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Old 3rd June 2013, 18:18   #16
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Default Re: Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere...

The roads and the landscapes looks familiar... MON is in Arunachal Pradesh

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Old 3rd June 2013, 19:38   #17
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Default Re: Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
The roads and the landscapes looks familiar... MON is in Arunachal Pradesh
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biraj View Post
It definitely is not North India. Now the possible options are West Bengal (Kalimpong) and the North Eastern States. Let me spend some more time on this.
Why not North India? And why Kalimpong / North-eastern states / Arunachal Pradesh?

What were the clues?
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Old 3rd June 2013, 19:41   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Why not North India? And why Kalimpong / North-eastern states / Arunachal Pradesh?

What were the clues?

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...owhere-ccc.jpg

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/attach...here-ccc-4.jpg

AP 2 AP Travelogue from 2009 has the same locations captured!
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Old 3rd June 2013, 19:50   #19
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Default Re: Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Why not North India? And why Kalimpong / North-eastern states / Arunachal Pradesh?

What were the clues?
Tea estates, the traditional attire, Snow + greenery + monks is difficult to find in North at this time of the year.

Another cheeky one - In pic 19 the cement bag has Top Cem written on it. Google says its manufactured in Meghalaya and is sold mostly in that region.

Edit: found this

Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere... Monyul (Tawang) and More-sbi.jpg
Source: http://s243.photobucket.com/user/odz..._2825.jpg.html

Last edited by Biraj : 3rd June 2013 at 20:01. Reason: Adding pic
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Old 3rd June 2013, 19:51   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulsar56 View Post
AP 2 AP Travelogue from 2009 has the same locations captured!
So the cat is out of the bag! This is indeed the kingdom of the M-O-N-(P-A) - also known as MONYUL - read more about it here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monpa_people.

And that is great detective work, Biraj!


Shall begin the details of the trip from tomorrow.

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Old 3rd June 2013, 20:11   #21
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Default Re: Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biraj View Post
Tea estates, the traditional attire, Snow + greenery + monks is difficult to find in North at this time of the year.
=========
Edit: found this

Attachment 1092165
The pic also shows the name of the place. That is Tawang. Brings fond memories of three years of my childhood there in the mid eighties. Beautiful place.
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Old 3rd June 2013, 22:05   #22
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Default Re: Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere...

Nice teaser for what looks like the start to another awesome travelgoue from the 'travelling doc', Thanks for sharing
Is it Sikkim where you'd been ?
EDIT:Ah, just saw that it's Arunachal Pradesh! I still was close considering Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim are only separated by Bhutan in the middle

Last edited by NPV : 3rd June 2013 at 22:12.
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Old 4th June 2013, 12:36   #23
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My wife and I went to college at Kolkata with a smart young gentleman from Arunachal Pradesh, 25 years ago. He and I were close friends, and it had necessitated the use of a map at that time to find out where he originated from. He hailed from a village called Khinmey, near the (then unknown to me) town of Tawang, and was of the Monpa tribe - such information I had only come across in geography books in school before.

We lost contact with each other in 1993 (or was it early 1994?). He moved back home while I moved away to New Delhi. One day, a year or so ago, another friend mentioned that he had met up with him during a trip to Tawang. He is now married, has 2 children, with the elder one having just completed his Class 12 CBSE exams with 84.5% - but he looked just the same as he did 20 years ago, said the other friend. The best part of all - he ran his own little hotel in Tawang .

And that was when an idea of a trip to visit a long-lost friend was born.

Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere... Monyul (Tawang) and More-dsc08396.jpg

Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere... Monyul (Tawang) and More-dsc04612.jpg

Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere... Monyul (Tawang) and More-dsc08434.jpg

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 4th June 2013 at 12:39.
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Old 4th June 2013, 13:33   #24
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Default Re: Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere...

Now, the only way to get to Tawang is by road. There used to be an option of taking a helicopter ride to reach there, but that service has been suspended till further notice after a series of helicopter crashes in 2011, one of which killed the then Arunachal Chief Minister, Dorjee Khandu.

Not that we wanted to take a chopper ride to Tawang. We are firm believers of going up mountains the hard way - using tyres for traction! Not that hard either, where we would use pedal power, but a good torquey engine coupled to 4wd brings a wide grin to my face every time I encounter a slope going up a mountainside, with or without a decent surface.

I didn't have too many days available to disappear out of Delhi. As events unfolded, I almost did not manage to get enough leave to fit in the 8-day trip. We ruled out the question of driving our own car to Tawang and back, because that was taking too long. And a dear friend, a member of this forum, promised to join us for the trip, as well as make arrangements for a vehicle to take us from Guwahati to Tawang, and back.

Good, so we need only to fly down to Guwahati and the friend would meet us at the airport, and we can proceed to Tawang directly. Ever so diffidently, not wanting to sound too greedy, I asked, would it be too much trouble to arrange for a 4wd vehicle?

We were in for a gigantic surprise at Guwahati airport, when this car drove up to meet us...
Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere... Monyul (Tawang) and More-dsc00731.jpg
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Old 4th June 2013, 21:52   #25
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Default Re: Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere... Monyul (Tawang) and More

Glued to this thread. I like arunachal a lot and want to go there one day. My grandfather worked in an Arunachal tea estate way back in 1900's and i've heard many stories of his stay there in my childhood days. Eagerly waiting for more...
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Old 4th June 2013, 23:35   #26
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Default Re: Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Why not North India? And why Kalimpong / North-eastern states / Arunachal Pradesh?

What were the clues?
Well, the typical starfish spiky hairdos of the Monpas were a give away

Had been to Tawang about a decade back, always wish to go back.

I guess, the roads were better surfaced then, heard their condition have temporarily (read for last 2-3 years to God knows when; a rather long state of temporariness) deteriorated due to the ongoing broadening works.

Been on my 68 Jawa up till Bomdila.

Just remembered that I have few low res scanned copies of the original photos.


Uploading them, hope you do not mind.

Name:  onwaytonechifu.jpg
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Size:  116.2 KB

One can spot the Jawa and even the rucksack.

Name:  akkatriabls.jpg
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Guess that he is a grandpa, still vividly remember meeting this odd pair, shuffling out from the forest on the uphill side of the road.

Rather contrasting age. Neither among them could speak Hindi, English, Assamese or Bengali, not that I can speak Assamese or Bengali, but yes can understand tuti - futi.

It was difficult to make the old man stand still enough for a photograph. His animal skin (furred and all) satchel contained weird things like a blow pipe, long needles, a small cylindrical container, a small skull piece of some small monkey.

And boy, were we apprehensive, cautious and ready to run if we angered him!, just notice the size of his dao, looks almost as long, thick and straight as Conan the Barbarian's sword.

Inshallah, shall be back in Arunachal soon enough, before it loses it touch.

PS: just remembered, that AFAI, the tribals seen in the pic above are that of Akka tribe, the Monpas are more Bhutia like and their region starts after Bomdila, that is from Dirang valley northwards.
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Old 5th June 2013, 00:45   #27
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I love the way you write and unfold slowly. Slow has a lot of passion and suspense attached to it.
Already loving the snaps and eagerly waiting for the complete travelogue! Keep it coming.

Cheers
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Old 5th June 2013, 06:51   #28
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Default Re: Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere...

Please post in more pictures. I thought you took the Fortuner from Calcutta & crossed Dalkola, but it was not. Dalkola is anyways a 24 hour drive from Delhi.

Please share the Fortuner experience as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
that Bald tyre is of a Bolero not a fortuner
To me, it appears as a Sumo Victa/Gold. The tire has a cut as well, appears as a resole tire.

EDIT: Saw it has been replied

Last edited by Sheel : 5th June 2013 at 06:58.
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Old 5th June 2013, 10:03   #29
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Default Re: Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere... Monyul (Tawang) and More

A friend in Assam/Guwahati and a Fortuner ? Now would that be a D-Bhpian from Kolkata ?

However lovely pictures. Awaiting more details.
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Old 5th June 2013, 10:38   #30
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Default Re: Roadtrip to The Middle of Nowhere...

Quote:
Originally Posted by YanTra Makto View Post
Had been to Tawang about a decade back, always wish to go back.
Uploading them, hope you do not mind.
His animal skin (furred and all) satchel contained weird things like a blow pipe, long needles, a small cylindrical container, a small skull piece of some small monkey.
And boy, were we apprehensive, cautious and ready to run...
Thanks for sharing those photos. Very interesting. Doing the trip on a Jawa must have been very adventurous!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Please share the Fortuner experience as well.
Will do that as we go along.
==========================================
Before we venture into Arunachal, there's the small issue of getting an Inner Line Permit (ILP) for all of us. There are Arunachal Bhavans in various cities, including Delhi and Kolkata. But getting the ILP issued does not quite equate to the same experience in every city.

Delhi
: Arunachal Bhavan is located across the road from the Samrat Hotel in Chanakyapuri, and I was a little apprehensive of the parking scenario. However there's a lane conveniently located adjacent to the building (no, they don't allow parking within the premises), and parking did not turn out to be worrisome at all.

At the inquiry counter on the ground floor, I was first handed a detailed colourful brochure about the places to visit in Arunachal, and then asked to visit the third floor. Muttering to myself because the lift wasn't working, I climbed up, to be given a copy of the form that I had to fill, and to submit with a copy of each person's identity proof. One more trip to be done (phew!) but the lady in the office promised me it won't take long. It took me all of 15 minutes this time.

A few days later, I filled up the form after making copies of it, attached photocopies of ID proof documents, and resolutely marched up to the third floor of the Bhavan again (the lift hadn't started working). It was nice and air-conditioned inside in the heat of early-May, someone offered a glass of cold water, the lady admonished me for filling out 3 forms when 1 form containing details of all persons would have been enough, she checked the copies of the ID proofs against the originals (I had carried them, just in case), took Rs.75 as ILP fees and issued a receipt, and then... she sent me down to the ground floor to get the Resident Commissioner's signature in person! The Commissioner, unlike what I expected, saw the forms in my hand and promptly called me in and signed them - job done in 1 minute. Stodged up the stairs again, submitted the forms, and had to wait all of 20 minutes because a peon had gone missing, and a register was needed.

But I was out of there, ILP in hand, within 30 minutes of entering the premises.

Kolkata: This is when my dear friend Sutripta went to have his ILPs issued. Hearsay evidence from him indicates that it took a total of 4 visits to the Arunachal Bhavan in Kolkata, an extra trip to a nearby government building to a friend of his to have the copies of the ID documents attested by a gazzetted officer, and about 5 hours of time wasted in all, before he laid his hands on the ILPs. Even the form given to him at Kolkata was different from the one I filled at Delhi. Perhaps he would fill in some of the details here personally.

One can get ILPs issued from Guwahati and Tezpur too, but I wouldn't hazard a guess regarding the difficulty levels one is likely to encounter. For the smoothest experience, do drop in at the Arunachal Bhavan in Delhi on your way to that state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Altocumulus View Post
A friend in Assam/Guwahati and a Fortuner ? Now would that be a D-Bhpian from Kolkata ?
The friend is indeed a D-BHPian from Kolkata, whom I have named in this post! As to the Fortuner, well, it was in Guwahati!

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 5th June 2013 at 10:57.
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