If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet.Rachel Wolchin
Some people live for adventure, the mere thrill experienced when faced with the most unexpected situations is what adventure is all about. Diving into the wilderness and losing oneself, body and mind, to attain the ultimate bliss is what an adventurous soul seeks. The physical pain, the mental pressure and all anxiety is worthwhile if you ultimately see and experience what you have been striving for. But only the destination shouldn’t matter, the journey should be as memorable and exciting as the destination itself. So come let’s hop on to experience one such amazing road trip from Assam to our neighbouring Tawang which will definitely leave you spellbound.
This road trip would be a roller-coaster ride with no definite travel time, at times risky due to the road conditions or altitudes. But like Coelho said,
The danger of adventure is worth a thousand days of ease and comfort.Paulo Coelho
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The entire distance from Guwahati in Assam to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, via Bhalukpong is around 510 kms. The travel time depends on your driving or riding skills and also the road conditions. Since most of the route after entering Arunachal Pradesh is what we call mountain road, there are chances of getting stuck for road blockage due to construction or snowfall. On an average it takes around 15 hours of continuous drive to reach Tawang, but spending a night either in Bomdila or Dirang is recommended to experience the thrill of the entire road trip.
Start your trip early from Guwahati to avoid traffic jams. You need to be an experienced biker or driver to overcome the mountain roads, so choose your option wisely. An SUV with great ground clearance is recommended for your drive, either with an experienced driver or self-drive option. You can book your cabs or bikes in Guwahati if you are not driving your own. And the most important thing is the inner line permit which is mandatory for all national and international tourists. This can be obtained online or directly at entry gates at the border.
The road condition from Guwahati till Nagaon by-pass is four lane express highway with green fields on both sides, and here you can pick up the speed. After the end of the express highway, the single road starts and here you can face a bit of traffic. As you turn left from NH 37 towards Tezpur you cross the historic Kolia Bhomora bridge built across the Brahmaputra river and enter Tezpur, Sonitpur district, which is a major tourist destination of Assam. Nameri National Park is a very famous wildlife destination in Sonitpur that you would want to explore.
Bhalukpong is the border town and the entry gate to Arunachal Pradesh and the roads become narrower and at places riskier after this. But nonetheless, the thrill of riding along this mountain terrain is the dream of many bikers and adventure lovers. Bomdila, 97 kms from Bhalukpong and Dirang, 43 kms from Bomdila are two places where most tourists choose to stay overnight. The roads till Bhalukpong are narrow and under construction but still accessible, and the weather is comparatively chilly than in the plains. Accommodation of all types are available in these two places considering the fact that Bomdila and Dirang are tourist destination too.
The highlight of the entire trip is undoubtedly Sela Pass and the beautiful Sela Lake, surrounded by mountains on all sides. Sela Pass, which is at a height of 13700 ft, looks best covered in snow during winters. The entire Sela lake becomes frozen in winter, and the surrounding mountains gets covered in snow which is the most celestial view one can witness. As your journey continue past the frozen Sela Lake, criss-crossing the snow covered mountains you cannot but imagine how majestic Nature is!
Another 73 kms of the beautiful mountain roads from Sela Pass and you reach your destination, Tawang. Tawang has an average elevation of 2669 mtrs with a warm and temperate climate. Tawang Monastery, Madhuri Lake, War Memorial, Bumla Pass, Jaswant Garh are some tourist attractions in Tawang, but what attracts tourists more is the beautiful landscape of the place.
The best time to visit Tawang is the summer season and the onset of monsoons when the temperature is comfortable. March, April, May, June, September and October are the most comfortable months, but if you want to experience snow then last weeks of November and early December is recommended. Winters here is very cold and rigid with heavy snowfall.