Tawang and Ziro Valley

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paddy field-ziro-valleyThe origin of the word “travel” is most likely lost to history. The term “travel” may originate from the Old French word travail. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the first known use of the word travel was in the 14th century. In English we still occasionally use the words travail and travails, which mean struggle.

For nature and scenic beauty lover, Ziro Valley is an enchanting holiday destination in North East India to travel which attracts everyone with its lush-green natural charm with sprawling paddy fields, quaint villages and rolling green hills veiled under thick layers of vibrant flora, a must for travelers delight. While the tranquillity of this charming little town makes it a soul seekers paradise, its epitomic scenic beauty also entices innumerable nature lovers. Travel to Arunachal Pradesh (earlier known as NEFA, North East Frontier Agency)

Important places to visit in A.P.

Itanagar: Itanagar is a beautiful capital of Arunachal Pradesh and it has all sorts of accommodations ranging from moderate to expensive. The hotels in Itanagar offer a good view of the surroundings and well maintained facilities. ItaNagar does not have a Railway Station. The nearest Railway station is Naharlagun, 20kms. from ItaNagar.

Hapoli / Ziro Valley Old and New: Administrative headquarter of the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh and perched at an elevation of 5500 ft. above sea level, Ziro is paradise for every nature enthusiast and adventure freak. The bewitching scenic beauty of this exotic hill hamlet dotted with terraced rice fields, lush bamboo forests and picturesque trails lined with tall blue & green pines, makes it one of the most photogenic valleys across India.

‘Ziro Music Festival’ launched in 2012 has also greatly contributed in positioning this entrancing hill town on an avid traveller’s map. Numerous music lovers, top national & international music bands and folk artists from every corners of the world now travel here every year to celebrate the festival in September, and leave this beautiful place with some unforgettable memories not only of the vibrancy of the fest but, also of the warm hospitality, the delicious local food and off-course a hypnotic scenery that can leave anyone and everyone charmed for their entire lives.

Bhalukpong:
Government run ‘Inspection Bungalow’ and ‘Forest Rest House’ make as great choice for your stay in case one is looking forward to a secluded break amidst captivating jungle environs. Not to explicitly mention, the stay in these state run lodges require prior permits from the tourism department which can be arranged by registered travel agency in India.
Top Tourist Attractions in Bhalukpong: Pakke Tiger Reserve: Situated in the East Kameng District, Pakke Tiger Reserve is a part of Pakhui or Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary. The wildlife reserve is an ideal place for viewing and photographing four species of hornbills along with numerous animal and bird species.

Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR) offers a pristine landscape and homes to some of the rare species of flora and fauna. A recent discovery of a rare Species of Tortoise Seen In Arunachal Pradesh. The tortoise is a young male, which was rescued by one Waru Nakong, a native of Kakoi. The rescued tortoise was handed over to Itanagar zoo on Friday. The sighting of Manouria Impressa occurred at Kakoi area under Banderdewa forest division in Papum Pare district recently, officials said.
Because of the discovery of this rare species of tortoise in Arunachal, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has written a letter of appreciation to the State Forest Department, informed Tao.

The discovery of Manouria Impressa in June this year in Yazali under Lower Subansiri district has increased the total number to 29 species of non-marine chelonians and five recorded tortoises in the country.

According to an expert, the male is smaller than the female which is 30cm in length. This tortoise eats mushroom, cucumber, pumpkin along with few other selective food items, informed S C Paul, a forester in the Itanagar Biological Park.

What makes PTR special are the brilliant efforts of the Forest Department and local communities like that of Nyishi Tribe who inhabit in the area around the park to protect the wildlife here. The significant measures that included penalties on wildlife violation changed the scenario in the reserve, making it quite a safe place for the flora and fauna to flourish in peace. Resultant, the reserve has become a shelter for over 2000 species of plants, 300 species of birds, 40 species of mammals, 30 species of amphibians and 36 species of reptiles. There are many species of the flora and fauna existing in PTR that are globally threatened and two of them includes Hornbill and White Winged Wood Duck.

Bhalukpong Fort: Bhalukpong Fort was the seat of King Bhalukpa and is said to have built before the 10th century. It is said to be associated with mighty Salasthambhas who ruled the area from the middle of the seventh century. Later, it was ruled by the Palas of Assam during 10th to 12th century CE. Though the fort lies in ruins, one can see a few brick structures and remnants of ring wells even today.
Sessa Orchid Sanctuary:Sessa Orchid Sanctuary is located on the West Kameng District of ArunachalPradesh. This beautiful and must visit place in Arunachal is dotted with more than 200 orchids. You can feel the scenic beauty of the landscape here in Sessa Orchid Sanctuary.

Tawang-Arunachal

Dirang: Situated enroute to Tawang from little down of Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh, Dirang is one of the most breath-taking travel places in North East India that is sure to cast a spell on every visitor. Engulfed in awe-inspiring Himalayan vistas sprinkled with verdant greenery, sparkling streams, enchanting waterfalls and natural hot water springs, the tiny hamlet truly makes for an idyllic getaway for nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts and cultural freaks alike. The village’s scenic trails immersed in profound tranquillity provide for a fascinating time to all the bird watchers too; venture on a nature stroll early in the morning and get treated with charming sights of white-throated redstarts, fire-tailed sunbirds, rufous-bellied tits and rainbow-coloured trogopans playing hide and seek amidst the thick bushes. For a more splendid experience, embark on a short hike to the ‘Sangti Valley’, yet another beautiful sightseeing place that lies just 7 km. off the main city centre and is famous as a wintering spot for the migratory black-necked cranes. Besides cranes, the alluring charm of the valley soaked in captivating panoramas of striking kiwi and apple orchards and lush paddy fields along the pristine Sangti River is magical enough to leave all the visitors entranced and captivated for their entire lives.

Bomdila: A very small hill station cuddled in the lap of Himalayas in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, Bomdila is no less than a piece of paradise on earth bestowed with a pious aura of spirituality, peace and solace. Sprinkled with frosty Himalayan peaks, virgin forests and gorgeous fruit orchards, the enchanting place, within no time, takes the visitors in complete awe of its breath-taking natural splendour. While undoubtedly, the quaint town is a soul-seekers’ retreat leaving them with an inexplicable sense of rejuvenation and transformation, it’s also a heaven for adventure lovers offering them with a wide array of outdoor adventure activities such as hiking, trekking, mountain biking and forest camping.

Sela Pass: One of the most breathtaking places in the Himalayan vista, Sela Pass is a lifeline for the people of Arunachal Pradesh, and it is as heavenly as it gets. The Sela Pass and Himalayas combine to enchant one and all by their mystic beauty. One of the most stunning gifts of nature to the North-East, Sela Pass is a lifeline for the people of Arunachal Pradesh as it is the only way that connects Tawang district of the state to the rest of the country. Besides its geographical importance, Sela Pass is breathtaking place always covered in snow providing some beautiful views of the eastern Himalayan range. The rocky pass is also home to one of Arunachal’s most beautiful lakes – the Sela Lake. Being a sensitive region, one needs an inner line permit to visit Sela Pass.

The Sela pass and the Sela lake situated at an altitude of 4170 meters are a gateway to Arunachal and in a way tell you the treasures that lie ahead within the state. Being at Sela Pass and gazing into the frozen Sela Lake one cannot help but marvel at the wonder that is the Himalayas. Sela pass lies on your way to Tawang city which is some 80 km from the pass and does make a great place to stop and relax admiring the awesomeness of the surroundings.
Reminiscence of Indo-China war of 1962 still haunts the habitats.

Tawang: The birthplace of “Dalai Lama” Tawang. Located at a height of about 3048m, is known for many important and beautiful monasteries and is famous as the birth place of Dalai Lama.

The beautiful town of Tawang, also pronounced as Dawang has many sceneries to make your trip a picturesque one. However, what begins to define the area is its significance for Buddhist monks. Tawang is the place to go for monasteries, with the Tawang Monastery being the most popular one and extremely sacred for the Buddhists. Tawang is a place which will flatter you with its natural beauty wrapped in the scent of spirituality. The beautiful orchid sanctuary and the Tipi Orchid Sanctuary is also an ideal place for your list of places to visit. Along with this one can have their taste buds to have an experience of Tawang by indulging into the area’s unique cuisine.

tawang-war-memorialTawang War Memorial The Tawang War Memorial was built in memory of soldiers of the Indian Army who gave up their life in the 1962 Indo-Sino War. This is a fitting memorial for the greatest sacrifice anyone can offer. Located on a slope just before reaching the main town, the Tawang War Memorial is open to the public. The 40 ft structure was built by the Indian Army; Rs.15 lakhs were spent on constructing it. This stupa like structure was blessed by the Dalai Lama in 1997 and is called Namgyal Chortan by the locals. Led up by few steps, and surrounding the structure are walls of black granite. The names of the 2420 soldiers who laid down their lives in the Kameng sector during the 1964 war are inscribed on this granite plates. The memorial is surrounded by two rooms on each side; one room houses artifacts, maps, photographs and remains of the war and the other room is used for a sound and light show depicting the heroic deeds of the slain soldiers. The sound and light show room was usually closed, but the museum displays items used by the army during war, such as gun, bullets, helmet, mugs, pots etc. One can also learn more about the war from the newspaper clippings and maps marked with positions of both armies.

BumLa Pass: At an elevation of nearly 14 thousand feet above the sea level, the Bum La Pass marks the Indo-China border, also identified as McMohan line which separates the two country. As there is no barbed fencing at this point of India-China border, the place is known as Bumla. A prominent attraction of Arunachal Pradesh, the place is a must visit but only when you have the special permit from Office of the Deputy Commissioner in Tawang District, and then Indian army cantonment of Tawang. The place instantly evokes a feeling of patriotism, especially after watching soldiers protecting the border that too in such nerve-wracking weather condition. Also, it was through this pass, Dalai Lama entered India.

How to reach
Bumla Pass is accessible only by permission. For the permits, you to need to visit the Office of the Deputy Commissioner in Tawang District and then Indian army cantonment of Tawang.If there will be army stamp, you will not be allowed through the numerous check posts on the way.To reach Bumla Pass for sightseeing, it would be a good idea to travel on a clear day, with no scope of snowfall or rainfall, and hire an SUV as the trek is treacherous.

Things to Do & See in and around
Bumla Pass has witnessed many memorable events that make it a special one in the history of India. When on a visit to Bumla Pass, make a point to see the route from where Dalai Lama entered India to take a refuge. Also, there’s a lake called Sangestar Tso, which is worth a watch. Make a point to get a picture clicked, and place a pebble stone in front of the Heap of Stones, which is a tribute to the Indian Army guardians of the border.