The Tawang Monastery is the largest monastery in India and second largest in Asia and was founded by Merak Lama Lodre in 1680 - 1681 AD. The monastery is located 180 km from Bomdila in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
This monastery is also known as Galden Namgyal Lhatse and is perched on a hill 10,000 feet above sea level. The main attractions of the monastery are the 28-feet-high golden statue of Lord Buddha and an imposing three-storied assembly hall. The monastery also has a huge library with an impressive collection of ancient books and manuscripts and these manuscripts are believed to be of the 17th century.
According to beliefs, a mythical horse chose the site for the monastery when Merak Lama, the founder of the monastery, had difficulty finding a place to build the structure. Tawang is the coining of the two words with “Ta” meaning horse and “Wang” meaning chosen. Since the place was blessed by the celestial horse, the word Tawang was coined.
This memorial has been built in dedication to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for safeguarding India during the 1962 Indo-China war. The memorial accounts the events of the war and lists soldiers who sacrificed their lives.
If there is heaven on earth, it is the Sela Mountain Pass, providing visitors heavenly bliss in abundance. In winter, the Sela range is lavishly dressed with white snow that gives visitors a magnificent sight to feed to their eyes. There is snow in this place most of the year and offers excellent and heavenly views all year round.
This part of the Eastern Himalayan range is pretty special for the Buddhists as it is believed that about 101 lakes exist in and around Sela Pass and each of these lakes has a huge religious significance for the Buddhist community. While Sela Pass does get heavy snow in winters, it is usually open throughout the year unless landslides or snow require the pass to be shut down temporarily.
This stupa is situated 90 km from Tawang town. The stupa is the largest stupa of the area. This Gorsam Chorten is believed to have been constructed in the early part of 12th century by Lama Pradhar, a Monpa monk.
The semicircular dome rising high into the sky rests upon a three-terraced plinth. Four miniature stupas are also set on the four corners of the lower most terrace of the pedestal. A well-paved footpath goes around the stupa for pilgrims to offer their prayers.
This lake is only 18 km from Tawang township. The lake has always been a centre of attraction for the tourists visiting Tawang. It is also an ideal spot for picnics. In winter the lake remains frozen and the surrounding area provides an ideal spot for skiing.
This splendid waterfall is situated in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh and is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in this part of the country yet to be known to the travellers. It lies some 2 km away from the town of Jang on the road connecting Tawang and Bomdila.
The Nuranang river originates from the Northern slopes of the Sela Pass. The falls came to limelight when a song from a famous Bollywood movie was shot here.
The Regyaling Monastery is nestled amidst lush green pine groves and is about 1 km from Tawang township. The monastery was constructed by the former Rigya Rinpoche and after his death, his secretary, Chang-Sey took over the charge of the monastery.
It is believed that the incarnated Rigya Rinpoche, Tenzin Tsedhar is in South of India, completing his education.
Urgelling Monastery is located about 3 km from Tawang township and is believed to have been in existence since the 14th century. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Tawang. The monastery was built by Urgen Sangpo and is also considered as one of the first three monasteries built by him.
The Urgelling Monastery is believed to be the birthplace of His Holiness, the 6th Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyamtso who was born in 1683. He was the son of Lama Tashi Tenzin and was a descendant of Terton Permalingpa.
The Taktsang Monastery is located at about 45 km from Tawang township and is believed to have built in 8th Century AD. The monastery is perched on the ridge of a hillock surrounded by lush green forest.
Travellers visiting the place have the option to conduct a visit known as Tirth Yatra where Guru Padmasambhava had meditated. The serene atmosphere makes one the ecstasy of being alone.
The lake is located 42 km from Tawang and was formed in the aftermath of the 1950 earthquake. The scenery and the lake itself is so alluring that it has been an ideal location for many Indian filmmakers to shoot their movies. One of the popular Bollywood Flicks was shot here at this lake.
While one drives ahead for about 21 km from Sela Pass towards Tawang, there is a home of a valiant warrior Jaswant Singh, MVC (Posthumous) who gave a supreme sacrifice during a war against Chinese soldiers. He fought brilliantly and continuously for 72 hours.
During 1962, the Sino-Indian War was fought between India and China. This Jaswant Ghar is still kept well maintained for visitors to pay a salute and tribute to this Great Son of the soil who had immortalized himself by virtue of his excellent deed of bravado.
This is the only home in Tawang for orphans. Tourists can visit the place and spend some moments with the inmate children in the orphanage. The orphanage is only 5 km from Tawang township.