April  2003




APRIL 2003 



 Bhabesh Sanyal
 A 101 year journey

 Anjolie Ela Menon's
 Glass Art



 Rahul Sharma

 Tawang Monastery


 Pakistan's IT Markets 
 & Telecom 
 - A Special Report


 Shashi Kapoor


 Letter from Pakistan


 Celebrity Offsprings
 on their own tracks

 Meet the 3 Finalists of
 Miss India contest
 Nikita Anand

 Ami Vashi

 Shweta Vijay


 Serialisation of  'Knock at every alien 
 door' - Joseph Harris



 the craft shop

 Lehngas - a limited collection

 the print gallery


 Silk Road on Wheels

 The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

 Parsis-Zoroastrians of

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in










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tawang-1.jpg (34505 bytes)
Tawang Monastery   


Brooding in solitary splendour, with a grand view of the snowy Himalayas, is the Tawang Monastery in the scenic Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The hill town of Tawang is well connected to Tibet in the north by Bum La and Tulung La passes.

tawang-6.jpg (61685 bytes)The journey is tough, steep and peppered with hairpin bends but the scenery is alpine and the Himalayan ranges are lush with pine, oak and rhododendron forests. There is also an abundant growth of bamboo, which is the favourite food of the red panda found in these parts of northeast India. Located 3400 metres [approx. 10,000 feet] above sea level, Tawang is the second oldest monastery in Asia which explains the rush of tourists to this remote settlement. The magnificent monastery overlooks a valley and is surrounded by mountains that seem to be towering around it like guards. The monastery’s enormous yellow roof and white walls stand out like a beacon. The place seems completely isolated from the world.

The monastery has elaborately painted wooden windows and other motifs. Prayer flagstawang-2.jpg (37490 bytes) flutter in the breeze. The three-storeyed Dukhang [assembly hall] has a magnificent 8-metre [26-feet] high gilded image of Buddha that attracts scholars and pilgrims.The ancient library, leading onto the Parkhang [main courtyard], has an excellent collection of old scriptures, images and thankas [traditional paintings and manuscripts] depicting the Buddha and tutelary deities in different poses. The monastery or Gompa is over 350 years old and is an important pilgrimage for Buddhists.

tawang-3.jpg (45465 bytes)Founded in 1645 by Mera Lama, a contemporary of the fifth Dalai Lama, this Gelugpa [Yellow Hat] establishment is home to a community of 500 lamas who live in its 65 residential buildings and do their daily rituals of chanting, praying, meditating and advancing Buddhist thought. The sixth Dalai Lama was born here. Also known as the Galden Namgyal Lhatse the monastery is a repository of Tibetan Buddhist culture.

Our guide, Namgayal tells us that this divine site was chosen by the celestial white horse. According to Buddhist legend, Mera Lama saw the site of the Tawang monastery in a dream. He dreamt that a white horse pawed the ground, which, upon awakening, he earmarked as the site of the monastery. It took 40 years to complete the structure.

Tawang is located in a remote part of India amongst the lofty Himalayan ranges. It doestawang-4.jpg (28411 bytes) not have an airport or railway station of its own. It is connected by road with other towns in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. Getting to Tawang from Kolkata means braving a long but rewarding journey. The drive through the picturesque mountain country is spectacular and can leave you breathless, as you wind around steep hill-roads and manoeuvre sharp hairpin bends. In parts, the road can be rather treacherous and this is not a drive for the faint-hearted!


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