About 2 Kms from the town is the Tawang Monastery. The Monastery is the second biggest and oldest in Asia and is known as the Tawang Ganden Namgyal Lhatse i.e., the celestial paradise of divine site chosen by the horse was founded by Merag Lodroe Gyamtso in the year 1680-81. The Dalai Lama gave him a painting of goddess Palden Lhamo to be kept in the monastery. The 8 m high glided statue of Lord Buddha dominates the sanctum. The great rotating prayer wheels, priceless thangkas, the drone of monks in prayer, sputtering butter lamps are an evocative vision. The Tawang Monastery has a residential building for the monks, a library, a museum and school for the basic education. Pierced atop a hill dominating everything around and below it is an enormous yellow-roofed Tawang monastery which was originally a large and fortified complex strategically sited where the caravan routes from Tibet, Bhutan and West Kameng met. The place is also famous with the legend of 7th Century A.D., King Kalawangpo and Khandro Drowa Zangmo, known as rTa nag mandal sgang.
How to Reach:
1. By Helicopter:The Arunachal Pradesh Helicopter Service is operational from Guwahati Airport and presently the Helicopter services operate from Tawang to Guwahati and back on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. However due to the limited number of seats (on an average 10 – 12 only ) it is advisable that the tickets are pre-booked by calling the Counter at the Guwahati airportor the Aviation officer at Tawang and thereafter paying the ticket charges at the Counter as till now online booking of tickets has not been started by the State Government. The Helicopter journey to Tawang over Bhutan takes around 55 minutes and local transport at Tawang can be arranged by the concerned Hotel / Tour Operator.
By Road:The 543 Kms. long Guwahati-Tawang road journey is quite long and takes around14-16 hours. The long duration of the journey makes it necessary to have a break in the form of night halt en-route. The suggested road travel plans are described below: Passengers arriving at Guwahati on or before 12 P.M. and preferring to travel on the same day. Option 1: Drive to Tezpur:Tourists may drive down to Tezpurwhich is around 198 Kms from Guwahati. The expected duration of the road journey to Tezpur from Guwahati Airport is around 3 and a half hours. Tezpur, being a major Army hub has a wide variety of good quality hotels and restaurants for the tourists. Option 2: Drive toBhalukpong:Tourists may alternatively drive further down to Bhalukpong which is located approximately 260 Kms. from Guwahati with a travelling time of around 4 ½ hours. Compared to tezpur the stay and dining options at Bhalukpong are limited though the next day journey to Tawang is reduced by approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours. However, it is advisable to reach Bhalukpong in the evening before nightfall due to security advisory of the Government. Tourists / visitors arriving Guwahati before 12 P.M. or starting their journey from Guwahati in the morning: Option 1 : Drive to Bomdila:The tourists / visitors can opt to drive down to Bomdila( 390Kms), which is approximately an 8 hours drive from Guwahati. It has a good number of Tourist accommodation of the Govt. alongwith Private Hotels. Midway one can have refreshment / Lunch at either Tezpur or Bhalukpong. The next day’s journey to Tawang (188 Kms) takes approximately 5 ½ to 6 hours. The visitors may have a light break at either Baisakhi Brigade (2 and a half hours away) or JaswantGarh( 3 and a half hours away). Option 2 : Drive to Dirang: The tourists / visitors can alternatively decide to take a night halt at Dirang (Approx. 430 Kms.) which is approximately a Nine hour drive from Guwahati. It has a few good hotels for stay. Midway the tourists can have refreshment / short break at either Tezpur or Bhalukpong. The next day journey to Tawang (Approx. 144 Kms) is around 4 to 5 hours long. The visitors may take a short break / refreshment at either the Baisakhi Brigade ( one and a half hours away) or Jang ( 3 and a half hours away). With the gradual improvement in the road conditions enroute, it is expected that the abovementioned travel times would also gradually reduce.