Roadtrip to Walong, Arunachal Pradesh


Well-Known Member
Firstly a glimpse of the road towards Namti plains in Walong:



Life has been has been very eventful for me in this year. Became a father. Got transferred from Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh back to Guwahati, Assam. New Department etc etc.. In all this, the traveller in me took a backseat with only a few day trips to nearby places. This October Durga puja time presented a golden opportunity of almost 7-8 days to travel some place.
A few places were discussed with my friends. Many were interested to see the newly opened Dhola-Sadiya bridge. Me being me wanted to go further. Why not travel via this bridge and enter Arunachal and see where we end up-suggested me. At this stage, there were 4 possible travel buddies including me. As it later turned out, the trip to Walong included just me and my friend Pahar.

Inner Line Permit:

Gone are the days when you needed to physically go to office and apply for ILP. The new online ILP system is very user friendly and you get your ILP the next day of the online application. A big thumbs up to the new online ILP system. I listed Lohit, Anjaw, Lower Dibang and Namsai as my visiting districts and it automatically selected entry points like Dirak, Paglam, Shantipur etc.


My Bolero 4wd had not seen much action over the last 10 months. Warning: I might be gushing over my truck/ tractor in my posts so please bear with me J


A big shout out to our fellow BCMTian and the living encyclopaedia on Arunachal and infact the rest of NER @sanuroxz a.ka. Tapas bhai. His logs are so detailed that new places look almost familiar to you. Also, thanks to various bloggers who have put up precious information on their logs.

We didn’t pre-book any accommodation although we had a fair idea of what to expect in the places. We planned to decide as per the situation and plan our travel accordingly.

So, lets begin:

Day 1: Samelangso, Karbi Anglong to Dibrugarh (Via Nambor reserve)

Distance: 400 kms

Road conditions: Bad to pathetic

Samelangso is my wife’s home. Me and Pahar started early at around 6 am from Samelangso. Said bye-bye to my wife and son. It was a beautiful morning with a light drizzle. The green paddy fields kept us company.


The floods in Assam have been severe this year and it shows in the condition of our roads. Full of potholes and bigger potholes. At one point, I started feeling sorry for my bolero which says a lot about the road conditions.

Eventually, made it to Dibrugarh at around 7:00 pm and went to my sister’s place and crashed for the night. The real journey was about to start tomorrow.

Day 2: Dibrugarh to Khupa, Arunachal Pradesh

Distance: 270 kms

Road conditions: Average to Awesome :)

When planning for the trip, I was not very clear about the route I would take to Walong. All I knew was that I would take the newly opened Dhola-Sadiya bridge, enter via Shantipur gate and reach Tezu and other places. My buddy Safik advised me to take the Rupai Siding route and enter Arunachal via the Dirak gate. I took his advise and my route for the day looked like this: Dibrugarh-Kakopathar-Dirak gate-Namsai-Chongkham-Alubari bridge-Tezu-Khupa.

We started early at around 6am from Dibrugarh and refuelled near Tinsukia. There is a new Tinsukia Bypass road which ends near Makum road. Very handy to escape the traffic in Tinsukia. We soon took a right turn and started travelling towards Kakopathar. The roads are brilliant to say the least. After the torture yesterday, this was feeling like heaven. Beautiful paddy fields stretched out to the horizon on both sides of the beautiful road.
Some pics:

Awesome roads near Kakopathar, Assam


Pahar posing:


Never tire of beautiful roads, paddy fields and my bolero :)

In no time, we were at the Dirak check gate-our entry point to Arunachal Pradesh. Got our details entered in the register and off we went. Bought some bananas and peanuts- this turned out to be a very good decision.

Tip: Carry some dry fruits, water and food on this route. Population gets sparser and sparser as we travel further in the hills.

The beautiful, nearly three lane roads enticed us to drive fast but we travelled at a sedate place enjoying the views around. Namsai was still waking up when we passed it. Soon, we spotted a signboard announcing the beautiful golden pagoda. We decided to visit this place and it was totally worth it. Beautiful clean surroundings- a perfect place for spending some quality family time. We spotted two RE bikes and we guessed they might be travelling to Walong as well.

Some pics from the golden pagoda:

At the entrance gate. Ignore the selfie couple ;)


Lush gardens and extremely clean surroundings


Some more pics:






After reaching Chongkham, one needs to take a diversion to the left to reach Alubari bridge/ ghat. The bridge is a new one and now there is no need to board ferries-an adventure in itself-and no need to plan ones travel according to ferry timings. Some pics of the bridge:




Beautiful views from the bridge

The good roads continued right upto Tezu. It was only 11 am and we decided to press on and see where we end up for the day.


Road leading to Tezu

After 5 kms from Tezu, the typical mountain single lane road begins. Let me go on record and say that the roads here are better than any other route in Arunachal I have been to. Better than Tawang, Mechuka, Along, Basar, Roing, Anini etc. Barring a few broken places to be handled carefully this route should be easily doable in a hatchback.

Our bolero chugged along the winding roads and we soon realise the remoteness of this place. There is only an occasional sumo or army convoy which pass by on this road.

Tip: Whenever possible at the earliest space available, stop and give way to the oncoming vehicle to pass. Reversing on such roads in not a pleasant experience.

We stopped regularly and enjoyed the views which were getting better as we progressed. The bananas we bought at Dirak gate gave us enough energy to keep on driving.

Some pics:






Pahar and I were getting hungry and restless as we didn’t have a proper breakfast. We soon reached a small place where there two or three dhabas. Food was great with local chicken and boiled vegetables. Diesel in the car tank + food in the human tank= bliss.

At the dhaba, a local girl going to Khupa asked for a lift. We had the space so after asking her if she pukes in car- my bolero with leaf sprung suspension is very jumpy- seated her. In Arunachal, you have got to admire the trust and simplicity of the local people. This trust rubs on you as well.

We were travelling through some dense jungles and the drive was getting a bit tiring. Our new passenger who had not spoken much suddenly asked “Dada is your tape working? Its getting boring” haha. I obliged and my son’s favourite lullaby came on immediately- Shape of You- Ed Sheeran. I guess it is indeed a good lullaby as both my passengers dozed off soon afterwards.

Post lunch:



The Lohit river had begun to accompany our drive. Now, Arunachal is full of hanging bridges. So far, I have had the guts to cross only one- a peacefully low one over a sedate river in Mechuka. In my stay in Pasighat, I have come across some really long suspension bridges over the Siang river which I have never crossed. This time I was determined to cross atleast one such hanging bridge. Just before reaching Khupa, we spotted a lovely and long hanging bridge. We soon saw the approach road and our new passenger confirmed its in good condition and can be crossed. So leaving the girl in charge of our car, Pahar and I set off to explore the hanging bridge. The wooden planks looked solidly fixed and gave me some confidence. The Lohit river was flowing beneath in all its glory with strong wind. I made it till halfway and then looked below the bridge. It seemed as if the river was standing still and the bridge flying away to one side. Didn’t look down anymore and continued crossing the bridge by holding to the side wires/ railings which incidentally has very sharp edges. The more we tried to hold to the side the more small cuts we got on our hands. Finally, I saw with great joy that the worst was over and we had almost crossed the bridge. Mission accomplished J The way back was not so scary. I think one would get used to crossing these bridges if they stay here for some time.

First views of mighty Lohit



Views around the hanging bridge



Taking pics gets trickier as we move further on the bridge



Pahar telling me to get on with it hehe






A parting shot of the bridge:

We were walking back to our bolero when we saw some local men and women walking on the road towards Khupa. They were carrying bamboo caskets full of vegetables to sell at the market in Khupa. They tried waving to a maruti van but as it was full they could not get a lift. They requested us if we could give them a lift to Khupa which was another 10 odd kms from the place. We happily obliged and somehow 5 people and an infant fit in the middle row of my car with their vegetable caskets in the luggage area. My normally jumpy bolero literally transformed into a car with sublime ride quality with the extra load.

We drove into Khupa at around 4 pm. Dropped off the locals at the Khupa market and drove into the Ampani lodge. One of my colleagues had visited this route earlier and suggested we stay at Khupa instead of Hayuliang. There is one more IB/ Circuit house at Khupa. We got a room at the Ampani lodge. It was a clean room with surprisingly round the clock electricity.

Tip: There is a petrol pump at Khupa. Tank up here. The chances of getting fuel is iffy and its better to save oneself the headache. I didn’t and got some headache.

There was still some daylight left and Pahar and I decided to explore the small Khupa town. It was such a beautiful setting. No cars, no mobile network- no not even BSNL or Airtel, people walking along peacefully, kids running around-lovely. I would definitely suggest a night stop at Khupa.

In the evening, the bikers we had seen at Namsai also came to Ampani lodge. They had gone to Hayuliang and couldn’t get any accommodation. Some private hotel is also there but the bikers informed that it was in a very bad condition.

Some pics:


IB at Khupa



It was a bit chilly in Khupa and after a lovely dinner of rice, dal and chicken we retired for the night. Tomorrow we go to Walong.
Keep reading. Cheers!

Fantastic! I really feel sad for skipping this trip!

Khupa seems like the perfect place for people like us to spend a few peaceful days ❤


Well-Known Member
Beautiful start Gunin...your tales have been amzing to read.
Narender ji coming from you thats really high praise. Thank you :)

Fantastic! I really feel sad for skipping this trip!

Khupa seems like the perfect place for people like us to spend a few peaceful days ❤
Rajiv bhai theres always a next time :) Khupa is indeed a lovely place for those in search of a little peace and solitude.


Super User
Wow Walong.. Lovely pictures and words as always

You spotted my Spy in Walong ;) waiting for the remaining part...

and for me the road to Nampong (Stillwell Road) is best till now in entire AP

Where is Tidding bridge's larger pic?
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Well-Known Member
Wow Walong.. Lovely pictures and words as always

You spotted my Spy in Walong ;) waiting for the remaining part...

and for me the road to Nampong (Stillwell Road) is best till now in entire AP

Where is Tidding bridge's larger pic?
Tapas bhai thanks :) There are so many bridges. Which one is the Tidding one? BTW I met Partha da in Walong.

Super - Like !

Makes me want to go back to Arunachal Pradesh.

Thank you :)


Well-Known Member
Below is Tidding bridge

I came to know you met him
Tahts why i mentioned you spotted my Spy there ;)
Its a small world. The moment Partha da said his name I asked him if he knew Tapas :)

Tidding bridge is after the lunch place. Both my passengers had dozed off by then. Maybe thats why I didn't take close ups hehe