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Guwahati To Tawang Road Trip

Exploring nature is one of the common reasons why we go on road trips, and the trip from Guwahati to Tawang is one such trip. Having said that, you have to read this article completely to prepare yourself for the trip. It does require overnight halts and the journey is long. The average distance is about 510 kilometres and you need to obtain permits. One thing is certain, this trip of Northeast India will show you a side of India you haven’t seen before. So buckle up for this epic drive.

Best Time To Visit

Arunachal Pradesh is a state with multiple colours. From snow covered passes to tribal populations, from frozen lakes to gushing rivers, Arunachal Pradesh is one unique state. The drive to Tawang will show you a glimpse of all these flavours and hence, travelling at the right time is important. Both, peak monsoon season and peak winter season should be avoided for the trip. Generally speaking, the time period between February to May and October to December is a good time to hit the road. Another point to consider is the closing of the Sela Pass. Make sure you find out if the pass has been closed temporarily due to weather conditions.

Places To Eat In Tawang

The cuisine in Tawang is a beautiful blend of the traditional North Eastern food and the colourful influence of the Monpas. This makes the cuisine truly different and makes it stand out. Street food culture is also very famous in Tawang, giving it a vibrant colour. There are a certain must try which include Paratha Sabzi and Gyapa Khazi. Here, we have a small list which you can explore.

Orange Restaurant: In the easternmost state, this restaurant is like an oasis for food lovers. The service is efficient and the food is delicious. You will enjoy your meals even further when good music fills up the room.

Dragon Restaurant: It is said that, if you wish to savour the local dishes with the earthy regional taste, this is the place to be. There is a famous dish here called Churpi and we highly recommend you to try it.

Mon-Valley: This restaurant is located in a nice and airy region of Tawang. Try the Momos here. They are supposed to be really good.

Woodland Restaurant: Sit at the back corner in this restaurant and enjoy the beautiful sight of the Tawang monastery while you enjoy your meal. The restaurant serves a good selection of soups and local dishes without burning your pocket.

Route

Getting to Tawang from Guwahati, you have two options. Both routes take approximately the same time and cover a similar distance of about 500 kilometres.

Route:1 This route goes through NH13 and is slightly shorter.

Guwahati Baihata Sipajhar Kalaigaon Bhairabkund Kalaktang Rupa Rahung Marmang Tawang.

Route: 2 This route avoids traffic and can be taken if you want to have a relaxed, smooth drive.

Guwahati Khetri Nagaon Kaliabor Tezpur Balipara Bhalukpong Bomdila Dirang Marmang Tawang.

In this article, we would cover route: 2.

What to Eat and Stopovers

During your trip, there are multiple destinations where you can halt, explore the nearby attractions and then continue on your journey. Some of the well-known stopover points are.

Tezpur: On a relaxed, well timed trip, you can halt at Tezpur for the first night. It is a bustling commercial center. While you are there, and if time permits, do take a walk along the Brahmaputra, a wide river which is also calm. A perfect walk to end the first day in peace.

Nameri National Park: Another beautiful destination to park your car for the night. Not only is the park very diverse, but there are also multiple staying options. While you are there, try to get a tour by the forest guards. You can stay at the Eco Camps or a lodge or a resort.

Dirang: Dirang is a perfect stop for a small holiday or a relaxed night. It's a small hill station which comprises of an old settlement and a new town. While you are there, the hilltop fort should be on your list. You can find small hotels both in the old settlement as well as in the new town.

While you are travelling, try and consume light meals. If you are staying in high-end accommodation, you may experiment with the food but otherwise, stick to the basics.

Reaching There And Places To Visit

Reaching Tawang might take you upwards of 3 days depending on your stops and the time you have.  We would suggest you to pace your journey so you can enjoy the attractions which are on the way as well.

Day 1: Guwahati to Tezpur

Day2: Tezpur to Nameri National Park

Day3: Nameri National Park to Dirang

Day4: Dirang to Tawang

When you reach Tawang, there is no shortage of places and things to do. Make sure you have ample time to soak in the mesmerizing views, amazing Monasteries and the Giant Buddha Statue.

Tawang will capture your senses with its unparalleled beauty. You will be amazed at how nature has laid itself at every square inch of Tawang.

Sela Pass: The only high altitude mountain pass in the world which can be accessed by vehicles. You will be crossing the Sela Pass to reach Tawang. Do not miss the “Paradise Lake” while you are at Sela Pass. You will surely cherish the views of the sun kissing the mountain tops and rays being reflected off the frozen lake.

Tawang Monastery: Tawang Monastery is the second largest in Asia. Established in the 17th Century, its location is perfect. This is the place where young Buddhist monks learn about culture. Needless to say, this monastery is of high importance for followers of Buddhism.

Shonga-tser Lake: It used to be a grassland until an earthquake in 1971 caused it to become a lake. It is famously known as the “Madhuri Lake”. An absolute delight for the photographer in you, take a stroll along the pathways and soak in the magnificent views of the snow clad mountains.

Bap Teng Kang Waterfalls: Bap Teng Kang Waterfalls is located at around 80 kilometres from Tawang but is totally worth a visit. There is a reason this waterfall is one of the most visited, it's 100 feet high. Don't be surprised if you are tempted to swim looking at the crystal clear water. It is popularly known as the “BTK Falls”.

Jaswant Garh: Not many people fight for their motherland until their last breath. Jaswant Singh was one such brave soldier. Jaswant Singh Rawat, of the Indian Army, held this post against the Indo-China war in 1962. He stood at this position for 3 long days at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Something we can't even imagine of doing. Today, Jaswant Garh stands tall as our gratitude to the brave soul.

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The most important point to note for this road trip is to get an Inner Line Permit (ILP). Even if you are of Indian Nationality, this permit is compulsory for you

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Points To Note While Planning A Trip (Bike/Car)

The most important point to note for this road trip is to get an Inner Line Permit (ILP). Even if you are of Indian Nationality, this permit is compulsory for you. You can obtain this pass in advance from Guwahati as well. You can get further information on the state’s official website.

Make sure you carry the essential items with you. A torch is a must since there might be power outages during your journey. Stay well hydrated during the journey and stick to basic meals on the way. Make sure to dress properly as there will be a considerable change in the weather. Also, carry a physical copy of the entire route with you. Make sure your phone is charged and you have a power bank for reserve charge as well.

Diesel/Petrol Pumps

You can find petrol pumps at a few towns between Guwahati and Tawang. It is advisable to fuel up your tank when you see one. There are not many. You can find fuel pumps in Bhalukpong, Bomdila, and Dirang. It would be great if you can fill up your tank at Bhalukpong since Bomdila, as well as Dirang, only have 1 petrol pump.

Overnight halts

There are quite a few overnight halts which you can take during the journey. They not only provide a resting place but also grace you with some nice attractions.

You can halt at:

Tezpur

Nameri National Park

Rupa

Bomdila

Dirang

Distance/Altitude change graph

The distance between Guwahati and Tawang is about 500 kilometres. There is considerable change in altitude when you head to Tawang.

Here is a list of major stops with their altitudes.

Guwahati - 800 feet

Tezpur - 158 feet

Dirang - 4910 feet

Tawang - 8757 feet

Stay and Eat with other eating places

On the route to Tawang, your major stops will be at Tezpur, Nameri, and Dirang. You can also add stops at Bomdila.

Some of the well-known staying places at these locations include

Tezpur - KRC Palace, Prashanti Tourist Lodge, Fern Residency.

Nameri - Eco-Camps, Prashanti Lodge.

Dirang - Hotel Pemaling, Awoo Resort.

While you are in Tawang, you will find ample other eating places. The best hotels are usually located in and around the main bazaar. Hotel Alpine, Tourist Lodge, Tawang Inn are all decent options to stay and eat.

Mobile Connectivity

Mobile connectivity is not the best on the route. You might cross areas where you will not find any connectivity. In Tawang, mobile connectivity is better.

ATMs

ATMs are also not very common and it is advised that you carry enough cash with you. You will be able to find an ATM at Bomdila.

Mechanics

You will be able to find small puncture shops and mechanics in a few towns on the way. These include Bhalukpong, Bomdila, and Dirang. It is highly recommended that you get your car serviced before the trip and know the basics of the engine.

Medical Facilities

Medical facilities are also scattered. Once again, major towns such as Bomdila, Bhalukpong and Dirang have medical centres and hospitals.

Electricity

Being a town in the northern part of India you can expect frequent power outages. On average, you can expect electricity for 12 to 18 hours a day.

Tool Kits

A must-have in your tool kit for this journey is a torch and some extra batteries. The road is not well lit and it gets dark early. In addition, you cannot expect electricity in Tawang for 24 hours a day. So be travel prepared.  Another suggestion is to carry empty bottles to stock up on fuel. You might not need it but it is better to have them. A standard tool kit with a hammer, screwdrivers, and tape should be sufficient. If you plan to travel during the winter, do carry spades in case the car tires are stuck in the snow.

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