Gorichen Peak

Gorichen is the highest scalable peak in Arunachal Pradesh, towering at a height of over 21,300 ft above sea level. Because of its elevation, Gorichen remains snowbound throughout the year and has captivated the hearts of many seasoned mountaineers and adventure-loving trekkers. Situated at a distance of 164 km from the main town, this peak is locally known as Tsa-Nga-Phu, which translates into kingdom of the deity. One of the better views of this peak can be seen on the road between Bomdila and Tawang. The Monpa tribe worship this peak as they believe it is vital for their existence and protects them from all evils. Locally, people often refer to it as the giant white elephant because of the unmistakable, white carpet of snow that covers it, making it one of the most distinctive and easily identifiable peaks in this region. The view is mesmerising as there are patches of green meadows and verdant forests that can be seen in the interlocking valleys below, while the bright white snow-capped peaks tower over them, shining in the sun.

Gorichen Peak

Shonga Tser Lake

Surrounded by lofty snow-capped mountains, the Shonga Tser Lake is a beautiful, calm and serene spot, lying on the outskirts of Tawang. Its tranquility makes it an ideal spot for meditation. Tourists can undertake a trek in the surrounding areas of the lake and get picturesque views of the valley and evergreen pine forests. Strings of Buddhist prayer flags fluttering in the breeze can be seen tied around the trees and boulders of this lake. The lake also invites birdwatchers who can sight species of Ruddy Shelduck birds (high altitude flight birds mostly seen in winters) while exploring the walkways around the lake. The colloquial name for this bird is the Brahminy duck. The lake is also called Madhuri Lake, because a song from a hindi film called Koyla, starring popular Indian actress Madhuri Dixit was shot here. Tourists can also go for nature walks and explore the natural beauty of the area.

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Shonga Tser Lake

Mechuka

Mechuka, colloquially known as Menchukha, is a small town in Arunachal Pradesh that lies 6,000 ft above sea level, surrounded by pine trees and bushes. It is one of the lesser explored valleys in this Himalayan region and thus unspoilt. The main attraction is the 400-year-old Samten Yongcha Monastery of Mahayana Buddhist sect. It houses numerous ancient statues, including that of Guru Padmasambhava, considered to be founder of the Nyingma sect. Colourful costumes and masks created for folklore figures found in Tibetan mythology can also be seen. These masks are often worn during a traditional dance called cham, which is an energetic and lively event that teaches people to shun all that is dark within them and embrace the good tenets of life according to Buddhism, like compassion and love. Many Tibetan festivals, especially Losar, are celebrated with reverence. The Losar festival, celebrated to mark the auspicious start of a new year, sees a lot of visitors who come to offer prayers.

 

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Mechuka

Bumla Pass

Bumla Pass, situated at an altitude of over 15,000 ft is snowbound for almost the entire year due to its steep elevation and presents a beautiful view of the Tibetan plateau. The road to the pass takes visitors through many sleepy hamlets and scenic lakes, making the drive memorable. Maintained by the Indian Army, Bumla Pass is a must for those who want to see how Indian soldiers protect the borders in the harshest of climes. Those arriving here have very warm stories to share of how they were received by the Indian Army and offered refreshments as well as tips on how to adapt to the cold and high altitude. Bumla Pass is also one of the four officially agreed BPM (Border Personnel Meeting) points between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army of China. On designated dates, cultural programmes are also organised by the two sides, which can be witnessed by people. A telescope and a few binoculars are kept near the Indian Army check post for visitors who want to know what lies beyond the border. The army canteen serves hot tea, water and dessert. A special permit is required for visiting the pass and can be obtained from the Office of the Deputy Commissioner in Tawang.

Bumla Pass

Bap Teng Kang Waterfall

The awe-inspiring white cascading Bap Teng-Kang Waterfall, also known as the Nuranang Falls, is a popular tourist attraction that is located at a distance of 80 km from Tawang. The water falls in sheets of white, from a staggering height of 100 ft, making its way through lush green mountains of Arunachal Pradesh. A picnic spot at the roof of the world, this place is high enough to give you the feeling of walking among clouds. The area around the falls has a thick green cover and a few hours can be spent exploring the area on foot, with the roaring water falling at a distance and the surrounding mist hanging lightly in the air. Day trip buses and taxis that take you to this waterfalls are available in town. There are a few food stalls that serve hot tea and other snacks. The rich, mineral heavy water of the Himalayas is said to be therapeutic and during the summer months, one can even swim in the little pools created by the waterfalls.

Bap Teng Kang Waterfall

Dirang

The Dirang village is an overnight tourist stopover in the western part of Arunachal Pradesh. It is located halfway between Jorhat, in Assam, and Tawang and lies on the banks of the pristine River Kameng. The paradise enjoys pleasant weather as it is not at a very high altitude. A hamlet that encompasses the best of everything unique to this region, from landscape to culture to food, it offers an opportunity to get acquainted with all things of Arunachal Pradesh. One of the oldest monasteries here, the Khastung Gompa, is an uphill trek from the village.

Downhill from the village, accessible through a foot bridge decorated with Himalayan flags, is the gushing Dirang river. Here, sheep can be seen grazing and sometimes visitors will even find themselves invited to local homes for tea in this village known for its warm hospitality. The village has a market where local handicrafts, which make for perfect souvenirs, are sold. The Dirang Dzong Fort, built according to Bhutanese stone architectural design grammar, is located on top of the hill and is accessible through a long flight of rock cut, stone studded steps. The design of this fort was made using some ingenious techniques to protect its residents from the biting cold. Another interesting attraction near the village is a hot water spring, which is considered to be sacred by the native population.

Dirang