April 2013
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Tawang District in Arunachal Pradesh – Part 1

Tawang district is one of the 16 administrative districts of Arunachal Pradesh located in northeastern India.

Overview of Tawang District

• The area is historically a Tibetan territory.
• It is claimed by China as a part of South Tibet.
• It is the eighth least populous district in the country.
• The area that is covered by the district is approximately 2085 sq. km.

It is bordered by:
– Tibet in the North
– Bhutan in the South-West
– Sela ranges separate West Kameng district in the East.
• The name TAWANG derives from some bearings on surroundings.
• TAWANG name was interpreted by Mera Lama in the 17th century.
• One can reach Tawang from other parts of the country via Guwahati and Tezpur in Assam.
• From Guwahati (Assam) or Tezpur(Assam), one has to go to Bhalukpong in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
• From there via Bomdila and Sela Pass one can go to Tawang by road.
• The inhabitants of the districts are all of Monpa tribes except Shyo village.
• It is dominated by people of Tibetian origin.
• The Monpas belong to Mongoloid stock.
• Their houses are built with stones and timbers.
• Agriculture and Animal Husbandry are the fundamental means of the Monpas occupation.
• Tawang district was carved out of the West Kameng district.
• It adjoins it to the south and east.
• Bhutan borders Tawang to the west.
• Tibet is to the north of the district.
• The district occupies an area of 2,085 square kilometers.
• Almost 75% of the main population is considered “tribal” which belong to the native Monpa, Bhotia, Adi, etc.
• The sensitivity of the border area brings Tawang a heavy military presence.
• In winters, Tawang frequently experiences heavy snowfall.

Administrative Divisions of the District

• The district is divided into 3 sub-divisions:
– Tawang
– Lumla
– Jang
• Tawang sub-division is divided into 2 administrative circles:
– Tawang
– Kitpi
• Lumla sub-division is divided into 4 administrative circles:
– Bongkhar
– Dudunghar
– Lumla
– Zemithang
• Jang sub-division is divided into 4 administrative circles:
– Jang
– Mukto
– Thingbu
– Lhou
• There are 3 Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly constituencies located in this district:
– Lumla
– Tawang
– Mukto
All of these are part of Arunachal West Lok Sabha constituency.

Attractions of Tawang

Tawang Monastery
• It is one of the most important elements in social and religious life of the Monpas.
• This Monastery is known as “GALDEN NAMGYEL LHATSE”.
• It is one of the largest Lamaseries of Mahayana sects in Asia.
• The Tawang Monastery was founded by the Mera Lama Lodre Gyatso.
• This Tibetan Buddhist Monastery was constructed in 1681.
• It was the birth place of the celebrated 6th Dalai Lama.
• It is also home to more than 500 lamas.
• This was in accordance to the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama, Nagwang Lobsang Gyatso.
• The monastery belongs to the Gelugpa sect.
• It is the largest Buddhist monastery in India.
• It is associated with Drepung Monastery in Lhasa.
• The name Tawang means Chosen Horse.
• It is also known by another Tibetan name, Galden Namgey Lhatse.
• This means a true name within a celestial paradise in a clear night.
• Lamseries comprise of several sections ranging near about four hundred years.
• They are devoted to Love and Learning and Purity of life.
• This fortified complex is spread over an area of 135 sq. meters.
• It is enclosed by a compound wall of 610 meter long.
• Within the complex there are 65 residential buildings and 10 other structures.
• The library has valuable old scriptures.
• They are mainly Kanjur and Tanjur numbering 850 bundles.
• It is dated back to 17th century A.D.

Best time to visit / climate

• The town of Tawang experiences a moderate climate for many months of the year.
• The best time to visit the place is between March and October.
• This is the time when the climate conditions are pleasant.
• Winters (November to February) are cold and the temperatures can be expected to drop to around the freezing point.
• Temperatures range from a minimum of -13 degrees Celsius and can go up to a maximum of around 10 degrees Celsius during this time.
• January is the coldest month of the year.
• Summers (March to June) are mild.
• The temperatures range from a minimum of 5 degrees Celsius and can rise up to a maximum of around 22 degrees Celsius during this period.
• The hottest month of the year is usually June.
• Monsoons (July to September) offers predominant rainfall and the conditions are wet for most of the time.
• Temperatures are much lower during this period but tourist visits are possible.
• Winter months are very cold, accompanied by snowfall especially during December and January.
• It is a good idea to have flexible itinerary as road blocks are common due to snow.
• March to June has pleasant climate and is the perfect period for visiting and enjoying vacations in Tawang.
• October also offers pleasing climate and is ideal for sightseeing.
• The place receives scanty rains and tourist activities are still enjoyable during monsoons.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get there?

1. By car
• The town is about a 16 hour drive from Guwahati.
• It is best to hire a Tata Sumo from Tezpur in Assam.
• From Tezpur you go to Bhalukpong (border of Assam and Arunachal) where Indian and Non Indian tourists have to show in permit.
• This permit is easily obtainable at either Guwahati or Tezpur.
• Proceed to a beautiful and rough drive up the mountains.
• It can take 12-14 hrs if you go at a stretch to Tawang.
• It is advisable to break your journey at either Bomdila or better still – charming little valley town of Dirang.
• Sela pass is notoriously difficult and heavy snowfall could force you to stay on either side.

2. Get around
• Getting around in Tawang can be divided into two categories.
• First one is travel to local sites like Tawang Monastery, War Memorial, Emporium etc.
• This can be done by booking a taxi (mostly Maruti OMNI) for half a day.
• Second one is travel to sites outside Tawang which includes P T So lake, Shungetsar (Madhuri) lake and visit to India-China border at Bumla.
• A bigger vehicle like Tata Sumo or Mahindra Bolero should be hired for the same as roads are in bad shape.
• An entire day is enough to cover these sites.

Sher Thuk Pens of Arunachal Pradesh Religious History of Arunachal Pradesh The Beautiful India – Arunachal Pradesh

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at holidayiq.com
accomodations at indiamike.com
Hotels at wikitravel.org

Blogs / Sites about Tawang – Arunachal Pradesh

href=” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawang_district “target=”_blank”>blogs at wikipedia.org
blogs at journeymart.com
blogs at travel.india.com
blogs and reviews at tripadvisor.com

Images and photos about Tawang – Arunachal Pradesh

images at google.com
images at wikipedia.org
images at flickr.com
images at tripadvisor.com

Videos about Tawang – Arunachal Pradesh

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