Arunchal Pradesh – Tawang Darshan – Places & Attractions

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.

We landed in Guwahati first. As We reached Guwahati late, so other than walking through the market for 1-2 Kms, we did not get much time to explore the place.
Our next stop was Tezpur where we spent most of our time in DC office instead exploring the place. In the evening, we were fortunate enough to visit Agnigarh hill just before sunset.
Agnigarh Park/Hill

Sunset from Agnigarh Hill
Sunset from Agnigarh Hill

At the highest point, a small hill, of Tezpur, government has built this park. It is quite popular in the general public especially in couples and it is quite natural to love the settings of this wonderful park. It is built on the bank of Brahmaputra River. Small hills and large basins of the river set up peaceful, yet amazingly colourful and beautiful stage for stunning sunset. Cool breeze and amazing environment attract locals and tourists,equally, to relish the enigmatic beauty of the nature.
Read about Legend of Usha and Anirudha from Mahabharat
Next day we travelled to Dhirang. In Dhirang we visited Apple Orchard, Monastery, and market. We skipped the hot water spring. On the way to Dhirang, we visited an Orchidariurm in Tipi/Bhalukpong.
Tipi Orchidariurm
Orchidariurm is an orchid research center which hosts thousands of orchids which are found in north east. Along with the vast area, it has a centrally located glass house, where all the present species of flowers have been displayed in the pots. At the time of our visit, most of the flowers were not blossomed, but for the visitor visiting in May-June, it will be a greater experience. To experience thousands of beautiful and colourful flower at one place. Would it not be gorgeous? This place is in Tipi village i.e. 5Kms away from Bhalukpong
Apple Orchards
Dhirang and Bomdila are known, in the region, for their apple orchards. We too wanted to experience the ripe apple hanging on the tree branches, but unfortunately the season deceived us again. Orchard, in Dhirang, is located on the different hill so the way to reach the place is quite steep. Though Orchard could not offer us any apple, but beauty of the place was magnificent. Orchard was in the middle of 2 mountains so the landscapes were stunning and beautiful.
Dhirang Monastery
We had nothing else to do in the evening, so we planned to walk through the market and know Dhirang more closely. Dhirang monastery is quite small, and the area around the monastery is used as playground for children. It is like any other worship place. It is a nice place to spend some time with peace in the evening.
Next day we travelled to Tawang. On the way first Sela pass, all covered with snow, welcomed us. Then we broke our journey at Jaswant Singh Memorial, which gave us a small example of gallantry efforts of Indian Army to stop Chinese invasion in such a hostile conditions. Later powerful yet magically beautiful Nooranang fall made us stop. These destinations were the first glimpse of beautiful Tawang.
Sela Pass
Your vehicle is moving higher and higher and higher up in the mountains. Suddenly you start eyeing snow in chunks, little bit later all landscapes are snow laden, and then you eye a gate welcoming you, heartily, in Tawang. So here you are at Sela pass. In April End/May start you cannot expect this pass to be covered with snow. But here it was, the pass was covered with snow and gifted with two enchanting and magical lakes. You can walk to the lake, through the staircases, and enjoy the enigmatic nature at its best. Snow covered lakes, and snow laden mountains surrounding you, and your heartbeats dying with the idea of leaving this place in few minutes. Shhh, but do not worry Picture abhi shuru hui hai mere dost. (Picture is just start my friend.)
Sela Pass
Sela Pass Laden with Snow

Jaswant Garh War Memorial
This memorial pays tribute to Jaswant Singh Rawat who martyred, with another soldiers of the battalion, during the Sino-Indian war. It is said that RFL Rawat fought fierce battle for continuous 72 hours with Chinese army and delayed their movement forward. His gallantry gave some additional time for Indian forces to avail more support from Indian Army for the soldiers posted in the region. Truth can be different, but such fascinating stories have been circulated about Jaswant Baba.
Original bunkers have been preserved and you can ask, at booth, to give you the tour of memorial. Any army personnel would surely give creditable information.
Nooranang Waterfall (Famously known as Jang waterfall)
As soon as you eye the fall, you cannot allow yourself to move forward without halting at the place at least for an
Nooranang Waterfall
Nooranang Waterfall

hour. Though you will still be starve for more time even after spending an hour near this mesmerizing fall. It is impossible to guess the force and height of the waterfall from the road. But as soon as you reach to the edge of fall, you will realize the gigantic nature of the fall. You have to climb down a few stairs from the power generation plant to reach the fall. It is approximately 100 meter tall and sprinkling of the water can be felt at 100 meters away from the fall. Water falls from at least 100 meter high hill and produces scintillating effects in the surrounding. One song of the Koyla movie, Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dikshit, features this beautiful fall.
Due to beautiful landscapes and dense forests, we were there in Tawang without actually realizing the tough/bad conditions of the road. Next day we travelled to second largest Asian monastery i.e. Tawang Monastery, Ani Monastery a place for lady lamas, Snow covered PTso Lake, and Tawang war memorial.
PTso Lake
PTso is wonderful gift of nature due to the combined effort of melting and falling snow. Melting snow provides the water for the lake and falling snow enhances the beauty of land around the lake. In addition, Lake is surrounded with magnificent mountains loaded with white and sparkling snow. There are stairs to the lake, which were not visible due to heavy snow fall, so we did not walk down to the lake this time.
Ani Monastery
There are various Ani monasteries which are reserved for female lamas. Female lamas reside in Ani monasteries which are located at remote locations to save Anis’ from society to keep them in safety and solitude. We visited one such Monastery, but due to rain we did not even see the prayer house.
Tawang Monastery
Situated on the hill top, Tawang monastery is second largest monastery in Asia. It is visible from almost every part of the small city. There are various stories behind its name Tawang, but none can be confirmed. One, among many popular stories, is that at this place Lama’s horse stopped and did not move, so the monastery was established here and it was named Tawang. Another is regarding a business man who found the land and build the monastery whose name was T.A. Wang.
The monastery is picturesque and huge. It is a house for hundreds of lamas. A library, a Gompa, a museum, an old building, a mess, and hundreds of houses are part of this monastery.
Monastery’s Main deity’s idol was artistically done and it was gigantic yet peaceful and appealing. Whereas like All other monasteries in Tawang, or elsewhere, this monastery was also colourful and vibrant. Such colours and environment brings positivism in your mind and body.
Tawang War Memorial
Tawang War Memorial
Tawang War Memorial

Paying tribute to all the battalions and soldiers who sacrificed their lived to defend the mother land. 2426 soldiers were martyred during the 1962 Chinese war. All of them are remembered at the memorial and their names have been engraved on black marble with golden ink.
It is said that during the war Indian soldiers fought valiantly for 31 days with Chinese army. They resisted the enemy even after they were instructed to withdraw from their location by the higher authorities.
Memorial is divided in 3 parts. Middle sanctum is built as a stupa, 40+ meter high, where every day in the morning lamas pray and perform the rituals. Left sanctum is dedicated to Subedar Joginder Singh and right side has more information about war and area at that time.
At Tawang war memorial a light and sound show is conducted to brief about the war and north east states, especially Arunchal Pradesh, landscapes, culture, people, and festivals. It is surely worth your half an hour.
These were the monuments that we covered in the first 5 days of our visit. We will post about our another 6 days in the next post.
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