Perched at a soaring height of around 10,000 ft above sea level, Tawang is a mountainous tract in the North-west extremity of Arunachal Pradesh. This earthly paradise is a hidden treasure filled with Buddhist chants & benign monks. Feed you souls to the heavenly views, immerse yourself in the serenity & marvel at the pleasant surprise nature has in store for you here at Tawang.
What to do & see:
Inhabited by the tribe Monpas, Tawang is a major kernel of Buddhist learning & hosts one of the oldest and largest Buddhist monasteries in India: Tawang Monastery. This 400 years old Buddhist monastery, which in English is called ‘celestial paradise in a clear night’, was established by Mera Lama, who was a monk of the time of the fifth Dalai Lama. It makes a spectacular view amidst the Himalayas, and is situated on top a hill overlooking entire Tawang and nearby valleys.
Hiking and Trekking
Tawang is an adventurer’s dream come true. Your trekking route is marked with gurgling waterfalls & unspoilt forests. The most common trekking journey starts from Jong, which is located in between the places of Tawang and Se- la and proceeds to the place called Mago. This is sure to be a challenging task for you. Another popular trekking tour is the “Bailey Trail” which follows the historic trek route of two British officers who came to map the east of India.
The district of Tawang is home to more than 108 lakes, and can humbly be called as the lake capital of the world, surpassing any of the regions of South America. Some beautiful lakes like Pankang Teng Tso Lakeare present nearby to provide you with eye soothing vistas. Their crystal clear waters & splendor offer a tranquil atmosphere to the visitors where spiritual enlightenment is possible. Other popular lakes are Sangetser Lake and Banggachang Lake.
The Sela Pass
On your way to Tawang you will go through one of the highest motorable passes of the world, the Sela Pass, at a height of 14,000ft above sea level. Two crystal clear lakes occupy the misty mysterious pass, providing an almost outer worldly experience. Decked with views of majestic mountains on a sunny day, it compliments your journey’s memories, and makes for a great photographic frame.
Tawang is a hub of trade between India and Tibet and Bhutan, offering you an enjoyable and flea-like shopping experience, where a varied range of souvenir shops exist, which sell wooden carvings to bamboo utensils to Buddhist prayer wheels, chadars, traditional Tibetan jewellery, and a whole load of other commodities.
Best Time to Visit
Suitable for visiting all year around accept from June to August, when rains are pretty heavy and continuous, resulting in landslides.
Airport : The nearest airport is at Tezpur about 345 km from Tawang.
Railhead : Bhalukpong (285 km) and Rangapara (Assam)
Road Transport : Buses and Taxi ply regularly from Tezpur (Assam) and Bomdilla to Tawang.
Due to less frequency of tourists, lodging is devoid of great luxury. Accommodation in the form of modest Government Tourist Lodge, a few decent hotels, a recent farm-stay and a Circuit House are available.
Ashwin Sharma is an avid traveller . He is currently working with Cheapoair.com to promote low cost flights to various destinations in India.