India / Places We Go

The Road To Tawang

I’ve been discussing the road to Tawang in the past couple of posts… So, I realized it would be appropriate to provide my dear readers with a little additional content to get a feel for the people and places along this amazing road.

The road to Tawang may start out in the jungle (of which a fair amount was seen in the last post), but it isn’t long before the road winds up into the mountains:

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

I was impressed by the ability of the people in this region to scratch out a living from agriculture in such rugged environments:

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

Although there were not many villages, it was common for those that we passed to be perched high up on a mountain or nestled deep in a canyon such as the one below… The only way in or out of such villages is by a very strenuous hike:

the road to tawang

However, no matter where the village or what the size, they all seem to have a teahouse:

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

The Tibetan influence grows increasingly obvious in everything from the architecture of the villages to the appearance of the people as one gets closer and closer to the border with China:

road to tawang

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

There are plenty of other hazards on the road to Tawang aside from just the landslides, road washouts, mud, ice and military convoys:

the road to tawang

The road has more stretches of decent surface up in the mountain passes which is a positive:

road to tawang

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

Of course, the downside is that it is extremely cold at such high altitudes:

the road to tawang

And so, when your 4WD breaks down (which is a common occurrence after the heavy beating on the lower sections of road), it can be rather unpleasant to fix:

the road to tawang

Fortunately, if one does break down, there is usually an amazing view or something like this Buddhist shrine nearby to at least slightly offset the unpleasant aspects of breaking down:

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

Your editor providing a little scale:

the road to tawang

You know you’re up pretty high when you start seeing yaks:

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

The highest point on the road to Tawang is at Se La… The road passes beneath the arch pictured below:

the road to tawang

A side view of the arch with prayer flags in the foreground:

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

Monuments to the many road workers and soldiers killed along this road are underneath all of these prayer flags:

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

Fortunately, there is also a very nice teahouse at Se La… To say that it is pleasant to take a seat next to a crackling fire with a hot cup of tea in your hands after braving the bitter cold outside is rather an understatement:

the road to tawang

the road to tawang

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7 thoughts on “The Road To Tawang

  1. While all your installments are a pleasure to read and view, this one is my new favorite. The images are nothing short of stunning. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. I’ve been to North of Pakistan, we have similar villages over here. And young people of these villages are so annoyed of the long hikes, and lack of job opportunities in the area. There are a few DIY type of cable cars, I saw one but couldn’t take a picture as I didn’t have a camera :p and I was alone.
    Do you know about Dorah Pass on Pakistan/Afghanistan border, it is more than 14,000 feet (4,300 m) high.
    Yakes are beautiful creatures, abundant in North of Pakistan as well…
    And yes, warm cup of tea is an awesome experience when your “everything” seems like frozen ;)

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  6. Hi its so nice to see your post. We are planing to visit the same circuit from Dec 10th to 18th. Hope the weather holds good.

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