Hidden from rest of the country, by the mighty Himalayas, Arunachal Pradesh is truly a “Paradise on Earth” for its mesmerizing beauty. It is no wonder than that Arunachal Pradesh tourism is rapidly gaining popularity. The typical places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh would be Tawang, Ziro and Itanagar (which is the capital of Arunachal Pradesh), which have gained tourist attention due to their unparalleled beauty. However, there are many hidden tourist places in Arunachal Pradesh that are yet to come under limelight. Here, we are bringing five mesmerizing Arunchal Pradesh destinations that lie along the Bhalukpong – Tawang axis.
Nearest railway station: Rangapara
- Before travelling to Arunachal Pradesh you need to arrange for Inner Line Permit. You can get this at the state office in Delhi, Guwahati or Tezpur.
- Liquor tax is exempted in the state so you can get a taste of the heavenly wines and some other hard drinks.
This beautiful valley, fed by the Tenga River, will be an apt introduction to Arunachal. Tenga Valley played an important role during 1962 Indo-Sino conflict. Visit the Tenga War Memorial to pay homage to those brave soldiers who laid down their lives protecting our nation. One can enjoy several outdoor activities at Tenga Valley such as trekking, river crossing and river rafting. If you like shopping, then pay a visit to the Tenga Market. Here, one can buy Baku (Tibetan dress), stone jewelry and other traditional artifacts. If you are not interested in either; simply sit by the river and watch the magnificent sun rise above you. Either way, you will be rejuvenated. While at Tenga Valley do not miss visiting the Naag Mandir.
Bomdila and Dirang Valley
Moving beyond Tenga, you will come across tow important destinations for Tawang tourism. Firstly, Bomdila which is a township populated by approximately 6500 people. One can look for inner peace at many Buddhist monasteries or go for a jungle trek through the apple orchards near Bomdila Pass.
Your second stop should be at Dirang. Dirang is another beautiful valley which lies 2 hours away from Bomdila. The flat landscape with farm lands and the winding river will surely make you thank your stars for being able to experience Mother Nature’s artwork. Both Bomdila and Dirang have good markets to shop for some clothes, jewelry and other Chinese items. While at these valleys visit the Dirang Hot Springs.
Few hours north of Dirang, driving through the serpentine narrow roads, you can reach the Sela Pass. Sela is one of the few passes between India and China. This was an important trade route between these two countries in the ancient times. Temperatures here can go as low as -100C and this pass rarely sees sunlight. Get a picture clicked with the sign board as a memory to have reached above everyone else on earth (at 13,700ft). Enjoy the picturesque Sela Lake and if the weather permits, take a detour to Gompa, also known as the Land of Thousand Lakes.
- Trivia: Sela Pass is the only Pass in the world which has a lake.
Descending from Sela, the shrine of Hon. Capt. Jaswant Singh is a must stop for every Indian. Jaswant Singh, an Indian Army cook with the help of two local girls (Nura and Sela) successfully stalled the Chinese Army during the 1962 war. The shrine is built at the place where he was hanged by the Chinese (the tree upon which he was hanged still exists). The shrine is a constant reminder of our brave soldiers and their ultimate sacrifices. One can visit the small museum maintained by the Indian Army and enjoy lip smacking Samosas and hot tea, all for free, provided by the Indian Army. If you are lucky enough and the weather is clear, you will be able to see Jung and other towns at a distance. The view is amazing.
At an altitude of 8,000 feet, Jung is a sleepy little town. The town derives its name from the famous Jung Falls nearby. Apart from a visit to the Jung Falls, tourists can also visit the local Monastery and market (selling Chinese items). Restaurants in Jung serve most delicious momos.