On the way to tawang one can find damn beautiful landscape with river or either side. On the way you'll get to visit Sela pass, one of the highest in India and in world. The cold breeze, subzero temprature will make you feel.... can't express that in word. Have a tea/coffee and ofcourse Momos there. If you're lucky you might find the clouds coming from downside direction to upwards towards you and striking at your face. That's the feeling one cannot express. Spend time while on Sela pass.
Sela pass and Sela lakeYes, it is the pass from where china tried to enter northeast but was stopped by the ironman "jaswant singh rawat". Well it is a seperate story ahead.The pass is very cold and covered with ice most of the year. Oxygen is scarce. It is at an elevation of 4170 meters, so get your ears properly checked up before crossing it.
Route: Dirang- TawangDistance: 130 kmTime: 6 h 30 minLunch: Sela PassOvernight: TawangThis is the day when we drove through the most challenging road. This stretch has the most mesmerizing landscapes that will make you jump off through the car to enjoy the view. As there will be several stops, start from Dirang as early as possible.Stop 1: Sela Pass(13,700 ft) and Sela Lake(Paradise Lake)To reach Tawang, we crossed Sela Pass which is in the midway, at 13700 feet above sea level. The famous "Welcome to Tawang" gate is located here which is snowed in almost all through the year except May-June. We were lucky to experience the snowfall even in May as soon as we reached here. Sela pass is the second highest motorable road in the world. It was n't easy to drive through the hairpin-bend road and ascend to 13,500 ft from 4,900 ft within 1.5 hrs. From Dirang to Sela, the net distance is just 65km but the differences in height gain are 8,800 ft. Yes, you read it correctly- 8,800 ft elevation gain in just 1.5 hrs, that's 135 ft per km(I am using a calculator while writing this). There is an interesting story regarding the origin of the name of the Sela Pass and none of us know this story. According to legend, a brave and valiant Indian Army sepoy called "Jaswant Singh Rawat" single-handedly protected the open borders against a planned Chinese invasion. Had it not been for the indiscrete courage shown by Sepoy Rawat, India would have been annexed by the Chinese forces in the battle of 1962. A tribal woman from a nearby village named Sela constantly helped Jaswant with food and water while he single-handedly kept enemy forces at bay. One morning when she arrived at her usual meeting point, she was shell shocked to see the lifeless body of the gallant soldier who had died protecting his country and immediately committed suicide. It is after her that the pass has been named as Sela Pass. I feel sad that the government never promulgated the story of Gallant Jaswant Singh(famous as the rifleman) and Sela, as we lost that war and nobody want to hear or read the story of a war that is lost. Close at hand is the beautiful Sela Lake, also called Paradise Lake. Massive and powerful freezing and an icy wind blowing around the lake and heavenly view made us feel that we finally found a real paradise.Stop 2: JaswantgarhSela to Jaswantgarh part is a tough ride due to snowfall and very poor visibility. You should aim to reach Jaswantgarh before 1- 2 PM so that you will be able to reach Tawang comfortably before it gets dark. Jaswantgarh is a memorial to the brave soldier who singlehandedly tried to stop the Chinese soldiers from approaching the Sela Pass in the 1962 war.Stop 3: Jung Fall(Nuranang Falls)Also Known as Jung/Jang Falls or Bong Bong Falls, Nuranang located in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh falls drops down from an altitude of 100 meters. It is one of the most spectacular waterfalls I have seen in India. Due to its relative anonymity, only a few travelers know about it. The spectacle of huge volumes of milky white water hurtling down into the river below throwing up sprays up to several ft high provides an exhilarating experience. This waterfall creates a mist and spray till 200mt distance and as a result, my camera and lenses were all wet, enforced me to pack up for the day.Stop 4: TawangWe continued the journey and reached Tawang by late evening.
The Sela Pass located between Tawang and the West Kameng Districts, and connects Tawang to Dirang.
Day 5 - We started the long return journey and entered the mighty Sela pass again :) This time however the journey was not smooth. Because of the overnight snow parts of Sela pass was covered by a layer of ice which was like glass. There was absolutely no traction and few vehicles were getting stuck or spun off the road. There were some delays in putting the chain, helping fellow travelers and so on. On the bright side whenever there was a delay we got to get out the vehicle and enjoy the scenery.