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CIRCUITS

TAWANG  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MALINITHAN
BOMDILA PARASHURAM KUND
DIRANG NAMDAPHA
ITANAGAR

 

Tawang, the beautiful land of the Monpa tribes and a major centre of the Mahayana Buddhist is the headquarters of Tawang district. The cascading waterfalls, the snow-white peaks, sansurban trapping and star comforts of Tawang bring one closer to Mother Nature. The name Tawang derives from some bearings on surroundings. But people’s interpretation is that the name was given by Mera Lama in the 17th century. The township stands on the spur of a hill over 12,000 ft. above the sea level. 

The world famous seventeenth century Tawang Monastery , also known as Galden Namgyal Lhatse which overlooks the wide Tawang Valley at a height of 10,000 ft. The monastery is a vast complex of 65 buildings housing Lamas and antique scriptures written in gold letters and ancient scripture, images and has an eight meters high gilded Buddha statue. It is the largest monastery in the Himalayan region and the second oldest monastery in Asia. Five hundred lamas live in its residential buildings and it is rich in. It was constructed in 1681 by Mera lama Lodre Gyaltso. It is the fountainhead of spiritual life of the followers of the Gellupa sect of the Mahayana school of Buddhism. The Tawang Monastery is associated with the famous Torgva festival which is held in the eleventh Monpa month called the Dawa Chukchipah (i.e Dec-Jan as per the Buddhist). The Tibetan influence here is unmistakable, with the elaborately painted wooden windows and other motifs. Prayer flags flutter in the breeze outside. There is an 8 mtr. high gilded statue of Lord Buddha here. A must visit is the craft centre which produces very fine woollen carpets of colourful designs and masks.

 

 

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Bomdila, the headquarters of West Kameng district is situated at a height of 2,530 mtrs. Offers spectacular panoramic views of Himalayan landscapes and snow clad mountains. This area has had strong Tibetan and Buddhist influences over many centuries and hence there are many Buddhist monasteries called 'Gompas' here. There is a craft centre here which produces very fine carpets of colourful designs and masks. Other places of interest here are apple orchards, GRL Monastery,  and the Ethnographic Museum.

 

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Dirang, Sub-divisional headquarters in West Kameng District, situated in between Bomdila and Tawang is the sub-divisional headquaters in West Kameng districts; situated in between Bomdila and Tawang. Of interest are Apple orchards, yak breeding farms, a few kilometres from Dirang and hot springs where people go for a holy dip to wash away sins and diseases and Kalachakra Gompa. Ideal for Trekking and hiking.

Dirang Fort, known as Dirang Jong is an important historical monument for the Monpas of Dirang circle. This two storied for was built with huge stone slaps and wooden logs. The fort was an important centre of public administration as it housed the Tibetan Governors during the Tibetan Rule over the area. It was construct in 1831. The archeological department of Arunachal Pradesh has declared it as a national monument. 

 

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Itanagar in Papum pare district also known as the ' Land of the Dawnlit Mountains' is the beautiful capital of Arunachal Pradesh. The historical city identified with the ancient Mayapur of the 14th and 15th century A. D. is scattered with light, earthquake-proof, wooden-framed buildings rising up the slopes of green hills. The residence of the Governor is situated on one peak while a new Buddhist Temple crowns the other. Between these two building lie administrative officers, shops, daily bazars and thatched houses. The nearest airport is 67km away at Lilabari in Assam. The nearest railway station is Harmuty in Assam (near Banderdewa check gate) only 23 km from Naharlagun & 33 km from Itanagar.

Ita Fort: This historical fort of an irregular shape, built mainly with bricks is situated at the heart of the capital complex in Papum Pare district. There are three gates on three sides viz; Eastern, Western and Southern, which is said to be built by Ahom rulers. It is estimated that more than 80 lakhs of bricks, 45 cubic metres of stone and 46,300 man-days were required to build the fort.
The Buddhist Temple: This temple which is located on the top of a hill amidst gorgeous green gardens with yellow roof reflects the extensive Tibetan influence. There is a Stupa erected in front of the shrine. The Dalai Lama planted a tree by the side of the shrine. The grounds of the temple afford a good view of Itanagar Town. 
Jawaharlal Nehru State Museum: Openned daily, expect Mondays. The ground floor covers the images of tribal people. Collections include art, musical instruments, religious articles and wood carvings. The first floor contains the archaeological finds from Itafort, Noksaparbat and Malinithan in Lower Siang district. The textiles, weapons, ornaments are also kept on this floor. There is also a library and a handicraft centre which specialises in traditional Cane manufacture. 
Ganga Lake: Ganga Lake (Gyaker Sinyi), a natural Lake locally known as Gyaker Sinyi (confined water), 6km away from Itanagar situated on the foothills of the Himalayas, is a beautiful spot for outings, boating and picnics. This green forest lake surrounded by primeval vegetation, orchids masses on tall trees, tree ferns provides an insight to the magnificent forests of the state.Itanagar Sanctuary
Emporium: Handicrafts Centre run by the Industries Department offers a good range of shawls, carpets, carved caskets and the beautiful cane & bamboo work.
Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary: It spread over an area of about 140.30 sq. km was established in 1978 and is situated in the Lower Subansiri district. With evergreen forests, the wild life present here are elephant, barking deer, tiger, leopard, birds & orchids.

 

 

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Malinithan, situated at Likabali, headquarters of sub-division of West Siang district. Ruins of a big temple belonging to 14th - 15th century have been excavated here. The ruins include sculptures of Indra, Airavata, Surya and Nandi, the Bull. Beautifully designed and decorated basement of a temple, divine images, icon of deities, animal motifs and floral designs, carved columns and panels have been unearthed. The place is associated with the legend of Lord Krishna. It is believed that on the way to Dwarka from Bhismakanagar, Krishna and Rukmini were resting here and they were offered the choicest flowers by Parvati. Krishna was all praise for Parvati and addressed her as Malini-Mistress of Garland, since then the place has been known as Malinithan.

 

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Parasuram Kund is a place of great sanctity, located in the lower reaches of Lohit district which attracts pilgrims from all over India for a dip in the kund during Makar-Sankranti which normally falls in mid January every year. An endless stream of pilgrims come to take dips in the Kund in-spite of biting cold wind because the water of the Kund is considered to be as sacred as the water of the river Ganga. 

The origin of the kund is associated with Parasuram's matricide described in the Srimad Bhagavata, Kalika Puana and in the Mahabharata. According to the legend recorded in the Kalika Purna, one day, Renuka, mother of Parasuram, went to fetch water. While returning, she felt drawn towards King Chitranatha playing with celestial nymphs. Consequently, she was late in returning to the ashram. Jamadagni, her husband, worried over her delay, as it was getting late for the midday worship. On perceiving through his divine power the reason for her dalay, Jamadagni was so enraged that, on her arrival, he asked his sons to kill her. None of the six sons except Parasuram could oblige. He immediately beheaded his mother. The handle of the axe which he used, however, clung to his hand, Pleased with his son, Jamadagni commanded Parasuram to ask for a boon. Parasuram asked for six boons and one was the immediate recovery of his mother. However, this did not wipe out his sins. He was told that the only way to wash off his sins was by taking a dip in the Brahma Kund. Only then would the axe stuck to his hand drop. Parasuram ultimately came to Brama Kund, presently in Lohit district, and made a passage for the Kund to come out by digging the bank of Brahma Kund. The spot where the axe dropped from his hand came to be known as Parasuram Kund. The Kalika Purana states that a mere bath in the Kund leads to emancipation. 
             
A fair is held during Makar Sankranti. Piligrims from all over the country come here for a holy dip in the Kund wash away their sins.

 

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The Namdapha National Park is a few kilometres away from Miao. The Park, situated on the Indo-Burma border is the only park in the world, which covers a range of altitudes of 200 to 4,500 metres. For the truly dedicated wilderness and wildlife fan, a visit to the Namdapha National Park is challenging as the park is largely inaccessible and has diverse habitats and flora and fauna that are typical of this area. It is also the only park where four of the cat felines are found: the tiger, the leopard, the snow leopard and the clouded leopard. The predators are found in the higher reaches of the hills. The majestic gaur or Mithun, Elephant, Himalayan Black Bear, Takin, The Wild Goat, peculiar to the Patkoi Range, Musk Deer, Slow Loris, Binturong and the Red Panda are all found here. A number of primate species are seen in the park, such as the Assamese macaque, pig-tailed macaque, stump-tailed macaque and the distinctive hoolock gibbon. Hornbills, jungle fowl, pheasants etc. are also found amongst other coloured bird species. The inacessibility of the greater part of the park has helped to keep the forests in their pristine state.

 

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