Tawang, the world of mystics, is a top tourist place in the western district of Arunachal Pradesh. Tawang is believed to have derived its name from Tawang Monastery perched on the edge of the ridge running along the western part of Tawang township. "Ta" means Horse and "Wang" means chosen.
Tawang houses a lot of sightseeing attractions that are frequented by visitors and they range from monasteries, peaks and waterfalls. Some of the places to visit in Tawang are Tawang Monastery, the Sela Pass, Shonga-tser Lake, Gorsam Chorten, Taktsang Monastery and many more such waterfalls that have been ideal spots for Bollywood movies.
Bong Bong (Nuranang) Waterfall
Photo Courtesy: Easyvivek
Bong Bong waterfall is among the top tourist places in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh and also one of the most spectacular waterfalls in this part of the country. The Nuranang river originates from the northern slopes of the Sela Pass.
The lake is located 42 km from Tawang and was formed in the aftermath of 1950 earthquake. Listed among the top tourist places in Tawang, the lake has alluring and scenic surroundings, making it an ideal location for many Indian film-makers to shoot their movies.
The Gorsam Chorten is the largest Stupa of the area and is believed to have constructed in the early part of 12th century by Lama Pradhar, a Monpa monk. Four miniature Stupas are also set in 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. It is one of the key sightseeing places in Tawang.
Photo Courtesy: rajkumar1220
If there is any heaven on earth, it is the Sela Mountain Pass, the view providing visitors a chance to experience heavenly bliss. In the winter, the Sela range is lavishly dressed in white snow that allows visitors to feast their eyes on the magnificent sight. This place is snowed-in 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 hold 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.
Photo Courtesy: rajkumar1220
The Tawang Monastery founded by Merak Lama Lodre in 1680 - 1681 AD is the largest monastery in India and the second largest in Asia. The monastery is located in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh and is also known as Galden Namgyal Lhatse. It is a top tourist spot in Tawang as it is perched on a hill 10,000 ft above sea level. The main sightseeing attractions of the monastery are the 28 ft 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 17th century.
Tawang War Memorial
The Tawang War Memorial has been built in dedication to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives while safeguarding India during the1962 Indo-China war. The memorial accounts the events of the war and lists the name of soldiers who laid down their lives.
Urgelling Monastery is another top tourist place located about 3 km from Tawang and is believed to have been in existence since 14th century. 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.
How to Reach Tawang
By Air: The Tezpur Airport is the best and closest option for those who are arriving by air. The place is connected by flights from cities such as Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati. Taxis are available from the airport and they charge around Rs 7 per km and this is the only option to reach the place.
By Train: Rangapara in Assam is the nearest railhead from Tawang and Tezpur is the major railway station.
By Road: Tawang is well connected to nearby cities like Guwahati and Tezpur and buses are available for Tawang from Tezpur and other parts of the region.