Tawang Photo Tour — Date 29.04.2017 to 06.05.2017

About Tawang

Tawang is a town situated at an elevation of approximately 3,048 metres (10,000 ft) in the northwestern part of Arunachal Pradesh in India. Tawang is a place with stunning natural beauty. The greenery, mountains, monasteries, prayer flags, and people make Tawang an extremely picturesque location. Situated 10000 feet high above Sea Level and surrounded by lakes, Tawang’s beauty reaches out to your eyes and moves towards your soul. The location of the land in itself is fascinating with Tibet to its northern side, Sela range of West Kameng to the east and Bhutan in the southwest direction. Breathtaking valleys, misty rivers and stunning waterfalls in this scenic district give you the ultimate experience. The inhabitants of Tawang, called Monpas, are found at lower altitude, where they enjoy cool temperate climate.

 

The bewildering beauty of these vast mountains, plateaus and the famous Sela pass at 13700 ft, photo enthusiasts keep coming back to satiate their thirst for the perfect shot. A trip to Tawang is like no other—it is said that Tawang changes the way people view travel. It is also a spiritual journey more than just another place to tick off your bucket list. With monasteries, passes and a humbling experience of interacting with locals. Far off the maddening crowd, Tawang is going to be a trip to remember.

 

Reaching There (Guwahati)

 

By Air: Guwahati has the nearest airport and also known as the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport located 20 km from the center of the city. Domestic flights to Guwahati are available from all major cities of the country.

By Train: Trains to Guwahati is available from almost all major railway stations in the country as Guwahati Junction is the main railway station in the city. Other railway stations in Guwahati are Kamakhya Junction, New Guwahati Junction and Azara Railway Station.

By Road: Travelling to Guwahati by road is interesting and fun when traveling with family or friends. One of the benefits of cruising to Guwahati by car is that it grants one the freedom to stop anytime and anywhere along the route. NH 31 and NH 37 are the highway roads that connect Guwahati with the major roadway network.

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Tawang: The Unexplored Heaven on Earth


 

DAY 01: ARRIVAL AT GUWAHATI (NO TRANSPORT SERVICE on 28/04/2017)

Arrive Guwahati. Check in hotel before dinner. Post dinner we will have a session on the overview of what all we will be doing the next day onwards, throughout the entire journey,where all we will go and what all you can do in terms of Photography. Overnight in Guwahati.

 

DAY 02: GUWAHATI – DIRANG (29/04/2017) (Journey starts at 6:30 AM)

After breakfast, drive to Dirang (380 Kms / 9-10 hrs). We will be crossing Tezpur, in 2-2.5 hours,last town of Assam. As we start moving from here towards Bhalukpong (small Arunachal Bordertown) we will witness the mountains from far and that will give you an idea of where we will be for the next few days. Bhalukpong is where we will have to show our inner line permits, which is required to enter Arunachal Pradesh. From here the journey takes an interesting trail of mountains and winding roads, valleys with river on one side. As we will start going uphill, we will find several waterfalls and we will also experience beautiful sunset over the mountains. We will have very limited time to stop during this day travel as we need to reach Dirang by 8 pm. It will be a long day in the cab but the views will keep us busy looking for more. There will be photographic views everywhere but our schedule is tight for today so we will have to choose wisely. Reach Dirang and check in hotel by 8:00 PM. Overview session post dinner, if the time permits. Overnight at Dirang.

 

DAY 03: DIRANG – TAWANG (30/04/2017) (Journey starts at 6:30 AM)

Post breakfast start the drive towards Tawang, 155 kms. Our enchanting journey to Tawang continues over the 13,700 ft or 4150 meters high Se-la Pass, which was once the battle ground between the Indian and Chinese army. This is a journey which everyone will remember for the rest of their lives. We will be traveling through the highest peaks of this region. We will be stopping for our photography adventure at Se-la pass starting at the Se-la lake. After this, we will head towards the other side of it, which has been very less photographed. I believe, as a photographer we need to show the world what they have never seen before. From landscape to long exposure, we can try many things here. If lucky, we can experience snow fall as well. We can spend maximum of 1 hour at both the vantage points as we need to reach Tawang by 8:00 PM. Check in at hotel by 8:00 PM followed by dinner. Discussion over selection of photographs and editing inputs post dinner. Overnight at the hotel.

 

DAY 04: TAWANG (01/05/2017) (Start at 7:00 AM)

Post breakfast we will head to Tawang Monastery, which is the largest monastery in India and second largest in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. It is situated in the valley of the Tawang River, near the small town of the same name in the northwestern part of Arunachal Pradesh, in close proximity to the Tibetan and Bhutanese border. Here are 5 facts about the Tawang Monastery you should know-

#1 Tawang Monastery is known in Tibetan as Galden Namgey Lhatse, which translates to “celestial paradise in a clear night.” It was founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso in 1680-1681 in accordance with the wishes of the Fifth Dalai Lama, Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso.

#2 ‘Ta’ means “horse”, ‘wang’ means “chosen”, which together forms the word ‘Tawang’,meaning “the location selected by horse”. Further, ‘Galdan’ means “paradise”, ‘Namgye’ means “celestial” and ‘Lhatse’ means “divine”. Thus, the full meaning of the ‘Tawang Galdan Namgye Lhatse’ is the “site chosen by the horse is the celestial divine paradise”

#3 The monastery is situated near the top of a mountain, at an elevation of about 10,000 feet (3,000 m), with a commanding view of the Tawang River valley, which comprises snow-capped mountains (during winters) and coniferous forest.

#4 The monastery, built like a large mansion, is triple storied with a large assembly hall, ten other functional structures and with 65 residential quarters for students, Lamas and monks. The monastery has a school and its own water supply facility, and a centre for Buddhist cultural studies.

#5 The monastery has a printing press for printing religious books using paper made locally. Wooden blocks are used for printing. The books are used usually by the literate Monpa Lamas who refer to it for conducting religious rituals. In the afternoon we visit the Urgelling Monastery dating back to 1489 followed by the Seru Monpa village (If the time permits). The Urgelling Monastery is the birth place of the Sixth Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama 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 like scriptures, statues and other objects 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. Photography Inputs​: Whole day we will be witnessing entirely new and uplifting views of an era which is still standing tall and inspiring the world. The energy will be very vibrant which will push you to try new techniques and learn new lessons for life. Try and soak in as much as possible which will help you to make perfect photographs. Don’t rush, be humble and wait for the right moment before you click your shutter. The light in the mountains change every minute so look for the right place, set the right frame and wait for the magic to happen, that’s the key to landscape photography. But, if you’re trying to shoot people then try to know them first or at-least look them in the eye and wave with your camera, smile and believe me, you’ll get more than you ask for. Technical aspects will be taught on spot to get the best from your existing gear.

Return to hotel at Tawang, have dinner and we will discuss what all we did today and learn new techniques for tomorrow, overnight at hotel.

 

DAY 05: TAWANG (02/05/2017) (Start at 7:00 AM)

Full day trip to Madhuri lake, PTSo Lake (Penga Teng Tso Lake) & Bumla pass – (subject to permission granted by DC office, Tawang). We will be travelling through breathtaking landscape to reach some of the gorgeous lakes of this region and to see Bumla pass (Indo – Chinese border) a place hidden among majestic hills and mountains. A very thrilling experience for everyone but at the same time a chill out day visiting some of the most scenic lakes of this region.

Photography inputs: ​We will need wide angle lens, 18mm is good enough for crop sensors but the wider the better. I will teach you the very dynamics to make the best out of these gorgeous landscape. Nature has all kinds of compositions, what we see is a state of mind. So, be open minded and try whatever you know and I will teach you what you don’t. If you have Grad ND filters, great, if not, I’ll show you how it helps. We will shoot till the lights fade away then head back to base, our hotel in Tawang. Post dinner, again selection and editing of today’s photographs. Overnight at Tawang.

 

Day 06: Tawang – Zemithang (Camping overnight) – Tawang (03/05/2017) (Start at 7:00AM)

Drive to Zemithang (88km, 3hrs) and visit Pangchenpa tribe and see the second largest Stupa in Asia. Tucked away in a valley, looking to the world with its misty eyes there stands a stupa which is one among the three in entire world. We are sure to make poetry with our cameras. Show the world what they are missing, show them through your photographs. We have camping plans here for the overnight but it solely depends on the weather. We want to elevate your experiences by making you stay in camps so that we do a lot of night photography here as the star gazing experience here is best in the country. All the arrangements here will be very basic as you will experience true nature, peaceful, calm, giving yet unpredictable. Later in the morning we will drive back to Tawang.

 

DAY 07: TAWANG (04/05/2017) (Here the timings will depend on the return time, post camping)

Brama Dung Chung Ani Gompa (Nunnery) Brama Dung Chung Ani Gompa (nunnery) is the oldest Ani Gompa (Nunnery) in Tawang District of Arunachal Pradesh. This nunnery is located in the lap of a far off mountain surrounded by natural beauties. It is located at a distance of 9 km from the main township of Tawang. The nunnery was established by a Lama named Karchen Yeshi Gelek from Tsang province of Tibet in the year 1595 AD. At present there are 45 ‘Anis’ or nuns in this monastery. Being very poor, the inhabitants of Brahmadungchung Ani Gonpa depend on begging for sustaining themselves. This place is absolutely zen, I think if you do justice with your photography here then you can send these images to Nat Geo straight. This is a hidden gem. It has almost no connection from the outer world. This is much older than Tawang monastery itself. Yes, this place demands full dedication as the nuns who live here. From here we will come to Buddha park where the majestic Buddha statue is overlooking the entire town with his blessing. Overnight at Tawang.

 

DAY 08: TAWANG – DIRANG (05/05/2017) (Start at 6:00 AM)

After breakfast, we will start for Dirang which is 155 Kms. But as soon as we leave Tawang we will go to Jang to shoot the Gorgeous Jang waterfall. We will spend one hour here to try different compositions and techniques like long exposure. Post this we will leave for our journey back again crossing the beautiful Sela pass at 4150 mtrs or 13700 ft. We will stop here again but for a very quick break to shoot what we couldn’t while going then move towards Dirang. Check in hotel at Dirang. Overnight at Dirang.

 

DAY 09: DIRANG- GUWAHATI (06/05/2017) (Start at 6:00 AM)

After breakfast drive towards Guwahati which is 380 Kms from Dirang and should take around 9-10 hrs. While travelling through this journey we will again experience an amazing sunset and beautiful stars. Yes, we will take short breaks to shoot these. But we need to reach Guwahati by 10:00 PM latest for dinner. Check in hotel. Post dinner we will conclude our journey but I’m sure most of us will not be able to sleep with the feeling of going back to our monotonous world. But we leave only to come back.

Note: Please do not book any flights for this day/night as it is not advisable.

 

DAY 10: DEPARTURE (See you soon guys)

After breakfast drop at Guwahati airport. TOUR ENDS HERE.

Things required to be carried along the trip:

1. Camera gears (bring as much as you can) + tripod (important) + Lens + Filters

2. Extra Battery. (If you have 2 camera bodies then 4 Battery)

3. An all terrain shoe, but make sure it is comfortable.

4. Heavy and warm clothes with jacket, ear protectors and gloves + summer clothes.

5. Water bottle.

6. Shoulder bag packs (no suitcases please)

7. First aid kit + normal medicines if you have nausea issues.

8. Passport Size photograph – 6 (Recent ones)

9. Original ID Proof (Passport/Adhar Card)-required for the permits

10. Photo copy of the ID proof – 6 

 

PACKAGE INCLUSIONS

  • All transfers & sightseeing by 3 Innova vehicle as per itinerary
  • Accommodation on twin sharing basis for 9 nights
  • Meal Plan – CP basis
  • Inner line permits
  • 3 Local Vehicle for sightseeing of Madhuri lake, Bumla Pass & Zemithang.

 

NOTE & IMPORTANT

  1. All hotels in Arunachal Pradesh are basic to very basic.
  1. Road condition from Bhalukpong to Tawang is under construction, so it is very bumpy.
  2. To visit Arunachal Pradesh, Indian national requires Inner Line Permits.

 

Please feel free to call for any further clarification

Disclaimer

This tour is being taken to a high-altitude area and you are required to be healthier.

You should not participate if you believe, or have reason to suspect, that your health or physical condition may put your safety or that of other participant’s safety risk. To help you assess your ability to participate, Kindly have a look on below health issues:

▣ Had surgery in the last 6 months

▣ Had a seizure in the last 6 months

▣ Broken bone, limb, joint or back injury

▣ A heart condition

▣ A respiratory condition

▣ Low vision

▣ High or low blood pressure

▣ Diabetes

▣ Another health concern that may be relevant

If any of the above is true, we advise you strongly that either take the prescribed precautions/medicines or do not enroll.

Participants will be advised to have an Acetazolamide (Brand name: Diamox) pill every day to prevent and reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness. Please consult your doctor regarding the same if you have concerns.

You will be asked to fill and sign a ‘Participation Declaration and Disclaimer’ form before the commencement of this tour.