Perfect place to unwind and reflect by River Kamen: Dirang, Arunachal Pradesh
Dirang is a small riverside hamlet in western Arunachal Pradesh and is situated at an altitude of around 8910 feet above sea-level. The town lies on the highway connecting Bomdila with Tawang. Dirang is also the sub-divisional headquarters of West Kameng district.
The best way to reach Dirang is by first taking the overnight bus from ISBT Guwahati to Bombdila and then taking the connecting ASTC government bus from Bomdila to Dirang. The other option is to come via shared sumo where in they fit 10 people in each sumo and one driver so a total of 11.
The journey by bus is takes a couple of hours more but is a lot more comfortable as compared to the sumo. Since the entire state does not have an airport or a train station this is currently the only possible way of reaching Dirang and the rest of this region.
Once in Dirang, accommodation options are limited to a handful of hotels which are along the road that makes up the market area of the town. The houses of the villagers are on either side of the road and the best way to explore the town is on foot. But be prepared for some really steep climbs coupled with sweeping cold winds.
The main attraction in Dirang is the new monastery which is located around 750 meters from the main road. The second is a hot bath along the River Kamen which is not worth a visit actually since the hot tub has not been maintained well. Finally, one thing worth doing is taking a stroll down to the river and spending some time unwinding and reflecting.
Always remember that while travelling around the North East of India the days are very short and you can feel it even more so in Dirang. The sun rises around 4 amand sets by 4:30 pm so sun down is pretty early. Come prepared with a book or some kind of activity to keep yourself entertained.
Electricity in Dirang is pretty good actually, so charging your gadgets if your spending a night in the town won’t be too much of a hassle. You’ll surely be able to charge them here.
Mobile phone network in Dirang is extremely good with Airtel, Vodafone and BSNL providing great service. The town also has a couple of ATM machines, so pulling out cash is also not a problem.
Accommodation in Dirang is mostly mid-range hotels but if you do have patience to talk through the village, you will surely find a home stay in one of the traditional wooden homes.
Eating options in the town are limited to a handful of dhaba style wooden make-shift restaurants which serve tukpa, momos, puri bhaji and parathas. Everything in Dirang shuts by 7 pm daily so be prepared for an early dinner.
Dirang is a town where in you will always feel cold no matter what the time of the year it is. The best time to visit Dirang is during the dry season from end of October to mid-March. Beyond that the monsoon takes control and the condition of the road is in tatters with plenty of landslides.
While travelling to this region, it is advisable to check the weather report and always carry a couple of woolen jackets even if you are travelling in summer.
Finally, Dirang is the kind of place where everyone who stops a night will have a good experience and those who drive past will consider it as one of the many small villages along the road.
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