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.