Our Tawang Tour

When David handed me plane tickets after I came home from office on day, I was thrilled to discover that my hubby was taking me all the way to Arunachal Pradesh, far east of India, on a leisurely vacation, amidst the beauty of nature. David had already talked to easternparadise.com, people who provide hill station tour packages, and as the D-Day dawned, we packed our bags and flew out of LA, landed in New Delhi, and boarded another flight which took us to Guwahati in Assam. Memories of that trip to Bomdila via Guwahati and the subsequent Tawang tour are something I would carry with me forever.

We reached Bomdila in Arunachal by a private car early morning. Bomdila is home to several tribes. It is a small town that is covered in nature’s pristine gifts. En route from Guwahati to Bomdila, we stopped at Bhalukpong, a spot of scenic beauty on the Assam-Arunachal border, where we halted for sometime and treated our eyes to the majesty of nature. As I came to know later, most hill station tour packages incorporate this place into the itinerary.
5 kms ahead was the orchidarium called Tipi. For any botanist, it would be paradise: so many exotic flora at one place! I was so thrilled about the rest of the town and the oncoming Tawang tour.

At Bomdila, the craft center was amazing: they sold beautiful local dresses, masks, carpets, knives and other stuff. I ended up buying many ethnic products. We visited two monasteries and for the first time, I got a feel of the Buddhist culture. We visited an apple orchard too. In that cold, my cheeks were as red as those delicious apples! The places that I enjoyed most though, was the View Point which gave me the a view of the entire West Kameng Valley, of the two highest state peaks- Kangto and Gorichen, and clouds and hills and waterfall from the top of the point.

The Tawang tour started from Bomdila and we were at our destination in 5 hours. On the way we stopped at Sela Pass, and crossed the beautiful Paradise Lake on the way. The pass is supposed to be one of the world’s highest, at about 14000 feet, but more importantly, it was a breathtaking sight amidst snow clad hills and the towering Himalayas. We met few other people from the US there, all of who had also subscribed to hill station tour packages. Everyone seemed to be as happy and peaceful as I was in that lap of nature.

The town itself had some tourist spots to boast of. There was a craft center here too, quite similar to the one in Bomdila, and David had to spend yet more on similar stuff! One of the favorite spots here is the Tawang Monastery, also called the Golden Namgyal Lhatse. This largest monastery in Asia is believed to be 400 years and is an important destination in Mahayan Buddhism. Another was the Urgyelling monastery, which is the birthplace of Thangyang Gyatso, the sixth Dalai Lama.
We also visited the War Memorial, which was built as a tribute to the martyrs of the 1962 Sino-India War. Known as Namgyal Chorten, it is abode to more than 2400 dead soldiers, whose names have been etched in gold on several plaques inside the structure.
We spent the last few hours there at the Sangetsar Lake, which, on top of having a picturesque landscape, houses rare avi-fauna too.

The Tawang tour, overall, touched my heart.

Thanks to such hill station tour packages that make everything so easier for people like us, by managing everything themselves. David and me spent four days in Arunachal, away from the noise and pollutions of our homes, and Bomdila, and the Tawang tour, refreshed us for a long time and in some small way, brought peace and happiness to our lives.