History amid natural beauty: Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh has a culture of its own

Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is one of those fabulous destinations, which is fascinating for any tourist but rarely finds its way to their checklist. This hilly destination is surrounded by beautiful glacial lakes in and around the valley with crystal clear blue waters. Encircled by lofty and magnificent mountains, Tawang is a feast for the eyes.

Situated at 10,000 feet above sea level, Tawang has Tibet to its northern side, SeLa Pass to its east and the happiest country in the world, Bhutan, to its southwest. The inhabitants of Tawang, called Monpas, are found at lower altitude, where they enjoy cool temperate climate.

The name ‘Tawang’ derives from two words from the local Monpa dialect ‘Ta’ and ‘Wang’. ‘Ta’ means horse and ‘Wang’ means green pastures. The local interpretation is that in the 17th century, a Tibetan monk called Mera Lama found a strong and beautiful horse wandering in the valley. Attracted to this elegant animal, the Lama tried to capture it.

But the horse disappeared and while searching for it, Mera Lama found a place, which was very serene and soothing. He built a magnificent Buddhist Monastery at the location. The town that developed around this Monastery was later called Tawang.

How to go there

The nearest domestic airport is Salonibari Airport, Tezpur, Assam. It is well connected to state capitals Kolkata and Guwahati both by road and by air. The nearest international airport is the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, which is around 480 km from Tawang.

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