Arunachal Pradesh forgotten paradise
When I received the gift voucher of 30,000 INR from makemytrip.com I wondered which destination in India should I travel to? The customer executive from Makemytrip suggested the touristy kind of trail like Kerala, Rajasthan. But I was keen to explore the unknown and the the unheard, where few have tread. After few rounds of contemplation I zeroed in on Arunachal Pradesh.
The Land of the rising sun with it’s raw appeal and beauty has been forgotten by many. This land on the north eastern frontier with its flowing rivers, mountainous roads ever changing topography and warm locals has a surreal appeal. My trip took me through the towns of Bhalukpong – Bomdila – Dirang- Tawang-Sela – Nuranang Falls.
The five day journey was bone rattling through the nearly non existent roads tiring but nevertheless refreshing. What with landscapes, waterfalls, rivers, wildlife and scenery to give you company and satiate the rancid soul.
Bomdila is a great place to move around with its monastery and huge market to keep you busy. Being close to Bhutan, Tibet and China the woolen wear, jackets are of great variety and cheap.
Pine Trees are found everywhere as you drive towards Dirang. Dirang is the base to head towards Tawang. Do not forget to visit Old Dirang with its tribal settlement. Corn is found drying in every house, Monpa women are seen doing household work with the infants tied around their back. A hardworking lot they are always seen working even in their spare time like knitting and weaving. The houses in this area are either made of wood and bamboo or stones.
The drive to Tawang via Sela Pass is very beautiful. Yaks walk along the snow drenched roads and the lakes that are peppered in this area are found frozen in the winters. You might dare to walk on them for that adrenaline kick.
A visit to Jaswant Singh Memorial erected in remembrance of the valiant hearts who laid their lives fighting for our country brings out the patriotic spirit in you. Tawang Monastery the second largest in the world holds great significance in Mahayana Buddhism.
Tawang was chilling and the drive to Shungetser Lake subfreezing. The drive takes you through snow clad mountains and the frozen lakes are picture perfect. As you head towards Shungetsar Lake or Madhuri Lake you wonder at the starkness of the region. Beauty has varied forms some sombre like the Madhuri Lake and some stimulating like the area near Bhalukpong with dense vegetation.
Arunachal has a mix of all forms of beauty that is blemish free and unscathed. This is just the tip of the iceberg and it has loads to offer to its explorers …have you put on your trekking boots?