Friday, February 24, 2017

Reaching Tawang

13th Feb. the sound of a stream woke us and we were out of bed, all ready for the morning 0600 hours, temp not too cold, still 9 degrees.

Tenga river side

We did a short walk, the army questioning us why were we there early morning roaming the streets,  “these tourists “I am sure was what the solders were thinking, as walked around and appreciated the freedom we have

freedom yes this is the famed place where the Chinese did visit once, they had come with guns drawn in 1962, and retreated having taught India a lesson, to this day they do claim This portion of Arunachal is  south Tibet, then it is more a after effect of India letting Dalai lama came to India via this route

We started the day at 0915 hours Odometer : 31952
  A walk able bridge in the vicinity as one heads out of Tenga towards Tawang

bridge on river

We were to do 205 Km on this day the previous day we had covered 255 km, we were feeling good about our progress so far.

1135 hours we were crossing Dirang, known for Hot water spring, which were not gonna use today :)

We stopped at Sapphire transit camp for a round of tea and to admire the works of the army posted in the hills, and beauty of nature all around us.

An Army Camp along the way

We made our way to Chug Bridge named after the uncle of my buddy who was in an emotional state to be visiting the bridge named after a family member, it is a big deal and again let the dead depart ,,, While we loafed around and left her to herself while we photographed each other.

At Chug Bridge, Jaya + Deepti 

Ritu Connecting with her ancestor

The roads so follow the streams and the setting is ideal for romance or meditation or time best spend by oneself, though the cost of modernization electric lines pretty much ruin all aesthetics of nature, can we humans not do anything keeping beauty of nature in mind,

power lines AGHHH

 Finally an image without electric lines

And more roads we still were on good roads and it was a relief have heard so much about bad roads of Arunachal, was waiting for the bad bad roads to show up, as we drove on the good roads hilly roads are a pleasure, and my bike was so needed.

Many an interesting signs and gates were on the way as we drove towards SELA pass which would be the highest point on this day at 13700 feet approx

Transit Camp 

We crossed settlements on stilts, one could only imagine how these people manage in the cold here we are all trussed up in our car, outside temp 5 degrees, and elevation 5000 feet approx. Every women was prettier then the previous one, caring themselves so erect and feminine at the same time

An Arunachal Village

As we headed on rather as we josted along on the roads of Arunachal, The roads were slowly changing to unpaved roads 

Changing Roads 

The last 5 years Entire Northeast has had a budget of RS 3 thousand crores for Roads, while kashmir every year gets 13 thousand crores for roads is what I gathered.
Approching Sela pass

at 1514 hours we are at Sela pass, 32076 km is Odometer,  its is soooo cold, As we approached Sela Pass there was snow it was beginning to snow we were excited to be feeling the snow on us, the soft woolly feel of snow, is a feeling that one needs to experience on oneself

Almost there

Sela gate at the Pass

At Sela pass
and finally there at Sela pass,  14h Feb, Valentines day , belonged to the lovely couple of Amit and Deepti,

The cafe at Sela to keep oneself warm

We took out time there a good 30 minutes to soak in the site, as we prepared to start out for next phase 

The roads we travelled on 
Sela lake

Sela pass besides being the highest motor able road, is also the life line of Arunachal with India, The lakes are of importance to the Buddhist community I am told as Dalai Lama had come via this route.

We crossed many a froezen waterfall and icy roads 

that had been cleared and were now more mush and dust as we neared jaswantgarh.
1640 hours , KM - 32095 we stopped at Jaswanthgarh for 27 minutes 

Jaswant Singh Rawat ( 19 August 1941 - 17 November 1962) was an Indian rifleman soldier of 
4 Garhwal Rifles, Uttarakhand who won the Maha Vir Chakra posthumously at the Battle of Nuranang
 in the present day Arunachal Pradesh during the 1962 India-China war. 
He was born on 19 August 1941 to Shri Guman Singh Rawat, at village Baryun, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand.
The exemplary bravery shown by Jaswant Rawat was honored by building a memorial at the post where
 he fought the Chinese army. The post which he held against the Chinese Army was named as Jaswant Garh. Another honor bestowed upon him is that he continues in the service even after death, he has been awarded promotions as if he is still serving the Nation
Local people around Tawang area believe that he has become a saint and his spirit protects the area.
The Indian army keeps at least half-a-dozen personnel here to take care of Rawat as if he were alive. 
He is served bed tea at 4.30am, breakfast at 9 am, and dinner at 7pm.
( according to Wikepedia)

Finally Tawang at 1849 hours , well past sundown.