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Old 22nd March 2024, 22:17   #1
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Exploring Arunachal Pradesh on my Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

Ride to the Eastern Edge of the Country.



Introduction
This ride was meant to be undertaken before I finally left this part of the country. Professional commitments kept forcing me to postpone the dates and this was the final window which was available to us before proper onset of monsoons in the North East. As such, weather in this part of the country is actually unpredictable any time of the year.
Initially, there were five persons planning to go for the ride. But, due to various commitments and repeated postponing of dates, finally only two of us set course for the Eastern Edge of the country.
  • Self on Bagheera (Himalayan 450)
  • Fellow bhpian dagger80 on his BMW GS850

Exploring Arunachal Pradesh on my Royal Enfield Himalayan 450-11.jpg
Packed and loaded a night prior to commencing the ride
A day prior, dagger80 also reached Tezpur which was our rendezvous for the main ride.

Itinerary
This was the original itinerary :-
Day 1 (13 March) : Tezpur to Tezu
461 kms/ 10:00 hours
Day 2 (14 March) : Tezu - Parshuram Kund - Hayuliang - Walong
198 kms/ 7:00 hours
Day 3 (15 March) : Walong - Kibithu - Kaho - Kibithu - Walong - Hayuliang
150/ 10:00 hours
Day 4 (16 March) : Hayuliang - Dinjan
230 kms/ 7:00 hours
Day 5 (17 March) : Dinjan - Tezpur
340 kms / 8:00 hours

Day 1
Tezpur - Tezu.
We started the day early, hitting the Tezpur Bhalukpong highway at around 6:30 am planning to clear the dense traffic patches before proper day break.

Exploring Arunachal Pradesh on my Royal Enfield Himalayan 450-12.jpg
An early start from Tezpur. Kibithu...here we come.

We had planned to reach destination via the North bank of Brahmaputra, ie via Balipara, Biswanath Chariali, Gohpur, North Lakhimpur and Dhemaji.

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A short tea break before Bishwanath Chariali

We decided to cover as much route as possible before sunset since there was very little sight seeing on this route and it was more of mile munching and negotiating traffic while crossing the major towns. We stopped for brunch at Subansiri, which has restaurants on either side of the highway and seemed to be a popular meal break on this route.

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Parked outside a restaurant at Subansiri.

We refuelled at a petrol pump at Dhemaji and also donned the rain gear since light drizzling had started in few patches. Google Map showed us a wrong shortcut and sent us on an unexpected off-roading spree through country roads which of course we didnt mind as a warm up to the main ride, but we would advise people to stick to the main highway and ignore the shortcut to reach the Bogiveel Bridge.

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We crossed over to the South bank of Brahmaputra via the famous Bogiveel bridge.

After crossing over to South bank, we took the Tinsukia bypass and after crossing Doom Dooma, as advised by local friends, took the Kakopathar route and entered Arunachal through Dirak and followed Namsai, Chowkham, Alubari route to reach Tezu and finally Lohitpur.

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Tea break short of Dirak Gate - the entry point to Arunachal Pradesh.

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The sun playing hide and seek in the evening overcast sky.

The entire day, we found light drizzles chasing us but somehow rain could not catch up with us.

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Finally, after a long day of almost 500 kms and 11 hours on the saddle, we reached Lohitpur.

Lohitpur is a picturesque hamlet on the foothills at about 12 kms from the Tezu town. A friend from the Indian Army arranged our stay at Lohitpur⁩.

Almost 70-75% roads traversed on this day were good to excellent. We could easily cruise at 80-90 kmph on most parts of the route except traffic congested areas.

Day 2
Tezu - Hayuliang
Initial plan was to ride from Tezu (Lohitpur) to Walong.
However, rains played the spoilsport. Probably it made up for what it couldn't achieve the first day.
Start delayed by almost 2 hrs. Finally started at 9:30 am.
Refuelled at a fuel pump at Tezu since we received inputs about non-availability of fuel at the fuel pumps ahead at times.

After a short halt at Demwe, to enjoy the breakfast hosted by a local friend, we rode through light drizzle to Brahmakund after which the drizzle changed to mild and thereafter heavy rains and in no time we were wet to the core.

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The road from Brahmakund to Tidding takes you through some of the most picturesque stretches of the Lohit Valley.

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However, despite inclement weather and very challenging road conditions, the urge to reach somewhere ahead and of course some very scenic routes brought us to Khupa and then to Hayuliang when heavy downpour forced us to take an unplanned halt at Hayuliang.

This halt was short of our planned destination by almost 3 hours (in mountains we judge distances by time and not kms/miles) ans so we were hoping like hell that the weather opens up the next morning so that we could start early and make up for the delay since the weather prediction was showing an open window of only next two days (though reliability of weather prediction in these areas are a big question mark).

Day 3
Hayuliang - Walong - Kibithu - Meshai - Kaho - Walong.
Classic example of fortune favours the brave.
Delayed start from Hayuliang due to rains. Started the ride amid mild to heavy drizzle, but 20 kms out of Hayuliang, the weather opened up and by the time we reached Walong, it was completely dry roads.

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Short of Walong, finally weather God smiled upon us.

Apart from a stretch of around 5 kms between Namti and Krowti (which tested both us and our bikes to the limit), roads were good. We pushed on to Kibithu and then Meshai and Kaho (the east most village of India).

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At the Namti plains, which was termed Tiger's Mouth by the Chinese because of the tough fight put up by the Indian forces against the numerically superior adversary.

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Paying obeisance to the valorous at the Namti War Memorial.

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Exploring Arunachal Pradesh on my Royal Enfield Himalayan 450-img20240326wa0058.jpg

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The Namti War Memorial

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The features in the background are silent witnesses to the unparalleled valour of our soldiers in 1962.

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Somewhere near Namti Plains

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Short of Krawti from where the road bifurcates for Kibithu and Kaho

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Gateway to Kibithu : General Bipin Rawat Dwar

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Paying homage to the first Chief of Defence Staff of India at Kibithu a day prior to his birthday.

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Posing with Bagheera at Kibithu.

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At the Kibithu View Point

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Looking towards Tibet

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Which wasn't too far

Continued in Part 2

Last edited by aviator1101 : 29th March 2024 at 11:18.
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Old 28th March 2024, 01:03   #2
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Re : Exploring Arunachal Pradesh on my Himalayan 450

Part 2

Day 3 continued....

After our visit to Kibithu, we retraced the track to Krawti and crossed over to the east bank and headed via Meshai to Kaho, the East most village in Indian territory.

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At the East-most Model Village of Indian territory.

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And finally....at the eastern tip of the country.

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Enroute to Dong, the point where sunrays fall first on Indian soil.

After Kaho, we had to rush back to Walong so as make up for the previous day's lost time.

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Some of the obstacles enroute.

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One has to plan the travel carefully to avoid such road closure periods between Krowti and Namti.

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Reached Walong in time to witness the Sound and Light Show narrating the battle of Walong. A befitting tribute to the heroes of the 1962 Sino-Indian War.

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The Helmet Top Memorial at Walong tells the tale of some of the unsung heroes of 1962.

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Ride summary for the day.

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Ride summary for the trip so far.

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Bagheera, my well tamed steed, took all the beating in it's stride.

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Fun-day on the saddle. The riding boots say it all.

Day 4
Walong - Dinjan
With another long day ahead, and the weather thankfully opening up, we started at 7:30 am after a heavy breakfast at Walong. We decided to travel back after Tidding via Brahmakund, Wakro and Chowkham, which as per the local friends was a shorter route to reach our destination. The day's ride was a mix of mountain twisties, slushy treacherous stretches to fantastic smooth highways, and all this over almost 350 kms.

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Refuelled at the East most Petrol Pump of India at Khupa.

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Short of Tidding Bridge, while exiting Anjaw, the most sparsely populated district of Arunachal Pradesh.

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Bagheera also completed 4000 kms enroute. Must admit, it took the beating very well for a new bike.

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Took a left from here for the route via Parshuram Kund

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Crossed over via Lohit bridge towards Parshuram Kund.

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View of Parashuram Kund from Lohit Bridge

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Short stop after Parshuram Kund at a restaurant for lunch.

And....finally back to the plains.

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Brief stop enroute at the Golden Pagoda, which we had skipped on our way to Tezu.

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Almost 9 hours on the saddle through a mix of good to moderate roads.
Finally back to proper civilization and network zone. Reached Dinjan, our destination for night halt.

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Nothing gives a rider better peace of mind than the bikes parked safely overnight under a shed.

Day 5
Dinjan to Tezpur / Guwahati.
They say get-homitis is infectious and damn we fell prey.
We hit the roads at 5:30 am, all set to cross over to the North bank via Bogiveel and then route via North Lakhimpur.
But one wrong turn and the rate at which we were ripping the early morning deserted streets, we found ourselves already short of Shivsagar in about 2 hours time. There was no looking back thereafter.

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Some interesting figures on the odometer.

Except a tea break at a roadside dhaba and another one at a yet-to-open Bikers' Cafe called John's Kitchen, the only proper halt we took was at Bagori near Kaziranga for breakfast.

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At John's Kitchen, the only Biker's Cafe at Kaziranga.

We rode together till Kaliabor Tiniali from where dagger80 rode ahead to Guwahati and I turned towards Tezpur.
The day was mostly about highway cruising and I was happy the Himalayan could keep pace with the GS850.

Exploring Arunachal Pradesh on my Royal Enfield Himalayan 450-img20240317123137.jpg
Over the last 5 days, we rode almost 1460 kms from the plains to the mountains and back over some very good roads to the worst of nightmares for a rider, from bright sunny sky to riding in heavy rains, we experienced it all, not to forget some memories of lifetime behind the handlebars.

Thanks to fellow bhpian dagger80, who has clicked and shared some of the photographs in the post, and is also one of the best riding partners one can travel with. Ever smiling, very positive, highly skilled, very accommodative and one of the most experienced riders I've ever come across. We enjoyed the trip so much that before it ended, we were already planning the next one.

Last edited by aviator1101 : 29th March 2024 at 20:10.
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Old 29th March 2024, 22:50   #3
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Re: Exploring Arunachal Pradesh on my Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30th March 2024, 00:07   #4
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Re: Exploring Arunachal Pradesh on my Royal Enfield Himalayan 450

I am yet to get out from the hangover of our Arunachal trip, & here you have finished compiling the travelogue!

Just completed reading the whole travelogue. The crisp narration, backed up by the beautiful pictures made it a fantastic read.

I can't thank you enough, the way you guided us during our visit to Walong, & other parts of Arunachal. You covered this part just few days before we did, and your guidance on the road condition and other details were just spot on.

Sharing a couple of pics from our visit to Walong-

Exploring Arunachal Pradesh on my Royal Enfield Himalayan 450-img_4690.jpg

Exploring Arunachal Pradesh on my Royal Enfield Himalayan 450-img_4694.jpg

Last edited by Samba : 30th March 2024 at 00:10.
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