Trek of "Bailey Trail" and important pilgrimage sites in Tawang.

Image description
Image description

"Bailey Trail", This trek traces the historic route taken by Lt. Col. F M Bailey and Capt. H T Morshed, British officers who were commissioned to survey the lands between Arunachal Pradesh and Tibet during 1911-12. The trek was initially an ancient trade route that connected Burma, India and Tibet. In 1962 the Chinese army used this route to strike deep into Arunachal Pradesh. The ‘Bailey Trail’ as it is known now, crosses through some pristine remote forests of the Eastern Himalayas, where pine, oak and rhododendrons grow aplenty. Throughout the trek, the presence of breathtaking landscapes will overwhelm you, and at times, you’ll be able to see the majestic peaks of Gorichen and Kangto, two of northeastern India’s highest peaks. The highest point of this trek will be Sela Pass at a height of 4550 meters. Entirely, you’ll be crossing high mountain passes, glacial rivers, crystal clear lakes, villages of the Monpa Tribe, and will be staying at campsites that will awe you. And as a bonus, you'll be visiting the Buddhist hill station of Tawang where the second largest Buddhist monastery of the world is magnificently located.

Our package starts from Guwahati and trek starts from the Dirang River Valley at Chander at an elevation of 2530 m. Over seven days it follows the "Bailey trail" to cross the the 4550 high Tse la Pass and then diverts along the general alignment of the massive Sela Ridge, making its way through a series of interlocking valleys connected through several passes to reach the highway at the Sela pass. The route traverses through river valleys, quaint Monpa villages, and desolate high Himalayan pastures, passing through a fascinating mix of terrain  - mixed sub tropical forests, coniferous forests of Pine, fir, Oak, and Chesnut, grasslands, 

Juniper, and Rhododendrons. There are lovely Alpine lakes and breathtaking views of the Gori Chen and Kangto peaks. From the Sela pass you will drive to Tawang for visit in the Tawang Monastery and spend time exploring other sights around Tawang. Thereafter we will drive back over the Sela pass to the lovely Dirang Valley to stay for 02 nights, allowing us one full day to see the sights. Finally we take two days to return to Guwahati driving along the highway crossing

 over Bomdila pass, with an overnight halt at Bhalukpong.


Day 01: Drive Guwahati to Bhalukpong, Meet greet and drive to Bhalukpong, 261 Kms in 07.00 hrs, overnight at hotel. 

Day 02: After breakfast visit Tipi orchid centre and Drive to Dirang via Bomdila, Drive in 160 Kms in 07 hours to Dirang, over night Dirang. 

(Day 03 to 08-"Bailey Trail") 

Day 03: Drive Dirang - Chander, 2530 m and Trek to Tungri, 3100 m, Early morning visit Dirang Dzong, the official building of the Tibetan Government and drive to Chander in two hrs. Weather permits you get your first view of the panorama of snows. Start Trekking. Steadily uphill along a good track, through forests for 04 -05

hours to the Camp 1 at a yak pasture. Overnight in camp.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Day 04: Trek Tungri, 3100 m to Chang la, 3650 m, A hard trek of 06 hours through coniferous forests with two steep climbs along a ridge to Camp 2, near Chang la pass , 3650 m. Superb views of the Sela range, surrounding valleys and the Himalayan watershed.


Day 05: Changla, 3650 m to Potak, 4200 m, Steady climb of 03 hours through scattered coniferous forests, juniper and Rhododendrons to cross over Posing la pass at 3950 meters. Trek continues for another 04 hrs. First we go down hill to cross a glacial stream, and then climb up to an alpine pasture to Camp 3 at Potak, 4200 meters at confluence of two streams. 


Day 06: Trek Potak, 4100 m – Tse la, 4550 m – Lortum, 4100m, Trek steadily uphill beyond the tree line for 03 hrs to cross the high -  Tse la, 4550 m. There is a small Alpine lake below the summit and breath taking  panoramic  views of the Sela ridge, river valleys, Gorichen (6500 m) and Kangdo,(7090 m) peaks on the Himalayan watershed. During October, whilst descending for 02 hrs to a river valley the trees and foliage presents spectacular fall colors. Camp 5 at Lortum, 4100 m.


Day 07: Trek Lortum to Luguthang, 4500 m, A long hard day of trekking for 08 hours, Begin with a nice leisurely walk downhill with great views . Enjoy the stunning fall colours. Thereafter climb steadily on a near virgin trail for three to four  hours to the Khokar la pass connecting the Lortam and Luguthang valleys It is a challenging trek as you encounter many false crests. Once at the top there are wonderful view of alpine lakes and in the far distance can be seen the river valley where Luguthang is located. The descent into the valley and walk down to the campsite is one of the most stunning of the trip. Luguthang – a cluster of half a dozen graziers houses with a gompa, is located high up at 4500 m. From the surrounding ridges you can get good views of the Tawang Chhu Valley. Overnight at camp 5.


Day 08: Trek Luguthang to Tsonai, 4500 m, Another long hard days trek.. Crossing two major high passes, there are ascents and desents. You will be trekking at an average altitude of 4500 m, and affects of altitude combined with the long day make it perhaps the most challenging day. Camp 6 is set in a lovely pasture at Tsonai, 4500 m.


Day 09: Trek Tsonai to Se la, 4267 m. Drive Se la to Bangachang, Morning reveals stunning view of the great peaks, there is the last pass to climb – The Kya la before descending to the Sela Pass, 4267 m. Transfer to our jeeps to drive to Bangachang/or trek. Overnight in tents.


Day 10:  BANGACHANG: Full day explore the holy sites of Guru Padmasambava and the holy lakes, Bangachang is one of the most important 

pilgrimage sites in the Tawang region, over night at camp.


 Day 11: Bangachang to  Mokto (2404 M/7,885 FT)-Today easy trek to Mokto village. We are now entering the land of the colorful Tawang Monpas. The 

women wear beautiful costumes and the men are attired in animal skin jackets with yak hair caps. The women wear a lot of colourful jewellery of jade and 

turquoise. The people are very friendly and though they understand very little of what you say, they are most willing to converse with you in sign language. 

Afternoon visit the village. Overnight in tents.


DAY 12: Mokto to Grangkhar via Chakjam (2278 M/7471 FT)-From Mukto it is a descent of about 2000 ft to a small village called Chakjam. Drubthog 

Thangthong Gyalpo, popularly known as Lama Chag-zam Wangpo was an architect, Philosopher and an Iron chain bridge builder. According to their authentic 

references, G.Tucci and R.A.Stein accepts 1385 as the year of birth and 1464 as year of death of Thangthong Gyalpo.
According to the biographical information in the history of Bhutan, Thangthong Gyalpo was born in the year of Wood Ox year (1384) in the village of Rinchen 

Ding in Tibet. He started building Iron suspension bridges of more than 100 meter Spans at the beginning of 15th century, while in Europe, spans of more than

 20 meters were regarded as significant achievement. The only and more than 580 years old iron chain bridge, first of its kind in Mon region was constructed by

 Lama Chag-zam Wangpo, sometime during 1420 to 1430, over river Tawang -Chu named Chag-zam where Chag means iron and Zam means bridge. The main 

motivation behind this magnificent construction was his immense compassion for the people, who due to lack of bridges over various rivers in Himalayan region, 

were usually compelled to cross them in small boats or other floating vessels etc.
During his life time, Lama Chag-zam Wangpo built over 100 iron bridges all over the Himalaya region. And  Chagjam in Tawang is certainly one of them and 

perhaps, it is, the only iron chain bridge in India built by him while such other bridges are over the various rivers in Himalaya region in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and 

other adjoining regions. Due to its unworldly nature of construction, this needs timely consecration prayer to lengthen its life. The local folks even today offer 

prayers at the metal work site. The consecration puja for the bridge was routinely conducted by the Guru Rinpoche by virtue of his association with the builder of 

the bridge in his previous incarnations. It is believed that the Third incarnation of Guru Rinpoche was one of the three sons of Drubthog Thangthong Gyalpo. It is 

because of this reason that Guru Rinpoche conducts Rabney at regular interval.
It is said that after completion of the construction of a good number of Chag-zam bridges at Bhutan, some iron metals and finished iron chains were found in 

surplus and left unused and as such with a view to make good use of those surplus materials for the service of mankind and animals, Thangthong Gyalpo setout 

for Mon Region from Bhutan. He made his camp at Bherkhar, a small hamlet in Kharsanang area in Mon Tawang which is not very far from Tawang-Chu river, the 

construction site of Cag-zam.
As a testimony, his footprint, the skull used for performing rituals and some iron chain are still preserved in the house where Chag-Zam Wangpo stayed during the

 construction of the bridge.
He composed an opera called Ache Lhamo which was performed repeatedly to collect fund and materials for construction work. The audiences, impressed with the performance of opera, donated in cash, in kind and pieces of iron for the construction. This opera is performed even today with great fanfare. Finally, he collected enough fund and iron to start the construction of iron bridge.
It is said and believed that he extracted the service of men, gods and demons to melt and mould the construction metals exercising his mystic and supernatural 

power. The men were engaged in day’s shift and the gods and demons took over at nights. The rock where the open air workshop was set up, still stands there 

as testimony. The villagers of Mukto, Gomkyaleng and Mirba take care for maintenance, renovation and proper protection of the bridge and even today it is 

regularly used by men and animals to cross the river Tawang-Chu. Now the bridge is very old as its age is calculated to about 600 years old. Over night at 

Grangkhar hot spring/tent.


DAY 13:  Grangkhar-Phomang – Tawang-From Grangkhar  we trek to Rhomang, the most holy place in the region to dispose the mortal remains, The Place 

got its importance after Guru Padmashambava is believed to have stayed meditating under the rock during his travel destroying the evil and demons. After covering the holy sites we drive to Tawang, rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Tawang.


DAY 14, TAWANG-Full day explore Tawang, after early breakfast visit Tawang Monastery, The famous Galden Namgyal Lhatse, popularly known as Tawang 

Monastery was founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyamtso in the year 1860-81.  It is the fountain-head of the spiritual life of the Gelupa Sect of the Mahayana School 

of Buddhism. The inner walls of the Dukhang - the assembly hall are painted with murals of various divinities and saints. The silver casket wrapped in silk 

containing the Thankas of Goddess Palden Lhamo - the principal deity of the monastery, were painted with blood drawn from the nose of the fifth Dalai Lama. 

A colossal, richly gilded statue of Lord Buddha sitting 26 feet high, occupies the middle of the northern side. Later trek to Gaygong ani Gonpa built by Merak Lama 

for his sister, and drive back to Urgeling monastery dating back to 1489, via Bramduchung ani Gonpa, Bramdachung ani Gonpa is the oldest of its kind, built even 

before the Tawang monastery, The birth place of HH the 6th Dalai lama, Urgelling monastery lies about five kilometers to the south of the serene Tawang town, 

the Urgelling monastery traces its root to the 15th century , when around 1489, it was established by Urgen Sangpo as a Buddhist spiritual centre. A home to the 

Buddhist monks and Lamas following the Lamaistic Mahayana school of thought, the monastery became a sacred place for the Buddhists since 1683 , the year 

when the sixth Dalai Lama Ngawang Gyatso was born to the Lama Tashi Tenzin(father) of Urgelling and Tsewang Lhamo(mother) of Bekhar. The monastery was 

restored and enlarged in the year 1699 by Gesi Sangye Gyamtso, and now its renovated look possessed a double storied main temple, But the glorious days of the 

monastery soon came to an end in the year 1706 when His Holy Highness the sixth Dalai Lama was deposed by Lajang Khan, and subsequently so was destroyed 

the monastery by one of his forces in 1714. Overnight Tawang.


Day 15: Drive to Taksang, the tigers den, explore the area hiking up and down hills covering all the important pilgrimage sites of Guru Padma Shambava, young 

healthy and hard trekkers can visit the tigers den. over night at Tent.


Day 16: Cover the place left at Taksang and drive to the largest stupa of the region built by Lama Prador at Zimithang, after viewing the stupa drive to Geyje 

Norling Monastery, over night at Tent.

Day 17: Morning after breakfast visit the nearby villages and meet local village peoples, after noon at leisure and evening enjoy the traditional culture  program, 

over night at Tent.


Day 18: Back journey begins, after breakfast drive to Dirang, over night Dirang.


Day 19: Drive to Bhalukpong, evening enjoy the bon fire and relax.


Day 20: Drive to Guwahati Airport for further journey, Tour ends.



***Participant   are required to bring  their own trekking  boots ,extreme cold clothing and rainwear. 


Image description