the-south-asian.com                                     April  2003

 

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APRIL 2003 
Contents

 

 Art

 Bhabesh Sanyal
 A 101 year journey

 Anjolie Ela Menon's
 Glass Art

 

 Music

 Rahul Sharma
 
 
 
 Heritage

 Tawang Monastery
 

 Technology

 Pakistan's IT Markets 
 & Telecom 
 Technologies
 - A Special Report

 

 People
 
 Shashi Kapoor

 
 Neighbours

 Letter from Pakistan


 Lifestyle

 Celebrity Offsprings
 on their own tracks

 Meet the 3 Finalists of
 Miss India contest
 Nikita Anand

 Ami Vashi

 Shweta Vijay

 
 Books

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

 

 

 the craft shop

 Lehngas - a limited collection

 the print gallery

 Books

 Silk Road on Wheels

 The Road to Freedom

 
Enduring Spirit

 Parsis-Zoroastrians of
India

 
The Moonlight Garden

 
Contemporary Art in
 Bangladesh
 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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TAWANG MONASTERY

PRAYER FLAGS IN THE CLOUDS

(cntd.)

tawang-1.jpg (34505 bytes)
Tawang Monastery   

 

The actual journey to Tawang starts from Guwahati - the capital of Assam. Here one can avail a bus or a taxi to Bomdila. Past the Dirang Valley with its old dzong [fort], the road climbs sharply to the Sela Pass. At 4,249 metres [13,940] feet], this is the second highest motorable pass in the world - the highest being in Ladakh. This barren, desolate landscape is softened by a serene lake that lies below the Sela Pass.

There are beautiful lakes around Tawang, the most picturesque being Pankang Teng Tso lake. It is a beautiful natural site providing the tourists a chance to commune with nature. Other eye-catching lakes are Sangetser and Bangachang.

The area around Tawang became a cause of disagreement between India and China. The monastery was badly damaged by the Chinese invasion of 1962, with priceless murals and Tankhas being destroyed.

Namgayal shows us a memorial to a valiant Indian soldier who held up the advancing Chinese army during the India-China war of 1962. The road near the memorial descends to a beautiful, wide valley. The monastery, dramatically located on a spur surrounded by snowcapped peaks, dominates the valley.

When the Dalai Lama fled Tibet in 1959, his route into India was through Tawang, and he still visits the area regularly to hold special prayers.

The Bramdungchung Nunnery, associated with Tawang Monastery, is located 12 km northwest of Tawang. The road to the monastery, which can be reached by jeep, reveals a stunning landscape of snowpeaks and monasteries with their fluttering prayer flags. A long prayer wall marks the approach to the nunnery, guarded, as are most monasteries in this region, by fierce Tibetan mastiffs.

tawang-5.jpg (26560 bytes)Tawang has one main street and a warren of alleys to the houses that climb up the hillside towards the towering monastery. It also has one quaint little bazaar that sells products ranging from talismans and prayer wheels to garish sunglasses and transistor radios. The snack stalls are aplenty offering solja the yak butter tea, thupka and hot mo-mos, the delicious steamed meat dumplings with chilli sauce.

Medicinal herbs grow in abundance in and around Tawang. The locals believe that many of these have amazing magical qualities. Though a tourist may or may not be able to authenticate that, but there is magic all around in this ancient region. Standing atop the Tawang Monastery the landscape can truly take the breath away - strategically placed between China, Tibet and Myanmar but very Indian!

*****

 

TOURIST GUIDE

VISITING TIME
The best time to visit Tawang is between the months of March and October

SHOPPING
The town of Tawang is known for its crafts. The Handicraft Center at the lower end of the town is known for its exquisite woolen carpets depicting Buddhist themes and motifs.

HOW TO REACH
Tawang is located in a remote part of India amongst the lofty Himalayan ranges. It does not have an airport or railway station of its own. It is connected by road with other towns in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam via Guwahati and Bomdila.

ACCOMODATION

Accommodation in the middle to low budget range is aplenty. Tariffs start at Rs200 to Rs500. There is a modest Government Tourist Lodge and a Circuit House as well. Tourists can relish traditional Tibetan food in Tawang.

ENTRY FORMALITIES
Any Indian tourist coming to Tawang has to obtain an Inner Line Permit. The permit is granted as a routine. The permit can be obtained from the following addresses:

1] Arunachal Bhawan, Kautilya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
2] Arunachal Bhawan, CE-109, Sector-1, Salt Lake City, Kolkata.
3] Arunachal Bhawan, Shillong, Meghalaya.
4] Arunachal Bhawan,R.G. Baruah Road, Guwahati.
5] Arunachal Bhawan,, Parvati Nagar, Tezpur, Assam.
As foreign tourist intending to visit Arunachal Pradesh require restricted area permit. The application giving the details - Name, Passport Number, its Issuing Authority and the Expiry Date, Place Of Birth, Profession, Proposed Duration of Stay and the Purpose of Visit should be made to the Home Commissioner Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar or Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, New Delhi-11000

*****

 

 

 

 

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