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Tawang Monastery Trek: A Comprehensive Guide

Updated: Oct 21, 2023

Tawang Monastery trek: Comprehensive guide to a challenging and rewarding trek with stunning scenery and diverse wildlife. Read more...

The Tawang Monastery trek is a remarkable journey that offers trekkers an opportunity to explore the mesmerizing landscapes and rich cultural heritage of the Tawang region in Arunachal Pradesh, India. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to plan and embark on this captivating trek.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction to Tawang Monastery Trek

The Tawang Monastery trek takes you through the lush green valleys and charming villages of Arunachal Pradesh. The highlight of the trek is the visit to Tawang Monastery, one of the largest and most revered monasteries in the world, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences.


2. Best Time to Trek

The best time to embark on the Tawang Monastery trek is during the spring and autumn months, from March to June and September to November. The weather is pleasant, and the landscape is at its most vibrant during these seasons.


3. How to Reach Tawang

  • By Air: The nearest airport is Tezpur Airport in Assam. From there, you can take a scenic drive to Tawang, which is approximately 317 kilometers away.

  • By Road: Tawang is well connected by road. You can reach Tawang from Guwahati, Assam, or Tezpur, Assam, via picturesque road journeys.


4. Trek Itinerary

Here's a suggested itinerary for the Tawang Monastery trek:

Day 1: Arrive in Tawang

  • Arrive in Tawang and explore the local markets and the stunning Tawang Monastery.

Day 2: Tawang to Gyangong Ani Gompa

  • Start the trek by walking to Gyangong Ani Gompa.

  • The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.

  • Visit the Gompa and spend the night there.

Day 3: Gyangong Ani Gompa to Tawang Monastery

  • Resume the trek back to Tawang.

  • Visit the beautiful Zemithang village en route.

  • Explore the historic Tawang Monastery.

Day 4: Explore Tawang

  • Spend the day exploring the local culture and attractions of Tawang.

  • Visit the Tawang War Memorial and the enchanting Pankang Teng Tso Lake.

Day 5: Departure

  • Depart from Tawang with a treasure trove of memories.


5. Trek Difficulty and Fitness Level

The Tawang Monastery trek is considered a moderate-level trek. A reasonable level of fitness and the ability to walk on uneven terrain is required. It's suitable for both beginners and experienced trekkers.


6. Packing List

Pack the following essentials for the Tawang Monastery trek:

  • Comfortable trekking shoes with good grip.

  • Warm clothing for the chilly evenings.

  • Rain gear and a windproof jacket.

  • Basic first-aid kit and personal medications.

  • A sturdy backpack for day trips.

  • A reusable water bottle and water purification tablets.

  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat.


7. Accommodation Options

During the trek, you'll stay in local homestays and monasteries. In Tawang, there are several hotels and guesthouses to choose from for your pre and post-trek accommodation.


8. Food and Water

Local cuisine is a delightful part of the trek. You'll be served hearty meals in the homestays and monasteries. Ensure you carry some snacks and energy bars. The water from natural sources should be treated or boiled before consumption.


9. Trek Permits and Permissions

As Tawang is in a sensitive border area, you will need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to visit. This can be obtained from the Arunachal Pradesh Tourism Department or online through their official website.


10. Safety Tips

  • Acclimatize gradually to prevent altitude sickness.

  • Follow your trek guide's instructions.

  • Stay updated on weather conditions.

  • Respect local customs and traditions.


11. Responsible Trekking

Respect the local culture and environment by practicing responsible trekking. Minimize your impact, avoid littering, and engage with the local community with respect and curiosity.


12. Things to See and Do on the Tawang Monastery Trek

  • Explore the magnificent Tawang Monastery.

  • Visit Gyangong Ani Gompa and experience a monastic life.

  • Discover the beauty of Zemithang village.

  • Pay your respects at the Tawang War Memorial.

  • Enjoy the tranquility of Pankang Teng Tso Lake.


13. Potential Hazards

Some of the potential hazards that hikers should be aware of on the Tawang Monastery trek include:

  • Altitude sickness: Tawang is located at a high altitude, so it is important to acclimatize to the altitude before starting your trek.

  • Leeches: Leeches are common in the forests of the Tawang Valley, so it is important to wear long pants and socks to protect yourself.

  • Wild animals: While wild animal attacks are rare, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to make noise to scare away any animals that may be nearby.

  • Steep terrain: Some sections of the trail are quite steep, so it is important to be careful and to wear proper footwear.


14. Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips for trekking the Tawang Monastery trek:

  • Hire a guide: Hiring a guide is recommended for the Tawang Monastery trek, especially if you are not familiar with the area. Guides can help you with navigation, acclimatization, and safety.

  • Pack for all weather conditions: The weather in the Tawang Valley can be unpredictable, so it is important to pack for all weather conditions. Pack rain gear, sunscreen, and a hat.

  • Bring plenty of water and snacks: It is important to stay hydrated and fueled on the trek, so be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks.

  • Be prepared for altitude sickness: Tawang is located at a high altitude, so it is important to acclimatize to the altitude before starting your trek. Drink plenty of fluids, avoid alcohol, and rest when you need to.

  • Be aware of your surroundings: The Tawang Monastery trek takes you through some remote areas, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to make noise to scare away any animals that may be nearby.


15. Personal Experiences

I had the opportunity to trek the Tawang Monastery a few years ago, and it was an amazing experience. The trek was challenging, but it was worth it for the stunning scenery and the chance to see the Tawang Monastery.

I especially loved the part of the trek where we hiked through a lush green forest with a cascading waterfall in the background. The views of the Tawang Valley from the trail were also simply breathtaking.

I didn't have any negative experiences on the trek, but I would recommend that hikers be prepared for altitude sickness and leeches. I would also recommend acclimatizing to the altitude before starting your trek and packing plenty of water and snacks.


16. Conclusion

The Tawang Monastery trek is a journey of breathtaking beauty and cultural richness. With the right planning and preparation, you can explore the Himalayan landscapes and the spiritual heritage of Tawang. Embrace every moment and make this trek a cherished memory.

Your adventure in the heart of Arunachal Pradesh awaits. Enjoy the Tawang Monastery trek and the rich experiences it brings.


Frequently asked question

What scenery do we see during the Tawang monastery trek?

The Tawang Monastery trek offers stunning scenery throughout. Hikers will pass through lush green forests, past cascading waterfalls, and across snow-capped peaks. The views of the Tawang Valley from the trail are simply breathtaking.

How much elevation do we gain during the Tawang monastery trek?

The total elevation gain on the Tawang Monastery trek is approximately 1000 meters. The trek starts at an altitude of 3000 meters and ends at an altitude of 4000 meters.

Do we see wildlife during the Tawang monastery trek?

The Tawang Valley is home to a variety of wildlife, including the red panda, the snow leopard, and the Himalayan tahr. Hikers may also spot other animals such as monkeys, deer, and birds during their trek.


I hope this guide has been helpful. If you have any questions about trekking the Tawang Monastery trek, please feel free to leave a comment below.


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