Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is an unexplored heaven on earth with spirituality and nature both blending in to create a masterpiece which is second to none in all of India. Tawang is a place so Far East that very knew have ventured this far. In this article we will explain in detail how you can reach Tawang.
Getting to Tawang has become a lot easier as compared to what it was before Covid-19. You still need the Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter the region and you also need to get it done online from the government website. The permit takes around two-30 hours to reach your email id. After filling the form and paying the fees which is currently ₹500 (for Indians). You will need to give the hotel name and local reference while filling the online ILP. It’s a seamless process and very easy to get the permit.
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Now when you plan on getting to Tawang, remember this is no direct airport or railway station which will take you to Tawang. The gate way to reach the town is via Guwahati and Tezpur in Assam.
So when you are planning a trip, it’s always better to start from Guwahati, since everything is convenient from the capital city of Assam. From Guwahati and Tezpur, there are multiple options to get to the town.
Taking a private taxi
Taxi is the most convenient, fastest and also the costliest way to reach Tawang. The journey via a taxi in a four seated or a 10 seated sumo will take you roughly 15-17 hours one way depending on the traffic you get along the journey. The cost of the taxi one way is anywhere between ₹13,000-16,000/- which is 460km and covers a long way which includes crossing Sela Pass along the way to reach Tawang. The journey starts in the morning at around 5-6 am and you will reach Tawang town by 8-9 pm in the evening at the earliest.
Sumo per seat
Taking a shared sumo from Guwahati is another option. A seat will cost you ₹1600 and the sumo is a 10 seater. The two in the front with the driver, four in the middle row and four in the back seat. The journey takes around the same time as a private taxi but is a more cramped up journey to experience. If you are a budget traveller or a solo traveller then this is an option you can consider.
Overnight bus to Tawang
Daily bus service has started from ISBT Guwahati to Tawang town. The bus leaves at 11:00 am and reaches the town the next morning at 5:00 am. The bus is run by ATSC and private operators. Bus fare is around ₹1500 per seat and there are both air condition buses and regular buses that do the journey. The journey by bus takes around 18-20 hours and even though it’s longer, doing the over night in a bus is the best option. It’s the most comfortable way to reach Tawang town.
Two day journey to Tawang
If doing the direct journey which is a minimum of 16 hours one way isn’t on your travel plans, then you can always break journey and travel. The best way to travel over two days is to first take an over night bus from Guwahati to Bomdila which has government and private operator network. The government bus leaves in the day time while network bus leaves at 8:00 pm from ISBT Guwahati and reaches Bomdila, the following morning at 5 am. The bus cost around ₹800 per seat and is a Non Air condition bus.
Once you reach Bomdila, you can either stay the night in the Buddhist town and take a shared per seat sumo to Tawang the following day. A room in Bomdila will cost anywhere between ₹500-3000 depending on the budget you have, you can decide. Remember to book the shared sumo seat a day prior to your journey to avoid getting a bad seat.
The shared sumo will leave Bomdila at 5-6 am in the morning and reach Tawang by lunch time 1-2 pm. These vehicles which run point to point won’t really stop along the way. Just toilet and eating breaks along the way is what you can expect. A shared sumo seat from Bomdila to Tawang will cost ₹800 per seat. Again there will be a total of 10 travellers + 1 driver in the vehicle.
Best way to return back from Tawang ??
Taking the direct bus which leaves at 11:00 am from the town bus station is the most economical and also the safest way to get back to Guwahati. The bus will reach Paltan Bazar, Guwahati by 5-5:30 am. Remember to book the bus a day or two in advance.