Mountain Walking

Himalayan Travel Diaries: Coming Face to Face With The Beauty of Tawang

It gives me immense happiness to share this amazing photo gallery that has stayed with me for long. I simply loved how Swati Harsha has beautifully described her experience of visiting Tawang. A picture speaks a thousand words, and I think the pictures clicked by Swati, spoke a million. It made me pause and immediately want to transport myself physically and relish the charming life at Tawang.

Swati is a cook and recipe developer. There have been several occasions where I have succumbed to her home baked muffins like Jerry Mouse and have remained loyal to her culinary skills there after. A former baker at Bake My Wish in Vishakhapatnam, Swati has worked as a Consultant on a food project called Paatr, where she travelled across India, collecting home recipes.



For the last few years, our holidays had been leading us to North East, and this time round, I had already made up my mind about what to expect from this latest one. But the arduous journey from Vizag to Tawang via Tezpur and Tenga gave us many memorable jewels, which were nothing that my mind could have ever pictured – You never believe such beauty exists until you come face to face with it.

Writing about such journeys limits you, because whatever you express doesn’t seem enough, or doesn’t seem to do justice the ethereal beauty of the place. Although there were back-breaking drives to all the places of interest in and around Tawang, the majestic mountains, serene lakes, snow covered lands and flora just don’t give you any time to think about anything else. You are in an endless loop of experiencing the grandeur of nature, with no time for trivialities like back ache or freezing bones.

I thank God for making Tawang so difficult to access, for it ensures that most of the times people who really mean to be there are the ones who do reach. I take any and every opportunity to express my angst against the way in which we are treating the beautiful heritage that nature has given us, for free. Considering the state of Sahastradhara, Dehradun and Jageshwar, Kumaon, my heart pleads and prays that may Tawang always stay as pure and pristine as I witnessed it.

My two bits of advice: Don’t go there with a touristy checklist – go and figure out the place for yourself… Your soul will thank you.

Here are a few moments that the camera could capture, while there are lots more that are printed on my heart and soul.

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The awe-inspiring Tawang Monastery; Photo: Swati Harsha

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Roads that rattle every single bone of your body; Photo: Swati Harsha

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A sight to cherish; Photo: Swati Harsha

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The views that leave you breathless; Photo: Swati Harsha

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The 4:30 a.m. prayer meet at the monastery, with the young monks half asleep, trying to get through the morning; Photo: Swati Harsha

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Sharing the simple but yummmmyyy breakfast of the monks; Photo: Swati Harsha

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Quite a large number of hours were spent reading at this singular cafe; Photo: Swati Harsha

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What beautiful accompaniments to the reading sessions; Photo: Swati Harsha

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The first view of the Shungetsar Lake had me totally mesmerised; Photo: Swati Harsha

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A surprise picnic along a gushing mountain river; Photo: Swati Harsha

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A 15th century suspension bridge, rarely visited by tourists; Photo: Swati Harsha

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This should inspire you to go to Arunachal and find out more about this majestic waterfall; Photo: Swati Harsha

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Off on a wild berry chase; Photo: Swati Harsha

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Me, soaking in the surroundings; Photo: Swati Harsha

 

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