Arunachal Pradesh - Land of Dawn-lit Mountains #notinnorth

3rd Jun 2017

Tawang Gompa

Photo of Arunachal Pradesh - Land of Dawn-lit Mountains #notinnorth by Nirban Kundu

The "orchid state of India" has so much to offer luring tourists with the promise of adventurous journeys to remote valleys in between the lust green mountains. There are many routes to explore in Arunachal Pradesh, Tezpur -Bhalukpong - Bomdila - Tawang being one of the most traveled one. Best to catch an early morning flight to Guwahati or Tezpur and take a cab from there.

Important: Domestic tourists need an inner-line permit for travelling any part of Arunachal Pradesh. For International tourists, a PAP(Protected Area Permit) is required. For details, visit Arunachal Tourism website.

Day 1

Bhalukpong lies on the banks of the mighty Kameng river and borders along the dense forests that form the periphery of the Pakhui Game Sanctuary, which you will be crossing while entering from Assam.

Reach Bhalukpong and check-in to your hotel/homestay. Go for a stroll exploring this very beautiful town.

En-route from Tezpur, Assam to Bhalukpong

Photo of Bhalukpong by Nirban Kundu
Day 2

Start your day early for Dirang. On the way, 5 kilometers from Bhalukpong, is Tippi - the botanical paradise of the state. Its the home for 450 species of orchids. A visit to the Orchid Museum is a must. This journey to Dirang through one of the lush green mountains is an adventure of its own. You will reach Dirang by evening. You can try Hotel Pemaling, one of the best resorts there but cost-efficient.

Orchids from the Orchid Museum in Tippi

Photo of Dirang by Nirban Kundu
Day 3

Dirang is one of the most beautiful and peaceful valleys in the state. The beautiful mall area, where you can find shops selling momos to imported household items from China. You can hitchhike to Sangti Valley, where Siberian black necked storks visit during winter.

View form Hotel Pemaling

Photo of Dirang by Nirban Kundu
Day 4

The Sela Pass located between Tawang and the West Kameng Districts, and connects Tawang to Dirang.

Wild flowers in Sela Pass

Photo of Sela Pass by Nirban Kundu

One of the most spectacular falls in India, falling from a height of around 6000 ft above sea level. It falls on the way from Dirang to Tawang. Interestingly, the song 'Tanhai Tanhai' from the Madhuri Dixit - Shah Rukh Khan film 'Koyla' was shot here.

The spectacular Jang Falls, also known as Nuranang Falls

Photo of Jung falls (Nuranang falls), Cona, Shannan by Nirban Kundu

A short trek down to the bed of the falls offers spectacular view

Photo of Jung falls (Nuranang falls), Cona, Shannan by Nirban Kundu

On the way to Tawang, there are many security check posts, where hot drinking water and tea is a free for all. One can enjoy a plate of momos or samosas for Rs 20 only. The Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat (MVC) Memorial is a must visit, on the way to Tawang. Once crossing the memorial, you will be greeted with a view of the Tawang Gompa, the largest monastery in India.

Perfectly perched on a hill -top, the Tawang Monastery is the second largest in Asia

Photo of Tawang by Nirban Kundu
Day 5

One the way to Bumla Pass, the famous Sangestar Lake also Madhuri Lake, named after Madhuri Dixit, is located. This natural lake, formed from cloud burst, is best explored by a leisure walk through its picturesque surroundings.

Madhuri Lake

Photo of Madhuri Lake by Nirban Kundu

Bum La Pass, located at the Indo-China border, is accessible only by permission obtained from the Deputy Commissioner in Tawang District and then the Indian army cantonment. Its a difficult journey considering that almost 40-50% of the road is not in a good shape and also the frequent clouds cover the route. But, the view outside, with small natual lakes in almost every corner, and the grand picturesque views will make you forget everything. Not to forget, the hospitality of the Indian Army.

Clouds cover most of the routes to Bum La Pass

Photo of Bum La Pass by Nirban Kundu

Views , such amaze

Photo of Bum La Pass by Nirban Kundu

Natural Lakes and wild flowers, make up for the bad roads

Photo of Bum La Pass by Nirban Kundu
Day 6

Local sight-seeing in Tawang include the Tawang War Memorial, Dolma Lhakang Lumla, Chilipam monastery and the 400-year old Tawang Monastery.

Entering the Tawang Monast

Photo of Tawang by Nirban Kundu
Day 7

While returning from Tawang, its is best to halt at Bomdila or Dirang. Bomdila is a small town just 42 km from Dirang. To enjoy the essence of nature in its varied forms, you could not think of a better place than Bomdila.


Photo of Bomdila by Nirban Kundu
Day 8

Picturesque mountains, unexplored passes, tranquil lakes makes the way back to a city like Guwahati difficult. The yellow roofs of the Tawang Monastery, the crafty people with a smile on their faces, the flora and the fauna makes you long to return soon.

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