16 Best Things to Do in Tawang: From Monasteries to Trekking

 In Adventure, adventure activities, Tawang, Things to do, Travel

If you are planning a Tawang Road Trip, read this first!  Welcome to Tawang, where adventure meets culture amidst the majestic Himalayas! 

Dive into an unforgettable journey filled with vibrant festivals, serene landscapes, and hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. Explore the iconic Tawang Monastery, a fusion of Tibetan Buddhism and stunning architecture. Then, embark on exhilarating hikes at Gorichen Peak or find tranquility at Shonga-Tser Lake.

Pay homage to bravery at Jaswant Garh and Tawang War Memorial, reflecting on the courage of the past. Pack your bags and let Tawang guide you on an extraordinary adventure. Let’s make memories together as we explore this top place to visit in Arunachal Pradesh – Tawang!

Exploring the rich Cultural Heritage of Tawang

1. Visit Tawang Monastery

tawang-monastary

When in Tawang, visiting the Tawang Monastery has to be one of the first things to do in Tawang. This is the largest monastery in India and is located in the Twang River valley. Tawang Monastery is 3 floors high within a large compound wall.

One of the largest monasteries in India, offering insights into Tibetan Buddhism and stunning architectural beauty. Although some may suggest that this is just another one of the Places to Visit in Tawang, we argue that it is not just a place but a spirituality-seeking activity.

The complex is watch-worthy with 65 residential buildings. Look at the library here with ancient scriptures. Also, it is placed on top of the hill. Hence, it provides breathtaking views of forests, the Tawang River, snow-capped mountains, and deep valleys. Gaze at the entrance painted with colored murals and bow the heads in front of Lord Buddha, placed inside the temple.

2. Celebrate Losar in Tawang

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Image Source -eastern routes

Losar, the Tibetan New Year, is celebrated with fervor in Tawang. Marking the onset of spring, it’s a time for family gatherings, prayers, and cultural performances. The Monpa community, predominantly Buddhist, cleans their homes, decorates them, and offers traditional delicacies. 

Monks conduct special rituals in monasteries, seeking blessings for the community’s prosperity and well-being. Losar showcases Tawang’s rich cultural heritage, attracting visitors to witness its vibrant celebrations. Losar marks the beginning of the Tibetan New Year and is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. 

The festival usually falls in February or March, depending on the lunar calendar. It is a time for families to come together, offer prayers in monasteries, and seek blessings for the upcoming year. This is one of the most popular things to do in Tawang amongst tourists

3. Explore the Torgya Festival

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Image Source - current affairs

Torgya Festival, held in January, is a vibrant celebration in Tawang. This three-day Buddhist festival, celebrated by the Monpa community, features colorful rituals, masked dances, and religious ceremonies at Tawang Monastery. 

It commemorates the victory of good over evil and seeks blessings for the coming year. Torgya Festival showcases Tawang’s rich cultural heritage and draws visitors to witness its mesmerizing traditions and festivities. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in Monpa culture, enjoying traditional music, dance, and local delicacies during the Torgya Festival, making this one of the best things to do in Tawang.

4. Shop at Tibetan Settlement Market

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Image Source - scoopwhoop

The Next item on the list of things to do in Tawang is, to explore the local handicraft centers to witness traditional crafts such as Thangka paintings, weaving, and wood carving

The market consists of local shops, roadside shacks, and vendors having colorful handicrafts and traditional items to buy for. With that, Chinese crockeries, flags, prayer wheels, statues of Buddha, and wall hangings are all studded on the slow side.

 Shop some of the best items and souvenirs to gift to your family and friends. Not just this, hop on some snacks like momos or thukpa to satiate the hunger pangs. Try to reach the place in the morning and explore the market. The place is also famous for its affordability.

Things To Do In Tawang To Enjoy The Nature

5. Visit Sela Pass in Tawang

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Drive through the breathtaking Sela Pass, offering panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, frozen lakes, and stunning landscapes.

Situated at a high altitude of more than 13500 feet, Sela Pass is covered with white snow for most of the time of the year and it is one of the popular things to do in Tawang.

Gaze at the fog and the Sela lake clad with the same. This paradise is known for its appeal and beauty and can be reached via road, well connected to Tawang. Apart from Sela lake, many other small or big frozen lakes could also be seen here. Bless yourself at this pass and enjoy the sightseeing in Tawang.

  • Location of Sela Pass: Sela Pass, a high-altitude mountain pass is located on NH 13. It connects Tawang and West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh.

6. Spend A Day At Shonga-Tser Lake

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Trek or drive to Shonga-Tser Lake surrounded by picturesque mountains and known for its tranquil ambiance.

Shonga-Tser Lake is one of the most beautiful sites in the midst of mountains and clouded sky. Also known as Madhuri lake, the lake is an absolute delight to photographers and it is one of the best things to do in Tawang. The locals have deemed it to be one of the more popular things to do in Tawang amongst the many activities.

Photography and sightseeing at the lake are one of the best things to do in Tawang. Sit here, gossip and enjoy the view while meditating in the calm winds. Trust us, this place will not let anyone feel down and a stroll around is worth it.

7. Witness the Nuranang Falls

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Image source - Tripadvisor

Also called Bong Bong falls, this waterfall is spectacular with a height of 100 meters. The hydel power plant is also located in the nearby zone. This fall begins from North of Sela Pass.

Feel the sprinkle of water while Nuranang falls gushes down in the plunge pool. The vast sky and dense green vegetation would soothe the minds and calm the hearts. Taking a dip in the pristine waters of Nuranang Falls is top amongst the best things to do in Tawang

Witness the majestic Nuranang Falls cascading down amidst lush greenery, offering a perfect spot for nature lovers and photographers.

Location: HXQM+Q8V, Jang, 790105

Go Back In Time By Visiting The Historical Sites

8. Pay homage at Jaswant Garh

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Pay homage to the brave soldiers at Jaswant Garh War Memorial, dedicated to the heroic deeds of Rifleman Jaswant Singh during the 1962 Sino-Indian War.

A memorial of rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat is laid comfortably in Tawang and is made to honor him.

Look at the temple-like structure with a camouflage pattern. Make a day by visiting this place while enjoying quick snacks. Salute to the brave martyr here and ignite the feeling of national pride in self while being at this place. It also provides an opportunity for sightseeing in Tawang.

9. Bow in respect at the Tawang War Memorial

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Visit the memorial built to commemorate the Indian Army soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the 1962 war, offering a glimpse into the region’s history.

Situated at a distance of 25 kilometers from Tawang, Tawang War Memorial is a wonderful spot among places to visit in Tawang to cherish some patriotic fervor in Tawang. 

Commemorating the bravery of martyred Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in the 1962 Indo-China War, Tawang War Memorial is an important place to visit when you are there. Built in the memory of 2140 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in the war, Tawang War Memorial is a fitting place to show your love for the nation and relive those historical events.

10. Marvel at the quiet beauty of the Urgelling Monastery

tawang-monastary
Image Source - The Unexplored

Explore the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama at Urgelling Monastery, a serene place with historical significance.

Urgelling Monastery, nestled in Tawang, holds historical significance as the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama. This sacred site, founded by Lama Urgen Sangpo in the 15th century, offers serene surroundings and spiritual solace. The seemingly unreachability of the place makes it one of the top things to do in Tawang for an offbeat vacation.

Pilgrims visit to pay homage and seek blessings amidst the monastery’s tranquil ambiance. Urgelling Monastery serves as a cultural and spiritual landmark, preserving Tibetan Buddhist traditions. Its architecture and artifacts reflect centuries of heritage, attracting tourists seeking cultural enrichment and historical insight into Tawang’s spiritual legacy.

Location: A.P, Birthplace of 6th Dalai Lama, Urgelling Monastery, Tawang

Feel the Spiritual Aura At The Religious Sites

11. Hiking to visit Ani Gompa

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Trek to Ani Gompa, a secluded Buddhist nunnery nestled amidst scenic surroundings, offering tranquility and spiritual solace.

Ani Gompa, situated in Tawang, is a renowned Buddhist nunnery offering a serene retreat for spiritual seekers. Founded in the 17th century by Lama Lodre Gyatso, it provides a tranquil environment for meditation and contemplation. 

Ani Gompa houses a community of Buddhist nuns dedicated to religious practice and study. Visitors can explore the peaceful surroundings, admire the monastery’s architecture, and participate in religious rituals. Ani Gompa stands as a symbol of spiritual devotion and cultural heritage, attracting visitors seeking inner peace and cultural enlightenment in Tawang.

12. Pilgrimage to Gorsam Chorten

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Image source - Tripadvisor

Visit the ancient Gorsam Chorten, an important pilgrimage site with a large stupa surrounded by prayer wheels, offering serene vibes and panoramic views.

Gorsam Chorten is also known as Gorsam Stupa. It is a 100 ft tall Buddhist stupa located in Zemithang, 90 km from Tawang.. 

The Monpa monk Lama Pradhar built it in the early 12th century to resemble the 5th century Boudhnath Stupa in Nepal, and Chendebji Chortan in Bhutan. The stupa depicts the “All Seeing Eyes’ ‘ of the Buddha in the local Monpa dialect. Climbing up to visit the monastery can be said to be one of the adventurous things to do in Tawang. 

13. Explore the views at Taktsang Gompa

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Image source - Tripadvisor

Taktsang Gompa in Tawang is perched atop a cliff and offers stunning views of the Tawang Valley, offering spiritual retreat and breathtaking vistas.

Taktsang Gompa, also known as Tiger’s Nest, is a sacred site in the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The name literally means “Tiger’s Den”. The gompa is located on a hillock at an altitude of about 12,500 to 13,000 feet. 

The gompa is a famous pilgrimage site that rose to prominence in the 8th century. It’s believed that Guru Rinpoche visited the monastery on a tigress. Padma Sambava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, is said to have meditated in a cave close to where the monastery stands. The name, the place, the thrill, all make a visit to Taktsang Gompa in Tawang, a must-do amongst the adventurous things to do in Tawang.

Way To Enjoy The Local Culinary Delights

14. Taste Local Cuisine

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Experience the culinary delights of Tawang with its array of local delicacies. Savor the heartwarming Thukpa, a soulful noodle soup brimming with flavors. 

Delight your taste buds with Momos, steamed dumplings filled with savory goodness. Dive into the comforting warmth of Zan, a nourishing barley flour soup that soothes the soul. 

For a unique gastronomic adventure, don’t miss out on Yak-based dishes, offering a taste of the region’s rich cultural heritage. Indulge in these authentic flavors and embark on a culinary journey through the vibrant tapestry of Tawang’s cuisine.

15. Visit Local Markets

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Discover the vibrant ambiance of Tawang’s bustling markets, where a kaleidoscope of colors and aromas awaits. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as you wander through stalls brimming with local snacks, from crispy fried treats to sweet delicacies. 

Sample the freshest fruits and organic produce, sourced directly from nearby farms, ensuring a taste of pure authenticity. The locals in Tawang are very friendly to tourists and the least vary of curios folks trying new things, this is one among the many Things to Know about Tawang, before planning an “offbeat” vacation here.

As you meander through the market lanes, marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship of handmade crafts, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region. Explore these markets to experience the essence of Tawang’s culinary and cultural diversity firsthand.

16. Tea Tasting

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Embark on a journey through the lush valleys of Tawang to discover its tea estates and local tea houses. Immerse yourself in the serene surroundings as you sip on aromatic blends of organic tea, cultivated with care amidst the pristine natural beauty. 

From delicate green teas to robust black varieties, indulge in a refreshing experience that tantalizes the senses. Engage with tea enthusiasts and learn about the intricate art of tea cultivation and preparation. 

Whether you’re a connoisseur or a casual tea lover, exploring Tawang’s tea culture promises a truly rejuvenating and enriching experience.

So, take this mesmerizing journey through Tawang, where adventure and culture converge to offer an unparalleled experience. From the iconic Tawang Monastery to the serene Shonga-Tser Lake, each destination beckons with its own charm. Immerse yourself in the vibrant festivities of Losar and Torgya, celebrating tradition and community spirit. 

Pay tribute to the brave soldiers at Jaswant Garh and Tawang War Memorial, honoring their valor. Whether you crave spiritual serenity or thrilling escapades, Tawang promises to captivate your senses. 

Plan your adventure today and let the magic of this Himalayan gem sweep you off your feet!

What are the must-visit monasteries in Tawang?

Tawang boasts several must-visit monasteries, with the Tawang Monastery leading the list. It’s the largest in India, showcasing stunning Tibetan architecture and rich Buddhist culture. Another notable site is Urgelling Monastery, revered as the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, offering a serene ambiance and historical significance.

Are there any trekking opportunities available in Tawang?

Yes, Tawang offers fantastic trekking opportunities amidst its scenic landscapes. Adventurers can embark on Hiking at Gorichen Peak in Tawang for a challenging yet rewarding experience. This trek leads you through picturesque valleys, alpine meadows, and breathtaking views of the Himalayas, providing an unforgettable adventure for trekking enthusiasts of all levels. The thrill of hiking at Gorichen Peak in Tawang is amongst the highly recommended activities to do in Tawang for thrill seekers.

What are some offbeat attractions worth exploring in Tawang?

Beyond the popular attractions, Tawang harbors offbeat gems like Ziro Puto. This pilgrimage site features traditional stone carvings and architectural marvels, offering a serene escape from the bustling tourist spots. Explore the rustic charm of Ziro Puto, steeped in cultural significance and natural beauty, for a unique and enriching experience in Tawang. Those who prefer to take the unbeaten road, these are some of the top things to do in Tawang for an offbeat vacation.

What are the top natural attractions in and around Tawang?

Tawang is blessed with awe-inspiring natural attractions, including the stunning Sela Pass. Situated at over 13,000 feet, this mountain pass offers panoramic views of snow-capped peaks, frozen lakes, and verdant valleys. Visitors can also explore the serene beauty of Shonga-tser Lake, Madhuri Lake, and Nuranang Falls, each showcasing the mesmerizing splendor of Tawang’s natural landscape.

Are there any adventure sports activities available in Tawang?

While Tawang is renowned for its cultural and natural wonders, it also offers thrilling adventure sports activities. Enthusiasts can indulge in river rafting on the Brahmaputra River, paragliding over the picturesque valleys, and yak safaris amidst the Himalayan terrain. These are thrill seeking activities to do in Tawang for the Adventure seekers. They will find plenty of adrenaline-pumping and adventurous things to do in Tawang that are popular among the thrill junkies.

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