Tawang thrives as fascinating tourist destination despite tension at border
The picturesque town of Arunachal Pradesh has often been described as the jewel in the crown of the Northeast.
Though Tawang has been in news lately for the December 9 India-China border dispute, the picturesque town of Arunachal Pradesh has often been described as the jewel in the crown of the Northeast by many. This pristine hub of many tourist-worthy spots including Nuranang Falls, Namdapha National Park, Sela and Bumla passes, Tawang monastery, war memorial, Madhuri lake, Pangateng Tso, has flourished into one of the most fascinating destinations for Indians as well as its neighbour China. (Also read: Winter Tourism: India's best skiing destinations for a thrilling snow vacation )
Located at a distance of 25 miles from the Indo-China border, Tawang carries ample memories of the 1962 War. In 1962, a conflict occurred between the neighbouring countries - India and China over the Aksai Chin region along the borders. Since then, this war known as the Sino-Indian war which led to the defeat of India, is known as one of India's most decisive post-independence battles. With around 15,000 local residents in the town, the jewel in the Arunachal Pradesh "crown" has witnessed fast development in the last six to seven years.
In recent times, many hotels and homestays have developed in the city to provide accommodation to tourists. Locals have also come forward to join the sector and created several job opportunities. Lauding the government for their support to the people engaged in this sector, hotel owner Dawa Thinley said that earlier there were only six hotels till 2006 but due to the government's efforts and initiatives today the state has more than 100 hotels and homestays here.
Speaking about the security concerns in the border area, Thinley said that there is peace in the city so far and tourists from the plains come here and enjoy snow and greenery. One of the locals in a conversation with ANI said that the town is often compared with Shimla and Kashmir because of its beauty which has added to the reasons that tourism here is growing rapidly.
"We are peaceful and hardworking. We have no option, Tourism is our only source of income in the entire district," said a local resident Lam Tashi.
Union Minister Kiren Rijiju who belongs to Arunachal has often tweeted about Tawang, its festivals, and local culture. The MP from West Kameng had said in 2017 "if Arunachal Pradesh is the crown of beautiful North-East and Tawang is a jewel on it".
Many of Rijiju's tweets on Tawang have trended after the December 9 incident, with some social media users even saying: "all should visit Tawang and turn it into one of India's major tourist hub with a record number of footfalls" even if it was just to send a message to China.
People who have already visited the hill station have recommended Bumla Pass on the Indo-China border which can be visited only with a special permit issued by the Indian Army, besides Ita Fort, Jawaharlal Nehru Museum, Namdapha National Park, the glacial lakes of Sangetser and Sela, the Taktsang Gompa, and the Gori Chen Peak.