Day 1 - 7 Oct 2018
Content: Arunachal Pradesh, the north-eastern part of India attracted us with its beauty and nature. We travelled across the most famous attraction of the state. Without any doubt, we could say the entire state was the hidden gem of India. The state was filled with unexplored passes, mountains, striking monasteries, serene lakes, and many more. The climate and beauty of Arunachal Pradesh are inviting travellers throughout the year. Every season has got its own uniqueness to attract the tourists. We took a flight from our hometown to Guwahati. Landing in Guwahati is a better option, a well-connected airport. We rented a car for the entire trip actually, it was a very expensive mode of transport. But the only practical option in the state. We got a friendly and knowledgeable person for our entire trip.
Day 1 - 7 Oct 2018
Content: From Guwahati driver drove us to our accommodation at Bhalukpong. He said that Bhalukpong is the entrance to the western part of the state. The travel towards the city was very scenic and beautiful. It was well connected with other cities in the state. On the way to Bomdila, it is better to spend one night in Bhalukpong. We checked in to Hotel Seagull which offered a comfortable and clean stay. The rooms are enough in space and amenities. Bhalukpong was located at the foothills of Himalayan Mountains so that the accommodation offered beautiful scenic stay.
Day 2 - 8 Oct 2018
Content: We checked out from the hotel and headed to next city. One most important thing that we should do before headed towards the state was getting a permit. Protected Area Permit (PAP) and Inner Line Permit (ILP) are two kinds of which as an Indian nationalist we took ILP. Next day morning after breakfast we headed towards Nameri National Park. It was one of the most visited places in the North-East part of India. There is no jeep safari in the jungle, so the only way to explore was to walk. The natural narrow trail through the jungle offered the best way to experience its wilderness. We walked to spot many hidden birds and animals. We went walking to the river Jia- Bhoroli, it was a very delight to walk through the pebbled pathway. We roamed around the park to see small temples and streams that added its charm. We could see colourful butterflies and small birds on the way. We enjoyed the excursion around the jungle by capturing sceneries on our cameras.
Content: We had lunch and headed to the next destination, Tippi Village. Tippi Orchid Research Centre is the popular attraction which is located on the west bank of Kameng River. The spot was popular because of the presence of a large number of species of orchids. We could see many exotic collections of orchids. The glass building displayed many varieties of orchids in pots, hanging baskets etc. We spend some time to explore the beauty of plants and headed towards Bomdilla.
Day 2 - 8 Oct 2018
Content: Our driver drove towards Bomdila popular among Indians and foreigners. The presence of the India and China border made it the most striking point in the state. It is better to spend two or three days in the city before heading towards Tawang. Tall mountains and colourful Buddist flags made the road bright and scenic. The climate was cool and pleasant. The tiny town of Bomdila is dotted with many hotels. Homestays are also available at a very reasonable rate. We checked into Hotel Elysium Bomdila which is located at the heart of the city. The staffs welcomed us heartily and offered a spacious room with mountain views. The wooden flooring made the room a classy look. The room equipped with television, sitting area, bottled drinking water, and wardrobe. The bathroom was clean and neat with hot and cold running water. The housekeeping was excellent.
Day 3 - 9 Oct 2018
Content: We had Maggi from a roadside Dhaba. They prepared lively hot Maggi with vegetables. We could find roadside many dhaba on the way. The bread pakora was another option to try.
Content: We headed Bomdila Monastery, one of the popular sights in the city. It is also known as the GRL Monastery or the Gentse Gaden Rabgyal. We could find many tourists here. It comprises of 3 different gompas called as Upper Gompa, Middle Gompa and Lower Gompa. We took a staircase to climb the steep hill where Upper Gompa was located. It is the main monastery, most important as it served as an educational site for new monks. We saw many monks who were busy in some preparations. Some making cloths and some were engaged in paintings. The complex was very beautiful in its architectural style. The complex constitutes a prayer hall, private complexes, a garden, and a school for monks. There is a room for various mandalas and wax paintings nice to see and learn various facets of Buddhism. There is a helipad located just in front of the complex. The middle Gompa is more special because it is one of the oldest parts that houses Blue Medicine Buddha.
Content: We had lunch from a local shop, which served local vegan and vegetarian foods. We had Churpi Sabzi, a kind of rice noddles with mushroom and beans. It was very easy to find momos, noodles, fried rice and North Indian food at many places along the streets.
Content: Then our driver took us to the lower gompa. It was a small site located just near to the Craft Center and Ethnographic Museum. The most striking feature of the place was the prayer hall. It was a very peaceful place filled with spiritual vibes.
Content: We visited Craft Center and Ethnographic Museum, located very close to the Lower Gompa. We could see many types of Monpa dresses and carpets. They produce many handicraft products includes wall hangings, decorative pieces and wooden artefacts. The major attractive point was we could buy souvenirs directly from the artists. We met a local lady who helped us to dress like a Monpa. It was very fascinating to dress like local people and posing against the backdrop of Bomdila Monastery. By late evening returned to our room.
Day 4 - 10 Oct 2018
Content: After breakfast, we started our day as early as possible. We headed to explore the city more by visiting the most historical landmark. Bomdila War memorial was dedicated to courageous Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the safety of the country and its people. We took a small trail to see the bird’s eye view of the town.
Content: After lunch, we headed to visit local markets. Wandering around the market was a very good experience. It was the best way to learn about the lifestyle and culture of the people.
Content: We had dinner from a Dhaba. We had thukpa and momos, which was hot and spicy.
Day 5 - 11 Oct 2018
Content: We checked out from the hotel and headed to the next destination. The hotel staffs were very polite. Their service was excellent.
Content: We drove towards Tawang via Dirang. En route, we visited some major sites. We left the lush green valley of Dirang and drove through a steep road. While driving towards Tawang, we saw a gate known as "Welcome to Tawang". It was located on the border between Tawang and West Kameng District. Once we crossed the gate we saw a huge waterbody, Sela Lake. We stopped there for a while to enjoy the beauty. Our drive said that the best time to visit the lake is the months of winter.
Content: Next, we stopped at Jung Fall also known as Nuranang Falls. Before that a notable point, we passed through was a Jaswantgarh memorial. It is a memorial to the brave soldier who singlehandedly tried to stop the Chinese soldiers. Our driver parked the car under the shade of a tree and led us through a series of steep steps to the falls. The walk through the rocks was quite challenging. Jung Fall was not well known, the driver said that it was a least visited place. But it was very beautiful falls, it attracted our eyes with its milky white water. Once we reached the point the sound and splashes of water welcomed us. A spectacular view of milky water from a height forms river. He said the flow of water depends on the season.
Day 5 - 11 Oct 2018
Content: We reached Tawang by evening. We had hot tea from a roadside shop and headed to our accommodation. Our driver said that we were close to the borders of Tibet and Bhutan since Tawang was located at the northern end of the state. We saw a Gaint Buddha Statue meditating at the top of Tawang. Of course, it can be viewed from any part of the town. The mountain valleys were covered with colourful flags. The beautiful hills were dotted with Buddhist monasteries. To feel the history of the monasteries was the main reason for travellers to visit the town. It was an excellent plan to take a long road trip to touch this dramatic city by connecting Bhalukpong, Dirang, and Bomdila on the way.
Content: We checked into our hotel, Gayki Khang Zhang. There are many options to stay in Tawang. There are some government-run accommodations which were not too costly. We checked into a private property which has the best view of the big monastery in town. They offered comfy beds and a comfortable stay.
Content: We stepped out of the hotel to explore the night. We had dinner from Dragon Restaurant which was located at a walk able distance. The food was average and the price was unexpected. It was a small restaurant but the price was a little high.
Day 6 - 12 Oct 2018
Content: After breakfast, we headed to explore the city. We started by visiting the giant Buddha statue. The picturesque valley dotted with colourful flags made the place amazing. It was located on the top of the hill with the backdrop of mountains. Then we took a short walk towards monastery.
Content: We reached Tawang Monestry, a colourful gate structure called the Kakaling welcomed us. It is a three-storied complex constituted with an assembly hall, private quarters, and other buildings and structures. We met a monk who explained everything around the complex. He said that the main temple is known as Dukhang. It houses an 18 feet statue of Buddha. We saw a beautiful statue of Buddha in lotus position along with a silver casket right beside the statue. Then he explained about the Palden's thangka which was drawn from the blood coming out of the 5th Dalai Lama's nose. He took us to a library in the complex where many ancient scriptures and books were displayed. The monestry lawn was filled with natural beauty. There is a prayer hall where we lit a lamp fill with yak butter. The most attractive part of the building was beautiful falls that tell the stories.
Content: Then we moved to the next destination, another monastery located nearby. It is said to be the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama. It was another least visited place but we felt it as a hidden gem. The paintings of Dalai Lama and foot and head imprints in stone made the building amazing.
Content: After lunch from a roadside stall, we headed towards Tawang War Memorial. It was famous for the light show. It is dedicated to Indian soldiers who lost their lives during the war. There were two shows one starts at 6 pm (first show) and 7 pm (second and last show). It is better to reach 3 hours to collect tickets. It was the best place to witness a view of the breath-taking sunset. The sky went pink, and orange and then deep coral red this change in sky attracted our eyes.
Day 7 - 13 Oct 2018
Content: We had a very light breakfast and purchased some snacks. Along with water bottles, we packed snacks and energy bar to start our day. We dedicated this day for a trip to Bumla pass.
Content: The road towards Bum La Pass was tremendous. We drove directly towards the India-China border, also touted as the Maitreestall, the friendship zone. Taktsang Gompa was located among the dense forest. We stopped at a Y junction, turn towards the Sangetsar Lake. From Sangetsar Lake, trek for another 15 minutes to reach Taktsang Gompa.
Content: We walked towards Bum La Pass. The pathway was most beautiful with scenery. The ice-cold wind hit us as soon as we got out of the car. It is the most scenic Indo-China border. We could see Indian Armed forces standing in the border to guard our nation. They were dressed in heavy boots and woollen, stood at the Maitristall. We spend some time to take pictures.
Content: On the way back we stopped at Madhuri Lake also known as Sangetsar Lake. We fell in love with the beauty of the lake.
Content: Then we stopped at PTSO Lake, a beautiful lake. It is considered as the hidden paradise with splendid beauty. The calm moving water with a pleasant climate fulfilled our day. The lake is well maintained by the Indian Army. Definitely the best place for photography.
Day 8 - 14 Oct 2018
Content: We packed our things and headed to Guwahati. The hotel staffs were very kind. The last day we decided to take a different route unfortunately due to weather we took Bomdila as halt.
Content: As soon as we reached the town checked in to a hotel. We spend the rest of the time in the hotel. By late evening we headed to explore the town on foot. Next day we travelled back to Guwahati from where we boarded our flight back to hometown. We travelled for about 8 hours to reach Guwahati. The downward hill drive to Guwahati is a rather melancholic experience.