India West to East Tour
Upon sign up, we will send you our richly detailed, pre-trip information package.
Depart Home Country.
Arrive in Delhi: Pick up service provided from the airport. We will be staying at Claridges, Delhi. Delhi is an exciting modern city, and is known for its art, culture, and food. If enough people are interested, we can arrange a group dinner and sample some renowned modern Indian Cuisine
Delhi: Following breakfast, we will tour some of the historic sites of Delhi and examine the influence that the Islamic Moghul rulers had on the city. Humayan’s Tomb, Quitab Minar, Haus Kas Village, and Lodhi Gardens, and Old Delhi are all possible destinations depending on our energy and interests.
Fly to Guwhati, drive to Tezpur: We will catch a morning flight to Guwhati in Assam state, and then drive about 4 hours to Tezpur. We will have the afternoon free for last minute organizing, shopping, and packing. This is a good location to change money or use an ATM before we head to more remote locations.
Drive to Thembang: We quickly leave the city behind, driving through small villages, rice fields, and tea plantations of Assam. Eventually you will see the “dawn lit mountains” of Arunachal Pradesh in the distance. Our road winds up through dense forests – expect about 6-8 hours of driving on roads that can be rough. By early evening we will reach Thembang (7,000 ft.), a historic village of the Monpa people. Overnight in homestays, where we will learn more about village life and local Buddhism.
Trek to Lagam: After breakfast, our duffle bags will be loaded on to pack horses, and we will drive a short distance to the neighboring village of Pangma. The first leg of our trek descends approximately 1,000 ft to the valley bottom. From there, we pick our way through the dense rhododendron forest, navigating small streams and sections of steep trail. Finally, we climb steeply back up the wall of the valley to reach the isolated village Lagam (8,800 ft.). Once in Lagam we will relax, enjoy the views, and check out the picturesque local Gompa. Overnight in tents.
7 km, 1,000 ft descent, 2,500 ft ascent, 5-6 hours
Trek to Thungri: Our day begins with a short, steep climb out of Lagam to reach a seldom used road. We follow this road, enjoying the views afforded from the ridgeline. After a few hours at a leisurely pace we will reach the trekking camp of Thungri (approx. 10,000). This summer camp is primarily used by local yak herders while grazing their livestock. If the weather is clear, our camp has good views of Mt. Gorichen (22,500 ft) in the distance. Overnight in tents.
12 km, 1,000 ft ascent, 4-5 hours
Trek to Chang La: From Thungri, we return to the dense rhododendron forest. Several hours of less steep trekking will give way to a steep final ascent to Chang La (12,300). At Chang La, we will be above the forest, and have clear views of the Himalayan peaks in the distance. At this camp we will rest up and prepare for our challenging climb the next day.
2,500 ft ascent, 5-6 hours
Trek to Persing La: We will use Chang La as our basecamp for a round trip adventure to Persing La, the high point of our trek. Persing La is a mountain pass (elevation 12,500 ft) that will provide views of the Eastern Indian Himalayas, including the Kangto and Gorichen mountain ranges. We will return to our camp at Chang La that night.
8-10 hours roundtrip
Trek to Namshu: After a good night’s rest we will leave our Chang La camp and trek downhill to Namshu (8,800 ft). Namshu is one of the biggest villages of the Monpa tribe in the West Kameng District, and we will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful local Gompa and Kalkaling gate and learn more about local homes and lifestyles.
3,500 ft descent, 7 hours
Trek to Sangti, overnight in Dirang: After leaving Namshu, we will pass a small monastery, before winding our way down into the Sangti valley. As we drop into the valley, we pass in and out of rhododendron forest, cultivated fields, and small villages. We reach the valley floor in time for a well-deserved lunch at the banks of the Dirang river. After lunch, we will drive about an hour to our hotel in Dirang, where we have the afternoon free to relax, and organize gear.
4,000 ft descent, 4-5 hours
Drive to Tawang: We drive over the rocky, alpine terrain of Sella Pass (13700), and drop back down into Tawang Valley. After a break for lunch at the stunning Jang Waterfall, we make our way up to Tawang and if time permits visit the local market. Expect to drive around 6-7 hours. Tawang is home to the second largest Buddhist monastery in the world and has a rich cultural and religious history.
Tawang: Attend sunrise prayers in the 17th c. Tawang monastery, followed by visits to sites such as the local Ani Gompa (nunnery), the Tawang War memorial dedicated to the martyrs of the Sino-Indian war, and the birthplace of the 6th Dali Lama. After lunch, we return to the monastery museum which houses valuable antiquities, books and manuscripts both handwritten and printed.
Drive to Bomdilla: We will drive over Sella pass again, and head to Bomdilla. Bomdilla is home to a local craft market and is a good location to shop for souvenirs and local art. Expect around 8 hours of driving.
Drive to Guwhati: Retrace our tracks out of Arunachal and into Assam. Expect to drive 6-7 hours. Overnight in Guwhati.
Fly to Delhi: We will return to Delhi and prepare for international flights back home. Flights to the U.S. usually depart very early in the morning; plan on departing on November 1st and arriving back home on the same day. Overnight accommodations near the airport are not included but can be easily arranged.
Want to Extend Your Trip?
We are happy to arrange a cultural extension to your trek if you are interested in immersing yourself more deeply in Indian culture. A visit to Varanasi, a central city in the Hindu faith would be a one possible option. A visit to the Taj Mahal would also be a recommended addition to your travels in India. If you are interested in either of these options, please contact Gordon Janow at [email protected].
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I’ve always had a desire to travel India. So when Gordon announced an exploratory trip with trekking, I made the decision to participate. From beginning to end it was a dream come true. The sights, sounds, people, food, and majestic landscape were truly an incredible experience. Well supported with Robin Pendery and well narrated by Gordon. […]