An important travel destination of Arunachal Pradesh city, Tawang boasts of being blessed with natural beauty in abundance. The city shares its boundaries with Bhutan in the South-west, Tibet in the North and the Sela range of West Kameng in the East. The city has been home to the people of the Monpa tribe and has a number of viewpoints offering mesmerizing views of the stunning scenery. This unexplored destination is home to a number of tourist attractions such as Tawang Monastery, Sela, Nuranang waterfalls, Tawang War Memorial and so on.
On your Tawang tour, explore the beautiful monasteries and witness the breathtaking beauty of mountains, gorges, passes, and water bodies. It is a highly important place for Buddhism followers as the 6th Dalai Lama was born here and the 14th Dalai Lama stayed initially after he had to flee Tibet. Tawang Monastery is a famous attraction in Tawang, which happens to be the second largest monastery in the world. Thus, Tawang is a great place and learning centre for Buddhist monks and the Dalai Lama visits here often to hold religious discourse.
So, if you want to know more about Tawang, how to reach it, the best time to visit, where to eat and stay, and some useful travel tips, here is our comprehensively curated Tawang travel guide.
Why visit Tawang?
Tawang is an ideal destination for those tourists who like being amidst nature and search for places offering immense serenity. Monpa people and various monasteries that dot that landscape of Tawang clearly point out the prevalence of mish-mash of Tibetan-Buddhist elements here. This can be seen in the food, lifestyle, architecture and food of Tawang. This destination also offers ample opportunities for trekking. Tawang Travel Guide by Indian Holidays offers you a chance to understand this destination in a better manner
How to reach Tawang
Tawang is one of the most popular places to visit in North East India and thus is well connected to other states and cities via air, rail, and road. Tourists usually first reach Guwahati in Assam and from there take a bus or a cab to reach Tawang. If you are travelling to Tawang by road, then you can easily get buses, taxis, and also shared taxis from Tezpur and Bomdila. The roads are rugged but the amazing views of the valleys will make this journey mesmerizing. To reach Tawang by rail, take a take to Naharlagun railway station and Guwahati railway station. These are the closest ones to reach Tawang. By airways, Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati is the closest airport and is well-connected to major cities. After reaching here, you can get an overnight taxi to Tawang or you can also take a helicopter ride to Tawang from Guwahati.
How to get around Tawang
There are no bus services available in Tawang. You can use shared maxi cabs (shared motor vehicles) to move around Tawang town. A group of people can also hire a maxi cab privately. You can always negotiate the rates. Car rental services can also be availed to visit popular attractions. Lastly, Tawang is an unexplored trekkers’ paradise with wonderful views of the Himalayas. So, there are many places located in proximity that can be covered on foot. Leisurely treks like Mukto - Lumla route and the Tawang Gompa - Ani Gompa are popular.
Best time to visit Tawang
Summer in Tawang starts in the month of March and lasts till June. During this time, the temperature remains between 5°C and 21°C and allows you to experience the true beauty of this place. Monsoon season in Tawang begins in July and ends in September. The temperature during this time Tawang experiences moderate rainfall. The winter season in Tawang is extremely cold and pleasant and the temperature hovers between - 11°C to 12°C. Therefore, of all the seasons, summer is the best time to visit Tawang. You can also attend festivals like Losar Festival, Moatsu, and Behdienkhlam Festival during your Tawang tour.
Places to visit in Tawang
Being one of the best places to visit in Arunachal Pradesh, Tawang has a lot of places to explore. It is a famous Buddhist pilgrim site and is believed to be the birthplace of the Dalai Lama. Thus, there are several beautiful monasteries to find inner peace. If you want to explore waterfalls, monasteries, and witness snow-clad peaks that will leave you spellbound, here are some of the best places to visit in Tawang -
- Sela Pass
- Tawang Monastery
- Shonga-Tser Lake
- Nuranang Falls
- Tawang War Memorial
- Gorichen Peak
- Peng Teng Tso Lake
- Urgelling Gompa
- Taktsang Gompa
- Jaswant Garh
- Bumla Pass
Things to do in Tawang
Besides so many places to explore, Tawang also offers plenty of things to do. From exploring the beautiful waterfalls to trekking to the mesmerizing peaks, you will find a lot of things to do in Tawang. Tawang enlists activities like meditation, hiking, exploration, travel to local passes, taking a stroll at lakes and shopping. For a fulfilling experience, here are some of the most fun and exciting things to do in Tawang for a memorable time -
- Try meditation at Taktsang Gompa.
- Go hiking at Gorichen Peak.
- Witness the breathtaking beauty of Sela Pass.
- Shop at Tibetan Settlement Market.
- Spend time at Nuranang Waterfalls.
- Spend a day at Shonga-Tser Lake
- Visit Tawang Monastery.
- Head to Jaswant Garh.
- Explore Bumla Pass.
How many days are enough to visit Tawang?
4 to 5 days are enough to explore the best of Tawang.
Average Tawang Trip Cost
The average cost of travelling to Tawang will be INR 20,000 per person. The cost of the trip depends on the flight or train tickets, the type of accommodation you choose, etc.
Accommodation in Tawang
From hotels to homestays, there are plenty of places to stay in Tawang. Being a popular destination to visit in North East India, a lot of accommodation options have developed over the years. You can get decent stay options at affordable rates with decent amenities and services. Coming to Tawang, you will never find any dearth of decent places to stay. Here are some of the best recommendations for accommodation in Tawang for a comfortable stay -
- Hotel the Oak
- Yul Pemakhar
- Mountain Mist Resort
- Hotel Tawang Centre Point
- Vamoose Tawang Inn
- Vamoose Dolma
Where to eat in Tawang
The cuisine in Tawang is a perfect blend of traditional North-Eastern food and the spicy influence of Monpas. The food in Tawang is the richest, colorful, and delicious and has given birth to a vibrant street food culture. On your Tawang tour, you can savour lip-smacking dishes like paratha sabzi, Zan, and the local version of pancake as well as rich Biryani called Gyaza Khazi. For a delightful culinary experience, here are some of the top restaurants you can visit -
- Orange Bar and Restaurant
- Dragon Restaurant
- Sno-Yak Restaurant
- Cafe Nirvana
- Blue Pine
- Zomsa Restaurant
Shopping in Tawang
Bamboo utensils, carpets, and wood carvings are some of the popular things to buy in Tawang. These are usually made by Monpa tribals and are extremely beautiful. You can get your hands on Thangka paintings and handmade paper making that will be worth every penny. There is a great range of tourist souvenir shops in Tawang that sell Buddhist prayer wheels in colourful wood, chadars (wrap skirts worn by local women), shawls, brassware, beautiful bags, and Buddha statues.
Useful Tips for Tawang Trip
- Respect the local culture.
- Avoid visiting during the monsoon season as it may hinder your sightseeing plans.
- Book your accommodation in advance especially during the peak season.
- Wear proper woollens in winter to keep yourself warm and avoid cold.
- Do not damage the properties including any monastery, temple, or litter around.
- Do not wear revealing clothes, especially while visiting religious places.