After an out of the control and a year totally not desired for, all I wanted was to find something meaningful. what could be one of the most motivating place at my close proximity and probably could mark a feel good factor and kind off inculcate a self confidence within? I made it through DONG!
Dong, is the easternmost car accessible village of India. It is kind of a junction in the Arunachal Pradesh where the Lohit River (known as Yarlung Tsangpo, before entering India from Tibet) and the Sati (Sai ti) river meet to turns into Brahmaputra after entering Assam via Parsuram Kund in Arunachal Pradesh. This place also borders with North Myanmar and Tibet on both the sides. The nearest, little populated town is Kibithu (army headquarters) and the last Easternmost Village is called Kaho, which lies on the other side of the river and is accessible by a hanging bridge. Its not typically located high up the altitude as other parts of Arunachal but offers a spectacular view of the Lohit river and the low lying mountains that passes by the way. Dong, lies in Anjaw District which is the second least populus district in India, ranked 639 out of 640 districts in India. Dong, experiences the first ever sunrise In India and thus the name "the land of the rising sun" or Arunachal that means the place of the Dawn-lit mountains came into being, from its former name of NEFA.
With some great reviews and excitement of watching the FIRST SUNRISE ON THE FIRST DAY OF 2018 was something that gives a FEEL to all the touring spirit I have inbuilt in me and also a boost to all the "surya bhagwan ko kalsi dalo" belief of my mom. With this Me and Gaurav decided to head towards the easternmost part of our country in my Maruti Ritz, where we were supposed to cover around 300 Kms and it took us 12 hours exact to reach Walong town from Dibrugarh. We stayed at the Inspection bungalow at Walong before going to Dong. This 12 hour covers a total non-stop drive with one or two food stops. First stop at Panitola near Tinsukia and the second near Tiding after crossing Hayuliang (pronounced Haye long).
We started by 6 am on the 30 th of December 2017 and the route shall be DIBRUGARH-TINSUKIA-NAMSAI-WAKRO-PARSURAMKUND-HAYULIANG-TIDING-WALONG-DONG. However, the return we took a different route DONG-TIDING-HAYULIANG-TEZU-NAMSAI-TINSUKIA-DIBRUGARH.
The road all over is pretty pitch, as our travel time was winters, we dint have much to bother about the weather for rain or landslides like we faced during our visit to Tawang with Ajay and Shankar. The road was pretty pitch other then the stretch from Namsai to Wakro, which was pretty gravel and puddles and also the roads were much aloof. But the scenic beauty that Wakro provided is beyond compare. India is so amazingly carved that it provides so much of variety to the views and also its culture and the amazing Brown Rice with local pulses that we tried on the way, gave us our test with the spiciest meal I have ever tried.
Our original plan was to stay at Dong and go for a Early morning trek to the Millenium point, which is the exact point and the highest point of the First ever Sunrise to touch India for 2018. On the 30 th we reached Walong by 6 PM dot. Exactly a 12 hour drive to the interior, towards the easternmost land of India. The only point of concern was Gaurav don't drive a manual transmitted car, bloody high level guy.
I have a restaurant here in my home town and I had a Chef with all his touring imaginations in mind. Though he left but we had a pretty great relation and he suggested this place where even Sumit was supposed to accompany with a gang of 5 and collectively known as AOG (Aisle on greens). These people have taken up the responsibility of promoting sustainable tourism in the remote parts of Assam and Nagaland and collectively north-east. However, Sumit couldn't make it but he suggested me Max, from their group whom we can meet up there. We met them in Walong, and planned everything for the next day's trek and stay. A group of 5 enthusiasts, Nirupom, Max, Nikhilesh, Milton and Carol, a group of Chaps I would love to travel again with. Thanks Sumit! These people are trying to promote sustainable tourism via a music, camping and adventure festival in the easternmost part of India, I wish them Success.