Up above the world So high !!

22nd Apr 2017
Photo of Up above the world So high !! by Sidharth Unni
Day 1

Any title with a north east hash tag wouldn't typically qualify for the itinerary we followed, so let's just call it a trip to the mountains and the  monastery.
Our primary destination was Tawang. 
We chose our gateway to the trip as guwahati, and reached guwahati by evening of day 1.
Keeping the long journey ahead in mind we chose to take rest that evening after dinner with our cousins.

Day 2

Day 2 started off very early as we had our flight to Tezpur at 7. The weather in the area was pretty cool since it had been raining in the city for the past week.  Tezpur is a 4 hour drive or 1 hour flight from guwahati, the drive to tawang is an estimated 16 hours from Tezpur so to avoid the delay and fatigue we flew to tezpur.
There are regular bus services as well as taxi services from tezpur to tawang. We took a taxi for ourselves and had to pay around 4000 per day. Our aim was to cover maximum distance on day 2. Our cousin travelling with us is a senior officer in the navy and he was able to arrange a stay in the army camp in Senge valley. On day 2 we covered a distance of 215 kms and we were about 9200 ft above the sea level. We reached the camp by 6 although it seemed like 10 at night, pitch dark and chilling cold, and at this altitude we were struggling to breath. Typically acclimatization is recommended. The army camp was very welcoming and warm, we winded up our day with a few rounds military Daroo and good food.

Day 3

By now we couldn't avoid waking up by 6 as the sun is up and shining by then . Keeping in mind the remaining distance to tawang we started off from the camp by 7:30. The road to tawang was not an easy one but considering the terrain the BRO has done a great job and good effort to keep it motorable.By around 09:30 we had reached  Sela. To our surprise we were apparently received by a lot of monks standing in a line with agar bathis  and silk robes. We decided to take a tea break and there we told that Dalai lama was reaching the cafe in 10 minutes and that the reception we felt we received was for the god man. We decided to wait and get a glimpse of dalai lama, unlike most of the VVIP 's he reached the spot dot in 10 minutes. Dalai lama at the time of our visit was hitting headlines over Chinese insecurities . But we managed to stay and see him in 2 arm distance, thanks to my cousins Navy ID and the density of population in the area.We continued our journey with selfie stops and lunch break and tea break, and finally managed to reach tawang by evening 4:30. The evening was spent strolling through the local market. Everything sold here is extremely expensive.

Day 4

Tawang has very few choices when it comes to stay and we stayed at a small lodge in the middle of the town seemingly the most expensive hotel in the place has very few facilities. Since Dalai Lama was in town we were denied any defence stay.

The most exciting part of the trip was our journey to Bumla pass to the Chinese border. The terrain is extremely difficult and only authorised drivers are allowed to drive the roads to bumla pass. We hired a cab almost at its selling rate. The journey is about an hour and a half from Tawang and we made our pit stops at the army camps on the way. The army camps were offering hot tea and samosa, was such a sweet gesture to the guests visiting the border, and a relief too. By around 11 we reached the icy peak at the border. We were given a good brief by the major posted at the border. The rituals of a border camp seemed strange but interesting as he explained it to us.

After a telescopic view of the Chinese camp 8 kilometres across the border we returned from the border.

On our way back the driver took us to a lake were Madhuri Dixit took bath in the movie Kotla and it has been called Madhuri lake ever since.

The lake was located right under the peak. The view from the lake with icy capped mountains around was a take away to grave.

The army camp here was once again a rescue to our needy appetite, they served us hot Maggie and some tea.

We returned back to our lodge all set to return and tired after a seemingly never ending journey.

The trip is a life time experience, I may never visit the place again because the traveling it takes may be the first thing that crosses my mind as I think of the journey but it's definitely a must visit at least once in your lifetime.