Arunchal Pradesh – Tawang Darshan – Day 1-5

To provide information about Tawang, we have started a series which would be helpful to plan your trip. Sufficient number of days, places to cover, hotels to stay, destinations, places, and landmarks we loved and difficulty you might encounter all will be covered in this series.FYI: Do not plan to visit any place while returning from Tawang otherwise all beautiful places will lose their charm in your eyes in comparison to Tawang’s beautiful and scenic attractions.

In general, we get few opportunities and resources to travel to other states. Even Arunachal Pradesh has so much to offer, but enough efforts have not been made by the government to promote the state. In the words of one of our friends, let’s visit Arunachal who knows “Until what time, it will be part of India, so let’s not miss the opportunity to visit it”.

Our team traveled to Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. Tawang, district bordering China, hosts Asia’s second largest monastery. This district or town is not explored much; as it is difficult to reach Tawang from any part of India and, additionally, the approaching road to the district is in a deplorable state.
Yet the road trip to Tawang is exquisite and scenic. You drive through the dense forests; the road runs along the river; high mountains are protecting you and scaring you; and beautiful waterfalls are giving you food for your imaginations. These unnamed monuments would increase the pleasure of your journey. Even though your body will ache in the night, but travelling desire would still wait for the upcoming journey.
Let’s look at the itinerary that we followed in our 11 day trip.
Day 1: We reached Guwahati with Rajdhani from Delhi. It was 2 hours late, so instead of aiming to Tezpur on the same day, we spent the night in Guwahati at Hornbill Hotel, Paltan Bazar, Guwahati. (We checked a few other hotels, we will update them in another thread.) Though hotel had its restaurant, yet we had the dinner at Jharna Restaurant, part of Viswathma Hotel.
Day 2: We travelled to Tezpur. Getting the bus/sumo/tempo traveler is quite an easy task from Paltan bazaar. It takes approximately 5 hours to reach Tezpur. (You can even travel in the night if you do not intend to spend a night in Guwahati.) It might save a complete day. Guwahati – Tezpur is a national highway and it is quite convenient even for night travel.
There are various hotels near the bus stand only at 10 minutes’ walk. We stayed at Hotel Durba and had our lunch and dinner at the same hotel. Tezpur is a quaint and nice place, situated at the bank of Brahmaputra. Most famous place of Tezpur is Agnigrah Park, which is situated at the highest location in Tezpur. You can enjoy the sunset and the cold and nice breeze of the Brahmaputra River at the Park
Agnigarh Park, Tezpur
Note: if you are planning to get your Inner Line Permit from Tezpur, you must add one day in your itinerary to spend at Tezpur. If you apply for the pass in the morning session, then you will get your pass in the evening session and there is no sumo available in the evening session. If you do not want to spend a day at Tezpur, then arrange your ILP at your place.
Day 3: After receiving our ILP last evening, we were ready to march to our next destination. As the trip to Tawang takes minimum 14 hours, so it was better to cover the complete distance with one break at either Bomdila or Dhirang. We booked a cab i.e. Sumo for 8 days (We will share all contact details in another post). You enter to AP from Bhalukpong. This place hosts an orchard which has approximately 2,500 varieties of different flowers.
It takes 8 hours to reach Dhirang, though the journey is painful yet it is beautiful and scenic. In dhirang we stayed and dined at Tourist Lodge, built by AP government, which managed by private hoteliers.
Places to Visit in Dhirang:

  1. Monastery
  2. Apple Orchard
  3. Hot water spring – We did not check this place as there were not good reviews of the place on the net.

Note 1: If you have missed ILP and do not intent to delay your trip by one day for ILP, you can directly reach to Bhlukpong, and avail the ILP here. It would cost you little more than usual ILP charges.
Note 2: As soon as you enter in AP, mobile network (Postpaid) other than Airtel, Vodafone (Not impressive throughout the trip), and BSNL stops working.
Note 3: If you plan to take Shared Taxi, then you must avail pre book at Bomdila. There are very few options to books a cab from Dhirang.
Note 4: If you plan to visit Zemithang, make sure to tell the same to driver. Otherwise he would create problems later and ask crazy amount for the trip.

Nuranang waterfall is on the way to Tawang.
Nuranang waterfall is on the way to Tawang.

Day 4: Today we reached to Tawang. All the way to Tawang, huge mountains loom over you, every bit of jungle is green and higher mountains are rocky. Road till Tawang is in pathetic conditions. Government must really take the initiative to build these roads. As it is not only important for civilians, but also for the huge army that is deployed in the region to stop the future Chinese invasion. On the way, we saw 3 important destinations:

  1. Sela Pass
  2. Jaswant Singh war memorial
  3. Jang Waterfalls also known as Nooranang waterfalls.

Tawang is a small town which can be covered on foot. You do not really need a vehicle if you want to spend lots of time in Tawang town itself.
Dined at Hotel Tawang View.
Day 5 – Tawang Darshan – This is the most seasonal time in Tawang. It sees a flock of visitors at this time and it remains quite visitor friendly. But for us it was unusually opposite. Everyday a huge rain ruined either start or end of our day.
BTW, we started the day with a tea at Brahmputra Restaurant. They served quite a nice tea with a special order. In general, ginger is not part of the tea, but on special requests you can avail good ginger tea at all the restaurants.
Sights Visited:
PTso Lake (19Km from Tawang on the way to Bumla)
Ani Monastery
Tawang Monastery
Tawang War Memorial

Tawang Monastery - Deity
Tawang Monastery – Deity

Basic Monastery or Gompa
Basic Monastery or Gompa

Instead of making it a single largest post, it would be best to divide the post into 2 posts. We will see you again with more information about our journey.
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