Combining Nature's Generosity And A Remote Rural culture
On the edge of the luxuriant forest of the Pakhui Game Sanctuary, along the Kameng River lies the village of Bhalukpong - the gateway to Bomdila and the Tawang Monastery.
For the energetic visitor, keen to experience the remote outdoors, few places can match the dimensions of faraway Arunachal Pradesh. Nature's generosity is evident here.
And in its mystical wonderland, straddling India's northeastern corner, the village of Bhalukpong holds a special place. It lies 52-km from Tezpur , on the edge of a luxuriant forest that blends with the Pakhui Game Sanctuary, in the southwestern corner of the state, where the Kameng River flows across into Assam .
The village also serves as the gateway to Bomdila and the Tawang Monastery on the northwestern tip of the Arunachal Himalayas. As with the Kameng, four other major rivers that rise in this range, drain into the Brahamaputra, lying within the Inner Line, entry permits are necessary.
To get there, the visitor must first reach Guwahati. The route branches off the Guwahati - Shillong road and moves initially towards the Kaziranga National Park , refuge of the one-horned Rhinoceros. Diverting once again, the road crosses the Brahmaputra to reach Tezpur on its north bank. Bhalukpong is endowed with the cross - border blend of the natural and the cultural. The visitor may thus combine Mahaseer fishing in the Kameng with a visit to the forest where the great pied hornbill glides in elegantly to roost on the high treetops, while down below lies a window to the tribal life of the frontier.
The Tipi Orchidarium nearby has a rare collection of nearly 500 species. It's like being in a different time zone here. For a start, early morning risers will see an inspirational dawn. Earlier than anywhere else in the country, it spreads quite unlike the beleaguered day beak over a metropolis. The sun too seems to possess greater zest. From the forest rest house one can soak in a fabulous view of the Kameng as it snakes away towards Assam.
Jeep And Elephant Safari
And if one would like to explore, one can get a first-hand feel of the great route that lies ahead to Bomdila and the crossing of the Sela Pass to the Tawang Monastery. If a second day is available, one may drive down to the entry gates at the nearby Pakhui Game Sanctuary. In the early morning, the elephants with their 'Mahouts' will be ready to venture into the forest, the air redolent of the rich foliage below and the tangled canopy overhead.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Bhalukpong is October to April, well before the monsoon currents start building up. Ideally, the trip must also include time for extended driving to cover the state's other attractions in the capital, Itanagar, and places such as Ziro in the Apatani Plateau or the unique Namdapha National Park, in its far east.
Air: Nearest Airport at
Rail: Nearest railhead at Rangpara.
Road: From Tezpur regular buses ply to Bhalukpong and other major cities of Arunachal Pradesh.
Accommodation can be arranged in forest rest houses or small hotels and lodges.