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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tawang: The Hidden Paradise.

I planned to Tawang for my dreams to see Buddhist monasteries . The three musketeers (Gautam, Mriganka & Himanshu) were the travelers. We had finalized our tour itinerary for Arunachal after reading all tour reports on travel sites. We started from Bhubaneswar and reached Guwahati via Kolkata. Route to Tezpur from Guwahati was unexpectedly a plain grassland and took nearly 5 hours with state bus service. We got our permits done at Tezpur office only just before closing of the office. It seems sad to take Inner Line Permit to visit in our own country. But when we have draconian acts like AFSPA in North east India, this seems to be less of our all worries. This part of India is seeing a grave human rights violation and things will go messy in future due to our state actions today.

We took a 6 days tour package from Tezpur ASTC agent Miraz. The route from Tezpur to Tawang have patches of really bad road. Bhalukpong was the start of Arunachal Pradesh. There is a proposal of train line to Bhalukpong. 370 km route was covered in two days with a transit stay at Bomdilla. We traveled through West Kameng, home to the Sessa Orchid Wildlife Sanctuary but March was not the right season for their flowering. Tawang is a beautiful place. Local people talk about Koyla Movie shooting and 1959 escape of 14th Dalai lama to India. We were lucky to get permit to visit Bum-La Pass. The road to Bumpla Pass from Tawang is of strategic importance but badly constructed. I will assume that a certain level of corruption in this. We trekked nearly one and half km on the road to Bumla pass as our vehicle can't go due to fear of slipping on the road. It took really some effort to walk and enjoy beauty of Bumla pass situated at 15000 ft. Seeing a Madhuri lake on the return was a most calming thing on our nerves in the whole journey. We returned to Tezpur with one night stay at Derang.

Gautam and Mriganaka at Sela Pass
We @ Bum La Pass
Indian Army with Us
Madhuri lake View
Tawang Monastery
Sela Pass during snowfall

I had not talked much about tour itinerary, hotels and cuisines here. Momo and Thupka are really things to try out there. Chinese items were flooded in the market. So decide oneself what to purchase. We did learn about 1962 war through memorials of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat and Subedar Joginder Singh Sahnan. Nature lovers can enjoy Rhododendron and orchid sanctuary in their flowering seasons. This trip takes us through Fall, lakes, valleys, mountains and passes with all season of Rain, snow & sunshine coming together in six days.

There are ample opportunities to develop tourism here. There is a high unemployment rate while road construction, military contracts and tourism industry are only booming ones. Irom sharmila chanu and Mary Kom are well known and represent Manipur but there is no famous personality except Dorjee Khandu in my knowledge from Arunachal Pradesh. Our drivers(companions)told us about many problems faced by NE states. They were especially extortion and kidnapping by Bodo in Assam, insurgency in Nagaland & illegal migrants of Bangladesh. They even claim (not sure) of open for sale market of AK 47 and pistols at Dimpaur. Vulgar remark about the driver and army people on their need of women wherever they go left a bad taste in my mouth.

Ethnic people consist of Nepali, Garo, Bodo with Buddhism and Christianity as emerging religion. I learn that Buddhism have different sects and even more rituals than other religions. 'Om Mani Peme Hum' is the most widely used of all Buddhist mantras. It was again told to us that Christianity is having soothing effect on tribal people (not sure of this). Muslim -Tribal tension is really building here. It seems that a lot of money is pumped by central government but there is misuse of funds by local political leaders, military and bureaucracy. North-East region has sadly turned into one of the worst-hit conflict zones in Southeast Asia.

What I like was the whole society has given more liberty to women in every aspect than their northern or southern Indian counterparts. It is a shameful and racist act to use word Chinki for them. Continuous use of that word "chinki" represents ignorance, bigotry and deep rooted callousness even in our well educated class. Now can we start respecting NE people by not calling them Chinky? While Super Mom Magnificent Mary is making India proud more than any of us, its shame Northeast women are often stereotyped as "cheap" and "easy".

I need to read more about history of NE region. Any reader can suggest me a good book. That will be helpful.


  1. I suggest if you can add some photos of you three.

  2. Hi ....I am from Bangalore and planning to travel to there anyway i can apply for an inner line permit online ? we would be reaching Guwahati on 21st April 2014 (monday) Can i get it done the same day from Guwahati it a tedious process ? Please help me ...

    Vinayak NAmbiar

    1. It is easy to get work done in Tezpur rather than Guwahati. And it will be better to hire cab from Tezpur only. I reached Tezpur at 3 and got work of ILP done till 4:30 PM.

  3. Hi Yayaver,

    Can you tell me how this Tezpur ASTC agent Miraz charged you for 6 day trip




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