Shillong Tawang Tour
Tour Code : PTP - 11
Tour Duration : 7 Nights / 8 Days Travel Season : All year round
Best Season : Mar - June, Oct - Dec Rainy Season : June - August
Day 01: Guwahati - Shillong (100 kms, 2 hrs drive)
Meet upon arrival at Guwahati Airport / Railway Station.
Guwahati, 'the city of Eastern light' stands on the southern bank of the mighty river Brahmaputra. It is the capital city of Assam and the gateway to the entire north-eastern states. Modern Guwahati is the hub city of Assam. It fulfills every aspect of a metropolitan city with its advanced means of transport, communication and media, as a major center of business activity, educational institutions, and various administrative and political activities of entire Assam. Besides, its landscape surrounded by hills and the mighty Brahmaputra River, rich and diverse flora and fauna enhances its natural scenic beauty.
If time permits, visit in Guwahati -
Kamakhya Temple, one of the greatest 'Shaktipeeth', the shakti shrine of Goddess Kamakhya is situated on the Nilachal Hills. It is the oldest center of Tantric Shaktism. A famous legend regarding the birth of the Kamakhya temple narrates that Lord Shiva, rage with anger at his wife Sati's death, wandered the entire earth carrying Sati's corpse. An organ of Sati fell here and eventually the place became a temple of worship in due course of time. The temple features various stone inscriptions, terracotta works, sculptures and idols of Ganesha and Chamundeswari which are worth mentioning. The famous 'Ambubachi Fair' is celebrated with great enthusiasm every year in mid-June in this temple and devotees from different parts of India throng into it for the special occasion.
Later, take transfer to Shillong.
Famously known as the 'Scotland of the East', Shillong the capital city of Meghalaya stands at an altitude of 4908 feet above sea level. The British were so moved by the magnificent beauty of this place that they set it as a Capital city of Eastern Bengal and Assam. Shillong enjoys a serene, pleasant atmosphere with its beautiful lakes, lush green mountains, pine forests and exotic orchids, cascading waterfalls which combine together to make it a finest hill station of north east.
En-route visit -
Barapani (Umiam Lake):
Set amidst the hills of Meghalaya, Barapani is distinctively the biggest artificial lake and the first hydro electric project in the north-east. Wrapped by the rich green valleys and pine trees with the fluffy clouds and blue sky above, the sparkling Umiam lake spreads over an area of 10 sq km. Local folklore narrates of a legend related to the existence of this river stream. As stated, two sisters from heaven planned to make their way to earth, but only one of them reached the destination. At the loss of her sister, the lonely one cried to her heart's lament that her tears created this beautiful lake. Of late, the lake has become a hub for water sports activities like kayaking, water cycling, scooting and boating. The Nehru Park, situated adjacent to the lake, offers a wide collection of orchids and butterflies.
Arrive at Shillong and check-in hotel. Later visit -
Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture:
Offering an exclusive display of the heritage and varied unique culture of entire North-East, Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture includes Research on Cultures, Publications, Training, Animation Programmes etc. An indispensable part of this centre, the seven floors Don Bosco Museum exhibits 14 unique galleries displaying a wide range of knowledge interaction on different cultures of North-East India. The Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture skywalk also provides a 360 degree exotic sight of the majestic beauty of Shillong city.
Cathedral of Mary Help of Christian:
The largest and the most beautiful cathedral in Meghalaya, the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christian is the central place of worship of the highest number of Catholics of Shillong. Designed in the pattern of European art and architecture, this religious institution beckons a large number of devotees and tourists to its serene and holistic site.
Shillong Golf Course:
The third oldest Golf course in India, the Shillong Golf Course is famously named as the 'Glen eagle of the East'. It attained its present structure of 18 holes course from 9 holes course in 1924 A.D. by Captain Jackson and C.K. Rhodes. The longest hole on the course, also acclaimed to be the longest in India is the 594 yards, the sixth. Set amidst fragrant pine and flowering rhododendron trees, this golf course offers scenic beauty and calm surroundings with enough space for evening walks and picnics.
This artificial horse-shoe shaped lake, locally known as nan-Polok is encompassed by lush green enchanting garden with varieties of colorful flowers, set amidst the heart of Shillong city. A stroll along the sand stone pathways of the garden, pleasant walks on the wooden arched bridge at the middle of the lake and boating in the lotus-filled lake serves as an exciting attraction of this tourist spot.
Encompassed by beautifully-laid paved pathways and pleasant atmosphere, the Botanical Garden located near the Ward's lake captures a varied collection of indigenous and exotic plants. In addition, it is a home to a number of rare and colourful species of birds.
Lewduh Market or Bara Bazar:
Lewduh market, popularly known as Bara Bazar in Shillong is one of the oldest and largest traditional markets and trade centres in entire North East India. The speciality of this hub of trade and commerce in Meghalaya lies where the shopkeepers are mostly women. The market remains open daily from 08:00 am till 05:00 pm and is managed by Syiem of Mylliem. Every year, certain rituals locally known as 'Khlieh Iew' is performed with great pomp and joy within the market premises as a part of which huge monoliths are erected. The religious ceremony includes invoking the blessings of 'U Blei Shyllong' and 'Ka Iew- Lei Hat-Lei Khyrdop' i.e; the Shillong God and the market deity for trade and commerce respectively for development of the economy of the Khasi people.
If time permits, visit -
This entomological museum is renowned for its unique and exclusive collection of butterflies and moths. It is highly acclaimed to be the only known museum in India of its kind under the private authority of M/S Wankhar, Riatsamthiah.
Evening: Free at leisure. Overnight: Stay in hotel.
Day 02: Shillong - Cherrapunji - Shillong (60 kms one way, 1 & 1/2 hrs drive)
In the early morning after breakfast, take a full day excursion to Cherrapunji. En-route stop - Mawkdok Valley View Point.
Meghalaya is credited to be the home place of the rain capital of the world, Cherrapunji. Commonly known as Sohra, a trip to this magnificent place enveloped in gushing waterfalls, beautiful valleys, running streams and rivers, unexplored caves creates an everlasting impression in the explorer's mind. The maximum rainfall months are from March to October with an average annual rainfall of about 12,000 mm a year. This place is designated to possess rich tropical vegetation with an eco-friendly atmosphere. A hub of the Khasi culture, it is also famous for orange groves and honey.
In Cherrapunji, visit -
Enchanting Nohkalikai Falls is renowned to be the tallest waterfall in India and fourth longest fall in the world with a height of about 1,100 feet. This charming waterfall flowing down to green colored pool holds a tragic legend after its name. As narrated, a local woman named Ka Likai had a daughter from her first husband. She remarries later, but her daughter faces the hatred and jealousy of her step father who strangles her to death and cooks her flesh (in her mother's absence) and offers it to her mother. The heinous act of the father is revealed soon after and in utter grief the woman flung herself off the cliff, thus giving its name 'Nohkalikai', meaning 'fall of Ka Likai' in Khasi language.
This famous tourist delight is the only fully lighted cave of Meghalaya. Structurally, the cave (with a length of 250 meter) is separated in two parts - old part is entirely lighted while the new part is yet to install such lighting facilities. The cave possesses attractive lime formation of large passages and chambers crafted over years by the slow dripping of water which allows proper space for the tourists to explore around.
A popular botanical delight housing some rare and exotic orchids along with unique species of plants, Thangkharang park set on rocky cliffs falls under the management and maintenance of the State Forest Department. This park exhibits a majestic view of the plains of Bangladesh on a clear day.
Seven Sister Falls:
Popularly known as the Seven Sister Falls, located at Mawsmai village, is claimed to be the fourth highest waterfall in India. The waterfall derives its name from the seven segmented streams which flow down from a height of 1,033 meters. The spectacular sight of the waterfall attracts the tourists only in the rainy season. The other two insignificant names of the Seven Sister Fall are Nohsngithiang Falls and Mawsmai Falls.
In the late afternoon return to Shillong. En-route visit -
The highest point in the state, the Shillong Peak showcases a breathtaking view of the city and the surrounding villages around the peak. Set at an altitude of about 6,433 feet, this famous tourist destination is an exciting picnic spot amid scenic and picturesque natural surroundings. The summit of the peak serves as a sacred spot for religious prayers offered to U. Shelling by the spiritual priests of Mylliem Statue during the spring season.
Locally called by the Khasi name as 'Ka Kshaid Lai Pateng Khohsiew' or Three Steps Waterfall, Elephant Fall flows through two successive falls set amidst fern covered rocks. The first rays of the sun falling on this cascading waterfall create an eye-catching view to nature lovers especially during the Monsoon season.
Evening: Free for shopping at Police Bazaar. Try any popular shopping centre like Meghalaya Handlooms & Handicrafts, Purbashree Emporium, Assam Emporium, Khadi Gram Udyog, Grand Bazar, Glory's Plaza, Dedar Market and OB Shopping Mall.
Overnight: stay at hotel.
Day 03: Shillong - Tezpur (251 kms, 6 hrs drive)
In the morning after breakfast, take transfer to Tezpur.
Tezpur, the 'city of love' is situated on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra River. The ancient name of Tezpur was Sonitpur, the kingdom of the mighty legendary king, Baan Raja. It was the capital city under his reign. Tezpur holds in its heart many ancient historical events, and witnessed many legends and mythological wars of ancient Assam. The occurrence of a famous war named 'Hari-Hara' is related with the attainment of the present day Tezpur. This battle led to the bloodshed of so many soldiers that the entire place was stained with blood and hence the city came to be known as Tezpur ('Tez' meaning blood and 'pur' meaning city in Assamese language). Present day Tezpur was founded by the British colonial administration in 1835 as the headquarters of Darrang district.
Arrive at Tezpur and check-in hotel. Later, visit -
Legend speaks of Agnigarh as a fortress built by Baan Raja in order to keep his daughter in isolation. The word 'Agnigarh' is a derivation of two Sanskrit words: 'Agni' meaning 'fire' and 'garh' meaning 'fort'. Situated on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River, it maintains its gracefulness with its lush green landscapes of the river. Nowadays, magnificent works of sculpture are depicted referring to the love story of Usha-Aniruddha and Great War 'Hari-Hara Juddha'.
Mahavoirab temple is the oldest Shiva shrine, where the second biggest Shiva linga of the world is worshipped. The temple was built by King Baan, the ruler of Sonitpur in 10th century. King Baan's daughter Princess Usha was a devotee of Lord Shiva and visited the temple for daily worship. Thousands of devotees gather during Shivaratri every year to offer prayers in this temple.
Evening: Free at leisure. Overnight: Stay in hotel.
Day 04: Tezpur - Dirang (202 kms, 6 & 1/2 hrs drive)
In the morning after breakfast, take transfer to Dirang. En-route visit -
Situated on the Assam-Arunachal border, Bhalukpong is widely acclaimed to be a popular tourist spot with the Kameng River flowing through it. It is a famous location for picnic lovers and adventurous tourists.
Tipi Orchid Sanctuary:
Also known as Tipi Orchidarium, this sanctuary is a home to a large collection of about 234 varieties of colorful orchids. Some rare and endangered species of orchids are displayed in the glass house. Some of these orchids have a quality of blooming for a longer duration. This sanctuary serves as an orchid research and development centre set up by the Department of Environment and Forest under Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh for the conservation and development of new variety of species.
Naag Temple is one among many Naag (Snake) temples in the region that worships snakes. One can get a majestic view of the Kameng River along with the lofty hills and picturesque valley from the temple atop.
Later, depart to Dirang.
A sub-divisional head quarter of West Kameng district, Dirang is situated at an altitude of 4910 feet above sea level. It is the habitat of the Tribal Mahayana Monpas. The mild and soothing weather of Dirang with a pleasant wind blowing across the valley endows Dirang as a perfect hill station. Moreover, it also serves as a site for adventure sports like trekking, nature walk, bird watching, sightseeing etc.
Arrive at Dirang. Check-in hotel.
Rest of the day: Free at leisure. Overnight: Stay in hotel.
Day 05: Dirang - Tawang (140 kms, 6 hrs drive)
In the early morning after breakfast, visit at Dirang -
Dirang Village (Basti):
Dirang village, locally known as Dirang Basti is a beautiful village inhabited by Monpa tribal people. The Monpas are the tribal inhabitants residing in Tawang and West Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The Monpas are the supporters of the lamaistic tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. The presence of beautifully decorated Buddhist Gompas in the village reflects their religious enthusiasm.
Dirang Dzong Fort is a representation of the culture of the Monpas. This fort, built in 1831 A.D. served as a centre of all the administrative activities of the Monpas during those times. The fort is set atop on a hill top consisting of a four storied stone building. A wooden gate designed in local architectural pattern adds to the splendid uniqueness of the fort.
Kalachakra Monastery is a 500 years old Buddhist Gompa. It belongs to the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Hot Water Spring:
Hot water spring is a famous picnic spot which beckons tourists as well as the local people. These hot springs are designated to possess some special healing properties, which makes it a main centre of attraction even to the locals. They mainly visit these springs for holy baths, as it is locally believed that a dip in these springs cleanses all sins and skin diseases.
Later depart to Tawang. En-route visit -
The resting abode of the valorous son of the soil, Jaswant Garh is the memorial place built in honor of Mahaveer Chakra awardee (posthumously), Jaswant Singh Rawat. It speaks of the indisputable spirit of this patriot who fought continuously for 72 hours (along with 2 other soldiers) killing 300 Chinese soldiers during 1962 Indo-China War.
The entrance to the Tawang Valley, this narrow pass stands at an altitude of 13,714 feet featuring a landscape of frozen lakes, enchanting tiny flowers of different shades, uneven roads and remains of landslides.
Arrive at Tawang. Check-in hotel.
Tawang, the majestic homeland of the Monpas, shares international borders with Tibet and Bhutan standing at an altitude of about 10,000 feet above sea-level. It showcases a scenic view of snow-capped mountain ranges, silent and typical tribal villages, uneven hills, enchanting streams and waterfalls and quiet lakes. Tawang is the abode of the Mahayana Buddhist sect replete with magnificent Buddhist monasteries. Moreover, it is also an adventure's delight as it offers ample scope for exciting trekking and mountaineering experiences.
Evening: Free at leisure. Overnight: Stay in hotel.
Day 06: Tawang
In the morning after breakfast, take a full day excursion of Tawang visiting -
Tawang is home place of the second largest monastery in the world. The Tawang Monastery is set amidst snow-capped mountains and beautiful valleys. It houses about 450 monks, their residential buildings, library, meeting hall, community kitchen and a three storied prayer hall called Dukhang. Established during 1680-1681 by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso after fulfilling the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso, Tawang monastery is renowned to be the prominent centre of the Gelugpa sect, the socio-religious hub of Tawang for the last 400 years and also a base for Buddhist cultural studies. This magnificent monastery is a visitor's attraction for its beautifully carved 8 meter high, gold plated Bronze idol of Lord Buddha. It treasures a large number of images, Thangkas, mural paintings, and sacred Buddhist ancient scriptures lettered in Gold.
Constructed at a height of 9000 feet above mean sea level, the cable car of Tawang ropeway carries tourists starting from Tawang monastery for a total length of 1.184 km within a specific travel time of 20 minutes. The ropeway remains operated for 5 days in a week excluding Tuesday and Saturday.
Tawang ropeway connects
Anis Gompa (The Nunneries):
The Nunneries are women monasteries, where the nuns adopt priesthood willingly without any compulsion. The oldest of Anis Gompa is Brahma-dung-chung Anis Gompa, commissioned by Lama Karchan Yeshi Gelek in 1595 A.D. Gyangong Ani Gompa, Singur Ani Gompa, Gorsen Chorten are some of the prominent woman monasteries.
The birthplace of His Holiness, the 6th Dalai Lama Urgelling Monastery was established by the Lama Urgen Sangpo. This monastery houses many ancient Buddhist relics along with the footprints and fingerprints of the Dalai Lama, kept for visitors to seek blessings.
Giant Buddha Statue:
Make a visit to the giant Buddha statue located near the Circuit House facing towards the Tawang city. The majestic statue is visible from all parts of the town. It is a serene place to relax and pray.
Tawang is rich in unique crafts and handloom products. Variety of craftsmanship is displayed in carpet weaving (woolen carpets), wood carving, handmade papermaking, Thangka painting showcasing a Buddhist influence and sandalwood making.
Make a visit to the local market at Tawang for shopping.
In the evening, visit -
Tawang War Memorial:
A 40 feet multi-colored war memorial built in honor of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives during 1962 Indo-China War. Locally called 'Namgyal Chorten', the memorial is constructed in a stupa design. It bears the names of 2420 warriors written in Gold on 32 black granite plaques.
Optional sightseeing -
Situated at an altitude of 16,500 feet. Bumla Pass displays the monuments of the brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation during 1962 Indo-China War. At present, the pass is a military border post for both Indian and Chinese army.
Tawang is acclaimed as a nature's delight for its shinning silver lakes, the most popular one being the Sangetsar Lake, surrounded by trees. Also known as Madhuri Lake, the lake was formed during the disastrous earthquake that occurred in 1950 A.D and featured in Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri Dixit starrer Bollywood Hindi thriller movie 'Koyla'.
P T Tso Lake:
The magnificent Pangkang Teng Tso Lake looks like a painter's masterpiece. The shimmering silver lake appears like a blue lapis 'Lzuli' on a bright, clear day encompassed by flowers of different hue during October. The winter months cover the lake with snow changing its colour to stark white.
Overnight: Stay in hotel.
Day 07: Tawang - Bomdila (180 kms, 6 hrs drive)
In the morning after breakfast, take transfer to Bomdila. En-route visit -
Lhou village is an ancient Monpa village. The origin of the village dates back to 16th century or earlier. Buddhist legend speaks of the Monpa tribe as migrants of the plains to Tawang while the Monpa tradition narrates them to be the migrants from Sikkim and Phari. The base of their economy is agriculture, mainly terrace cultivation. Breeding of Yak and mountain sheep is also practiced by some people.
The rock paintings located near Jung includes rock carvings of Lord Buddha Shakyamuni, Avalokesteshuara and Guru Padmasambhava. This spot dedicated in the name of world peace and well being of all people by the former Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Late Dorjee Khandu, reflects his selfless love for his subjects and ardent devotion to Buddhism.
Have a brief look at the spectacular natural beauty of Nuranang waterfall, locally known as Phong Phongma waterfall.
Later depart to Bomdila.
Snow-covered mountains, marvelous countryside, lush green forests, Apple orchards and Buddhist Gompas endows Bomdila, located at an altitude of about 8,000 feet above sea level. It is the land of the Monpa, the Sherdukpen, the Aka, the Miji and the Khawa tribes. It is a perfect place for trekking and hiking trails and a centre of local crafts and handloom products. Bomdila offers a magnificent view of Kangto and Gorichen peaks (the highest peaks in Arunachal Pradesh) amidst the Himalayan landscape and snow-capped ranges.
Arrive at Bomdila, check-in hotel. Later visit -
Bomdila Monastery is designated to be the proud possessor of the largest and newest monastery called 'The Gelugpa Gompa'. A reflection of Buddhist and Tibetan heritage and culture, the monastery was established during 1965-66, by the 12th reincarnate of Tsona Gontse Rimpoche. The monastery stands as a comparison to Tsona Gontse Monastery at Tsona in South Tibet started during 15th Century. Present renovation added to this Gompa is the main prayer hall, which was dedicated to the service of God by his Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama on 13th October, 1997 AD.
Make a visit to the Craft Center where very fine wooden carpets of colorful designs and Masks are produced.
Rest of the day: Free at leisure. Overnight: Stay in hotel.
Day 08: Bomdila - Guwahati depart (326 kms, 8 & 1/2 hrs drive)
In the early morning after breakfast, take transfer to Guwahati Airport / Railway Station for your onward destination.
Tour terminates here
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