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An Unexplored Paradise Tawang
Tawang is a town situated at an elevation of approximately 3,048 metres (10,000 ft) in the northwestern part of arunachal pradesh in india. The area is administered by the republic of india as a part of the north east state of arunachal pradesh and is claimed by people’s republic of china as a part of south tibet. Tawang is inhabited by the monpa people. From 500 bc to 600 ad a kingdom known as lhomon or monyul ruled the area. The monyul kingdom was later absorbed into the control of neighbouring bhutan and tibet. Tawang district occupies an area of 2,172 square kilometres (839 sq mil). The district is roughly located around latitude 27° 45’ n and longitude 90° 15’ e at the northwest extremity of south tibet. Elevations range between 6,000 to 22,000 feet (6,700 m), and inhabitants are found at lower altitude, where they enjoy a cool temperateclimate.
The district was carved out of the west kameng district, which adjoins it to the south and east. Bhutan borders tawang to the west whereas tibet is to the north of the district. The district occupies an area of 2,085 square kilometres and has a population of 38,924 (as of 2001), almost 75% of which are considered “tribal”, i.e. belonging to the nativemonpa, bhotia, adi, etc. The sensitivity of the border area brings tawang a heavy military presence. In winter, tawang frequently experiences heavy snowfall.
Tawang was historically part of Tibet. The 1914 Shimla Accord defined the Mc Mahon Line as the new boundary between British India and Tibet. By this treaty Tibet relinquished several hundred square miles of its territory, including Tawang, to the British, but it was not recognised by China. However, the British did not take possession of Tawang and Tibet continued to administer and collect taxes in Tawang. When the British botanist Frank Kingdon-Ward crossed the Sela Pass and entered Tawang in 1935 without permission from Tibet, he was briefly arrested. This drew the attention of the British, who reexamined the Indo-Tibetan border and rediscovered that Tibet had ceded Tawang to British India. Tibet did not repudiate the Simla Accord and the McMahon Line but refused to surrender Tawang, partly because of the importance attached to the Tawang Monastery. In 1938 the British made a cautious move to assert sovereignty over Tawang by sending a small military column under Capt. G.S. Lightfoot to Tawang.Arunachal Pradesh is also the largest state of Northeast with an area of 83,743 sq km. The state is inhabited by 26 major tribes and over 100 sub-tribes. The major tribes are Adi, Galo, Aka, Apatani, Nyishi, Tagins, Bori, Monpa, and Bokar.
Amazing Spots during the journey
Tawang is one of the most famous tourist destinations of Arunachal Pradesh. The towering hills, breathtaking landscapes, narrow roads, mesmerizing natural surroundings, waterfalls, monasteries, and surely the simplicity of the Monpa Tribe make Tawang one of the most beautiful places on the earth.
While going to Tawang from Guwahati we can see huge amount of natural beauty. After crossing the Nogaon bypass we can see a number of paddyfields full of greenery which can be said as the best place for photography. Before entering the Tezpur town you can see the historic Kolia Bhomora Setu (Bridge). This ia a pre stressed concrete road bridge over the mighty Brahmaputra river near Tezpur in Assam.It is named after the Ahom General Kolia Bhomora Phukan. This bridge connects Sonitpur on the north bank with Nagaon District on the south bank. The length of this bridge is 3015 meters. The construction of the bridge took place from 1981 to 1987. The most beautiful time to visit this bridge is during the sunset.
After crossing this bridge you will enter the beautiful Tezpur Town which is also known as the Cultural Capital of Assam. Tezpur is also known as the Most Clean City of Assam because of its clean and green view. Tezpur attracts every visitor who comes here with its beautiful parks, hillocks, Sceneries.
The name Tezpur is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘teza’ (meaning blood) and ‘pura’ (meaning town or city).
Bhalukpung is a small town located along the southern reaches of the Himalayas in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradeshin India. The town is located at 213m above sea level, 100 km from Bomdila, 52 km from Tezpur and 5 km from Tipi. Fish angling and river rafting are the principal tourist activities in Bhalukpung. Tourist attractions in Bhalukpung include the Pakhui Game Sanctuary and Tipi Orchidariurm, which hosts over 2600 cultivated orchids from 80 different species.
Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary (Nameri National Park)
Close to Sessa Orchid Sanctuary, you will find Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, which covers an area of 217 sq. kms.The sanctuary offers spectacular views with waterfalls flowing from lesser heights and Kameng River flowing through the lush greenery. The sanctuary is home to various birds like eagle, hornbill, kingfishers, ducks and pheasants. The animals found here include Bengal tiger, langur, Asian elephant, black bear, red panda and many more. Over 165 types of butterflies that are seen here add color to the colorful sanctuary. It is also famous for River Rafting.
Tipi Orchidarium lies on the banks of River Bharali in West Kameng district. Arunachal Pradesh boasts of having the largest orchid ranges in India and Tipi in this part of the world adds value to the claim. It has over 50000 orchid varieties including some rarest species. New hybrid varieties are created by the scientists in the orchid research center here. Orchid Glass House in the center has over 1000 orchids, out of which most are arranged in hanging baskets and pots. Since rafting and fishing facilities are also available here, Tipi Orchidarium remains in the top list of favorite tourist destinations in Bomdila.
On the way from Bhalukpong to Bomdila there is a Nag Mandir. If you want you can just enter and offer prayer .
Nagmandir is located at Singchung block under West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.During early sixties while the construction work between Bhalukpong – Tawang was in progress under project TUSKAR (later renamed as project Vartak), a couple of Nag (Cobras) were frequently seen on the spot and they used to go to the hill top drinking water (stagnated water collection was available on the hill top) and come down off and on. One day one of the man engaged on the road work killed the male Nag. After that it is told that bad times started for the group, the rocks and stone started falling down and as a result virtually the road work came to stop and it become a matter of concern, snakebites had become frequent probably due to the snakes disturbed by road building. The female nag was too furious and wandering here and there cursing the killer of the male Nag. To propitiate the aggrieved female nag the Nag Mandir was made at the location. The Mandir is administrated by the successor units in charge of the sector. Major K Ramaswamy, OC of 984 engineer works section (later reorganized as 91 RCC) established the temple in its present shape and formed in 1966. After that a large scale construction and renovation have been carried out every year by 91 RCC (GREF). The Mandir, since its inception, has earned wide range importance and serenity and has stood like a savior for all local population and the road users. On nagpanchami day, in every year a big pooja and mela is held and devotees from far off places visit the mandir and join in Bhandaras organizes by 91 RCC (GREF) on the occasion at site and greeting blessings from the Lord Nag Baba .
On the way to Tawang there is a very beautiful place named Bomdila. Bomdila is at 8000+ ft high above the sea level
The best spots to visit Bomdila
It was establishes in the year 1965 & it also represents the spiritual essence of Buddhism. It is situated very close to Tipti Orchit Reserch Center in West Kameng. This also attracts a large number of Pilgrims.
2.Apple Orchards– Bomdila is also famous for Apple Orchards. Apples are available at a very low cost.
3.Bomdila view point– Nature lovers will really love Bomdila view point, as the views are very Spectular. The highest point here offers breathtaking views of the landscape around including Nechipu Pass. West Kameng Valley spreads out in front of your eyes when viewed from here.
4.R. R.Hill– R.R. Hill is another important tourist attraction beingBomdila’s highest point. Apart from the scenic landscape that is the specialty of Bomdila, you could also view the road that leads to Tawang and to Bhutan’s border.
5.Craft Centre And Ethnographic Musuem- Craft Center and Ethnographic Museum is precisely where you need to be if you want to experience the essence of the culture and lifestyle of Bomdila. Thehand woven carpets, traditional masks and wall hangings are uniquely designed. Carpets with dragon designs are very famous here. This is also the place from where you could buy craft items to take back with you as souvenirs.
Lying on a hill, Upper Gompa attracts tourist in great numbers, as it is a symbol of the traditions associated with Buddhism. It is also called asGentse Gaden Rabgyel Ling Monastery. A school to educate monk kids is in Upper Gompa. A temple of Buddha and a prayer hall are seen here. The wall hangings in the prayer hall are reflection of the culture.
Situated close to the main market in Bomdila, Middle Gompa is one amongst theoldest gompas. This Gompa is popular amongst healers as the Blue Medicine Buddha in the Gompa is focused by healers as they pray and meditate.
8.Lower Gompa– Lower Gompa is located at the center of Bomdila. The influence ofTibetan architecture is prominent in Lower Gompa. Lower Gompa has a huge sized prayer hall. Followers of Buddhist philosophy do not miss visiting the place as they consider it sacred.
Dirang is a very beautiful village located in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. This place is very popular for Trekking & Hiking.
Dirang Valley is a stunningly picturesque valley that lies between Bomdila and Tawang. Dirang, the town situated in the valley has a pleasant weather that makes for a comfortable stay. The views from Dirang are mind blowing. If you love trekking, you would love the high peaks in Dirang irresistible. Dirang is also famous for hot water springs and apple orchards that enhance the natural beauty of the place. Bird watchers and trekkers use Dirang as their base camp before venturing towards Mandla. Dirang valley is also famous for medicinal plants that are found in plenty here.
The places to visit in Dirang
1.Kalchakra and Ngingmapa Monastery
2.Yak Research Center.
4.Kiwi / Apple orchards.
After that we reach Sela Pass. It is a high altitude mountain pass located in Tawang Disrict. This place is snowed in most of the year and offers excellent and heavenly views all year round. During winter season the temperature goes down upto 10 degrees. It is the main route to access Tawang.
Sela Pass is named after a local girl Sela. She loved a soldier of Indian Army named Jaswant Singh. She loved him against her father’s wish. During the India-China war he fought single-handedly against the Chinese Army for three days by fooling them while Sela brought him ammunations and food for him from the camp. The story says that Jaswant positioned himself on a hill top in a long trench and placed rifles to give an impression that the entire army was behind him. Finally he was betrayed by Sela’s father and was captured and beheaded by the Chinese. Sela in agony committed suicide by jumping from a hillock. A brass bust of Jaswant is kept in Jaswant Garh, also the site of the battle. Sela has a pass at 13,700 feet named after her.
Jaswantgarh :- Jaswantgarh War Memorial is located at Nuranang , which is 25 kms away from Tawang. This war memorial, set in scenic terrain just below the Sela pass signifies the bravery of the martyred Indian Soldiers of the 1962 India-China war. This war memorial stands in memory of rifle-man Jaswant Singh Rawat, Mahavir Chakra Awardee (Posthumous) of the 4th Battalion of Garhwal Rifles Infantry Regiment. Jaswant showed his valor by fighting and holding the invading Chinese back for 72 hours all alone during the 1962 India-China war and remained at his post at an altitude of about 10,000 feet before succumbing to an enemy bullet during that bloody winter war. The post that he held to repulse the Chinese troops has been renamed Jaswant Garh in recognition of his valor and sacrifice. This temple-like Jaswantgarh memorial has a garlanded bronze bust of Jaswant Singh, a portrait of the war hero and his belongings including the Army uniform, cap, watch and belt. The Garhwal Rifles are today deployed on India’s western borders, but the unit makes it a point to keep at least half a dozen personnel here to take care of Rawat as if he were alive. He is served bed tea at 4:30 am, breakfast at 9 am and dinner at 7 pm. Five Army soldiers are at his service round the clock. There are no chores to be done. Life couldn’t be more comfortable for ‘Baba’ Jaswant Singh Rawat, but for the fact that he is no more. These soldiers not only serve Baba. They render yeoman service for travelers along the hazardous portion of mountain terrain. Besides coming to rescue of travelers in trouble, they run a snack store where they serve tea, coffee and delicious samosas and pakoras to refresh the tired tourists, charging a nominal price that goes to upkeep of the war memorial. It is quite a special moment to encounter such a heroic saga of someone who has made the supreme sacrifice to protect our motherland.
The journey continues. After that we will reach Nuranang Falls (also known as Bong Bong Falls & Jang Waterfalls). It is one of the most spectular waterfalls but unknown to many travellers. It is two kilometers away from the town of Jang on the road connecting Tawang and Bomdila. There is a small hydel plant located near the base which generates electricity for the local use.
The Nuranang river orginates from the Northern slopes of the Sela Pass. According to a popular myth, Nuranang river and Nuranang falls are named after a local Monpa girl named Nura who had helped a soldier, Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, Maha Vir Chakra(posthumous) in the 1962 Sino-Indian War and was later captured by the Chinese forces. The actual circumstances of Jaswant’s heroism are more prosaic and no woman finds a place there. It is possible that the name Nuranang was bestowed well before 1962. And we suggest all our valuable travellers to have a glimpse of the beautiful Nuranang Falls. You can just click the links below and have a view of the beautiful Nuranang Falls
The journey continues and after that you will reach your destination i.e. Tawang .
Tawang is one of the most smallest district of Arunachal Pradesh. It is historically a part of Tibet as claimed by the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China. Tawang occupies an area of 2,172 sq kms. The district was carved out of the West Kameng district, which adjoins it to the south and east. Bhutan borders Tawang to the west whereas Tibet is to the north of the district. The district occupies an area of 2,085 square kilometres and has a population of 38,924 (as of 2001), almost 75% of which are considered “tribal”, i.e. belonging to the nativeMonpa, Bhotia, Adi, etc. The sensitivity of the border area brings Tawang a heavy military presence. In winter, Tawang frequently experiences heavy snowfall.
Tawang Tourism is an interesting outdoor deal for hikers and trekking enthusiasts coming from different parts of the world. Situated at an altitude of 12,000 ft. beyond the sea level, the traveling experience to Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh, India may seem little tiring to you. The place is very adventurous and normally looks like a hill station and delicately shares borders with Tibet and China. Further, its assorted high altitude lakes hold you back to move ahead, but the natural enigma attached to the overall beauty of Tawang is so boosting that you actually feel like challenging your zeal and discover it at least once. However, the district was a centre of Tantric religion before emerged as a Buddhist Monastery 400 years old established by the Monk Mera Lama, and is one of the biggest in India. Alternatively, known as the ‘Galden Namgyal Lhatse’, the Tawang Monastery is blessed with interesting displays. Such as Thangkas (Tibetan painting on cloth) and a mammoth size gaudy figurine of Sakyamuni (the historical Buddha) in the prayer hall. Further, there are over 100 lakes, waterfalls, deep valleys and mountains to cast a spell on you. Where the west of the Tawang when stretches over the horizon seems like a large prepared fire south on the end exposes the Tawanchu river engraving a deep chasm as it rages by. The snow covered peaks point towards the east and the craggy cliffs advances towards the north. The best time to visit Tawang is from April to October and is immaculate to discover some of the treasured manuscripts penned in gold. It is indisputably a serene and isolated retreat where over 500 monks meditate and advance Buddha teachings.
The places to visit Tawang are
1. Tawang Monestry
The second largest monastery in Asia and the largest in India is the Tawang Monastery. It was established by Mera Lama Lodre Gyasto during the 17th century. It is situated amidst picturesque landscape. Followers of Buddhism attach high importance to Tawang Monastery, as it is a centre where young Buddhist monks learn about the essence of Buddhist culture. The amazing collection of manuscripts, books and other artifacts in the monastery increases its value multifold.
2.Tawang War Memorial
The Tawang War Memorial was built in memory of soldiers of the Indian Army who gave up their life in the 1962 Indo-Sino War. This is a fitting memorial for the greatest sacrifice anyone can offer. Located on a slope just before reaching the main town, the Tawang War Memorial is open to the public. The 40 ft structure was built by the Indian Army; Rs.15 lakhs were spent on constructing it. This stupa like structure was blessed by the Dalai Lama in 1997 and is called Namgyal Chortan by the locals. Led up by few steps, and surrounding the structure are walls of black granite. The names of the 2420 soldiers who laid down their lives in the Kameng sector during the 1964 war are inscribed on this granite plates. The memorial is surrounded by two rooms on each side; one room houses artifacts, maps, photographs and remains of the war and the other room is used for a sound and light show depicting the heroic deeds of the slain soldiers. The sound and light show room was usually closed, but the museum displays items used by the army during war, such as gun, bullets, helmet, mugs, pots etc. One can also learn more about the war from the newspaper clippings and maps marked with positions of both armies.
This one of the most delighted spot for photographers. The lake picturizes the beautiful Snow-Capped mountains. It came to limelight when a song from the movie Koyla featuring Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit, Tanhai Tanhai Tanhai was shot here in 1997. It was the first shot from the state shown in a Bollywood movie. And the local people named it as Madhuri Lake,
4.Urgelling Monestry (Birth Place of 6th Dalai Lama)
Cangyang Gyamco was the sixth Dalai Lama. He was a Monpa by ethnicity and was born at Urgelling Monastery. He had grown up a youth of high intelligence, liberal to a fault, fond of pleasure, alcohol and women,[ and later led a playboy lifestyle. He disappeared near Qinghai, probably murdered, on his way to Beijing in 1706. The 6th Dalai Lama composed poems and songs that are not only still immensely popular in modern-day Tibet but have also gained significant popularity all across China. The popular image of the Sixth Dalai Lama is of a poet and libertine, fond of alcohol and of the brothels in the village of Shol (shol) to the south of the Potala. Poems ascribed to him were collected into two texts, of which the shorter (tshangs dbyangs rgya mtsho’i mgu glu) has been frequently translated into English. Both this text and the longer text (tshangs dbyangs rgya mtsho’i gsung mgur) consist of brief popular lyrics (gzhas) on the themes of love, the natural world and spiritual life. There is, however, no firm evidence for the ascription of these poems to Tsangyang Gyatso. This is really a very amazing place and everyone can visit this place for peace of mind.
Gyangong Ani Gompa, perched on the top of a beautiful hillock is nunnery, is located at a distance of around 5 kilometre in the north of Tawang. Being home to about 50 Buddhist nuns, it was found by Mera Lam Lodre Gyamtso. This nunnery was subsequently offered to Mera Lam Lodre Gyamsto by his elder sister.
6.Gaint Buddha Statue
The gaint statue of Buddha is visible from almost every corner of Tawang. Its unique structure is really very amazing. The view of Tawang os very wounderful from here.
7.Changbu Sacred Grove
This is a small forest , unknown to many travellers. It is located in Tawang only. It is maintained by the Tawang Forest Devision. The species found in this forest are Rhododendron (Rose Tree), Rubia Cordifolia (Common madder or Indian madder), Daphne Papyracea (scented flowers & posinious berries), Pnax psuedoginseng (a medicinal plant used for preparing important medicines, energy drinks etc.) Paris Polyphylla (a herbal plant).
It is constructed newly. It was inaugurated last year for the tourists. It covers Tawang Monastery to Ani Gompa.Aproxmatly 1 km length . Charges are Rs. 300 per person both up & down. To travel in ropeway there should be minimum six persons. Time limit is one hour.
9.Pangateng Tso Lake
This lake is located on the way to Boomla & Madhuri Lake. This lake is fully covered by snow and the view is really very amazing. The local people consider Pangateng Tso very holy Lake .