Team-BHP > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 23rd April 2020, 18:48   #1
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

Arunachal Pradesh, the Land of the Dawn-Lit Mountains, is probably one of India's least-visited and most vibrant state. Rising from the tea-estates in the plains of Assam to the snow-covered range of Himalayas near the Tibetan border, this beautiful state is fringed with mountains and wilderness.

Covering the entirety of this state is not an easy feat though, as it needs considerable time to cover every nook and corner of this paradise. And time is indeed a luxury for the city-dwelling office-going mango people like yours truly !

So when me and a couple of like-minded friends decided to take a week-long break from work sometime in March 2018, we had an option to chose between a relaxing holiday in Goa or else trying our luck with wildlife in the forests of Central India. But we chose Arunachal instead.

Due to the limited time in hand, we agreed to concentrate on the most touristy part of Arunachal though - the Tawang sector.

Now it was time to zero on to the mode of travel. While the heart lusted for a motorcycling trip, more so as I had taken delivery of a Triumph Tiger 800 a few days back. But I knew I would have to give it a miss as the Tiger was barely a couple of days old, still awaiting registration. So taking the Tiger was out of question unless the registration process was complete. I had an Enfield at disposal but it needed some major work so taking it along was going to be a foolish decision. Postponing the trip till the completion of registration process of the Tiger was not an option as it was difficult for us to take a week-long break later due to office commitments.

While two of my friends were all ready to hit the road on their motorcycles, I was in deep confusion. I desperately wanted to take the Tiger along, but due to the paucity of time and lack of options, I decided to rent a motorcycle from Guwahati instead.

So after a quick Google search, I zeroed on to a Royal Enfield Himalayan for 9 days ex-Guwahati and thus, our motorcycling trip to Western Arunachal was finally on !

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0336.jpg
//M is offline   (28) Thanks
Old 23rd April 2020, 19:31   #2
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

Since the trip was planned in a real haste, we couldn't organise a lot of things beforehand. Somehow, I managed to pack in the essential motorcycle tools and my riding gear and rushed to the Pune airport to catch my early-morning flight to Guwahati via Kolkata.

A year before the Jet Airways operations were brought to a full-stop

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0003.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0005.jpg


A beautiful morning in Assam

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0014.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0021.jpg


I landed in Guwahati and headed straight to Kamakhya where we had planned to stay for the night. We decided on Kamakhya as the other two motorcycles were transported from Ranchi to Kamakhya so in order to avoid travelling to and fro inside the city, we decided to find accommodation at Kamakhya.

While my friends went to get their motorcycles unloaded, I went to get some essential motorcycle parts from the Paltan Bazaar market in Guwahati. Once this was done, we headed straight to the AweRides office to get the rental RE Himalayan.

The experience at AweRides was awful at best. The motorcycle was right there, but it was all dirty and murky. I took it for a spin and realised that it had not been serviced since quite a while. There were loose screws, the fenders were loose, there was a certain amount of power loss while riding and the motorcycle had seen some nasty falls for sure. The documentation process took them almost 2 hours and they refused to fix the motorcycle.

However, AweRides agreed on reimbursing the amount we incur to fix the motorcycle. Although it was not an ideal thing to do, but due to lack of alternatives we decided to get the Himalayan fixed by ourselves. Just across the road, in one of the by-lanes, we found a two-wheeler mechanic. I was a little apprehensive at first, but the guy seemed knowledgeable. He took his sweet time but brought back the motorcycle to shape. The essential parts that I had bought were now being put to good use.

We rode back to our hotel at Kamakhya. The hill climb to Kamakhya was such a revelation after a tiring day. We were so ecstatic doing this small stretch of lovely serpentine road, that we ended up riding on this stretch multiple times till our heart's content.

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0020.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0025.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0029.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0037.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0044.jpg


Fuel, air pressure, documents, chain lubing everything was done before we called it a night.

Last edited by //M : 23rd April 2020 at 19:33.
//M is offline   (25) Thanks
Old 26th April 2020, 11:53   #3
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

We started off from Guwahati at the crack of dawn, the beautiful weather around the Brahmaputra plains and the great roads made it for a lovely start to this trip. We had decided to ditch the popular Tezpur - Bhalukpong route and take the lesser known Kalaktang route instead. A big thanks to D-Bhpian dhanushmenon for his suggestion to take this route.

We headed towards Sipajhar and then to Rowta and Kokrajhar (known for the presence of Bodoland extremist groups). The weather was rewarding and traffic was minimal but it started raining heavily, so much so that we had to resort to taking quick shelter as visibility was extremely poor due to the early morning fog plus rains.

Soon we reached the Balemu border, a tri-junction between Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan. We were running out of fuel by the time we were around Balemu so we checked with the sentry at the Border checkpost if we could go inside Bhutan, refuel and come back as this was the closest petrol pump available to us, just 4 kms inside Bhutan. The sentry agreed on seeing our plight and we happily entered Bhutan assuring him that we will be back in a few minutes. We were back in about 20 minutes and the sentry happily waved us goodbye as we started the ascent towards Arunachal Pradesh. Just a few metres later, we were stopped at the Arunachal Pradesh checkpost for permits. We had procured the Inner Line Permit (ILP) online and showed them a copy of the same. We were made to enter our details in a register and then we were off to Kalaktang.

The roads got narrow but they also got thoroughly enjoyable at the same time. Lovely serpentine curves and stunning views as we approached the Tenga Valley. We had lost some time due to the rains so we tried to keep up the momentum as we crossed the Tenga Valley into Rupa.

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0413.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0437.jpg


I was having a great time with the Himalayan. This motorcycle was feeling lethargic in the plains but it suddenly came to life as soon as we made foray into the hills.

I rode faster than the others and then stopped at a beautiful valley view point to wait for my friends. After almost a 30 minute wait, I was a little worried. There was no mobile network and I was not able to connect with my friends. There was barely any vehicular movement so I was not even able to check if anybody saw bikers en-route.

Tensed and worried, I decided to ride back and check what went wrong. I rode back almost 30 kms downhill but there was no sign of my friends. It again started drizzling, so I decided to head towards Bomdila hoping that I will see them there. On the way I stopped at every possible intersection to check if my friends took a wrong route. Having no other option, I continued towards Bomdila.

After almost an hour of riding, I stopped at a petrol pump in Shergaon (during our travel in early 2018, this was the only petrol pump in this entire stretch). The petrol pump attendant told me that he saw two motorcycles with luggage going towards Bomdila some time back. That gave me a huge reassurance and I rode even faster to catch up with them.

I still could not fathom how I missed them. Did I take a different route, maybe a longer one? How could I not see them when there is only one damn stretch of mountain road in this region. Did the petrol pump attendant saw someone else? Multiple thoughts were looming in my head but I decided to rush towards then towards Bomdila.

Just at the entrance of the Bomdila city, I saw motorcycles which looked familiar. I immediately stopped and saw my friends nearby enjoying a smoke. Heavy interrogation followed amongst us and we realized that my friends took a wrong intersection, realised this mistake and came back to the main road. While they would have taken that intersection, I was rushing back downhill to check if things were fine with my friends. We must have missed each other in that intersection. Assuming that I would have continued to ride, these guys rode faster to catch up with me and hence I totally missed them in the entire route from Kalaktang to Bomdila.

We checked into a homestay at Bomdila and cherished the maddening start to the trip with some tonic warming our insides.

Last edited by //M : 26th April 2020 at 11:56.
//M is offline   (20) Thanks
Old 26th April 2020, 18:36   #4
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

The next morning we started off from Bomdila and stopped for breakfast near Dirang. Simple Himalayan fare - soupy noodles and momos. The roads were great, the landscapes were even better and the motorcycles were doing absolutely fine.

Bomdila Monastery

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-2016_0102_233420_001.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0448.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0062.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0063.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0064.jpg


The highlight of the day was the mighty Se La pass between Dirang and Jung. The ascent to Se La was steep and the CBZ started having hiccups, the other two motorcycles were doing fine. We stopped a couple of kms before Se La, offloaded the luggage from the CBZ, removed the rear fender to loose weight and removed the air filter to enable more air flow for that 2 kms. The views were spectacular as we marched towards Se La.

The section of road from Dirang to Se La

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-2016_0103_002930_005.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0464.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0477.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0480.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0484.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0083.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0094.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0099.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0113.jpg


We stopped at a cafe for some maggi and tea, refitted the air filter on the CBZ and went around to see the lake. The lake was covered with atleast half feet of snow so we couldn't figure out where exactly the lake was !

Few clicks around the Se La pass

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0114.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0115.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0153.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0165.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0166.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0167.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0178.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0217.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0222.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0228.jpg

Last edited by //M : 26th April 2020 at 18:37.
//M is offline   (17) Thanks
Old 26th April 2020, 18:52   #5
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

After clicking a few pictures at Se La and having sumptuous maggi at the cafe, we descended towards Jung. The road condition deteriorated as we descended, slushy roads due to melting of snow made riding conditions difficult but we were glad that the bad section was only for a few miles. Once past this 3-4 kms section, the road was again smooth and enjoyable all the way till Jung.

We crossed Jaswant Garh on the way. However, it was a little crowded so we decided to visit the War Memorial during our return leg.

At Jung, we took the small detour to the majestic Nuranang Waterfalls. The Nuranang waterfalls was breathtakingly beautiful, waters cascading down a mighty cliff into the mountain stream below was such a stunning sight.

The majestic Nuranang Waterfalls

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0252.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0257.jpg


The last few kms to Tawang was a complete bliss. Wide corners in some sections, well tarred roads and sparse traffic made it a very pleasurable affair, more so on motorcycles !

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0288.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0488.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0501.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0363.jpg


We reached Tawang by afternoon, checked into a homestay near the main market. The view of the Tawang Monastery was so stunning from our balcony that we could not resist going there right away. It was drizzling constantly, however the giant monastery speckled with white and yellowish-golden hues was indeed a sight to behold.

The stunning Tawang Monastery, as seen from the balcony of our homestay

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0305.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0310.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0332.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0336.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0341.jpg


Tawang Monastery, known in Tibetan as Gaden Namgyal Lhatse, which translates to "celestial paradise in a clear night"

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0360.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0377.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0381.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0385.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0392.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0395.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0396.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0399.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0404.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0405.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0407.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0425.jpg


Thereafter, we proceeded to see the Giant Buddha Statue that stood tall and the surroundings offered a nice aerial view of the Tawang city.

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-gopr1432.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-gopr1446.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-gopr1828.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-gopr1836.jpg


After spending a while around the Giant Buddha statue, we went to secure permits for Bumla pass. At the Tawang War Memorial, we were told by the Army personnel that they were not issuing permits for motorcycles beyond Y-Junction due to heavy snowfall in that region, which meant that we would have to hire a cab for our sojourn to Bumla.

Seeing no other option, we booked a Mahindra Scorpio for the next day which was supposed to take us to Bumla and Shungetsar Lake. We thought it would be a wise decision to head to Shungetsar Lake as well despite the fact that we would anyway travel to Shungetsar on our way to Zemithang the following day.

We got back to our homestay after spending some time at the War Memorial watching the light and sound show, post which we headed to the famous Dragon Restaurant for dinner. Lots of herb noodles, fried rice, dumplings and yummy chicken chilly. It again started raining, this time pretty heavy, so we rushed back to our cosy homestay and called it a night.

Last edited by //M : 26th April 2020 at 18:55.
//M is offline   (15) Thanks
Old 26th April 2020, 19:26   #6
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

The next morning, our cab was ready to pick us up from the homestay. We headed towards the Pangateng Tso Lake (also known as PT Tso) and then towards the Y-Junction. There is a cafe at the Y Junction run by the Armed forces. Due to our early morning start, the army at the cafe told us that we were only the second vehicle of the day headed towards Bumla. So to take advantage of the situation, we just had a cup of tea and marched towards Bumla. We were stuck by a blizzard on the way up which really hindered our progress. We made a slow climb and by the time we reached Bumla, the blizzard was over. It was very cloudy but there was barely anyone around so we literally had the entire place to ourselves.

The road to the mighty Bumla Pass

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0509.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0511.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0550.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0558.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0446.jpg


The last point accessible to civilians at Bumla Pass, the international border mountain pass between India and China

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0452.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0453.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0462.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0464.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0485.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0486.jpg


After spending almost an hour and half, admiring the beauty of the place and saluting our defence forces who face such extreme weather conditions to guard our borders, we retreated back towards the Y-Junction. We stopped for a few minutes to get some aerial clicks of the very picturesque alpine lakes in the region before making our way down.

A beautiful tear-drop alpine lake near Bumla

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0547.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0552.jpg


Snow-scapes during our return leg from Bumla Pass to Y-Junction

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0500.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0501.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0504.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0509.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0511.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0523.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0527.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0530.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0534.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0538.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0540.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0542.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0545.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0546.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0565.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0579.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0590.jpg
//M is offline   (17) Thanks
Old 26th April 2020, 19:37   #7
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

Taking advantage of the situation, as one of the initial few tourists of the day, we headed towards Shungetsar Lake. The landscapes were spectacular, tall mountains covered with snow and alpine pastures, and a narrow patch of road that led to the valley beneath.

On the way to Shungetsar Lake from Y-Junction

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0565.jpg


Shungetsar Lake (also known as Madhuri Lake, as some song sequences from the Hindi flick "Koyla" was shot here) is a beautiful lake situated in the middle of tall rocky mountains. It was drizzling when we reached and the weather had turned extremely cold by then. To our rescue, there was an Army Cafe cum Souvenir Shop next to the lake. Each of us gulped down atleast two cups of tea and some yummy soupy maggi noodles before going around the lake for quick pictures.

The very picturesque Shungetsar Lake

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0572.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0579.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0582.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0638.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0643.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0651.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0661.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0663.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0676.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0679.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0680.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0688.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0690.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0697.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0701.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0708.jpg


It again started raining heavily and the weather turned very cold so we rushed back to the car and headed back towards Tawang.

Few clicks from the road near Y-Junction to PT Tso during the return leg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0601.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0603.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0606.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0612.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0619.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0624.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0625.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0626.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0629.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0634.jpg


Just before reaching Tawang, the clouds cleared up so we could see the beautiful Tawang Monastery from the hills. It looked stunning, despite the low natural light, at dusk.

Tawang town and the Tawang Monastery as seen on the way back from PT Tso

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0728.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0731.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0738.jpg

Last edited by //M : 28th April 2020 at 03:04.
//M is offline   (16) Thanks
Old 27th April 2020, 13:23   #8
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

The next day we were all set to head towards the same route again, only difference was this time there was no Bumla in the itinerary and we were supposed to ride the motorcycles all the way to Zemithang !

We had skipped PT Tso the previous day as we had anyway planned to spend some time there today. But due to a late start from Tawang owing to early morning rains, we couldn't spend much time at PT Tso. We took a break, clicked some pictures and moved on towards Y-Junction.

Tawang Monastery and the mighty mountains as visible from our homestay

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0754.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0760.jpg


A picturesque tear-drop lake on the way to PT Tso, this small lake had featured in the Hindi flick "Koyla" as well

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0616.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0766.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0779.jpg


In and around PT Tso

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0781.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0789.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0794.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0804.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0805.jpg


At Y-Junction, we stopped at the cafe for some light snacks. The vehicular movement towards Bumla was more than the previous day. We however rode towards Shungetsar Lake. The bone-jarring ride was never ending but the Himalayan managed most of the bad sections pretty well. We stopped at the Beedi Baba temple and then at the Shungetsar Lake view point for some pictures and to absorb the magnificence and beauty of the place.

En route to Shungetsar Lake

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-gopr2035.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0635.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0665.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0670.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0672.jpg


Beedi Baba Temple

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0674.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0678.jpg


Few clicks from the Shungetsar Lake view point

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0822.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0824.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0828.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0832.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0835.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0846.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0847.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0854.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0858.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-gopr2113.jpg
//M is offline   (14) Thanks
Old 27th April 2020, 13:35   #9
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

We bypassed Shungetsar Lake and headed towards the Tak-Tsang Gompa (popularly known as the T-Gompa).​

The T-Gompa lies at a beautiful bend with the valley visible down below, the serpentine roads looked very tempting so we caught hold of a young monk and asked him if that was the way to Zemithang. He was affirmative and we were more than ecstatic.

Tak-Tsang Gompa, also known as T-Gompa

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0684.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0691.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0695.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0703.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0704.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0705.jpg


A kid playing around T-Gompa

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0863.jpg


The valley and the trails down below as seen from T-Gompa

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0686.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0687.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0698.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0699.jpg
//M is offline   (13) Thanks
Old 27th April 2020, 14:09   #10
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

There are two routes from Tawang to Zemithang. Zemithang is usually off the tourist radar and therein lies the beauty of this very laidback and virgin place which is still out of the tourist map.

Zemithang lies just shy of the India-China border as well as the India-Bhutan border and being a very small and remote village, even local movement is very less.

Almost everybody who heads to Zemithang takes the Tawang - Lumla - Zemithang route. However, there is one more route that is never frequented even by locals, this is the Tawang - PT Tso - Shungetsar Lake - T Gompa - Zemithang route which goes through snow covered valleys, gorges, scintillating valleys, rhododendron forests and finally descends down through a dense forest extremely close to the India-China border. This is arguably the most dramatic and one of the most scenic roads that I have ever seen.

The road descends down the valley from T-Gompa and rhododendron trees form a canopy on either side of the narrow trail till the road again gains altitude. The trail lies creepily close to the international border in few sections and one can literally see across the border. Signboards mentioning the presence of Chinese troops actually bothered us. There were no milestones or army checkposts, nor any soul in sight so we couldn't figure out if we were on the right route to Zemithang.

The narrow trail towards Zemithang from T-Gompa surrounded by meadows and rhododendron trees

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0870.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0871.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0872.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0873.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0875.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0879.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0884.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0885.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0889.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0891.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0740.jpg


This road to Zemithang lies uncannily close to the India-China border in some sections

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0896.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0906.jpg


The trail started descending down the valley through woods. The narrow trail was literally carved out of a rock face, so we had a cliff on one side and the valley deep down below on the other side. As we progressed towards Zemithang, it started drizzling but it was bearable.

The final descent towards Zemithang

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0714.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0721.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0724.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0729.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0733.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0737.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0740.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0747.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0751.jpg


After descending down the hills we finally could see a small picturesque village in sight, maybe a couple of kms away. We descended further and yes it was the village of Zemithang. Set amidst spectacular rocky mountains and a fierce mountain stream, the remote village of Zemithang looked extremely calm and beautiful.

The grand statue of Guru Padamasambhava at Lumpo, as seen from Zemithang

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0921.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0928.jpg


The quaint little Zemithang village

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0917.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0922.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0924.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0925.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0929.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0931.jpg

Last edited by //M : 28th April 2020 at 03:15.
//M is offline   (15) Thanks
Old 27th April 2020, 17:39   #11
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

We had not pre-booked any accommodation option at Zemithang. However, we had learnt that there was a Government Rest House in Zemithang. So our first option was to finalise a place for stay at the Govt. Rest House.

While scouting for necessary permits/approval once at Zemithang, we came across a homestay which was one of the bigger houses in the village and belonged to a powerful guy in that region. We checked out the Rest House as well as the homestay. The homestay was clearly more spacious, comfortable, cheaper and centrally located so we zeroed onto the homestay.

We interacted with the owner for a while, then went out to explore the village. The Nyamjang Chu river and the Gorsam Chorten were the two most prominent places of interest. We visited the Gorsam Chorten and then found a nice quiet spot beside the Nyamjang Chu where we relaxed for a while before returning back to the homestay.

The laidback village of Zemithang

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0775.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0934.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0935.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0937.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0940.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0941.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0943.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0944.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0945.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0951.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0957.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0964.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0968.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0978.jpg


Gorsam Chorten, Zemithang

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0019.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0021.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0040.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0784.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0788.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0789.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0793.jpg


Nyamjang Chu

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0761.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0988.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0995.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0997.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0004.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0013.jpg


After sundown, we returned back to the village and saw a Snooker Parlour so we went in and played a few games with the local lads of Zemithang. It was quite fun indulging in lot of random conversations with the locals !

We returned back to our homestay and had a great time listening to fascinating war stories and tales about day-to-day affairs in such a remote village, which were narrated by the owner of the homestay. He also offered us some homemade Apong, a local drink, topped with Yak butter to warm us in the cold weather.

The Apong gave us a powerful kick and we slept like a log that night.

PS - A lot of people in Tawang and Guwahati warned us about the practice of Black Magic in Zemithang. We, however, did not see anything disturbing as such. The local Monpa tribal people of Zemithang were very warm and loved interacting with us as we were the only tourists in the village during our travel dates.

Last edited by //M : 27th April 2020 at 18:01.
//M is offline   (15) Thanks
Old 27th April 2020, 21:20   #12
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

The road from Zemithang to Tawang via Lumla was pretty straight forward. Lumla appeared to be a big town but since it was raining the entire while, we did not stop and click many pictures. It was basically constant riding throughout till we were in Tawang.

Once in Tawang, we checked into our homestay where we were staying before heading towards Zemithang. When we told the owners that we took the T-Gompa to Zemithang route, the owners were pretty surprised. Apparently, nobody ventures into that road as it is desolate and remote. The Lumla route is more commercialised and easy to access. The same thing was told to us by everyone we met at Zemithang as well.

Since it was a gloomy day and we were very tired riding in heavy rains for almost 3 hours continuously, we had a nice late lunch followed by a stroll around the Old Tawang Market before calling it a day.

The next day we started off from Tawang and hoped to make it till Bomdila by late afternoon. Visiting the Jaswant Garh War Memorial was the only agenda for the day.

Snow capped peaks bordering Tawang

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0062.jpg


We left Tawang and marched towards Jaswant Garh. The roads were wide, mostly excellent surface and lovely landscapes as we rode uphill to Jaswant Garh.

Jaswant Garh is named after the 1962 Indo-Sino War hero, Maha Vir Chakra awardee (posthumous) Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat.

When the Indo-Sino War started, the Chinese troops intruded in the North-East Frontier Agency (modern day Arunachal Pradesh) from multiple sides crossing the river Namka Chu near the MacMohan Line. Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat was serving the 4th Battalion, 4th Garhwal Rifles in November 1962. The Chinese troops had claimed Tawang and had marched southwards. The 4th Garhwal Rifles having an altitude advantage had beaten and killed two intrusions of Chinese troops over around 200 soldiers.

The Chinese, now aware of the position of Indian soldiers, attacked the third time, this time with a Medium Machine Gun (MMG) from close quarters. Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, Lance Naik Trilok Singh Negi and Rifleman Gopal Singh Gusain attempted to seize the MMG by attacking it with a hand grenade and covering fire against the Chinese troops positioned there. They were successful in doing so but Lance Naik Trilok Singh Negi and Rifleman Gopal Singh Gusain lost their lives in the process.

Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat was injured. He, however, did not leave the post despite orders of retreating back.

As per the local belief, Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat decided to single handedly fight against the Chinese troops. Two local Monpa girls, Sela and Nura, helped him set up weapons at multiple places, which created an illusion for the Chinese who thought the Indian soldiers were massive in numbers.

Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, along with Sela and Nura, used to run at different spots and fire at the enemies. It is also believed that both Sela and Nura tied small lights in the heads of grazing sheeps which made the Chinese troops believe that the Indian soldiers are well spread out across the hills.

Sela and Nura both were eventually killed in a grenade attack and the Chinese attacked the post from close quarters. Seeing no other option, Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat fought till his last breath. When he was out of ammunition, he attacked and even killed many Chinese soldiers with the help of the bayonet on his rifle. He eventually lost his life and the Chinese claimed the post.

But the valour and courage Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat had single-handedly displayed to kill almost 300 Chinese soldiers didn't go down well with the Chinese Army and they had a major setback wondering how they one soldier from the Indian Army with some help from two Monpa girls had restricted and killed so many Chinese soldiers.

Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat was court martialled from the Indian Army post his death for not obeying orders of retreating. The post where Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat lost his life is known as Jaswant Garh today. The Sela Pass and the Nuranang Waterfalls are named after the Monpa girls, Sela and Nura, who helped Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat kill the Chinese soldiers and the war that took place at this post is known as the "Battle of Nuranang".

Even today, Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat's personal belongings are kept at the post. His morning tea is served, his shoes are polished, he has been given promotions till the rank of Major General even after death, his salary is credited and he is even granted leaves as soldiers believe that Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat still guards this post in spirit.

There are multiple versions regarding Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat's bravery. Regardless of it, everyone believes that Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat was a braveheart, for he safeguarded national interests till his last breath.

Some pictures clicked at the Jaswant Garh War Memorial

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0065.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0066.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0070.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0809.jpg


After spending quality time at the Jaswant Garh War Memorial and paying our tributes to Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, we started our journey back towards Bomdila.

We crossed the Sela Pass and despite a little drizzle on the way, we made it to Bomdila by late afternoon. The remaining part of the day was spent around the Bomdila market exploring souvenir shops and eateries.

The serpentine mountain roads near Sela Pass

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0067.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0097.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0821.jpg


On the way to Bomdila

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-dsc_0109.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0829.jpg


Enjoyed watching a couple of football matches near the Bomdila market

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0831.jpg

Last edited by //M : 27th April 2020 at 21:21.
//M is offline   (13) Thanks
Old 28th April 2020, 00:50   #13
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

The last day in Arunachal Pradesh proved to be the most challenging ride in the entire trip.

We started off from Bomdila and the weather was absolutely pleasant which made it perfect for motorcycling. But the roads were extremely bad and then suddenly, the skies opened up. What we witnessed was probably a cloudburst of some sort !

Massive storm followed by heavy rains, multiple landslides and slushy roads made it very challenging to ride in the hills. There was no shelter as there were countless landslides at every corner and Bhalukpong was not far off so we continued to ride slowly and steadily. I was trailing my friends when suddenly a massive rock fell right in front of me. I almost stopped immediately and noticed that the other two motorcycles have passed that spot. There was another landslide, just a few metres behind me. Heavy rainfall made general visibility extremely poor. I was not even able to see my friends who were barely a hundred metres away. Somehow I made my way through the rocks, rear wheel sliding in the slush and made it to the other side. We had put the cameras inside the bags anticipating rains so I do not have any recorded footage of this stretch. But it was one scary experience which lasted almost an hour. We finally made it towards the plains and the rains had stopped by then. The waterproof leather riding boots were soaked in water, socks drenched in muddy water, fingers numb due to the water ingress through the gloves and even the balaclava on my head was drenched in rainwater.

This picture was clicked before the cloudburst, imagine our plight when the dirt tracks turned into slush fields during the heavy downpour

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0841.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0842.jpg


We somehow made it towards Bhalukpong. As the weather cleared up, we stopped on the banks of the Kameng river and opened the camera bag which was packed in 3 layers of plastic sheets and clothes. All I saw was that the lens was almost floating in rainwater. Our clothes were all drenched despite having raincovers or tarpaulin sheets over our luggage bags.

We crawled our way to Bhalukpong and checked into a hotel. The afternoon sun was strong at Bhalukpong and we asked access to the terrace of the hotel where we could just spread our clothes and riding gear to let them dry. The manager obliged to our request and thankfully we had ample time at Bhalukpong so we could actually sun-bake all our belongings that afternoon.

The road surface greatly improved as we got closer to Bhalukpong town

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0845.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0847.jpg


We changed to the least possible wet clothes we had in our bags and went out in search of some food. We found a nice Bengali restaurant and the Jhuri Bhaja (crispy finely cut potato fritters), Rice, Sorshe Rui Maach (fish in mustard gravy), Kosha Mangsho (mutton in thick gravy) combination tasted heavenly.

After a sumptuous lunch, we went towards the Kameng river looking for a trail so that we can take the motorcycles near the river. On one side of the river lies the Bhalukpong town (which is also the state border between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) and the other side of the river lies the intriguing Pakke Tiger Reserve.

Spending the rest of the day next to the Kameng river and recollecting memories from the trip was pure bliss

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0849.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0850.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0855.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0863.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0865.jpg


It was supposed to be our last night in Arunachal Pradesh during this trip so we cherished the memories collected over the past one week in this beautiful corner of the country and prayed all night that the camera should work fine when it gets dry !

Last edited by //M : 28th April 2020 at 03:02.
//M is offline   (16) Thanks
Old 28th April 2020, 01:59   #14
//M
Distinguished - BHPian
 
//M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,517
Thanked: 17,917 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

The next morning we started off for Guwahati and as soon as we entered Assam, the roads got wider and the surface became smoother so we could keep up the pace. Just a few kms into Assam, we realised that we were very close to the Nameri National Park, which actually shares borders with the Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh. Although we did not have ample time to go for a wildlife safari, we still decided to hit the trail till the river, spend some time, click a few pictures and then head back towards Guwahati.

The early morning start from Bhalukpong

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0870.jpg


Somewhere close to the Nameri National Park which lies on the other side of the Kameng river

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0893.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0896.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0901.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0907.jpg


After spending an hour or so, we left towards Guwahati. We bypassed the Tezpur town and by the time we were crossing Nagaon, the sun was already up and the summer heat was bothersome in the plains of Assam.

Towards Tezpur

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0909.jpg


The roads were excellent though, despite the bothersome traffic which we had to encounter while crossing villages and smaller towns. The last few kms to Guwahati was pure bliss. Once in Guwahati, we headed straight to Kamakhya. After dumping our bags in a hotel, we went to return the Himalayan to the Awe Rides office. We submitted the spare part invoices and service receipt that we had incurred during the start of the trip, but we had no hopes of getting a reimbursement as such. To our surprise, we were actually reimbursed the entire amount a few days later !

One last click of the motorcycles from the trip

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0410.jpg


After dropping off the Himalayan, we headed back to Kamakhya to drop off the CBZ and the Avenger to be transported back to Ranchi. This entire process consumed a lot of time, almost the entire evening. We were pretty tired so we got back to the hotel and called it a night.

Next morning, we got up at 4 AM and headed to the Kamakhya Temple. There was already a queue of pilgrims by the time we reached there. The temple gates opened at 6 AM and slowly the queue progressed. According to the Hindu mythology, Kamakhya Temple is one of the 51 Shakti Pithas and is a major pilgrimage centre for Tantric followers. It took us almost a couple of hours to complete the darshan but we were a little glad that we came pretty early in the day. By the time we were exiting the temple complex, we observed that the queue of pilgrims was already quite long.

Kamakhya Temple

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0919.jpg

Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond-img_0921.jpg


We headed back to our hotel, packed our bags and left for the airport. The adventure had come to an end but we still savour the great time we had exploring the spectacular western part of India's eastern-most state. The motorcycles had performed well during the entire trip. We did not even encounter a flat tyre in the trip despite riding over some challenging terrain. All the three motorcycles - CBZ Xtreme, Avenger and Himalayan - performed flawlessly, regardless of the tough conditions.

We travelled to a couple of places which were far beyond standard tourist trails and that made the trip totally worthwhile. Add to that the dramatic landscapes, snow covered mountains, deep gorges, scintillating valleys and the general calm atmosphere of the state, truly made it one wild adventure.


Thanks for reading !

Last edited by //M : 28th April 2020 at 03:03.
//M is offline   (25) Thanks
Old 28th April 2020, 04:33   #15
Team-BHP Support
 
BlackPearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Calcutta/London
Posts: 3,436
Thanked: 15,021 Times
Default Re: Motorcycling to Western Arunachal - Tawang and beyond

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

What a travelogue //M! Rated 5 stars. It brought back lovely memories of our Arunachal trip.
BlackPearl is offline   (7) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright 2000 - 2021, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks