Tawang is a small town situated in the northwestern part of Arunachal Pradesh. It is located at a height of 3500 meters above the sea level on the Northern Himalayas. It is surrounded by Tibet in the north and Bhutan in the south west. It is spread over an area of 2172 sq. kms. It is very popular as it is known to be the birth place of the sixth Dalai Lama, Nagwang Lobsang Gyatso. The largest Buddhist Monastery in India is situated in Tawang.Thus, it is also a very important pilgrimage destination for Tibetan Buddhists. Tawang has some of the most beautiful lakes, snow capped mountains, remote villages and ancient monasteries. Tawang is therefore both historically and naturally endowed.
HOW TO REACH?
The closest airport to Tawang is Tezpur which is connected by flights to the cities like Guwahati and Kolkata. From Tezpur you can hire a Taxi to reach Tawang. It takes about 10 hours to reach there.
You can take a bus from Guwahati and reach Bomdila. There are regular buses from Bomdila to reach Tawang. It is almost an 11 hour journey from Bomdila by road. There are also many taxis or rented cars available. You can travel by car from Guwahati to reach Tawang which takes almost 16 hours.
Tezpur is the closest station to Tawang which is about 160 km away. There are also many trains like the Rajdhani Express which go up to Guwahati. You can take this train and then from Guwahati plan a road journey as many options are available for that.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Tawang has a moderate climate for most of the time during the year. However, it gets really cold during the winters. So the best time to visit here would be from April to October when the temperature is relatively more compared to the winter season
PLACES TO SEE
1. Tawang Monastery
Tawang Monastery is one of the biggest Monastery in India and second biggest in Asia. It is also known as Tawang Ganden Namgyal Lhatse. It was founded by Mera Lama Lodre Gyasto in the year 1680-81 in accordance to the wish of the fifth Dalai Lama. It is located on a hill top. It is known as an important seat of Mahayana Buddhism. There is an 8 metre high statue of Lord Buddha here. There is also a residential building for the monks. It also has a library, a museum and a school for the basic education. This is also the place where the fourteenth Dalai Lama had fled from Tibet to escape the Chinese Army. He later again visited this place in November 2009 where around thirty thousand people attended his religious discourse.
2. War Memorial
This war memorial is built to commemorate the bravery of thousands of Indian Soldiers who died fighting a war against the Chinese in the year 1962. Around 2420 brave soldiers lost their life in this Sino Indian war.
3. Urgelling Gompa
Urgelling Gompa is a monastery situated at a distance of 5 km in the south of Tawang. It is regarded as the first of the three monasteries built by Urgen Sangpo. It was built in 1489 AD. This is also the birth place of the Sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso.
4. P.T. Tso Lake
This is situated 14 kms from the Tawang town. The lake water is clear blue in colour. However, for four to five months the lake water is frozen during winter season. The lake is beautiful and the view from the lake is splendid as well.
5. Jang Waterfall
It is also known as Nuranang Falls. It is 2 km away from the Town of Jang which falls in between the way while going to Tawang. There is also a small hydel power plant located at the base of the falls which provides electricity to the local people. It is a spectacular site and a must visit.
Apart from these major tourist attractions you can also visit the Sela Pass, Chagzam Bridge which is an iron bridge built over the Tawang- Chu River, Gorzam Chorten Zemithang, Taktsang Gompa, Lama Zabshe whic is believed to have the foot print of the sixth Dalai Lama on one of the rock, Khinmey Gompa, etc. Tawang is also known as a Trekker’s Paradise as much of the land remains undiscovered. With the beautiful mountain views, chilling weather and challenging treks, a trekker is sure to have an amazing time here. However, along with the challenging treks there are some easy treks too. And some of the treks also take you a little close to the Chinese border.
Tawang is one of the unexplored beauties with not much of tourists visiting which makes good accommodation a little difficult to find. But there are many mid range accommodation options available. And most of the hotels here are situated in the market area. There is also a Government Tourist Lodge and a Circuit House where permits are required for staying. However, you might require certain permits to enter Tawang and some places here. Thus, the snow capped mountains, mesmerizing lakes, amazing climate and the hospitality of the people here continue to attract people who visit this place. So make sure you visit this place once to experience the enchanting beauty of Tawang.