Guwahati to Tawang : Road Trip

Guwahati to Tawang is a road trip that is around 450 km from Guwahati and in this distance, one can see drastic changes in the ambiance, language, culture, etc. Tawang is a district in Arunachal Pradesh which has the largest monastery in India and the second largest monastery in the World. This is one of the most adventurous road trips in India but most people don’t know about it.

Guwahati to Tawang : Route Guide

There are two routes to reach Tawang-

  1. Guwahati to Tawang (via Kalaktank).
  2. Guwahati to tawang (via Tezpur).

Guwahati to Tawang via kalaktank –

Guwahati → Mangaldai → Dalgoan → Rowta → Kalaktang → Rupa → Bomdila → Dirang → Tawang.

Guwahati to Tawang via kalaktang

Guwahati to Tawang via kalaktang is around 446 km and takes around 14 hrs (excluding halts).

This route follows NH13 which is also known as Trans-Arunachal Highway. The views are just awesome after crossing Kalaktang. If you are going by Bikes then this road is the one you should choose.

Also check – How to prepare your Bike before Tawang trip.

Guwahati to Tawang via Tezpur –

Guwahati → Tezpur → Bhalukpong → Bomdila → Dirang → Tawang.

Guwahati to Tawang via Tezpur

The distance from Guwahati to Tawang via Tezpur is around 512 km and it takes around 15 hr (excluding halts).

This route is more popular for Guwahati to Tawang ride. You can easily get cabs and buses to Bomdila and for Tawang from Guwahati. In this route you will also see the Nameri National park and forest reserve, pakke tiger reserve and Bhalukpong fort.

Best time to visit Tawang-

There is no perfect answer for best time to visit tawang it depends on the expectation of the tourist. Either you should visit in summers or winters.

Summer in Tawang – The best months to visit Tawang in summer are april to june. In these three months you can explore the most of the places, these three months are the best for sightseens. And the weather in tawang during summer remains pleasant, the average temerature remains between 20 to 25 degree.

Winter in Tawang – If you are a snow-loving person then the best time to visit Tawang is from Nov to Feb. This is the time where the temp in Tawang reaches below -15 degrees, which is a different level of experience. But sometimes roads can get block due to heavy snowfall.

Permits required –

The permits you need to have for entering Arunachal Pradesh is ILP(Inner Line Permit) for Indians and PAP (Protected Area Permit) for foreigners. The permits you can get through Online.

Offine ILP are issued from Arunachal Bhawan in Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Tezpur and Dhibrughar.

Guwahati to Tawang road trip itenary-

Day 1: Guwahati – Bhalukpong

(Distance = 239 km – Time = 6 hours.)

If you are really want to explore Tawang then on the first day do not take a halt in Tezpur. People often take the first night’s halt in Tezpur where there is nothing to see. The distance between Guwahati to Tezpur is 180 km and from Tezpur to Bhalukpong is around 57 km so for just 57 km people spend a whole day which sometimes doesn’t make sense. If you don’t have sufficient time to reach Bhalukpong then only stay in Tezpur. From Guwahati, you can easily get a private car. I will not suggest you take a shared car because it takes a lot of time to reach Tezpur.

NOTE –

  • There is no sufficient restaurant or Dhabas in the route so carry some food & water from Guwahati.
  • The ILP (Inner Line Permit) will get check in Bhalukpong. So dont forget to carry your ILP.

The road from Tezpur to Bhalukpong is very beautiful, there is a patch where the road is between two forests which has a lovely name one is Sonai and the other is Rupai.

In Bhalukpong there is also a river that is Jia Bharali.

And if you have time in your hand then try to visit Orchid Research Centre in Tipi village, it is only 5 km away from bhalukpong.

There is no as such things to see in this stretch so after reaching Bhalukpong book a hotel or a homestay and take a good rest for the next day as from the next day the actual trip begins.

Day 2: Bhalukpong – Dirang (138 km, 5 hours)

(Distance = 138 km – Time = 5 hours.)

On the next day, start your journey around 8 or 8.30 in the morning towards Dirang. This day will be a long one so starting up early will give you a lot of time to explore. As you will go towards Dirang you will feel colder as you will be heading toward Upper Himalaya.

In the journey, you will see a lot of waterfalls especially if you go during the monsoon, almost after every 10 to 15 min you can see waterfalls. And on one side you will get river Tenga.

In the way you will get Tenga valley, it will take around 3 hr to reach Tenga valley. It is a small beautiful valley, there you can take a small halt and have something to eat. If you want to buy something then there is also the Tenga market in the valley.

Leaving from Tenga you will be heading towards Bomdila, it is 17 km from Tenga and takes about 40mins to reach.

Things to see in Bomdila-

  • Bomdila Monastery
  • Craft Centre & Ethnographic Museum
  • Bomdila War Memorial and View Point
  • Lower Gompa Bomdila
  • Bomdila Market

It will take around 3 to 4 hr to explore these places after that leave for Dirang.

On the way towards Dirang you will get Dirang dzong

17th century Fort – Dirang Dzong.
Dirang Dzong or Dirang fort - It is a 17th century fort, that was build for protect Bomdila from the neighboring states. Not only that it was used as a shelter during World war period and used  as a jail during Vietnam war. There are houses around the fort which are made up of stone.

Reaching Dirang you can take a hotel or homestay for one night. you will be reaching Dirang by 6 or 7 pm, After getting a fresh shower in the hotel you can take a walk through in the Dirang market.

Day 3: Dirang – Tawang (135 km, 5 hours)

(Distance = 135 km – Time = 5 hours.)

On the day 3 it is a bit relaxing day , so after having your breakfast visit these places in Dirang.

Things to see in Dirang –

  • National Research Centre On Yak
  • Hot Water Spring.
  • Sangti Valley.
  • Kalachakra Gompa.
  • Dirang Dzong

You have already visited Dirang Dzong and the National Research center on yak and the Kalachakra Gompa is nearby after seeing these two places, head towards Tawang. The Hot water Spring will be on the way, and this is a natural hot water spring and it is rich in sulphur content, people go there to take a relaxing bath especially in the winters.

And the Sangti valley is situated 7 km away from Dirang. It is one of the most beautiful places you will see on this trip. Surrounded by the upper Himalayan Range and you will see this area rich in dense forest and rivers. During the winters Black-necked cranes migrate from china to this valley and they set back to china during April and May.

After seeing the hot water spring and the Sangti valley then comes the beautiful Sela pass. Sela pass is a high-altitude mountain pass located on the border of Tawang and West Kameng Districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

Sela Gate

Sela pass is situated at an elevation of 4170m (13,700 ft), and it is one of the best spots to click photographs. There you also have a lovely cafeteria it’s known as the Pahari cafeteria just before the Sela pass gate.

The Sela lake is just beyond the Sela gate, during winters you will find the lake frozen, but it looks blue during the summer.

Leaving Sela Pass the condition of the roads degrades and so it takes a lot of time to cover from Sela pass to Tawang. The temperature after crossing Sela pass drops and it lies between 3 to 7 degree and sometimes fog become a big problem to drive in that region.

After Sela pass the next stop is Jaswant Garh War Memorial, it is a must visit place.

Jaswant Garh – It is a war memorial in the memory of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat. The memorial is basically based on the war incident of the 1962 Sino-Indian war. you will get to know the story of his bravery and his patriotism. There is also a Bollywood movie on him (72 Hours).

Jaswant Garh

It will take around 3 hrs to reach Tawang from Sela pass but it totally depends upon the weather and the road condition.

After reaching Tawang search for a hotel.

If you have not booked a hotel in Advance then look into 3 to 4 hotel as the rate o the room varries as per the customer. So it is better to check some hotels and then choose the best one for you.

After the tiring day if you want to have something special at Dinner then try these restaurant mentioned below

  • The Dragon
  • Orange restaurant and lounge bar
  • Woodland restaurant
  • Greenwood restaurant
  • Tawang food court
  • Taste of Tawang
  • Blue pine

Day 4: Tawang

In Tawang you will get to see the Tibetan culture, you will see the monks everywhere in that maroon robes. Tawang has totally different ambiance you will get a peaceful mindset over there.

In the morning just have a relaxing day, on this day you will see the things which are in Tawang city.

Things to see in Tawang –

Tawang Monastery

Tawang monastery – It is the largest monastery in India and the second-largest monastery in the world after Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. In Tibetan, Tawang Monastery is known as Gaden Namgyal Lhatse, which means “celestial paradise in a clear night.”

Urgelling monastery – It is around 12 km away from Tawang city, the monastery is on Urgelling village. It is known to be the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Tashi. The monastery was build in 1487 AD.

Samten yongcha monastery – It is one of the most famous monasteries in Tawang. And it is also famous due to the golden statue of Lord Buddha. The view from the Monastery is just awesome.

This day is a relaxing day, so on this day you can go for shopping as tawang is the best place for shopping. If you want artifacts or any kind of Tibetan item then you can take a look in Tawang market.

There is a restaurant called Dharma coffee house, If you have time then try the coffee and the pizza in that restaurant it’s just amazing. And moreover, the environment in that place is very calm.

The Day 4 is just about the places inside Tawang city and its a relaxing and shopping day.

Day 5: Tawang – Madhuri lake – Bum-la Pass – Tawang

On the last day of your Guwahati to Tawang road trip, you have to get permission for Bum la pass(personal vehicles are not allowed in Bum La pass, so rent a local car).

Bum La pass Bum La pass is a border pass between India and China, It is around 37 km away from the town of Tawang. Only Indians can visit this place, no foreigners are allowed in Bum La Pass, but after getting permission from the army.

The road from Tawang to Bum La pass and Madhuri lake is just disgusting, it is full of mud, broken rocks, and stones. But the beauty of Bum La pass is amazing. while you reach there the first thing you will face is the cold and the wind, it just freezing cold out there. But it is a beautiful place, there is a famous rock which is called Rock of Peace, This rock symbolizes the mutual peace agreement of both the counties.

In the route of Bum La pass, you will see a point where 3 roads are meeting on the same point, that point is called Y-junction, in this point, the roads are going in 3 directions which are Bhutan, China, and Tawang so this point is called Y Junction.

After leaving Bum La pass, the next point is the Madhuri lake. This lake is originally called as the Sangestar Tso, But after Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit had shot a movie seen of Koyla, the lake is also known as Madhuri lake. After leaving Madhuri lake return back to Tawang.

Madhuri Lake

Day 6: Tawang – Bomdila

(Distance = 177 km – Time = 6 hours.)

On Day 6, head back to Bomdila it will take around 6 hr to reach Bomdila (excluding halts). But there is the last place to visit in Tawang is the Nuranang falls. you must see visit this place. This waterfall is also known as Bong Bong falls. This fall is located on the Tawang to Bomdila road.

Nuranang Falls

There is a popular myth that the Narunang fall is named after a local Monpa girl named Nura, who had helped Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, in the 1962 Sino-Indian war and was later captured by the Chinese army.

Reaching Bomdila book a hotel and in the evening you can explore Bomdila market it is a very good place to buy tibetian stuffs.

Day 7: Bomdila – Guwahati (268 km, 8 hours)

(Distance = 268 km – Time = 8 hours.)

On the last day of your trip, will be a long journey of 8 hr drive (excluding halts). while returning you have some more things to see like Gyuto monastery and Chillipam Gompa but it can be skippable.

There are two roads you can take, first is through NH15 and the second one is via Kalaktang. It is recommended to take the NH15 as the road is good as compare to the road Via kalaktang. If you leave Bomdila at around 7 Am in the morning. Then around 4.30 to 5 pm, you will reach Guwahati.

Must to visit: Guwahati to Tawang road trip.

  • Orchid Research Centre in Tipi village
  • Tenga valley
  • Bomdila Monastery
  • Craft Centre & Ethnographic Museum
  • Bomdila War Memorial and View Point
  • Lower Gompa Bomdila
  • Bomdila Market
  • Dirang Dzong
  • National Research Centre On Yak
  • Hot Water Spring.
  • Sangti Valley.
  • Kalachakra Gompa.
  • Sela pass
  • Sela lake
  • Jaswant Garh
  • Tawang monastery
  • Urgelling monastery
  • Samten yongcha monastery
  • Tawang war memorial
  • Bum La pass
  • Madhuri lake
  • Nuranang falls

Tips : Guwahati to Tawang Trip

  1. Temperature – In Guwahati to Tawang Road trip always remember you are going to a place where the average temperature lies between 5 to 10 degrees during the daytime with a heavy wind blow. So take the necessary things that will protect you from the cold of Tawang like Jackets, Skull cap, high ankle Boots, Gloves, moisturizer, lip balm.
  2. Food and water – On this trip one thing you will see that the amount of Dhaba’s or shops which are present in other hills station is not there on this trip. So take some food and water with you.
  3. ILP – For entering Arunachal you need to have the ILP (Inner Line Permit). So get the permit in advance.

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