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Thread: Exotic Travel-Known and Unknown Western Arunachal and Nameri-Assam

  1. #11
    Day #5 contd.. Pankang Teng Tso Lake to Sangetsar Lake

    Some background info about Sangetsar Lake

    Sangetsar Lake in the same place covers an area of 5sq km an altitude of 3790m. 42 KM away from Tawang. Land records say the lake was created by a flash flood following the 1950 earthquake in the region.

    Its bed, once a forested slope, sank in the tremor, taking with it the forest of tall pine trees. As water filled in, the trees died but their bare lofty trunks remained, standing sentinel over the serene blue lake thatís encircled by high mountains.

    This part of the downhill road was on shadow area of the mountain, no sun and the snow was still there.

    Reaching, getting out of the warmth of VTT-TMT; cold it is and time to wrap up.

    A small stream flows down to the Lake from this side

    As the Lake, came into view - what a sight it was, mist, cold, the mountains, those tree stumps, the Army cottage out there - the quietness was stunning!!

    Thats the Army cottage, absolutely an amazing experience it would be to spend the night out here - but then you need contacts in Army for that.

    The other "the wanderers" spent some time enjoying the solitude, I roamed around the Lake


  2. #12
    Day #5 contd.. Sangetsar Lake To Tawang

    Having spent a wholesomely satisfying time out there by the Lake, other tourists started arriving and we went to small food joint that is run by Army. We had our lunch over there - hot Maggi and tea

    We had kept the Safari VTT at the open ground just a little on the top and walked down. Seeing us with a child, the youngest tourist out there, an Army officer comes up forward and asks his driver to drop us where the Safari is parked - a distance of around may be 50 mtrs but of course a relief as I was carrying him on the back and that height takes out quite amount of breath. A sudden gesture - a simple thank you is all what I could muster - and the Army officer just smiles.

    Army Gypsy on which we took the ride - I was checking it out also before as we just reached the Lake

    One last view of the Lake as we start on our return journey to Tawang

    And the snowy roads and the micro slides starts once again and then the rocky trail

    And we pass the Lakes again

    Golden words for a high mountain journey

    Leave early - to be there before the mass tourist crowd

    Drive slowly - to enjoy and to remember the views

    Arrive safely - to travel another day

    A salute to all the BRO men and women

    And 3 km before Y junction, we gave lift to 2 Army men, going to Y junction

    It was late afternoon and just after Y junction, the weather turned out quite overcast and slight snowfall - but we enjoyed it fully, stopped in between to feel the mist and the flakes.

    Crossing the snowline, Tawang town came into view

    So it had been a great day well spent, we still had another hour before dusk - headed off to the Army memorial to the other side of Tawang


  3. #13
    Day #5 contd.. - Sangetsar Lake to Tawang War Memorial

    Tawang War Memorial: Honouring 1962 Sino-Indian war heroes

    Tawang War Memorial at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is dedicated to the martyrs of the 1962 Sino-Indian war. The memorial is nestled among picturesque snow-capped peaks overlooking the imposing Tawang-Chu valley.

    GOC Eastern Command, Lt. Gen. H. R. S. Kalkat, dedicated the memorial, which is nestled among picturesque snow-capped peaks overlooking the imposing Tawang-Chu valley and called on the jawans to emulate the feat of those who sacrificed their lives in war.

    Recalling their sacrifices, Lt. Gen. Kalkat said the jawans stood their ground against the Chinese assault for 31 days, fought bravely and gave up their life for the honour of the nation. They fought valiantly despite inadequate logistics back-up, which made them fight in cotton uniforms at sub-zero temperature and with just 50 rounds of ammunition per rifle, he said.

    The 40-foot-high multi-hued war memorial to the unsung heroes, designed by the Army and constructed at a cost of about Rs 15 lakh, was dedicated in the presence of civilians and Army personnel, whose band played patriotic song eulogising the warriors’ sacrifices. Blessed by Dalai Lama in 1997, the imposing structure in a stupa design is locally called ‘Namgyal Chortan’ and has names of 2420 dead soldiers etched in gold on 32 black granite plagues. The memorial is flanked by two memorial halls –– one housing the personal articles of the martyrs and the other would be used for sound-and-light show depicting their heroic deeds, Army sources said.

    The representatives of the regiments which fought the battle was present on the occasion as a symbol of the past.

    The Kameng frontier division of the erstwhile North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) roughly corresponds to the present Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh. It had witnessed the bitterly fought battles of 1962 Sino-Indian conflict. Though the nation that time had to undergo a humbling experience but the same cannot be said of the gallant soldiers who set new milestones of valour. Against the most damning odds, soldiers fought with antique rifles, 50 rounds of ammunition and cotton uniforms but with a brave heart within. They stood their ground against the on-coming cohorts of the enemy and died with the guns blazing and with a bullet in the chest.

    On January 18, 1999 the construction of the war memorial was carried out by hundreds of monks with the active participation of the locals and government officials. In keeping with the local religious sentiments, idols of Lord Buddha, scriptures, ornaments, jewels, valuables and other items were deposited. The war memorial was even blessed by Dalai Lama, who sent holy scriptures and idols of Arya Avlokiteshwara and Lord Buddha personally blessed by him. These have been deposited in the vaults of the stupa. The memorial is certainly be a pride of Tawang after the famous monastery and will not only remind the glory of brave acts of the heroes of 1962, but will touch the hearts of every visitor as at the base of the memorial it is written: "How can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his father and the temples of his Gods."

    Directly from Sangetsar Lake we went through Tawang town to reach the War Memorial late evening.

    Subedar Joginder Singh, Param Vir Chakra

    Inside the War Memorial and the guns, liked the shotgun!

    As the evening sun faded away we reached the hotel exhausted but a day well spent and to be remembered. And the day was not over for me. For going to the Indo-China border post [Bumla], one requires a permit - luckily the hotel owner had some contact, but going to the Army to have it validated had to be done by me.

    Went down around night time again to the War Memorial office area to have the permit stamped. And what a feeling it was - got the permit validated and stamped - super excited as we will be headed to Bumla the next day with our own Safari VTT

    contd.... coming up Bumla journey

  4. #14
    Day #6: Tawang to Bumla

    The previous evening had all the air pressure checked out in a shop but while chatting with a few drivers out there about Bumla, they were very dismissive about me making it till the top - hard packed ice had formed in 2 incline places and told me categorically about this 2wd not reaching. But then its too late now - decision has been made and we are pushing till we can and take the trail as it comes. Early morning on day 6, and its super clear day unlike yesterday.

    B U M L A [16500 ft]

    Bumla is 37 kms away from Tawang. From Tawang to Y-junction is 22 Kms which is metalled and the rest 15 Kms is graveled. This road is one of the shortest connectivity points to china from Tawang (India). In the Chinese side, the geographical terrain and landscape is far better than Indian side. Shyo (China) is 3 Kms, Kachin- 5 Kms, Dengding 6 Kms and Nyagdo 8 kms from Bumla. The nearest major town of Chinese side, Tsonajong is 43 Kms from Bumla border post. It is a district HQ town as well as Brigade HQ connecting Gordung-Lhasa-Beijing trunk Highway. It is connected by all weather metalled road to Tsethang (district HQ in Tibet, China) by a distance of 508 Kms from Bunmla (India).

    Bum-la is the pass from where Dalai Lama entered India escaping from Tibet and the Chinese Army. He was wearing Army fatigues as a camouflage. He stayed at the Tawang Monastery (which is incidentally the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama) for four days before going to Bomdila.

    The road to Bum-la is also a historical route, since it is from here that the Chinese marched into India and were at Tawang the next day. In fact, some portion of the road was made by the then Chinese Army for vehicular traffic. Marks and holes from bullets from the 1962 war could still be seen enroute. India had lost 4,000 of her men while China lost 3,000.
    Heading out of Tawang again towards Y junction.

    Since we left early morning, as we gain altitude snow was still on the road and on shadow areas but the views were clear - just what is needed to go to a high mountain pass. Today's weather was the complete opposite from yesterday


  5. #15
    Day #6 contd.. - Tawang to Bum La

    Clear day and PTSO Lake has minimum snow cover, quite opposite to what yesterday was.

    Papers checked at Y junction [cut off time to check-in is 1 pm], we take the right turn for Bum La. The straight goes to Sangetsar Lake, covered yesterday.

    The rocky trail starts from Y junction[14,000 feet]

    And the big inclines start from the Klemta Lake. As I near the Lake at 14,500 feet, stop to take some photo break and roam around for 5-10 mts, the Safari VTT engine does not start on ignition - and so we have a "situation".


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