Arunachal in monsoon is, unfortunately, to be avoided. The best time is from November to February. March is unpredictable. A colleague of mine visited this area in March end last year, and they did not face any problem. Whereas we went in March beginning, but had to face rains.
As there was plenty of time available, we decided to visit the golden pagoda. After taking lunch at the hotel, we started for the pagoda which, we thought, would be in the outskirts of the town. It is situated on the road towards Chowkham, but away from Namsai. Photography is not permitted inside the monastery complex. So we had to be content with some snaps taken from the road.
There is a new complex being built nearby. We opened the gate and entered inside. There is a large temple being built which is perhaps the to be used for meditation. It has a very nice Buddha statue. We took some photos as there was nobody around. It was a serene atmosphere.
Suddenly, some Bengali tourists came there following us and started speaking loudly. Wonder why these people cannot stop talking at the top of their voice. This alerted a guard who came out of his room and seeing the camera dangling from my neck, started walking towards me. Realising what we’d have to face, we started walking briskly towards the gate without even looking at him and managed to come out before he reached us!
As usual, we were out on the road early in the morning. The sky was clear for a change, with some slightly whitish cloud near the horizon. But on close inspection, we realised that those were not clouds. For the first time on this tour, we saw snow capped peaks. As the road was meandering from left to right to left, the peaks were playing hide and seek with us. For the next one hour, we went berserk with the camera, literally stopping the car time and again in search of a vantage location.
As we crossed the golden pagoda, we saw a stair going towards the backside, and this offered a really good position for taking photos.
As we moved ahead, the vistas changed suddenly.
Tea gardens in the foreground, azure sky, mountain peaks crowned with snow in the backdrop – what more can an urban tourist ask for!
We had to bid adieu to the peaks and moved ahead to explore another interesting destination.
It is a business opportunity to them. They have hired some young guys who are entitled to take photos. Obviously, a percentage goes to them.
Feb end and March beginning - it seems that the same weather condition prevailed in the upper reaches of Arunachal. There is a pagal nullah after Jenging before Gandhi bridge which is prone to landslides. Not sure whether it has changed now.