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Old 9th May 2020, 00:56   #1
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Default Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang

There are times when you feel like going back to the memories that hold a special place in your heart. In these lock down days which now seems like a never ending story, it’s the memories which keep coming back every now and then. I am about to write one such memory which makes me smile every time I recollect the whole journey. But before that one thing to mention here first- I spent my entire childhood in the state which is now on the rader of every serious, non-serious, energetic, adventurous and even leisure traveller and that perhaps explains my love for the hills. Yes, I am talking about the land of the rising sun- ARUNACHAL PRADESH

The state of Arunachal Pradesh has come a long way from the days when I used to study in a Kendriya Vidyalaya and my school was surrounded by hills from almost all sides and a rivulet flowing just by the school playground. I am talking of the twin capital city complex consisting of Itanagar and Naharlagun- probably the only twin capital city complex in the entire country even today. The two places are 14 kms apart from each other and are connected by NH 52A ( this was the previous numbering). There used to be only one inner line check post at Banderdewa which was the entry point towards the capital complex. I remember during the early days when I used to go back to Arunachal Pradesh after spending my summer vacations at Calcutta, the freshness of oxygen or the quality of air always changed the moment you crossed the check post at Banderdewa. I had this ill conceived notion back then that the city people enjoyed life more than the people in Itanagar and Naharlagun. Never realised the beauty of the place when I studied there and completed schooling from various places of Arunachal Pradesh including a place which many are familiar now - Pasighat. Travelling inside the state was a nightmare and the places which are very popular now like Anini, Dambuk, Bumla, Tawang, Ziro, Menchuka, Roing etc were almost inaccessible through roads. Every small town needed a back breaking journey to reach from Naharlagun. Things have improved over the years and now at least folks can take their motorcycles as well to far off places. Now there is also another entry point to Itanagar through Hollongi which cuts the earlier travel time from Guwahati by almost two hours. But this development has taken the sheen of the raw beauty that used to be there in the early days. The place I grew up-Naharlagun is a shadow of its earlier self. Itanagar and Naharlagun used to be postcard worthy beautiful but now unplanned construction, indiscriminate cutting of trees and hills has resulted in climate change and what not. But then, even if most things have changed (including my school building and the air quality) some places have remained the same and that’s why the place still holds a special place in my heart no matter how ugly it looks now.


So one fine day in October 2017, we decided to travel to Itanagar first and then to Tawang. Now many folks from the forum have already travelled to Tawang and written about so I won’t be writing much and instead allow the photos to speak if they are of speaking kind that is

As is the norm for me, started in the evening from Calcutta and took the now standard route of NH2- Burdwan- SH7- Moregram- Raigunj- Botolbaari- Odlabaari- NH31- Jaldapara- Bongaigaon- Goalpara and finally to Guwahati. Reached Guwahati the next day around evening and checked into my usual place now- the Landmark Hotel in Ulubari Guwahati. Now this hotel has a history too, the hotel is just beside the Nehru Stadium which hosted the international cricket matches as well as football matches in the earlier times. The hotel used to host the international players and was created for the sole purpose for the players. Later on, when the new cricket stadium was constructed and new and better hotels came up, the landmark hotel lagged behind and now it hosts idiots like me who drive through to rest their aching bodies !! So check in complete and called some friends over and had a nice dinner at one of the adda zones in Guwahati- the Dhaba at Silpukhuri, Guwahati. The place was famous during our college days and it used to our monthly joint for good food but now with the advent of fine-dining places, the place has lost its sheen but the nostalgia remains.

Cut to the morning after a good night’s sleep and some lovely breakfast, we started for Naharlagun and Itanagar by around noon. Now with good roads and Nowgaon bypass, the distance has drastically reduced to almost half. A journey which used to take around 10-11 hours can now be completed in around 6-7 hours. Back in the days, only road transport connected the capital complex to the rest of India. During the monsoons, the capital complex got used to cut off every year due to landslides over NH52A. Now, the capital complex has got rail connectivity as well and plans are afoot to start the work for the greenfield airport as well at Itanagar. Okay, back to the journey and it was made at leisure and we finally reached Naharlagun by the evening. Some days were spent there before the journey to Tawang and we always have a lovely time in Naharlagun. Some old friends, same old faces in some familiar shops and a visit to my alma-matar, everything combined to made the journey eventful and worthwhile. Some friends even made fun of the car seeing a WB registration when all those years I drove a AR registered Kawasaki KB 100 roaming around the capital complex. Okay, enough of talk now, some pictures to start with -

SH7 is such a wonderful drive during the night
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-ea0d23391ca04c26a899761d4970be78.jpeg

These now famous bumpers will be familiar to folks from Calcutta and outskirts who usually travel through SH7
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-ccda358e81a7432c8be6267fbd19a508.jpeg

The roads have improved in Assam by a mile, this stretch near Gohpur used to be a nightmare earlier
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-a19818f250894098aa5cd7973df56a33.jpeg


Nearby Durga Mandir en route North Lakhimpur, the place is around one hour from Naharlagun Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-5c9d179a3c724f30a9193847d4da403f.jpeg

A rare delicacy in the markets of Naharlagun- spicy rats
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-3d40e83684b94dd2bd4a6daa120d9623.jpeg

These Silkworms are also a delicacy and if you love outrageous foods then this is it
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-f8fed768615d4d53bb3f2b27a93fa4a3.jpeg

The view of the local market in Naharlagun
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-6397dac5896a4ed38aac6d4ca1188a16.jpeg

One of my chums posing in between the ruins of Itafort after which the town of Itanagar is named after
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-4017c20b3668486483262a805f0dd172.jpeg

The ruins have been taken over by ASI but the maintenance needs a lot to be desired
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The Itafort
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-a498f0e3564b4b0cb143b542c5dbd1da.jpeg

Dikrong river and the railway bridge over it, the last station of Naharlagun is just after crossing this bridge
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-3b894d876ae4470384373a085d77d3db.jpeg

Naranarayan bridge over the Brahmaputra near Goalpara
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Usual scenes on the roads in the north east India
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View of the city of Itanagar from a vantage point
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-8e42d5bc097f445484b72d168a15359e.jpeg

Coloured chicks up for sale
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-b75f56fd0f694ee6af0585e286a7e098.jpeg

Baahon posing on NH 52A
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-b43ece614587402e987e62ec8d17c1b8.jpeg

In front of Itafort
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-abfe5db4e27146799a383f0edbfc1345.jpeg

To be continued :

Last edited by ABHI_1512 : 9th May 2020 at 00:58. Reason: Correction
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Old 9th May 2020, 01:55   #2
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Default re: Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang

So going around the streets of Naharlagun and Itanagar for some days and recollecting the glory days of childhood gave me a high. Visiting places that i used to visit to during childhood, the Bharat Scouts and Guides Camp i attended once, many memories came rushing by.Here are some of the places of interest around the capital complex of Naharlagun and Itanagar.


Can someone spot the road?
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_3889-compressed.jpg

Baahon again
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_3892-compressed.jpg

Thupten Gatseling Monastery
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_3921-compressed.jpg

Front view of the Monastery
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_3938-compressed.jpg

Stupa near the Monastery
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_3939-compressed.jpg


The Thupten Gatseling Monastery is popularly known as the GOMPHA and we all knew the place by this name only.The Monastery was consecrated by the great DALAI LAMA himself. The temple is situated on a hillock and is surrounded by lush green forests and hills.One can have a panoramic view of the entire Itanagar town from the temple compound. I have fond memories of the place because we used to ride our bikes to this place just to have a feel of the uphill twisty entrance to the temple. The HOTSHOT camera of the days gone by was put to test many a times from this place.

Itanagar and Naharlagun have changed over the years but some places are still the same and evoke the same excitement even after twenty five years!! The picture of the road above is still the same landslide prone road it was thirty years before. This is the same road that i was talking about and which would get cut off every year during the monsoons. The landslides still happen as one can clearly see and the road does gets blocked every now and then during the monsoons. Although roads have improved over the years and the rest of the state now gets very well maintained two laned roads. Okay, now onto our big journey after three days of bliss at Naharlagun. So, the usual route to Tawang went through Bhalukpong but there was this new road through Shergaon and Rupa which was very less traveled during those times and which is now being taken by many people. And so started our onwards journey towards Tawang.

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Old 9th May 2020, 03:53   #3
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Default re: Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang

Naharlagun to Tawang used to be an interesting journey in the earlier times. My big man used to work for the state PWD and for that reason he had to visit many a places for the usual audits. So from NEFA days and then after the formation of the state of Arunachal Pradesh, he used to visit many a places which were hitherto unknown to me as well. One such place was Rupa and he was posted there for around two years or so. I used to have a very feeble memory of the place as well as Tawang. So, this trip of mine to Tawang was going to be extra special for the above reasons. During the earlier years, Naharlagun to Tawang used to be a three day affair- Naharlagun to Bhalukpong , Bhalukpong to Rupa/Bomdila and Bomdila to Tawang and sometimes it took even four days if the road conditions deteriorated. For starters, the road conditions back in those days were horrible to horrendous. The only small vehicle that used to ply on the route was the humble Gypsy and sometimes the Willyís Jeep and I am talking about the early nineties here.

So with that back of the mind theory, we started from Naharlagun very early in the morning around 5. This time we went through the new road and check post Hollongi which is very near to Gohpur in Assam and the roads were equally good though landslides at some places had made the road slushy at some places. The journey through Hollongi was wonderful and we were on our way to Orang. Some bad stretches to reach Orang and from there on the newly constructed road to Rupa through Bhairabkunda- Balemu- Shergaon- Rupa was a bliss sans a little stretch where water was falling from the hills making a deep crater. Our halt for the night was decided at Tenga Valley- a quint little place where my big man once used to visit and bring some goodies from the Military Canteen back in those days.
Tenga Valley became the halting place for the night because there was a massive jam just after the Rupa town and the road uphill towards Bomdila. It was a massive jam with the downhill traffic towards Bhalukpong and a long queue of Army trucks stuck going upwards. To get stuck on a steep uphill is a nightmare for a two wheel drive car if not acquainted with hill driving and that is what happened. A Creta got stuck with a burnt clutch and created the mayhem that ensured we couldnít reach Bomdila but had to make do with Tenga Valley for the night. Reached Tenga after the massive jam finally opened and checked in Eagle Nest Hotel which is centrally located inside the town.

Some pictures here :

Hollongi Highway- this four laned road is a bliss to drive on
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-61e39c57788c401c9d28d26415766262.jpeg

Just before the climb starts towards Bhairabkunda
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-cad20d8e2a2d484180ebe50a358df2f1.jpeg

Once you start the climb and after some twists and turns, you get views like these
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-b78a85682e3949b29280ea38b10fe22a.jpeg

Not natural rock cuts but by the cutters but still made a pretty picture
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-4181acda338945a7812d539ecbcaa57d.jpeg

This hotel was the only one in the entire route that served some decent food and chai
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-fd193371bb2a40ada4897a1354e31683.jpeg

The old man was selling the juiciest apples ever
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-a6200aab429a4453aaac81c15e3f9656.jpeg

Picturesque
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Monastery en route Rupa
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-002504e208704c509f3fe8ee87961414.jpeg

Spot the road !
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-9ec793c7876048e4a4975888421c6344.jpeg

Bridge connecting both sides of Rupa town
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-d1ac43e217e5443a84e1e090148ec0a5.jpeg


Now, the town of Rupa was familiar to me since i have visited the place in my childhood.It was nice to see the work area of my big man, the office and the quarters made my trip worthwhile. The area was restricted and hence i couldn't click pictures but the offices were just opposite to the bridge and beside the river. There was this nice restaurant in the bazaar area of the town and we had a nice chai break there. Okay, nostalgia over and check in at the hotel complete, we had the dinner and slept early since next day was going to be hectic if it rained.


A view of the little town of Tenga Valley
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_3970-compressed.jpg

Hotel Eagle Nest Residency
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_3971-compressed.jpg

Baahon parked outside the hotel
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_3973-compressed.jpg

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Old 9th May 2020, 04:46   #4
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So here we are now,the ascent to Tawang was about to start and it was a glorious day with sun shining bright.Now people familiar with hills know how the weather changes in a split second. Started off from the hotel and while tanking up at the nearby petrol pump, got to know that its raining in the upper hills and one Sumo had met with an accident. Anyways, started off with a prayer in our minds and as usual got stuck in the massive jam due to the accident. The tail was almost 5-6 kilometres long and it was that massive.

Views like this welcomed us
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_3989-compressed.jpg

The serpentine roads
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_3991-compressed.jpg

This was the grid lock and it set us back by almost one hour
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_3996-compressed.jpg

After wasting a precious amount of time, we finally got a move on and after some tense moments and slippery roads, finally made it to SELA LAKE. The place welcomed us with chilly winds and clouds on our eye level. Some pictures from the wonderful place:

Sela lake
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_3999-compressed.jpg

Sela lake
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4001-compressed.jpg

Baahon showing up with the cloud cover
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4008-compressed.jpg

Sela lake amidst the back drop
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4012-compressed.jpg

Baahon again
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4016-compressed.jpg

There was this lovely waterfall en route Jaswantgarh and we did stop to click some pictures although the light had started to go down a little. The sun goes down real quick and it was getting foggier with each passing time.

Water falls enroute Jaswantgarh
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4037-compressed.jpg

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Old 9th May 2020, 05:40   #5
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Sela Pass provided little visibility and after some real bad fog, we finally reached Jaswantgarh. A little cup of chai at the army canteen and we were quickly on our way to Tawang.


The lone rider was majestically riding on despite the fading light
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4029-compressed.jpg

Visibility became less as we climbed up
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4045-compressed.jpg

One side of the road was under construction and due to rains the road was full of slush
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4062-compressed.jpg

The clouds and the rains provided us with these views
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4071-compressed.jpg

Anyone for a cup of tea sitting with the clouds?
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4072-compressed.jpg

Visibility improved after Jung and the roads became good to very good till Tawang. Finally made it to Tawang and went straight to the hotel located beside the primary health center. It was a newly built property and we got to choose the best room as well

We finally made it to Tawang and the feeling was great too. Ordered the dinner and slept off like a log. Next day was going to be the local sight seeing day and also the submission of forms for the Bumla and Shungatsar lake visit.

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Old 9th May 2020, 06:16   #6
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The second day was solely dedicated to the local sight seeing of Tawang as well as some shopping by the better half.There is the Asia's second largest Monastery to see and it's indeed a treasure. Nothing much but the pictures for you all to see :

View of the Giant Buddha from our hotel
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4079-compressed.jpg

Tawang Monastery from the hotel
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4084-compressed.jpg

Giant Buddha which overlooks the entire Tawang
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Tawang Monastery as seen from the Giant Buddha point
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Giant Buddha is one of the most serene sights
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Abandoned bunkers en route Tawang War Memorial
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Bust of Param Vir Chakra awardee Subedaar Jogindar Singh
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4123-compressed.jpg

Tawang War Memorial built in the memory of soldiers of 1962 war with China
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4127-compressed.jpg

Tawang Monastery seen from the war memorial
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The most controversial yet effective gun of our times
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Baahon showing up at the war memorial
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Towards the light
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Entrance to the Monastery
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4153-compressed.jpg

The warmth everyone needs in this world
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Tawang monastery overlooks the entire town
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4164-compressed.jpg

The sanctum sanctorum of the Monastery
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4167-compressed.jpg

The little monk announcing the sun down
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Overlooks the entire town
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4175-compressed.jpg

How cool and friendly is that?
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4212-compressed.jpg

The lone warrior
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Entrance to the Monastery
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4230-compressed.jpg

Ani gompa or the ladies monastery
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4249-compressed.jpg

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Old 9th May 2020, 08:12   #7
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The day was going to be big since the visit to Bumla and Shungetsar Lake were planned. The passes were collected courtesy a friend from the defence forces. The weather was great and we couldn’t be more happier. Now Bumla pass is one of the four border outposts and meeting point of Indo- China defence forces which is situated in the India-China border. At the time of our visit, the Doklam standoff was just few months old and hence there was palpable tension on the border areas. The road to Bumla has come a long way since the glory days of the nineties.Even after the improvements, the road is made up of boulders and stones in some of the places and it creates the risk of a sidewall rupture very much a possibility

After some careful driving and little injury to the suspensions,i finally reached up. The weather was fine and it was bright and sunny when we reached the top. But the chilly winds blew the hell out of us. Yes, it was that windy and cold up there. People with little difficulty in breathing should be careful up there in places like Bumla. Also AMS( acute mountain sickness is a definite possibility and can hit anybody and anytime). One of my friend had a AMS attack and we hurriedly came down to the Y-Junction medical camp. He was advised rest and was administered oxygen although he was well accustomed with heights. After this episode was taken care off, we proceeded towards Shungetsar lake since time was at a premium. Some pictures :

The omnipresent Tawang Monastery looked different every time
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4258-compressed.jpg

This is exactly the way my house in Naharlagun used to be
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4260-compressed.jpg

Start of the road just after the Bumla check post
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4263-compressed.jpg

As we started to climb, the Tawang monastery started to look smaller
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4267-compressed.jpg

Milestones never looked so good
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4269-compressed.jpg

The great Shivaji maharaj
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And smaller
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PTSO Lake
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4273-compressed.jpg

Towards Bumla
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4282-compressed.jpg

Milestones again
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4289-compressed.jpg

Scenery that will stay with you forever
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4291-compressed.jpg

And some more ..
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4296-compressed.jpg

And some more and more
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4299-compressed.jpg

Abandoned bunkers
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Convoy of Army trucks marching in unison
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Tawang is also known as the land of lakes
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4322-compressed.jpg

Construction work going on at the time. The road surely now is in good shape majorly.
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4325-compressed.jpg

Such is the landscape that you will stare for no reason
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4328-compressed.jpg

The board indicating the friendship between India and China however feeble that writing is !
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4329-compressed.jpg

The peace stones at Bumla pass
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4330-compressed.jpg

And the thank you
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4340-compressed.jpg

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Old 9th May 2020, 16:53   #8
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Default re: Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang

Bumla presented some wonderful vistas and we almost had a wonderful time riding up the pass sans the AMS attack. Looking past the incident and we started for another beautiful place. Although Tiger's Nest was also in the plan but due to loss of precious time, we had to shelve the plan for another day and year. So Zemithang and Tiger's Nest is what is our motivation for our next trip to the amazing Tawang

So, from Y-Junction,we moved towards Shungetsar lake which is popularly known as the Madhuri lake as well since some of the scenes of the movie 'Koyla' was shot there. In fact, many movie scenes are shot in the Tawang area and its vicinity. The road towards the lake was slightly better then the one towards Bumla and so we thought.But, alas it was worse than what we thought. The firm suspension of Ecosport was tossing us around with impunity After much ado, we finally reached the Shungetsar lake with about one hour to go for the closure of the lake gates. The authorities at the lake had a cut off time of 3 pm by which every car would have to leave the lakes for Tawang. There was this construction of log hut going on at that time and that is perhaps complete by now. There was this make shift canteen behind the log hut where they were selling hot maggi and coffee. We ordered the same and went roaming around the lake for while. As folks would know by now, the sun sets real quick in those areas. The sun was blazing and we got clicking like there is no tomorrow. Here are some of the pictures :

Views en route Y Junction
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Colors of nature
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It is for these views that we long to travel
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Nature has its own color to mesmerize us
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View point of Y-Junction
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Y Junction cafe
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The area was full of bunkers which were in use during the 1962 War
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Vistas like this makes the journey so worthwhile
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Gurudwara sarwa dharm sthal en route
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Milestones and captions
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Guardians of the hills
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Vistas en route
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A small falls but it takes some serious shape during the rains
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The first view of the Shungetsar lake
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And the beauty in front of your eyes
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Area surrounding the lake
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Surrounding areas have their own beauty
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Peace
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The lake as it looks from the log hut area
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Another shot of the glorious lake
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One for the Album
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View point
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The Flag always flies high over here
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Almost picture perfect !
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Now this one was surely picture perfect
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Fleeting view of the lake while engulfed in haze and fog
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By the time we finished,it was already 4 in the evening, the additional grace period was for some time inside the log hut and some coffee with the jawans. We finally reached Tawang around 7.30 in the evening and retired for the day after taking the dinner. Slept like a dog after the tedious ride with the alarm set in the morning since we had our stay booked in Bomdila.

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Old 9th May 2020, 18:50   #9
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Default re: Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang

Next day it was time for Bomdila and but we had to delay our departure since it was raining heavily. The rains stopped by 9 but the visibility became an issue. Anyways, we began our journey and the sun came out with all guns blazing
Left Tawang after breakfast and bid adieu with the thought of coming back again. Tanked up at Jung Petrol Pump and moved towards the majestic Jung falls which is one of a kind in this region. The water falls from a height of around 100 meters and is counted among one of the powerful falls of India. Here are some pictures of the same :

This was the view from the hotel after the rain stopped and the sun came out
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4651-compressed.jpg

The majestic Jung falls
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4660-compressed.jpg

The Jung falls again
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_4663-compressed.jpg

There was a construction going on nearby of a Forest rest house at Jung near the falls. I am sure by now the project is complete. It will be a nice place to sit and enjoy the falls doing nothing but sipping some coffee. The Jung falls or the Nuranang falls will be a nice outing for a night if spent in the Forest rest house. After witnessing some glorious weather, we ran into some real rough weather while on the Sela Pass. The visibility fell down to hardly 20 metres or even less and the whole pass was engulfed in fog. And to make matters worse, bizarre hailstorm started to pound the windshield and the rooftop along with deadly fog. To cross Sela pass in that blindness was an experience I havenít gotten over yet. It was one of the most thrilling drives ever for me personally. Due to rains, some places turned slushy and it was risky negotiating the narrow turns. Now everyone who has traveled through Sela pass knows that the movement of Army trucks through that route is fairly regular and it kind of worsened the matters through the narrow stretch. Have a video shot from inside the cabin, may be there is way to share the video here but I donít know it yet !

Finally made it to Bomdila after stopping at Dirang for some good old tea. Travelling through that stretch of Dirang reminded me of the days gone by when I visited the places during the nineties. As much as I wanted to visit Sangti valley, the delay due to the Sela Pass fiasco made the plan untenable. So after reaching Bomdila, went straight to the Bomdila Monastery. Bomdila, Rupa and Dirang are part of my childhood and will always hold a special part in my life. Now Bomdila Monastery has been renovated completely and it now looks like million bucks. Let the pictures here do the talking :

Dirang Valley
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Baahon posing at Bomdila Monastery
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Bomdila Monastery
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Wheels of peace at Bomdila Monastery
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View from Bomdila Monastery
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The day was a fruitful one and we ended up sleeping the hell out in Bomdila after dinner. Next day plan was to move to Guwahati after visiting another lovely place near Rupa. The Chilipam Monastery was around 15 kms from Rupa and itĎa a must visit if people have the time to drive uphill. Some pictures from the next day :


The entry point of Chilipam Monastery
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Chilipam Monastery which according to me is one of the most beautiful Monastery I have seen over the years
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Chilipam Monastery from the front view
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The Chilipam Monastery is surrounded by hills al around and is situated atop a hilltop
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Baahon posing in front of Chilipam Monastery
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Chilipam Monastery was a wonderful experience and we enjoyed our time there. People going to Tawang should make some time to visit this wonderful Monastery. It is one of a kind Monastery with equally good views all around. The road in front of the Monastery ultimately merges with the same Kalaktang- Orang route. This route is a blessing in disguise for people who want to reach Tawang without the uncertainty of the Bhalukpong route until it is ready with all the construction work done and dusted with. A wonderful journey came to an end with all the memories relived and its time to be back to the grind. Reached Guwahati and stayed at the same Landmark Hotel before starting for Calcutta the next morning. It was a journey which I took to relive my childhood days and it came out just as fine despite of usual hiccups. The route back was usual drive of around 22 hours and I reached Calcutta by the next morning.

Sunset over the mighty Brahmaputra
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Nehru stadium as seen from Landmark Hotel
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A shot of my Baahon while on the way to Tawang and which is one of my favourite
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Signing off for now with the hope that these pandemic times will be over soon and we will be soon on our way to make some fresh memories.

Last edited by ABHI_1512 : 9th May 2020 at 23:57.
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Old 10th May 2020, 04:36   #10
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Default re: Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10th May 2020, 14:26   #11
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Some additional pictures summarising the whole trip :

One for the memory of the milestone
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-f09904127cb34e968aa286d1e33c1bbd.jpeg

Glorious white under the Blue
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Nuranang Falls
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Whatís a trip to the hills without a road block?
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Views
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Almost mandatory still now!
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That gate of West Kameng
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Baahon posing along the double rainbow
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Mountains often present you with these amazing views and this was right after the hailstorm
Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-2547b89f536041af8fa021b84d0bb618.jpeg
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Old 10th May 2020, 15:02   #12
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Just one word says it all, mesmerizing. Wonder why were you hiding it all this time. Rated 5 stars. Such photologues are real temptation to break free from the lockdown. Keep more of these coming.

During your onward journey from Kolkata did you literally drive non stop from evening to evening Kolkata to Guwahati? How many breaks did you take.
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Old 10th May 2020, 15:26   #13
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Default Re: Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang

Quote:
Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
Just one word says it all, mesmerizing. Wonder why were you hiding it all this time. Rated 5 stars. Such photologues are real temptation to break free from the lockdown. Keep more of these coming.

During your onward journey from Kolkata did you literally drive non stop from evening to evening Kolkata to Guwahati? How many breaks did you take.
Thank you haisaikat for your kind words as always. Thanks to the lockdown days, even a journey that old still evokes nostalgia that I am tempted to bring those long distance logs back into this wonderful forum. As for your question, yes I do like to drive long and made the journey of Calcutta- Guwahati both way straight. Normal food breaks and some chai breaks do the job for me

Regards
Abhishek
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Old 10th May 2020, 16:34   #14
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Awesome travelogue dada. The pictures are droolworthy indeed. Thanks a lot for sharing. More such travelogues are required to keep our spirits high during this lockdown. Rated it deserved 5*. What headlights are you using? The night drive pictures on SH7 shows illumination is very good compared to Ecosport standards.
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Old 10th May 2020, 17:02   #15
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Just one complaint from an otherwise brilliant travelogue!
I was expecting at-least one pic of Baahon from the Bumla, Sangetsar lake drive. Baahon surely will be among the very few Ecosport's which have scaled Bumla! It certainly deserves a pic over there!

This pic was clicked at 12 pm, and it was season's first snowfall at Bumla! Date- 8th Oct 2019.

Photoblog: Calcutta to Ita Fort and Tawang-img_0066.jpg

Rated 5*

Last edited by Samba : 10th May 2020 at 17:09.
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