Why Must You Visit Arunachal’s Secret – Tawang (Travel Planner for 9 Days)
Why visit Tawang?
Tawang (approx 10,000 feet above sea level) in Arunachal Pradesh is one of those fabulous destinations, which is fascinating for any tourist but rarely finds its way to their checklist. Encircled by lofty and majestic Himalayas, Tawang is a feast for the eyes and balm for the soul. It is surrounded by beautiful glacial lakes in and around the peaceful and pollution-free valley.
Meaning of Tawang
The name ‘Tawang’ derives its meaning from the two words ‘Ta’ and ‘Wang’ of the local Monpa dialect. ‘Ta’ means horse and ‘Wang’ means green pastures. The local interpretation is that in the 17th century, a Tibetan monk called Mera Lama found a strong and beautiful horse wandering in the valley. Attracted to this elegant animal, the Lama tried to capture it. But the horse disappeared and while searching for it, Mera Lama found a place, which was very serene and soothing. He built a magnificent Buddhist Monastery at the location. The town that developed around this Monastery was later called Tawang.
How to Reach?
The nearest domestic airport is Salonibari Airport, Tezpur, Assam. It is well connected to state capitals Kolkata and Guwahati both by road and air. The nearest international airport is the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, roughly 480 km from Tawang. If you happen to take the train, the nearest railway station is Tezpur, which can also be reached via the Guwahati junction.
The inhabitants of Tawang are the Monpas along with some Tibetans. Their houses are built of stones and timber. Agriculture and animal husbandry are the main occupations. Losar and Torgya are two major festivals of Monpas, which are celebrated at the premises of the Tawang Monastery.
The route for a trip to Tawang
Day Wise Itinerary
Day 1: After reaching Guwahati airport, take a cab for Nameri. You can pre-book a cab for the entire road trip for your convenience. It is a 5 hours drive from the airport so you will reach there by evening. Dinner & overnight stay at Nameri.
Stay Recommendation – Nameri Eco Camp
Day 2: Leave early after breakfast for Dirang. It is about 150 km from Nameri, and on these mountainous roads, it takes about 6 hours. It is a beautiful road trip with many waterfalls and streams on the way. You will reach Dirang by evening. Dinner & overnight stay at Dirang.
Stay Recommendation – Awoo Resort, Dirang
Day 3: Today go for sightseeing to Sangti Valley. Not well known to the outside world, Sangti Valley is one of Arunachal’s secret treasures. This pretty valley, situated about 15 km from Dirang is surrounded by the towering ranges of Eastern Himalayas, covered with fruit orchards (kiwifruit, apple, apricot, orange), and dotted with pristine forests and meandering fast hill rivers. Return to Dirang by evening. Dinner & overnight stay at Dirang.
Day 4: Dirang to Tawang en route Sela Pass and Paradise Lake. To reach Tawang you will cross Sela Pass, at 13,700 feet above sea level. Sela Pass is snowed in almost all through the year. Close at hand is the beautiful Paradise Lake. The region has about 101 lakes, all sacred to the Buddhists. On the mountainside, you will also see a number of yaks. As you approach Tawang, you can also stop over at a natural hot spring and cross Jaswantgarh – a memorial to the brave soldier who singlehandedly tried to stop the Chinese soldiers from approaching the Sela Pass in the 1962 war. You will also pass by the stunning Jung Falls, you can get down and absorb its splendor. Check into the hotel by evening. The Tawang night sky is so beautiful. Wear warm sweaters and jackets and sit outside in the dark looking at the thousands of stars in the night sky! Dinner and overnight stay at Tawang.
Stay Recommendation – Hotel Radiance International, Tawang
Day 5: Today, you can spend the day in Tawang. Visit the Tawang Monastery that was built in 1681 as per the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama. It is a beautiful monastery perched on top of a hill and from far looks like a fortress that was meant to guard the valleys. It is the largest monastery in India and the second largest in the world after Potala Palace in Lhasa. Tawang is a sacred place for the Buddhists as it is the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama. Formerly a Tibetan territory, Tawang was captured by the Chinese in the 1962 war, but then relinquished later to India. The Chinese still lay claim on the town. After the monastery, you can visit the Tawang War Memorial which is dedicated to the Indian soldiers who died in the 1962 war. It is a moving experience and a must for everyone who wants to know a little more about what transpired in the war. Dinner and overnight stay at Tawang.
Day 6: Today, you can visit the Bum La Pass close to the China border. This pass is steeped in history as it’s from here that the Chinese invaders attacked India and one of the fiercest battles took place here. This is also the pass from which the Dalai Lama escaped Tibet and fled to India. Closed for many years, this was reopened for civilians in 2006. The Bum La Pass is one of the most offbeat passes in the world and makes for a great day of visiting. At 15,200 feet above sea level, it is almost permanently under snow cover and can be visited depending on the day’s weather. Next, you can visit the pretty Pangang Teng Tso and Sangestar Tso Lake. The latter is also known as Madhuri lake because a popular song of the film Koyla starring Madhuri Dixit was shot here. It is a very beautiful lake and makes for great pictures. Dinner and overnight stay at Tawang.
Day 7: After three days in Tawang, you should now head southwards to Bomdila, a pretty hill station with apple orchards, monasteries and numerous trekking trails. A five-hour journey, you will reach the town by afternoon. After lunch, you should head to the Gontse Rabgyaling Monastery. Catch the sunset at Bomdila ViewPoint from where you can see two of the highest peaks in Arunachal Pradesh! Dinner and overnight stay at Bomdila.
Stay Recommendation – Doe Gu Khil Guest House, Gontse Gaden Rabgyeling Monastery Campus, Bomdila
Day 8: You should head back to Guwahati today. It is a long drive of about 300 km. Make the most of the time at hand. Reflect back on the days spent in Arunachal, take pictures or write a little something on how the place made you feel. Or just stare out of the window and see the streams and hills pass you by. This is your trip, so enjoy it the way you want to! You will reach Guwahati by evening. Dinner and overnight stay at Guwahati.
Stay Recommendation – Hotel Rajmahal, Guwahati
Day 9: Departure for the airport. After breakfast, leave for the Guwahati Airport with beautiful memories of your Tawang trip!
Few more extensive travel guides are as follows:
If you like this post, please subscribe to our emails. Let’s show some love to each other. 🙂
Like this Post? Pin it!