ChaloHoppo with a backpack to Tawang
Embark on a journey through winding roads that once was a bloody battlefield to ultimately reach a monastery where you experience absolute calm. The beautiful valleys that precede the mountain town quietly invite you to stay a little longer. Don’t book your return tickets yet!
Reviews 0 Reviews0/5
Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
Group Size Medium Group
Tawang is truly mesmerising. With frozen lakes, snow capped peaks and the second largest monastery in the world to boast about. But the experience of Tawang is accentuated by the journey that leads you to it. Stop and admire the valleys towns of Sangti and Dirang, live in homestays and be at the receiving end of Monpa hospitality before you drive higher to listen to the tales of the brave men in camouflage. Everything about the road to Tawang is heartwarming as long as you are prepared for the freezing temperatures.
Highlights of the tour:
- Morning chants at Bomdilla monastery
- Make momos with locals
- camp next to Kameng river
- Try the local brew of the Monpas
- Drive through one of the highest motor-able roads in the world
- Visit the historic bum la (pass) situated at 15,200 feet
- Experience Monpa homestay
A minimum of 3 backpackers need to be on board for the trip to go live.
- Stay in triple sharing or dormitories
- All permits, entries etc
- Internal travel during the trip
- English Speaking guide
- ChaloHoppo guy as a tour leader
- Excess stay & meals due to bad weather conditions or strikes, resulting in delay of flights or any other form of transport
- Soft drink charges, table drinks, bottled water, laundry, cigarettes, telephone expenses, beer and liquor charges
- Lunch and Dinner
- Any other item not mentioned in “Cost Includes” section above
- Your Personal Purchases
- Any insurances
Drive to the West Kameng District of Arunachal
Gather at Paltan Bazaar in Guwahati. Thereafter, proceed to your stay at Bhalukpong. This ‘dak-bungalow’ from the 1950’s overlooking the Jia Bhoroli river is a great halt before you start your climb to Arunachal Pradesh. Evening at leisure.
Makae Momos with a family in Sangti Valley
After an early breakfast, check out of the IB and make your way to the fabled Sangti Valley, the land of the migratory black necked cranes. Meet your host at the homestay while he helps you settle into your rooms in the village. Thereafter, the valley is yours to explore. Whether you choose to laze around by the river or walk around the beautiful valley, Sangti will not fail to impress. You could even borrow the hosts angling rod and try your hand at some fishing if you please. In the evening, sit with the locals while they teach you to make some of their traditional dishes which you may have heard of such as momos and thukpa. Sip on some of the local brew (aarak or mar chang) while you get to know your hosts better. Evening at leisure.
Camp by the Kameng River
Drive to Dirang town. Make your way to the hot water spring if you would like to take a dip and wash away some fatigue(carry towels and a change for the same). Visit the monastery to learn more about the beautiful culture of the Monpa people. Light a lamp in the prayer hall of the new monastery where His Holiness the Dalai Lama stayed during his visit in 2017. Visit the Dirang Dzong thereafter to see an 8th century Tibetan fort which still hosts people there. After exploring the town, return to Sangti valley for a picnic by the river. Try roasting some meat the local way unless you would rather fish in the river and cook what you catch. Some more rice beer can obviously be organised too! Set up your camp by the river before sunset. Once it gets dark, sit around a bonfire while dinner gets prepared. Crawl into your tents and fall asleep to the gurgling sound of the river.
Drive up one of the highest motorable roads in the world
Prepare to cross one of the highest motorable passes in the world – Sela pass. Stop for a cup of tea and some hot Maggi as you appreciate the magnificent beauty of the Sela lake. Shortly after, stop at the Jaswant Ghar, a war memorial dedicated to a hero, not known as well as he should have been. Learn more about the love story of Sela and Jaswant and how it affected the Sino-Indian war in 1962. Thereafter, make your way to the Monpa town of Tawang. Check into your guest house and attend the lights and sound show at 5:30 pm at the war memorial in Tawang. Evening at leisure.
Wake up early and leave your guesthouse after a hot cup of tea and a light breakfast. Head out and start the day lighting butter lamps in the Khinmey gompa. This monastery belongs to a different sect of Mahayana Buddhism which we you will know more about upon visiting it. Thereafter, make your way to the famous Jang falls. Relax there for a while and experience the grandeur of the waterfall. After spending some time there, proceed to Mukto basti, one of the older villages in the region where you get to see the art of traditional handmade paper making. Walk around the village and try some local food. After your walk, make your way back towards Tawang. On the way, visit Chaksam, a hanging bridge built in the 14th century connecting two banks over the Tawang chu. If the current permits, you may be able to dip your feet into the frozen river, if you dare to. Return to your guesthouse for a bonfire later. Evening at leisure.
Bum La, Sangetsar Tso and other high altitude lakes.
Start your day early as you go further up towards the Chinese territory. Bum La pass is an extremely significant military post. It was the same pass that was used by the Chinese to infiltrate India in 1962. The Commander at the post will run you through all the details before you make your way to Sangetsar Tso, a lake brought to fame by the movie Koyla. It is also commonly known as Madhuri Lake due to the very same reason. Lunch can be done at the army shop by the lake. After lunch, drive up to the Taksang Gonpa (15 minutes drive) where the great Master,Guru Padmasambhava had spent some time to meditate. As the legend goes, he was welcomed at the site by a tiger. You will be mesmerised by many other lakes during the course of this drive. Once done, return to Tawang for the night. A barbeque can be organised with the locals. Enjoy your camp fire and let the night end with some stories over the fire.
After breakfast, bid farewell to your hosts as you make your way back down again to Bomdila. Visit Urgyelling Monastery(birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama)on your way out. On arrival in Bomdila, check into the Doe-gu-khil guesthouse, run by the Bomdila monastery. You may visit the craft centre next to the lower gompa in the market area. Evening at leisure.
Drive back to Guwahati
In the morning drive down to Guwahati. On the way, you may visit Chilipam monastery if time permits. Reach Guwahati and bid farewell to the North East, but only to return some other time.
The perfect stay for a great experience of the Monastery. Go for an early morning walk for the chanting session and stay for as long as you want.
Tenzin Guest House –
A homely guesthouse, situated a few kilometers before you enter the Tawang market with a warm and welcoming host. The host is a teacher at the Tawang Monastery and has done a PhD in Buddhist Philosophy.
Letro Homestay –
A cozy homestay run by an extremely sweet couple, who ensure you have a very raw experience of the region. Nothing fancy, Nothing over the top.
IORA, Bhalukpong –
Adjacent to the river with a nice open space, makes for a great last night in the North East.
20 days prior to date of arrival: 75% refund
20 to 12 days prior to date of arrival: 50% refund
Less than 12 days prior to date of arrival: 25% refund
Less than 72Hrs prior to the time of arrival: 0% refund
The sources of such warnings should be checked and speaking from the perspective of locals living in the region(three of ChaloHoppo’s 4 member core team are from Tripura and Assam and the fourth one from Kerala) we can say that though some parts of Northeast India do have cases of groups clashing against government forces from time to time, it doesn’t affect a tourist as long as the route is chosen wisely and hours of commute are decided smartly, much like traveling in any other part of the world.
If you have seen warnings in the advisory pages of governments, then we want to remind you that governments will always take precaution and not be in sync with the real situation. Northeast India is absolutely safe with warm and welcoming locals. You should have no issues even going to the most interior places. As with any other tribal dominated region respect the local culture and don’t hurt their sentiments, and you will have a great time in a beautiful place.
Yes, Indians need an ILP or inner line permit which is a travel document issued by the Government of India for allowing access to protected areas of the Indian territory. We will be taking care of the documents in this trip.