Arunchal Pradesh – Tawang Darshan – Trip Information – Day 1-5 the previous post. In these 5 days, we reached Tawang and saw beautiful places. Still there was lot to explore and watch. So we were trying to figure out for these places to travel, and unravel the sensational beauty of the state.
Day 6: Previous night we had words with Himalayan tours and Travels, tour operator who has wonderful information around the city. They proposed that we should visit Zemithang, 100 KMs away from Tawang. As per driver, it was not part of Itinerary. So We had to pay him INR 2,000/- extra for the trip. Note: Make sure to mention Zemithang while booking the cab. The way to Zemithang is gorgeous and scenic. It addition to lush green mountains, you can easily spot 15-16 waterfalls. Among these waterfalls 5-6 are really huge and magnificently beautiful. This trip was worth our time. Popular destinations on the way were:
- Stupa – It is an old stupa, other 2 stupas with the same architecture can be found at Bhutan and Nepal only.
- Devi Tara statue at Lumla – Large statue in open on hilltop. It is mostly visible during your ride to Zemithang.
- Various waterfalls on the way – It would be best to stop at waterfalls you like instead waiting to visit during the return journey, otherwise you would eventually miss a few and later you may remorse. We missed a few. 🙁
This region is primarily famous for Red Panda. We were not able to spot any, as we were not actively looking for it. WWF representatives, met in the Tawang Festival on May 1st, told us about the red pandas and efforts people are putting in to save them from extinction. In addition, they suggested that it is possible to enjoy tribes’ culture in Zemithang. Various people offer home stays there and Dorzi can arrange homestays for you. Check contact information page for Dorzi’s number. We had checked out from Hotel Tawang View in the morning, so we visited few more hotels but ended up in Hotel Tawang View again. We checked Tawang Inn, Sidhdhartha and Hotel Budhdha. But none of them had a vacant three bedded room.
An Observation: Right across north eastern states people dress quite well and they can speak good Hindi even in the core/rural areas which was quite unexpected for us. So you would hardly face problems while visiting North East.
Day 7: It can be attributed as Monastery tour. We took our breakfast at Hotel Budhdha. They served Rajasthani Style breakfast i.e. Aloo sabji, Poori, and strong tea with ginger. It is the only pure veg restaurant in Tawang. We visited few known and few unknown monasteries. Few worth mentioning are:
- Urgelling Monastery
- Sre Jay Jaymag (ch**) Monastery
- Khin Mey Gonpa
In the evening, we got time to attend the light and sound show at war memorial, which was quite informative. Today we dined at Orange Restaurant and bar.
Day 8 (In the lap of Nature): Arunachal, land of rising sun, is habitat of various rare species. So it was important to spend some time with nature to understand the flora and fauna. People at Himalayan Tours suggested a trek to Chuck Sum Bridge, an Iron bridge built by Chinese army to cross the river during 1962 Sino Indian war. Though there is a good road till bridge, but would you not thrilled to spot various birds on your way to the bridge. We drove to Kitpi, then to Shenrop village and there on we walked to the bridge. It is approximately 4.5 Kms to the bridge. This walk was similar to fantasy walk of Sam in The Lords of the Rings. Chirping of birds, dense forest, various animals, flying butterflying, cries of unknown, and various small villages all made this it a memorable walk. As soon as you spot the bridge, keep an eye for the staircases, or better to consult anyone. There are staircases leading to the bridge, but the path, connecting to staircases, is not clearly visible from the road. We would recommend not to walk on the bridge, as it looks fragile. Today we got our passes for Bomla Pass and Sangetsar i.e. Madhuri Lake. We will explain the process to get the pass in another post. We dined at Taste of Kolkata, which served homely Thali, in the afternoon and woodland restaurant in the night.
Day 9 (Ultimatum Day): It was the last day that we had, and weather has kept us away from the most scintillating destination of Tawang i.e. Sangetser Lake and Bum La. Day was clear and we had the passes too so we drove on.
1. Route to Bumla was beautiful. Fresh snow was all around, and it was magical to drive through snow laden mountains. It would be difficult to explain the moments and excitement in words, experiencing these moments is must. On the last check post, we were informed to halt our journey as it has been difficult, even for Army vehicle, to cross the certain point due to heavy snow fall. Still the ride till this point has been amazing.
2. Sangetsar Lake
3. Later we enjoyed Taktsang Gompa, which is 5-6 Kms from the lake and offers a stunning view of the mountains.
4. 1st May was the start of Tawang Festival. We spend few hours at the festival to enjoy the local culture, traditions, songs, and people. It would have been much nicer, if it had not rained for 3 continuous hours. We dined at Greenwood Restaurant.
Day 10 (So we returned): Our appetite was full yet the hunger was still there, but we had to return. It took us 14 hours, with more than sufficient breaks, to reach Tezpur. We stayed at Hotel Central Point, Tezpur. It is at most 5 minutes walk from bus stand, and had our dinner at Flora Restaurant. Though hotel has in-house restaurant, but we do not prefer to check these restaurants.
Day 11 (Fly to Delhi with dishearten Heart): We spent 10 exciting days in wilderness and now we were going to be part of civilization. You will need 5 hours from Tezpur to reach Guwahati. Get down at Jalukbari, which is nearest to Airport. Auto Rickshaw should probably charge you INR 100-120 for the ride to Airport.
Here ends our journey to Tawang. Soon we will share our reviews and other important information that would be helpful for your travel.
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