Tawang is a town located in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh in India. It is situated at an elevation of approximately 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) in the eastern Himalayas. Tawang is renowned for its scenic beauty, pristine landscapes, and rich cultural heritage.
The town is primarily known for its famous Buddhist monastery, Tawang Monastery, which is one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in the world outside of Tibet. The monastery was founded in the 17th century and is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
Things To Do in Tawang
When visiting Tawang, here are some of the things you can do to make the most of your trip :
Explore Tawang Monastery : Visit the iconic Tawang Monastery, also known as Galden Namgyal Lhatse, and witness its grandeur. Explore the various temples, prayer halls, and the impressive 18-foot high golden Buddha statue.
Visit Urgelling Monastery : Pay a visit to Urgelling Monastery, the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso. This monastery holds historical significance and is a peaceful place for meditation and reflection.
Enjoy the Scenic Beauty : Take in the breathtaking landscapes of Tawang. Explore the lush green valleys, cascading waterfalls, serene lakes like Pangong Tso and Madhuri Lake, and the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas.
Trek to Bum La Pass : Embark on a trek to Bum La Pass, located at an altitude of 15,200 feet. It offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and serves as a border between India and China.
Visit Jaswant Garh : Pay homage to the Indian soldier, Jaswant Singh Rawat, at Jaswant Garh. It is a memorial dedicated to his bravery during the Indo-China war and is located about 25 kilometers from Tawang.
Explore the Craft Center : Visit the Craft Center to witness the traditional arts and crafts of the region. You can find beautifully crafted items like thangkas (Buddhist paintings), wooden masks, handwoven carpets, and more.
Attend Festivals : If your visit coincides with the festivals of Tawang, such as Losar (Tibetan New Year) or Torgya Festival, make sure to participate and experience the vibrant cultural celebrations, including dance performances, music, and traditional rituals.
Try Local Cuisine : Indulge in the local cuisine. Sample traditional dishes like momos (steamed dumplings), thukpa (noodle soup), and butter tea. Don’t forget to savor the local dairy products like yak cheese and butter.
Engage in Adventure Activities : This Hill Station offers opportunities for adventure enthusiasts. Go trekking, camping, or hiking in the surrounding mountains. You can also indulge in angling or fishing in the rivers and lakes.
Interact with the Locals : Engage with the warm and friendly locals of Tawang to learn about their culture, traditions, and way of life. They can provide valuable insights and enrich your overall experience.
Remember to check the local weather conditions and obtain the necessary permits before planning your activities in Tawang.
How to reach Tawang
Reaching Tawang can be an adventurous journey due to its remote location in the eastern Himalayas. Here are the common routes to reach :
By Air : The nearest airport to Tawang is Tezpur Airport in Assam, located about 317 kilometers away. From Tezpur, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to Tawang. The journey takes approximately 8-10 hours, depending on road conditions.
By Road :
From Guwahati : Guwahati, the capital city of Assam, is well-connected by air, rail, and road. From Guwahati, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Tawang. The journey takes around 10-12 hours and covers a distance of approximately 520 kilometers.
From Tezpur : Tezpur, a town in Assam, is another starting point to reach Tawang. From Tezpur, you can hire a taxi or take a shared cab to Tawang. The journey takes around 8-10 hours, covering a distance of approximately 317 kilometers.
It’s important to note that the road journey to Tawang involves traveling through steep and winding mountainous terrain. The roads can be challenging, so it is advisable to hire an experienced local driver or opt for shared cabs that are accustomed to these routes.
By Rail : The nearest railway station to Tawang is Tezpur Railway Station, which is well-connected to major cities in India. From Tezpur, you can proceed by road as mentioned above.
Please note that traveling to Tawang requires obtaining special permits due to its proximity to the border area. Indian tourists need to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP), while foreign tourists require a Protected Area Permit (PAP). These permits can be obtained from the Arunachal Pradesh government offices or online portals before your journey.
It is advisable to check the current road and weather conditions before planning your trip to Tawang, as certain sections of the road may be temporarily closed or affected during adverse weather conditions, particularly in winter.
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