Dense virgin forests, spectacular snow capped mountains, gushing rivers cutting deep gorges; few other places in the world come close to the raw, rugged beauty of Arunachal Pradesh. Snuggled within the lofty ranges of the Eastern Himalayas, ‘The Land of the Dawn Lit Mountains’ stands true to its name. If you like to tread the untamed path or are looking for a raw adventure, then Arunachal is the place for you. Its rugged mountains offer some of the most spectacular and remote treks in the Himalayas.
Our trek traces the historic route taken by Lt. Col. F. M. Bailey and Capt. H.T. Morshead, British officers who were commissioned to survey the Arunachal Tibet border during 1911 -12. During the British rule in India, closer relations were established with this area. Several surveyors and British officers travelled here. Taking advantage of this the British established their administration arid rule over the Tawang tract as on the entire North East Frontier Agency, NEFA (as Arunachal Pradesh was earlier known). In 1913, in a conference at Shimla where Indians, Tibetans and Chinese participated, the ‘McMahon Line’ was drawn on maps under Sir Henry McMahon, demarcating the boundaries between NEFA and Tibet. This line was not recognized by the Chinese, though Indians and Tibetans signed it in the presence of Chinese officials. This became the bone of contention and led to conflict later.
To draw the line on the map, the government required details of this area. Lt. Col. F.M. Bailey and Capt. HX Morshead, two British officers were deputed by the Government to survey the Tibet-NEFA border. The route from the south was bounded by thick forest and hostile tribes and hence it was difficult to approach from the British territories. These officers crossed the Yongyapp pass east of the Tsangpo gorge and travelled from village to village through some very forbidding country in Tibet, along the Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) to Chavul and Tsona Ozone. From here, they turned south to cross Tulung la (pass) into what is now the Indian Territory. They travelled southwards via Mago, Lap, Pota, Poshing la to Thembang. Descending to Dirang Dzong, they again turned north across Sela to Tawang. Finally they crossed westwards into Bhutan to reach the Indian plains. During this long great journey, they undertook a detailed survey of the terrain, and H.T. Morshead, who was a qualified surveyor, climbed several points, erected cairns and took large number of readings. This became the basis for Sir Henry McMahon, Defense Secretary, to draw the famous border line known after him, as the ‘McMahon Line’- Their route was called the ‘Bailey Trail’.
We walk the trail in the opposite direction from South to North, commencing at the historic village of Thembang. Three days of steady climbing through thick forests brings us to Poshing La from where we get the most stupendous views of the Gorichen massif, as the peaks of Gorichen (6,538 m), Kangto (7,090 m), Nyegyi Kangsang (7,047 m) and Takpa Shiri (6,655 m) flood the landscape with their beauty. Crossing overTse La we get to Mago village and onto Jang on the Bomdila- Tawang highway. On our drive back we add a further dash of adventure by rafting on the serene waters of the Nameri River.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Guwahati Railway Station|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive at least 1 hour before the train.|