After 3 hrs of long flight from Mumbai, 6 of us reached Guwahati and were all set to explore the Western Districts ( West Kameng & Tawang ) of mighty Arunachal Pradesh. We prebooked our Innova car from Anshuman Travels ( 09954056775) for our trip and started around 11 am sharp from Guwahati.
Journey through highways of Assam is breathtaking, lush green paddy fields on both side of roads and the autumn winds literally blew our minds away. By sunset, we reached Bhalukpong after 5 hrs of travel and checked in to our forest guesthouse Prashanti cottage ( budget hotel owned by Govt of Assam). We will never forget the Kameng river , on our way, which looked beautiful with the sun setting at the backdrop.
Next day morning at 7am after ILP (Inner Line Permit) check at Bhalukpong , we then started our journey for Dirang village. The road condition was not good at all, approx 70 % of the roads were broken due to heavy rains during monsoon and landslides but the best part is continous work is going on to make new bridges, removing heavy stones from roads and fixing it in order to make the travel better. By evening we reached Dirang, we were late because our car got stuck in the mud and 1 hr was wasted there. Thanks to Indian Army and local people who helped us to put our car back on track. Trust me , when I say this, this journey is not for faint hearted people.
After this exhausting journey , the hospitality of our host at Gonpolak Homestay was everything that we needed at that point of time. They prepared delicious dinner for us and the rooms there had all the modern amenities. The vibe of the homestay will stay with us for long.
Next day morning, post breakfast we headed to Thupsung Dhargye Ling Monastery / Dirang Monastery followed by Sangti Valley. The drive is about 45 min from Dirang to Sangti and it's one of the less known places but the drive is one of the best you can experience. The beautiful valley has various fruit orchids (kiwi, apple) and home to wide range of migratory birds. The sound of the stream flowing between the mountains in one side and sheep/cattle grazing on other side can uplift anyone's mood.
After spending 2 hrs in Sangti we headed to our next destination-Tawang. Roads are well built and properly maintained. We crossed Sela pass at 13700 feet (border of West Kameng & Tawang District), there we experienced drizzling rains . The view of Sela lake & Paradise Lake there is breathtaking. After having hot Maggi and tea along the spectacular view at Sela ,we headed for Jung.
Jung is famous for Nuranang Waterfall/Jung Waterfall. The waterfall is about 100 meter high and you can reach closest to the point where waterfall ends and enjoy getting drenched.It was already evening when we left from Jung and Tawang is about 35 km away. By 7 at night we reached Tawang and checked in to our hotel ( Hotel Tayatha - our stay for next 2 days). Its not a budget hotel but has a room heater , a mandatory thing to survive in such weather.
Mornings in hill station is something you can always look up to. Clear sky at 5:30 am a mesmerizing view from hotel will bring a smile on your face. We booked our Xylo car in advance for Bumla .(Only local cars are allowed to go to Bumla). Our driver (Phone : 8415082256) was really good and got us the permit well in advance and told a lot about the history of Tawang. After having breakfast in Army Canteen at Y junction we headed for Bumla Pass (15200 feet) popularly known as India-China Border. It was way too cold up there so proper wollen clothing is necessary.
On our return journey we headed to Sangetsar Lake popularly known as Madhuri Lake, the thing that makes it stand out is that you can find numerous tree trunks rooted deeply in middle of the lake. The view of the lake is magnificent ,surrounded by pine trees and huge mountains on all sides. By evening we returned to our hotel and rested for the day.
After having breakfast we headed to Tawang Monastery, one of the largest monastery in India and you can visit the museum to know more about the beautiful place. While returning back we headed to giant Buddha statue in middle of Tawang city but due to rains we didn't spend much time over and headed to the Tawang market. After shopping and having delicious lunch at Dragon Restaurant we headed to our final destination of the day - Tawang War Memorial. They have a daily 'Light and Sound' show which starts at 6 pm and enlightens us about the history of 1962 war.
Next day morning we bid-adeu to Tawang and started our journey for Bomdila. Bomdila is about 7-8 hrs journey from Tawang and by afternoon we reached our destination - Hotel Lungta Residency. During evening we explored the nearby market and finally had a tummyfull dinner at our hotel. Bomdila is about 8000 feet and light woolen is needed. However we couldn't explore Bomdila Monastery because of heavy rains.
Next morning we headed back to Guwahati as our Arunachal Trip finally came to an end but this time we took different route avoiding Bhalukpong because of bad road condition and ended our trip with big smiles and a truckload of memories.