DAY 4: Well running tight on schedule, we had to leave Tawang that day itself (though we badly wanted to spend more time there). On our way back we had a historical place to visit. A shrine built in respect of our braveheart, Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat of Indian Army who displayed exemplary courage and sacrificed his life for the nation in the 1962 Indochinese war. According to the Indian Army reports, he volunteered to silence the Medium Machine Gun that was placed by the Chinese troops at a crucial high point creating huge casualties on Indian side. However after his successful venture he was killed in cross firing.
JASWANTGARH WAR MEMORIAL
This place is now a reminder of his sacrifice to all the civilians and a lesson of bravery for all those men in uniform who travel via this place towards the volatile Indo Chinese border.
We also visited the place that lit up the Tawang Valley –The Jung Falls aka The Nuranang Falls created by the Nuranang river. This is a perfect offbeat venture for any traveler. The hydroelectric power station here meets the electricity needs of the valley. Visit this spot to get a glimpse of nature’s fury encased in white.
The poor condition of the road with the recent heavy snowfall failed our plan to cross Sela Pass quickly. It almost took us 4-5 hours to cross a distance of mere 6 km. Though later our driver tried to compensate, all we could manage was to reach Bomdila by the nightfall. But we were lucky to get a good night stay at the guest house of Bomdila monastery. And to our surprise an extremely well cooked yet the simplest food greeted us!
HEALTHY, BOTH FROM WITHIN AND OUTSIDE
DAY 5: Being in the monastery premises ensured that we were up early. We all went for a stroll through the habitats nearby. Here is the glimpse of some of the beautiful things that caught our eyes…
LOVE FOR NATURE: No matter how small the residence be, locals here never fail to decorate their surroundings with beautiful garden plants in the most economical ways!
BUKHARA: An indigenous stove that keeps you warm while your food stays warm as well.
JAAPI: The Assamese hat knitted with Bamboo
BAMBOO CUPS being one of the most primitive form of vessels used
Their obsession with bamboo is seen everywhere… so much so that in the North East, Bamboo is known as the ‘ASSAMESE GOLD’!
After our very lively morning we started for Kaziranga, Assam. On our way all we could see were the densely planted mountain ranges of Arunachal.
Destination 2: ASSAM- The Indian State of International Tea!
As we entered Assam, a clear distinction between the landscapes could be seen. Mountains turned to plains, forest to grasslands and small streams to the giant Brahmaputra.
RICH PLAINS OF ASSAM
Our destination for the day was the Wild Grass Resort, located in the central part of Kaziranga National Park. A colonial era lodge with spacious and peaceful surroundings, this is the place to be especially if you aren’t looking for the polished modern amenities. Also being within the 5 km radius from the center of the park, it makes both the jeep and elephant safaris easily accessible.
DAY 6: We had to rush to the elephant safari at morning 6. You can either book it via agents or from the hotel reception, prices remains the same.
So it was a quite dark and foggy winter morning when the first lot of elephants went inside the park. The earlier you be, the more are your odds of seeing a rhino. And yes! I was lucky enough to spot one too close.
THE KING OF KAZIRANGA
And that wasn’t all… As we were about done with the ride a beautiful sunrise lit up our eyes!
And for a detailed visit of the park they have the facility of Jeep safari. Riding on the rough roads surrounded on both sides by the elephant grass, here you have a sure shot probability of spotting Rhinos. In those 2 – 2.5 hours you may come cross many migratory as well as local birds and elephants grazing across those vast fields. Here are few glimpses of the same….
After all the riding it was time for some local food. And what would be better than it be served with live local music and Bihu. Well the place was Kaziranga National Orchid and Biodiversity Park, definitely a must if botany is your love.
AUTHENTIC ASSAMESE LUNCH
And visit to Assam is never complete unless you buy the famous Assamese tea. Tea plantations are present across the state including within the Park premises, and so as per your convenience you could buy from various outlets to get a taste of the best tea across the world.
That evening we spent in Guwahati. We went for Alfresco Grand Cruise in waters of the mighty Brahmaputra. While the local artists perform inside, you could have your dinner watching the city lights of Guwahati. Prefer upper deck for the best experience.
To be continued….