The area of the district is approximately 2,085-sq-kms
bordered by Tibet in the North, Bhutan in the Southwest and Sela ranges
separate West Kameng district in the East. The name Tawang derives from
some bearings on surroundings. But people's interpretation is that the
name Tawang was given by Mera Lama in the 17th century.
Land Of Monpas
The inhabitants of the districts are all of Monpa tribes except Shyo village, which is dominated by people of Tibetan origin. The Monpas belong to Mongoloid stock, are well built, and fair in complexion. Their houses are built with stones and timbers. Agriculture and Animal Husbandry are the fundamental means of the Monpas occupation.
Tawang Galden Namgyal Lhatse
The spiritual center of the universe for the Monpas is the Tawang Galden Namgyal Lhatse. This is the divine site believed to have been chosen by the celestial white horse. According to the legend, the site of the Tawang monastery was shown to the Mira Lama in a dream. A white horse pawed the ground, which was to be the site of the monastery.
About forty years of construction work, starting from the 1640s, was needed to complete the structure. After three centuries of peace, this monastery was badly damaged by the Chinese invasion of 1962, with priceless murals and Tankhas (also spelt as Thankas or Thangkas) being destroyed. Reconstruction still goes on in parts of the monastery.
Tawang Library - The Buddhist Treasure House
Another interesting feature is that the Tawang is still "alive" in today's world. Its library is a repository of thousands of block-printed commentaries and treatises on the subject of Mahayana Buddhism. This is a valuable resource for Buddhist scholars in the region. Even the paper used is produced by the Monpas locally, from the bark of the Hong Seng tree.
There are two major religious festivals of the Monpas viz "Losar"
and "Torgya". Both festivals are celebrated once annually. The
Losar is celebrated to the commencement of New year. Every third year of
Torgya, the festival of "Dungyur" is celebrated. Both "Dungyur
and Torgya" festivals are celebrated at the premises of the Tawang
Monastery with traditional gaiety and enthusiasm.
There are beautiful lakes around Tawang, the most being Pankang Teng Tso (P.T. Tso) Lake. It is a fetching heaven for tourist only 17-Km away from maddening crowd of township. It is a beautiful natural site and provide tourist a lucky chance for deep communion with nature. Other eye-catching lakes are Sangetser Lake, and Banggachang Lake.
The 'Changsey' is probably the first architect of green landscaping in Tawang District. His efforts transformed the place into growing greenery. Driven by the love for nature, creation of new, he started his plantation from the year 1979. The species, which dots his backyard, are both the local as well as the exotic ones. Now every household looks for the crown species called Crytomeria Joponica, popularly known as Rigilling 'Sheng', introduced by the "Changsey". Other notable species planted by him are Blue Pine, fir, popular Salix, Oak, Thoza etc.