After traveling for almost 13 hours and covering 269km, our bus arrived at Bomdila at around 5am. I was woken by a faint rustle at that moment when dawn began to take over from darkness. I looked out of the window and I could see the road dimly lit by the first morning light, then for the first time I saw the road we have been driving all along. It was way too narrow and the bus could have toppled off the cliff of the mountains with just a single wrong turn. There was no room for mistake, not even for a tiny one. When the bus roared up a steep road and came to halt at a bus stop, I was relieved. The journey would have been much longer if we had traveled in broad daylight- the precarious road laid out bare for all to see.
Bomdila struck me as a forlorn and rather sad town. There were no gentle slopes or valley and the town hung precariously on a steep slope.
Winter had arrived in this part of the state, or did it ever left I wondered. The wind was cold and relentless that morning. The chill found its way through my jacket and my boots and I was left shivering. As soon as I got my things together, I went to a taxi stand and bought myself a ticket for Tawang on a taxi leaving at 6am and then I headed straight to a small tea stall. Here tea is not an option but a necessity; to keep you warm. Nursing a glass of hot tea in my hand I checked out the ground just opposite the taxi stand. It was a miracle to see a flat football field at this altitude and on such a rocky landscape. Young boys dressed in shorts and t-shirts braved the morning chill for a practice. Their body can bear more cold than we normally can. By this time I had gulped down 2 cups of tea. The first glow of the day hit the tip of the rocky mountain that seemed to look over the town. The only thing I could think of was the 1962 Indo-Sino war. The Chinese pushed us almost as far as Tezpur, Bomdila was one of the key battlegrounds and some of the mountains are even named after armies who fought bravely in the war.
Where to Stay:
Bomdila is a small town and more of a stopover place before leaving for Tawang. There are hotels available near the taxi stand, namely Siphiyang Phong Hotel and Tourist Lodge Bomdila.
Bus fare from Itanagar to Bomdila - Rs.390
Taxi fare from Bomdila to Tawang- Rs.470