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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Arunachal Pradesh - Visiting the North East (Part-I)

Arunachal Pradesh – the land of dawn lit mountains
(From Guwahati to Tezpur)
View of Guwahati from across the Bramhaputra Bridge towards Ranga para

Having boarded flight from Delhi in the mid-morning with the mercury touching the 40 degree mark, we embarked upon the journey to the extreme north east state of the Country. We reached Guwahati well past the lunch time and the plane which was flying over a blanket of clouds dipped under it and the mesmerizing view of the mighty Bramhaputra River emerged. We were once again enveloped by a sea of green all around the airport vicinity. Since we had to travel upto Tezpur and thereafter negotiate a vehicle for our onward journey to Guwahati, we decided to hire a taxi from the authorized counter in the Airport complex itself, instead of going to Paltan Bazar and from thence to negotiate for a Bus ride or shared taxi etc. It is advisable not to enter the Guwahati city centre, especially if you are hard pressed for time, as sudden calls for bandh or Bodo/ULFA sponsored terrorist activities could bring the life & movement to a standstill instantly without any prior inkling. Moreover, the journey to the heart of the city or Paltan Bazar area could take one to one & half hours to reach and thereafter, to find and negotiate a suitable means of transportation and negotiate back to the highway another two to two & half hours, thereby taking the total time spent upto four hours. However, the airport taxis on the other hand run another kind of nexus i.e. since only registered taxis, which pay a hefty sum in form of taxes to get the registration, can ply from the authorized taxi stands, they get the booking from the counter and as soon as they leave the airport vicinity they transfer you to another unregistered private vehicle which then ferries you to your destination.
Lush green country side
Being delayed as we had started late in the afternoon, after crossing the mighty Bramhaputra river across the bridge built over it, we entered Rangapara which is part of the Kamrup District. Having got passed the Kamrup District we entered the Darrang District of Assam and found heavy presence of Army with convoys patrolling the streets. The driver informed us that it was one of the most disturbed areas of Assam due to intensified activities of the Bodo militants who operated in this area. Passing through some lush green country side we passed by small nondescript villages on way side and having passed Darrang township we reached Dekiajuli which is a small town right on the highway. Dekiajuli is known for the some big Tea Estates in the sub-division as also it is home to the vegetable cultivation in the area and the main supply hub to both Tezpur as well as Guwahati. The driver rested their and had a cup of tea & some Puri Subzi and I sank my fangs into some delicious local ‘roshogollahs’. Having refreshed ourselves, children gorging on Chips & Cold drinks we were ready to run for the final stretch and were engulfed in heavy downpour on the way.
Typical thatched houses and clumps of Bamboo trees
A wayside eating joint at Dekiajuli

We reached Tezpur around 6.00 P.M. and after negotiating the seeking directions reached the spot from where we could negotiate for a Vehicle that would take us to our final destination in Arunachal Pradesh i.e. Tawang at around 6.30 P.M. There are a plethora of Hotels available at Tezpur which suit every budget and we made our way to the Hotel Dhurba (Kabar Khana Road, Tezpur) as we had negotiated for a Sumo from the travel agency next door called the Himalyan (HH) Holidays - Seven Sisters Safari Tour & Travels (Tel.No. 03712-223580 & 9864184387 (M) – Proprietors goes by his nick name ‘Bhuttu’) as per the rates & conditions described in my first travelogue of this series. After having lodged ourselves in the Hotel room, we gorged on some snacks & coffee being totally famished and having replenished ourselves, I went out to the market and purchased some Chips, Biscuits, Chocolates & other dry ration alongwith a crate of mineral water for the onward journey next morning. The night stay in the hotel was very pleasant as the rains during the day had cooled the environs considerably.
Despite the photographs that I have placed in the travelogue, nothing beats the moving images captured through video, you may enjoy the visual treat -

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