Monday, 31 October 2016

Why You Should Visit Arunachal Pradesh

Till now I have visited 17 states and 4 Union Territories of India, and Arunachal Pradesh definitely comes in top 3. If you are into mountains or exploring the untouched wild nature,  then I would highly recommend you visit this place.

Even after keeping aside one week for Arunachal, all we could cover was a tiny (but stunning) corner of this huge state -Tawang. Guwahati to Tawang takes 2 days by road, you could halt either in Bomdila or Dirang. We covered both of these places in to and fro journey and trust me you won't regret taking a halt there.

Monastery in Bomdila
The entire route is so scenic that after a while, a waterfall or sparkling mountains are too common to even photograph. Here's a sample.

Enroute to Tawang

Very close to Sela Pass

Now to enter Tawang we need to cross Sela Pass which at 13700 ft makes for a spectacular entrance. The place is just stunning and usually snow clad in winters. Very close to the Pass, is the beautiful Sela Lake (sometimes called Paradise Lake because of its beauty) with yaks grazing around it!

Sela lake

A Yak moment!

Tawang is especially famous for its monastery, which is largest in India and second largest in the world after Potala Palace in Lhasa.

View of Monastery from hotel room

Our next destination was Bumla-Pass, which is at 15200 ft (highest I have ever gone) and is at Indo-China border. The route to Bumla Pass is so unique that I often felt I was in another planet! Mountains covered with the most colorful trees you could ever lay eyes on (at least with Indian standard). Fiery red shrubs spread till your eyes can see, so sublime and mesmerizing..

Unfortunately I am unable to upload pics from border because we were asked by Army guys to refrain from uploading them in social media (lot of people ignore it, I choose not to). But it really does makes you extra-patriotic to visit such places and in the company of soldiers.

I could upload tons of pictures, and still somehow not show you what I saw in those silent mountains. But like other northeast states, what left a deeper impression on me is the humble people living a simple and content life.

People from these parts of country are not rich financially but unlike their fellow countrymen, they don't look poor. For a long time I wondered why. Soon I realize that answer was glaring at me, it's because they don't see themselves as poor and pathetic. They have a very optimistic outlook towards life, which no one can take away. Even their one room houses with no bathroom is adorned with beautiful garden and home grown vegetables drying on rooftops. They don't complain that they don't have public transport and often walk up and down the mountain just to run some errand. They don't have electricity or materialistic comforts. But I felt so small standing next to them.

This entire trip was a visual treat but it also opened my eyes to subtle things of life. Just looking at those calm mountains which has survived endless time and watched civilizations grow and wither, made me feel part of something big, bigger than you and me. I think all that wisdom seeping from these mountains has rubbed off on these native people because their resilience is beyond me.

Arunachal is not just a place, it's an experience which will move you so deeply that when you leave the place, a part of you will stay back forever.