Monday, August 22, 2016

Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh - A Trip to remember

Guwahati- Shillong- Cherrapunji- Guwahati

Shillong is the capital and hill station of Meghalaya, also known as "The Abode of Clouds", one of the smallest states in India.

Our trip started off from Guwahati which is the main city in entire North East, It took us around 3 hrs by bus to reach Shillong from Guwahati. After doing local sight seeing in Shillong, we left for Cherrapunji and stayed there overnight. Though is is considered to be the wettest place in the world, we were unlucky to have missed the rains. Next day we did local sightseeing and returned to Guwahati. Main attraction was Wondermondo and Elephant Waterfalls on way back to Shillong. Roads are smooth throughout the course with green fields on both sides of the Road. We reached Guwahati in the evening and spent the night there.

Guwahati - Bomdilla - Tawang - Bum La Pass - Tawang - Bomdilla - Guwahati

Arunachal Pradesh is the largest state in North East India, bordering China in the north and Bhutan in the west.
Unfortunately we had to get our Inner line permit made from Shillong before entering Arunachal. It is as per the rule, all indian citizens who are not the native of Arunachal has to obtain the tourist permit which is given easily without any hassle. It is recommended to apply directly in person at the Arunachal pradesh District Collector office which is more convenient than applying online.

We left from Guwahati in the morning around 6am and got into the Arunachal Pradesh tourism bus for Bomdilla from Interstate Bus Transport (ISBT), Guwahati . Seats are comfortable and priced 425 Rs. per person. Road till Bhalukpong (5 hrs from Guwahati) are good and pass through plains. Road onwards Bomdilla from Bhalukpong passes through mountains and takes 6 hrs. 

Bomdilla is small town at about 7200 feet with great weather. All tourists have to cross this town to reach Tawang. We stayed in Bomdilla in the night and left early next day morning for Tawang by private taxi. It is recommended to hire private taxi as there are some important tourist points like Jang Falls, Jaswantgarh Memorial etc. on the way to Tawang. You will also cross Se La Pass which is at 13,680 feet height.  It is considered to be second highest motorable road in the world. Views are picturesque and breathtaking. It is recommended to visit in the winter. Near the Pass is the beautiful Sela Lake (sometimes called Paradise Lake because of its beauty), which could be fully or partially frozen in winter.

After reaching Tawang after the sun set,  we checked in to our room and had dinner.  Following day we visited Tawang Monastery (2nd largest in the world),  craft market,  War  Memorial and birth place of 5th Dalai lama. 

On the second day of our stay in Tawang,  we set out for out visit to Bum-la pass (Indo China border) which is at 14, 000 feet height and has restricted access with prior permission from the Tawang War memorial in writing.  It is given with ease.  Journey from Tawang to Bum-la pass is full of adventure with so many twist and turns on the narrow road bypassing so many army installation and military vehicles.  After reaching the border we were greeted by the military and they showed us around. We really had fun time,  though did not spot any Chinese though :).  There were so barbed wires unlike LOC,  just the mutual understanding between the military of both countries. Though the Yak (Long  haired bovid)  were roaming freely without bothered about the border.! :) On way to Tawang we went to see Madhuri lake ( Madhuri dixit shot her movie for movie Kayla at this lake which gave this name),  it is one of its kind midst of mountains and one can see branches of tree in the middle of Lake,  which is the result of earthquake. 

We returned to Tawang in the afternoon and took some rest for the remaining day. We left for Guwahati following day with one day rest in Bomdilla. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip,  and would highly recommend to visit this lovely undiscovered heaven in the eastern corner of India. People are very friendly,  food is amazing,  and no pollution. 

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