“Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast
Hamin ast-o Hamin ast-o Hamin ast”
Until I visited North East, I was living under a rock about the existence of a heavenly place on Earth. It wasn’t just a place like heaven. It was the HEAVEN in all true sense. Amir Khusro’s words were in context to the beauty of Kashmir. Well, been there done that too! It sure is a beauty but I cannot emphasize enough on the fact that North East India is sublime. A piece of advice? Go see this heaven for yourself, if you haven’t already visited Northeast India you’re missing out on a big chunk of travel experiences in India! That place is a dream! If there’s heaven on earth; it’s there, it’s there!
The Places I visited (Guwahati-Bhalukpong-Tawang via Bomdila & Sela Pass)
My journey to the northeastern side of India started with a flight to Guwahati from Delhi. I was traveling with my family. We’re a family who loves to travel and I have been a travel junkie since my first trip. Hint-hint, you might get to read more about my travel experiences! Early morning flights are so easy and hassle-free. But in the month of December, winter plays a huge part to piss any traveler off because of flights getting delayed. Well, all thanks to dense fog at 5 in the morning. We landed safely in Guwahati. And oh boy, the weather went crazy. It was foggy and windy in Delhi and Guwahati? It was humid! Guwahati is the largest urban area in the Northeast region. It’s packed with people & vehicles. We met our driver, Dheeraj, who’ll be driving us around for the entire trip. He was extremely polite & cute! Initially didn’t talk much but gradually started and was able to make our stomach hurt with all of his lame jokes. It’s fun when you have such a fun-loving company also knowledgeable. He guided us throughout with all the must-visit places. We had our trip organized by Kaziranga Tours n travels, Mr. Mahendra Nath. The company only managed our accommodations, convenience, and food. The plan of the places to visit was organized by my Uncle (another travel enthusiast! Thanks to him for passing on the legacy!) We got late because of our flight and Mr. Mahendra was so helpful with all the bookings and arranging breakfast on the first day in Guwahati when we reached there.
While we were settling ourselves down with the city, getting to know more about the place, it’s wildly diverse & home to hundreds of tribes. People are so warm & welcoming. They’ll make you feel homely. Just how our drivers and tour organizers were. We came across some really friendly and welcoming people throughout the trip. People there would help you, talk to you, they try and know about you. It’s just a heart-warming gesture. They’ll welcome you with a big smile and kids waving at you. The place had some really adorable dogs &| puppies playing around. With such kind hospitality, they work hard for their living. One can clearly see the hustle of the town and yet they’re relaxed. The relaxed pace of life is captivating.
Coming back to the food, you cannot miss the food! It was different. Tea with jaggery, Chhole Bhature but known as paranthe. I am hungry now! Off track. Okay back to our first day in Guwahati, Mr. Mahendra was a big help. He was on his toes all the time wherever we needed help during the trip. Got our stomachs filled with tempting food and went ahead with our road trip to Bhalukpong from Guwahati. The drive from Guwahati to Bhalukpong, a small town located in Arunachal Pradesh, was soothing. Kameng River in Bhalukpong makes the place so attractive. It feels like one of those ZNMD (Zindagi na milegi dobara) moments, traveling on a smooth road and a river with clear blue water and creating white foams when it hits those steady big rocks into them, flowing alongside. It’s therapeutic. Finally, after a 6-7 hours journey, we reached Bhalukpong, where we were going to spend a night before leaving for Tawang the next morning. We stayed in bungalow turned into a hotel kinda thing. It was nice and cozy. Not the best places to stay but was manageable for a night. Had our dinner and crashed into our beds.
Next morning, watching the sunrise at 5 in the morning while leaving for Tawang was one of the most beautiful mornings of my life! It was chilly, different from the first day at Guwahati. The sky was filled with sunshiny colors and had mountain ranges covered with snow peeping through the clouds. The drive from Bhalukpong to Tawang via Bomdila and Sela Pass was mesmerizing and definitely a highlight of the entire journey. We were all geared up for an entire day of road tripping. Packed our bags, filled our stomachs yet again with some really finger licking home cooked food and were all set to leave for our journey. To reach Tawang, we passed Bomdila as well. Yet another beautiful place. But to reach Bomdila from Bhalukpong you may need a permit for traveling from Bhalukpong to Bomdila. We got that within an hour and for that one hour to pass what could be the best way than to have Maggi and enjoy the cold breeze and snow-covered mountains all around you. After an hour or so, we headed towards Bomdila. The drive to Tawang from Bomdila had some crazy surreal views. BRO (Border Roads Org) has maintained the roads so well. The army and the local people together have kept the environment so clean and air that is pure & breathable! That place is so different from the rest of India. It just doesn’t feel like you’re there. For someone like me who has vertigo, driving through mountains and height I get anxiety. But the rounds are so safe and there’s help at every mile. So much respect for those people working for our country and also for maintaining the place for tourists. While driving through Bomdila to reach Tawang, you have to cross Sela Pass, a place at 13,000 ft. above sea level and beyond imagination. The region is extremely windy and cold. My words won’t do any justice to the place. With that freezing cold wind and stilled Sela Lake, the place looks dreamy and almost magical. It had a calming vibe with a little snow drizzling! I can trade anything to just be at this place. This unexplored paradise has my heart! After crossing Sela Pass, it takes another 4-5 hours to reach Tawang.
Tawang- a place that’s nothing short of a dream or just out of a movie! Not just a place with incomparable beauty but also with a history that every Indian must know. I explored Tawang and a lot of gems of Assam & Arunachal. Not to be missed I witnessed India-Bangladesh border too. How cool! But to know all of it, stay updated!
Here are some of the pictures of the breathtaking views I took!