The year was 2007 and I was told I had to travel to Tawang. I had never heard of this name before..I was told it was in Arunachal Pradesh, about 500 Kms from Assam, by road. Reluctantly, I boarded the taxi to Tawang, but when I reached there, it was a life-changing experience.
About the place:
Situated at a height of 7000+ ft, Tawang is a small town at the very end of Arunachal Pradesh. Precisely 392 Kms from Tezpur, Assam, this small town is not known to many, except for the people of North East India, who are familiar with the region, but, for the rest of India, its only a name heard, and often not traveled..For me, it was a surprise awaiting to be unfolded..And it still remains one of the best places I have ever traveled..And I would love to travel over and over again..
There are regular taxi services from Tezpur up to Tawang. The nearest railway station to Tezpur is Guwahati, One can utilize the bus or taxi services running from Guwahati to Tezpur, 180 Kms apart. From Tezpur, Tawang is a full day journey by road. The taxis and buses can be found at Mission Chariali (Square) in Tezpur.
The best time to travel is in Summers, as this place experiences rainfall for the major part of the year..If you are not scared of the winters and looking for some festivities, the other good time to visit is October, when the entire town prepares for the Tawang Festival..
The entry into Arunachal Pradesh is at the ‘Sela Pass’, at an altitude of 14000+ feet. As I entered through the gate, I was welcomed by this majestic view in front of me. After traveling for almost 150 Kms straight, I was feeling tired, but this view was refreshing.The air had a feeling of tranquility and calm, as the clouds move over the mighty hills.There were hills all around as far as I could see and there was no measure of the vastness of nature..
Places to See:
Take a halt on the way ahead of Sela Pass, approximately 10 Kms. and pay homage to the martyrs who laid down their lives in the service of the nation. Jaswantgarh, is a salute to Jaswant Singh, who sacrificed his life during the Sino-Indian Conflict in 1962.
Hold your breaths as you travel further down at Jung and take a moment to peek down through the valley, to witness the clouds at your feet.
3. Tawang (Nehru) Market:
Don’t get carried away by the size of the market. It may seem to you that the market ends in just 2 Kms of walk, but there is nothing that has been missed out. Actually, a very uptown market with a very high sense of taste and modernity. You can find almost everything here, gifts, souvenirs, electronics and computers, clothes and all that you can shop in a metro city. Still unbelievable..Well, it was the same for me too!! The market houses a bell at the corner of the street, which is constantly in motion.
4. Tawang Monastery:
The second largest in Asia, the Tawang monastery is a home to more than 700 monks and students and is the pride of the town. The monastery has a statue of ‘Lord Buddha’ towering approximately 30 feet. The statue has three balconies jutting out on the either side and the statue can be overlooked from either side standing over the balcony. Sitting in the lotus position, Lord Buddha is also seen to be holding a bowl at the center. The monks here believe that if you make a wish and toss a coin over the balcony and it falls straight into the bowl, your wish comes true. I tried a few times, well..it was too far off for a wish to make..
It also has a small museum with manuscripts and scriptures in Pali language.The best part is the craftsmanship of the monks as they make intricate decorations with wax and colors inside the temple.
5. Sangetsar Lake:
Also called the Madhuri lake, it draws its name from ‘Madhuri Dikshit’ for one of her movies been shot here.The crystal clear water, the groves jutting out of the water are all natural and attracts tourists from all over India.An ideal place to spend a tranquil time with your beloved.
6. PT Tso Lake:
The Penga Teng Tso lake or the PT Tso lake is another major attraction of Tawang. This lake and several such lakes around these mountains are actually natural water reservoirs holding water for the springs on the top. While you start traveling up from the foothills, the springs pour down the waters from such reservoirs, only by the time that you reach up, you will realize where the source of water actually is..Of course, if you are observant enough!!!! In winters, PT Tso lake freezes into a shiny glass floor to allow people for ice skating. So, if you are looking for ice-skating fun, you know where to point your compass to!!!
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