Bomdila, Arunachal Pradesh

Bomdila, the headquarters of West Kameng district is situated at a height of 2,700 mtrs (9000 ft). It is on the way from Bhalukpong to Tawang and is 100 km from Bhalukpong. It is a good place to stop for a night before going to Tawang. It offers spectacular panoramic views of Himalayan landscapes and snow clad mountains. The view from R R Hill is superb. This area has had strong Tibetan and Buddhist influences over many centuries and hence there are many Buddhist monasteries called ‘Gompas’ here. There is a craft centre here which produces very fine carpets of colorful designs and masks. Other places of interest here are apple orchards, GRL Monastery, and the Ethnographic Museum. This small town is famous for Buddhist Gompas and the magnificent view of the Kameng Valley. The view of clouds gathering at the top of the Nechipu Pass can be easily seen from the highest point of this place. The area is also home to the Kangto and Gorichan peaks, which are considered as the highest peaks in the state.

Bomdila Monastery, Called Upper Monastery, this is one of the main tourist attraction of Bomdila. The monastery situated among mountains and greenery. Young lamas stay here to learn about Buddhism in the boarding. You can see them running with utensils in their hand for breakfast / lunch. Seeing these young lamas in their red robes in all the age groups – staying away from the families they were born into and taking up their religious duties fills the heart with different feeling – so unlike their counterparts on other cities and towns.

A fairly good guest house with some breath taking views is also located in the campus. But to stay there, you must have your own cab as it is little bit off the market. Veg food is served here. Inside the Monastery, glorious and serine “darshan” of Budha is a treat to mind and soul.

In medieval times, Bomdila had been a part of the kingdom of Tibet where it was ruled by the local tribal rulers of Bhutan. The Ahom rulers of Assam never interfered with these local tribes except in case of retaliatory raids. In 1873, the British banned the entry in this area of Arunachal Pradesh.

After India gained independence in 1947, there has been constant disagreement on this area between India and China. In 1962, China invaded the area around Bomdila, but later withdrew its troops from there.

The best time to visit Bomdila is between April and October, during which the temperature remains mild, rarely going above 32° Celsius.