NE/16: 15 days Trek The Monpa Village trail to Chang la, 3650 m

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TOUR DETAILS

Includes sightseeing at Tawang, Dirang, and Bomdila

Drive from Guwahati in the Assam Valley, to the picture post card Dirang Valley, in Arunachal Pradesh, crossing over the 2800 m high Bomdila pass. The journey takes two days with an overnight transit halt at Tezpur.

Starting your trek on Day 03, you will trek for 4 days along a trail linking three Monpa Villages to reach the Chang la Pass, 3650 m on the ancient Bailey trail to Tibet. On the return trek of 3 days, you will visit two more Monpa villages, to terminate your trek at the ancient Monpa Village of Thembang, 2137 m.

This is a chance to Interact with people in the quaint Monpa villages, visit high Himalayan pastures, marvel at the fascinating mix of terrain and forests – mixed sub tropical forests, coniferous forests of Pine, fir, Oak, and Chesnut, Juniper, Rhododendrons, and the exotic flora on the Bailey trail. There are breathtaking views of the Gori Chen, 6500 meters and Kangdo, 7090 meters.( weather permitting).

After the trek travel along a mind boggling road to the 3048 meters high Tawang valley, crossing over the 4150 m high Se la pass. Visit Himalayan uplands, Alpine lakes and, Ani gompas (Buddhist nunneries). The highlight of the trip is a visit to the 150 years old Tawang Monastery – the fountain-head of the spiritual life of the Gelupa Sect of the Mahayana School of Budhism. The Monastery retains priceless tankhas and the Ka-gyur (scriptures) written out in gold and silver , as also a 26 feet high gilded statue of Lord Buddha. On the return journey, explore Bomdila with its several Buddhist monasteries.

      

The Monpas are Buddhist by religion and the Tawang Monastery is the fountainhead of their spiritual life. They are courteous, friendly, gentle and industrious.

The traditional dress of the male members consists of a short woolen trouser called Kangnom or a full-length woolen trouser called Dhorna. The upper garments consists of an shirt of Tibetan style over which a full sleeved woolen jacket of red colour with opening in the front called Chuba is worn with red colored sash wound round the waist.

The ladies dress consists of an upper garment comprising a lavishly embroidered shirt with opening in the front called Kyanchen Thoe-thung, over which is worn a red colored gown with white stripes covering the body right from the shoulders to the knee level called Shingka and is girdled at the waist by a sash. A flat rectangular piece of woolen cloth is worn at the rear of the waist. Monpa women love jewellery.

Monpa headdress for both males and females is the characterestic Yak hair cap with five drain pipes to drain off the rain water.

Agriculture and animal husbandry is their main occupation of the Monpas. The main crops are Rice, Millet, Potatoes, buck wheat, and pulses. Horticulture is being developed and Apple, walnut, almonds and oranges are grown taking advantage of altitudinal variations.

Monpas live in cozy double-storied houses, constructed of stone with plank floors, often with carved doors and window frames. Artistic by nature the Monpas weave cotton and woolen cloth and carpets, and are adept at wood carving, and bamboo handicraft. They have earned a niche for themselves as skilled painters of Buddhist monastic art –such as “thankas” and hand-made paper.

The Monpas specialize in the manufacture of incense, out of Juniper stems, barks of other trees and herbs. The incense is generally used for Puja prayer offering and purification, but it is also used as air freshener in homes and mosquito repellent.

Although polygamous and polyandrous marriages are in vogue, but Monogamy is practiced by the majority. Marriage by negotiation is the general practice. Divorce is admissible. Widow has the right to re-marry.

 

ITENERIES

Day 01: Guwahati to Tezpur

Arrive Guwahati. Drive Guwahati to Tezpur 195 kms in 4.30 hrs. Overnight in hotel.

Day 02: Tezpur – Bomdila, 2800 m – Dirang , 1600 m

Drive to Dirang, 211 Kms in 06 hrs, crossing over the 2800 m high Bomdila pass to the picture postcard Dirang Valley at an elevation of 1600 m. Enroute visit the Tippi Orchid research centre. Overnight at hotel.

Day 03: Drive Dirang- Sangti, 1650 m – Trek to Namshu, 2152m

Drive 10 kms to our trek starting point in the Sangti Valley.

TREK STARTS : Trek for 12km in 5-6 hrs uphill through through forest to Namshu Village. Visit ancient Gompa. Overnight homestay or in camp.

Day 04: Trek Namshu to Chander, 2788 m

A steep 9 Kms/ 5-6 hrs uphill trek to the village of Chander – The village is a good view point.

On a clear day you can see the entire Sela Range and even Gori Chen, 6500 meters and Kangdo, 7090 Meters. Overnight at homestay or in camp.

Day 05: Trek Chander, 2788 m to Tungri, 3100 m

Sunrise view of sela Range, Gori chen, and Kangdo. After breakfast, trek Steadily uphill along a good track, through forests for 04 -05 hours to Camp at a yak pasture. Overnight in camp.

Day 06: Trek Tungri, 3100 m to Chang la, 3650 m

   

A hard trek along the bailey trail. 06 hours through coniferous forests with two steep climbs along a ridge to Camp near Chang la pass , 3650 m. Superb views of the Sela range, surrounding valleys and the Himalayan watershed.

Day 07: Trek Changla, 3650 m back to Tungri, 3100

Trek back to Tungri , Overnight in camp.

Day 08: Trek Tungri to Lagam, 2720 m

    

Trek down hill for 12 kms in 05 hrs, through forests. Overnight in camp at the village of Lagam.

Day 09: Trek Lagam, 2720 to Thembang, 2137 m

Trek along a trail with some ups and downs through forests , passing through Semnak Village, 2260 m. Continue to the Village of Thembang. – one of the oldest Monpa village and home to the erstwhile Monpa rulers. Overnight at village homestay.

Day 10: Drive Thembang to Tawang, 3048 m

Drive down to the Dirang Valley in 02 hrs. Thererafter take the main highway to Tawang 165 Kms in 5.30 hrs. The road climbs up from 1600 m to 4175 m through aeries of hair pin bends to cross over the Sela pass.

Descend to the Tawang Chhu Valley at Jang. Steep descent through the rugged and narrow Nuranang Valley. Therafter we drive through picture post card country side, climbing up through a series of hair pins to Tawang, 3048 m. Overnight at hotel.

Day 11: Tawang sightseeing

Explore the 350 years old Tawang Monastery.

The famous Galden Namgyal Lhatse, popularly known as Tawang Monastery was founded in the year 1860-81. This monastery is the fountain-head of the spiritual life of the Gelupa Sect of the Mahayana School of Budhism, The inner walls of the Dukhang – the assembly hall are painted with murals of various divinities and saints.

The silver casket wrapped in silk containing the Thankas of Goddess Sri Devi (Palden Lhamo) the principal deity of the monastery, is kept here. It was given to Merak Lama by the Vth Dalai Lama. The Thankas were painted with blood drawn from the nose of the Fifth Dalai Lama. A colossal richly – gilded statue of Lord Buddha occupies the middle of the northern side. It is the largest image of the monastery and is about 26 feet high.

In the afternoon visit the Urgelling Monastery dating back to 1489.

The Urgelling Monastery – the birth place of the Sixth Dalai Lama. Who was deposed in 1706. In 1714 the destruction of all Gelupa Gompas was carried out by Sokpa Jomkhar, a Mongolian warrior who invaded from Bhutan. During this campaign, the Dalai Lama’s original monastery at Urgelling was destroyed. All valued possession of Urgelling monastery were taken to Tawang Monastery.

It was during this time that the Ka-gyur (scriptures) written out in gold and silver arrived at the Tawang monastery, where they are preserved to this day. Today a modest Gompa stands at this site.

Latter visit the Seru Monpa village, and the craft center. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 12: Day Excursion to Himalayan uplands, Alpine Lakes and budhist monasteries

    

Drive up the “spiral staircase” road leading to the Tibet frontier, to Peng Teng Tso ( PTSO) Lake at an altitude of 4100 meters. Continue to Shungetser Lake and Taksang Gompa . Amazing scenery of Himalayan uplands. On return journey visit a Buddhist nunnery – the Gyangong Ani Gompa close to Tawang town. Overnight at your hotel.

Note: This trip to PTSO lake may be modified or curtailed depending upon local restriction imposed, due to security concerns relating to the Indo- Tibet border. In such a case alternative will be offered.

Day 13: Tawang- Sela—Dirang- Bomdila

Drive back 165 Kms in 5.30 hrs over the Se-la pass to Dirang. On the way stop over at Jang to explore another village and visit the Indo-China War memorial. Continue from Dirang to Bomdila, another 45 kms in 1.30 hrs. Upon arrival visit the Rabgyaling Gontse Gompa, Upper Gompa , and the Thupchob Gatseling Gompa. Overnight at hotel.

Day 14: Bomdila- Tezpur

Drive back to Tezpur 166 Kms in 05.30 hrs. Overnight transit halt at hotel.

Day 15: Tezpur- Guwahati

Drive 195 kms to Guwahati airport in 04 hrs to board your departure flight to Kolkata or Delhi.

Extention

02 nights extension available to visit Kaziranga National Park.

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