How to reach Tawang
Set among the mighty Himalayas at an altitude of 3400 m, is the beautiful town of Tawang and the Tawang valley. I must say its a fantastic choice for a vacation. Getting to Tawang is certainly not an easy job. I will try my best to give you all the information about planning and getting there.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Tawang is from April to October. These are summer months and hence all the attractions will be open. Even though its summer, the temperatures are low and its all pleasant.
Before we start planning, here is something very important. You need an Inner Line Permit to visit Tawang. All the other areas are open to domestic travelers except for the military dominated areas. Typically, it takes 3 to 4 weeks to get that permit. You can get the permits from Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati. You can send an application for the permits to these addresses :
Resident Commissioner, Arunachal Bhawan, Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi: 110001Tel: 91-11-23013956
The Liaison Officer, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, CE-109, Sector-1 Salt Lake City, Kolkata; Tel: 91-33-23341243 / 23589865
The Liaison Officer, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, R.G.Baruah Road, Guwahati, Assam: 781021; Tel: 91-361-2452859/2456720
Another option that you have is to stay in Guwahati for two days and get the permit. You will have to go the same address mentioned above and give the details of all the members who are traveling. Make sure you carry the passport or driving license of all the members as ID proofs will be needed.
One more option you have is to get the permit from Tezpur. To reach Tawang, one of the best way is to go from Tezpur. You will have to take a taxi from there. The taxi driver will help you in getting the Inner Line Permit.
The cost for the permits would roughly cost around INR 200-300 for 4-5 people.
There are many ways by which you can get to Tawang. Flights, Trains, Buses, Cars, Jeeps and Helicopters. I am not giving you the option of train from Bangalore to Kolkata as the train journey takes 35 hrs and I assumed that you would not to waste your time. However, if you don't mind that option, please do let me know and I will help you with that too.
Let me tell you the options :
Option I ( 2 flights and taxi)
You can take a flight from Bangalore to Kolkata and then from Kolkata you can take the Air India flight to Tezpur. There is only one flight at 5:40 a.m. in the morning which arrives at 7:40 a.m. in Tezpur. The flight will cost approximately INR 2200 per person. From Tezpur, you can then take a taxi to Tawang. The journey from Tezpur will take 13-14 hrs. It is advisable to break the journey either in Bomdial or Dirang. People who have been there earlier, suggest that you should stop in Old Dirang as it is almost picture perfect Tibetan stone village.
Option II ( 1 flight and taxi)
A flight from Bangalore to Guwahati via Kolkata. There are flights from Spicejet and Indigo and will approximately cost INR 5500 per head. From Guwahati, you can take a taxi either directly to Tawang or take a taxi from Guwahati to Tezpur and then from Tezpur to Tawang. From Guwahati, the journey to Tawang will take about 16 hrs. Guwahati to Tezpur is 4 hrs and Tezpur to Tawang is 12-14 hrs.
Option III ( 1 flight and helicopter)
Flight from Bangalore to Guwahati on Friday. Stay in Guwahati on Friday night and then take a helicopter on Saturday. The helicopter will take you directly from Guwahati to Tawang. According to the official website of Tawang, the helicopter services cost INR 3000 per head adnd the duration of the flight is about 80 minutes.
For more details about the service, The District Supply Officer, Tawang be contacted over phone (03794)-222308 (O)/222267(R).
Note : The flight data is provided for August 13th as per your dates. The flight prices may vary as they keep changing very frequently. It is recommended that you book soon.
Buses are also there from Tezpur to Tawang. Arunachal State Transport runs buses to Bomdila on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and the journey time is 8hrs. Private buses also run daily and frequently via Bomdila to and from Tezpur, departing Tezpur round about noontime and arriving Tawang early in the morning of the following day.
A taxi from Tezpur to Tawang will cost you around INR 4000 to 5000. You can contact Himalayan Holidays (Himalayan Holidays, Kabar Khana Road, Tezpur. Ph: 03712-223580 (O), 221646(R), 9957178796.) to get a taxi and a driver. It is advised that you take a Sumo. That is what people who have been there earlier have recommended. A previous traveler also hired a taxi for al 3-4 days from Tezpur and he payed INR 9700 in total. Some people have recommended a driver called Lakpo (9402070455) .
I would suggest that you read this blog and go through this forum to know how your trip would be like. These are previous travelers who have excellently described their trips to Tawang. These are small articles and would not take much time.
Itinerary for Tawang
If you want specific names for what you can see in Tawang, then you won't find many. Some of the names are : Tawang Monastery which is around 400 years old. If you have kids accompanying you, they will surely enjoy the place. Its great for adults too.
Another good place to see is Jaswantgarh which is a centuries old Fortress and it is located at an awesome location with snow covered mountains in the backdrop.
If you look for lakes, they are countless in this region but if you ask for one, I would say that you see the Pankang Teng Tso lake which is around 17 kms from Tawang.
On the way to Tawang lies the World's second highest pass, the Sela Pass through a high altitude lake of crystal blue water. Both sides of the lake are decked with miles of rhodendrons. There is also a Orchidarium at Tipi near the banks of the Kameng River in the West Kameng District, enroute Tawang. (Source : http://www.north-east-india.com/arunachal-pradesh/tawang.html)
Besides these, there is more to see in Tawang. You can read this article to know more.
Hope you have got a fair idea of what all you should keep in mind when planning for your trip. To sum up, what is needed from your side is this :
- If you want to get the permits before you travel, then write an application and send to one of the above mentioned offices asap.
- Decide on the travel options. In any case, you will have to take a flight from Bangalore to Kolkata or Guwahati so book the flight tickets soon as the fares keep increasing.
- Let me know which option have you chosen so that I can help you to figure out the right flights and taxis.
- Based on your travel options, you will have to finalize hotels in Kolkata, Guwahati, Tezpur, Bomdila, Dirang and Tawang. So you will have to tell me that so that I can help you find the hotels in relevant places too.
Hope this information helps. Please do write back with all the above details so that we can plan further.
Finally here is an interesting slideshow of pictures to give you a visual idea of the place :
Have a fun trip!
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