20 December, 2008

Aunty in Arunachal: The Picturesque Part III

A view of the mighty Brahmaputra, on the way to Tezpur.
This is not an airport, it is not even the lobby of a fancy place and is certainly not in another country. It is the ISBT (Inter-State Bus Terminal) at Guwahati. With 2 hours to kill, I was pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness and order in the place. See, we can. If we want to that is.

The Sela lake at Sela top (a pass that one comes across as you travel from Tezpur to Tawang). We crossed this spectacular place at sunset, riding above the clouds (which you can see somewhere in the distance). I am the proverbial loss of words.

The gateway to Tawang if you enter from Nehru Market. The sheer colour and character of such painting is interesting to see, because every time you look at such a gateway, you find something new.

This is the “thing” in which every morning Juniper twigs are lit for religious purposes (I did know the local name of the “thing” till a few days ago…but it was a tongue-twister and my memory isn’t what it was… ) What is interesting, is the presence of a beer bottle (1000 Super strong).

This puppy was nicknamed rock-star because of his very spikey hairdo (later we realized that his hair was standing so straight because the poor guy was freezing). Therefore, he was bundled up in whatever cloth was available close by (the orange pantaloon you see on his head was actually on the clothesline nearby and it gives me great satisfaction that its gracing his shivering head instead of some toddler’s bottom).

The next few pictures (6 to be precise) are from the great picnic we had at Madhuri Lake (renamed so because a song from Koyla was shot here). This picture was taken on the way…we went berserk playing in the snow and the winning shot was by yours truly. Mukut’s nose was blue for a satisfyingly long time :D

A view of two of the many lakes we came across on the way. Its quite a heady feeling being over the clouds, skirting blue waters, the sun strong enough to burn your face, the wind cold enough to freeze your brain. It was a very very brrrringly cold day.

Madhuri Lake. What makes it eerie and beautiful is the presence of naked tree trunks in the centre of the lake. Like it was out of a the-world-is-about-to-end-movie.

Lake-side beer drinking. I have never had beer in such freezing temperatures. And yes, it tastes even better. [L-R: Tashi, Namrata, Chandni, Binoi, Lobsang, Oinam, Mukut…Gombu (facing away)]

Outside the guesthouse at the Madhuri lake. It’s a wooden chair, shaped like a person (ok you can see that) but what is interesting is the cap on the chair/person’s head. It’s a traditional cap, made of yak wool, with five extensions. The shape of the cap is such to keep the rain off the wearer’s face.

On the way back from the picnic. Sigh.

That’s deforestation for you. The logs were being cut and shoved down the hillside till they reached the road.

A view of the war memorial at Tawang. The war we are referring to is the Indo-China war of 1962 where Chinese troops managed to march upto Tezpur, undeterred by an Indian side riddled with inadequate clothing and food supplies and outdated weapons.

The goose-bump inducing flag down ceremony at the memorial. Flags of all the regiments are brought down for the night, to the haunting sound of the bugle.
Payer wheels in the foreground. Names of the 2420 soldiers who laid down their lives to protect our controversial borders in the background.

It’s a nice picture. The kind that tells stories. I needn’t say more.

The house of Tsering Tobgayal, one of the most progressive farmers in Tawang. He has vermicompost pits, greenhouses, twelve cows, a nursery, kiwi and apple orchards, a 26 year old wife (and he's 58!) and most importantly an infectious laugh. I fell in love with his Geranium festooned house. That’s him on the left.

That’s his cat taking a nap in the warmth of his greenhouse. And that’s me pulling her paw and playing spoilt-sport. “What is this life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.”


  1. lovely pics ! :)

    great stuff.

  2. Lovely pictures aunty :-)
    You surely having a nice time as I can see.

    Lived each of the pics, especially the pup n the description you gave plus the last lines in the blog. A million thanks for posting these.

  3. wow.. the place does look awesome.. however please post high rest pics on picasa or something :P squinting at the screen doesn't do justice to 'em

  4. enjoyed the pics. rockstar is a sweetheart!

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