Trekking in West Kameng & Tawang

16 days trek along the"Baily trail" to Tawang 
Included visit to Tawang monastery & Monpa tribal villages 
Max Elevation: 4550 m 
Grade: Moderate
Period: April and Oct 
Minimum of 04 persons permitted.

This trek crosses over the Sela ridge from the 
Dirang River Valley tothe Valley of the Tawang Chhu in 10 days. Starting at a heritage  Monpa tribal villages in the Dirang Valley, the route follows the ancient trade route called the "Baily Trail". It is a rare opportunity to explore the lush forests, smiling vales, gurgling streams, and the  breathtaking vistas of Himalayan uplands through the wild and high mountain barrier of the Sela ridge. In addition it offers a peep into the unique and remote Himalayan tribal culture of the "Monpas", their Buddhist monasteries, picturesque villages, and gentle people.

Nowadays the highway which connects the Brahmaputra Valley to Tawang , encounters three ridges, all of them running roughly West to East. Of these the most formidable is the Sela Ridge rising upto 4900 Meters. This highway crosses the ridge via the Sela pass at 4267 Meters, to  reach Tawang. Thereafter the terrain  rises to the Himalayan watershed marked by the the peaks of Gori Chen at 6500 meters and Kangdo, which rears its head at a proud 7090 Meters.

In ancient days crossing over the Himalayan watershed from Tibet over the Tukung-la pass the  traders  traveled along a different route. Descending down the head waters of the Tawang Chhu river, they crossed the Sela ridge along a yak trail, with their caravans of wool, skins, precious stones and yak butter  to reach the barter markets of the Brahmaputra Valley. Here they exchanged their loads  for salt, tea, cloth, and other commodities. This route was first explored by British surveyors lead by F.M. Bailey in 1913 - and came to be called the 'Bailey Trail'. In 1962 the Chinese army used this route to strike deep into West Kameng.

Our trek  follows the "Bailey trail" to cross the Sela range and then diverts along the Tawang Chhu river valley to reach Tawang. The trek traverses a route which starts at an elevation of  2090 meters at the road head in the Dirang Valley. Over a period of 14 days we will trek through river valleys, Monpa villages, and desolate high Himalayan pastures, whilst crossing over four passes ranging from 3650 meters to 4730 meters. Walking through the  the headwaters of  four tributaries of the Kameng River we will pass through mixed sub tropical forests and coniferous forests of  Pine, fir, Oak, and Chesnut, to reach the  Alpine zone of grasslands, Juniper, and Rhododendrons. There are lovely Alpine lakes and views of the Gori Chen and Kangdo peaks.

The trek was personally reconoitered by Peter Lobo and Sudesh Pradhan.Peter lead a team of British naturalists on a 13 day trek - arguably the first ever organized group in recent times.

Trek Tour Itinerary

Day 01: Pick up from Guwahati airport. Drive to Tezpur in 04.30 hrs, overnight at hotel.

Day 02: Drive in 08 hours to Dirang Dzong  at 1500 m.  Overnight at hotel. 

Day 03: Early morning drive to Monpa Heritage Village at 2090 m. Explore ancient Buddhist Temple & village. Commence trekking through forests, and some agriculture fields; climbing steeply in parts for 4 hours to  Camp 1 at 2530 m at another Monpa Village in a forest clearing. 

Day 04: Trek steadily uphill through forests for 05 hours to another Monpa village where camp 2 will be set up at 3100 m. 

Day 05: A hard trek of 06 hours through coniferous forests with two steep climbs along a ridge to  camp 3 at 3650 m on a pass. Superb views of the Sela range, surrounding valleys and the Himalayan watershed. 

Day 06: Steady climb of 03 hours through scattered coniferous forests, juniper and Rhododendrons to cross over a pass at 3950 meters. Continue climbing for another 04 hours to Camp 4 at 4200 meters at confluence of two streams. 

Day 07: Halt at Camp 4: Explore surrounding areas and take short trek to visit many alpine lakes. 

Day 08: Trek steadily uphill beyond the tree line for 03 hrs to cross the highest pass on the trail at 4550 m. There is a Alpine lake below the summit and breath taking  panoramic views of the Sela ridge, river valleys, Gorichen (6500 m) and Kangdo,(7090 m) peaks on the Himalayan watershed. Continue down hill for 02 hrs to a river valley with background of mighty peaks to camp 5 at 4100 m. 

Day 09: Trek for 06 hours, first along the river valley, passing by a small cluster of yak huts to descend to 3850 m. This is followed by a stiff climb to a pass at 4100 meters and a long steep descent through Rhododendrons and coniferous forests to a tributary of the Tawang Chhu River to reach camp 6, near a Monpa village at 3500 m. In the evening a relaxing bath at the local hot springs. 

Day 10: A tiring 07 hours trek along a rocky trail following the Tawang Chhu River, followed by a stiff climb to Camp 7, near a Monpa Village at 3200 m. 

Day 11: Descend down to the Tawang Chhu River to continue trekking, for 04 hours through mixed forests crossing over two suspension bridges to camp 8 at 2600 m. 

Day 12: Trek for 05-06 hrs through mixed forests, crossing and re-crossing the Tawang Chuu River and its tributaries more than a dozen times over log and suspension bridges to reach the highway. Trek Ends. Transfer to jeeps and drive to Tawang in one hr. Overnight at hotel. 

Day 13: At Tawang - Explore the 350 years old Tawang Monastery, and have an audience with Rimpoche. The famous Galden Namgyal Lhatse, popularly known as Tawang Monastery was founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyamtso in the year 1860-81.  It is the fountain-head of the spiritual life of the Gelupa Sect of the Mahayana School of Budhism. The inner walls of the Dukhang - the assembly hall are painted with murals of various divinities and saints. The silver casket wrapped in silk containing the "Thankas" of Goddess Palden Lhamo - the principal deity of the monastery, were painted with blood drawn from the nose of the fifth Dalai Lama. A colossal, richly gilded statue of Lord Buddha sitting 26 feet high, occupies the middle of the northern side. In the afternoon participate in a cultural program of songs and dance. Overnight at the hotel. 

Day 14: In the morning visit Buddhist nunnery, crafts center, and Urgelling Monastery dating back to 1489 followed by the Seru Monpa village. The Urgelling Monastery is the birth place of the Sixth Dalai Lama. In 1714 the Dalai Lama’s original monastery at Urgelling was destroyed, during Mongolian invasion from Bhutan. All valued possession of Urgelling monastery were taken to Tawang Monastery. It was during this time that the Ka-gyur (holy scriptures) written out in gold and silver arrived at the Tawang monastery, where they are preserved to this day. Today a modest Gompa stands at this site. After early lunch drive back over the Sela pass to Dirang Dzong in 04 hours. Overnight in hotel.

Day 15: Drive back to Guwahati in 10 hours. Overnight in hotel.

Day 16: Transfer to airport for departure flight to Delhi or Kolkota.

Price per person

04 persons: USD 1650  

05 persons and more: on request 

Price Includes

1) All transfers as per itinerary by exclusive jeep
2) Accommodation on twin sharing, at best available hotels /Guest houses/ 3-4 man tents shared by 02 persons, with sleeping mats.

All camping facilities, all meals, accompanying guide, and porters and ponies to carry one personal rucksack, up to 25 kg in weight
4) National park entry fee and fee for elephant safari at Kaziranga
Government royalty, Restricted area trekking permits and National Park permits.

Participants are required to bring their own trekking boots, extreme cold clothing, rainwear, and sleeping bags, and are charged extra for liquor, and personal expenses.

Deposit: 50 percent.

Trek tours starts & terminates at: Guwahati airport.
On request pick up at
Delhi Airport, transit arrangements, and confirmed flight tickets Delhi to Guwahati & back will be arranged.

Note : Special Restricted area permits are required for this trek tour. Application forms for the permit will be sent on request. It can take up to 03 months to complete all formalities. formalities. 

Gurudongma Tours & Treks
Hill Top, Kalimpong, 734301, India 
Phone & Fax: +91-3552-55204

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