and with some misty mountains as a backdrop. The village also looked beautiful with bright and colourful houses dotting the mountain slopes.
We visited a government art and crafts meuseum but it did not have much to offer. The local market, however, was more interesting. There were a lot of shops selling chinese pottery and wind chimes and beautiful and cheap woollen clothes, bags, shoes and sandals sourced from Tibet. There were stalls selling imported toffees like 'white rabbit' ( the chewy white toffee) and tamarind ones.

As far as food is concerned, people do have a penchant for meat in this part of the country, considering the kind of climate that they have most of the year, yak meat being the most popular. Momos and chowmein are quite popular and maggi also finds it way on the menu's of most restaurants.
There is also a monastry or 'gompa' at Bomdilla, and although not very big, it is worth a visit.

We booked a reserved toyota qualis to take us to Tawang which is higher up in the mountains and again takes almost 7 hours to reach. We carried a stock of 'suntala' , or oranges, which is a local produce.
We started our trip soon after breakfast. It was an extremely scenic drive although the terrain was not not very good. We crossed another small town called Dirang enroute and a few very small tribal villages. We could now spot some snow peaks in the distance and were quite excited to do so.

We had a hearty lunch at the only dhaba on that route.

It was getting colder all the while and after around two hours from Dirang we could see traces of snow along the road. Within no time there was snow all around and it all seemed so much like a fairy tale ! The road, the trees along the road and the rocks were all totally covered under a thick blanket of snow that was gleaming as sunlight fell on them creating minute droplets !
The few vehicles that had come down from Tawang the previous evening had reported some snowfall on the way but probably the night had received some heavy snowfall.

Although fresh snow is ok to drive on for a vehicle, once a few vehicles travel on fresh snow, it gets trampled into ice which makes it extremely dificult for tires to find any grip the road. Braking is an equally arduous task as it causes the vehicle to sway wildly and once the momentum is broken, it is very difficult to start moving up again as there is hardly any grip for the tires on the steep incline ! However, the road is narrow and braking is inevitable everytime there is a vehicle coming down. In order to provide grip to the tires once a vehicle going uphill stops, they carry bags of loose soil which has to be manually spread on the road near the tires so that they get some grip and gain some initial momentum !

As we kept going up, the sun disappeared and the bright white soon gave way to a gloomy and scary grey. A mild snowfall started and it soon became quite a heavy one.Some vehicles coming from Tawang said that snow was even heavier and required a lot of courage to drive in.

This terrain can be very demanding and it requires the driver to be familiar with the conditions and the vehicle to be in a tip top condition and well equipped. Ours, however, were not and hence we got stuck at a hair pin bend. We were helped out of it by an army truck. There is an army establishment close to the highest point on that road and the army trucks and gypsies travelling to and fro have chained tires to give them better grip on the road. The army is left with no choice but to help the stuck civilian vehicles as they obstruct their movement as well !

We had to turn back and spend the night at Dirang valley. Dirang is quite a green place and although much cooler than Bomdilla, it is not quite snowbound during winter. We were promised a good new Scorpio the next morning by the travel operator to take us to Tawang but he ditched at the last moment. There were now no passenger jeeps either that were going towards Tawang and no vehicles were coming down either. However, a couple of brave young boys seemed quite confident to cover the terrain in their Alto and pressed for choices, we decided to give them and ourselves a chance !
Scary though it was, weather was a little better on this attempt and we were able to reach Tawang. The highest point on this route is called Sela pass and there is a big lake which was completely frozen and snow covered then .
Tawang is such a beautiful place that all the effort seemd well worth it. The view from our hotel room was that of snow covered shiny peaks.Tawang also has India's oldest and largest monastry which is perched atop a hill and is very beautiful. It looks pretty in the night as a shiny conglomerate in the distance !
Locals here are heavily dependent on yaks for meat, milk and fur. Tribals almost always wear crude looking jackets and caps cut out of a yaks furry skin. Yak milk is fermented and a paneer like product made out of it is quite popular although very stinky. Stony cubes called 'chhurpi' are also made out of yak milk that can be kept in the mouth and nibbled upon for hours together. Its bland but is said to be quite an energy provider. Liquor , locally made from rice and maize, is also extremely popular and is consumed by one and all, more to keep the body warm, than for intoxication.

The locals are extremely amicable and simple people and are happy with the life they lead. It was amazing for us to see how they plant unconditional trust even in strangers

If it were not for the extreme snow, another places worth visiting in Tawang are a beautiful lake called Madhuri lake ( something to do with Madhuri Dixit), and the China border. Over the next couple of days the weather improved, and we took a direct passenger sumo to Tezpur. The driver this time was an experienced as well as talkative one. He made the long journey a little less tiring with amusing stories of his interaction with passengers on that route. We also learned a few things about the lives of tribals in that area and some of them were quite bizarre. For ex., There tribes who cut the bodies of thie dead in 106 parts and throw them in a river. That the body is to be burnt or buried or cut into pieces is decided by a monk through a holy book ! Apparently, people do not fish in that stretch of the river where the bodies are cut and thrown !!

To sum up, Tawang is a beautiful place to visit in March/April or September/October, when there is not too much snow to make the access dangerous and risky and the days are a bit longer and night are not sub-zero !

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: 1)Yak momos and Tibetan dishes like thukpa,thianthuk etc are a must try.
2)Chhurpi and some other sweets made from yak milk.
3)Locally made condiments.
4)Chineese pottery.
5) Locally made maize and rice liquor

Activities & things to do: Visits to the Gompas and to Madhuri lake.
If you have a local guide a stay at any tribal village can be quite amusing as they have a really different way of life.

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Avoid winters and monsoons. Landslides are frequent in monsoons and can really spoil your itinirary.
Winters would nearly incapacitate you to enjoy much, especially if you are not acclimatised to the cold and the height.
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Praveena Mulam

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  • Praveena Mulam
  • Highlander
  • Lives in Cochin
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  • Posted May 3, 2006
Tawang is an exquisitely beautiful location in Arunachal. while going to Tawang, you have to pass through Sela pass located at a height of 15000 feet. it is an unspoilt paradise dotted with verdant vallleys, lakes and snow capped peaks. from here, one can go upto Bumla, which is on the border with China. highly recommended

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: with every frame being breath-takingly beautiful, there is no dearth of sights to see and enjoy.
shopping facilities are basic . one can buy the local handicrafts

Activities & things to do: trekking

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: one can reach by road from Tezpur (Assam)
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Destinations in Arunachal Pradesh (Where to go in Arunachal Pradesh)


How to reach - Arunachal Pradesh Destinations