Head to the hills

Head to the hills

cool escape

Head to the hills

Tawang & the Lake District

The silence is deafening and even nature seems to hold its breath, awed by its own beauty.

The series of lakes — glassy and limpid — reflect the snow-tossed peaks around them.

Some are permanently frozen over and others resemble natural ice rinks devoid of lithe skaters. Y-Junction, which nudges the Chinese border in Arunachal Pradesh, is the closest that you will get to a vision of paradise.

Stop at a lake in the lower reaches and gaze at the gently rippling reflections in its depths.

Light a campfire, melt some snow and brew some heart-warming tea. |

Linger awhile to watch the sunset and as the fiery orb slips below the horizon, watch as it sets the lake afire. Slowly, the moon rises to claim a star-veined sky and it’s time to head back to Tawang.
 En route icicles hang like daggers from overhanging ridges and the trees sigh under their burden of snow.
 Waterfalls seem to freeze in mid-plunge down valleys and ridges. There’s a spell cast on the land!

Early next morning, you may head for Tawang Monastery, the largest of its kind in India and home to around 500 shaven-head monks.
 Wafted by cool mountain air, the 17th century monastery resonates with the prayer, Om Mani Padme Hum, that rises from the barrel-chested lamas like a hypnotic chant.

Apart from its otherworldly aura, Tawang is very rooted in the here and now with its busy little town square and market where the Monpas with five pointed wigs made of yak’s wool mill around selling their woven handicrafts.

The five points on the wig are meant to draw off rain and melting snow. Here, one sees a wrinkled weather-beaten face, reflecting a life of hardship and untold struggle, but a soul finally at peace with itself; there, young, slant-eyed maidens in their prime sport calloused palms, for they too live in a beautiful but harsh environment.

Yet, in this little north-eastern town, one can see hope flare in every face; hope for a bountiful future where the Himalayas keep eternal vigil.

For more information, visit: www.arunachaltourism.com