History

The beautiful land of the Monpas is located in Western Arunachal Pradesh on the international borders with China and Bhutan. It is situated at the height of 3500 mtrs from the sea level on the mountainous range of the Northern Himalayas. The Area of this District is approximately 2,172 Sq. Km and is bounded by Tibet (China) to the North, Bhutan to the South-West and Sela ranges separated from West Kameng District in the East. Its snow capped peaks, pleasant lakes, congenial climate, friendly and hospitable people continue to entice the people who visit. This magical land evokes images of awesome mountain views, remote hamlets, quaint and sleepy villages, magical Gompas, tranquil lakes and mesmerizing mountains. At Tawang, one has a heavenly tryst with nature and there is a heady mixture of ancient history, mishmash religion and glorious legends.

Tawang is believed to have derived its name from the Grandiose 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 been chosen by a horse owned by Mera Lama Lodre Gyatso who was on a search for an appropriate place to establish a Monastery but was unable to locate any appropriate site. So he finally decided to sit on prayer for guidance of divine power. As he opened his eyes after prayer, he found his horse missing. So, wearily he went out searching for his horse and found it on the top of hill known as Tana Mandekhang where once stood the palace of King Kala Wangpo. Believing it to be a good omen, Mera lama Lodre Gyatso decided to initiate work for building of the monastery with the help of the people. The Monastery thus was founded by Mera Lama Lodre Gyatso in late 1681

However, there is also another belief of derivation on the name Tawang. The great treasure revealer, Terton Pemalingpa gave initiations such as Tamdin and Ka-gyad and hence the place came to be known as Tawang. Ta an abbreviation of Tamdin Wang means Initiation.