“The bunkers you see, right there, are the remains of 1962 war. The Chinese came invading the same road we are driving on”, says the Sumo driver while negotiating a sharp turn. The rustic iron girders and shrubs grown on the roof tell the age of these bunkers, as a faded sunlight beam cutting across the shield of clouds lits them. Tawang has a history of its own, like no other place in India, and so is its geography and topography. The area is home to some 108 natural lakes, each one as pristine as others and religiously sacred for the Monpa tribe, the inhabitants of Tawang district. Travelling to Tawang is not a cakewalk either, the roads test your patience, endurance and ability to travel on hilly roads. We chose rainy season, the time everyone avoids to travel to this part of the country. After all, there is no charm in travelling to a serene place like Tawang, flooded with vehicles and people pouring in (Winter is the peak season). We rather chose rain pouring in, gushing riverines and uncountable waterfalls along the curvy roads.
Our sojourn began from Guwahati, the route is quite simple and yes, Tata Sumos rule these roads. So, put your backpack on the roof and hold your place tight, this journey is not for the faint hearted.
Guwahati to Tezpur: (3.5 hours by Tempo Traveller) [very frequent service, all along the day, from every corner of Guwahati] - costs 200-250 INR.
We started by 5 in the evening and got to our guesthouse by 8.45.
Tezpur to Bomdila: (Takes 5-6 hours in a Sumo, you would need to book these a day or two in advance to get the seats of your choice) - costs 500 INR.
Started at 6:30, stopped over at Bhalukpong for vehicle entry, ILP check and breakfast and hit Bomdila by 12:30.