As the temperature soars across Assam and Travel restrictions have been relaxed we decided to visit Dirang in the west Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. There are so many things to do in Dirang, so do make a detailed plan and check the weather before leaving.
Dirang is located at 4910 feet above sea level and is approximately 310 km from Guwahati. This quiet village and Bomdilla, both are overnight destinations for tourists heading towards Tawang from Assam.
I was not sure if the kids would be able to travel by road this distance at a stretch, so we left Guwahati in the late afternoon and stayed at Tezpur for the night and the next morning we continued our journey. One can also stay at Nameri/Bhalukpong and explore Nameri Tiger Reserve for 1 day and then continue their journey onwards.
There are a few tourist spots in Dirang that one can visit and enjoy before heading to Tawang.
Things to do in Dirang:
1. Monastery/Thupsung Dhargye Monastery: Things to do in Dirang
Located in the middle of the mountains, this Monastery is must visit. With a beautifully artistic, clean and peaceful environment one can feel at peace and relaxed. With prayer Stupa on both sides and an open field in front of the Monastery, it’s a beautiful experience both for the body and mind. There is a The kids could freely roam around as there were few visitors when we arrived. The Shrine is considered a centre for promoting Buddhist Learning and Tibetan culture for visitors. Photography is also allowed inside the shrine. There is a small cafe where you will get Tea, Coffee and Snacks. Free parking is also available.
2. Sela Pass:
It is the only route to Tawang. The roads are very curved, they are covered in snow during winter. The weather can be very unpredictable even during summer seasons so it is better to carry enough warm clothes. My son was expecting to see some snow but it was not snowing when we visited, it was very cold and windy with temperatures around 5 degrees. We all were shivering even after wearing sweaters and jackets and my daughter refused to wear any warm clothes. During winters one may get stuck for hours due to snow and landslides so you make sure you are carrying enough food and water with you as there are no tea or food stall (or maybe one or two) luckily we had packed our lunch and tea and ate it at Sela pass. One can also spot Yaks on the way.
3. Sangti Valley:
It is one of the most beautiful valleys I have been to it is approximately 15 km from Dirang and is blessed with natural beauty and various flora and fauna. As one walks inside the valley you will be greeted by Kiwi trees and locally grown vegetables on both sides of the road. A walk beside the river is simply breathing. We booked our homestay at Sangti Valley and it was an isolated one with no internet connections. If you could spend at least one day in this beautiful valley, you won’t regret it at all. Don’t forget to carry your binoculars also as you are going to spot some exotic bird species.
4. Local Market:
I always make a point to visit the local market, whenever I visit a place, not particularly to buy something but to explore different kinds of local fruits and vegetables available there. And I have always found something interesting which is not available in our market or cities. Some local fruits and vegetables that were available in the market were Kiwi, Apples, sweet Kerela, almonds, and milk products like cheese made from yak’s milk.
5. Kalachakra Gompa: Things to do in Dirang
It’s a 500-year-old monastery and a major tourist attraction. Mostly pilgrims and Buddhist monks are seen visiting this sacred place.
There are a few other places like Dirang Dzong ( It is a 17th-century citadel that was built to protect Bomdila from invasions) and National Research Centre on Yak that one can visit, but we had to miss them as we didn’t get time to cover these places.
Where to stay in Bomdila or Dirang
Not many options to choose from, but one can book hotels or homestays in Dirang/ Bomdilla or Sangti valley. We stayed in Letro Homestay at Sangti Valley. The owner was very helpful. Check here for availability
Here are a few options to choose from:
How to reach Dirang or Bomdila?
The nearest airport to Dirang, Bomdila or Tawang is Tezpur and Guwahati in Assam. From Guwahati/Tezpur one can take a cab to Bhalukpong)/Tezpur check post and from there one can take a shared taxi to Bomdilla or Dirang. I would advise you to take a cab or your private car for the whole journey or book your trip through some travel agents. One is also required to take Inner Line Permit before visiting Arunachal Pradesh. (ILP can be obtained online for Rupees 50 per person)
The nearest feasible station is Guwahati. Shared cabs are available at the Dirang Taxi Counter in ASTC bus stand in Paltan Bazaar. There are buses that run between Guwahati and Bomdila/Dirang/Tawang from ISBT Bus Stand in Guwahati.
We took our car from Guwahati.
Weather in Dirang- Arunachal Pradesh:
The best time to visit is Between October to April.
The weather is mostly cold but can be unpredictable at times. When we visited in October the weather was clear and sunny with temperatures at around 30 degrees Celcius and at night it was about 15 degrees. Keep 2-3 days extra as you might get stuck due to landslides or snowfall like we came back to Bomdilla and stayed there for the night from Tenga Valley as roads were closed due to landslides. Check what to pack for a one-day outing with a kid.
The whole trip was rejuvenating for us and the kids also loved exploring these places. As these places are still not very popular among tourists there were not many people from outside thus making the tourist places less crowded and peaceful.