CULTURE TOUR OF ARUNACHAL PRADESH & ASSAM
Monyul & Brahmaputa Valley
8 to 12 days
Culture tour of Western Arunachal Pradesh and Assam
Culture Tour of Arunachal Pradesh & Assam: Monyul and the Brahmaputra valley
This cultural odessy takes you from the sweltering plains of the Brahmaputra to the high mountains of Western Arunachal Pradesh. The first phase takes you to the periphery of Tawang where as the second stage brings us down to the lush plains of central Assam.In essence covering the Tibetian Buddhist and Vaishnavite areas.
Tawang, the beautiful land of the people of Monpa Tribe, is located in the Western mostpart of the state Arunachal Pradesh bordering China and Bhutan. The district is entirely located amongst the mighty Himalayas and has a rugged terrain with deep valleys and altitude ranging between 3,500 to 6,900 mts. Its snow-capped peaks, pleasant lakes, congenial climate, friendly and hospitable people continue to entice the people who visit. This magical land evokes images of awesome mountain views, remote hamlets, quaint and sleepy villages, magical Gompas, tranquil lakes and mesmerizing mountains.
Tawang is believed to have derived its name from the Grandiose Tawang Monastery perched on the edge of the ridge running along the western part of Tawang Township. ‘Ta’ means Horse and ‘Wang’ means Chosen. As the legend goes the site of the present Monastery is believed to have been chosen by a horse owned by Merag Lama Lodre Gyatso who was on a search for an appropriate place to establish a Monastery but was unable to locate any appropriate site. So he finally decided to mediate for guidance. As he opened his eyes after prayer, he found his horse missing. So, wearily he went out searching for his horse and found it on the top of hill known as Tana Mandegang where once stood the palace of King Kala Wangpo. Believing it to be a good omen, Mera lama Lodre Gyatso decided to initiate work for building of the monastery with the help of the people. Another source reflects that the Great treasure master Padma Lingpa gave initiations such as of Kagyad and TamdringTantras and hence, the place came to be known as Tawang, Ta- being the abbreviation of Tamdring, and Wang meaning initiation.
Stretching 600 km along the Brahmaputra River Valley, with a spur down to the hilly southeast, Assam is the largest and most accessible of the Northeast States. Well known for its national parks abounding in rhinoceroses, elephants, deer and primates (with respectable tiger numbers too), it welcomes visitors with a subtly flavoured cuisine and a hospitable population with a vibrant artistic heritage. The archetypal Assamese landscape is a golden-green panorama of rice fields and manicured tea estates, framed by the blue mountains of Arunachal Pradesh in the north and the highlands of Meghalaya and Nagaland to the south. The birthplace of Indian tea, Assam has more than 3000 sq km of land carpeted in bright-green tea gardens, and visits to these estates are high on many travellers' itineraries.
Beached amid the mighty Brahmaputra River’s ever-shifting puzzle of sandbanks is Majuli, which at around 350 sq km is India’s largest river island. Though continually ravaged by the primal forces of nature (much of it disappears under water every monsoon, and it's steadily shrinking due to erosion), Majuli flaunts unparalleled scenic beauty. Coming here is like stepping back to an earlier India of little motor traffic (cycling is a delight), peaceful woodlands and wetlands, and Mishing tribal villages with wooden stilt houses, where the goats, geese, cows and pigs easily outnumber the people. The island's serene atmosphere is enhanced by the influence of its 22 satras (Hindu Vaishnavite monasteries and centres for art).