Tawang is the one of the beautiful town of Arunachal Pradesh, a state located in the northeast of India has abundance of beauty to offer to mountain lovers. Tawang Travel Guide will explore all the parts of Road Trip to Tawang to help you plan better for the trip.
Here is what I learned while planning trip to Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh and journey through the snow-clad mountains.
Tawang Travel Guide
How to reach Tawang?
Currently Arunachal Pradesh doesn’t have an airport. Guwahati in Assam is the closest airport to Arunachal Pradesh. There are plans to open new airport to Itanagar and once that’s developed there will be second airport to reach Tawang and other places in Arunachal. From Guwahati, you can start your road trip to Tawang which is located on the northern side of Guwahati. Apart from air travel, you can also reach Guwahati by trains. There are trains coming to Guwahati from Kolkata and other part of Northeast India.
Inner Line Permit – Permit for Arunachal Pradesh
Before entering Tawang, you need to acquire Inner Line Permit which allows you to enter Arunachal Pradesh. The permit can be obtained via Tourism Website or at Guwahati Airport. Without the permit, you will not be able to enter the state. The check for the permit happens at Bhalukpong entry point. If you have booked the tour of Tawang through local tour operator, they can apply for the permit on your behalf and can provide you with a copy before your trip.
When to visit Tawang?
All seasons in Tawang offers majestic view of the mountains, whether they are covered in snow or greenery. Tawang can be all season travel destination, however, different seasons comes with their own set of challenges. Summer can be one with less challenges and winter being the toughest. The trip during winter time in Tawang is one filled with surprises and last minute changes. Being a mountain place, Tawang in winters is covered in snow, which means, some places are closed for tourist or even traffic jam on roads.
Best Time to visit Tawang?
You might be wondering best time to visit Tawang and answer is based on what are you seeking with your trip. Summer offers good weather, clear roads and sky. Only snow you will see during summer season will be while passing through Sela Pass. Even though it is summer, lowest temperature will be 5-100. Summer season in Tawang is from March to June and temperature will be moderate. Second best season to travel to Tawang is fall season.
Fall is when leafs on the tree turns orange and you can see these colours from September end to October-November. It is best season as crowd will be less, temperature will be moderate and might go down little but overall good weather with no surprises.
Another season to travel to Tawang is winter season. Even though winter is best time to see the snow side of mountain life, it is time with lots of challenges. Tawang town is covered with snow, car face difficulty in driving, sudden change in weather can lead to cancellation of plans or even road block. It is only good season for those who have not seen snow and are traveling only to experience life in snow. Winter in Tawang is from December – February.
Journey to Tawang starts from Guwahati. On your road trip to Tawang, you will cross towns like Bhalukpong, Bomdila and Dirang. Tawang Travel Guide covers all the major attractions in the towns you visit on the way.
As you start your road trip from Guwahati, first top you take is Bhalukpong. Bhalukpong is located between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It is on border and also the point where you need to show your travel permit to Arunachal Pradesh. When in Bhalukpong, visit Nameri National Park. Nameri National Park is located in the Assam and some part of the national park is in Arunachal Pradesh with the name Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary. It has also been declared as Tiger Reserve in 2000. Take a early morning walk through the Nameri National Park and if lucky, you can view some rare sight of birds or Giant Indian squirrel.
After Bhalukpong, the next stop in the road trip to Tawang is Bomdila. As you enter Arunachal Pradesh, you will start seeing Buddhist prayer flags on the roads. The roads starts forming curves as you move from one mountain to another. The top place to visit in Bomdila is Bomdila monastery. Built in 1965, the monastery has huge prayer, the temple of Buddha and quarters for monks to stay. Mountain surrounds Bomdila monastery and on clear day monastery stands out with bright colours and flags!
Moving along the journey, we come to Sela Pass, an important high-altitude mountain pass to cross to enter Tawang. Sela Pass connects Tawang from other towns of Arunachal Pradesh and Indian Military manages. Due to the elevation of 4170, Sela Pass gets heavy snowfall and many times due to this, there tends to be conjunction and traffic to cross the pass.
In Tawang, you need atleast 3 days to see the town properly. Day 1 can be spent in seeing the Tawang Local sightseeing like Tawang Monastery and Buddha Statue. Day 2 is when you will head to Bumla Pass to see Indo-China border, Pangong Lake and Madhuri Lake.
While on your return journey, take a pitstop at Dirang, another beautiful town located near to Assam border and becomes perfect stop on your return journey to Guwahati.
You also have option to visit Kaziranga National Park in Assam on your way to Tawang as one day extension. Tawang Travel Guide video contains all the information.
Hotels in Tawang
Developed in Tawang happened in the last 5 years, hence, the hotels here are of basic category. There are no big brands of hotels or hotels with many rooms. The top class hotels are handful and many are in 3 star category. This being said, what makes hospitality good in Tawang is the people running the hotels. All of them are very friendly and helpful.
My stay was in Hotel Yangzom which was located outside the Tawang town around 10 min away. Even though hotel is not located in the main town, it has one of the best services and well equipped to handle cold weather.
How is food? Vegetarian Food in Tawang?
Being vegetarian, this is one of the top question I ask when I plan my trip. Vegetarian food is easily available throughout Arunachal Pradesh. Though they are known for non-vegetarian food, you can easily find many options in veg food. Some of these are veg momo’s, Chowmein, Veg Thali and everyone’s favourite, Maggie. These are top mountain dishes which you get in all the mountain places in India.
The restaurants in Arunachal might not be top in terms of hygiene, but they keep hygiene while preparing the food. None of us fell ill by eating any street food during our journey. Jain food might be a problem to get, so prepare yourself and carry your own food while traveling as restaurants between town won’t be able to offer jain food.
What to carry for your trip to Tawang?
What to carry depends on which season you are traveling to Tawang. If it is summer travel, carry good light warm jacket, shoes, socks and atleast 1 pair of thermal. Temperature is around 5-150 and based on your tolerance for cold weather, you can carry the jackets. If you are traveling during winter, the list becomes longer. From down jacket to strong thermal, winter shoes, woollen socks, gloves (preferably water resistant) and hat to cover head during snowfall. Layering is the key to survive in winters. Shoes get wet as you walking through snow, so keep extra pair of shoes.
- Cover your feet with plastic before wearing shoes while going into the snow, this will keep your socks dry for next day usage
- Avoid keeping heater on throughout the night as it drys your skin and reduce the oxygen level in the room
- Even if you wish to keep heater on full night, keep a glass filled with water in front of him to reduce dryness
- Wear right types of layer not just on top but also for bottoms
- Opt for water resistant thermal instead of woollen ones
Tawang offers pure nature, friendly people and mountains life which a city goer craves. Time spent in unexplored part like Tawang makes you appreciate nature more!
Eat Travel Fun Youtube Channel Arunachal Pradesh Series
- Kaziranga National Park: https://youtu.be/phkc8mfyjxQ
- Nameri National Park: https://youtu.be/86Sh_HKddDY
- Bomdila & Sela Pass: https://youtu.be/D52S6tL2Obk
- Tawang: https://youtu.be/kstKosK3vTw
- Dirang: https://youtu.be/GdhkZ6SSck8
- Tawang Travel Guide: https://youtu.be/yYyx8Vt_GAA
Let me know in the comment section if you have more questions or was this blog helpful!