Trip Report - Arunachal Pradesh (Tawang-Dirang-Bomdila) in March 2016

#1 Apr 16th, 2016, 13:24
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#1
We have been planning for Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh) trip for a very long long time. On many occasions the trip was canceled and this time we were so determined that we have to go to this trip. Well, we did it actually and thus comes this trip report.

In further posts, I'll add the below details:
  1. Trip Itinerary and Contact Details
  2. Day #1 and day #2
  3. Day #3 and day #4

I'd like to thank abhinandab, L1S1, ghosal and style_guru for their suggestions, reviews and assistance. Without their assistance this trip was impossible to plan for me. THANKS!!

FYI: This is not complete yet. I'll keep this updated
Last edited by aneek; Apr 18th, 2016 at 00:32..
#2 Apr 16th, 2016, 13:33
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#2

Itinerary & Contact Numbers

In this post I’ll write about our itinerary and will also provide the required phone numbers to the booking we made.

Date of Journey: 26th March 2016 (Saturday)
Date of Return: 3rd April 2016 (Sunday)

Itinerary
  1. Day#1 (26th March 2016 - Saturday): Flight to Guwahati (AI-729). From Guwahati reach Tezpur. Night stay at Tezpur.
  2. Day#2 (27th March 2016 - Sunday): From Tezpur start for Arunachal Pradesh. Reach Dirang via Bhalukpong and Bomdila. Night stay at Dirang.
  3. Day#3 (28th March 2016 - Monday): Early start from Dirang and reach Tawang early. Apply for the Restricted area permits for Bum-La Pass & Madhuri Lake. First night stay at Tawang.
  4. Day#4 (29th March 2016 - Tuesday): Local sightseeing at Tawang. Second night stay at Tawang.
  5. Day#5 (30th March 2016 - Wednesday): Visit Bum-La pass and Madhuri Lake.
  6. Day#6 (31st March 2016 - Thursday): Early start from Tawang and reach Bomdila. Local sightseeing (if possible) and night stay at Bomdila.
  7. Day#7 (1st April 2016 - Friday): Early start from Bomdila and reach Guwahati via Tezpur.
  8. Day#8 (2nd April 2016 - Saturday): Get into Saraighat Express to Howrah.
  9. Day#9 (3rd April 2016 - Sunday): Reach Howrah. End of trip.


Car Arranger
Contact Person: Meeraj Ahmed +91-9401263717/meraj80318@gmail.com
Driver: John +91-9402033021

Hotels/Lodges & Contact #

Tezpur - Prasanti Tourist Lodge (Govt.), Jenkins Road (+91 3712 - 221016)
Room Rent: Rs. 850/3-bedded room. (Extra bed Rs.200/-)

Dirang - NRC YAK (Govt.) (+91-9402258434)
Contact Person: Mr. Neeraj Roy
Room Rent: Rs. 1000/3-bedded & Rs.600-800/2-bedded rooms with indian style bathroom.

Tawang - Tawang Tourist Lodge (Govt.)
Contact Person: Leki
Phone Number(s): 03794-222359, 03794-222567 & +91-9402615379
DC Office: 03794-222221
Room Rent: Rs. 1000/night (3 bedded room)

Bomdila - Hotel Native Inn
Phone Number: 9436045360
Room Rent: Rs. 3000/night (Apartment for 8-9 persons)

Guwahati: Hotel Mayur
www.mayurhotels.in
Room Rent: 725/night

These above is the itinerary that we followed and the hotel contact those we booked in advance or at the spot.
#3 Apr 17th, 2016, 15:51
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Day 1 & 2

Day #1 (Kolkata - Guwahati - Tezpur)

In this tour we were 9 persons and we belonged from different locations in West Bengal. We met at Kolkata Domestic Airport on 26th morning for our Air India flight AI-729. The flight was scheduled at 10:20 HRS (actual time 9:55 HRS) but it was delayed and we left Kolkata at 14:30 HRS. So due to this delay we reached Guwahati at 4:30 PM.

In the Airport Itself you can make ILP and it would take only 10 minutes but costs Rs. 450.

Outside of the Airport we got 2 cars at Rs.1900 to Tezpur hotel. This we took because we had to stop in the road multiple times. The flight was so late that we could not take foods properly in the way. Well of course, Air India provided us lunch (kind of) but it was not worth to fill our stomachs.



There is a more economic way to get to Tezpur. From Airport bargain and reach Paltan Bazar. There get Force Travellers at Rs.150 per seat. It will take 4 hours to reach Tezpur.

We reached Tezpur nearly by 10:00 PM and though Iíve reminded the lodge (Prasanti Tourist Lodge) to make us dinner, they havenít. So we had dinner at a ASTC bus stand stall. The dinner was okay. Canít mention any special feelings about it.

Prashanti Lodge front view


Day#2: Tezpur - Bhalukpong - Bomdila - Dirang
The next morning, we started for Arunachal Pradesh. That day we reached Dirang and it took us almost 9 hours to reach there.
We started likely at 10:00 AM from Tezpur and stopped at Bhalukpong for lunch. Also at Bhalukpong the permits will be checked. If you reach there by 12:00 PM, you can make permits (ILP) also. While going for Bomdila, there is an army refreshment center called "Tenga Haat". We stopped there and had some Ice Creams. The army canteen has many good stuffs and you can buy from there as well. So we decided that while returning back, we'd get some items for our families.

Tenga Haat


While we reached Dirang at ~ 7:00PM, we found that the Govt. based tourist lodge is now operated by private owners. The room rents in Pemaling, Awoo resort were very high so we found NRC Yak Lodge (Govt.) and booked rooms there. It was INDvsAUS T20 world cup match that night and some of us watched that while two of us went to do some night photography near the Dirang Monastery. The monastery was closed but we had a nice view of the market down the hill.

The next day (day #3) we would start for Tawang.
Attached Images
IMG_20160326_142621002.jpg IMG_20160327_080507613_small.jpg IMG_20160327_154047885_small.jpg 
Last edited by aneek; Apr 17th, 2016 at 20:47..
#4 Apr 18th, 2016, 00:29
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#4

Day 3 & 4

Day #3 (Dirang - Sela Pass - Tawang)

I'd remember this day for many coming years at least. I bet all of our group members as well. This was our solo experience when we were caught between a tremendous snow storm. So it goes like:

From Dirang we started at 9:00 AM sharp, had breakfast in the route (ask for the best masala tea in town). From Dirang itself it was drizzling. Our driver told us that our luck might be good as we might see some snow falls. Well it was freezing cold and we stopped at an army canteen to have some food. We had tea and some snacks. Then we again started the ascent. All of a sudden it started to snow. We were so happy. But soon the happiness turned into fear. All of a sudden we were in the middle of a snow storm. Making things worse, the rear tires were in bad conditions and we didn't have any chains.

This below picture was taken while we were stuck in the storm


Then Sun came our and we came out of the car



Lessons Learnt
So if you go in a off-season time, please keep in mind that at Sela Pass or Bum-La area, it might snow. You should check the car's tires and also should carry a set of good quality chains.

However, it took us almost 4 hours extra to reach JASWANT GARH. We had a pee break there. It was already 6 PM and temperature was -1 degree already. We had tea there (lots of tea) and while discussing the possibilities to visit Bum La one army man prayed for us. Surely thanks to that person's pray, we did visit Bum La in coming days. There is a bit of myth around that area (http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/t...f-china.17317/) so you might be interested in that.

Crossing Jung, we reached Tawang by 8:30 PM or by 9:00 PM. The rooms were nice at Tawang Tourist Lodge. We had our dinner at the lodge itself and went to bed.

Day #4 (Tawang - Sightseeing)
We had one reserve day in Tawang and it came handy. Some of us got early morning and went to visit the Tawang Monastery. It's mostly 2KM from the lodge. While we came back, we had Pork Thuppa from the market. It was really nice. Yum Yum!!

That day we visited the Monastery, War Memorial etc. And also made arrangements to get the restricted area permit for Bum La and Madhuri Lake. We got the permit from an agent in Tourist lodge (ask for Pota in Tourist Lodge). So the next day, we will go visit Bum La pass and Madhuri Lake.

I got a snap among many, while the sunset near the Monastery.



Essentials to get the Restricted Area Permit
You can ask your car driver or the hotel that you are staying for the permit. They will take Rs. 500/- to make those for you. In case you want to make it on your own, here's what you need:
1. Photocopy of the whole ILP (2 copies) - Mandatory
2. Photocopies (2 sets) of the photo identity proof for each of the team members. - Mandatory
3. Photocopy of Driver's license (2 copies) - Mandatory
4. Photocopy of Driver's car permit (2 copies) - Mandatory
These copies are needed to get the RAP form from DC Office Tawang. Fill the form and submit there itself. The form will be processed by 3 PM that very day. Then it has to be transferred to War Memorial office. Once the Army confirms it, you can collect the processes permit from War Memorial office itself.
Attached Images
IMG_20160328_121518323_small.jpg IMG_20160328_135140248_small.jpg IMG_3290_small.jpg 
#5 Apr 18th, 2016, 12:52
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#5
Hooked....nice start, keep going
#6 Apr 18th, 2016, 13:14
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Excellent start Aneek....Subscibed..


Can you check the image quality...seems they are too much compressed or what..
Sair kar duniya ki galib,yeh zindagani phir kahan..

****************************** **
Some of my compilations in Flickr
#7 Apr 18th, 2016, 13:43
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#7
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Originally Posted by life1style1 View Post Excellent start Aneek....Subscibed..


Can you check the image quality...seems they are too much compressed or what..
Thanks L1S1, yes the image are compressed. IndiaMike not allowing me to upload images with bigger sizes. However, I'll post a Flickr link as well once this report is complete. Also, do you know how to hide the attachment images? I am uploading the images and embedding in the post. So the image comes twice. Bad user experience.
#8 Apr 20th, 2016, 22:47
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#8

Day 5 & 6

Day #5 (Tawang - Bum La - Tawang)

The day previous we had made the RAP for Bum La and Madhuri Lake. We also had blessings from the Army man from Jaswant Garh. We made all arrangements so that we could start from the lodge by 6:15 AM sharp. But the driver (John) had to forget to collect the permit from War Memorial at that day.
So he went again to War memorial and collected the same. This took 45 more minutes and we started nearly 7:30 AM.
We had some extra cakes and biscuits left. Ate those on the way. Only stopped at the Y-Junction and again started to move towards Bum La. The weather was great all sun.
While on the way, we stopped at one Army checkpost for hot tea and steamy hot butter fried Chickpeas (channa/chola). It was awesomeeee!!
I hope who were there might had the same experience. Though the road was partially covered with snow, we had to use the chains in back tires sometimes. After going for a while with the chains the ropes binding the chains tore off. And in the process of fixing those our driver lost me Swiss Army Knife

But when we reached Bum La it was WOW!! I've attached some preview images to this post. Seen many things there, but can't give the photos. Talked with the army men at the post. Seen China checkpost and radar. Never had this hospitality at this altitude before. Hats of to those persons who stand day and night at that height facing the cold and the wind. Truly appreciated!! Now, it was time to go to Madhuri Lake.

We again came to the Y-Junction and it started to snow. Army stopped us to go further. We agreed to them and started to come down. Yes, we were feeling bad but soon though the warm hospitality turned our minds. While coming down suddenly at a checkpost, army men requested us to have lunch together. They served us food (Puri, Sabji, Salad, Kheer). We were stuffed. Thanked the great men and came back to the Tawang Town. While coming back we though to make chicken in dinner that night. So bought 2 kilos of chicken and all the spices. Some of us cooked and some of us had Rum . I should thank "Leki" at Tawang tourist lodge for arranging all the things together and for an extra gas oven. After dinner we went to sleep while some continued to drink Rum.

Day #6 (Tawang - Bomdila)
We were up early, packed our bags and headed out for Bomdila. In the route, we had to visit Jung Falls since it was pending when we went to Tawang. So reached to Jung falls and took some photographs. After that long road ahead to Bomdilla. At Bomdila we stayed at Native Inn Apartment. The hotel is nice but food is over priced.

Bad luck since it was really raining like hell (cats & dogs) at Bomdilla and we could not do any sightseeing. So we just stayed at the rooms and watched INDvsWI T20 match. In that India too had a bad luck.

Next day we had to come down to Tezpur and Guwahati.
Attached Images
IMG_3304_small.jpg IMG_3324_small.jpg IMG_3341_small.jpg 
#9 Apr 20th, 2016, 23:31
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#9
Aneek,

Please check the post#65 of the following thread:

http://www.indiamike.com/india/himac...gue-t239962/5/

Click on the quote and notice how I have used static flickr to attach the images..
#10 Apr 21st, 2016, 00:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by life1style1 View Post Aneek,

Please check the post#65 of the following thread:

http://www.indiamike.com/india/himac...gue-t239962/5/

Click on the quote and notice how I have used static flickr to attach the images..
Thanks L1S1, I'll do that surely..
#11 Apr 30th, 2016, 16:00
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#11

Day 7, 8 & 9

As we came near to end our trip, we felt sad that again we have to go back to the old IT special life and do the same work again and again maybe for more than an year till the next trip. Though it made us sad, it's the cycle of work life isn't it?

Day #7 (Bomdila - Tezpur - Guwahati)
We had to reach Guwahati this day so we started as soon as it was possible. While coming down, we took our first stop again at Tenga Haat and ate breakfast. The previous day one of the rear Tyre was severely damaged. So we had to check on the car speed (the spare was not in good condition either). At Tenga Haat we went for shopping and we bought a lot of stuffs from there for our family. There we spent a fair amount of time.

This caused us to increase the car speed where it permitted (100 - 120 KMPH). Near Bhalukpong, we had lunch and also bought some liqueurs from Arunachal (it's duty free and costs very less). Then while entering Assam, our car was in 110KM and the left rear Tyre was gone, we had a burst. Since the driver was good at stopping the car, we thanked him.

FYI: If you buy liqueurs from Arunachal, do keep in mind to hide those at Assam Border. If the police sees it they might take those (as said by our driver) we were lucky as there was no such patrolling that time. If there was some, we could have caught red handed.

Then just before the Tezpur ASTC stand (8 KM before) another Tyre was gone. We were left with no options and that time it was already 5 PM. So John (driver) said that he will arrange a Force Traveler which will take us to Guwahati Paltan Bazar. The cost was Rs. 180/head. So we took it.

The traveler journey was not so good as the seats were not at all comfortable. I'd prefer Winger more. However, you can't complain in these cases. We had a 15 minutes break where we were 60 KM outside of Guwahati. Then reached Guwahati by 10:30 PM or so.

Header to Hotel Mayur. Ohh, it was a horrible experience. We had non ac deluxe rooms. The rooms were in so bad conditions and the bathrooms didn't have any windows.

Day #8 & #9 (Guwahati - Saraighat Exp. - Howrah)
Sadness!! We boarded into Saraighat Express to Howrah and while being in the train we talked about the experiences we had in this trip, what went wrong and most important planning for the next one.

This trip was long due in our "places to visit" todo list. This time we did it. Yes, we haven't been able to see all the places in the route, but we thought the trip was so successful. Now, the trip is over and only we have the good, bad, joyful moments and memories. Also some photographs. I'll share some of those very soon.!!

So friends until the next trip this is the end of my trip report to Arunachal Pradesh.

Thanks!!
#12 Apr 30th, 2016, 19:23
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#12
Lovely report Aneek...please upload some images...
#13 Apr 30th, 2016, 22:41
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Originally Posted by life1style1 View Post Lovely report Aneek...please upload some images...
surely will do. thanks for the appreciation.
#14 May 25th, 2016, 11:08
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#14

Some of the images

Got some time to add these photos to Flickr.

Tawang Monastery





Sela Lake



Nuranang Falls




Last edited by aneek; May 25th, 2016 at 11:18.. Reason: Adding BB code instead of IMG SRC
#15 May 25th, 2016, 11:22
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#15

Bumla and while returning from Bumla

Somewhere while returning from Bum-La


Frozen Lake en-route to Bum-La


Somewhere at Bum-La
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