Tawang: A Hidden Paradise in Arunachal Pradesh

Tawang

Tawang, located in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, is a hidden gem that is slowly gaining popularity among travelers. Known for its picturesque landscapes, rich culture, and serene atmosphere, Tawang is the perfect destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Discover the hidden paradise of Tawang, which the Monpa tribes call home, and where annual festivals like Torgya and Losar are celebrated with great enthusiasm and traditional gaiety. Losar marks the start of the New Year, while every third year, the festival of Dungyur is celebrated in conjunction with Torgya.

Immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and discover true tranquility in Tawang.

Best Places to visit in Tawang

1. Tawang Monastery
Tawang Monastery, also known as Galden Namgyal Lhatse, is India’s largest monastery and the second largest in the world. It is a must-visit site in Tawang. It’s a holy site for Mahayana Buddhists, belonging to the Gelugpa sect, and home to over 300 monks and 17 gompas.

Tawang

The 16th-century architecture offers a peaceful view of the Himalayas and features arts such as Bodhisattva sketches, a silver silk casket for Shri Devi, and more. Tawang Monastery is a three-story building surrounded by a 282-meter-long wall. Its library houses valuable old scriptures such as Kangyur and Tengyur. The most elaborate and colorful festival at the monastery is Torgya, which attracts many tourists. The best time to visit is during the Losar festival held at the beginning of the year.

2. Sela Pass

Sela Pass, a popular tourist destination in Tawang, is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. It sits at 4,170 meters in Arunachal Pradesh and is known for its geographical significance. The scenic surroundings offer a chance to relax and rejuvenate.

Sela Pass

Covered in snow year-round, Sela Pass offers stunning views of the Himalayas. It’s also a significant religious site for Buddhists, and visitors can enjoy the captivating beauty of the rocky pass, including the frozen Sela Lake.

2. Sangestar Tso (Madhuri Lake)
Sangestar Tso, formerly called Shonga-tser Lake, also known as Madhuri Lake, is famous for being the location where the Bollywood song from the movie Koyla was shot. It’s a popular tourist spot, known for its stunning views of the surrounding hills and mountains and its peaceful atmosphere.

Tawang
Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: @uday_rudraksh_bhargav

Visitors come to take in the serene ambiance and enjoy a leisurely stroll. Photographers will love capturing the lake’s breathtaking beauty. Sangestar Tso is a must-visit destination in Tawang and provides a respite from the noise and pollution of cities.

4. Nuranang Falls
Nuranang Falls, often considered one of India’s most beautiful waterfalls, is a hidden gem in Tawang. It originates from Sela Pass and offers tranquil views of stunning landscapes.

Nuranang Falls e1674917225301
Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: @_bijit.99

Nuranang Falls is located at an elevation of 6000 feet above sea level, surrounded by untouched forests and pristine hills. With its verdant greenery, thick mist cover, and peaceful surroundings, it’s a must-visit for nature lovers seeking relaxation in Tawang.

5. Tawang War Memorial
Tawang War Memorial, located 25 kilometers from Tawang, is a must-visit for patriotic visitors to Tawang.

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Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: @bins_babu

It honors the bravery of Indian soldiers who died in the 1962 Indo-China War and serves as a memorial for 2140 fallen soldiers. A visit to Tawang War Memorial is a way to show love for the nation and relive historical events.

6. Gorichen Peak
Visit the adventurous Gorichen Peak in Tawang to unleash your thrill-seeking side. Ideal for nature lovers, Gorichen Peak is the highest peak in Arunachal Pradesh and attracts many trekkers with its stunning mountain views.

Gorichen Peak e1674918034620
Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: @travel.hunkers

The breathtaking scenery at this peak is unparalleled. Known as Sa-Nga-Phu or the “Kingdom of the Deity,” Gorichen Peak is believed to be a sacred place that protects against evil. The best time to visit is April to October.

7. Peng Teng Tso Lake
Peng Teng Tso Lake, surrounded by blue lapis flowers, is a breathtaking sight in Tawang. Its surreal beauty, with flowers and snow, offers stunning views of the Himalayas.

Peng Teng Tso Lake e1674918811392
Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: @thevoguetribune

Maintained by the Indian army, it’s a 17 km drive from the main town and a must-visit for tourists. With snow-capped mountains, a breathtaking trail of rhododendrons and serene waters, Peng Teng Tso Lake is a stunning attraction in Tawang.

8. Taktsang Gompa
Taktsang Gompa, a well-known monastery in Tawang, is said to be the site where Guru Padmasambhava meditated in the 8th century. Situated 50 km from Tawang, the monastery is surrounded by thick conifers and towering hills, creating a stunning landscape.

Taktsang Gompa
Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: @changs.shin

Taktsang Gompa is famous for its breathtaking scenery and is a paradise for photographers visiting Tawang. Its tranquil surroundings provide a spiritual escape from the busy city life, offering peace and serenity. As a popular tourist destination, Taktsang Gompa is a must-visit for those seeking to admire the natural beauty and create lasting memories.

9. Urgelling Gompa
Nestled in Tawang, Urgelling Gompa is a 14th-century monastery believed to be the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama. This peaceful retreat, just 3 km from the town, offers a haven for those seeking solace from life’s troubles.

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Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: @rupayanchaks

As a significant site for Buddhists, Urgelling Gompa draws numerous visitors who come to admire its tranquil atmosphere. The monastery’s calm surroundings offer a chance to escape and spend a peaceful day away from the bustling world.

10. Bumla Pass
Discover the hidden gem of Tawang at Bumla Pass. This historic pass, famous as the entry route of the Dalai Lama into India, offers a thrilling adventure experience. Obtain a special permit and wander through the stunning wilderness.

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Courtesy: Instagram | Creator: @nimeshddesai

Bumla Pass is a popular picnic spot, surrounded by snow year-round at 5000m above sea level. The best time to visit Bumla Pass is from May to October for the best experience.

Best time to visit Tawang

The ideal time to visit Tawang valley is during the summer and pre-monsoon seasons, between March and October. The town offers a picturesque landscape and pleasant weather during these months. However, the winter season from October to March can also be a great time to visit, with the exception of the coldest months of December and January, when heavy snowfall may occur. If you are fortunate enough to experience clear weather during the winter, you will be able to witness breathtaking views of the majestic Himalayan ranges.

Overall, Tawang is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you are a history buff, an adventure seeker, or just looking to relax and unwind, Tawang is the perfect place to visit.

How to reach Tawang:

By Air:
Tawang can be reached by air via the two closest airports, Salonibari Airport in Tezpur (387 km) and Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati (480 km). Additionally, since October 2014, the government has implemented helicopter services to Tawang twice a week from Guwahati, providing an alternative mode of transportation for visitors.

By Train:
The nearest railway station to Tawang is Rangapara, located at a distance of 383 kilometers. From there, one can take a bus or taxi to complete the journey to Tawang.

By Road:
Tawang can be reached by road through cabs and buses from various locations including Tezpur (319 km), Udalguri (390 km), Bhalukpong (262 km), and other nearby towns. Tourists can choose from government or private transportation options to get to the city.

Arunachal Pradesh is a restricted area and visitors, other than natives, must obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter the state. 

An Inner Line Permit (ILP) can be obtained through the official website of the Arunachal Pradesh Inner Line Permit Management System. More details about the ILP have been in one of our previous posts

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