Erstwhile Tawang District was a Sub-Division of West Kameng District till 5th October 1984. This district is situated in the westernmost part of Arunachal Pradesh spanning approximately 2,172 Sq.km, bounded by Tibet (China) to the north, Bhutan to the southwest and Sela ranges separated from West Kament district in the east.
The name of Tawang is believed to have derived its name from the grandiose of 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 chosen by a Horse owned by Mera Lama Lodre Gyatso. Mera Lama Lodre Gyatso was on the search for an appropriate place to establish a Monastery and was unable to locate any appropriate site. Finally, he decided to sit on prayer for guidance of a divine power. As he opened his eyes after prayer, he found his horse missing. So wearily he went out for searching his horse and found it on top of hill calm and quiet. Believed it a good omen, Mera Lama Lodre Gyatso decided to initiate a work for building up of Monastery with the help of people living in the land of Monpa in the later part of the 17th century according to the wishes of 5th Dalai Lama.
At the instance of the Government of India, the first administrative center at Tawang was set-up on 6th February 1951 by Major Bob Khating, a Naga officer of the Indian Frontier Administrative Service (IAS) and then Assistant Political officer at Charduar. In 1984, on 6th October, this Tawang Sub-Division came into a full-fledged district carved out from West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
Tawang is both historically and naturally endowed. It is located at a distance of 183 Km from Bomdila and is situated at an altitude of 3500 meters above sea level. The natural beauty and solitude of Gudpi and Chong-Chugmi ranges, Tawang Chu River and Tawang valley are very mesmerizing. The inhabitants of the districts are all of Monpa tribes except Shyo village which is dominated by people of Tibetian origin.
There are two major religious festivals of the Monpas viz “LOSAR” and “TORGYA”. Both festivals are celebrated once annually. The LOSAR s celebrated to the commencement of New year. Every third year of Torgya, the festival of Dungyur is celebrated. Both “Dungyur and Torgya” festivals are celebrated at the premises of the Tawang Monastery with traditional gaiety and enthusiasm.
There are many beautiful glacial lakes in and around Tawang with crystal blue waters such as Sela lake, P.T.Tso lake, Sangetser lake, Banggachang lake and much more. These remain frozen in winter while in summer they become a haven for migratory birds.
Travel by Air
The nearest Domestic Airport is Salonibari Airport, Tezpur, roughly six-hour drive from Tawang. It is well connected to Kolkata and Guwahati through Air India flight. The nearest International Airport from Tawang is Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, roughly 480 Km from Tawang. It is connected with the major cities like Delhi, Imphal, Kolkata, Agartala, Aizawl, Dibrugarh, Lilabari, Silchar, Dimapur, Jorhat, and Mumbai.
Image Credits: northeasttourism.gov.in