Itinerary and transportation details:
- 4 day trip starting from Tezpur to Bomdila. Duration 6 hours approx
- Mode of transport: TaTa Sumo for 9 people from Tezpur(available at anytime). If you wish to travel solo you can share a sumo it is INR280 for one person from Tezpur to Bomdila available at Tezpur ASTC bus stand.
- Traveling requirements: ILP to travel into Arunachal Pradesh-Details available on the website (http://www.arunachalilp.com)
- Day1: Bhalukpong- Sessa Orchid Sanctuary(Largest in Asia), Bhoroli river, Waterfalls Tenga Valley-Rest stop for lunch, Suspension Bridge, Kameng River. Bomdila-Reach Bomdila, Check into hotel Lungta Residency
- Day2: Bomdila- Nature trail, Bomdila Monastery, Visit apple orchards.
- Day3: Bomdila to Dirang(3hours)- Explore dirang on foot, Go to Sangti Valley and hike reach the Dirang river, visit Nearby Villages, Spend Day exploring the valley, Return to Bomdila in the evening
- Day4: Return trip: Start early visit Rupa Valley on the way back, Visit the Chilipom Monastery at about 3000m above sea level, return to Tezpur.
DAY 1: We started from Tezpur by 8.00am in the morning, after about an hour of travel there was a drastic change in the landscape; the lush green plains of Assam transformed into a tropical forest(Nameri), apart from a lot of monkeys and a hornbill we spotted atop a tree, the road was completely deserted.
Far ahead we could spot the mountains of Arunachal covered by storm clouds, a truly mystical view. Soon, we were welcomed into Arunachal Pradesh at the huge buffalo horned checkpost after having our ILPs verified. We then entered Bhalukpong, the driver asked us to get whatever eatables we wanted and attend to our nature calls here itself because the road ahead was difficult and no shops were available for a few hours.
Over stuffing ourselves with snacks that could last us a lifetime we proceeded. Bracing ourselves for the uphill journey and the approaching storm, we headed into the valley, right then a breathtaking view peeped inside the car; mountains on either side of the road and the powerful Bhoroli river flowing below. The mountains were covered with dense tropical forests. Such a view was promising enough for the beauty of Arunachal that lie ahead. As we moved further in; we reached a beautiful waterfall on the left side of the road. After drenching ourselves in the falls, we moved forth; occasionally stopping now and then to take in the breathtaking views.
As we reached Sessa we stopped at the orchid sanctuary took a small tour of the research centre; and then headed to Bomdila. A little ahead we were stopped by a trail of vehicles, we were informed that there was a landslide, and that the Indian army were doing everything they could to clear it out as soon as possible, luckily for us it was done within an hour, salute to the Indian army for their efficiency in such a harsh terrain, the road block was removed and we continued forward.
As we moved uphill the fog intensified and the roads became steeper and narrower, a cliff on one side and blind turns on the other, we could barely see anything ahead. On one of the turns there was a huge waterfall that did not meet the eye due to the heavy fog, we could only hear the sound of its heavy plunge, and the sudden force of wind and chilled water that rushed inside the car; it took us by surprise.
After about 30mins we reached nichifu pass which is at an altitude of approx 3600m. We then descended downhill towards the Tenga Valley where we had our lunch. We then went to the Tenga river, the nearby military camps, the farms and the foot suspension bridge. We spent the afternoon in the cool and calm of the valley and by about 4.00pm started ascending towards Bomdila, we reached Bomdila by 5.30pm, and it was dark already. We went about the small town and its shops meeting locals and then returned to the hotel by 7.30. By 8.00 the town was dead silent and not a soul out on the streets, it was really cold and cozy i guess that was the reason the town went dead.
Day 2: The next day we relaxed in Bomdila visited the villages and the farms nearby, went to the beautiful apple, maize and kiwi orchards. The best thing is that the locals are very welcoming, friendly and understand Hindi really well. In the evening we went to the Bomdila monastery, which was really amazing, the decorations inside were one of a kind; sadly though photography inside was prohibited. The monks there were busy with their daily rituals. The kids were just done with their classes and were going to their hostels, few were playing around and few were smiling at us from a distance and shying away. After spending the evening there we headed back to the hotel.
Day 3: On the 3rd day we headed towards the Dirang valley. Explored the town on foot and then headed to a place nearby pointed to us by the locals. The place was 'Sangti valley' 10kms from Dirang.
This is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful valleys in Arunachal Pradesh; sheep and horse grazing in the fields, maize and fruit orchards spread across the valley, scattered houses of stone and wood along the shimmering clearwater river that flows alongside it, pine and teak trees covering the opposite bank of the river. A true paradise. We spent the entire day there, and with a heavy heart returned back to Bomdila by 5.
Day 4: We started early the next day as we had to reach Guwahati; we made a stop on the way at the Chilipom Monastery in Rupa Valley at about 3000m of altitude. It was quite a spiritual location; atop the clouds standing all alone on the mountain. The architecture of the monastery is so unique and detailled with such high precision and finesse that it leaves you captivated.
After a visit to the monastery and offering our prayers we headed home. Luck was on our side while we were returning, as the fog had cleared and we did manage to catch a glimpse of the huge waterfall(Nichifu Falls) this time and also at a distance could see Tezpur. We then reached Guwahati by 6:00pm.
Overall; while in Arunachal Pradesh we realized that it was actually a paradise unexplored. Virgin to travellers. The locals being super helpful and really friendly made it easier for us to navigate and find unexplored and beautiful places.
The Land of the Rising Sun never seizes to amaze you. If you are looking to travel to a place void of the crowd and have nature all to yourself; Arunachal is the place to be. It is a state which stands tall in its own beauty and elegance, proud of who it is, and not begging for attention, remaining true to its pure form, and not giving in to adultery and modernization.
This is one of the very few places in India, where Mother Earth still breathes life into her children and is loved and respected as a mother.
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