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Old 22nd August 2016, 23:45   #16
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Default Re: Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass

Next morning left Tawang by 5-30 in the morning planning to cover Nuranang falls and Jaswant Garh on the way. The falls is not directly beside the highway and one has to take a pathway to the left while coming down from Tawang. This path also leads to a hydel powerhouse which gets its feed from the same water source as the falls. We reached the area at about 7 am and after parking the car went through the campus of the powerhouse to go near the falls. As we were passing the powerhouse, I went inside the huge cavern like space where the turbines and all other paraphernalia of power generation were roaring and whirring with different coloured lights glowing on their own. I was looking for someone to just let them know that we are moving through their campus to the falls and will be back right away, but there was not a soul to be seen anywhere except the whirring machines. It kind of felt eerie and seemed almost like judgment day when machines have risen to life with human race annihilated. Uh, much too Hollywood, you say? But to be honest, in that setting in the early morning, in a desolate place it kind of felt different and spooky.

The Nuranang falls in full glory

Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04891.jpg
Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04899.jpg

This is the roaring outlet of water that is released after hitting the turbines

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After getting our departure recorded at the Jung check point, I started the climb towards Jaswant Garh and Sela. The previous night had seen rains in these areas and there were two stretches where the Punto was stuck. I did manage to come out unscathed, well almost, as I later found an 8 inch crack on the lower part of the front bumper.

Jaswant Garh is one of the most popular tourist attraction on the route partly because it is the oldest and partly because of the popular story of a young soldier single handedly fighting for 3 days and killing 300 Chinese aided by two local girls. Also, the story about Jaswant Singh’s spirit still roaming the area generates that much more interest among the masses. Well, these seem at best to be local legends as the official records of the war does not mention any such thing.
The soldier there briefing us about the battle also narrated the story the same way it is written in the official history which says:

Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-nuranang.png
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Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-nura3.png
Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-nura4.png

The Jat Regiment jawan posted there showed us the various points of the battle and beautifully narrated the story of three twenty something young men who crawled forward towards utmost danger knowing fully well that their chance of survival is almost nil. One is left wonderstruck at the courage and dedication of these young men facing death willingly when most 20 year olds nowadays are busy chasing girls or Pokémons.

In homage
Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04921.jpg
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This was supposedly the tree under which Jaswant Singh breathed his last. The army has constructed the museum over it, they said the tree is alive though and still sprouts leaves.
Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04927.jpg


The sten gun was of the Chinese army. Was found buried in the soil few years back.
Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04928.jpg

Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04929.jpg

The bunkers, silent testimonies to the carnage not long back
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The trench dates back to 1962 and were used by the brave soldiers of 4 Garhwal on that fateful day in November 1962.
Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04932.jpg

The burial ground of the chinese soldiers. Had seen pictures of it being marked. But its not marked currently.
Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04934.jpg

Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04936.jpg

A final salute to the brave soldiers representing the various named and unnamed units of the armed forces who despite severe limitations and shortages, showered the nation with abundant courage and dedication.
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As we were taking leave of the soldier who had patiently showed us around and narrated the story, we asked for a photograph with him. He readily agreed, but also asked me not to upload it in Facebook. I told him that I don’t have a Facebook profile and in any case will not upload it anywhere. Now, I’m not a believer in spooky theories nor do I believe in the paranormal. But, while sorting out the photos from the memory cards, I realized that the photograph with the jawan is missing. All the photographs are numbered sequentially by the camera except this photo which is not there whereas I clearly remember seeing the photo in the camera after clicking it. Now, whether to call it the spirits of Jaswant Garh at work or a technical aberration is upto the reader to ponder.

Journey back towards the plains
Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04958.jpg
Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04961.jpg

A dead forest
Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04963.jpg

The Dirang Dzong
Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass-dsc04967.jpg

The next few hours of the day was to be spent dashing down towards the plains and as I left the difficult terrain, I realized what difficulties the brave men face to keep the places secure so that we can go there to relax and enjoy while behind the scenes they happily carry the burden of our freedom on their back.

Concluding by again quoting the lines of the poem by Vajpayee which seem to aptly summarize what any brave soldier manning those areas would tell us:
Bharat koi zameen ka tukda nahin,
jeeta jaagta rastrapurush hain…..
………………………………
………………………………
Yeh vandan ki bhoomi hai, abhinandan ki bhoomi hain
Yeh arpan ki bhoomi hai, tarpan ki bhoomi hain
Iska bindu bindu gangaajal hain
Iska kankad kankad shankar hain
Hum jiyenge to iske liye, marenge to iske liye,
Aur marne ke baad, gangajal mein behti hui hamaari asthiyon ko koi sunega,
Toh ek hi awaaz aayegi “Bharat Mata ki Jai”

(India is not merely a piece of land,
It’s a nation with an alive, thriving soul…
………………………
It’s a nation of worship, a nation to be praised,
A nation of offerings, a nation of sacrifices,
For us each river and stream is the Ganga,
Each grain of sand and pebble is the God,
We’ll live for it, we’ll die for it
And even in our death, each grain of our ash floating in the Ganga will only shout,
“Bharat Mata Ki Jai”)

THE END
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Old 23rd August 2016, 12:22   #17
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Default Re: Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass

Thank you for the lovely history lesson at close quarters. Enjoyed your style of writing. It's been some years since we went there, and reliving our trip through your lens and narration was refreshing.

Rated 5 stars.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 12:37   #18
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Default Re: Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass

Wanderer 4x4:

I like travelogues. I like good pictures. I like the mountains. I like the yeoman work done by the Indian Army. I like the wilderness. And when all these elements are included in a well narrated travelogue, and that too written by a patriot; it sort of takes the cake. i have never rated any new travelogue 5 stars till now (not that i am old in this forum) but if ever any post commanded it; then it is yours.
Thank you for sharing and talking about the selfless spirit of our army.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 12:57   #19
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Default Re: Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass

Great wanderer4x4. Last year I went there and feeling nostalgia. I went in October and did not get that much snow. Your travelogue is now itching me to visit the places in winter. Thanks for sharing

One more thing .. we were very lucky to see the Nuranang Falls with rainbow .. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...arunachal.html (The hidden paradise with splendid beauty and sparkling lakes – Western Arunachal)

Last edited by PointZero : 23rd August 2016 at 13:00. Reason: Sharing some link
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Old 23rd August 2016, 15:58   #20
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Default Re: Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass

Awesome travelogue wonderer4x4!

Good crisp read with very good pictures. For some reason, most places in NE India are left unexplored and it has been on cards for me to visit Tawang and other jewels in NE. Some day! Sigh! Till then I will keep ogling on the pics.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 16:29   #21
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Default Re: Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass

Quote:
Originally Posted by pduttaghy View Post
Amazing Travelogue, Wanderer4X4. The way you have posted the documented history of the Indo China war is both very educative as well as intriguing. Lovely pictures by the way.
Thanks. Lets plan trip to eastern AP sometime soon. (Sad at missing the upcoming one to Sikkim though)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Thank you for the lovely history lesson at close quarters. Enjoyed your style of writing. It's been some years since we went there, and reliving our trip through your lens and narration was refreshing.

Rated 5 stars.
Thanks. Your travelogue on the same area is a great treasure trove of information. A must read for someone planning a trip there for the first time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthian View Post
I like travelogues. I like good pictures. I like the mountains. I like the yeoman work done by the Indian Army. I like the wilderness. And when all these elements are included in a well narrated travelogue, and that too written by a patriot; it sort of takes the cake. i have never rated any new travelogue 5 stars till now (not that i am old in this forum) but if ever any post commanded it; then it is yours.
Thank you for sharing and talking about the selfless spirit of our army.
Thanks for your kind words. Even though there are many shortcomings in our armed forces, still whatever they do under difficult conditions with a smile is worth a salute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SajiNSalin View Post
Very interesting travelogue and beautiful photos. Looking forward to the rest of the story.When is the good time to travel to Tawang climate wise and avoiding the tourist crowd?

Saji
Thanks. Tawang is done nowadays almost throughout the year. However, with the onset of monsoons the risk of landslides increase manifold. So, one should avoid the May - September period. But, if one is lucky, then it can be done even during this period when a window of clear days opens up. Bum La is another story though. Too much rain, the road gets all slushy and risky. Too much snow and the road is closed by the army. Late September to November is considered okay and chance can also be taken in March and April provided there is not too much snowfall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PointZero View Post
Last year I went there and feeling nostalgia. I went in October and did not get that much snow. Your travelogue is now itching me to visit the places in winter. Thanks for sharing

One more thing .. we were very lucky to see the Nuranang Falls with rainbow ..
Thanks and some nice pictures there with great details about the places.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 17:00   #22
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Default Re: Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderer4x4 View Post
Thanks. Lets plan trip to eastern AP sometime soon. (Sad at missing the upcoming one to Sikkim though)
I know, it would have been great if you could have joined us for the trip. But there is always a next time.
Meanwhile, I am tempted as well by your suggestion to plan a trip to eastern AP
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Old 25th August 2016, 11:57   #23
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Default Re: Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass

Arunachal is in my cards next year. Beautifully described travelogue. Thanks for sharing.

This trip was done recently ? Sorry, couldnt find any dates, my eyes are giving up.
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Old 26th August 2016, 11:35   #24
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Default Re: Reliving history at the Kameng Frontier - Trip to Tawang and Bum La Pass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uprasenjit View Post
Arunachal is in my cards next year. Beautifully described travelogue. Thanks for sharing.

This trip was done recently ? Sorry, couldnt find any dates, my eyes are giving up.
Thanks, Uprasenjit. Yes, the trip was done this April, so you can call it fairly recent.
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