Duration : 12 Days / 11 Nights
Attractions : Brahmaputra Valley - Ancient Fortress - Kalachakra Monastery - Alpine Lake - Se-la Temple - Tawang Monastery - Galden Namgyal Lhatse (Tawang Monastery ) - Monpa Village - Kaziranga - Capped Langur - Crested Serpent Eagle - Elephant Safari
Tawang Monastery stands atop a mountain, 3300 Meters high, overlooking the Tawang Chhu Valley. It is over 350 years old, and is the fountainhead of the spiritual life for the followers of the Gelupa Sect of the Mahayana School of Buddhism, which is followed by the Monpa, and Sherdukpen tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. It is an awe-inspiring sight. Surrounded by lofty peaks of over 4000 Meters in elevation, it is built like a fortress and can house over 500 monks. The surrounding Tawang Chhu Valley is a virtual Shangri-La, of lush forests, smiling vales, gurgling streams, picture post card villages and a lovely, smiling people, surrounded by high mountain barriers above 4000 meters. This is a rare opportunity to explore the Buddhist lifestyles of the unique and remote Himalayan tribal culture of the Monpas. You get to see the various monasteries, Monpa villages and the breathtaking vistas of Himalayan uplands. We also visit two national parks; The Kaziranga and Nameri, and visit Bomdila, with its set on monasteries, Sherdukpen and Bugin tribes.
Day 01: Fly in from Delhi, Kolkota or Bagdogra. Drive 250 Kms, through the Brahmaputra Valley with its evergreen vistas. Overnight in tented huts at Nameri Eco Camp.
Day 02: Choice of angling, boating, and bird watching. You can take a jungle walk, Visit a tribal habitat or just relax at the river beach. Overnight in camp.
Day 03: Cross-into Arunachal Pradesh at Bakukpong and drive145 kms to Dirang Dzong, located in a scenic river valley. It is known for its ancient fortress, and Gompa. On the way we will take time off to visit, Asia's largest Orchidarium at Tippi, and Sherdukpen tribal village at Rupa, and cross the Tenga Range over the Bomdi-la pass, 2590 Meters. Overnight at hotel.
Day 04 :In the morning visit the Kalachakra Monastery. Thereafter dive to Tawang, 165 kms. Our enchanting, journey to Tawang continues over the 4150 meters high Se-la Pass, which was once the battle ground between the Indian and Chinese armies. Enroute we visit an Alpine Lake and Se-la temple, and marvel at the scenery. There are photo opportunities at every turn and twist of the mind-boggling road. Overnight at Hotel.
Day 05: Explore the 350 years old Tawang Monastery, and have an audience with Rimpoche. In the afternoon visit the Urgelling Monastery dating back to 1489 followed by the Seru Monpa village, and the craft center. Overnight at hotel.
The famous Galden Namgyal Lhatse, popularly known as Tawang Monastery was founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyamtso in the year 1860-81. This monastery is the largest of its kind in the country and the second largest in Asia. This monastery is the fountain-head of the spiritual life of the Gelupa Sect of the Mahayana School of Budhism, which is followed by the Monpa, and Sherdukpen tribes of Arunachal Pradesh -. the people of this region. The inner walls of the Dukhang - the assembly hall are painted with murals of various divinities and saints. The silver casket wrapped in silk containing the Thankas of Goddess Sri Devi (Palden Lhamo) the principal deity of the monastery, is kept here. It was given to Merak Lama by the Vth Dalai Lama. The Thankas were painted with blood drawn from the nose of the Vth Dalai Lama. A colossal richly gilded statue of Lord Buddha occupies the middle of the northern side. It is the largest image of the monastery and is about 26 feet high.
The Urgelling Monastery is the birth place of the Sixth Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama was deposed in 1706. In 1714 the destruction of all Gelupa Gompas was carried out by Sokpa Jomkhar, a Mongolian warrior who invaded from Bhutan. During this campaign, the Dalai Lamas original monastery at Urgelling was destroyed. All valued possession of Urgelling monastery like scriptures, statues and other objects were taken to Tawang Monastery. It was during this time that the Ka-gyur (scriptures) written out in gold and silver arrived at the Tawang monastery, where they are preserved to this day. Today a modest Gompa stands at this site.
Day 06: Drive up the "spiral staircase" road leading to the Tibet frontier, to Peng teng Tso Lake at an altitude of 4100 meters. Breath taking views. Later visit a Buddhist nunnery. The Monpas have a tradition of nunneries called "Ani Gompas". Traditionally at least one girl from a family joined an Ani Gompa. However this practice no longer exists. We will be visiting the Gyangong Ani Gompa close to Tawang town. In the evening Monpa cultural programme. Overnight at Tawang.
Day 07: Drive back 165 Kms over the Se-la pass to Dirang Dzong. On the way stop over at Jang to explore another village and visit the Indo-China War memorial. Overnight at hotel.
Day 08: Drive 60 kms to ancient Monpa Village. Spend the day exploring the exquisite Buddhist Gumpa, Kakaling gate, Chusker (traditional water mill), and village houses.. Meet the village folks and get an idea of lifestyles. Return to Dirang Dzong. Overnight at hotel.
Day 09: A short drive to Bomdila.Visit Rabgyaling Gontse Gompa, Upper Gompa , Thupchob Gatseling Gompa., and Bugin tribal village.
Day 10: Drive 320 kms to Kaziranga, retracing our steps past Nameri National Park to the city of Tezpur. Here we cross over the Brahmaputra bridge and drive along the Assam Valley to the National Park. Check in at Wild Grass Resort Kaziranga lies on the South bank of the Brahmaputra, and is famous for its 1000 plus, population of Rhinos. Tigers are also present in sizable numbers. Other attractions include the wild buffalo, magnificent swamp deer, hog deer, wild boar, Hoolak Gibbon, Capped Langur, and Badger. Amongst the birds, the Crested Serpent Eagle is common. While Pallas Fishing Eagle, as also Grey Headed Fishing Eagle, Crane, Great Adjutant Stork, Bengal Floricab, Bar Headed Goose, whistling Teal and Pelican can be seen in the wild. Jeep and Elephant Safari, is the mode of exploration.
Day 11: Kaziranga - Early morning Elephant Safari. After breakfast Jeep Safari followed by another jeep safari in a different range after lunch. Overnight at Wild Grass.
Day 12: Drive 220 kms to Guwahati.airport to board your departure flight.
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