Of all the travel one takes in life, here is a place where paradise doesn’t have to be tropical. There’s magic in the mountains and Arunachal Pradesh is full of mountains. From the plains of Assam to the bordering places of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, you are always surrounded by mountains, no matter which direction you travel. A journey to Arunachal Pradesh will teach us to love the journey than the destination itself. The road travel to Tawang is fascinating, incredible, and an adventure by itself.
Sitting in the car, you will look outside with gleaming eyes what every bend and curve of the mountain would give exquisite views of nature, and yes, you are treated to a delightful landscape of nature all along the journey. You would think you are getting to the top of the mountain but no, don’t fool yourself the moment will arrive when what seemed so near is still far away.
The exciting part of the journey to Tawang and back is it takes two nights and a day with a stopover at Bhalukpong, Dirang or Bomdilla and each of these places has interesting experiences worth a try. The journey to Tawang will start from Guwahati, Assam; with halting at Bhalukpong, Dirang and on a return journey at Bomdilla before heading to Kaziranga, Assam.
In Bhalukpong, you can go river rafting in the streams or go nature walking at Nameri. The night that you would stay at Bhalukpong there can be very heavy rainfall due to the monsoon season. However, you will get to see clear skies in the morning i.e if you leave on time towards Dirang. The roads may be sludgy due to the rain.
As one moves higher, the weather gets cold and chilly. You cannot ignore the lovely food en route to and fro to Tawang, you do get small food joints in certain places only otherwise you will find deserted places most of the journey.
Dirang- is picturesque with low valleys, especially Sangti valley. There are plenty of kiwis orchards in Dirang, best experienced by foot. En route to Sela Pass, you can meet the famous Yaks often as you climb further upwards.
The climb is filled with remarkable scenery and when you reach Sela Pass at the height of
14,000 feet above sea level, it is all another world together. Sela Pass is one of the most
breathtaking places in the Himalayas. The rocky pass is also home to a beautiful lake- Sela Lake. It makes a beautiful stopover to experience the awesomeness of the surroundings. Sela Pass holds the credit of being one of the few motorable high-altitude mountain passes in the world.
The next must-visit en route to Tawang is JASWANT SINGH MEMORIAL, the brave soldier
who is awarded the Maha VIR Chakra for his courage and devotion to duty to the nation during the Indo-China war of 1962.
Close to Tawang are the pristine and beautiful waterfalls – Nuranang Falls. The scene
indicates the unblemished purity of nature when not ravaged by human habitation. It
represents the vitality, spirit and enjoyment of nature. The mist flowing, the green mountains, flowing streams and the smell of the air which surrounds the waterfall and
stream elevates your spirits. The sound of flowing water is all that can be heard. The
water, making its way around, over and through the rocks makes a beautiful noise. This is an offbeat destination, where less crowd gives
total tranquillity and joy.
In Tawang, one can visit Tawang Monastery, the tall Buddha statue, local markets, and the Tawang war memorial. Tawang will flatter you with its natural beauty wrapped in the scent of spirituality and patriotism. One can relish the unique local cuisine and a must-try is Yak butter tea. The icing on the cake is the Bumla Pass and P.T.Tso lake also known as Madhuri lake. You will need another permit from the local D.C office to visit Bumla. This is usually arranged by your travel agent or the place you stay.
As the journey of ascent starts again from From Tawang to Bumla, there’s a change in scenery with breathtaking views. If your heart yearns for the adventure you will surely love the drive to Bumla. The roads are narrow and only four-wheel-drive sumo, bolero, and XUV 500 vehicles are allowed. The driver may warn you not to take any pictures of army posts which we request you to willingly oblige. There is a Y junction where roads bifurcate, one leading to Bumla and the other one to Madhuri Lake.
As you step out you will be exposed to biting cold with the chilly winds blowing on your face. It’s one of those days when normal warm clothes aren’t enough and they feel thinner than they are. If you are a South Indian, you may not be used to cold weather.
As you reach closer to Sela Pass on our return journey from Tawang, nature will gift you the pleasure of driving in snowfall. Yes, it will surely be truly magical because it is the first week of April!! It was sheer good luck as if the universe wanted to compromise us on missing Madhuri Lake. You can spend more than an hour at Sela Pass, enjoying the snowfall, walking up to the banks of Sela Lake and trying to throw stones into the lake. It can be your first snowfall experience and sure it will make it more heavenly. And we halted in Bomdilla before heading towards Assam.
The journey of Arunachal Pradesh reminds me of the meandering mountainous roads, gushing river streams, beautiful valleys and the breathtaking changing landscape.
* Carry warm clothes as the weather is
* Obtain I.L.P Inner Line Permit as it is
compulsory to enter Arunachal Pradesh. It is
available online. One form for a single-family is
* Take a skilled driver for your vehicle as
Arunachal Pradesh is a steep climb with infinite
curves and sudden weather changes.