Need suggestion/clarification for Assam and Arunachal trip in Dec-10/Jan-11

#1 Oct 19th, 2010, 19:35
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Hi All,

I am planning to go for a North East trip (Primarlily Assam and Arunachal) in Dec-10/Jan-11 time frame along with my wife and kid of 5 yrs. I am still open about the itinerary and expect the experienced IMers to kindly answer certain doubts/ clarifications I have with the trip.

Needless to say this is a great forum where most of the information already there in various threads and I have got substantial information from few IMers already to come this far on my trip planning. I hope someone would surely help me to close the rest

The itinerary goes like this:

Day1 Guwahati Airport - Manas (Stay at Mathanguri FB)
Day2 Manas Stay (Mathanguri FB)
Day3 Manas Stay (Mathanguri FB)
Day4: Manas - Nameri Eco Camp (Stay at Nameri Eco Camp)
Day5: Nameri - Dirang (Stay at Pemaling)
Day6: Dirang - Tawang
Day7: To Bumla Border and Madhuri lake and stay at Tawang
Day8: Tawang - Bomdila
Day9: Bomdila - Kaziranga (Stay at Namdang)
Day10: Kaziranga (Stay at Namdang)
Day11: Kaziranga (Stay at Namdang)
Day12: Kaziranga to Dibrugarh via Hulluck Gibbon at Jorhat
Day13: Dibrugarh - Miao - Namdapha (Stay at Deban FRH)
Day14: Namdapha (Stay at Deban FRH)
Day15: Namdapha (Stay at Deban FRH)
Day16: Namdapha - Jairampur - Nampong - Pangsau Pass - Tinsukia
Day17: Tinsukia - Tezu - Hayuliang
Day18: Hayuliang - Kibithu - Hayuliang
Day19: Hayuliang - Tezu - Dibrugarh
Day20 : Dibrugarh Airport drop

Here are my questions:

ANJAW DISTRICT (ARUNACHAL)

1. Please guide me for the last part of the trip that between Tinsukia to Lohit/Anjaw district where I am planning to cover, Hayuliang, Walong, Kibithu, Hawai, Parasuram Kund and Chaglogam if possible.

a. How many days should be required considering I am starting on Day 17 for this leg from Tinsukia and I can extend my stay for couple of more days (Say till Day 22/23) if required.

b. Where should I stay in this leg considering I need room with attached clean toilet and enough blankets as I am going in end Dec/early Jan. No other luxuries I am looking for. I have seen Hyuliang has a Inspection Bunglow and Hawai has a Circuit House. Apart from that in Tezu we can have some private hotels apart from Circuit House. One CH is there in Wakro as well. Can these Govt CH be booked and if yes how?

c. What should be ideal routes in covering these places by covering optimum distance, asking this as I don't have any map of this region? Where is the last Petrol Pump in this route from Tinsukia?

d. Anjaw district official website says Chaglogam is going to be connected by a road soon but reading from different accounts in other websites seems the road connectivity is there. Has anyone having first hand experience on this road?

e. I have read about a road that connects Deban (Namdapha) to Wakro as mentioned in various sites. If I can use this road I would gain one full day and 150 km. Can anyone tell me about this road? Is it motorable fully (Distance seems to around 50 to 60km)

CHANGLANG DISTRICT (ARUNACHAL)

2. On Namdapha / Pangsau Pass I have following questions:

a. Apart from ILP, what other permits one require to visit Nampong/Pangsau Pass on Stilwell road? Can it be easily arranged on the way or needs to be pre-arranged? Can it be available on any day of week or barring weekend?

b. How much time it should take if one starts from Dibrugarh around morning (by 6.00am) and try to reach Deban in Namdapha after covering Nampong/Pagsau pass. It seems to be a diversion from Jagun before reaching Miao for Pangsau Pass.

c. I need to collect Forest Permit from Miao for entering into Deban. How long that office should remain open on a weekday?

d. Anyone having idea about Deban FRH, can you please tell me what is difference between tourist lodge and forest bunglow there in Deban complex? I was given Tourist lodge for 2 nights and Forest Bunglow for 1 night and they mentioned both are in Deban within same complex. I hope both are equally good in terms of accomodation.

REST OF THE TRIP (TAWANG IN ARUNACHAL AND NAMERI/KAZIRANGA/MANAS IN ASSAM)

3. For rest of the trip, I have almost got the required info except followings, unfortunately the list is not that short too:

a. Suggested accomodation in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia, I hope being large town, accomodation should not be a problem here.

b. To reach Dibrugarh by evening and to visit Hulluck Gibbon in Jorhat, what time should I leave from Kaziranga?

c. I have 2 full days in Kaziranga, Should I opt for Jeep safaris in all three areas (West/Central/East) or that is not required? I planned to take elephant ride on either of the day morning.

d. How long a drive it would take from Manas to Nameri, Nameri to Dirang, Dirang to Tawang, Tawang to Bomdila and Bomdila to Kaziranga?

e. December 21st to 25th, is it good time for Tawang? I mean how much is possibility in getting stuck in Sela Pass or enroute due to snow? I have seen in this forum quite a few trips during that time. Would Bumla be accessible during that time?

f. Accomodation suggestion in Bomdila and Tawang please? How is Tourist Lodge in Tawang? It's a Govt Acco, I believe.

g. I heard / read that a car from Assam is not allowed to visit local sightseeings in Tawang? Is it true? I am planning to do the whole trip in one car taking from Guwahati. Is there any other place in my proposed itinerary where I may face trouble with a Assam Car?

I am sorry for an extremely long post but I am sure nothing would remain unanswered in this great forum.

Thanks for your time and appreciate any input
#2 Oct 19th, 2010, 22:21
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#2
I know just the answer on a few or your questions

Quote:
b. To reach Dibrugarh by evening and to visit Hulluck Gibbon in Jorhat, what time should I leave from Kaziranga?

c. I have 2 full days in Kaziranga, Should I opt for Jeep safaris in all three areas (West/Central/East) or that is not required? I planned to take elephant ride on either of the day morning
To have the best change to see the gibbons you must be there early in the morning. We started our visit about 7.30 AM and saw a lot of them.
The drive from Kaziranga to Jorhat is less than two hours.

There are even four areas in Kaziranga, on the Central and the Western you see the most animals. For tariffs see this thread
#3 Oct 19th, 2010, 22:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vonkla View Post I know just the answer on a few or your questions

To have the best change to see the gibbons you must be there early in the morning. We started our visit about 7.30 AM and saw a lot of them.
The drive from Kaziranga to Jorhat is less than two hours.
Thanks for this nice tips, What time actually the Hulluck Gibbon Park opens? And in late December due you have any first hand experience how much fog one can expect during early hours. I am thinking as I need to drive close to two hours early morning to reach there by 7.30am.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vonkla View Post There are even four areas in Kaziranga, on the Central and the Western you see the most animals. For tariffs see this thread
Thanks for this link. As usual extremely informative.

I hope some other IMers would respond to other queries.

Thanks again
#4 Oct 20th, 2010, 00:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshil View Post Thanks for this nice tips, What time actually the Hulluck Gibbon Park opens? And in late December due you have any first hand experience how much fog one can expect during early hours. I am thinking as I need to drive close to two hours early morning to reach there by 7.30am.
I don't know when the park opens. We arrived there shortly after seven. The guards were washing themselves and when they were ready we went off. But then we met another visitor who was already walking around.
We visited it in March.
#5 Oct 20th, 2010, 20:11
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Originally Posted by vonkla View Post I don't know when the park opens. We arrived there shortly after seven. The guards were washing themselves and when they were ready we went off. But then we met another visitor who was already walking around.
We visited it in March.
Thanks a lot, would plan accordingly so that we could reach at earliest possible. But I am really looking for answers specially on Anjaw and Changlang part, very less information available on these areas in most of the forums including IM.

I hope someone would surely throw some light on those areas.
#6 Oct 20th, 2010, 20:44
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Since your questionnaire is quite long. I will answer randomly-- Will you be driving your own car or hire one? Manas to Nameri will be a long journey and from what I have heard the road is in bad condition due to recent flooding. I believe you will be reaching Nameri in the evening.Stay at the Eco-camp for a full day (not as an overnight transit site).Go for an early morning trekking into the forest and then river rafting in Gia Bhorolu, have lunch on the river bank and enjoy the evening listening to birds. You will be cursing yourself later if you don't bring a pair of birding binoculars. Rafting and trekking will be arranged by the eco-camp themselves.More later.
#7 Oct 20th, 2010, 20:52
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Thanks rupakb24, answering in any order is highly appreciated as answers are always hard to find

My Manas-Nameri drive would be on 20th Dec and I hope the road conditions would be improved by then. I would be renting a car, not a self driven one. I was advised in exactly same manner by another IMer (Piran) to stay a full day in Nameri, I would surely keep this in mind and try to accomodate the same. I would be equipped with my 300 tele-lens and ofcourse with a binocular.

Thanks again and would look for your reply on rest of the post.
#8 Oct 23rd, 2010, 18:00
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Pack a lot of woolens as it'll be chilling cold; more so in Sela Pass. Carry flasks of hot tea. You have to stay at Bomdilla or Dirang (which I prefer) overnight no matter where you start from. Hotel Buddha was the hotel we stayed in in Tawang. There are better hotels too.
Don;t go for diesel car like indica; they tend to fail in every occasion in that kind of cold. There will be no problem hiring a car in assam and journeying into arunachal. you will have to pay extra i believe at the check gate in Bhalukpong.
It takes around 6 hours from Kaziranga to Dirang and the same time from dirang to tawang; this of course depending on the condition of the road. Talking of roads, you will find every kind of road possible from dirt to pitch. It will be better if you can start your holiday in november. Will fill you up later
#9 Oct 23rd, 2010, 20:21
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Thanks rupakb24, unfortunately I can't start in November, but completely agree with you that venturing in 13000 ft in December might not be a very good idea. But I have read in many places here in IM, that people do visit that region in Decemeber and passes are usually kept open during that time. So let me take a chance and see how it goes.

Which type of car you recommend, I believe even the big SUV/MUV like Scorpio, Sumo, Bolero all are diesel only.

Could you please elaborate a little on paying extra in Bhalukpong gate for an Assam registration car? I heard the sight seeing in Tawang is not allowed with Assam Regn Car, but dropping to Tawang is not an issue, is this correct?

Thanks for other related answers.

I still hope someone here would throw some light on Anjaw and Changlang plan. I am really clueless about these regions, even not sure if the permits of Nampong/ Kibithu/Dong/Hawai etc. are gettable easily for Indian National or not.
#10 Oct 25th, 2010, 21:08
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We visited tawang in April and traveled in a Tavera with Assam registration (though it had a private number) maybe commercial vehicles may not be allowed for site seeing. In a way it's better, because local drivers know a lot of secluded but beautiful locations and are much more versed with the condition of the roads. We made the mistake of hiring the car from guwahati.
As for hiring a car and dropping off, visit this site: http://www.arunachaltourism.com/tour_operator.php Arunachali people are very friendly and will help you find the best package or whatever you need.
#11 Oct 26th, 2010, 00:17
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I too think, for private registration vehicle you won't be having problem anywhere in India. The problem starts with commercial vehicle. Anyway I don't mind taking a car for sight seeing in Tawang if I find a good weather.

But hope they won't create any problem regarding travelling in Eastern Parts as my plan contains extensive travel through Changlang, Lohit and Anjaw district.

Still no response from any IMer on the questions I asked about Anjaw/Changlang. I hope still someone would come forward to answer a few. I have started calling the District Administrations and slowing gathering some information though.

I hope I would get ILP for all the places I intend to go as some places are very near to China/Mynamar border and with renewed tension about Sino-Indian border conflict I don't know what would be in store for me. But I would be applying for ILP in next week itself. Hope all would go well.
#12 Oct 26th, 2010, 15:03
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Do not make any fix plan; you never know where you will be holed up. It's not landslide but fog which might be a problem. There is a general misconception of border problem but as a resident here i can guarantee you that it's very peaceful almost throughout the year.
#13 Oct 26th, 2010, 17:31
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Brother, as I am planning during Christmas, one of the most rush season, I had to prebook the places like Mathaguri Bunglow in Manas, Deban FRH in Namdapha even the Kaziranga part as well. When I booked in early September, still I had difficulties in getting these booked, so difficult to go there without pre-booking. Now the moment you pre-book there are certain restrictions automatically comes.

But I am completely flexible with Tawang Sector and Eastern Arunachal like Nampong/Jairampur or Wakro/Hayuliang/Wallong/Kibithu/Chaglogam/Hawai etc. The reason is Eastern Arunachal usually have a very few tourist where as in Assam and even in Western Arunachal the picture is completely different.

About border, I am worried with Home Ministry's reaction on the latest Chinese aggression. I know I don't have any problem from local people but my worries are Govt shouldn't stop issuing permits. This year if you are aware they cancelled the Pangsau Pass festival that is supposed to be held in Jan 2011. I have Pangsau Pass/Kibithu/Chaglogam in my wishlist all of which are couple of km from border.
#14 Oct 30th, 2010, 14:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshil View Post Hi All,


ANJAW DISTRICT (ARUNACHAL)

1. Please guide me for the last part of the trip that between Tinsukia to Lohit/Anjaw district where I am planning to cover, Hayuliang, Walong, Kibithu, Hawai, Parasuram Kund and Chaglogam if possible.

a. How many days should be required considering I am starting on Day 17 for this leg from Tinsukia and I can extend my stay for couple of more days (Say till Day 22/23) if required.

b. Where should I stay in this leg considering I need room with attached clean toilet and enough blankets as I am going in end Dec/early Jan. No other luxuries I am looking for. I have seen Hyuliang has a Inspection Bunglow and Hawai has a Circuit House. Apart from that in Tezu we can have some private hotels apart from Circuit House. One CH is there in Wakro as well. Can these Govt CH be booked and if yes how?
Hi Kaushik,

First I thought of going to Lakshadweep in Dec. But the SPORTS people published their package so late that I was not getting train tickets. Then, my second option was North West Arunachal Pradesh (Tawang , Bomdila). But due to lack of information I again changed my mind and now going to Eqypt in December.

I stayed in Namsai (in Lohit District - 3 hrs journey from Tinsukia) for 2 years in 1995-96. We would often visit Parashuram Kund which would take 2½ hrs by car from Namsai. Parashuram Kund is a lovely place, but be very careful as the river is very dangerous.

Just after the Dirang Gate (where inner line permit is checked), you will cross Noadihing river, which often changes its route. So the river belt is very wide. The hanging bridge which was made on the river Noadihing used to get washed off every rainy season. The rainy season in this region is a long one from March – October. So we used to cross the river by marboat (2 boats joined to carry trucks / bus & cars). Now a good bridge has been constructed here. In Tinsukia & Dibrugarh, there are many hotels. But in Lohit District, I don’t think so you will get good hotels, so best is Circuit House.

In Kaziranga, elephant ride is best. But you should also experience jeep ride, since you are staying 2 days.
#15 Oct 30th, 2010, 14:57
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Originally Posted by Chandrali Chandra View Post Hi Kaushik,

First I thought of going to Lakshadweep in Dec. But the SPORTS people published their package so late that I was not getting train tickets. Then, my second option was North West Arunachal Pradesh (Tawang , Bomdila). But due to lack of information I again changed my mind and now going to Eqypt in December.

I stayed in Namsai (in Lohit District - 3 hrs journey from Tinsukia) for 2 years in 1995-96. We would often visit Parashuram Kund which would take 2½ hrs by car from Namsai. Parashuram Kund is a lovely place, but be very careful as the river is very dangerous.

Just after the Dirang Gate (where inner line permit is checked), you will cross Noadihing river, which often changes its route. So the river belt is very wide. The hanging bridge which was made on the river Noadihing used to get washed off every rainy season. The rainy season in this region is a long one from March – October. So we used to cross the river by marboat (2 boats joined to carry trucks / bus & cars). Now a good bridge has been constructed here. In Tinsukia & Dibrugarh, there are many hotels. But in Lohit District, I don’t think so you will get good hotels, so best is Circuit House.

In Kaziranga, elephant ride is best. But you should also experience jeep ride, since you are staying 2 days.

Excellent Information Chandrali !!

I was really feeling hopeless in getting reply on this part but now atleast found one who stayed in these region for 2 years

Thanks for warning on Nohadihing and Lohit rivers, I think all rivers of Assam and Arunachal are unpredictable. I was speaking to Asst Commissioner of Anjaw district and he himself was not sure if the road connectivity between hayuliang and chaglogam is there at present or not, it washed away this summer due to reavy rains and last report he had in Oct was it should be ready by end Oct (that he got a month back). So it's understandable if the Senior Administrative officers have so little info, what could happen with people like us.

The place is so pristine and beautiful only problem is absolute lack of infrasturcture and information. You can't believe how I got the route information to reach Namsai from Miao without rerouting through Tinsukia, even Circle Offices say without touching Tinsukia it was not possible. Then I realized I choose wrong time for travelling through Lohit as Parsuram Kund festival happens during Mid Jan and they won't give any IB/CH to people like us between Mid Dec to Mid Jan. But I found a private acco in Medo (20 km before Wakro). So it's all about digging up the information, quite challenging but interesting. If I really can make this trip, I would surely come out with a detail trip report, it's really required.

All the best for Egypt trip, excellent time to go there in December, I have been there in Dec for my official work and weather should be brilliant.


PS: When you stayed in Namsai, Anjaw district was not created, the whole district was Lohit with District HQ in Tezu. In 2004, they carved out Anjaw from it and new dist head quarter shifted to Hawai, Tezu still being served as Lohit's DHQ.
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