Trip Report of Eastern Arunachal: Dec-10 / Jan-11

Reply
#1 Jan 9th, 2011, 04:46
Join Date:
Feb 2010
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
2,986
  • kshil is offline
#1
This trip was never possible unless I would have got help from few distinguished IMer like Theyyam, KS_Bluechip and HV Kumar. Trip log of Kumar is probably the only reliable road direction with valuable details for this region that available in internet; I didn't even get any good map to plan for it. KS helped a lot by giving certain contacts of Dibrugarh, otherwise I never could get my ILP and Theyyam's help in getting accommodation details and information from web is invaluable. Phupla Singpo, a person who runs a NGO in Miao and Arif an engineer by profession and a great photographer by passion presently located in Jairampur were of great help and without their help I might not be able to cover all the places I intended to go.

My initial plan was quite ambitious and covering 3 weeks in Assam and Arunachal that is listed here. That cut short due to a family problem all of a sudden and I had to finally manage it in 12 days and because of that I decided to concentrate only on Eastern Arunachal and cancelled my flight ticket to Guwahati and booked it very late with heavy premium for 26th December to Dibrugarh.

Final Trip Plan was to start from Tinsukia and covering Roing -- Mayudia -- Tezu -- Hayuliang -- Walong -- Hawai -- Parsuram Kund -- Wakro -- Medo -- Chowkham -- Namsai -- Bordumsa -- Jagun -- Miao -- Namdapha --Jairampur -- Nampong -- Pangsu Pass -- Ledo -- Digboi -- Tinsukia

26th December:

My indigo flight from Kolkata was a nightmarish experience just because of the Chaos in Kolkata airport on that day. I was almost missing the flight even after reaching airport 2 hours before the departure time. Would think twice before booking Indigo in a rush time from Kolkata. Landed 20 mins late at Mohanbari and had a great weather, from flight got unhindered views of Himalayan range and got an Indica to move to Tinsukia as I decided to start my trip from there instead of Dibrugarh. Tinsukia is having a few hotels but only 2 of them are good, Hotel Ballerina is prohibitively costly considering its ambience, I chose Hotel Mayur Jyoti, a value for money hotel, room rent was around 1000 all inclusive tax and food was good. While coming at Tinsukia, saw a few posters of "Assam Bandh" on 27th December, didn't give much thought as it was called by a not so well known Students' Union but when I called up the Owner of the Car I have chosen for my trip he said only next day we would be in a position to judge the situation. So went for sleep with hope nothing would happen and I might be able to stick to my plan.

27th December:

Got up at 5.00am as I was planning even if strike happens, I might give it a slip by leaving early but Assam Bandh is something spectacular, it starts from 5.00am and usually called for minimum 24 hours (I heard of 100 hours Strikes too there). Called up the owner of the car and he said we have to wait until 8.00am to see the situation and by 7.00am I understood I was going to loose a day, no shops were open, no transports on the road. I had no other option than to just lock myself in the hotel room for the whole day and try to do the toughest job, re-planning an Arunachal trip.

28th December:

Got terribly irritated by a 24 hours unscheduled stop and left Tinsukia sharp at 6.30am. Followed the AT Road and from Makum the road bifurcates, right goes to Digboi and straight one towards Dumduma/Dirak. It was a foggy morning and a nice drive through tea gardens on both sides. Soon we crossed the junction where again road towards Dirak gate/ Parsuram Kund gets separated in right and reached the Brahmaputra. (Technically the river was still Lohit as after this place when Dibang and Siang meet Lohit, the river is named as Brahmaputra). The road up to this (almost 50km from Tinsukia) was brilliant and we reached there at around 8.00am. As because of winter, water receded far away and we had to drive almost 3 km through river bed to reach the actual waterline. The Govt Ferry was scheduled at 9.30am that charges 200/- to ferry car and 10/- per person but as we were in a hurry to make up our lost day, we decided to hire a private boat and it was proved to be terribly costly, they understood our situation and asked for 2000/- that was negotiated to 1500/- and finally we crossed the river to other side (Sadiya Ghat) by 9.00am. In Monsoon crossing this stretch takes 3 hours as per the boatmen, Fund is already sanctioned for a bridge here and work started but considering work culture of Assam; locals expect atleast 10 years to get the bridge completed. The Bogibil Bridge is still not 50% completed and current estimated completion time is 2014. Once again after another 2/3km river bed drive on other side and paying a toll of Rs.30/- for some unknown reason we hit road in Sadiya District of Assam probably the worst road in whole Assam. Roing was barely 37km from here through Shantipur gate and it took us almost 3.5 hours. After a terrible journey and checking ILPs in Shantipur gate we reached Roing around 1.00pm straight proceeded to Sally Lake Guest House, a forest department bungalow within Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary located in a nice ambience just beside Sally lake. You could book it through ranger Mehao Wild Life Sanctuary and that's highly recommended unless you can manage circuit house or Forest Inspection Bungalow at Roing. There are two private hotels (Lasa and Mimu) in Roing both are extremely filthy and difficult to stay even for a single night. We just checked in the forest bungalow and proceeded to Mayudia to make up our lost time. The road to Mayudia is extremely scenic and mountain roads through Mehao WLS, you might need quite a few photo stops in between and if you could cross this stretch early in the morning, chances of watching various specis of birds are qute high. The road barring last 15km of total 42 km from guest house was good. This is the same road that goes up to Anini via Hunli, both are having circuit house to stay. Road to Anini is still cut off now for almost 8 months and even telephone lines are down, only communication with rest of the country is through helicopter. We got snow at Mayudia and that's the primary reason why tourists visit there. There is a Forest Guest House close to the Pass where one can stay but there is no electricity there. Drove back to our Guest house in evening, experienced unforgettable sunset on Dibang River on the way.




29th December:

Again we had a long day ahead as I was planning to reach Hayuliang on that day, the shorter route from Roing to Tezu is through Bhismaknagar (an eighth century archaeological site) and I was planning to take that. But in main market when I enquired about the road condition (always advisable in Arunachal) all local drivers told me not to take risk in that road without a 4X4 vehicle as it's mostly through various river beds with lots of Boulders. I changed my plan and as per their advice came back to Assam through Shantipur Gate and entered Arunachal again through Sunpura Gate. The road was almost non existent here as well; mostly through village roads we finally reached Tezu (from Roing its 67km) after a drive of almost 4.5 hours. In Sunpura gate my ILPs issued from Dibrugarh was of great help as Tezu was mentioned very clearly there, where as the ILP I got from Kolkata only having the districts mentioned. In check gate those guys started telling me a story of newly introduced charge of Rs.250/- per vehicle from tourist and when I challenged and asked them to show the Govt Circular, they simply let me go after requesting for some tips. To reach Tezu, we had to cross atleast three rivers, one having good amount of water, every year the bridges are being washed away in monsoon, we could see them and new bridges for next season are being built probably to be washed away again. Tezu is last big town in the region and we took whatever we require starting from dry foods to water and finally started for Hayuliang around 11.00am. The roads after Tezu is excellent, probably being made recently for Parsuram Kund festival that is scheduled in Mid January and biggest festival of Lohit District. We crossed the Y-Junction at 12.30pm (24km from Tezu) where one fork comes from Tezu, other goes towards Namsai via Parsuram Kund and the third one goes to Hayuliang. From here the hill starts and Lohit river starts giving you company until you reach the north eastern most border between India and China. The road is extremely scenic but atleast 6 stretches of 1 to 2 km each until Hayuliang were horrible and could be broken even in slight rain. The mountains and deep turquoise colored Lohit would be with you all along with several Orange Orchards in between. We reached Hayuliang (65km from Y Junction) around 4.00pm and as advised by ADC, instead of IB at Hayuliang we stayed at Circuit House of Khupa just 2 km ahead of Hayuliang. It's recently built in 2009 and looks very new. The person there is very friendly and food was good as well. Had a nice sleep after a long day.




30th December:

Started around 8.45am in the morning for Walong after the breakfast, There was a new road built by BRO to Chaglogam, another remotest circle of Anjaw but already broken in this year’s heavy monsoon. The road starts 5km after Hayuliang and may be later I would comeback for this stretch again. We drove along main highway, crossed the Chinwanti (47km from Hayuliang where the road to Hawai diverts) at 11.55am and leisurely driving and stopping for snaps all along the road. There are couple of hanging foot bridge over Lohit and we experienced crossing them, They are so narrow and starts swaying even with slightest wind, it is surely a life time experience crossing over them on foot. We reached Walong (85km from Hayuliang) only at 3.30pm after enjoying all through the road. At Walong we stayed at Inspection Bungalow, pretty cheap @Rs.200/- but excellent room and location to stay and we repented not planning to stay here for longer. There are several side valleys to explore from Walong like Helmet Top, Namti Top all having signs of 1962 Sino-Indian War. We had a nice dinner and then a good sleep though it was bone chilling cold at Walong.




31st December:

Started from Walong at 7.00am as we had to explore the area before heading for Hawai to stay the night. Gone to Kibithu, famous as it’s known as "East of North East" crossing the most panoramic part of the whole journey. The road from Walong to Kibithu would make you remember of KashmirValley specially the road to Pahelgaon. Crossed Namti Valley where the fiercest battle of 1962 was fought by Indian Army but when you would be crossing these area, you would be more amazed by the beauty of nature than the memory of war though the whole region has several battle monuments for the martyr of 1962 war. We reached Kibithu (24km from Walong) around 9.00am and found the helipad is now restricted for civilians. We visited the ITBP Camp there and from there we could clearly see the Chinese Camps in other side of border. Photography is strictly prohibited in whole area especially towards to Border. Only phone in the camp was down and we got a chance to chat with couple of ITBP people who were really frustrated for not being to able to even talk to their family and wish them in new year, what a hard job these guys do and its because of them we are celebrating our holidays, I was just enquiring about the exact tri-junction border between India-Myanmar-China and they said its still almost 85km from there (out of which around 20km is motorable up to Dechu) and they regularly goes for patrolling the area by foot, the forest is so dense, they can't even use horse/donkey to take the ration, one side trek takes around 8 days from Kibithu. No further roads can be built as the border region here is disputed and China doesn't agree to McMahon line here. We gone towards Dechu through another road through MesaiBridge and Kaho that is written as "Eastern Most Road of India" but just before Dechu was stopped by Army and they told no civilians are permitted beyond Dechu, the last habitable place closest to Border. From a place nearby, with the help of Indian Army we gone up to a hill and through their telescopic lens we could clearly see the Chinese Army movement in other side of the border as well. They said the border is completely peaceful for last 2 years but both sides’ army patrols there 24 hours, I couldn't even imagine how difficult it would be to spend night after night in open air looking through Night Vision Telescope towards the border but that's what Army do for us every single day and night. This road to Dechu is fearsome, on one side its steep rock gone up and other side deep gorge straight down to Lohit River. We started around 11.45 from here our return journey and on the way back stopped near hot springs of Walong where you could touch the Lohit River, awesome place and a new circuit house is being built here, locals are even catching fishes in the cold water of Lohit, God only knows how anything can live in such a cold water. The hot spring is nice and you can take a nice bath if you plan for it. We reached circuit house in Hawai around 3.45pm in the evening and in December, in that region, it gets dark by 4.15pm. The Hawai is the district Head Quarter of Anjaw though the town is being built and still DC/ADC of Anjaw usually works from Hayuliang and Tezu (District HQ of Lohit). The circuit House is brand new and the best I stayed in my life. The persons are very friendly and we had a great time there but Hawai is probably located higher than Hayuliang and Walong and we felt the worst cold here. Had a nice dinner, only issue is I had to take bath at 4.00am in morning as power goes daily between 5.00am to 9.00am there and you won't get any hot water in between.





1st January:

It was such a serene place, we didn't even realize it was a new year morning, the weather doesn't look promising as the WD that lashed Western Himalayas on 29th/30th Dec, by that time about to arrive Arunachal. I was aware of that and without wasting any time my first objective was to come down from hill before the rain starts. As weather was gloomy and it was a return journey, photo stops were very limited and we took a heavy breakfast, so we tried to come down as fast as we could without stopping for any lunch break, weather was slowly turning bad to worse and slight rain started when we crossed Hayuliang. Crossed Y-Junction at 3.00pm (Started from Hawai around 10.00am) and reached Parsuram Kund around 3.30pm (16km from Y Junction). Took a brief stop but weather was turning worse, rain was getting heavier, we didn't waste anymore time and crossed Wakro around 4.30pm (It's completely dark by that time and rain started quite heavily). There is a road to Deban (In Namdapha) from here only 50km and shortest if someone wants to reach Namdapha from here. But from there, you can't take your car to other side as there was no ferry service to take your car, so if you could arrange another car ready in other side of river and get your forest permit ready (that needs to be collected from Miao) you could save almost 150km to reach Namdapha and that is translated to saving a whole day in Arunachal. We crossed Wakro and reached Medo (21km from Wakro) where we planned to stay in a Forest Dept IB inside a Tea garden that is presently being managed privately. It was an excellent stay and with heavy rains outside, power gone off, the ambience seems to be brilliant but I couldn't feel the romance at all as I knew I had to cross the deadly Miao-Vijaynagar Road on next day and this rain could make the road worse than hell. Pana, the caretaker was a Bengali guy, cooked Chicken for us and the dinner was excellent. Next day morning we discovered the place was even more brilliant than we thought of and repented of not staying there for one more day.




2nd January:

I have got up several times at night and every time heard it was raining heavily, so tried to checkout several plans for next day, There are 4 ways you could reach Namdapha from Medo

a. Through Wakro-Deban - Shortest but none could tell me how the road is from Deban to Miao through other side of Noa Dihing, so couldn't take chance here after heavy rain.

b. Through Namsai-Dayun-Phup Village and crossing ferry to Miao - The 2nd best option but again people couldn't tell how the Namsai-Dayun stretch is and how the approach to ferry specially after heavy rain. Sometimes it might get difficult to take your car up to ferry after heavy rain unless the approach road is good. Also the other issue that made me thinking was if I took this road, I couldn't enter my ILP in Namchik gate that is used to enter Miao and while returning that might create trouble.

c. Coming back all the way towards Tinsukia and through Makum-Digboi-Margarita to Miao - Longest and would cost you almost 125 extra km and huge time and I couldn't reach Deban on same day.

d. Namsai - Bordumsa - Jagun Ghat - Crossing ferry on Namchik River and to Miao: This sounds best to me as I had first hand information on Jagun Ghat and also I could enter through Namchik Gate to avoid any harassment later on. The road was somewhere good, somewhere medium and somewhere very bad.

I started from Medo at 9.30am (which was pretty late considering my days plan) and visited Buddhist temple in Chowkham and Tengapani, excellent architecture and different from other Buddhist Temples in India in terms of the structure, you would find sound resemblance with Pagoda style of Myanmar and Thailand here. Finally I paid Rs.100/- all inclusive this time to cross a 2 min ferry ride with car to reach Jagun and from there to Miao via Kharsang (104km Medo to Miao through this route) at 3.15pm. As it was a Sunday, I had to waste some more time as we need to collect Namdapha Forest Entry Permit and Deban Forest RH Booking Permit from the forest Conservator Miao and being a holiday I had to call him and get it collected from his home. Finally we started at 3.45pm and hit the dreaded MV Road (Miao Vijaynagar Road) soon. MV Road was built in 1970s and soon left unattended as maintenance was extremely difficult in soft mud hilly terrain and dense rain forest. The whole stretch is 157km and only 25km up to Deban is still motorable and that too was closed for whole 2010 since a big landslide hit early this year. Governor of Arunachal tried reaching the place in August but had to come back in between and he then promised to come back at December end again. For him we heard the road became motorable few days back again up to Deban but when we gone after the rain, we found it's only advisable with a 4X4 here. The road going through river bed and in dark if you don't know it's difficult to follow the correct road even. The roads inside the rain forest doesn't get light even in morning, so around 4.30 we were driving almost in dark, in many places the mud was touching the foot board of Bolero. Suddenly we got a cracking a sound and discovered the front left wheel gone inside a trench on the side of the road which was completely covered by grass. We didn't have much to do than to pray as only option was to lift the car from there which was impossible for 2/3 persons. Being 1st Jan, we found almost a God sent Picnic party returning from Deban and almost 25 people tried their best for 10 minutes to get the car out of the ditch. We started proceeding further in complete darkness now even more shattered after the earlier incident and crossing every single km seems like crossing a hundred km. It was never ending road, we got stuck in one more place where I don't know how I could able to push the car from mud touching the underbelly of the car. Then in final twist we crossed the mark of Forest RH in left and kept moving through un-motorable stretch of MV Road. We were lucky as one PWD Camp was there barely a km ahead and they showed us the right way. We finally reached the FRH at 5.45pm but would never forget the experience of driving through that 25km. Mainly because of Governor's initiative PWD started working again on the MV Road to make it motorable up to Vijaynagar and a few bulldozers were airlifted to Vijaynagar and started working on the road from both side. As per Governor's wish, he wants to hoist National Flag on 26th January but I have real doubt if that dream would ever be met atleast on 26th Jan of 2011. We had given accommodation in tourist hut as FRH was being prepared for Governor's visit but the rooms in FRH were much better than the Tourist Huts. We had our dinner and gone to bed as soon as possible as solar light there gone off in 2/3 hours and we were extremely tired after a long day.





3rd January:

Brilliant day with a great sun shine started, we planned to walk to 20th Mile through MV Road (Deban is in 17th Mile). The 3 miles walk took almost 2 hours as the road was not even walkable. But it was a nice experience walking through that road and seen Lizu tribes of Vijaynagar (Undoubtedly one of the remotest corners of India) are walking through the roads after buying their rations from Miao. They said the walk is of 14 days if they follow the road, they usually take shortcuts by crossing NoaDihing River that flows through Namdapha and climbing mountain but still that takes 6 days of walking. They build makeshift camps in the forest to spend night and again start walking in the morning. Surprising to even think how many faces India really is having. I found even a 4 year old kid is walking with them and would walk up to Vijaynagar. From 20th Mile you can get good views of Daphabum, the highest peak in Namdapha in a clear day. Evening was spent with the Forest dept people there making a camp fire and watching stars and listening to the flows of the river below. Wonderful experience and I have never experienced so much remoteness in any forest in my life.




4th January:

We initially planned to trek into the forest up to Haldibari but then forest people advised us not to go with a kid of 5 years as this year because of heavy monsoon, we had to cross 2 water streams to reach there and both are having knee deep water for an adult and having difficult turbulence and slippery rocks below. Also leach guard is mandatory to go there and getting a leach guard of kid's size is impossible. So we decided to cross Noa Dihing and visit the Chakma Village on other side of the river and also considering next day’s plan we decided to leave in the afternoon rather than staying that night at Deban. Chakma Village is very nice and clean, had thatched house fitted with Direct To Home connection, a nice fusion of tradition and contemporary. They do farming for their livelihood. Around 2.00pm in afternoon after having lunch, we started our return journey to Miao and this time with ample daylight and much drier road after 2 days of bright sun, the MV Road didn't seem to be as bad as we experienced when coming. Still the car could get stuck anytime and we found a Scorpio stuck in between and we all helped to get it out of the mud. Reached Miao in evening and stayed in Eco Tourist Lodge in Miao, another Forest IB, presently run by a NGO. The accommodation was nice and clean, food was not that good though.




5th January:

We started early and gone to experience the Ropeway in Miao, that's being used by local to cross Noa Dihing. This was one of the oldest ropeways built in 1975, developed and still maintained by Oil India Limited. Those who visit Miao must experience this as the view from the ropeway is awesome. It starts at 9.00am and runs till 4.00pm. We reached around 8.00am and requested them to give us a ride; the person was kind enough to start it at 8.30am on our request. One way crossing takes 7 mins and after having a good 15mins ride, we started our onward journey towards historic Stilwell Road. From Jagun we diverted left towards Jairampur. Jairampur is having the check gate to enter ILP. Soon after we faced first army check post where we have to show the special permit to visit the Pangsau Pass as given by ADC, Jairampur before they let us go. We visited on the way the second world warCemetery towards Nampong (Nampong to Jairampur is 17 km and Jairampur to Jagun is 10km). Nampong is last Indian village on this road towards Burma where Burmese people come to shop on 2 specific days of month (15th and 30th). After crossing Nampong again we were stopped by army in another check post. Here even after showing the permit, they spoken to their higher authority and after 15mins we got the go ahead and we were told that on the way army would escort us to border to show us the border stones and then would escort us back again. We faced one land slide in between, waited for 30mins to get it cleared by BRO and then suddenly we saw the much sought after mile stone written as Pangsu Pass, we noticed on other side another stone showing "Union of Myanmar" but still couldn't believe we reached the border. The roads suddenly got deteriorated but we kept continued and after 2 km we understood the mistake when faced by Burmese Police. We realized we crossed the international border with a car without any valid papers, it could be much worse, fortunately the Burmese Police were kind enough, we even clicked a few snaps with them, they didn't understand any language we are aware of and then when we are coming back, we encountered Indian Army, the post we didn't notice at all while going. They asked why we went alone without army escort and also enquired exactly how far we gone, we realized any silly answer would make our condition worse, we started showing some place pointing our fingers and saying "Till there" and we apologized for going there without taking army escort but it was really not intentional, though proved good for us finally for a 2km to and fro drive in Burma that was impossible if Army would have escorted us. By the time we were returning it was communicated all through Indian Posts that a red colored Bolero gone towards border unescorted and everywhere we had to explain the same thing repeatedly. We were back to Jagun by 2.30pm much relieved after experiencing the Stilwell Road and the much sought after Pangsu Pass. It was really amazing to even think how this 1736km road was built in flat two years negotiating such a hostile terrain of mountains and dense rain forests cutting across 3 countries from Ledo in Assam Plane to Kunming in China through Myanmar. After Jairampur road was superb and we drove fast till Digboi, in between touching Ledo station, the easternmost operational railway station of India. Digboi was famous for many first especially considering the fact; it was the place where crude oil was discovered in 1889, first in the eastern part of Suez Canal. So in that sense it's first oil well discovered in Asia. A visit to the centenary Oil Museum there, is really good way to get yourself educated on Digboi and Oil industry. We liked the place and Digboi is very clean town. Finally we reached Tinsukia as checked into the same hotel again where we started our trip.





6th January:

Drove from Tinsukia to Mohanbari and took the flight back to Kolkata, Mohanbari was small airport but had very high level of security checking where I had to open every bag to show the Camera, lens, battery and every single thing to them before they let us go. Indigo was good this time and we reached Kolkata around 4.00 in the afternoon and thereby finishing a great trip to one of the most unspoilt part of India.

The complete sets of snaps can be seen in following 2 links:

Post Card from Eastern Arunachal

Eastern Arunachal Magic Continues in Namdapha and historical Stilwell Road
#2 Jan 9th, 2011, 05:02
Join Date:
Feb 2010
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
2,986
  • kshil is offline
#2

Few Important Points to consider before making this trip

Let me summarize few points those are important to consider while making plans for an Arunachal trip specially central and eastern region. You can avoid these only by taking a service from an experienced tour operator in Arunachal but the premium to be paid for that would be extremely high.

Weather:

As the effective tourist season is quite short due to long spell of monsoon, the only option was to target this amazing place in Christmas/New Year holidays as November and December usually the driest in Arunachal and considering the remoteness and infrastructure problems, the weather plays a bigger role for a successful trip in this part of India. One day of heavy rain was almost ruining my trip, so checkout weather site and keep backup plan ready specifically if you go to remote place where river crossings or driving through boulders and mud roads are involved.

Accommodations:

The trip is little different than visiting other places of India because you need to plan in depth considering the absence of tourism infrastructure in the state except the Tawang sector. The available accommodations are only Circuit Houses, Inspection Bungalows or Forest Rest Houses those are usually cumbersome to book and even after that you always have a chance of cancellation in case of VIP Visit especially in a holiday season like Christmas and New Year. Usually repeated calls to DC/ADC/EAC/CO of the relevant district brightened the chance but in general communications in this regard only entertained 7 to 10 days in advance.

Inner Line Permits and Other Passes:

Other important thing is to going through administrative hassles of getting Inner Line Permits for the places you intend to visit and for some specific places even the special pass issued by District Administrations and Army. Some of the passes even require the Car Registration Numbers and Driver's name and that makes it even more difficult to arrange in advance unless you drive your own vehicle. Permits usually issued for a specific tourist sector (Arunachal is presently having 11 approved tourist sectors) and it's better to get the names of the place you would like to visit to be specifically mentioned in permit. I have two points to mention in this regard.

1. I arranged 6 permits, 2 from Kolkata, 3 from Mohanbari, Dibrugarh and 1 from Miao and permits issued from different places having completely different look and feel. This helps to some extent especially in check gates those are less touristy unlike Bhalukpong. In my case permits issued from Kolkata were scrutinized more rigorously than those issued from Mohanbari. So better option is to get permits from local offices if possible.

2. The rule is to enter and exit through same check gate and this sometimes make a round trip plan extremely difficult especially if you exit from a check gate where your vehicle is not entered. To avoid this I had to go extra 50 km when coming from Medo in Lohit to Miao in Changlang which is quite a lot considering extremely poor road conditions.

3. Considering backup plans, its better to arrange for all possible ILPs even if you don't intend to visit all the places. For a remote state like Arunachal that might be really useful.

Vehicle:

Unless you drive your own vehicle, it's an extremely important part to get a good vehicle and experienced driver to visit Arunachal. Vehicle costs the most among all cost components in the trip and without a good vehicle and driver it's difficult to make this trip. Points to be noted are

1. The Vehicle Cost in NE usually having 3 components,

a. Dry Car Rent depends on type of car you choose but remote areas need Bolero/Scorpio kind of high ground clearance car as sometimes the NH shown in map is nothing but driving through river beds.

b. Drivers Daily Allowances varies from 300 to 500 per day or on actual. If you go to less touristy places, on actual having 3 distinct advantages, first it would be cheaper as almost all CH/IB having driver's accommodation in low cost and second is less pocket money to driver is better in North East where drunken driving is a menace and third it helps to build up a rapport with the driver when you bear his costs on actual.

c. Fuel cost, it's better to strike a deal on actual cost of fuel only if it can be ensured the car is in good condition and driver won't take out fuel which is quite common here. Alternatively you can strike a deal of a rate like Rs/km or expected mileage of the car. My deal was car should give an average of 10km/ltr and if it goes better the profit would go to owner if less, loss has to be incurred by him, I ran for 1000km and paid for 100 liter diesel and adjusted the extra with rental cost.

2. It's cheaper if you can strike a deal with owner or driver directly as sometimes 2/3 middlemen are involved when you go through travel agents. Also in my case I found cars from Tinsukia were less costly than taking it from Dibrugarh as because of simple economics of demand and supply.

3. Once again the roads are so poor, try to ensure that you get a car preferably less than a year old with good conditions even if that costs you a premium.

Food

Don't expect dhaba or eatieries anywhere in between specially when you are in Dibang Valley, Lohit or Anjaw, so try to get a heavy breakfast and keep dry foods and ample waters with you. This would save time as well in these slow roads.

Contingency Days:

Assam and Arunachal both are infamous for their sudden strikes and whatever small fraction calls it, for some reason it becomes a complete shutdown and may completely put your plan in a chaos. So keep extra days in hand.

I would update this thread with all the relevant contact details soon.
#3 Jan 9th, 2011, 05:45
Join Date:
Feb 2010
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
2,986
  • kshil is offline
#3

Contact Details

Driver : Asim Majumder, he is a nice guy and had experience in driving in these region, I would surely recommend him. He is based on Tinsukia and his cell number is +919957019506

Accommodations:

Sally Lake Guest House Roing: DFO Sally Lake - 03803-222408, spoken to Sajjish Kumar.

You also need to speak to Ranger and the earlier ranger got transferred so I am not posting that number, get it from DFO office and speak to the ranger.

Hayuliang/Khupa CH, Hawai CH and Walong IB:

Speak to ADC, Hayuliang, Mr. P.K.Borathakur at 03805-276201 or EAC Anjaw Mr. Mining at +919436835850

Medo Eco Tourist Lodge:

Contact the owner Mr. Sanjay Sharma at +919436055306 or call at the Lodge to speak to caretaker at 03806200464

Miao :

For any information regarding accommodation and other help, contact Phupla Singpo at +919436228763 / +919863096164 or visit their website here. He is also reachable at phupla@rediffmail.com

Eco Tourist Hut, Miao

Call 03807222999 or +919402037260

For Booking at Deban, Namdapha

Call Field Director, Namdapha Office at 03807-222249

There is a WLL line in Deban, you can call them to get an idea on road condition but they can't provide booking, its controlled only from Miao. Their number is 03807-200825

For Jairampur/Pangsu Pass you can contact Arif for detail information. You can visit his website here

For Tinsukia: Contact Hotel Mayur Jyoti at 0374-2336725/2339630
#4 Jan 9th, 2011, 11:07
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
Join Date:
Dec 2005
Location:
over a 'wine-dark sea'
Posts:
15,476
  • theyyamdancer is offline
#4
Congratulations on a marvellous trip, kshil, and thank you for this in-depth report.

I am bookmarking it for future reference. It will be extremely helpful when I return to Arunachal Pradesh one day!

You were unlucky with the bandh right at the start but still you managed quite well with the itinerary. You were unlucky again at the end to have to cut the journey somewhat short due to an emergency at home. In spite of all that, plus weather vagaries and unforeseen delays, you had a great tour. Excellent exploring!

I look forward to the day (?) when the bridges are built and the helicopters are once again taking regular passengers (yes, I know, dream on!)


Great pics in your gallery and here.
"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing." ~ Camille Pissarro
#5 Jan 10th, 2011, 00:06
Join Date:
Jan 2011
Location:
Kosovo
Posts:
25
  • khublei is offline
#5
Brilliant trip report! Thank you very much. This is definitely a place I would like to go to some day. I've never ventured further east than Meghalaya.
#6 Jan 10th, 2011, 01:03
Join Date:
Sep 2001
Location:
UK
Posts:
16,662
  • steven_ber is offline
#6
Excellent trip report, very useful indeed.
#7 Jan 10th, 2011, 07:28
Join Date:
Apr 2007
Location:
Mumbai, India
Posts:
1,555
  • Sadanand Kamath is offline
#7
Excellent trip report of an adventurous kind. Beautiful photos.

Sadanand.
#8 Jan 10th, 2011, 09:28
Join Date:
Apr 2007
Location:
Mumbai, India
Posts:
2,262
  • ks_bluechip is offline
#8
kshil: Congrats on completing the trip! I haven't read your full trip report as yet; but the pictures on Orkut are pretty amazing ... especially the variety of butterflies and wildflowers! Great captures all of them.

I didn't know there was a road going from Miao to Vijaynagar? is that a regular road or is it just the trekking trail through the rain-forest (that Namdapha-FRH guides do)? I am hoping I can do that Vijayanagar trek sometime in future. Your pictures on way to Kibuthu are pretty awesome. Wasn't it awesome to be in Kibuthu? We were allowed to step on to the Helipad there and shoot whatever photos we wanted.

Will have more comments/questions after I read your report.
.
.
#9 Jan 10th, 2011, 12:40
Join Date:
Mar 2009
Location:
Bombay
Posts:
300
Send a message via Yahoo to hvkumar Send a message via Skype™ to hvkumar
  • hvkumar is offline
#9
Even the word brilliant fails to commend the detailed report that you have filed, kshil. Can't get enough of it!

Arunachal is indeed the most unpredictable and difficult of regions in India, and it is quite a tragedy that roads and infrastructure in this region remains so shabby - although from another perspective, I am delighted that the place is not overrun by noisy tourists, a definite possibility otherwise.

Quite courageous on your part to risk such a difficult trip with your family having young members!

Despite your detailed account, I have some queries which I pose, with your permission:

1. Arunachal maps are absolutely useless, did you by any chance carry a GPS to track the roads and major points?

2. Rupai - that is the name of the junction, where you turn off to Namsai. Dirak Gate goes straight and is the ferry point? What then is the Saikhoa Ghat? And where is the Dhola Ghat? Frequent ferry crossings through the day or only the 930 am ferry? Very muddy roads to reach the ferry point? Do they really run it during the monsoons - OMG, how does one get to the boarding point, walk? Do jeep taxis reach people to the ferry from Tinsukhia or Doom Dooma?

3. Let me chart the route - please confirm that this is correct:
Ferry embarkation point (Dirak Gate?/Saikhoa Ghat?)-Ferry disembarkation point (Sadiya Ghat)-Shantipur Gate (how many kms?)-Roing (37 kms from ferry)-Mayudia 42 kms-Hunli 100 kms (?) -Anini 200 kms (?). The pass is called Mayudia Pass? Gets snow-bound during winter? Any idea of altitude?

4. Roing-Bhishmaknagar-Tezu, not motorable as per your findings. Any silver lining? Temporary situation or always that way? Distance?

5. Route from Roing to Tezu: Roing-Shantipur Gate-road junction to Rupai?-Sunpura Gate-Tezu?

6. Is there any habitation on the Rupai-Roing-Tezu routes, or it a series of flood plains sandwiched between the rivulets? Visible road tracks or navigating by direction? Taxis ply on these routes?

7. I think the approach road to Hayuliang is always bad, judging from the fact that it has to cross some sections close to the Lohit river banks. I found it terrible when I drove that way in the month of April too.

8. Isn't Khupa the town before Hayuliang?

9. Chaglogam - where is that? Is it on the road to Walong?

10. Yes, Walong is indeed one of the prettiest places en route! How does one explore those places around Walong? Permissions, guides, durations?

11. Pity they don't allow photography at Kibithu, such a scenic place? And the helipad there affords you a panoramic view of the hills surrounding Kibithu.

12. Can you elaborate about the Dechu place? AFAIK, they were building a road 5 kms further from Kibithu (through Dong) to some place which was supposed to represent the border. Is Dechu in a different direction? And where did you turn off for the road to Dechu?

13. Do you need a separate ILP for Hawai? What is good about Hawai? Entry gate to Burma there?

14. Wakro-Deban-Miao, is there a car ferry across the Noa Dihing?

15. Namsai-Dayun-Phup Village-ferry crossing-Namchik-Miao, is that correct? Any distance details?

16. Namsai - Bordumsa - Jagun Ghat - Crossing ferry on Namchik River - Miao. That is a long distance of over 100 kms from Medo! How bad were the roads, and what is the landscape and habitation like?

17. The Namdapha permit is issued at Miao all times of the day, all days?

18. Route is as follows? Namsai - Bordumsa - Jagun Ghat - Crossing ferry on Namchik River - Miao - Deban (links up with road coming from Wakro?) - Dapabhum - Haldibari - Vijainagar?

19. Route to Pangsu - Miao-Jagun Ghat - Jairampur - Nampong - Pangsu? Do you have to take the permit on the spot at Jairampur?

20. What did you hear about the Stiltwell Road beyond Pangsu - what is the situation in Burma, are there roads or it is one series of mud paths?


One crucial tip is that you must mention aas many places as possible in ILPs to permit enough route flexibility in case one or the other route is closed or not otherwise motorable. What exact places had you mentioned in your ILPs?

Thanks for the information on the IBs and CBs. Did you book all of them in advance? And do they normally entertain civilians or is it because of some special connections that you had? Will connections with the Army give you access to better accommodation in the Army camps or guest houses run by them?

I suppose most of these places are accessible for 8 months a year?!

You must have been extremely to get this taxi driver! I guess they charge you a stiff premium for fuel and maintenance costs!

Any information on fuel filling stations. I know the one son the Tinsukhia-Kibithu route, but what about Tinsukhia-Roing-Tezu route and the Miao region?

Sorry for this volumnious list of queries, but you have provoked me to make another drive to Arunachal again, to the Tezus, Roings & Miaos, all of which I missed in my last 2 outings there!!
H V Kumar
#10 Jan 10th, 2011, 18:02
Join Date:
Feb 2010
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
2,986
  • kshil is offline
#10
@steven_ber, Thanks for your appreciation, I must acknowledge, I included my visit to Ledo after reading a thread by you and knowing it's eastern most operational station of India since service to Lekhapani was withdrawn most probably in 1993.

@khublei, Thanks for your appreciation and yes Eastern Arunachal deserves much more focus specially from nature lovers than it usually gets, Still to many of us Arunachal is synonymous to Tawang and trip to Arunachal means a trip to western sector only. So many unexplored places like Mayudia/Anini/Kibithu/Pangsu Pass/ just Namdapha deserves a full week actually. In Central Sector we have Pasighat-Jengging-Yingkiong-Tuting-Gezing, Along -Mechuka, Ziro-Palin-Koloriang-Sangram which is still unexplored, only note you would get about Mechuka is in Theyyam's nice trip report, for rest of the places I haven't seen any trip log. Nagaland/Manipur/Mizoram is there to explore along with Tirap district of Arunachal. You can surely plan a number of trips beyond Meghalaya.

@Sadanand Kamath, Thanks a lot for your appreciation, yes to some extent adventourous considering I was travelling just with my wife and a kid of 5 years, when in the rain forest in late evening our car got stuck without any human or mode of communication nearby, we were simply helpless without any possible backup plan. But probably we need to take some risk whenever we venture in this part of India just because it's so remote and completely void of any infrastructure forget tourist infrastructure alone. On snaps, honestly we can't take much credit as nature offers herself with so much beauties there, sometimes I didn't even feel like using full power of SLRs, as just clicking in auto was more than sufficient to get brilliant result

@Theyyam, the trip was not possible without this forum and the detail report is my small effort as give back to this great forum. The lesser the info I was getting on this region, stronger was my conviction to write a report with as much detail as possible

@ks_bluechip, Thanks for appreciating the snaps but I would eagerly wait for your questions and comments though. Bedanta was brilliant I must admit, he was thoroughly professional and courriered all my ILP at home. Thanks for that crucial contact.

OK on Miao-Vijaynagar Road, it was built in 1970 and in 1971 first group of jeeps travelled from Miao to Vijaynagar through that road, complete length is 157km but due to lack of maintenance now only 26km till Deban Bunglow is motorable but preferably in a 4X4 if possible. This 26km was also completely closed almost for whole 2010 because of a big landslide at 11mile point (Deban is at 17th Mile). This year in August Governor of Arunachal tried to make a sudden visit to Namdapha and he had to return from midway and there itself he declared he would be coming back on same road in December end and that's the reason why the 26km road became motorable since 2nd week of December again. Unfortunately we gone there on 2nd Jan after a heavy rain on 1st Jan and that's why we had to gone through that bad a road which was surely improved after 2 dry days on 4th evening when we returned. Arunachal Governor somehow became interested with MV Road and informed Changlang PWD his intention to hoist tri-color on 26th Jan 2011 after driving through the whole 157km from Miao. So since then PWD suddenly became active in this region and airlifted couple of bulldozers in Vijaynagar to start working on the abandoned MV Road from both end to make it motorable before 26th Jan 2011. What I got from PWD stationed there from Miao end road is already built till 60th Mile but in reality when we saw it, we can't consider it motorable at all, may be high powered 4X4 can make it but certainly not the normal cars.

Now the trek you gone through the rain forest with the Lizu guides to Deban - (Crossing Noa Dihing) - Haldibari - and then to Hornbill - Bulbulia - Rani Jheel - Firm Base. This is trek route but from Firm Base people usually climbs up mountain to catch MV Road around 35th Mile and come back to Deban (26th Mile) through MV Road but all through walking as I wrote MV Road is officially motorable only till 17th Mile at Deban. So in that way it's a round trip trek that would take around 10 days. In the attached snap, check the points like Deban, Hornbill, Ranijheel, Firmbase and these all are on trek route through rain forest where as the orange marked MV Road was a motorable road in 1970s and now only motorable till Deban where as administrations still claims the whole 157 km would be motorable by 26-01-2011. Let's hope for best.

Namdapha Map




On Kibithu, when you gone, was the ITBP Camp there? Now they would stop you near the sign board "East of North East" and won't let you go further siting security reason. Kibithu is brilliant but Helipad is closed for civilians now. But there is a new road built 5 km before Kibithu to Dechu via Meshai Bridge and on that road you would get a place called Kaho where there is a Buddhist Temple from it's top Chinese Army barrack can be clearly seen. In my Orkut album, check the snap "0489_Other side of Border" you can clearly see the chinese camp.

@HVKumar, I would reply your questions as much as possible but in a separate post as it would be a long one. Thanks for your kind words but once again want to make clear, it's your trip and great trip log that made my trip possible.
#11 Jan 10th, 2011, 22:24
Join Date:
Feb 2010
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
2,986
  • kshil is offline
#11
HVKumar, with due permission from MODS, I am answering the questions in blue for a better readability, MODs please excuse me if I am breaking the forum rules and in such case let me know, I would change the colors.

Kumar, you are absolutely correct, none of us would ever dream that Namdapha would become a Kaziranga, hope it never be like that and for that I am atleast ready to trek 26km all the way if needed to Deban. The moderate roads would help the locals atleast, I really can't believe when I saw that 4 yrs old Lizu girl walking from Miao to Vijaynagar for 6 days and that's a routine for them almost once in 2 months to get the ration. Responsible tourism is a must to save the ecological balance of this region and you are correct these places won't be able to bear the burn of mass tourism like what we see now in Shimla/Manali and in season time now even in Ladakh and Lahaul/Spiti region too.

It was a difficult trip with young members but it's so fabulous not seeing a single tourist in Christmas week and enjoying nature all alone exclusively, then it feels like it worth the effort we made to reach these places.

Trying to answer as much as possible the questions posed by you:

1. Arunachal maps are absolutely useless, did you by any chance carry a GPS to track the roads and major points?

No, I didn't have any GPS, but I have some snaps, I took of road side maps and I noted distance for every important places from the odo. I would need some time to put them in an excel (won't be in same detail level you did though) and upload.

2. Rupai - that is the name of the junction, where you turn off to Namsai. Dirak Gate goes straight and is the ferry point? What then is the Saikhoa Ghat? And where is the Dhola Ghat? Frequent ferry crossings through the day or only the 930 am ferry? Very muddy roads to reach the ferry point? Do they really run it during the monsoons - OMG, how does one get to the boarding point, walk? Do jeep taxis reach people to the ferry from Tinsukhia or Doom Dooma?

Ok let's make this part clear.

Tinsukia --15km---Makum Junction (Road to right goes towards Digboi-Margarita and Road staright goes towards Rupai) ----Rupai (Road towards right goes to Namsai via Dirak Gate, this check gate is entry point for Arunachal to Namsai and Road staright goes towards Dhola ghat or Showkia Ghat, they are mentioned in both names but point to same place which is the end point of this straight road at Lohit River Bank) -- Dhola Ghat (Dhola is 45km from Tinsukia).

Ferry Crossing usually starts at morning if not delayed by fog and runs until sun sets, so timing changes with season, in winter we are informed service available from 8.00am to 4.00pm. I am not very sure on this, but whatever I interpreted from the boatmen, Govt ferry runs multiple times in a day but there might be long gaps and if you don't know the exact time, you may end up loosing time but first Govt ferry of the day is at 9.30am that costs Rs.200 for ferrying a car. Private ferries are also available and used by locals, Car Ferry charge is Rs. 800/- but it again having certain timings. 3rd option is taking a boat reserved for you and cross without wasting any time, that costs us Rs.1500/- for car and persons. But in winter it was merely a 10/15min ride which doesn't worth the money spent, in Monsoon this crossing takes 3 to 4 hours depending on water level. Now we had to drive through almost 15 mins in river bed as water receded far off and at this point it's like driving on Sands nothing tough but during monsoon this won't be required as you can board ferry from much closer to where actual metalled road ends. From Tinsukia and Doomdooma you would get car/jeep/bus to come to this point, most people who goes to other bank, use this road. Road upto Dhola was excellent. See the road we driven in river bed, from otherside Arunachal Govt bus from Roing to Tinsukia was approaching. Note the road is narrow to give side to a bus and you can't go left or right beyond the marked road as sand is very soft in either side to drive.




3. Let me chart the route - please confirm that this is correct:
Ferry embarkation point (Dirak Gate?/Saikhoa Ghat?)-Ferry disembarkation point (Sadiya Ghat)-Shantipur Gate (how many kms?)-Roing (37 kms from ferry)-Mayudia 42 kms-Hunli 100 kms (?) -Anini 200 kms (?). The pass is called Mayudia Pass? Gets snow-bound during winter? Any idea of altitude?

Tinsukia - Dhola/Saikhoa Ghat via Makum and Rupai to embark ferry -- at Sadiya Ghat disembark ferry --8km -- Champakhowa (From here straight road goes to Roing via Shantipur and road towards right goes to Tezu via Sunpura Gate) --6km -- Shantipur Gate (Upto this extremely bad road) --- 23km -- Roing (Relatively better road still driving more than 25km to 30km per hour would be difficult)---42km-- Mayudia --- 45km around so far I can remember from milestone -- Hunli --- Anini (Not sure on distance between Hunli and Anini). Uploading the local map in both english and asamese (Asamese one is having better readability but in case you are not familier with bengali/asamese fonts, comparing with english one would help you)





Height wise Mayudia Pass (Its called Mayudia Pass) is just 2655mtrs (much lower than Sella pass but it attracts huge snow fall in every winter specially in January and February. BRO is active to clear the snow but 3/4ft snow in winter is quite common here. You can see a snow layer on road from the sign post itself.





4. Roing-Bhishmaknagar-Tezu, not motorable as per your findings. Any silver lining? Temporary situation or always that way? Distance?

Roing - Bhismaknagar-Tezu is motorable and shorter than the road we took and Tata 4X4 trucks travel regularly between Roing and Tezu through that but local drivers suggested not to test the road with Bolero, as the road goes through couple of river beds those are having lots of large boulders. Roing -Bhismaknagar is 30km and Bhismaknagar to Tezu should be another 20km as per the locals where as Roing-Tezu through Shantipur-Champakhowa-Islampur-Sunpura Gate was 67km as per our Odo.

5. Route from Roing to Tezu: Roing-Shantipur Gate-road junction to Rupai?-Sunpura Gate-Tezu?

Already answered this in Point 3 and 4. But you don't have to come to Dirak Junction which is on other side of Lohit/Brahmaputra River. Refer to the map I uploaded, it would be clear.

6. Is there any habitation on the Rupai-Roing-Tezu routes, or it a series of flood plains sandwiched between the rivulets? Visible road tracks or navigating by direction? Taxis ply on these routes?

Yes Roing-Champakhowa-Islampur was very much populated with lots of greenaries and agriculture is predominant and the people seems to be prosperous. These area looks very similar to me with Rural Bengal. After Islampur to Sunpura it's mostly through forest road (In my orkut album check the snap 0120_Road to Teju) and from Sunpura to Teju it's mostly river beds and broken bridge though we saw many new bridges are being built and this part is not having population. But tracks are visible and cars go through that, Taxis definitely would ply as Roing and Tezu are two district head quarters of 2 neighbouring districts Lower Dibang Valley and Lohit.

7. I think the approach road to Hayuliang is always bad, judging from the fact that it has to cross some sections close to the Lohit river banks. I found it terrible when I drove that way in the month of April too.

This stretch even in winter seems very unpredictable to me, roads in 6 places (each is having 1 to 2 km stretch, last one just before Khupa was worst and longest almost 2km) are quite bad between Y-Junction and Hayuliang. Between Tezu and Y-Junction Road is brillant courtsey Parsuram Kund festival. Quite a few accident sites we have seen all through these roads, see the truck in the snap below, my driver told me this happened in August 2010 when a part of 2km road completely broken down below. We identified each part of it and even 4 of the tyres. This stretch is best approached in Winter.





8. Isn't Khupa the town before Hayuliang?

Yes Khupa is just 5km before Hayuliang and a much better place than Hayuliang and much cleaner. It's actually a colony mostly developed for Govt Officials and yes as per your triplog it is 100% correct, that this is last Petrol Pump on the way. But I understand Fuel is very easily available on the way from local those were sold illegaly by Army. The present diesel rate was Rs.22/- per ltr for that diesel and people's perception is it's much better quality than that is available in pump, not sure though as I was very keen to take fuel only from Authorised fuel station. The circuit House there was built in Jan 2009 and very new and stay would be extremely pleasant.

9. Chaglogam - where is that? Is it on the road to Walong?

Just one km from hayuliang towards Chinwanti, you would get this new road forked out at your left, heard very scenic place this is but even DC/ADC of Anjaw was not sure if vehicle could ply till Chaglogam, it was so badly broken in heavy monsoon of 2010. Read in outlook article, 4X4 is preferred in this road.

In the snap road in left is coming from Hayuliang and right goes to Chaglogam (57km from here) via Mettngliang (48km from here). The snap was taken from road towards Chinwanti. So it's a branch road not on the main road towards Hayuliang.





10. Yes, Walong is indeed one of the prettiest places en route! How does one explore those places around Walong? Permissions, guides, durations?

Keep 2 nights in Walong and 1 night at Hawai, and 1st day just reach Walong and take rest, next day travel Kibithu, Dichu, and Namti Top (from Walong road to 15km one way), next day visit Helmet Top (17km oneway from Walong Road and visit the hot spring and then proceed to Hawai in later half of day for night stay. So effectively 1.5day is good enough for detail exploration. Kibithu as I mentioned you can't go to Helipad, can visit view point of ITBP to see China but Camera is not allowed. Again from fork 5km before Kibithu, you would find a road to Dichu and you can go upto Dichu, just before entering Dichu Army would stop you and to visit Dechu, you need Army Pass. From Dichu, Army Patrol trek to Tri Junction Border of India, China and Mynamar starts and it's 65 km from Dichu through mountains and dense forest takes around 6/7days.

11. Pity they don't allow photography at Kibithu, such a scenic place? And the helipad there affords you a panoramic view of the hills surrounding Kibithu.

Yes, we had to miss that view, I knew it's panoramic as I saw several snaps of yours and KS_Bluechip there and as per your report there was a tailoring shop that works for army.

12. Can you elaborate about the Dechu place? AFAIK, they were building a road 5 kms further from Kibithu (through Dong) to some place which was supposed to represent the border. Is Dechu in a different direction? And where did you turn off for the road to Dechu?

Yes this is the road I am refering as well, it started 5 km before you hit Kibithu and clearly marked as "Eastern Most Road of India" and crossed Lohit River through Meshai Bridge, very recently built and then road follows Lohit through other side of river to Dichu. In between you could see the walking bridge over Lohit crossed to Dong. So direction wise if Kibithu is in North, Dichu would be North East.







13. Do you need a separate ILP for Hawai? What is good about Hawai? Entry gate to Burma there?

No separate ILP is needed for Hawai, its in same district of Anjaw and as long as you don't need to cross a new checkgate you are trouble free. Hawai is very nice and newly built Dist HQ of Anjaw, the circuit house is a must stay here and would give you a nice breather in the long journey from Walong to Parsuram Kund. It's geographically located on just other side of Namdapha and a trek route exists between Hawai to Wakro but again a difficult trek, possible only with experienced guide. But no motorable road exists between Hawai to any other place except Chinwanti where it meets main Hayuliang-Walong Road.

14. Wakro-Deban-Miao, is there a car ferry across the Noa Dihing?

Wakro-Deban is very much motorable but Deban to Phup Village (Phup is just opposite to Miao and Noa Dihing flows in between) is in unpredictable situation, none knows much about this stretch but until you reach Phup Village, you can't cross Noa Dihing with your Car, so in that sense better to approcah this via Namsai-Dayun as it's more reliable though marginally longer than Wakro-Deban route. Car ferry cross is possible between Phup and Miao (But not possible in Deban) and charge is Rs.200/-

15. Namsai-Dayun-Phup Village-ferry crossing-Namchik-Miao, is that correct? Any distance details?

Wakro to Namsai is 57km and from Namsai to Dayun via Phup around 35 to 40km, road is good as per locals. But Namchik gate won't come in between as Namchik Gate is in other side of Miao and you would get that when you approach from Jagun side, by crossing Noa Dihing you would straight enter in Miao and Namchik checkgate would be bypassed and there I sensed trouble as when I would be going out, I need to explain at namchik gate why my vehicle is not entered in their gate.

16. Namsai - Bordumsa - Jagun Ghat - Crossing ferry on Namchik River - Miao. That is a long distance of over 100 kms from Medo! How bad were the roads, and what is the landscape and habitation like?

Road is bad from Bordumsa to Jagun Ghat around 11km. Rest road is good to okay sort of. landscape is again typical rural plane landscape and have habitation, but avoid Bordumsa route if you are late in evening as Bordumsa and Kharsang (comes between Miao and Jagun) is still being insurgent prone and every week face one or more kidnapping case and in this road tourists are very limited. Again no ferry crossing is possible after sunset (4.00pm in winter)

17. The Namdapha permit is issued at Miao all times of the day, all days?

It is issued only between Monday to Friday (10.00am to 4.00pm) unless you have sent fax application and they know you would reach some odd hours or on a public holiday. In that case you have to collect it from Forest Ranger's home at Miao. So if you reach on a holiday or odd hours keep his mobile number with you. But to get Deban FRH Booking (apart from Namdapha forest permit) it's advisable to approach atleast 2 months before specially if you come in tourist season like Christmas/New Year.

18. Route is as follows? Namsai - Bordumsa - Jagun Ghat - Crossing ferry on Namchik River - Miao - Deban (links up with road coming from Wakro?) - Dapabhum - Haldibari - Vijainagar?

See the map and last post where I replied KS_Bluechip on Namdapha, only till Deban is motorable via Miao-VijayNagar Road. But you can avoid this stretch if you come from Wakro to Deban and leave your car on that end and cross Noa Dihing on ferry. But no car crossing is possible here and also as you need to take forest permit from Miao, no point in coming directly to Deban bypassing Miao unless you can manage to fax it to you before hand. But what you mentioned as Namsai - Bordumsa - Jagun Ghat - Crossing ferry on Namchik River - Miao - Deban is absolutely correct and very much doable as I followed this route only.

19. Route to Pangsu - Miao-Jagun Ghat - Jairampur - Nampong - Pangsu? Do you have to take the permit on the spot at Jairampur?

ILP, I arranged through Bedanto from Dibrugarh but you need a special permit from ADC Jairampur for Pangsu Pass which can be difficult to arrange on spot as ADC might not be available on spot and may not issue unless it is recommended by someone, As few ULFA leaders moved to Burma from Bangladesh, our Home Ministry has hightened the security in all through Burma Borders and even pangsu pass festival was cancelled for 2011. Arif has managed my permit and scanned it and sent it over email but being an Govt engineer in Jairampur, what was possible for him might not be possible for you and me.

20. What did you hear about the Stiltwell Road beyond Pangsu - what is the situation in Burma, are there roads or it is one series of mud paths?

It's almost no road now beyond India and within Burma. Road stretch is visible as we drove 2 km within Burma unknowingly but not in a good shape. See the road at orkut album in the snap "10091_Stilwell Road at Burma side". Due to India's Look East Policy, they are very keen to open this road but South East Asian Politics involved here as two big force China and America both try to increase their influence on Burma's Junta Government. No Idea on Road in China but I think there it would still be motorable as it's an important border road for China from Kunming.


One crucial tip is that you must mention aas many places as possible in ILPs to permit enough route flexibility in case one or the other route is closed or not otherwise motorable. What exact places had you mentioned in your ILPs?

Ok ILPs are as follows:

Issued From Kolkata - Place mentioned- Teju, Dibang Valley, Dong and District mentioned - Lohit, Anjaw and Dibang Valley.

Issued from Dibrugarh -

1. Jairampur-Nampong-Pangsu pass
2.Namsai-Teju-Wakro-Hawai-Kibithu-Chaglogam
3. Miao-Deban-Namdapha-Dayun-Bordumsa

The above 4 were sufficient to cover any route in this region.

Thanks for the information on the IBs and CBs. Did you book all of them in advance? And do they normally entertain civilians or is it because of some special connections that you had? Will connections with the Army give you access to better accommodation in the Army camps or guest houses run by them?

Yes booked them all in advance as the strange rule I have seen here is they won't allow even if the CH is vacant unless they have the order from DC Office. Anjaw Administration was extremely good and cordial and entertain civilians as there is really no other option of stay, Dibang Valley and Lohit was little different, they press for alternate accommodation. I didn't have any connection, simply call them up over phone and faxed my request. Army connection would certainly be useful here.

I suppose most of these places are accessible for 8 months a year?!

They said best is to come between November to March, From April things become uncertain but last 50 years climatic record suggests December is driest in Eastern Arunachal.

You must have been extremely to get this taxi driver! I guess they charge you a stiff premium for fuel and maintenance costs!

Yes I am lucky with the taxi driver and he is really a very nice guy, I would share the rate in email as won't be good to share the exact rate in open forum but I can say it's very very reasonable and better than what travel agents offered me in Guwahati or even in Dibrugarh. For 1000 km drive my fuel cost was of Rs.4000 as I got on actuals. Rental component is something where you can bargain.

Any information on fuel filling stations. I know the one son the Tinsukhia-Kibithu route, but what about Tinsukhia-Roing-Tezu route and the Miao region?

Yes Filling Stations are as follows:

1. Just Crossing Shantipur Gate and before Roing
2. In Tezu Town
3. In Jagun
4. In Jairampur

Can't remember if any is there in Miao but it should be as Miao is quite big.

The best road map for this region I found surprisingly on a mile stone beside the road, here it is that shows even the road to Chaglogam. Have a look into it.



#12 Jan 10th, 2011, 22:55
Join Date:
Mar 2009
Location:
Bombay
Posts:
300
Send a message via Yahoo to hvkumar Send a message via Skype™ to hvkumar
  • hvkumar is offline
#12
kshil, I am overwhelmed by your voluminous reply, many many thanks for that!

One last question - how is mobile connectivity now?
When I travelled to this region 1.5 years ago, despite having a BSNL post-paid card, I could not get any connectivity once I entered Arunachal nowheere on the Kibithu route.
#13 Jan 10th, 2011, 23:15
Join Date:
Feb 2010
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
2,986
  • kshil is offline
#13
Hvkumar, you are most welcome and please ask if you have any further question.

Yes surprising part is now except Namdapha region (Deban) and Walong everywhere was having good mobile connectivity. I got Airtel and BSNL both all through the route and surprisingly in Roing I didn't get BSNL where as got full signal in Airtel which I never expected. I was keep checking even weather over internet through mobile office in Airtel and speed was quite good specially in early morning.

In my case both Airtel and BSNL were postpaid.
#14 Jan 11th, 2011, 09:36
Join Date:
Apr 2007
Location:
Mumbai, India
Posts:
2,262
  • ks_bluechip is offline
#14
Thanks, kshil, for clarifying the MV Road and trekking trail (via Hornbill) question; the Namdapha Map you attached makes it quite clear. Are you saying the Guv is trying to get the road remade all the way to Vijayanagar? That is a huge task and I doubt if that can be done even by Republic Day of 2012 or 2013. Anyway, if done, it should help the locals a lot. The Trek all the way to Vijaynagar would be a thrilling experience (even after road is built) as there will be many shortcuts thru the rain forests.

Seeing HVK's list of Questions, I was wondering how you are going to reply all of that? But your detailed answers have stumped me and not surprisingly even HVK is (temporarily) overwhelmed. I am over-drowned! I am sure HVK is analysing, absorbing, drawing maps, filling excelsheet cells and will soon be back with more specific questions; now that he know you are good 'data' guy, even if you didn't carry a GPS

I will have some more questions once I have seen all your stuff. But meanwhile, let me know, do you think trekking to Vijaynanagar say from Deban or Miao is a 'sane' idea?
.
.
#15 Jan 11th, 2011, 11:08
Join Date:
Feb 2010
Location:
Kolkata
Posts:
2,986
  • kshil is offline
#15
ks_bluechip, I am happy to share the data with all specially person like HVK who could make these raw data to classified information that would help all of us. I was quite overwhelmed with the logbook of HVK of the trip you both gone together as K2K-II and only after studying that logbook in detail, I gathered courage to take this trip with kid, It was unthinkable otherwise to venture in a place that is not even having a single authentic map. So may be next time when I would go there, I would again take the updated logbook of HVK to start with

Yes Govt is getting the road remade and I have seen several PWD camps and bulldozers in between but what locals say the whole route need 5000 odd bridges to be made which they probably would make something very temporary so that Governor can atleast go for republic day celebration, but considering the terrain, I don't think Govt neither has money nor the honest intention to keep it motorable for all through the year, considering the problems Lizus are facing. The best way to try the road sometimes close to 26th Jan this year

Ofcourse it would be thrilling experience walking all through the MV Road and taking several shortcuts to reach Vijaynagar. 2007 one group undertaken this route successfully and even in 2010 July, then DC of Changlang walked all through with his team from Miao to Vijaynagar to show the solidarity with the people of Vijaynagar. It was definitely a nice gesture from DC to those people who always walk through this road for their living. In both time that took 10/11 days, so you need to go prepared for camping and better to plan a return via helicopter that is now run weekly on every tuesday between Miao and Vijaynagar. So your idea looks very much 'sane' to me if undertaken in drier months like December / January.

Read the blog of to trek to Vijaynagar here that was undertaken in winter of 2007. I am sure you would find it very interesting and some breathtaking snaps on the way.
Reply

Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2017
Page Load Success