Ep 10 Shergaon to Tezpur | Chillipam Monastery | Shergaon Sightseeing | Arunachal Pradesh
One thing that stands out about this place is that... ...there are clouds atop every mountain. Wherever you look, you'll see clouds in every direction. This is an amazing view. Look there! So beautiful as you see clouds moving around. Wonderful!!! Namaskar friends. Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host Harish Bali.
We are in Shergaon right now. 12 days ago, when we were travelling from Guwahati to Bomdila via Balemu... ...we had reached Shergaon at 7 pm. Everyone we met said that spending half a day in Shergaon wasn't justified in any way.
One must spend at least one full day here. A lot of tourists visit this place for bird-watching. There is an Eagle's Nest nearby. People visit there for bird sighting.
It is said that some of the bird species available there aren't found anywhere else in world. And the tourists return here in the evening. Plus there is local sightseeing to do here.
Now let me tell you about the homestay where we are putting up. Good accommodation! Right now, they have four rooms available on rent. But the washroom is common. Therefore, they rent the rooms to a single family. They don't rent the homestay to different guests. Room tariff is Rs 1200 on double occupancy basis.
Let us have some breakfast before we start our day. After spending 2 to 2.5 hours locally, we will proceed with our further journey. Their kitchen and dining set up is indoors. But I thought having breakfast outside would be a better experience.
Here I can eat breakfast while enjoying this beautiful view. What I am eating here is called 'Baale.' It is made of maida (refined flour) and a bit of yeast for fermenting it.
And it is made just like a paratha, with a little oil over a hot iron griddle. With that they've served us rajma (kidney beans) too. And on the side is a dish made with cabbage and saag (greens).
This saag grows in their kitchen garden here. Its taste is somewhat similar to Bhatura (fermented, deep fried wheat flatbread). But Bhaturas are puffed and thinner, this is thicker. It is tasty and makes for a good combination with the vegetables. Good taste! The homestay owner told me just now that this is a local variety of rajma. She said I would like it.
It is really tasty. Ma'am, the breakfast was delicious! Thank you Sir! Would you like to have salty tea? Salty tea? Yes! Before leaving I want to see the Chhurpi that you make from soyabean. Sure! I would like to see it before I leave. Thanks! You got butter tea? Yes Sir! Nice! Nice! In this region, butter tea and salt tea mean the same thing. Apart from milk and tea leaves, it has ghee and a pinch of salt. So, this would be the last cup of butter tea for this journey.
Because we will reach Assam by evening. Sir, this is soyabean Chhurpi. This is what you call soyabean chhurpi? Soyabean chhurpi.
When we were in Tawang, nobody talked of soyabean chhurpi. Nobody said that, right. Yes, but here it is common. Yes Sir, it is. They use chhurpi made only with yak's milk.
Tell me, is this freshly made? Yes Sir. It was made yesterday after extracting and drying in sun. It isn't old. If it becomes 2-3 months older, does it smell more? Yes it will have a very strong smell.
You won't be able to sit in the same room with it. Because I am not habitual of it. Yes, because you don't eat it often.
But you like it very much. We do Sir. We like it very much.
So how many days does it take to prepare it? It takes at least a week to prepare. It takes that much time to dry it, grind it and everything. Yes, about a week.
We've travelled about a KM to visit an ancient house in Shergaon. I have with me Nawang Bhai. He operates a riverside camp. Yes Sir. The place outside which we are standing right now is called "Lagang Gompa." Or Lower Gompa.
And you also told me about the other one, what is it called? Zengbu Gompa. Zengbu Gompa. And it is also called Upper Gompa because it is situated at a height. Great! Both these Gompas, you told me, are more than 200 years old. Nice! So, we will be visiting this house? Yes! Let's go then.
How old is this house? And how many more such houses are there in Shergaon? Sir, there must be almost 10 such houses here. It is approximately 70 years or more old. The ancient building system included stones in the base and wooden panels in the upper portions. Yes! The lower portions of house used to be kept for cattle-rearing. The family lives in the middle level and on top is the storage.
The storage space is mainly dedicated to foodgrain. The smoke rising up from the family's kitchen kept foodgrain safe from insects. Earlier this space was a completely partition-free space. But now they've put up partitions. Earlier, kitchen used to be in the same hall. There used to be two kitchens, one on this side and one on the other side.
And the prayer room in a corner. That space was reserved for prayer and worship ceremonies. We are now going to visit Choskorong Waterfall, which is 5 minutes away.
After some distance, I've decided it is better not to go too close to the waterfall. I've just seen a video of the Waterfall. There is a steep approach path to reach there.
Then there is a steep slope right before the Fall. The water falls from a height of 15 feet approximately. I also came to know that the authorities planned to build a dam here. But later that plan was dropped.
Right now, I am sitting next to the stream flowing down from the waterfall. Its looking so good here. The stones on the riverbed are clearly visible.
I've been watching this same scenery for the past 30 minutes. But I am not satisfied yet. We are leaving here now. And we will be visiting a horticulture farm nearby.
Nawang bhai has to be somewhere else. So he is leaving but his brother will continue to guide us. And your name is Pema. So, you will be with us for another hour or so? Yes sir. Okay. For the past 10 minutes I was asking Nawang bhai to tell me something about Shergaon.
So, he told me it isn't a large village. The total population of Shergaon would be about 1200. And it has approximately 150 houses.
The total population of this area, including other villages around Shergaon.... ...wouldn't be more than 4000. Maximum population of the village belongs to Sherdukpen Tribe. Good! Now thanks for spending time with us. Now we have your brother to guide us. Shall we go? You are going to take us to two more place from here.
One is horticulture farm and the second is river point. There is a hanging bridge there as well. So these are the two places to go to. Thank you! Thanks! We've travelled 2 KM so far. We've stopped our car to see the hanging bridge. One thing that is appreciable is that there is no traffic on the road. There is the hanging bridge.
Let us go closer and watch the river from the middle of the bridge. One thing I would definitely say, standing atop this bridge. This view has won my heart. So beautiful! So exclusive! It is looking wonderful! Looking at these flags, you can assume how fast the wind must be blowing here. And this hanging bridge also keeps moving slightly with the wind.
Here three streams are coming together to form this river. The one we are looking at below the bridge. This river is known as 'Doblokho' in local language. Standing here, I'm able to see clearly the stones on the riverbed. And I prefer watching the view on this side.
Because of the stones clearly visible underwater. And the horses standing on the other side of the river, makes it one-of-a-kind view. Really exclusive! After a 3-KM journey, we've come to visit the State Horticulture Farm. Nima Bhai....
Yes! Please help us with this farm visit. First of all, you said, we shall visit the nursery? Yes, nursery. Alright! Where to? In that direction. Come. What is this? These are walnut seedlings.
Really! This is a wild variety. So, does walnut grow in this area? Yes! We'll go inside? There is a huge nursery here. All these are Anjeer (Fig) plants.
And next to it, on this side, walnut. What we saw outside were the seedlings and these are ready plants. To be sold to the farmers. And what do we see here down below? I tis written here - Kiwi rooted cuttings. We were told in Dirang that Dirang had lots of Kiwi plants. In Dirang and Sangti areas.
What time is Kiwi harvest season? Kiwi season is during October-November. October-November. Is there any fruit here, which is ready for harvest? No, none. When would be the apple season, around August? Yes! Can we go and see the rest of the farm? Let's go.
Come! Since it isn't harvest season right now, we aren't going inside the farm. We are watching it from the outside. This is an apple tree, which is flowering. And apple would be harvested in the month of August.
Right? Yes! So, apart from apple trees, which other plants are Apart from apple, we have Persimmon, walnut, plum, kiwi. But main is apple? Yes! An officer told me, a short while ago, that a lot of tourists visit here at the time of harvest. They also click a lot of photographs with the plants, especially apples.
Can the tourists purchase apples at that time? Yes, they can. How do you make the sale? Is it done grade-wise or in a mix? We sell grade-wise here. Grade-1 apple sells for Rs 100 per kg.
Grade-2, Grade-3 and Grade-4 apples sell for Rs 80, Rs 60 and Rs 40 per kg, respectively. Like that! So the apple season lasts till when? It ends in about a month's time. Apple, Kiwi, Persimmon are your main fruits. Walnut! Walnut too! Kiwi. As I had said a while ago, you can feel the purity in the air here.
Whenever you visit Shergaon. Though we aren't staying here longer, but I feel one must stay here for a day or two. Okay then, we've had this brief visit to the horticulture farm. Now we will go to the riverside and after that, Chilipam Monastery. It will take us about an hour to reach there. Though it isn't that far but the last 7-8 KM are a steep climb up the mountain.
We've reached the Riverpoint, which is 2 min from the horticulture farm. You see that bridge, we just crossed over it to reach here, till this unbeaten path. Now we are on this side.
A while ago I told you about the Doblokho river while standing at the Hanging bridge. It is the same river, a little downstream. It is a good place, man! Yes Sir, a lot of people come here for picnic.
Locals also camp here and chill. And in our local language, we call this place 'Wagrong' Sir. Wagrong? And this bridge is also called Wagrong Bridge Sir. Somebody told me last night that though it doesn't snow here much..... ...but this year, in February, it snowed upto 4 feet. After many years, otherwise, there is no snowfall here. The weather is cold but this year, it snowed too.
And I would just say that spending 5-10 minutes at this place isn't justified at all. You must spend time here, go on a walk if you fee like. And if you want to enjoy nature, sit on a rock and enjoy the water flowing slowly. A while ago, Pema told us people come here for picnic. There is a side effect of picnic as well, as I can see in front of my eyes right now. See! These beer bottles tell us the negative side of picnicking here.
This is such a beautiful state. But all decreases the charm of the place. And I've noticed this point at many places in my 12-day long journey.
We shall spend 10-15 minutes here and then leave for Chilipam. Just 5 km back, on our way to Chilipam, we came across this beautiful waterfall. It looks good, right? The water is falling from a great height, through a narrow passage. Beautiful! Chilipam is 5 KM from here.
Let me show you the waterfall closely. You will feel good! Someone had told me that during monsoon season, the water comes gushing down this fall. Nice place! Now we are going to the monastery.
Once we reach monastery, we will visit it from inside and also show you the surrounding view. Because a lot of people have told me that the view from there is very impressive. So, come! We've reached the Chilipam Monastery. The feeling in my mind is exactly as I had imagined it. The scene is that we are going to visit the monastery. But let me show you the surroundings first.
We are standing in a huge ground. If you go and stand near that jeep, you will see a beautiful view of the hills around. As you can see from here, there are mighty hills on all sides. Beautiful! The architecture of this monastery is beautiful to look at. So beautiful! Here is a darshan of Lord Buddha.
Here is the darshan of 'Ava Lokeshwara ji.' Also known as 'Bodhisattva.' These Granths (religious texts) contain the teachings of Lord Buddha, in Tibetan language. The construction of this monastery began in 1988.
Then, after a gap of 8-9 years, the construction was restarted in 2000. It was completed in 2009. This monastery is completely functional for the past 12-13 years. You can see this magnificent prayer hall. The architecture inside is also very beautiful. Look at that painting on the roof. It looks amazing!
Beautiful! There are no tourists here right now. A while ago, when I was in the canteen here, I was told tourists prefer to visit over weekends. The Guruji who established this monastery is the one shown in this photograph. Right now, it is his son who looks after the monastery. Rinpoche Ji.
He lives in Assam. This monastery belongs to the Ningma sect, one of the four sects of Buddhism. Right! Let us go up these stairs and see the view available from a height. The main thing is that I can see clearly the houses located on far-away mountains.
Like these 15-20 houses here on this mountain. I can see 25-30 houses in that direction as well. One good thing about this place is that there are clouds over every mountain. Wherever you go, you will see clouds everywhere. Uff! This view is mesmerizing. Look at that!
So beautiful! The clouds can be seen moving. Wonderful! After spending 5-10 minutes here, we will go to the canteen. We won't get lunch there, but we can eat maggi. We will have lunch later on, whenever we find a good option. We travelled for about 30 minutes from the Chilipam Monastery. Then came Rupa.
After travelling for 10 KM from Rupa, we've reached Tenga. The river flowing under the hanging bridge there is called 'Tenga river.' Let us climb the hanging bridge and see the view from there. The river view from this bridge is very good. If one would go and sit on a rock by the riverside, time would just fly.
So beautiful! The one thing that stands out in this scenery is the continuous sound of ...... ....water crashing upon the rocks in the river. The environment is peaceful. And there is no other tourist here except for us.
Now we will go straight for 7 KM to reach Tenga Viewpoint. Up on the mountain! From there, we will be able to see the river, as well as a wider view of Tenga village. Please come! A while ago, we were looking up at this mountain.
Now we are looking at the road below. I can hear the roar of the river even at this height. Great view! There is a designated space here dedicated to "Valley View - Park & Recreation." Let us climb up to that point.
It feels good standing here. The river is far from here. But the road is clearly visible from here. It is snaking upto this point here. In the past 12 days, we've spent in Arunachal, we've seen one view better than others. Now it feels, it is a matter of another 2-3 hours.
After that our Arunachal tour will come to an end. We are in Tenga right now and Bhalukpong border is 2 hours from here. And reaching Bhalukpong means you are in Assam. It is a distance of 80 KM. The time right now is 4.45 pm.
We would reach Bhalukpong by 7 or 7.15 pm. Great! We will spend 5-10 minutes more here. Take a walk around this place. After that, off to Bhalukpong, while enjoy a couple of viewpoints on the way. We've travelled about 17 KM from Tenga. When tourists are travelling on Bhalukpong route towards Bomdila.... ...they stop here, as did we. Let us go and visit Nag Mandir.
We climbed upto the temple, there was no one there. We had darshan of Nag Devta. We could have asked for the significance of this temple if there had been a priest here.
When we climbed up to that temple.... ...we were at a height and the river view was quite good from there. The road view was good too. Now we've climbed down and can see a river view from the side too.
We are leaving here now. It will be dark in another 15 minutes. If it doesn't get too dark, we might see a view or two but.... ...otherwise, we will continue with our journey non-stop. Right now, we are 47 KM from Bhalukpong.
We've stopped for tea and this place is called Zero Point. Otherwise, it is also called 'Neshi Pu.' You won't find this place on Google Maps if you search for Zero Point. At present, whoever travels to Bhalukpong on this route, passes the Zero Point. They stop here for tea and snacks before carrying on with their journey. Generally, this place is covered in dense fog.
Right now the weather is clear, but it is usually foggy. The authorities are building a tunnel through the mountain here. The tunnel will cut short the distance by 12 KM and you won't have to stop because of fog. You will be saved the trouble. Now we will finish this tea and go to Bhalukpong.
Instead of Bhalukpong, we are planning to spend the night in Tezpur. So, it will take an hour or so to reach Bhalukpong and ..... ...further, another hour or so to reach Tezpur. We might be able to reach Tezpur only by 9 pm.
The time right now is 6.15 pm. Right! From here, you can go to Itanagar, via Sepa. Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, is 220 KM away from here. Right! This is it for now. We will meet again in Tezpur. We reached Tezpur at 9.30 pm. We've booked accommodation in Hotel Bikram.
Room tariff is Rs 2100 plus GST on double occupancy basis. Our Arunachal Pradesh tour was quite good. Our series ends today. Some of these experiences will stay with me forever. I am sure you must have enjoyed this series. I haven't yet thought of our next destination.
I hadn't planned the night stay in Tezpur earlier. I wanted to stay in Guwahati. My planning, when we left Shergaon earlier today...... ....was to reach Guwahati by 9.30 or 10 pm. But we kept getting late with each stop on the way. By the evening, it became clear that we won't be able to reach Guwahati before 2 am in the night. So, it was pointless to proceed to Guwahati.
And we decided to stay in Tezpur. Tonight, I will also book my flight ticket for tomorrow afternoon or evening. Tomorrow, we will reach Guwahati, after a 4-hr journey and then back to home. Tell me your views about this series. Now, let me give you a couple of tips to keep in mind for Arunachal tour.
If you are planning tour to Arunachal, you must book your accommodation in advance. The local infrastructure is in place, but still limited in numbers. Though the number of tourists has increased but the hotels, homestays are still limited. So, advance booking should be your number 1 priority. The roads are in good condition. There is no issue anywhere.
This morning, somebody asked me on Facebook about the economic condition of the state. So, I thought I haven't talked of that anywhere in the video. The economic condition is very good. It is a well-off state. And I didn't see anybody here, whom I would look at and call a poor person. Everybody is earning their livelihood and working hard for it. People are involved in different activities like farming yak-rearing and tourism.
So, that way people are well-off. We began this journey on 9th April from Guwahati. And today is 19th April.
That should give you an idea of the number of days we spent on this journey. Right, so I am going to say bye-bye to you now. In the coming days, I am going to decide about the next destination.... ....and will announce it in the community. Bye-bye! Thanks for your time! The joy of standing over this suspension bridge comes from its movement. And second thing, watch the current of the river. The river current is high-speed.
The water flowing down over big and small rocks......beautiful! Whenever we see a gorgeous place, we often say 'beautiful.' But beautiful won't do justice here. This is a golden view. What an amazing valley view is visible from here!!! We can see mountains in the distance, even though the view is blurred but..... ...we can even see the villages situated on those mountains. The view from this height is great, so is this huge meadow!