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Old 31st January 2023, 15:57   #1
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Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

I had been planning to visit Tuting located in the Upper Siang District of Arunachal Pradesh for the past few years. However, due to many reasons including the terrible road conditions the plans never materialised. This January though, I finally could visit Tuting, Gelling and Bishing along with my colleague Karan.

Instead of providing day by day details of the trip, I will share some highlights of the trip first and also provide all the information that may be useful for future visitors in a separate post.

At Gelling Inspection Bungalow (IB):

Gelling is the last Indian Village on the LAC with China. We searched for the caretaker of the IB in the almost deserted village of Gelling and one kind person showed us the house. The caretaker informed us that he will not be able to supply any food to us during our stay and simply handed over the keys to the IB. We were not disappointed at all as I had not read any account of anybody managing a stay at the Gelling IB. We were a little concerned though that the IB does not have any electricity.

On the positive side, the IB had clean linen and blankets, a fireplace in the kitchen, cooking utensils, running water and a lot of firewood. We decided it was like a luxurious camping place.

As night drew, we put our cooking skills to the test. We lit up a roaring fire to lift the spirits- ours i.e. and not of those of the IB. Rice, eggs, potatoes seasoned with some noodles was our fuel. This felt like heaven compared to the accommodation we had managed at Tuting the previous night. . At midnight we heard someone tapping at the door. Later on, we came to know it was the resident rats. We had a trek planned the next day to Bishing Village and we decided to stay there if possible.

Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_1420.jpg

IB without power. But we will take it


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A roaring fire is all we needed

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Fuel for the body

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IB in day time. Look at the firewood stock.


Off Roading in Norbuling:

Over a cup of tea at a localís home in Gelling, we were informed of an off roading track via Norbuling Vilage which would reduce our trekking distance to Bishing by a significant amount. We went to check out the route in the evening.

It is narrow track created by the army for ferrying goods to the suspension bridge. From here, goods would be carried by porters to Bishing post. While, it would definitely reduce our trekking effort, I did not want to leave my Bolero all alone in the jungle and decided to walk the whole distance to Bishing the next day.

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Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_1394.jpg

At Norbuling Village

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The track starts after the village road ends

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Dense jungle. We spotted a huge deer.

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Cakewalk for Bolero 4wd

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Blasted piece of stone. Looks like an elephant.

Last edited by gunin : 31st January 2023 at 16:27.
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Old 31st January 2023, 16:43   #2
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re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Trek to Bishing Village:

The trek to Bishing Village from Gelling Village is done in 3 hours by locals. I think it is around 10 kms one way. We added another hour as our estimated time. I am not an experienced trekker and I found it to be moderately difficult. It includes some steep climbs and descents amidst dense jungle which tested my kneesí integrity. The descents were especially brutal.

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The previous day we had driven almost till this bridge over the Siang river. On this day, we walked the whole distance.

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The old bridge. Many people have lost their lives when an old wood gave way.

Our guide, Mr. Rai from Jharkhand was not a very communicative person as he was a little hard of hearing. Though he opened up later at Gelling after the trek after a few drinks.

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Spot for lunch break

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Another hanging bridge on the way to Bishing.

We expected to find accommodation at Bishing but the whole village was deserted except for two elderly people. All had gone to Tuting for Losar festivities. So, we decided to return to Gelling the same day.

Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_1460.jpg

Tired yet happy

At Bishing, the Intelligence Bureau Officer was unintelligent about our arrival and this being a border post took our details. He invited us for dinner later on if we stayed at Bishing.

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At Bishing

We were amazed by the speed at which army porters carry on this tricky trail. While returning to Gelling, our legs felt like giving up with each step. We cursed ourselves for not parking the Bolero at the trailís beginning and thought how wonderful it would it have been to drive away.

Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_1479.jpg

Our guide and Bishing falls in the background.

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Dense jungle trek

The last ascent to Gelling was brutal as it grew dark and each step up the slippery slope threatened to give us away. We did make it and were welcomed by our friends at Gelling with a warm fire. 20 kms of hard trekking in a day was a new high for me.

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Norbuling Village in the distance.

A warm hot meal:

In our daily lives, we got out and eat at nice restaurants. But one of the tastiest meals I have ever had was prepared by the workers from Assam on our return from Bishing. We were very tired and the prospect of preparing dinner in the dark IB was daunting. Seeing our condition, the guys from Assam working in the village gave us the dinner they had prepared for themselves- a simple fare of rice, dal and chicken curry. It was piping hot and fresh and it really filled our stomachs and souls.

Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_1485.jpg

A meal with our friends at Gelling.

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All of them treated us like brothers
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Old 31st January 2023, 17:05   #3
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re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Welcoming Gelling Village:

After being mildly disappointed with Tuting, we decided to move to Gelling. Gelling welcomed us with sign of being the last Indian Village. It is the last one on the LAC with China.

Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_1374.jpg

Gompa under construction at Gelling.

The village looked deserted as folks had moved to Tuting for Losar festival celebrations. A few guys from Assam working there showed us the IB located at the top of a mountain. These guys later became our friends and we had a great time together. We got the keys from the caretaker and came down for lunch.

Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_1376.jpg

Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_1388.jpg

Beautiful houses

The shop owner prepared a simple meal for us and didnít even charge us any money. He gave us some rice for free for the night and we bought some eggs and potatoes and other items from his shop. A neighbour invited us for tea and we had some tasty local papads called Marko at his home. The workers from Assam gave us all the details for the trek to Bishing. They arranged the guide, Mr. Rai for us too for the following day.

Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_13822.jpg

Norbuling as seen from Gelling

Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_14192.jpg

Only the IB is not lit. The rest of the village has power.

At Tuting:

We had reached late in the night at Tuting after driving the whole day from Pasighat. We stayed in a dingy hotel which is the only option in the town. I was expecting Tuting to be similar to Mechuka but was wrong. It is a small town with a few shops and thatís about it.

It does serve as the base for wonderful treks like Tsitapuri and Singa but as a destination in itself it doesnít offer much.

We visited the beautiful monastery there which was decked up for Losar.

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Beautiful Monastery of Tuting

While coming out of the monastery we lost our way and came across a hanging bridge connecting Upper and Lower Zido Villages. Two young kids requested for a photo shoot. I think I can learn a thing or two about posing from them.

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Zido Hanging Bridge

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Kids posing.


We also attended the Republic Day celebrations for a little bit.

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Smart little kids

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Republic day celebrations at Tuting.
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Old 31st January 2023, 17:33   #4
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re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Some key Information:

The route taken: Pasighat- Yingkiong-Gandhi Bridge- Moying- Migging- Tuting- Gelling- Bishing


A) Pasighat to Yingkiong:

Distance: 130 kms

Driving Time: 2.5 to 3 hours

Road conditions: Excellent

Food options: Plenty at Yingkiong.

Fuel: Petrol pump available here.

Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_0320.jpg

Pasighat Yingkiong road. Picture from a earlier ride

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Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_1304.jpg

Siang river will be your companion on this route.


B) Yingkiong to Tuting:

Distance: 150 kms

Driving Time: 8 to 12 hours

Road conditions: Horrible with earth cutting in progress. We spent nearly 3 hours in road blocks on our onward journey.

Food options: Only at Moying and 10 kms further from Moying. It is recommended to eat at these places.

Fuel: Petrol pump available here at Tuting.

Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_1322.jpg

Horrible roads on the way to Tuting


Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh-dsc_17162.jpg

Gandhi bride after Yingkiong


C) Tuting to Gelling

Distance: 30 kms

Driving Time: 1 hour

Road conditions: Average

Accommodation:

The biggest drawback on this route is the lack of stay options by way of private hotels. There is one dingy place at Tuting which I wouldn't recommend to anyone. The best bet would be to contact the ADC of Upper Siang District and book oneself in the IB there. I loved staying at the Gelling IB but it may not be the best place for everyone with its lack of power.

Hope this information is useful. Thank you for reading.
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Old 1st February 2023, 05:31   #5
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re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st February 2023, 07:52   #6
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re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece of information of a wonderful place. This is the raw side of Arunachal. With more and more visitors visiting, I think facilitates will improve. But the fun is to stay in off-beat places like this, rather than places like Mechuka which is slowly getting commercialised.
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Old 1st February 2023, 10:44   #7
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re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

You always seem to end up from one exotic location to another mostly during festivities going on ��
A wonderful ready reckoner on point for anyone looking for the offbeat as always. Lovely read Gunin.
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Old 1st February 2023, 14:07   #8
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Re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunin View Post
Some key Information:

The route taken: Pasighat- Yingkiong-Gandhi Bridge- Moying- Migging- Tuting- Gelling- Bishing



Hope this information is useful. Thank you for reading.
As usual very detailed with the required information.
And mother of coincidence, I recently started planning for a road trip to Mechuka, Tuting and Anini. And here comes your travelogue. Is May end a good time to visit above places by bike in 10 days?
I can remove Mechuka if required but would like to cover Anini and Tuting.
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Old 1st February 2023, 14:35   #9
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Re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Your travelogues are so interesting and informative. I do read all of them but have never commented or thanked you.
I have always wanted to visit the north east but have not had the drive since the desire first hit me 40 years back.
I do live the experience through your accounts.
Many Thanks
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Old 1st February 2023, 17:00   #10
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Re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Very nice travelogue @gunin! Your travel stories are always interesting and also inspirational. Arunachal Pradesh is a very beautiful state, but unfortunately for us living in southern parts on the country, quite a far away land. Thanks to your travelogues, we get to see the beauty of the place and can imagine the experiences while reading your travel stories and seeing your pictures. Very nice pictures too!

Thanks for taking efforts to write this report and sharing your experiences with us. Looking forward to reading more from you about the beautiful Arunachal Pradesh and the Northeast!
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Old 1st February 2023, 20:22   #11
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Re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Wonderful. As always, your travelogues are priceless.You are bringing the most beautiful parts of India alive for all of us.

Disappointed at Tuting not being a great place. I thought it would be another Mechuka. Evidently, the locals have not been as enterprising as the "Mechukans" ! But Gelling and Bishing, make up for it. Some trek to Bishing though - you are a fit young man

Can you actually walk up to the border from either place ? I presume not, and probably there may not be a defined border marker either - maybe the army patrols the area and that is it. A pity that there is a border; since these villages had much more contact with Tibetan villages in the past rather than Arunachal villages. Manmade boundaries cut them off long ago.

Is Yingkiong equally approachable from Along or Passighat ? Sad to hear that the roads up from Yingkiong remain in the same sorry state. With all the focus on the border, we hope this would improve some day.

Next on the cards, beyond Anini surely !
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Old 2nd February 2023, 10:28   #12
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Re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruzbehxyz View Post
Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece of information of a wonderful place. This is the raw side of Arunachal. With more and more visitors visiting, I think facilitates will improve. But the fun is to stay in off-beat places like this, rather than places like Mechuka which is slowly getting commercialised.
Thank you! You are right about facilities improving in the coming years. The road from Yingkiong to Tuting should be better in the next couple of years. One way to beat the tourist rush in places like Mechuka is to travel during the monsoon months .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogi..Reeturaj View Post
You always seem to end up from one exotic location to another mostly during festivities going on ��
A wonderful ready reckoner on point for anyone looking for the offbeat as always. Lovely read Gunin.
Thank you Reeturaj! I see you are no longer a newbie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shubhendra View Post
As usual very detailed with the required information.
And mother of coincidence, I recently started planning for a road trip to Mechuka, Tuting and Anini. And here comes your travelogue. Is May end a good time to visit above places by bike in 10 days?
I can remove Mechuka if required but would like to cover Anini and Tuting.
Thank you. I think towards the end of May, you will encounter rains and the subsequent mud and slush in all the three routes you plan to do. Still, it is a good time as the areas will be fresh and a verdant green and rains really intensify in later months of July to September. 10 days from Pasighat will be very short for covering the three places. My suggestion is to first cover Anini and then move towards the next destination. Also, in May there will be only a few tourists even at Mechuka.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepak_misra View Post
Your travelogues are so interesting and informative. I do read all of them but have never commented or thanked you.
I have always wanted to visit the north east but have not had the drive since the desire first hit me 40 years back.
I do live the experience through your accounts.
Many Thanks
Thank you! I am really glad for the kind words. I hope you get to materialize your dream of visiting this place some day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
Very nice travelogue @gunin! Your travel stories are always interesting and also inspirational. Arunachal Pradesh is a very beautiful state, but unfortunately for us living in southern parts on the country, quite a far away land. Thanks to your travelogues, we get to see the beauty of the place and can imagine the experiences while reading your travel stories and seeing your pictures. Very nice pictures too!

Thanks for taking efforts to write this report and sharing your experiences with us. Looking forward to reading more from you about the beautiful Arunachal Pradesh and the Northeast!
Thank you Dr.AD! It is always a pleasure to hear your feedback. I understand the amount of time and planning that must go into planning a trip from Southern India to here. And I do consider myself lucky to be able to visit such places with minimal planning and time. Thank you once again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secretariat View Post
Wonderful. As always, your travelogues are priceless.You are bringing the most beautiful parts of India alive for all of us.

Disappointed at Tuting not being a great place. I thought it would be another Mechuka. Evidently, the locals have not been as enterprising as the "Mechukans" ! But Gelling and Bishing, make up for it. Some trek to Bishing though - you are a fit young man

Can you actually walk up to the border from either place ? I presume not, and probably there may not be a defined border marker either - maybe the army patrols the area and that is it. A pity that there is a border; since these villages had much more contact with Tibetan villages in the past rather than Arunachal villages. Manmade boundaries cut them off long ago.

Is Yingkiong equally approachable from Along or Passighat ? Sad to hear that the roads up from Yingkiong remain in the same sorry state. With all the focus on the border, we hope this would improve some day.

Next on the cards, beyond Anini surely !
Thank you Secretariat! I think your wishes are working for me. Regarding Tuting, the landscape is nowhere as brilliant as that of Mechuka. If not for Gelling and Bishing which turned out to be beautiful , I would have been disappointed with this trip. The treks from Tuting like the Tsitapuri one is very beautiful from the accounts I have heard though.

Regarding the border, it is actually within walking distance from Gelling- it is opposite to the route to Bishing. ITBP organises a short trek up this route (Kepangla?) and it is a simple one hour hike. Permission from ADC is needed for this trek. People of the same community have remained separated because of the international border. Some villages like Bishing and Gelling are on the Indian side and some are in the Chinese territory.

I have consciously made an effort to stay as fit as possible and enjoy these places unreachable eve by a 4wd. Also, a fast growing kid at home keeps me on my toes.

Yingkiong is reachable from both Aalo and Pasighat with the latter route in a much better state. Tuting road will take some time but atleast work is going on now there.

With your wishes, we hope to go a little beyond Anini some day. Thank you once again.
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Old 2nd February 2023, 21:59   #13
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Re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Wonderful travel again Gunin, it’s getting difficult to keep track of your travels every now and then. Such is the regularity that seems like you are in a hurry to cover every inch of area that is drivable or should I say reachable in Arunachal Pradesh. The places like Tuting were unheard of even some years back. It’s good that finally the less travelled places of the state are coming into limelight slowly. Thanks for sharing your travels, will help many who want to explore those areas. Will wait for your next travel eagerly.

Regards.
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Old 3rd February 2023, 10:30   #14
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Re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABHI_1512 View Post
Wonderful travel again Gunin, itís getting difficult to keep track of your travels every now and then. Such is the regularity that seems like you are in a hurry to cover every inch of area that is drivable or should I say reachable in Arunachal Pradesh. The places like Tuting were unheard of even some years back. Itís good that finally the less travelled places of the state are coming into limelight slowly. Thanks for sharing your travels, will help many who want to explore those areas. Will wait for your next travel eagerly.

Regards.
Thank you Abhi da! I am trying to make the most of my time in the state. I hope to travel to some more places in the coming months .
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Old 3rd February 2023, 15:32   #15
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Re: Tuting, Gelling & Bishing village road-trip | Arunachal Pradesh

Thank you Gunin for bringing to us another wonderful place that a lot of us including me would probably never be able to visit in our lifetime. Hence enjoying through your lens and pen is the best way to travel to these places which involve not only drive but also long trek and in the end you have no guarantee to get modern amenities in the stays, but for adventure lover like you this may be just heaven. Pasighat Yingkiong road seems scenic enough but Tuting and Norbuling seems to be wrapped in nature and are treat to eye. Keep sharing more such trips, eagerly waiting for the next one.
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