Wednesday, 12 March 2014

One Paradise Land


Despite being born and brought up in Assam, one of the north east states of India, I was totally unaware of this paradise land. It’s only after I joined engineering college, I heard about it. Well, Tawang is a town situated at an altitude of approximately 9000 to 10,000 ft, in the northwestern part of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering China. For the first time when I heard about that place and the way my friends narrated about it, I simply went crazy. I always knew about Ladakh, even though I haven’t visited it, either. But a similar kind of heaven is there in a neighboring state, was a shocker for me initially. From that moment I always had wished to visit the paradise land. After passing out of college, one time I planned with few of my friends and were on our way to Tawang. But unfortunately we had to return from Bomdila, because of severe landslide. That was so disappointing and somehow after that, I couldn’t plan for it again. I still feel jealous whenever my friends share their Twang stories and experiences. I had visited Arunachal Pradesh several times though, for those memorable hostel picnics. The entire forest is surrounded by so many exotic waterfalls.




Tawang is basically a giant valley, covered with pine trees at the lower horizons and fascinating rocks on top. During winter, entire Tawang is blessed with the dazzling snow. The temperature is usually very cold, about minus 10 degree Celsius. Travel agents usually recommend March to October, the best time to visit the place, when the climate conditions are very pleasant. The flora out there seems to be so unique and colorful. But Tawang turn exceptionally exotic during winter. The dewdrops on the grass use to get frozen. The road, the trees, the rocks and the small patches of the forest are entirely covered under a thick blanket of snow. Aha, I so much wish to visit this winter wonderland and experience the fairy tale. There are many places to visit in Tawang, like Tawang Monastery, Bum La Pass, Nuranang Falls, Madhuri Lake, Tawang War Memorial, Pangateng Tso Lake and many others. But the journey itself to this heaven would be equally fascinating. 



The road to Tawang is entirely zig-zag and the view on both sides is amazingly enticing. The forests look virginly fresh, with different breeds of strange and colorful flora. It's always thrilling and utterly pleasing to heart, whenever we drive the elevation through some forest. It feels, as if we’re ascending all the way into the lap of Mother Nature. It’s not common to see a lake at such great height, but in Arunachal Pradesh one could find several magnificent deep blue lakes. After climbing a steep stretch, one would usually see a gentle valley and an alluring lake, flourishing from some corner of the mountain. In extreme winters, most of the lakes would be frozen with a thin sheet of ice on the top. How wonderful it would be to trek beside those lakes? They're surrounded by beautiful grassland and the dewdrops on them just get frozen, only to further mesmerize and intensify the temptation of the travelers. 




This December, I wholeheartedly wish to visit this winter wonderland. As my wife is pretty much a winter phobic, I would rather plan it with my friends. I just hope, we don't end up over-planning the trip and screw up all the fun. Well, I've always enjoyed the unplanned trips more. I'm sure, there are few more dumb travelers like me. We will take the morning flight from Bangalore to Guwahati and would probably stay there for couple of days, to make the ILP (Inner Line Permit). We will hire a Tata Sumo for our adventure. Well, Tata Sumo is widely available with the travel companies and they’re really awesome for such drives. ILP is issued by the resident commissioner in the Arunachal House, in Guwahati. We will have to give the details of every travelers, vehicle number and need to submit xerox copies of our photo ID's, along with passport size photographs. Well, every Indian citizen needs that to enter Arunachal Pradesh and foreign tourists need some special permits. There’s nothing to worry though, as travelers and mountain lovers from across the world, visits Tawang every year. For travelers, who would like to get some local flavor, can take a bus from Guwahati to Tezpur, instead, which is around 200 KM from Guwahati.  Tezpur is one of the most beautiful towns in Assam, surrounded by the mighty Brahmaputra. From Tezpur they can take passenger Tata Sumo or even a bus to Bomdila, which is around 150 KM. Better not to worry about the distance, as the terrains are simply breathtaking and it could take 5 to 6 hours, depending upon the weather condition. 




It's recommended to stay the night at Bomdila in a hotel and enjoy some delicious fish/pork fries, along with the local booze. From Bomdila, people can hire a vehicle to Tawang, which is around 230 KM from there and usually takes 7 to 8 hours. It's advisable to start early  morning from Bomdila. It’s an extremely scenic drive, although the terrain is not very good and could get nastier, as we climb the elevation.  On the way, we would come across many small tribal villages and pretty soon, would notice the snow peaks, patiently waiting for our arrival. 




December will be fucking cold and we would better stop at every possible tea stalls, to tranquilize ourselves with caffeine and nicotine. We would love to grab some bites on the way. Well, one can’t expect the usual Punjabi  kind of dhabas out there, but there might be a few exceptions. Momos, Chowmein, Maggi, rice and pork are pretty common menu in all the restaurants. Also, Yak meat is very popular. We should reach Tawang by afternoon and would love to experience the paradise for the next few days.




Image courtesy: google images

This post is written for Indiblogger’s "Travel Smart with SkyScanner" contest, in association with skyscanner

60 comments:

  1. I am planning to visit in October.

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    1. Wow! Nice to know that. All the best and have fun :)

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  2. A pick up post to promote tourism in north east. We all know it is a virgin heaven. Good one Jahid.

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    1. Thanks Neo :) Glad U enjoyed the post. Yeah, NE got many exotic places.

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  3. Amazing post. Tawang indeed seems a paradise.

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    1. Thanks Kiran :) Glad U enjoyed the post. Yes, Tawang is very fascinating. Thanks a lot for visiting out here dude !!

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  4. Replies
    1. Aha, so glad that a true traveler liked this post :) Thanks a lot for dropping by Deepak Sir !!

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  5. Nice Post.. Heard of this place for the first time would surely visit someday it looks great!!

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    1. Thanks Aditya :) Glad U liked the post. Actually many people is not aware of this fascinating place, but now lot of tourism initiative are opening up out there. You should surely visit Tawang. Thanks a lot for dropping by !!

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  6. North East has awesome destinations. Yet to visit Tawang. Looks wonderful!
    Best wishes for the contest.

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    1. Yes Anita, NE got some exotic places. Tawang is a must to visit place and thanks a lot for your best wishes :)

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  7. Replies
    1. Hehe.. I got them from google images :) Glad you enjoyed the post thanks a lot for dropping by Sneh Asnani !!

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  8. Wow...it seems I will have to visit this place :D

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    1. Yes Pankti, Tawang is a must to visit place :) Thanks for dropping by !!

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  9. Sounds great Jahid! Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Mr A Long, glad U enjoyed the post and thanks for dropping by !!

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  10. What great pictures! There is so much to see in this great country of ours...hopefully someday :)

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    1. Yes Beloo Mehra, Indian is very exotic. Hope you will visit Tawang someday :) Thanks for dropping by !!

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  11. Replies
    1. Yes Preethi, it's truly a paradise :) Thanks for dropping by !!

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  12. North east is really so beautiful! If only they promoted tourism as well....Good post...

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    1. Yes, NE is very beautiful and exotic. I luv your Shillong so much :) I think it's better if they don't promote much, else would become crowded like Ooty/Shimla and the exotism will vanish :) Thanks a lot for dropping by Nabanita !!

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  13. Tawang has been on the list for sometime now! Beautiful shots!

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    1. It's been in my list since so many years :) hope I visit soon and you as well :) thanks for dropping by Ilakshee !!

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  14. AMAZing Amazing pics!!! heaven on earth!! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Yes Kokila, it's truly a heaven :) Glad U enjoyed the post and thanks a lot for visiting out here !!

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  15. Woow Jahid Bhai, we all know you are a good writer !! but now even you have proved you are a good photographer ... lovely review and some pleasant memories !

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    1. Hello Aziz Bhai :) after a long time. Glad you enjoyed the post. I wish I would be a good photographer someday, actually got those Tawang pictures from google images :) Thanks a lot for dropping by !!

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    2. haha ! anyways keep the curiosity on !

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  16. Such a refreshing post...beautiful narration! Tawang is on my list, too...but I am scared of the 'bomi' factor :)

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    1. Thanks Sangeeta :) so glad U enjoyed the post. Well, you must visit Tawang and why to scare about the 'bomi' thing? After one or two times it would be fine :) Thanks a lot for visiting out here !!

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  17. North-east India is full of surprises ..amazing scenic beauty and simple , friendly people..

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    1. Yes, Maniparna. some of India's most exotic places are there in NE. People are usually very friendly, unless politically motivated :)

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  18. North-east is paradise indeed...and this surprise proves it again

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    1. Hehe Namrota :) I was sure many people would be surprised by Tawang. I too was surprised years back :) Thanks a lot for dropping by !!

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  19. http://9shonalimukherji9.blogspot.in/

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    1. Had a look, U got an amazing blog Sonali :)

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  20. HOW THE HELL DO I NOT KNOW OF SUCH PLACES IN MY OWN COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This is sooo amazing!

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    1. Hehe.. that is so normal. I had the same reaction years back :) But now that you already know, better plan it soon :) Thanks for dropping by !!

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  21. Each and every inch of India is incredible! Wonderful post! Best wishes for the contest!

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    1. Yes Sindhu, incredible India. In fact, the entire world is so incredible :) Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for your wishes and for dropping by as well !!

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  22. Very well detailed post with all the beautiful pictures that get you hooked to the place instantly. All the best for the contest.

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    1. Thanks Jayanta :) Glad you enjoyed the post and got hooked to it. Thanks a lot for dropping by and also for you good wishes !!

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  23. Stunning captures... I have been till bhalukpong but not beyond that. Loved your travelogue... Must have felt awesome to have.relished such amazing.beauty.

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    1. Bhalukpong is very nice, many picnic spots out there. Next time try to go a little further :) Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks a lot for visiting out here Rajlakshmi !!

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  24. Replies
    1. Thanks Deepa :) Glad U enjoyed the post and thanks a lot for visiting out here !!

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  25. Replies
    1. Hehe Aparna, collected Tawang pictures from google images :) Thanks for dropping by !!

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  26. wow!!! my travel bucket list is growing by the day! Awesome pics and nice post...

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    1. Hehe vaisakhi, you should visit Tawang, it truly a heaven. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks a lot for visiting out here !!

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  27. its really a paradise on earth ! I really enjoy reading your blogs !, this time I almost jumped from my chair , hey where did you find my Sella lake picture :) ! ha ha then I realized its almost similsr :) :) ! sharing the flickr link !

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/spectrum_barnali/4542779673/in/photostream/

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    1. Hey! Barnali, glad to know you enjoy reading my blogs :) Well, I've taken or rather stolen the pictures from google images :) But the Sella lake picture doesn't look like yours. Even though, the location is similar, but the pictures are different. Just compare the clouds in both the photographs :) Thanks a lot for dropping by !!

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  28. ha ha ha ! don't worry I am not taking you to Prison :) :) ! I know its different !!! Tawang has Clear october sky and this beautiful sella lake, may get frozen in winter months !! best wishes for your travel . Keep writing !

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    1. Haha :) But I think winter will be more fun in Tawang. Thanks a lot for your wishes Barnali !!

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  29. Beautiful place its true fairytale. Thanks a lot for sharing such a nice post, I will go there very soon. Keep writing :)

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    1. Thanks Shilpa, glad you enjoyed the post. Tawang is really fascinating and nice to know that you will be visiting it soon. Thanks a lot for dropping by !!

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